Couples who got married as early as 1972 reunited at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum this week.
Before dating apps and online romances, people met their matches in most unlikely of places. Denise White and her husband, Robert White, first crossed paths under the fluorescent lights at Publix in 1978, where he worked for 34 years as a meat manager.
"We actually had Publix cater our wedding," she laughed. "But back then you couldn't serve alcohol, so we had to go to my mother's house for that, and they threw us in her pool."
The Whites were one of the many couples married in the gardens of the Ormond Memorial Art Museum who gathered together June 10 for the museums' "I Do! Love in the Gardens," event. However, unlike most couples who attended, Denise White's date to the event wasn't her husband, but her son.
Robert White died of a heart attack in 2011, and was known for riding his scooter all over town and meeting his "breakfast club bunch" at McDonald's for a morning coffee, according to his obituary in the Daytona Beach News Journal. Denise White wanted the memory of her and her husband's wedding to live on for their children to see, so she attended the event with a photo of her Bob.
"He had a big heart," she said.
The event was held in honor of the museum's 70th anniversary, and nearly 40 couples submitted photos from their wedding ceremonies. The oldest dating back to Patti Surguine's wedding in 1972.
"My husband was in the Vietnam War," she said. "He came back on Memorial Day, and we got married just in time. We had our photos taken in the gardens."
Some families even had multiple weddings in the gardens. After meeting Peter Smilovsky on a airplane where she worked as a flight attendant, Cynthia Smilovsky married the passenger in 1975. Almost 10 years later, her mother, Lois White, was also married there.
"We renewed our vows here after 25 years," said Cynthia Smilovsky, who had traveled from Florida Keys to be at the event. "Hopefully we'll be back here for 50."