Did you hear the news about country singer Dolly Parton? On May 30, 2016, she and her husband, Carl Dean, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This is quite an accomplishment for anyone, especially someone in the limelight of the music industry.
Dolly and Dean more or less eloped back in 1966. According to The Boot, that’s because she had just signed with Monument Records and was asked to delay her wedding. Instead of doing this, she and Dean were married in a simple ceremony. Dolly says, “… Mom made me a white dress … No people there, just the preacher and his wife, the witness and Mama and Carl and I.”
Despite the small wedding, she never forgot her dream of wearing a flowing wedding gown and promising life-long love to Dean in front of a crowd of friends and family. And so after all these years, on May 30, 2016, she and Dean did just that. They renewed their vows in style in Nashville.
I can identify with Dolly’s story. When Jim and I got married, his company had just transferred him to a new city (that’s really why we got married then … he wanted me to go with him. But that’s another story.) Rather than waiting until he got settled to have the wedding, we decided to move the date up. So instead of choosing the wedding dress of my dreams, I wore my older sister’s gown.
Now, more than four decades later, thinking of lasting marriages makes me think of wedding gowns and ponder the meaning of true love. Lasting love. Like the love between a husband and wife that grows stronger with each life storm because it’s grounded in Christ. Love that looks to future hopes and dreams with each new sunrise. Love that never gives up.
And after reading about Dolly, I wonder, Could there be a 50th wedding anniversary vow renewal celebration in Jim’s and my future? A gala event for friends and family honoring God’s faithfulness to us throughout all these years. One where I could wear my own wedding gown?
Not too long ago I wrote a story for FamilyLife about a young couple, Sarah and Ryan Knott, “Doubting God … Discovering His Plan.” Sarah wore a gorgeous gown when she and Ryan were married in 2015. By then, they had formed their own musical group, called Acoustic Truth. Their song “The Vow” sums up not only the hopes and dreams of today’s brides and grooms, but also yesterday’s. Ones like Dolly Parton and Carl Dean … and Jim and Mary Larmoyeux.
Copyright © 2016 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
If you would like some creative ideas for grandparents, check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. Paper and electronic versions are available. (Great for parents, aunts and uncles, too!)