When Karen and Gary Ryan, both 79, got married in July of 1962 in Pocatello, Idaho, they said their wedding day looked very different to the ones we’re used to seeing today.
“It was so simple,” Karen told Good Morning America. “We went down the aisle, said our vows and went to the basement of our church for the reception.”
“I think we had punch and cookies. It was all over within an hour,” added Gary, who now has two sons and five grandchildren with Karen.
The couple’s daughter-in-law, Nikki, and granddaughter, McCall, each have their own wedding photography business and came up with the idea to stage a wedding photo shoot after the family found Karen’s wedding dress in storage at their current home in Handford, California.
The Ryans rented Gary a white tux to match the one he wore in 1962 and spent an hour one afternoon snapping photos of the couple and recreating special details from their original wedding day, and adding some modern traditions. The couple did a “first look” during the shoot where Karen surprised Gary in her dress for the first time in nearly six decades.
“We got my grandpa a tux and my grandma fit into her exact same dress,” Nikki wrote on her Instagram. “Then they did a first look and it brought tears to all of our eyes. Seriously, it was the cutest surprise to see their reactions. We had them cut their cake, make a toast and even do their first dance.”
The pair popped champagne and fed each other cake, true to their original reception all those years ago. Karen even wore the veil garter that came with her wedding dress.
The Ryans said one difference between weddings then and now is the price tag. The couple estimated their 1962 nuptials cost $500, a far cry from The Knot’s average 2019 wedding cost of $23,000.
“They spent $500 and they are still happy and in love,” said McCall.