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Couple who never had a real wedding celebrate 75th anniversary with vow renewal and party

A West Virginia couple celebrated their 75th anniversary this month with a beautiful wedding reception surrounded by family — after they had to skip a huge party in 1946 because the groom was in the military.

Ulysses, 94, and Lorraine Dawson, 92, tied the knot 75 years ago shortly after Ulysses served in World War II.

They had a quickie that time, but for their Diamond Jubilee this year, they finally had the party they never had, with Lorraine dressing up in a white dress and Ulysses donning a replica of his WWII uniform.

Ulysses, 94, and Lorraine Dawson, 92, tied the knot 75 years ago shortly after Ulysses served in World War II

Ulysses, 94, and Lorraine Dawson, 92, tied the knot 75 years ago shortly after Ulysses served in World War II

For their diamond anniversary, their family hosted a real wedding, complete with vow renewal and party

For their diamond anniversary, their family hosted a real wedding, complete with vow renewal and party

For their diamond anniversary, their family hosted a real wedding, complete with vow renewal and party

They married when he was 19 and she 17 - but with Ulysses still serving in the military, they made it a quick affair with just a ceremony and no reception.

They married when he was 19 and she 17 - but with Ulysses still serving in the military, they made it a quick affair with just a ceremony and no reception.

They married when he was 19 and she 17 – but with Ulysses still serving in the military, they made it a quick affair with just a ceremony and no reception.

Lorraine told WCHS that she met her longtime husband when they were both teenagers in southwest West Virginia.

When she saw him walking down the street, she purposely dropped the bucket of water she was holding so that she would have to walk to the well where he stood to refill it.

They married when he was 19 and she 17 – but with Ulysses still serving in the military, they made it a quick affair with just a ceremony and no reception.

They finally got that right 75 years later.

Their daughter, Laverna Sharon Adkins, said: Good morning AmericaShe said, “You know, I’ve never had a wedding.” Dad was in the military and she said, “I’d love to have a wedding.”

After a vow renewal ceremony, they celebrated in a room decorated in the couples' favorite colors, yellow and white.

After a vow renewal ceremony, they celebrated in a room decorated in the couples' favorite colors, yellow and white.

After a vow renewal ceremony, they celebrated in a room decorated in the couples’ favorite colors, yellow and white.

Ulysses wore a remake of the uniform he wore the first time, complete with tie and hat

Ulysses wore a remake of the uniform he wore the first time, complete with tie and hat

Ulysses wore a remake of the uniform he wore the first time, complete with tie and hat

Lorraine first wore a white dress after donning a red two-piece suit in 1946

Lorraine first wore a white dress after donning a red two-piece suit in 1946

Lorraine first wore a white dress after donning a red two-piece suit in 1946

“Mom had already talked about what it would be like to have a dress,” added their daughter Rita Poling.

“That’s how it all came together,” Laverna continued. ‘[It] was my mother’s wish and that’s how everyone came together.

After a vow renewal ceremony, they celebrated in a room decorated in the couples’ favorite colors, yellow and white.

There were lace tablecloths, a layered cake, and photos of their lives together.

Lorraine first wore a white dress after donning a red two-piece suit in 1946.

Ulysses wore a remake of the uniform he wore the first time, complete with tie and hat.

'Make sure you love each other.  And it's a 50/50 thing, not an 80/20.  It's 50/50,

'Make sure you love each other.  And it's a 50/50 thing, not an 80/20.  It's 50/50,

‘Make sure you love each other. And it’s a 50/50 thing, not an 80/20. It’s 50/50,” said Lorraine

“The knot was tied terribly tight.  And it still holds,

“The knot was tied terribly tight.  And it still holds,

“The knot was tied terribly tight. And it still holds,” added Ulysses

‘That’s how we got to know each other. He was in uniform,’ Lorraine said.

Five generations of family attended for the emotional occasion and watched the groom bend down to kiss his bride in a wheelchair.

‘I couldn’t contain myself after I [saw] my father. He was in the front in his uniform, he was so handsome,’ said daughter Rita. ‘He could only cry. Most of all, he cried throughout the whole thing.’

Lorraine also shared her advice for other long-term couples.

‘Make sure you love each other. And it’s a 50/50 thing, not an 80/20. It’s 50/50,” she said.

“The knot was tied terribly tight. And it still holds up,” Ulysses added.

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