This past October my grandparents celebrated 60 years. SIXTY YEARS! Y’all that is so rare, but it doesn’t surprise me with my grandparents. When it’s something good they hold on to it. They were 18 and depending on who you ask , he was a “bad boy” with a nice car and she wasn’t sure she wanted anything to do with that. However she didn’t like the guys last name she was dating at the time and too a chance on my grandpa. If you know my grandma that doesn’t sound like her at all! Insert heavy sarcasm. I am so glad she did. They have come along way from those two young 18 year olds, with 3 kids, 7 grandkids, 4 great grandkids and another on the way , and countless memories they sure do have a lot to show for.
A couple years ago I had an idea for a styled shoot using an older couple , because well I have always loved old love . Old love has been through it all and the look the couple still gives each other is something I can’t even explain. I talked to my friend Lauren, who also happened to be the one who took these amazing pictures , about the idea and then the idea grew into something big! Why not turn a styled shoot into an anniversary party?! It was a 2 year wait, but man was it worth it. My grandparents are people you can’t really buy gifts for , if they want something they go get it or they already have it. I’m big on giving people experiences because those are the things we remember. They have given our family so much over the years it was (way past) time to do something for them. I got the girls together and we schemed something up, one of the perks of your best friends being wedding vendors am I right? We met over at the “original ” venue ( more on that story in a bit) and all the ideas started spinning. We came up with a color scheme and then we did what we do best. I am still amazed how we all stay on the same page without really saying that we are going to do, we just do it and I love it. I wanted everyone to have full creative freedom and do whatever they wanted . I am so grateful for friends who have become family and would even consider doing what they did.
My grandparents have a love like no other and they are better together than they could ever be apart. Their love has been rocked and drug through the dirt, but it has made them stronger. It wasn’t easy and there were times that they didn’t like each other, but they never gave up . When you make it that long everyone has the same question , “what’s your secret?” and my grandpa’s response was ” the answer to that was we aren’t going to make the next 60, BUT the last 60 was great!” They are of the generation where if something is broken you fix it and not just throw it out and get a new one, and I think that’s one of the biggest problems couples face today. We think marriage is going to be easy and it’s going to be like the movies, but the truth is it’s not easy. Marriage has seasons and some seasons are harder than others, but you work through them. My grandparents have taught me a lot of life lessons over the years, but that is one of the biggest . So surprising them with a styled shoot turned into a big party, was a no brainer.
She doesn’t look 78 does she?
He’s so handsome!
The week leading up to the party was as smooth going as it could be, we had everything nailed down and everything was good to go. Until Friday morning I got a phone call from my mom. You know those phone calls are never good! She said I hope your sitting down with a shaky voice and in my mind I’m thinking something is wrong with my grandma or grandpa. Nope thank goodness! However just somehow the venue had the wrong date for the party and it was apparently booked that day. Really?? I had some very ugly words fly out of my mouth and for the next hour our whole family scrambled to find a new venue… on a Saturday …in October , yeah. We were striking out left and right, until I remembered we had a client in Lake Forest and called in a favor. Somehow with a lot of praying and quick thinking we got the clubhouse. Looking back it was actually a blessing, it was bigger and they layout was much better. That Saturday morning we started setting up and I just loved watching it all come together. Because we had a venue change last minute we really had no idea how we were going to do things, but it all came together so perfectly. From the bacon bar to the outdoor set up it was everything we had envisioned and it couldn’t have been for a more deserving couple. Everything was all set up and I even got to come home and take a quick break before getting ready to head back over there. Minus the venue change it was a pretty stress free day, and we celebrated the best way our family knows how dancing, singing and laughing till our stomachs hurt. And maybe a few drinks here and there haha.
Our family gathered up tons of old photos and had them either framed or laid out on the tables.
30 years of friendship in one picture.
Their wedding photo on the left and look at those sweet hairstyles on the right!
My grandma and grandpa with their kids, Mike, John and Tina ( my momma).
Designing a cake for family is pretty intimidating , I have no idea why ! I just wanted it to be some of my best work and I put way too much pressure on myself haha. It was a cake I had total freedom with and I wanted to it be unique and out of the norm for a “wedding” cake. The sugar flowers are by far some of my favorites and I loved working with Kristen on what flowers to make. And a big thank you to my brother loving the tedious work and working the mold for all the bas relief ( the texture along the edges). We both were like to little girls getting excited about flowers haha.
Those sugar flowers!
One of my all time favorite cakes.
For food we all just wanted heavy hors d’oeuvres and let Ashley run with it. The only request was the Bacon Bar and the coconut shrimp. My family is obsessed with the shrimp and who doesn’t love bacon?
The coconut shrimp my family goes crazy for.
Our family loves to party and we always end up singing and dancing till our feet are numb. There are always good laughs that become great stories to tell years down the road and this night was no different. The funniest part of the whole evening was right before my grandparents were about to cut the cake and as my grandma was backing up into my grandpa her dress got caught up on his belt buckle. He put his hands up and “AH it’s deja vu, that’s what she told me the first time!” I am so glad I caught that all on video.
Their “first” dance was just the sweetest , and y’all my grandpa has some moves. It’s so cute he has this leg lift thing he does and he just spins my grandma around.
She will probably kill me for this , but it’s just too good not to share!
30 plus years of friendship
They are my golden girls.
We had Lauren with Lauren Tomasella Photography take the pictures , she has also done two weddings for my family so she is basically part of the family haha. Kristen with Simpson’s Florist who absolutely blew me away with everything, she killed it was the table arrangements. Ashley with Ashley’s Creative Catering which good lord her bacon bar and my family is a huge of her coconut shrimp. Our other vendors were Mullins Special Occasions for those beautiful cross back chairs, Lindsey who did such an amazing job on hair and make- up on my grandma, and Isom’s Orchard for letting us borrow two of their farm tables. I can’t thank y’all enough!