High School Sweethearts

Charles Long met Donna Hogan in Sanford, FL when they were thirteen years old. They dated all through high school and at age seventeen promised to be there for each other always. In September of 1969 they tied the knot. The couple would eventually move from Sanford and start a family. Donna and Charlie would raise their children in Brevard County - Rockledge and then Titusville, Florida. They have enjoyed fifty glorious years of marriage and this is how my story weaves into theirs.

Donna, 1967 Homecoming Queen with her escort Charles who was captain of the football team.

Charles and Donna were young loves who knew they would be their one and only's, always.

Photographer's Passion Inspires A BIG SURPRISE

I have been promoting photography sessions to express my desire to document the lives, beauty and wisdom of our elders. Inspired by one of my posts, Staci, the Long's eldest daughter, came up with a plan to surprise her parents with a photo shoot. Since their 50th wedding anniversary was coming up, she had the perfect occasion to celebrate them. Staci secretly booked airbnb's for her parents and her godparents - Donna's best friend since high school, Chrissy and her husband Ricky who just so happens to be Charlie's best friend since they were five years old. Amazing, right? Talk about family history...

When Donna and Charlie arrived at their lovely airbnb that overlooked the Indian River Lagoon on South Tropical Trail, Staci revealed part one of her secret plan - she showed her mother the wedding gown she had found at a thrift store after a nearby wedding boutique had gone out of business. Surprise, Mom! Tomorrow you will renew your vows and a photographer (yours truly/Miriphoto) is coming to do a photo shoot with the family! The following day brought the second surprise - lifelong besties Rick and Chrissy would not only come in from out of town to be in attendance at the vow renewal but Rick would officiate over the ceremony.

Donna helps her husband get ready for the ceremony

Donna helps Charlie look his best

The dress fits perfectly with just a minor adjustment

happy bride walked down the isle by her grandsons

Blissful bride escorted by her grandsons

elderly couple renew vows in backyard ceremony

Let's do this again

couple renews vows by ancient oak tree

Embraced by the ancient oak, vows are renewed amongst friends and family.

A Daughter's Love

So impassioned by the dream of giving her parents a perfect day and photos to remember it by, Staci coordinated with family and styled all wardrobe. She did a FANTASTIC job, I must say. Great job, Staci, and THANK YOU!

Parents pose with their children at vow renewal ceremony

Donna & Charlie with their children- Staci, Shanin, and Mike

Elder couple pose with seven grandkids at vow renewal ceremony

The Longs with their seven grandchildren

Lifelong Friends Save the Date

When Charlie and Donna were married in September 1969, Charlie's best friend Ricky was not able to attend because he was deployed overseas at the time. Not long after, Ricky (Richard Galloway) returned stateside and married his love Chrissy (Christina Shedden), Donna's best friend since high school, in January of 1970.

Lifelong best friends laugh about the past

Chrissy & Donna giggle about the past

childhood friends remain close over the years

Friends since age of five, Ricky officiated the ceremony he couldn't attend 50 years earlier

Donna & Charlie, a story of infinite love.

Elderly couple kissing into the sunset

Kissing into the sunset