With all of our focus on how to make your wedding special, we thought it was time to highlight some ways to make your marriage awesome, too. Introducing “Snapshot of a Marriage,” a new series from contributor Emily Westbrooks, who interviews couples on some of their secrets for a strong and successful marriage.

When Margery was a senior in high school, she worked in the camera department of a Missouri drugstore. Gary, a police officer at the time, stopped in one day and kept coming back. He claimed he was “shopping for a camera,” but soon he worked up the courage to ask Margery for a date.

Margery ended her senior year with a whirlwind month: In May, 1958, she turned 18 on the 2nd, graduated from high school on the 18th, and got married on the 24th. Their  wedding photographer worked at a local newspaper, and they paid him $20 for their 11 black and white photos. Says Gary, “It’s the best twenty dollars I ever spent.”

Two years after they were married, Gary joined the military and the couple moved from a small town in Missouri to Camp Pendleton in California. Away from home and family for the first time, Margery and Gary learned to depend on each other. And they continued to depend on each other through many months apart, when Gary served three tours in Vietnam. Margery said that though she and Gary only spoke once or twice on the phone during that time, “He wrote every day.” Gary explains it was simply “Because I missed her.”

He missed her so much that he remembers the moment in 1964 when he returned from a thirteen month tour in Okinawa and finally saw Margery. He recalls the vivid memory of meeting and embracing on a street corner and says, “She would not let me go.”

Once the couple was back together again, Margery said the hardest adjustment was getting used to making decisions as a team again. For so long, she made decisions for the family and “gave the kids their orders.” But with time, they began making those decisions together again.

Fifty-four years later, Margery and Gary now spend most of their time together, taking long cross-country trips in their RV and visiting their grandkids and great-grandkids. Gary’s piece of advice for newlyweds? “Try to say I love you every night.”

Photo by Sonya Yruel.

SNAPSHOT SUBMISSIONS  Do you know a married couple whose relationship you admire? Or maybe you’re married and want to share your words of wisdom! We’re now accepting submissions from couples who have been married for ten years or longer. Email Emily at emily@fromchinavillage.com with your first names, how long you’ve been married, and a few sentences about why you’d like to be interviewed for our Snapshot of a Marriage series.
35 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Snapshots
  1. Megan Clouse

    Might be my most favorite so far!! Their story made me tear up. This series is so precious…

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  2. Kerri

    This is such a sweet story! I love it!

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  3. Bridesire

    That was priceless!
    I really adore how the love for each other keep them strong until now,how they keep it alive and exciting? Not all couples may experience this, in which I seldom hear people to be each other until their lives out. They were very lovely couple.

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  4. Christina

    They are so adorable. Although I am biased as I am their grand-daughter. They melt my heart EVERY SINGLE DAY. Thank you for featuring their story today. Our family is so grateful!

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  5. Sheree

    This couple gives us romantics hope that happily ever after IS possible. They are beautiful together, and you can’t help but smile and even give a little sigh after seeing their love shine through in the photo and reading their story.

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  6. Marcie Lynn

    Love this so much! One of my favorite things to do is listen to my Grandpa talk about meeting and marrying my Grandma. Such a great idea! True love!

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  7. Robin

    Love, love, love this story. Brings the biggest smile to my face and my heart. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Leila

    So sweet! I love the picture of them now…they look more in love than ever!

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  9. Heather Johnson

    This story almost brought me to tears. I am always in awe of couples married for 50+ years… And to still be so in love on top of that? Incredibly inspirational.

    Beautiful photography – both in 1959 and 2013 ;)

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  10. Jen O.

    What a beautiful love story. And such an adorable couple. LOVE this series.

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  11. Joe & Dodie

    We loved reading your story! Congratulations on living and loving for so many wonderful years together! Your photos are great! So is that granddaughter of yours! Many blessings to you in the years ahead!

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  12. Kate

    What a strong and beautiful couple!

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  13. Lisa

    What a lovely and tender story!

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  14. Laura Ivanova

    What an incredible story!! Such a strong example of love! I hope someday I can celebrate 54 years with my husband!

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  15. Emily

    Adorable!!

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  16. Anna (Lover.ly)

    Wow, that story is incredible and so touching! I can’t get over how much they’ve endured together. That’s great advice to give to newlyweds too.

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  17. Lauren

    I love that they spent $20 on a handful of precious black and white wedding photos! The then and now pictures are just beautiful. And three tours in Vietnam? I’m so glad that you made it back to Margery, Gary! Thank you for your service.

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  18. Cathi Brown

    Congrats Gary & Marjorie,
    This a very special story to read when marriages are easily given up on now a days. It’s so rare to find anyone that has been married for 54 years and still so in love. You are both wonderful roll models for us all. It’s wonderful having you all in my life and part of the family!
    Much LOVE Cathi

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  19. Eliina Belenkiy

    So sweet, a happily ever after.

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  20. Sammi

    Amazing story! Those of us who stick it out through the good times and the bad know that making a marriage work is one of the toughest things you’ll ever do. But how much sweeter it is to do it with your best friend, the man who tells you he loves you every day. I love it! Congratulations Gary and Margery! You’re an inspiration to all of us!

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  21. Cheryl

    I have been very blessed to have these 2 people as my parents!! They are as beautiful today with each other as they look in this picture! Thanks so much for posting this. Their life is heartwarming and truly a Real Love Story.

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  22. Julie Massie

    I’m in tears here! This is so, so beautiful! They are an adorable couple. I LOVE that with so much focus being placed on the “pretty details” of a wedding day, that Snippet and Ink is also giving attention to the much bigger part…the MARRIAGE that comes after that day! I love this. I can’t wait to see more “snapshots of a marriage!”

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  23. Sonya Yruel

    When I met Margery and Gary while photographing their granddaughter’s wedding, I was really touched by how sweet they were to each other. As relationships change and grow overtime, I am always in awe of older couples who have sustained a happy and loving marriage. Also, I love the little video clip and photo!

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  24. Christina

    love the advice at the end. great couple!

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  25. good reads 1.18.13 | BUCKETS AND BUNCHES

    [...] am going to love this series on [...]

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  26. This Week in Weddings – The Bride's Guide : Martha Stewart Weddings

    [...] Snippet & Ink's new "Snapshot of a Marriage" series celebrates couples who have been married for a long time—and asks them for their secrets to a happy marriage. What a lovely idea! [...]

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  27. Marilyn

    A wonderful and well deserved tribute to my sister and brother-in-law.
    CONGRATULATIONS.They are living life to the fullest each and every day.!
    So proud to be a member of their extended family.

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  28. {The NotWedding}

    Melts our heart! It’s wonderful to have role models like those two.

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  29. Susan Dean

    I love this series so much

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  30. Lisa Murphy

    Such a sweet story! Thank you for sharing!! :)

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  31. A Day in May Design

    What an incredible story! This series never disappoints!

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  32. Angie

    Made me look forward to growing older and wiser with my hubby. Hope to be as happy and healthy as Margery and Gary :)

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  33. Gary & Margery: A real vintage wedding Christina Diane Wedding Photography

    [...] amazing love story, where in May will span 55 years, was featured on one of my favorite blogs Snippet & Ink. Maybe I am biased, be they look pretty darn cute to me. I really can’t get over how elegant [...]

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  34. Samantha

    what a beautiful story! I love the photos from their wedding with the more recent pic :) still in love

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  35. Gary & Margery: A real vintage wedding

    [...] amazing love story, where in May will span 55 years, was featured on one of my favorite blogs Snippet & Ink. Maybe I am biased, be they look pretty darn cute to me. I really can’t get over how elegant [...]

    / Reply

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