To say the least, a 47th wedding anniversary is an impressive one to hit. But for Wanda and Marvin Brewington, every year they have together is special. Their daughter, photographer Amber Robinson, picked up her camera this fall to capture that sentiment, and the results are absolutely breathtaking.
As it turns out, the Brewingtons take a photo together every year to send along with their Christmas card, but this year, Robinson told Brides, they decided to "glam it up a little bit." That's for sure!
"We hired hair and makeup so that Mom got the red-carpet treatment, and we put dad in his favorite black suit," explained Robinson. "Then we just went to one of our local parks to snap these pictures."
Although the photos are stunning all on their own—and received over 8,000 likes on Robinson's Instagram page—the Brewington's love story is even more compelling. Marvin, 70, is a two-time colon and prostate cancer survivor, and he has also been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Wanda, 67, is battling Parkinson's disease.
Symptoms of both their illnesses are known to grow more aggressive as time marches on, but as they posed for the camera, Wanda in a floor-length, rose-gold sequined dress and Marvin in a sharp black suit, their health challenges seemed to fall away. They were all smiles, hugging, holding hands, and sneaking in a few kisses—the kind of behavior usually connoted with intoxicating teenage love. Nearly 50 years later, they've still got it.
For Robinson, who has devoted her career to capturing couples on their wedding day, having a photo shoot with her parents offered some perspective. "They are the epitome of where I strive to be in my own marriage and a constant reminder that a wedding is only a day, but a marriage is forever," she wrote in an Instagram post. "In this wonderful creative industry that I work in, I focus so much on providing couples with a day of beautiful photography. To be honest, rarely do I stop to think about the day, weeks, months, or years that follow a wedding day."
Marvin and Wanda met at Livingston College in North Carolina and exchanged vows in a small backyard ceremony in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Wanda's hometown. "We made a vow on our wedding day—through sickness and health—and have always been determined that we can and will overcome anything," they told Femail. "On the days that one of us is down, the other one picks us up."
As Robinson mentioned in her post, this has gotten them through financial hardship and numerous health challenges. But their secrets to a happy, long-lasting marriage are simple: "Truth, honesty, and not letting the small things get you down. But most of all, never forgetting to laugh and have fun. It is hard work, but it has always been worth the work it takes."
Even as she shared the photos on social media, Robinson didn't expect that she would get this level of response. But she's glad people have latched on to their story this way, especially at a time when so much of the news has been "sad, bad, and depressing."
"We had no idea that this would go as viral as it has," she told Brides. "But when you look at the images, you can actually see how much they love each other."