Award-winning singer-songwriter Gary Chapman and his wife, Nashville Wives star Cassie Piersol Chapman, say they’re so in love, one wedding just wasn’t enough. “We got married Dec. 22, 2008 in a very small ceremony my father performed,” says Gary, 56, a five-time Grammy-nominated, seven-time Dove Award-winning artist who recently released his first album in a decade, The Truth. “The next year, we had a mountaintop wedding with our friends in Breckenridge, Colo. Cassie’s grandmother married us at a Renaissance fair, and last year, we tied the knot in Las Vegas. What can I say – we like getting married!”
It’s just one of the ways the couple keeps the romance alive, says Cassie, 33, who stars in the new TNT show Private Lives of Nashville Wives, premiering Feb 24. “Weddings are a beautiful celebration of our love for each other and a reminder that this is serious!” she says. “So many people get married and they’re divorced two years later. We don’t plan to be among them!”
What are some of the Chapmans’ other secrets for keeping their romance burning bright?
Discover and embrace your partner’s cultural perspective. Gary grew up with black-and-white TV and The Andy Griffith Show. He remembers the first time he heard The Beatles on the radio. Cassie watched Fraggle Rock and The Goonies, and played computer games on the family’s Commodore 64.
“I’ve definitely been exposed to things I never would have experienced without Gary in my life, from music to great old movies,” Cassie says.
Adds Gary: “A younger person can teach an old dog new tricks, too. I’ve got a window on pop culture that I would never have without Cassie. Next…she’s gonna teach me to dance.”
Identify and enjoy your shared cultural experiences. Both Gary and Cassie grew up fans of Willie Nelson’s music, so Gary was thrilled when he got the chance to introduce his wife to the country singing legend.
“He’s a man who doesn’t disappoint when you meet him, so Cassie was blown away. She loves him,” Gary says. “I think if I weren’t around, she’d marry him! We look for those shared memories – timeless Christmas music is another – because they add to the bond we have.”
Anticipate criticism — and ignore it. “Simply put, there are going to be haters out there – a lot of people carry around stereotypes about relationships where there’s a significant age difference, whether the man or the woman is older,” says Cassie. “We’re so happy together, it just doesn’t bother us. I don’t think either one of us even notices it anymore.”
Stay in shape! It’s important for everyone to take care of themselves, but if you’re the older partner, you owe it to the love of your life to stay fit and healthy, Gary says.
“I plan to be hiking, biking and singing – and more! — with Cassie when I’m 100,” Gary says. “So I exercise regularly and I don’t abuse my body by drinking too much or eating a lot of junk. I’m careful because I love her, and that alone is a romantic thing to do.”
The two also both see at least one more wedding in their future – not counting the times they quietly exchange rings and mouth “I do” while attending friends’ and family weddings. “We hope to have a real ceremony soon,” Cassie says. “I want my dad to walk me down the aisle and mom to button me up.”
About Gary & Cassie Piersol Chapman
Gary Chapman is a veteran musician in the contemporary pop, country, Christian and southern gospel genres. His Dove Awards include Male Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, and he’s written hits including I Prefer the Moonlight for Kenny Rogers and Finally for T.G. Sheppard along with songs for Alabama and Wynonna Judd. He was the host of TNN’s hit show Prime Time Country for four years and founded the record label that launched current Disney music mainstays Everlife, among many top performers.
Cassie Piersol Chapman stars in TNT’s new docudrama Private Lives of Nashville Wives (from the Real Housewives creators). She grew up on her family’s West Virginia farm and was active in 4H and other agricultural activities. She also sang in a choir, modeled and became a star cheerleader in high school. She won two national cheerleading titles at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has appeared in music videos, commercials and printed work. She works with her husband, Gary, on A Hymn a Week, a popular online devotional.