love & marriage... 50 years and counting

Hey there,

Its Pete, i'm taking over the blog for a day. Don't worry it won't be me getting over excited about Queens of The Stone Age, or Led Zeppelin or sticks or anything about me at all really.

In the world we live, work, socialise in.... the beautiful all encompassing world of weddings, we are surrounded by the dizzying excitement of the new, the new adventures, the lives ahead of us, the children, the houses, but most of all the new love, the enduring love, the simple heart bursting feeling that two people looked into each others eyes and thought... 'you know what, this person is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I want to wake up and look at you everyday'
After all the noise has died down, the dress is packed away, the flowers wilt, the makeup is wiped off, the shoes are put back in their box. Its just two people with a life of memories to create...

Just over 50 years ago, Diane Blizzard aged 17 from Birmingham was on a girly holiday with two friends, staying for 2 weeks in the English Riviera of Torquay, at the Orchard Park caravan site. They arrived on the Saturday afternoon, unpacked, cooked some dinner and looked forward to the holiday ahead, they asked the owner if there were any other young people on site, He replied, 'yes there's 3 Irish lads stopping' to which Diane said 'Oh we're not interested in Paddys'.....  

On the Sunday morning the girls decided to head for the beach, so went to the nearest bus stop. After waiting for 30 minutes, no buses had been by, then along came the 3 young lads from Belfast, one of them - Des Smyth aged 20 with his blue eyes and thick dark hair started chatting. Of course they had no idea what he was saying, his accent was really strong in them days. BUT, something, somewhere a little spark happened. My Mum tells me now, that she knew almost instantly that he was THE ONE. Whether it was the blue eyed twinkle, the thick dark hair or the charm. My Dad hasn't said much on the subject, he may be a little shy or just felt guilty that his first thought was 'She's a bit of alright!' Turns out the buses didn't run on Sundays, so that day they all walked to the beach and chatted and flirted... 

Diane and Des spent the rest of the holiday hanging out, going for dinner, laughing on the beach and really just falling in love. There was no agenda, they didn't care what they did, so long as they could be together thats all that mattered. At the end of the week, they went their separate ways, Diane to Birmingham, Des to Belfast. They couldn't stop thinking about each other, heartbroken, they pined to be together. They wrote to each other and after only one month, Des moved to Birmingham to begin the age old process known as 'courting' - (ask your parents) Essentially a vetting process by Dianes' family to see if he was ok. There was a lot of anti-Irish attitude in this country back then, so it wasn't an easy thing for him to do. He was a plumber by trade and at the time work was easy to come by especially in the construction industry, he lived in lodgings with fellow workers, at the time all guest houses had signs reading 'NO BLACKS, NO IRISH, NO DOGS' So it was a big chance this young lad from Belfast was taking, all for the sake of a girl.... equally, this sweet young Brummie girl was taking a gamble on a rough Irish boy she had only spent a week with. But you know what, they knew how real their feelings were for each other and they decided to make a go of it...

Last night, our whole family gathered for a massive party to celebrate my Mum and Dads Golden Wedding Anniversary! 50 years of marriage. In this very cynical, disposable and pretty selfish world, they are a shining beacon of love and commitment for life. I am so so proud of them both, the strength and determination they have shown in a pretty tough life together has been phenomenal, a solid team who are each others world. Maybe its a generational thing? but thats exactly the life I want, I hope we see our Golden Wedding Anniversary one day.

As any newly weds or newly engaged young couples start your journeys together wandering about your lives ahead, just remember Diane & Des, and maybe one day you'll make it to 50 years married.

Mum and Dad, we love you so so much.



  1. Crying reading this. An inspiration - congratulations to Des and Diane, thank you sharing Pete xx

  2. Aww Pete what a heart warming post :) Your parents are adorable! I love their 50th portrait. So so sweet.. & oh my gosh the wedding photo's!!! Breathtaking - I love old photographs. The full length one of them looking back at us is my absolute fave. Happy Anniversary Des & Diane! xxx

  3. Aww that is just beautiful, so moving. Pete, you're such a sweetheart! Congratulations to Des and Diane.

  4. AMAZING images and fantastic story :)

  5. Hugest of Congratulations Dez and Diane! Your story is perfect and your photos are stunning. Enjoy many more exciting adventures of love and happiness.
    Pete, buddy, the beautiful passion and joy in which you write about your lovely parents is so heart-warming. Your right buddy, we need more beacons of love and commitment. Thank you for sharing this. Love every single photo and only hope that 50 years on, me and my boy will be able to look back with as much happiness as your parents. Wish wholeheartedly you and Em feel the same way too x x x

  6. Awwww, a match made in Devon (no pun intended) like me and my boy, hope our children will be telling our story in 50 years time. Your parents are an inspiration, Pete, you must be so proud of them. Such a romantic story, and stunning wedding pictures. Congrats to Dez and Diane!

  7. Love. Happy. Tears.

    Nothing but light and continued beauty coming towards those two lovebirds! This is beyond perfect and so inspiring.

  8. Beautiful, congratulations to your parents, such a lovely story of how they met too. xx

  9. what a touching and beautifully written post.
    Massive respect to your parents 50 years together is an amazing achievement.
    Congratulations and what an amazing couple to have as your role models.
    Just gorgeous!

  10. Totally love this - what a wonderful story Pete, thanks for sharing it! Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Smyth!

  11. Pete, this is a beautiful post to read on a Monday morning. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Smyth, and many more to come. (PS, I thought my mum and dad were the only people to have "rough proof" stamped on their wedding photos!) x

  12. absolutely beautiful - the story, the photographs and the love. Wow. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Smyth! Here's to many, many more happy years together xxxx

  13. Tears. Pete why are you making me cry on a fine Monday morning??

    Seriously though, what a beautiful story. Here's to all our golden wedding anniversaries (if I live to see it)!

  14. Love the rough proof stamp! Beautifully written.

  15. Happy tears in eyes...:)

    Beautiful words, beautiful pictures - proof yet that marriage works if the work is put in. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Smyth on a remarkable achievement!

  16. Yeap Pete, you got me too! Crying into my laptop!

    Such a beautiful story, written with such love and hope, it is truly what I aspire for, for my own marriage!

  17. Awww Pete, you made me cry!!! Congratulations to your Mum & Dad x x

  18. Thank you so much to each and every one of you for leaving such beautiful comments. x

  19. This is so beautiful, so encouraging.

  20. This is amazing! I was sat in the pub with my mum and dad yesterday and they were telling me tales of when they first started going out and I remember thinking, I can't wait to be sat in the pub after nearly 50 years of marriage telling my kids about our adventures.
    Congratulations to Des and Diane x

  21. Absolutely beautiful....the way it is written, the images and the love story itself! xx

  22. This long wedding vintage dress is relly nice and sweet. Wedding dress in black and white shooting could result in the sense of vintage style.

  23. This is amazing! I can't wait to be sat in the pub after nearly 50 years of marriage telling my kids about our adventures.I like all kinds of style wedding dresses.

  24. Such a beautiful story! Congratulations to them :)

  25. Absolutely beautiful post, you made me cry happy tears. MASSIVE congratulations to your ma and pops. Me and my Pete (no really, that's his name!) are celebrating our first wedding anniversary this Sunday and your lovely post put everything into perspective and reminded me what's important. On an unrelated note, I think you two are bloomin' lovely. I love your work, love your pretty website, and love how sweet and kind and welcoming-to-all you seem to be. Pete, I still remember the lovely little email you sent me on Emma's behalf when I wrote to see if she was free to shoot our wedding - and while we had a magical day I STILL wish you guys could have shot our wedding! ANYway, lots of love from London. Naomi x

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