Janith Goedde celebrated her 60th anniversary in style -- by wearing her vintage 1957 wedding gown.
The glowing great-grandmother tried it on again after a long day of anniversary celebrations with her husband, Joe Goedde, and 62 members of their family.
The $69.95 Chantilly lace dress still fits, although she said it’s a bit tighter now despite recently losing weight.
“I’ve lost 40 pounds. And it shows,” Janith Goedde, 80, proudly told ABC News. “Everybody comments to me on it. When we came home that evening, one of the girls said, ‘I bet she can still get in her wedding gown. Where’s it at?’ I told them where it was in the attic and they went up there and got it. So I had to put it on. It was a little tight. I didn’t lose that much. It’s still in good shape. It’s still white and I had it in a plastic bag. I didn’t preserve it at all.”
The bride’s gown was the main focus of the couple’s wedding announcement in their local newspaper decades ago.
“For her wedding, the bride chose a floor-length gown of imported Chantilly lace and nylon tulle over satin, fastened down the back with tiny covered buttons,” it read. “The fitted lace bodice was designed with Sabrina neckline and embroidered in pearlized sequins. The long sleeves tapered over the wrists.”
“She still looks beautiful,” Joe Goedde, 84, said of seeing his wife in her gorgeous gown again.
Janith and Joe Goedde remember their May 11, 1957, wedding day vividly. The special occasion was even caught on camera, filmed on an old camera Joe Goedde bought in Germany while in the Army.
“I didn’t get to see her until she walked down the aisle and I kept saying to myself, ‘You’re too young to get married. I was 24,’” Joe Goedde recalled with a laugh.
The ceremony was at 8 a.m. in Haubstadt, Indiana, on a “hot and sunny day.” The bridesmaids had matching hoopskirt dresses in pink, blue, green and yellow, each carrying a bouquet of daisies.
“At that time you had to have a big hoop,” Janith Goedde recalled. “The dresses were long and then you rented a hoop. They had to be big so they’d stretch all out.”
The newlyweds had a beautiful tiered wedding cake on their big day, but enjoyed their special anniversary cake too, grinning from ear to ear as they fed it to each other.
“Our anniversary is May 11 but to get everything and everybody together, we had it on April 30 at the Carriage Inn. They decorated it and it was so nice,” said Janith Goedde.
Joe Goedde admitted he “enjoyed it” even though he “didn’t want to have a celebration.”
“I’ll tell you, I couldn’t believe we were celebrating like that,” he said. “But with the insistence of the children, I had to give in. I enjoyed it.”
The happy couple’s key to a successful marriage?
“Communication and prayer,” said Janith Goedde. “We’re looking forward to more anniversaries, but we’ll take what comes. We’ll stick it out together.”
“I don’t want to sound sarcastic but I have to,” Joe Goedde quipped.