Want to know the secrets to a long marriage?
1) Express your love for one another daily.
2) Settle any disagreement before you go to bed.
3) Continue to date after marriage.
According to Dwane & Betty Casteel, those are 3 rules to live by; and they just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 7th, so I’d have to say they know what they are talking about!
Myra, Dwane & Betty’s daughter, contacted me a few months ago about scheduling a session for her parents. She planned on displaying the images at their anniversary party she was throwing for them at the Clarion Inn in Shepherdstown. We talked through the details and she chose the church on the hill in Harpers Ferry for their backdrop.
Well Dwane & Betty were absolute naturals during the session and oh so cute together! You could really see the love between them each time they gazed at each other, in the way he made her laugh, when they held hands walking up the lane and every time they gave each other little kisses on the cheek or forehead. They have an inspirational marriage to say the least.
They met long ago when they were kids at church and started dating at the age of 15. One night after a date he asked her if she would like to be Mrs. Dwane Casteel and she readily said yes! So they married at the young age of 17.
When I arrived at the Clarion Ballroom, I adored the teal and silver decor and the “lots and lots of bling” Myra had added to the tables and all around!
Betty looked stunning in a sequin, floor length dress and Dwane was very dapper in his suit! The whole family looked beautiful as we gathered for photos in the outdoor courtyard.
I don’t know which was better… seeing Betty with her sisters and hearing that they had been up late the night before giggling and catching up with each other or seeing Dwane grinning ear to ear surrounded by his family and the love of his life!
They both kept looking around saying how wonderful everything looked and how hard Myra and everyone had worked putting this together for them.
This year, I have set a goal for myself to tell my client’s story. It’s part of my J Binkley Experience for them. I don’t want our session to just be about photos, I want it to be bigger than that. I want to show their love, listen to their stories, and witness the blessings in their lives. So to do this, and to better know my clients, I have started sending out a questionnaire asking how they met, their occupations, favorite things to do, see, eat, or watch. I want to be able to write a blog for them, highlighting a special part of their life and documenting it with words and photos to share with their family and friends.
With all of that in mind, there is usually a time, either at the initial meeting, the session, or the wedding/party day that my clients open up about a certain aspect of their life. This happened with Betty & Dwane when we were walking back to the ballroom after their portraits together. As we stopped at a table so I could gather my camera bag, they told me all about their children. The day they went to the adoption agency in Tennessee, the day each child came into their lives and how they showed their parents each new addition to their family. You could see in their eyes they were proud parents and their children are one of their greatest accomplishments in life.
Married for 60 years and parents for 57.
Congratulations Dwane and Betty for your two awe-inspiring accomplishments! May God’s hand and blessing be upon you and your family as you walk through life hand in hand.
60 years down, forever to go!
June 10, 2018