Love is in the air, still
'OOHS' and 'aahs' filled the hall at St Andrew's Village at Ballina yesterday as Barbara and Stan Churchill looked into each other's eyes.
“I love you,” Stan said to Barbara.
Barbara replied: “I love you darling and I always will. You're the best thing that ever happened to me.”
On the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary, the couple took the opportunity to renew their vows at a romantic reaffirmation ceremony in the facility's chapel.
Surrounded by family and friends, the pair exchanged rings and shared a long kiss.
Rather than the old-fashioned confetti throwing, village staff blew bubbles from the back of the room to add to the romantic atmosphere.
“It's been wonderful, the past 25 years,” Stan, 79, said.
“It felt great.
“I proposed to her about 12 days after our first date – I don't muck around when I know it's right. Yeah, I knew she was the one.”
Barbara, 62, said she was overwhelmed to see family, friends and staff from St Andrew's Village, where Stan lives, come to support them on their special day.
St Andrew's Village chief executive officer Pip Carter spoke at the ceremony.
“We're happy to have Stan and Barbara here today,” Mr Carter said.
“We have a lot of staff here who are quite emotional and who have been looking forward to this.
“We are very proud and wish you all the best.”
Barbara said she first met Stan when she was in her 30s – Stan was a friend of her mum's and they met one day at a local caravan park.
She said less than two weeks after their first date Stan proposed to her.
“He was a good catch, and he still is,” she said.
“I'm so lucky to have met him. We've had a wonderful time together.”
Barbara and Stan shared tea and cake with their guests after the ceremony.
A reaffirmation ceremony is a celebration of staying in love and your achievement of being successful at marriage.
The custom of reaffirming vows is popular with couples who are happily married and want to say so – to each other and the people around them.