Couple Recreates Wedding Day Photos for Golden Anniversary

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How does a couple properly celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, besides the usual fancy dinner and gift-giving? 

How about going back and time and trying to recreate the scene? 

Give Carolyn and Kelly Gay an A-plus for innovative, creative genius. They went back to the church they were married in 50 years ago to recreate the photoshoot. 

The shoot was made easier because time has essentially stood still for the church, DSM First Church in Des Moines. It still has the same paint color, altar, cross and candelabras as it did 50 years ago. 

“It took about an hour to an hour-and-a-half, to take the new pictures, and it was just a fun time,” Carolyn told South West News Service. 

The couple went back to the church on the day of their golden anniversary, March 12, 2021. Carolyn, 70, wore her original wedding dress from 1971. Kelly, 76, wore a similar-looking suit. 

“At one point in time, I thought, ‘Oh it’s just 50 years. Let’s just go out and eat dinner and call it a day,'” Carolyn told ABC affiliate WQAD. “Then I thought, ‘Really, for the number of people that got married the last 50 years, there aren’t that many people that are still with the same original person.’” 

The idea was Carolyn’s baby from the get-go. She event spent the last three years letting her hair grow to the length that it was in the original pictures. 

And when the time came for the big reveal, hubby was completely surprised. 

“We’ve been married 50 years and she’s probably kept one secret from me and this was it,” Kelly said. 

In the nostalgic mood, the couple even dug up the original receipts from their wedding day and honeymoon. The total cost – including feeding nearly 300 guests – came to $340.