“We met in the back of a car…it’s not what you think”, laughs Don. Thirty years ago, the young couple was set up on a blind date they didn’t know they were on until they got into that famous back seat. Don and Joan had both just ended bad relationships when a mutual friend connected them, and so they were instantly honest and up-front with each other. They loved that about each other and their bond was solidified.
Now, Don and Joan Holley are celebrating 25 years of marriage and clearly fuller hearts than ever. The sweet couple decided to take a walk down memory lane (Covid scrapped their original plans), visiting the sights of their wedding day all those years ago. They began by walking the aisle of Bethany Baptist Church where they first shared their vows. “Joan suggested we recite my original vows”, laughs Don, “I said ‘I don’t remember them.’”But Don, a Pianist and Teacher, did remember the beautiful song he wrote for his bride-to-be all those years ago. He sang it again at the church, but got choked up on the third verse – “It’s where we are right now. It reminds of some of the events we’ve come through since we tied the knot”, he says.
Next, Don and Joan visited The Water Tower Inn where they held their original reception. We surprised them with something sparkly and shared in their accounts of years of happy memories. Don often tears up while telling his tales, looking unapologetically in love with his wife. Joan, an Education Assistant, has a bright laugh and a great sense of humour. It’s easy to believe Don when he says he “loves the way the room lights up when Joan walks in, and she doesn’t even realize it”.
Don and Joan recount how, like many weddings, they missed out on some photo opportunities they’d been hoping for, due to small timing glitches. We helped them re-live those missed wishes today and it was a pleasure to be part of their love…if only for a moment.
Don finally got to share a toast with arms intertwined – Joan did not let this happen on the wedding day, fearing a spill on her dress.
We surprised Don and Joan so they could toast their anniversary.
Don always wanted a photo with his bride at the Grand Piano.