After a granddaughter took a photograph of her grandmother on her 60th wedding anniversary and uploaded it to social media, the post quickly went viral. The elderly lady’s outfit may only have cost $69.95, but everyone at the event – and plenty of online commentators – certainly agreed that she looked a million dollars in it.
Janith and Joe Goedde are an adorable elderly couple from the town of Haubstadt in Indiana. Joe is 84 years young while Janith is 80 and the two of them have been man and wife for a very happy 60 years. They are proud parents to nine children and boast 25 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The Goedde’s big day on May 11, 1957, at the Saint James Catholic Church in Haubstadt was a wonderful affair, and the festivities were captured on a camera that Joe had bought while he was serving in the army overseas in Germany. The happy couple – who were 24 and 20 at the time – had a stunning tiered wedding cake and their bridesmaids wore colorful dresses with hoop skirts and carried bouquets made of daisies.
Their wedding may have been a modest event, but there was something about the fashion in which the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary that brought them to worldwide attention. It all started when a heartwarming image of their special day hit social media. The tweet soon swept across the Twittersphere and swiftly went truly viral.
The Goeddes wanted to mark 60 years of marriage with a special occasion, so they organized a special celebratory mass at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Haubstadt, followed by a get-together at the town’s Carriage Inn in April 2017. It wasn’t a small affair either – fittingly, they invited more than 60 family and friends.
Ahead of the ceremony their granddaughter, Alison, took a photograph of her grandmother, which she shared online. This was the image that captured hearts. People couldn’t believe how good her granny looked at the age of 80.
A large part of this warm reaction was due to the outfit Janith had chosen to wear that day. She had dug out her original wedding gown from all those years ago, which in 1957 had the price tag of $69.95. Incredibly, all those years on, the dress still fitted her frame nicely.
Janith looked absolutely stunning in the floor-length Chantilly lace dress. Luckily, she had kept the precious item in a plastic bag so the dress had retained its freshness and color. The wedding-day outfit with a lace fitted bodice and pearl-like sequins was ready for a second appearance 60 years on at her diamond wedding anniversary celebration.
The octogenarian was delighted that the wedding gown she had last worn in her early 20s was still such a good fit. In May 2017 Janith told ABC News how she had actually lost some 40 pounds before the diamond event, and people had certainly noticed. “Everybody comments to me on it,” she proudly said.
It was one of her daughters who suggested she should look out her wedding gown and try it on for size ahead of the big anniversary. So, Janith headed up to the attic to find the dress. She admitted it was a “little tight,” but she still wowed everyone at the celebration.
Not least her appreciative husband, Joe. Although he wasn’t keen on making a big fuss over their 60-year milestone, after seeing his wife in the stunning wedding dress he told ABC News, “She still looks beautiful.”
And people online agreed with his sentimental assessment. Comments rolled in on the photograph after granddaughter Alison uploaded it to picture sharing website Instagram. People were overwhelmed and made kind remarks such as “She looks amazing” and “This is adorable!”
When NBC radio and television news anchor Sabrina Squire got hold of the heartwarming story she shared some of the beautiful photographs of their day to her Facebook page. She wrote alongside them, “Happy 60th anniversary Joe and Janith Goedde!”
Squire also quoted something that the proud photographer, Alison, had written online: “My grandma is 80, she just celebrated 60 years with her man AND she fits in her wedding dress. #Goals.”
There is no doubt that being married for 60 years is a huge achievement and something to celebrate. So ABC News wondered if the Goedde couple had any tips for a long and happy marriage? It turns out that they did, and Lord knows the advice was surprisingly simple.
According to Janith the two main secrets to a good marriage are “communication and prayer.” And there’s certainly no stopping the Goedde life now – “We’re looking forward to more anniversaries,” she added. “We’ll take what comes. We’ll stick it out together.” To which Joe cheekily responded, “I don’t want to sound sarcastic, but I have to.”
Most people – married or not – would readily agree that if the Goeddes have already survived 60 years in each other’s company with their love and sanity intact, it is odds-on that they will be able to make it through anything.
The Goedde couple have now found some global stardom on the online stage, but Joe did not see it coming. He was reluctant to have a big celebration, but told ABC News that, “With the insistence of the children, I had to give in.” But he has admitted that he did enjoy the occasion after all.
It seems that the wedding gown that cost $69.95 – more than $600 today – was the main talking point of the Goedde’s diamond celebration. But, as it turns out, the dress was also the focal point of the wedding back in 1957. The dress even featured in the original wedding announcement in the local newspaper.
It is hard to decided which part of this story is most impressive. Is it the fact the Goeddes have made it through 60 years of marriage, or that Janith still fits into her incredible wedding gown? Well, we think that both feats are truly remarkable and deserve bouquets of praise and admiration.