Their Wedding Day Had No Gown And No Photographer. So 97-yo Bride And 98-yo Groom Recreated It 77 Years Later

They didn’t have a gown or a photographer on their wedding day. So, 77 years later, a 97-year-old bride and a 98-year-old groom repeated it.

When Frankie King married her high school boyfriend, Royce, in 1944, she didn’t even have time to find a wedding gown, let alone a photographer. Because Royce only had two days free before heading overseas for his military assignment, the couple just had days to organize their wedding.

Frankie King’s wedding was not a lavish affair. Royce, her high school boyfriend, became her fiancé in 1944, during the height of World War II. Royce, like many other young men at the time, enlisted in the military and was assigned to a base in a different state.

Sue Bilodeau, their daughter, told CBS News, “He was stationed as a lieutenant in the Air Force… he just earned his pilot wings. He was given a little break. They’d been engaged for approximately six months and wanted to be married before he went away.”

Royce returned to their little town of Oelwein, Iowa, after his two-day vacation and married the love of his life before heading out to serve in World War II. The couple went on to have two children and spend 77 wonderful years together over the following seven decades.

They still live in Oelwein, and at the ages of 97 and 98, they are currently cared for at home by a hospice nurse.

The nurse then took matters into her own hands, collaborating with other St. Croix Hospice employees to recreate

Frankie and Royce’s wedding day. They made sure Frankie was clothed in a lovely bridal gown this time.

Their nurse asked Frankie if she might view a photo from their wedding day on September 16, their 77th anniversary.

“And mum responded, ‘Well, we don’t have a photo since we didn’t have a photographer that day,'” Bilodeau explained.

Frankie wore a beautiful 1940s gown on their wedding day, while Royce, who is 98 years old, wore his Air Force uniform, the same one he wore when he married his wife seven decades ago.

When it was time for Royce to see his wife for the first time, he removed his blindfold as she walked across the yard in her white gown. “He just grinned and stared at her.” They had both done it. Bilodeau described it as “extremely sweet.”

They didn’t have images of their first wedding, but they had memories of it in their hearts.

Staff at the hospice were also ecstatic to put together such a lovely gift for the elderly couple. Heath Bartness, CEO of St. Croix Hospice, asked, “How can you not experience a sense of overpowering emotion?” “Thinking back to what it was like in World War II the first time, and how significant and emotional this second opportunity to do this was, you almost feel like you were a part of it.” There’s a strong sense of pride in not just the corporation and what it accomplished, but also in what it accomplished as a humanitarian effort.”


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