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‘The Golden Bachelor’: Gerry and Theresa Tell All About Wedding Plans

The grownup couple of the hour sing each other’s praises — and cite one fault in the other


spinner image Gerry Turner gets down on one knee and holds out a ring during his proposal to Theresa on the finale of "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/Disney

There were 22 wannabe brides of Gerry Turner, 72, on the smash TV reality show The Golden Bachelor. Now there’s just Theresa Nist, 70, who will marry the big guy Jan. 4 on ABC. The bubbly couple spilled some of their plans to AARP.

Can you tell us some details that nobody else knows?

Theresa: About the wedding? We don’t even know.

Gerry: Yeah. Planning is a rather dynamic process.

Theresa: So we had to come up with signature drinks. I’ll give you one — it’s called Birthday Suit.

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spinner image Theresa and Gerry Turner meet during the premiere episode of "The Golden Bachelor."
Theresa and Gerry meet during the premiere episode of "The Golden Bachelor."
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Ah, because you met Gerry on the first episode on your birthday, so you greeted him in what you claimed was your birthday suit — actually a bodysuit.

Gerry: Another signature drink is One Headlight [referring to the time Theresa comforted Gerry after his headlight went out on their date, discombobulating him]. And another is called Turn Her Into a Mrs.

Theresa: Gerry’s in charge of all the cakes, and my daughter is getting together a vision board, and we’ve got images of flowers and greenery and silverware and plates and glasses. So it’s coming together in a whirlwind!

Will anyone from the show be a bridesmaid?

Theresa: No one from the show will be a bridesmaid, but they will certainly be in the audience. I mean, if we could, we would invite every single one of these women, we love them so much.

spinner image The women of "The Golden Bachelor."
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Have you heard from any of them, congratulating you?

Theresa: Oh, yes. I think all of them, all of them. And I just came back to 36 more texts in addition to the 38 I had last night. The women being a tight-knit group wasn’t just for the show. That’s a legitimate deal. I’ve heard from many of the women, some of the very final contestants. It was just different than anything we had ever experienced in our lives. One of the things we wanted to do was to form bonds with women in addition to seeking the love of our lives.

spinner image Theresa and Gerry Turner together in front of the live studio audience on the finale of "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/Disney

Do you think that you two bonded because you’re both businesspeople?

Gerry: Maybe. Go one step back: We’re both very logical thinkers. And that was one of the things that really impressed me at that final dinner, about what Theresa did for her living. I realized that her way of thinking and mine were very compatible. So that when it came time for problem-solving, we were going to approach things from a similar direction.

Theresa: It just clicked with us. And we really do have very, very similar views about life and everything. And we’re good at compromising too.

What was the lull in your relationship, and what made it go away?

Gerry: I don’t know what you’re referring to.

Theresa: It’s because we had the first date. And then he went on to other dates. He was concentrating on other women, which absolutely had to happen, and he did great. It’s not like in real life, where we had such a fantastic date that normally you’d just go on another date immediately. We would have; this wasn’t real life.

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spinner image Theresa receiving a rose from Gerry Turner on "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/ABC

Is there anything you learned from your first marriages that relate to your second go at happiness?

Gerry: We both recognize in the other the skills that they possess to maintain a long-term relationship. It’s not easy to stay married 42 years, 43 years. It takes work.

What was it that didn’t work out with the people you each dated after being widowed, before the show?

Theresa: Yeah, we both did date — I dated a lot. And it never clicked for me. I was immediately attracted to Gerry, and then the more I learned about him, the more I liked him and then loved him. I was looking for a man of integrity, with high moral values, a family man who was kind, good-hearted. And Gerry was all of those things, and smart. So, yeah, he had the whole package for me.

Gerry: I had several things that that I really needed in a partner. Among them was a good sense of humor. Secondly, the ability to make me calm, and probably third is the ability to make me a better person. And Theresa does all of those things for me.

spinner image Gerry Turner and Theresa embrace outside on "The Golden Bachelor" finale.
John Fleenor/Disney

What did you learn in the course of the show?

Theresa: I really had a hard time being myself on camera. I have so many men in my life — six grandsons, a son, son-in-law, a brother — and so I was kind of not very comfortable being myself. It wasn’t until that last date, right before the Fantasy Suite, that he asked me the question about my career. It was a great conversation, and I started coming out of my shell. And then I welcomed being in the Fantasy Suite so we could really be ourselves. I mean, we could really talk, and we connected on a much deeper level.

Gerry: I didn’t feel self-conscious at any point. I wasn’t nervous in front of the cameras. I kind of just mentally blocked it out. And I tried to be myself and talk to people as if I was talking to them in any other setting.

Theresa: I didn’t have a great ability to forget that the cameras were there. So I kind of censored myself a lot.

Are you going to have something old, new, borrowed and blue?

Theresa: Oh, gosh, I didn’t even think of that. Good idea!

Gerry: That’s an old tradition that we should probably honor.

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spinner image Gerry Turner and Theresa together with Gerry's daughters and granddaughters
Gerry and Theresa alongside Gerry's two daughters and two granddaughters.
John Fleenor/Disney

How do you get married when it’s the second time around?

Theresa: With heart and soul. A lot of feeling. We want it to be meaningful, surrounded by love and family.

Where’s the honeymoon in Italy?

Gerry: Wherever we want.

Theresa: I’d love to go to Positano. The Roman south, because I’ve actually been to Italy twice, but Gerry hasn’t. I’d like to go to the most romantic parts of Italy. But anywhere in Italy.

spinner image Theresa holds a bouquet of flowers sitting next to Gerry Turner on the finale of "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/Disney

Is there anything people haven’t asked you yet about each other?

Gerry: If you were to ask me the question, what have I learned about Theresa since the final episode last night, I would be able to tell you that at the age of 70, she does not know how to blow-dry her own hair.

Okay, Theresa – fire back!

Theresa: I learned that Gerry does not like to clean up the sink at night, but I do — and I have to.

spinner image Gerry Turner and Theresa embrace outside on the finale of "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/Disney

So you’re a perfect match! Made for each other.

Theresa: Yay! That’s right.

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