Shannon here: This post originally ran on Oct 18 & 19. I had a really hard time picking between the Stewart’s story and Lynette Sowell’s story. I’ve already gotten permission from Lynette and plan on asking the Stewarts if I can use a fictionalized version of their story in a future book. I posted Lynette’s link at the end of this post. All comments will go into the drawing for Cathy Bryant’s book. Here are the Stewarts:
Recreating a Wedding 50 Years Later
Many times couples renew their wedding vows on their 50th wedding anniversary, but a Denver couple, Bill and Pamela Stewart, formerly of McCrory, AR., did more than just renewing their vows. On July 24, 210, they re-created their complete wedding.
The little town of McCrory, AR where the couple was married really has not changed much in 50 years. New schools and churches have been built on the north end of town, but the main street through town, Edmonds Avenue, remains much like it was back then. Different businesses occupy some of the shops, and different people work in them, but the look is much the same.
The building that previously was the Church of Christ where the couple was married on July 24, 1960, is now Angie Davis’ fitness center. They wanted to stand in the exact location, so they asked Angie to loan them the building for this occasion. The flowers of gladiolus and palm leaves and decorations of an arch interspersed with ivy and daises were all a duplicate of the 1960 wedding. The maid of honor, the three bridesmaids, best man, the three groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, and candle lighters were all present to help re-create the wedding just as it was 50 years ago.
The bride wore a replica of her original wedding dress and the bridesmaids wore pink dresses just as they did 50 years ago. The groom wore a white sports coat and pink carnations just as he did originally, a trend made popular by Marty Robbins 1955 hit “A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation.” The best man and groomsmen wore the traditional black suit. The original preacher, Homer Kennon, the groom’s brother-in-law, used the same wedding ceremony. Bill and Pam’s wedding was the first one he performed. A 1955 Mercury, just like the groom owned in 1960, was parked outside in the same place as it was 50 years ago.
Bill and Pam’s son, Murray Stewart, walked his mother down the aisle in the absence of her father, the late Charles Swanson. Murray was his granddad’s first grandchild. Bill and Pam’s daughter, Vonda Downs, sang “Because You Loved Me” during the ceremony.
In 1960 the couple spent their honeymoon at Hotel Chesca in Memphis, TN. They chose that hotel over the Peabody because it was less expensive. The Chesca is now closed, so they spent their honeymoon at the Peabody instead. Afterwards they planned a trip to Tahoe, CA where they both spoke on the Tahoe Family Encampment lectures and spent a few days second honeymooning on Lake Tahoe. Later this year, they are planning a trip to Italy.
The couple hopes the re-creating of the wedding will help their four children and their mates and eleven grandchildren visualize what it was like in 1960 when their parents were married. They also want to be a role model for young couples and show them that a marriage can be forever and that Hollywood should not set standards for us.
Bill serves as Director of Development and Recruiting, a job that has taken them all over the world, for Bear Valley Bible Institute. He has also served as Dean of Students and Instructor. Pam has served the institute as Women’s Instructor, Dean of Women, and Assistant in Development. Currently, they travel for the institute raising the awareness for recruiting and fund raising. They teach at the institute during the fall quarter. Both have many appointments for public speaking throughout the United States and abroad.
Together, they conduct marriage seminars. Bill holds seminars on church leadership and preaches gospel meetings. Pam speaks for women’s seminars, lectureships, and retreats. Bill has published a book and workbook entitled Building Bridges in Marriage Communications and Pam has published a book entitled Evangelistic Women. Often they are asked to speak on the subjects of their books.
My favorite romantic blog post runner up: https://shannontaylorvannatter.com/lynette-sowell-real-life-romance-part-1-of-3/
Come back Dec 20 when the final Door County Christmas author, Becky Melby shares her real life romance.