Suffolk, VA

Couple has wedding after 5 decades: "All our children smiling at us"

Amy Christie

An elderly couple who didn't get the chance to enjoy a complete wedding ceremony when they tied the knot five decades ago got a family surprise on their 50th anniversary.

They could finally have a full church ceremony followed by a joyful party where all their loved ones gathered to celebrate their amazing devotion to each other.

What are the details?

Scottie and Kay met in 1972 when he was staying with her sister and brother-in-law.

Kay, Scottie's brother-in-law's brother, was invited to a Sunday dinner; since that day, they've been together. The couple got married as teenagers and had a very quiet wedding since most of their family lived far away at the time.

They've had nine kids, 26 grandkids, and seven great-great-grandkids.

As their family started to think about a wonderful gift for their 50th anniversary, Maddie Ilapit, one of their grandchildren, remembered they wished they'd had a wedding with all their family present.

That's how the whole family came to the conclusion it would be great to organize an entire wedding rather than just throw a party.

"My brother, Travis, is a photographer. We'd previously done Scottie's makeup for weddings; we knew if we said we wanted to do her makeup for my brother to take photos for their anniversary, they'd believe us," Maddie shared with The Epoch Times.

Maddie got her mom, Lisa, her sister, Elle, and her aunt Bonnie involved to set everything up for the special day. The wedding ceremony and party took place at Oakland Christian Church in Suffolk, Virginia.

The couple's children became the bridal party, two of their granddaughters were the flower girls, and friends and coworkers came to give their good wishes and celebrate their love story that's been going strong for decades.

"The day came; we had Scottie and Kay over for her makeup. My mom had bought a dress for her; we told her we'd be going to a 'pretty church' so Travis could take photos in front of the stained glass. All the guests would be inside the chapel, waiting," Maddies said.

Scottie and Kay didn't notice the cars parked right in front of the church. As Kay came in, family and friends gathered around him. In the meantime, Travis pretended to take pictures of Scottie outside.

Then, it was her turn to feel amazed. The family took her inside the chapel, where she met her kids and received a beautiful bouquet she would hold while walking down the aisle.

Footage of the beautiful moment was also posted on social media, where it brought thousands of heartfelt comments.


Replying to @devbeckett for those that wanted to see more from that special day šŸ«¶šŸ¼ thanks to @Travis Ilapit behind the camera we now have these!

ā™¬ You're Still The One - Remixed/Remastered 2004 - Shania Twain

"She was so surprised; there was not a dry eye. Seeing the joy in Scottie, especially her kids' faces getting to see their parents get married once more after 50 years together, so much love filled the room; they couldn't be more deserving," Maddie said.

"It was the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. As I walked to the front, I saw all our children smiling at us; and I thought, 'This is my life,' I was so grateful to be surrounded by them," Scottie said about the ceremony that filled her heart and showed her she was loved.

After the ceremony, Scottie and Kay had dinner and danced with their guests, with food prepared by Shanda, one of Scottie's friends, and her daughter Lacey.

The bride and her happy husband also shared some advice about making a marriage last.

"She's a caring and loving person, so sweet and beautiful, inside and out. There's a Don Williams song that says, 'You're my bread when I'm hungry; you're my anchor in life's ocean; you're my best friend;' that's how l feel about Scottie," Kay said.

"I love his patience and his willingness to help others," Scottie added.

Compromise, respect, devotion, and love are the couple's guiding rules for a long and happy marriage.

"Never use harsh words, always say sorry, and I love you; take people for who they are. We've had a wonderful life and children; we would do it all over again. We are so thankful," they concluded.


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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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