DENISE NOLAN MARRIES LONG-TERM PARTNER AFTER 47 YEAR LONG RELATIONSHIP

A member of the famous girlband The Nolans has married her partner.

Denise Nolan and Tom Anderson exchanged vows in the shadow of the iconic Blackpool Tower, surrounded by their closest family and friends including Denise's sisters Coleen, Linda, Anne and Maureen. Speaking the day after the ceremony, Denise fondly recalled the special moments that made their big day so memorable, admitting she was still riding an emotional albeit tired wave.

"I had a fabulous day," she beamed. "But everyone's exhausted, we didn't get home until midnight. We danced our legs off all night! Denise, now 72, first crossed paths with Tom, 77, when she was performing with The Nolans and he was the resident drummer at the London Rooms, above London's New London Theatre in the West End. They married on Monday 17 June.

"We've been together now for 47 years and we love each other," she told OK! Magazine. She added: "We got engaged about 30 years ago, but we didn't think we needed the piece of paper to say that," she shared. "He's asked me to marry him a few times but usually when he's had a drink and is feeling sentimental! Then I mention it to him the next day and he runs a mile!"

One key element that pushed the couple to tie the knot was Tom's devastating Parkinson's diagnosis in 2018. Denise, who has faced her own share of family tragedies, knows all too well that the future is not promised, and they "didn't want to wait until further down the line where he might be a lot worse and it could be hard work".

When they finally decided to make things official, figuring out the details took some time. Initially, Denise chuckles, they thought to keep it low-key with a small ceremony featuring just the two of them and a pair of witnesses.

However, once Linda got wind of the plan, the scope of the event changed. "When we told Linda, she said, 'You have to tell the family,' and reminded me how upset I was when Coleen ran away and got married [to Shane Richie], so I realised I needed to tell them. Then it went from being the four of us to being about 55 of us!"

Denise hails from the iconic Nolans clan, which includes her brothers Tommy, 74, and Brian, 69who walked her down the aisle last week sisters Anne, 73, Maureen, 70, Linda, 65, Coleen, 59, and Bernadette, who sadly passed away in 2013 at the age of 52. The Nolans moved from Dublin to Blackpool in the early 1960s, and it's there that Denise continues to reside with Tom and her sister Linda, who was dealt the blow last year that her cancer had metastasized to her brain. Sisters Maureen and Anne also live close by.

The couple divided their early years between California, where Tom's son, Tom Jr, resides with his family, and the northwest of the UK. However, when it came to their wedding day, they only had eyes for one place the iconic Blackpool Promenade. They chose The Wedding Chapel (Festival House), a venue that boasts stunning views of both Blackpool Tower and the beach.

Their guest list expanded to include all of Denise's sisters and their partners, such as Coleen and her beau Michael Jones. Additionally, their cherished "Thursday Club" friends who gather every Thursday at a local club near Blackpool brought along a surprise wedding cake.

Denise gushed about the venue: "When you get married at Festival House, you can see Blackpool Tower and the beach, it's just lovely. We didn't want a big church service so it was perfect for us, and it meant we could choose all our own music and have the celebrant, who was a gem."

After waiting so long to tie the knot, Denise and Tom were determined to create a day filled with lasting memories alongside their loved ones. Denise's bouquet featured yellow roses and freesias, lovingly provided by Linda, who also contributed towards the wedding expenses as a gesture of gratitude for the couple's support during her health battles and cancer treatments.

"The family are all very generous but Linda is especially generous. Please God she's not going to leave us any time, but I think she feels, with her incurable illness, that she wants to help out when she can.

"When we arrived at Festival House I realised we'd forgotten the flowers that Linda had paid a fortune for, and I thought she'd be so hurt if I didn't walk down the aisle with them so my poor brother had to rush back and get them! ".

Denise admits that she doesn't enjoy being the centre of attention unless she's on stage. She's also practical when it comes to preparation. Denise hilariously shares that Tom's smashing light blue three-piece suit and her sequin-studded yellow maxi dress along with a matching navy sequin blazer and fascinator were all purchased online, as she wasn't keen on spending hours sifting through Blackpool's shops.

"Linda was desperate to come and was saying, 'We'll go to this shop and that shop,' but I said, 'Let's just see what they have online.' Linda wasn't sure about anything I picked but every time something arrived she'd say, Oh that's gorgeous!" Their rings for their big day, with the words "I love you" etched within, were also ordered online, matching perfectly with the engagement ring Denise had been wearing.

While aiming to make their special day filled with love, Denise also sought to honour those who couldn't attend, including her younger sister Bernie, who succumbed to breast cancer 11 years ago. "When our late sister Bernie got married, the whole family got up and sang Frank Sinatra's You, My Love mixed with a song from West Side Story called One Hand, One Heart. It was really lovely, with beautiful harmonies. I videoed it from the back of the room and my friend was able to get a good quality sound recording, so we played it on our big day."

Denise walked down the aisle to one of her own Sinatra covers from her Top 20 album released in 2022, which was co-produced by Tom and left the room in floods of tears. Sister Linda later told us, "It was such an emotional experience for all of us, it felt like a fairy tale come true. Watching Denise walk down the aisle, knowing all the years of love, trials, and triumphs she and Tom have shared, brought tears to my eyes. We've faced so much together, and being there with my sisters, celebrating such a beautiful union, made me feel deeply grateful for the bond we share."

"Everybody was crying, even Tom was sobbing," says Denise. "I also picked Frank Sinatra's Love And Marriage because I thought, 'I have to have a comic song in there,' and we're all Sinatra addicts in our family. As we walked back down the aisle we had Tom singing Love Will Keep Us Together. To be able to choose all our own music was really special for us."

Following the ceremony and photo session, the party moved to the nearby Park House Hotel for speeches and a dance-off. Denise recited a heartfelt reading titled 'To My Man', expressing her deep love for Tom. It included lines such as "Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember whose king you are and straighten your crown. The day I met you, I found my missing piece. Meeting you was fate, becoming your partner was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control."

The wedding guests were then entertained by a DJ set from a family friend, featuring plenty of Nolans tracks and a good helping of Sinatra. The couple's first dance was to Stevie Wonder's 'Sunshine Of My Life', which Denise confesses might not have been her initial pick. "I adore Michael Buble but my sister had him for her first dance and her marriage ended, so I didn't think I could do that to her!"

"Stevie Wonder was an excellent choice for us because Tom used to sing his songs and that's what attracted me to him, his amazing voice. He introduced me to the legendary Stevie and the first song I ever heard him sing was 'Sunshine Of My Life'. All of us really do like to dance. After Maureen's birthday on Friday, I thought she'd be so tired, but she was up all night dancing and Coleen went to change from her lovely fancy shoes into her trainers because she wanted to dance, and I ended up dancing in my bare feet because my shoes were killing me. The DJ had a whole set of the girls' songs, so he played them and the girls did all the routines, which everybody loved."

Aside from the fun-filled celebration, there were also moments devoted to remembrance, quietly acknowledging cherished family members who were notably absent. Denise shared how she spared a thought for her mum Maureen, sister Bernie, and also her beloved Auntie Teresa throughout the day. A special recording of Bernie singing Stevie Wonder's 'Isn't She Lovely' made for an emotional tribute.

"Obviously, not a day goes by where we don't think of her," she says. "But you can't bring it up too much because it becomes very sad. She was such a presence in our lives. She was a real extrovert and such fun. So any party we have, we know she should be there. And my auntie would have loved it, and she loved Tom. Actually, everybody loves Tom, he's just the sort of person that everyone loves."

Reflecting on the special day, sister Linda shared her heartfelt sentiments, saying, "With everything that's happened in my own life, moments like these become even more precious. We've always been each other's pillars of strength, but that day, the joy and love in the air were palpable."

"It was a day filled with laughter, tears, and memories I will cherish forever. It was a reminder of the power of family, love and the incredible journey we've all been on together. Life is unpredictable and often tough, but moments like these, surrounded by those we love, make it all worthwhile." As for the honeymoon plans, Denise and Tom are keeping it a family affair. "It's one of our favourite places in the world, and Linda, Maureen and Anne are coming with us!" Denise revealed with a chuckle.

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2024-06-22T18:18:05Z dg43tfdfdgfd