"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."
These are the vows many people take everyday. You find the one person whose life and love fits with your own like a glove. Entering a marriage, committing yourself to the person you want to spend your life with is a more than a declaration of love, it is a partnership. You choose to live life as a team. The beginning of every relationship is so full of excitement and passion. As a wedding photographer, I am very lucky to be part of this special time in people's lives. My hope for every couple that I photograph and every couple that I know, is that their love lasts a lifetime, that they can get past the stressful times, the times when they want to give up and remember the vows they took on their wedding day.
Bob is 91 and Louise is 84. When I walked into their home it was very cozy and comfortable. I was welcomed with big smiles. They had 2 boards full of pictures that documented the many years of happiness they have lived together. They were excited to have me over and to tell me their story and I couldn't have been more grateful to be there.
Louise's family was from Italy and Bob was an American. They met through family members when they were young, but it wasn't until Bob returned from the Navy and saw Louise again that their relationship began. They fell in love young. Like many young couple's at the time, because of their age, they snuck over to Kentucky to elope since Ohio's laws were more strict. Their life together gave the world 3 children, who then had children, who then had children, and now their clan is up to over 50 people strong. Their love and a marriage is a solid foundation for their children and grandchildren to look up to. I admire that so much.
The love and partnership these two share is beautiful. It was nice seeing how they balance things out. Bob is a retired firefighter. He is a giver by nature. He likes to stay busy and fix things, he sews, does yard work, he even cuts Louise's hair. Bob adores his wife, I could see it every time he looked at her with admiration. He still surprises her with gifts, and tells her he loves her every night. Louise is a strong woman with the most beautiful smile and skin. She spent her life as a caretaker for her family, but also worked different jobs throughout the years. I imagine Louise was a fun woman in her youth, someone I would like to hang out with. She used to go to Vegas every year with her girlfriends. In all of the pictures they showed me, she was laughing and having a good time. Once the children were grown they spent a lot of time traveling together. When I asked them what they liked to do for fun they told me how much they loved to dance and spend time on their boat the named the Bob-O-Lou. Though they can't dance much anymore, they still play cards every Saturday night and try to get out whenever they can. Louise has some back problems, but Bob is always right there to help her out.
I am a born romantic, I love love more that anything else in the world. I was lucky to get this amazing opportunity to spend time with and photograph Bob and Louise, a couple who is celebrating 68 years of love and marriage. I hope their story inspires you as much as it did me. Their lust for life is what keeps them young and their love for each other is what keeps them strong.
Bob holding a picture of his wife on their boat, The Bob-O-Lou. Louise saw this bear she really liked on T.V. Bob saw the bear while he was out one day and brought it home to surprise his wife. What a sweetheart. Guys, take a lesson from Bob's book. After 68 years, he still makes sure his wife knows he is thinking of her. I always say, it's the little things. Here Bob is telling me the reason he doesn't wear a wedding ring because it got caught while he was working.
Louise was telling me how Bob showers her in gifts. Here she is showing me a necklace he got for her. I really liked this part of the day. Like every couple, Bob and Louise went through some rocky times when they were young. There was a time when Louise got her own apartment for a short time. Bob was always over visiting, he couldn't stay away from his love and children, so their split didn't last long. In the picture below she was saying "we were like, what are we doing? It was silly, we wanted to be together, we had our family to take care of. " She made sure I knew it wasn't always roses, but they stuck it out through the tough times and they couldn't be happier about the life they have had together. I would like to thank to my friend, Suzanne for introducing me to her these two beautiful souls. She is very lucky to call them her grandparents.