Husband, 89, and wife, 81, slip on their original tuxedo and wedding gown for diamond anniversary photo shoot

·3 min read
Marvin and Lucille Stone slipped on their original wedding outfits to celebrate 60 years of marriage. (Photo: Katie Autry Photography)
Marvin and Lucille Stone slipped on their original wedding outfits to celebrate 60 years of marriage. (Photo: Katie Autry Photography)

Lucille Stone, then 21, spent the summer of 1960 making her own wedding dress. Sixty years, three children, six grandkids and four great-grandchildren later, the avid sewer added a satin insert at the waist — “I like to tell people that the sands shifted a little bit,” she quips — and once again slipped on that white lace gown for a memorable, now-viral photo shoot marking her diamond wedding anniversary with husband Marvin.

The Kearney, Neb., couple originally had something simple in mind when they booked a session with photographer Katie Autry on the occasion of their Aug. 21 anniversary. Nothing fancy, just a fresh photo to include in the Christmas letters they send out to friends and loved ones each year.

“Then I got to thinking, ‘Well, I think I can still get into my wedding dress, which was in a box upstairs,” Lucille, who turns 82 in October, tells Yahoo Life. “And we had Marvin’s suit — and he hasn’t changed.”

Marvin — who, at 89, still fits into his old Army uniforms from the early ‘50s and has only grown “maybe an inch or so around the waist” in the six decades since he said “I do” — was game. And so was Autry, who photographed the couple in a series of romantic shots taken in a pasture near their home. The resulting photo shoot has gone viral in the days since the photographer posted it online along with relationship advice from the couple (sample pointers: “Think before you speak” and “Work hard”).

It’s advice that’s clearly served the longtime lovebirds well since meeting as teachers in 1959. It was home economics instructor Lucille’s first teaching job out of school; Marvin was an Army vet seven years her senior and “the only bachelor on the faculty.” Their first date was attending a high school game, and “the rest is history.”

“We were the gossip of the school,” she says of their courtship, which also involved games of bridge during a series of blizzards that struck Nebraska that winter. “By May, we were engaged.”

Lucille sewed her wedding dress herself in 1960 — and made just a few tweaks 60 years later. (Photo: Katie Autry Photography)
Lucille sewed her wedding dress herself in 1960 — and made just a few tweaks 60 years later. (Photo: Katie Autry Photography)
The Stones were married on Aug. 21, 1960. (Photo: Katie Autry Photography)
The Stones were married on Aug. 21, 1960. (Photo: Katie Autry Photography)

They wed that Aug. 21. This Aug. 21, they celebrated hitting the 60-year milestone with a “lovely” family dinner — “we didn’t want any fussing” — and a flood of anniversary cards sent in from well-wishers following an announcement in the local paper.

The Stones are bemused by their current viral fame, but ultimately it’s just one of countless memorable moments in a life spent by each other’s side.

Lucille credits the longevity of their marriage to their shared Christian faith, as well as hard work, patience and an understanding that they were in it for the long run.

“You have to go into it with the idea that it’s permanent,” she says. “Neither one of us ever thought of divorce. If got angry with one another, it was a fleeting moment.

“[We went into marriage thinking] this is a permanent, life-long deal. ‘Til death do us part.”

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