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Hi ladies + gents! Starting this week Lara will be dropping in periodically to share her perspective on weddings… enjoy!

Something my wonderful friend Natalie taught me is, when the goin’ gets tough, ask yourself, “Will it matter when we’re 80?” Those moments of pure pull-your-hair-out-stress during wedding planning are bound to happen.   The engagement period is an exciting time but, for many, daunting, with big decisions to make, family battles to wage and important questions to ponder like who is going to carry the wee little ring bearer to the altar if he decides to play with your pretty aisle flowers along the way!? What if your napkins don’t arrive in the perfect shade of blush?  What if your father-in-law’s toast goes awry?  What if your cake tastes more like double chocolate than classic chocolate!?  Will it matter when you’re 80?

Just ask these young lovers that we’ve all fallen in love with.  Ruth and Jerry stole our hearts last year (and yours!).  Met at 83; married at 83.

Ruth and Jerry are happy, in love and don’t have a care in the world except being good to each other.  We loved these two so much they even made a special appearance in V3!

Jose Villa captivated so many with these images of this sweet couple who has been married for over 65 years.

It’s hard to ignore the sweet care between these two.

Imagine you and your fiance/husband many moons from now… will what you’re fussing about matter when you’re 80?

Married 60 years and the Hightsmiths are still celebrating!

Shot by Amanda and Millie Holloman (who we had the joy of doing a shoot with a few days ago here in Chapel Hill!), the Highsmiths recently took to their family farm to re-live their big day.

Loving this table with the bright yellow forsythia in simple mason jars!

How sweet is this!? Congrats, Highsmiths!

“Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be – the last of life for which the first was made.”
— Robert Browning  

I hope at 80 years of age Ari and I are snug as a bug in a rug, laughing at all the silly things we worried about, loving life and enjoying a big slice of pecan pie together! 

What do you think are the secrets to growing old together and staying as happy as these lovebirds?  Where do you hope to be when you’re 80?

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment here, and one lucky couple will get a copy of one of my favorite books, Love Poems!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar Calder Clark reply

    Um thanks. Bawling over my pizza slice at lunch, LC. I daresay it isn’t the hormones, either! I will have to start asking myself this poignant question!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Calder Clark: Love you, C! Thinking of you and that little babe-to-be! xo

  2. avatar Natalie reply

    My fiance and I talk all the time about how we can’t wait to enjoy the next 60 years together. I can hope and pray that we will have long and healthy lives so that we too can still look into each others eyes with that “young love” look.

  3. avatar Kristen reply

    How precious! My fiance and I are lucky because we have 3 sets of grandparents that are still alive and happily in love and married. All 6 of them will be present at our September wedding and we are so blessed by their love and encouragement of the two of us! One thing my fiance and I talked about long before there was ever mention of a ring was the concept of “generations.” He told me late one night during one of our many phone conversations how he wanted his wife to be someone he could see many great generations coming from. He wanted her to possess qualities that were so beautiful that he couldn’t help but hope they were qualities that would be passed down through many generations. I think about this conversation often as we prepare for our wedding and I know without a doubt I hope our children, grand children, and great grandchildren pass down his love, compassion, and wisdom – qualities we both received from our own previous generations! Thanks for such a meaningful and sweet post!

  4. avatar Savannah reply

    Marriage is for LIFE. I feel like many couples today have forgotten that. I am so excited about growing old with my fiance. While I do hope that we feel the same about each other as we do now, I also know that marriage is a commitment and it takes work. Things may change over time, but our commitment will not.

  5. avatar Erin reply

    A girlfriend at work often says that there’s a difference between the girls who want a wedding and the girls who want a marriage. While my husband and I don’t have any living grandparents at this point, we’re both lucky enough to have our own sets of parents (his have been together 28 years and mine for 33) as great examples of even when a person drives you up a wall crazy, you still love them and you always will.

    • avatar Lara reply

      Erin: Erin, your coworker is spot on! We love pretty weddings here at SW, but what we love more is LOVE. It so easily gets lost in all the details. Marriage wins!

  6. avatar Kelley reply

    I had the honor of planning my grandparent’s 25th wedding anniversary. Yes 25th. My grandmother was previously married before my step-grandfather. She is 78 and he is 94. When I asked my grandmother what she envisioned for the party she said a celebration of time. She said her previous marriage wasn’t something something to celebrate but their past 25 years of love is something that should be celebrated forever. That was the moment I realized what was true love looked like.

  7. avatar Kristen Cowan reply

    What a sweet reminder that marriage is so much more than the frills and thrills of planning the wedding! :)

  8. avatar Melissa reply

    I would love a copy of this book! What a great resource to find a reading for my ceremony :)

  9. avatar Courtney reply

    What a great reminder about planning a marriage and not just a wedding. It is so easy to get caught up in all the little details! Thanks!

  10. avatar Libby reply

    I love Pablo Neruda! We’re having Alton’s brother read his poem Sonet XVII at our wedding!!!

    I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that never blooms
    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
    so I love you because I know no other way

    than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

  11. avatar Kristy reply

    I think the secret is wanting to have an interesting relationship. So many relationships fail when times get hard but not walking away and staying in your relationship for the long haul – looking back you can say you had an interesting relationship. And it was worth it.

  12. avatar Joy reply

    What a wonderful book! I love poems, especially love poems! Such a great way to remind everyone out there about the love they share with their husbands, and fiances! I know I would love to share these love poems with my husband!

  13. avatar Paula reply

    I don’t think I can win all the way from Australia – but I love your blog and this couple made me tear up! My parents are 65 and 61 and have been married 43 years. I myself got married last year and can only hope that in 43 or 65 years time we’re as happy as them! I will be applying this saying for the rest of my life!

    • avatar Lara reply

      Paula: Paula, we love our Aussie friends! We have sent more international orders of our print editions to Australia than anywhere else! : ) Yes, you can win from anywhere. Thanks for being a loyal reader!

  14. avatar Ashley Borysewich reply

    OMG- Pablo Neruda is my favorite poet, and my fiance loves his poems as well!

    Love you girls and Southern Weddings!

  15. avatar Sheila reply

    I went with my dad on this Mother’s Day to his parents grave to put flowers there for my grandmother. We talked and laughed and cried about about both of them. What was bittersweet was my grandmother (Grandmommie) passed away 11 months before my grandfather (Deedee). She died when they were in their 69th year being married, but he made it all the way to their 70th Anniversary, and passed shortly after. Their love was so strong and they literally couldn’t live without each other. I hope that my fiancé and my marriage will be just as wonderful and loving, and that their love and connection will inspire us. I would love a copy of Pablo Neruda’s poem book. From now on every time I read it I will think about Grandmommie and DeeDee. I think I could draw a lot of inspiration from the poems for my vows I am going to write!

  16. avatar Lori reply

    This is adorable and so very sweet! :)

  17. avatar Taylor reply

    What a sweet post!! :)

  18. avatar Jordan reply

    This post makes me look forward to being 80! Thanks for sharing!

  19. avatar Anne Markey- Charlotte Wedding Planner reply

    I can’t even handle this! I am seriously crying like a baby. So So So beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  20. avatar Lauren @ ELD reply

    Wow, such a good thing to remind brides of! The main thing that ends up mattering from a wedding is that at the end of it, you’re married and your life begins together. So you can be together when you’re 80. :) Thank you Lara!

  21. avatar Julie Gandy reply

    I see myself with Jeff laughing about the past years. That is definitely the secret to a happy relationship….being able to find joy in everything even when times are tough. The best advise I ever got was to treat your suppose the way you want to be treated!

  22. avatar Dana L reply

    certainly not sweating the small stuff and always working on your communication! oh and always put the other person above yourself!

  23. avatar Holly reply

    Oh my heavens, what a perfect post for today. I needed this… Spot on! And leave it to Natalie to say such a thing.
    We’re getting married soon. Very soon… And I think that this phrase is perfect for our family. Paint in on a sign an hang it in our kitchen. I only wish this post had been made 9 months ago when we were trying to figure out all the wedding plans… (oy vey!) Thanks, ladies. xoxo

  24. avatar Lauren Wierman reply

    This is so sweet I almost cried. My wedding is August 5th of this year and I can barely contain myself when I think of the life we have ahead of us, every day is beautiful.

  25. avatar Sarah DeShaw reply

    What a great rule for wedding planning! (and for what to spend money on for that matter!)

  26. avatar Rebecca reply

    That was the most heartwarming post. It really does put the whole process of getting married into perspective! I absolutely adore Pablo Neruda’s poems!

  27. avatar taryn reply

    i’m starting to realize, after only 7 short months of marriage, that we HAVE to find joy in the every. single. day. whether it’s a silly laugh in the kitchen while unpacking the groceries or 5 minutes on the couch just sitting together… it’s a big, scary world out there and at the end of the day, if we learn to rely on each other to bring JOY and LAUGHTER to our home, we’ll live long and find ourselves still sneaking slobbery kisses when we’re 80!

  28. avatar Kristyn Hogan reply

    Sigh, so unbelievably adorable :)

  29. avatar What Will Really Matter About Your Wedding… « reply

    […] 13, 2011 by The Cordial Cricket This is just a wonderful post from our friend Lara Casey over at Southern Weddings about the things that will really matter to you about your wedding when your 80 years old! She […]

  30. avatar Cyn reply

    Oh my goodness. I remember falling in love with these images the first time I saw these photos & this totally made my heart smile again. What else do I love? The Pablo Neruda giveaway! We had a poem read by him at our wedding. Oh happy memories :)

  31. avatar Monica reply

    What my *wonderful* husband and I have found that keeps our marriage strong – COMMUNICATION. Pure and simple. Just talk to each other :) We are making plans this week for when we are 80…buying a waterfront lot in beautiful Pensacola!

  32. avatar Joy reply

    This is so precious and a great reminder. Thank you!

  33. avatar Anna Kim Photography reply

    Thank you for THIS! It really helps to keep life’s road bumps in perspective.

  34. avatar Claire reply

    My boyfriend and I have been in a long-distance relationship for almost 2 years now- he’s in Chicago getting his PhD and I just graduated with my undergraduate degree yesterday here in the south, (Georgia) ! Hopefully now this will give us the opportunity to be closer together. I just love your blog, LC. You’re very inspiring. Thank you. :-)

    • avatar Lara reply

      Claire: Thanks so much, Claire, and CONGRATS on your degree!

  35. avatar Sydney reply

    I want a poem book! I have seriously been wanting to start reading more poetry aloud. Like when my boyfriend and I are sitting on the porch or fishing or just hanging out, why not turn off the TV and take turns reading poems aloud?

  36. avatar lindsey reply

    what a sweet sweet post! definitely makes you think twice about sweatin’ the small stuff.. thanks!

  37. avatar Jessie Emeric reply

    thanks for giving this wonderful perspective. We sometimes get lost in the tedious little things and forget to look at the big picture. Here’s to being 80!

  38. avatar Brit @ Landlocked Bride reply

    Definitely communication, and “dating.” Making time for special nights out here and there help keep the spark :)

  39. avatar Em reply

    oh, these photos light up my heart. I just love them.

  40. avatar kym vitar reply

    love each other a little more than you did the day before.

  41. avatar Melanie Alvarez reply

    Growing old with my best friend, my love, is the best thing that happens to me each day. Life can end at 50, 60, 70, or 80 and beyond… I hope that we are lucky enough to spend many many more decades together holding hands, looking into each others eyes, and snuggling! (And of course reading some Neruda!)

  42. avatar Sweet Southern Adventures + Giveaway! « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Last week I asked you to tell me what you think makes for a happy marriage at 80 years old and the answers were so inspiring! The [randomly chosen] winner of Love Poems is Taryn who said:  I’m starting to realize, after only 7 short months of marriage, that we HAVE to find joy in the every. single. day. whether it’s a silly laugh in the kitchen while unpacking the groceries or 5 minutes on the couch just sitting together… it’s a big, scary world out there and at the end of the day, if we learn to rely on each other to bring JOY and LAUGHTER to our home, we’ll live long and find ourselves still sneaking slobbery kisses when we’re 80! So true.  Sometimes a tiny moment of joy together can turn your whole world around.  It’s building those little moments of joy into years of laughter and sweet love that I think will get us all to those happy kisses at 80!  Taryn, please email us your mailing address and we’ll get your book to you! So, Ari and I just moved into a new bigger-for-baby house this week.  In packing and unpacking boxes of mementos from our last five years of marriage together, I kept replaying the memories that got us there.   Through the “better” and “worse”, the little dates, travels, adventures and sweet moments captured in our framed photographs created a marriage.  It wasn’t the grand events that stayed in my heart as much as the hike in the Rockies, walking on the Florida shores together, date nights in downtown Chapel Hill, a weekend on a farm in Newnan, a picnic in the park, playing in the North Carolina snow and, among so many others, the spontaneous times we got out of the house to just have an adventure. Save Facebook it Tweet it […]

  43. avatar Amanda McPherson reply

    I work in hospice and have the unique blessing of spending my days with couple who have been married for 50, 60, 70+ years and are facing the end of this life with their beloved. What I have learned from this incredible experience is that those couples who are the closest, attached at the hip and enjoying life together, are the happiest…still in love and TOTALLY CUTE all the way to the end! It is a wonderful reminder for me as a soon to be married 20-something to give all the love I have to give to my beloved everyday, not only because you never know what tomorrow will bring, but because love and attachment to each other are the building blocks for decades of happy, passionate, and loving marriage.

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