As a wedding photographer, Stephanie has always been interested in taking beautiful pictures – and hearing beautiful stories.
In a photo series titled ”To Grow Old With You,” Stephanie interviewed fifteen couples she’d never met about how they met, their first date, and how they take care of their marriage. What began as a personal project displayed at her college Brigham Young University became a message to her generation about the toils of love.
“Throughout this project, I’ve realized how a relationship begins is far less important than how it endures,” Stephanie told the Good News Network. “Some couples knew they found “the one” in an instant, others struggled and toiled, and some didn’t like each other at all in the beginning. Each couple is unique. Some bound together by light hearts, others a oneness with God.”
Here’s five of our favorite couples interviewed Stephanie:
1. Ray and Tess – 54 Years of Marriage
Ray was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 4 years ago. To this day, no matter what happens to him, if you ask him what he would like to do, he always responds, with “Whatever Tess wants to do.” That is the one thing he never seems to forget!
2. Doug and Fran – 55 Years of Marriage
“We dated eight years. We broke up and got back together six times. We just couldn’t communicate. But the stars kept bringing us back together. We are still working on that communication thing, but our love grows deeper every day.”
3. Andrew and Norma – 57 Years of Marriage
“We met when I was working at a women’s dress shop in California, and he was working next door at a men’s clothing store. Every morning we’d both go out to sweep the sidewalk. One day our brooms met, and we fell in love on that sidewalk in front of those stores. We talked everyday and he swept me off my feet!
Gentle humor and a light heart to not take things too seriously unifies our marriage. We love spending time with our children. We have 36 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren in the area. Once a month we try to get everyone together. We like planning service projects with our family clan. Prayer within our home is the best defense for struggles. Love means respecting the person you are with and knowing about them deeply.”
4. Lloyd and Helen Fay – 64 Years of Marriage
“He has a twin brother and I have a twin brother, and we rode the school bus together. I was in the third grade and he was in the sixth grade. We fell in love riding on the school bus and going to baseball games together. I was eighteen and she was sixteen when we got married.
I made it a priority to do anything I could to provide for my family. I’ve herded sheep, ran a saw mill, run a farm, bailed hay. We’ve stayed active in the church all our lives and that’s kept our family together. We have 30 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. We sure are glad we rode that school bus together.”
5. Robert and Patricia – 23 Years of Marriage
“We met on a blind date. My niece set us up and we went to Chuck-a-rama. She didn’t like me at all and I didn’t like her dog.
We’ve been on three service missions together and it’s important to say I love you everyday.”
If you want to check out the rest of the Growing Old photo series, you can go to Stephanie Jarstad’s website.