Man, 100, woman, 92, renew their wedding vows
Yesterday couples across the nation joined in celebrating the power of love through gift giving, weddings, and renewed marriage vows. One would be hard pressed, however, to find an example of love as unique as the Sayre couple that renewed their wedding vows at the Sayre Health Care Center on Valentine's Day.
Francis and Helen Bahl, both residents of the health care center, chose Valentine's Day as an opportunity to profess their love for each other through 21 years of marriage.
The crowd turned in anticipation as "Bridal Chorus," better known as "Here Comes the Bride," was played by organist Dorothy Secrist.
While the couple may have found love later in life, as Francis turned 100 in October and Helen is 92, the bond they shared was clearly evident during the ceremony.
Helen was the owner of a sewing business, and the couple met when Francis asked her out while getting a pair of pants tailored. The next day the couple went out to dinner in Elmira, and after dating for three years decided to tie the knot.
Attended by family and other residents of the care facility, approximately 50 people were present to witness the moment when Francis and Helen both exclaimed their "I do's."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a rendition of "I Love You Truly" was sung by Helen's daughter Phyllis Darling.
Francis and Helen were originally married by a justice of the peace, but the ceremony of renewed wedding vows was presided over by Father Andrew Hvozdovic of The Church of the Epiphany in Sayre. Pastor Andrew Weidner, of Athens United Methodist Church was also in attendance to help direct the service.
Hvozdovic joked that it is not every day he renewed the vows of someone 100 years old.
In the program handed out to guests, a poem chosen by the couple read,
"Everyone says you only fall in love once, but that is not true, because every time I see you, I fall in love all over again."
After renewing the vows the couple shared a glass of champagne as those in attendance congratulated them and took pictures of the special moment.
A three layer wedding cake was then enjoyed by the couple and guests as part of the celebration.