Carolyn and Kelly recreated their pictures five decades apart (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
Fifty years ago, Carolyn and Kelly Gay got married in a local church.
To celebrate their golden anniversary, the two decided to recreate each of their wedding pictures – with the same location and dress.
Carolyn, 70) and Kelly (76) returned to DSM First Church in Des Moines, Iowa (USA) to recreate their paintings exactly five decades later.
The church had the same altar, cross, and candelabra from its first ceremony so many years ago, so the photos matched perfectly.
The couple had planned filming for years as grandmother of four, Carolyn, had to grow her hair out for the pictures to match.
Lifetime medical procedures and anesthetics would have damaged her hair, she said, which meant she would cut it off frequently.
Kelly, who works in security solutions, couldn’t wear the same suit but found the closest possible match.
Carolyn and Kelly Gay in front of the DSM First Church in Des Moines, Iowa, USA (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
The new photos were taken by Sam Hoyle of Two Hoyles Photography, who even managed to edit her late father, Rolland Strain, and walk her down the aisle
Carolyn of Cumming, Iowa said, “I sit here and look at the pictures and I see a lot of wrinkles.
‘Sam has very good gear because it shows every line on my face!
Carolyn and Kelly resumed their wedding photos exactly 50 years after their marriage in the original wedding dress and venue (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
Kelly couldn’t wear the same suit but found a similar one (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
Carolyn spent three years growing out her hair for the shoot (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
They tried to fine-tune the details as closely as possible (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
“I was pretty sure I was within five pounds of my weight, which I weighed back when I was married, so I thought, ‘I think I can wear this dress! “
They invited their bridal shower, kids, and my grandchildren to the shoot – and Carolyn was so sure her dress would fit that she asked them all before she’d even tried it on.
They were also lucky as the church had been painted different colors over the years but was recently scraped back to its original shade.
The couple walk down the aisle, 50 years apart (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
Carolyn could fit in the same dress (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
Carolyn at 70 and right, 20 years old (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
As part of the shoot, they dug up and rediscovered receipts from the original big day – including the honeymoon and feeding nearly 200 guests – and totaled around $ 340 (£ 247).
For the big day on March 12, 1971, her dress was $ 46.35, plus $ 8.24 for changes, while meals for 193 guests totaled $ 63.82.
Flowers – the largest spending – came in at $ 131.84, while their New Orleans honeymoon for four nights was $ 91.20 and $ 0.36 for gasoline.
The church has recently been restored to its original color (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
They wanted to recreate an overlay photo and were impressed with how quickly it could be done now (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
Carolyn in 2021 and back in 1971 (Image: Sam Hoyle / SWNS)
The shoot took place on March 12, 2021 and the couple loved every second.
Carolyn said, “It took about an hour to an hour and a half to take the new pictures and it was just a fun time.
“It was so fun recreating them.”
Retired real estate agent Carolyn wanted a picture in particular, but was amazed how easy it was to take a picture this time.
She said, “I have a wedding photo that I really loved when they took it on the balcony overlooking all the people, and you can see a picture of Jesus facing the wedding.
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“I really wanted to recreate this picture.”
Production of the overlaid image took weeks after the wedding as it was a novel photo technique, but this time the photographer whipped it up in no time!
For a picture of Carolyn’s hand wearing the wedding ring, she tucked her thumb under it as she remembered that the original photo she had hidden had a broken nail.
Carolyn didn’t make plans for the 60th anniversary because “we have to be there first”.
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