CUMMING, Iowa — The planning began three years ago for a photoshoot to recreate wedding photos from 1971. Carolyn Gay’s first step was to start growing her hair out to the same length it was on that cold and foggy March day 50 years ago when she said “I do” to her husband, Kelly.
The Gays know the two Hoyles, Sam and Kaylie, of Two Hoyles Photography, through the Iowa Donor Network. Kelly had a liver transplant 17 years ago. The group met at the church on the eve of the couple’s 50th anniversary and made new photos based on the old wedding album, including a double exposure and a candlestick in the background that appears to be growing from Kelly’s head.
Carolyn also kept track of the receipts from the wedding and honeymoon. Her dress was $45 at Younkers. The reception cost $63.82. The total for five nights at the Place d’Armes Hotel, still operating in New Orleans, came to $91.20, including parking.
The key to staying married for 50 years? Kelly jokes it helped to learn to say “Yes dear” 49 years ago and adds, “We just found a way to get over the hard parts and enjoy the other parts.” The hard parts included Kelly’s transplant and Carolyn’s breast cancer. The other parts include their three children and four grandchildren.