An elderly couple who met in 1983 have finally tied the knot after 35 years of unmarried bliss so that they can be ‘in heaven together’.
David Wiese, 77, popped the question to Carolyn Gabbard, 83, on February 5 when she was moved to a hospice after having a stroke in January.
The bride and groom, who have 17 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren between them, exchanged vows in front of 40 friends, family and fellow residents at the RiverStone Health Hospice Home in Billings, Montana.
The bride said it was ‘about time’ he got down on one knee, as she finally celebrated becoming Mrs Wiese.
David, a retired delivery driver, said that although he has lived with Carolyn for the last 35 years, he believed the belated marriage would also unite them in heaven.
David explained: ‘I’ve considered myself married to her for all these years.
‘That’s the way that I conducted myself.
‘But I wanted to be with her in heaven too, and now we can be.’
The tardy groom admitted that he waited so long to pop the question because he had already been divorced four times when he began dating Carolyn in 1983.
At the time, both Carolyn and David were both living in Belgrade, Montana.
He said: ‘The reason we didn’t get married before now was because it hadn’t worked for me in the past, I was afraid it wouldn’t work again.
‘It took me a long time, but I finally got past that.’
When he proposed to Carolyn in her hospice room on February 5, she immediately said ‘yes’.
The couple planned their wedding in just three days, with the help of friends, family and the hospice’s staff.
David rented a tux for the big day, a local dress shop donated Carolyn’s black and gold wedding gown and a florist provided free floral arrangements.