This love has lasted a lifetime!
A granddaughter surprised her grandparents with a sweet photo shoot to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
Abigail Lydick, 26, knew she wanted to do something special for her grandparents, George and Ginger Brown, who were traveling from South Carolina to celebrate their anniversary with family in New Jersey.
Lydick, who’s a professional wedding photographer, told her grandparents she wanted to dress them up and take them out to celebrate their special day.
But she had a huge surprise in store: She planned a gorgeous, wedding-style shoot, complete with flowers, makeup and a stunning bridal gown.
When she revealed the surprise to her grandparents, they were “really, really excited about it,” and also a little nervous, Lydick told TODAY Style.
“My grandmother was really nervous at first,” she said. “Just having a professional photoshoot in the first place, which they’ve never had.”
“It was just fun to be able to surprise them and spend time with them,” Lydick said. “My grandma had never even had professional hair and makeup done before, so that was another totally new, fun experience for her as well.”
Lydick worked with her friends in the wedding industry to make the shoot happen. Florist Angela D’Andrea donated the flowers, while local makeup artist Christine Swope donated her hair and makeup services.
“I knew that (Christine) would make my grandma just feel really, really pretty and really comfortable and let her relax before the shoot,” Lydick said.
Lydick's friends at the Bridal Suite Boutique in Hamilton, New Jersey, donated the stunning wedding dress for the photo shoot in Allentown, New Jersey.
“They were all so excited about it,” she said. “They … picked out a dress that was super similar to my grandma’s dress in her original wedding photos, with just a little bit of a modern twist.”
Her grandmother loved the dress, and seeing the finished look with hair and makeup helped calm her nerves.
“She was so excited,” Lydick said. “We zipped up the dress and she knew it fit, and that made her feel comfortable, and she looked in the mirror, and she was like, ‘Oh, OK!’ You could totally tell she got 10 times less nervous by just seeing everything put together, and seeing how beautiful she is.”
Her grandfather, 83, also looked dapper in a gray waistcoat and tie.
George Brown and Ginger Brown met in 1958 and married the following year. Now, they have four children, 18 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Lydick says her entire family has always been inspired by their long-lasting love.
“Anybody in our family has learned … that marriages can get through anything if you are working through it, talking through it,” she said. “Marriages go through a lot of stuff and it’s hard at times, but … if you both give 100% as opposed to each giving 50%, then you can get through anything, and I think that my grandparents are definitely a testimony to that.”
When Lydick shared photos from the shoot on Facebook, her post quickly went viral, racking up more than 34,000 likes.
She says her grandparents are “totally shocked” by how much attention the photos have gotten from people around the world.
“They were blown away,” Lydick said. “ I think they are just really, really excited to bring kind of some lightness and positiveness to the media right now, and to show that there are real marriages, and you can work hard at them and get through anything.”
Lydick also shared a few of her grandparents’ time-tested tips for a happy marriage: “Don’t go to bed angry,” “Be prepared to forgive, always, because you just have to do it,” and “Maintain a good sense of humor.”
After 60 years of marriage, they clearly know what they’re talking about — and Lydick isn’t surprised their story has resonated with others.
“They were so happy in the photos, and the connection between the two of them that you can see in the photos, it’s so palpable,” she said. “I think everybody has been able to feel … their connection and their happiness together.”