Engaged in their 80s, Michigan couple now married

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Jim Stephens and Connie Dorn never thought they would find love again after losing their longtime spouses.

They met at Covenant Village Senior Living Center in northwest Grand Rapids. Like other love stories, theirs started out as a friendship. They eventually realized there was a spark and got engaged around Valentine’s Day this year.

Over the weekend, the couple went from living across the building to sharing an apartment as husband and wife.

“I wore a lace dress, and it was perfect. I felt beautiful, and feel very happy”, Connie said about her wedding day.

They married in the church she has attended for decades, a compromise to Jim’s idea for an elopement. 

“(My family) would have been heartbroken if they couldn’t have seen their mom, grandmother and great-grandmother get married,” Connie explained, with Jim nodding in agreement.

To call these two love birds seems fitting given that love birds are notable for their affectionate behavior toward one another. A trait that couldn’t be more obvious with these two.

Connie’s hand seems to always be in Jim’s, his arm around her shoulder, her head tilted toward him with a smile on her face.

That’s not to say the wedding planning itself was a honeymoon. There were the typical stressful moments.

“I swear she was floating about two inches off the floor because nothing went right for that morning. Yet, by the end of the day, I had calmed her down and she was sitting there in my arms and said I feel great now,” Jim said.

There have also been plenty of compromises as the two decided whose apartment to share and what pieces of furniture to keep. Having been married before for many years and with advice from their pastor, they have found the way forward in giving and forgiving.

“Patience, not demanding my way, realizing that this is not just my decision but it’s affecting both of us,” Jim said as they offered advice for younger newlyweds just starting out.

They have discovered their love story is an inspiration for people their age too.

“(We’ve learned) that we don’t have to accept loneliness as we had before,” they both agreed.

They explained that friends have told them they thought they were beyond the stage where they could find love but now have hope that there is someone out there for them too.

Although Jim and Connie are still waiting until it’s safe to take their honeymoon, they seem to be in the honeymoon stage, and they don’t plan on that ever ending.

“We do believe God’s hand was in this,” Connie said.

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