STILL IN LOVE: Elaine and Laurie Stephenson, who are residents at Whiddon Aged Care Home, Grafton, will renew their vows on Valentines Day more than 58 years after their wedding.
STILL IN LOVE: Elaine and Laurie Stephenson, who are residents at Whiddon Aged Care Home, Grafton, will renew their vows on Valentines Day more than 58 years after their wedding.

Maid of honour is 103, groomsman is a chihuahua

THE maid of honour is 103 years old and the groomsman will be a chihuahua when two Clarence Valley aged care residents renew their vows on Valentine's Day tomorrow.

Whiddon Aged Care Home, Grafton, residents Elaine and Laurie Stephenson, have chosen Valentine's Day to renew their vows after 58 years of married life.

Fellow resident Irene Crispin will be the maid of honour and Whiddon Group therapy dog Leo will take on the role of groomsman.

The couple are bringing out the inner romantic in all the residents, who have helped with the preparations including handmaking decorations and invitations.

Laurie and Elaine's love story began more than 58 years ago at a dance in the Coaldale Hall.

When he caught sight of Elaine, Laurie's first thought was "what a good sort, I had better introduce myself". They danced, and from that point have been inseparable

They married in Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral on August 15, 1959 and spent 58 years together, working and also running their cattle and stock horse stud farm.

Laurie and the Whiddon Group therapy dog Leo bonded almost immediately through Laurie's belief animals are an essential part of any family.

That's why he will be taking a central role in tomorrow's celebrations.

A Whiddon Groups spokesperson said staff and volunteers have been busy, bringing in decorations from home, sharing suggestions for decorating, encouraging clients to join in and dress up for the special occasion, helping with invitations, working together to ensure the day is as perfect as can be.


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