It’s hard to think about how different the world was twenty years ago. We forget the things we openly accept now weren’t always accepted back then.
Different people were still shunned back then, and it was thought that two people who were different shouldn’t marry.
It sounds strange now, but this incredible love story was met with a lot of criticism back in 1995.
Maryanne and Tommy Pilling got married back in 1995.
They’re thought to be the first couple with Down’s syndrome to tie the knot.
But not everyone was happy to hear this very different couple were getting married.
Thankfully, after 22 years of married bliss, this incredible couple have proved the doubters wrong.
Maryanne and Tommy dated for 18 months before Tommy popped the question.
The couple got married in July 1995 at St. Mary’s Church in Shoeburyness, Essex.
22 years later and this adorable couple is still going strong.
Tommy and Maryanne even have a Facebook page, which was set up by Lindi Newman, Maryanne’s sister.
The page follows the adventures of this sweet couple. Over the years it’s racked up thousands of followers.
‘The day Maryanne met Tommy she came home with the biggest smile on her face. She couldn’t stop talking about him and asked if he could come for dinner.
‘They dated for about 18 months and then he approached my mum, Linda, to ask if he could propose. He had a toy ring from a vending machine.”
‘My mum immediately said yes but wanted them to do it properly so took him to a jewellery shop to buy a proper ring.
‘She received a lot of flak at the time for letting them get married but she insisted it was their decision.
‘Maryanne had dreamed about a big white wedding since she was a little girl and that’s exactly what she had. It was a beautiful day.
‘When they walk down the street holding hands they make a statement but in a good way.
‘Some people stare, they assume people with Down’s Syndrome and learning difficulties can’t get married.
‘But we also get so many lovely lovely messages from people who are inspired by their story.
‘People worried about their own children or grandchildren with Down’s Syndrome get hope from Maryanne and Tommy’s story.
‘Hope that their children can also fall in love and live happily ever after.’
Maryanne talked about her wedding day, 22 years ago.
‘My wedding was the best day of my life. I was shocked when Tommy proposed but I didn’t have to think twice about saying yes.
‘Tommy and I never argue. I love my husband very much. He is my best friend.’
The happily married couple live independently to their family. But in case the happy couple need any help, they only live next door to their family!
Feel free to SHARE this incredible love story with your friends and family.