Couple Celebrates 61 Years Of Marriage In 'Up'-Inspired Shoot - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Couple Celebrates 61 Years Of Marriage In 'Up'-Inspired Shoot

Posted: Updated:

NBCNEWS.COM - 61 years ago, Donald and Dorothy Lutz's wedding photographer stood them up, leaving the lovebirds with only a single picture to remember their big day. But six decades later, they got a very special belated wedding gift — a beautiful anniversary photo shoot, inspired by the Disney movie "Up."

The idea began when stylist Lauren Wells — who is married to the Lutzes' grandson Matt — and her photographer partner Cambria Grace found themselves with a bunch of colorful balloons left over from a photo shoot. After a conversation with her husband, Lauren got the idea for the "Up"-inspired shoot and decided the photos would be a gift for her grandparents-in-law.

"It was actually a little bit of luck and coincidence," Wells told TODAY.

The shoot took place on Boston's Old Northern Avenue Bridge, chosen for its "industrial" look, and was a true family affair, with Matt's sister Abby assisting — and keeping pedestrians from crossing the bridge and walking through the shots.

While "Nina and Grandpa" didn't know how a photoshoot worked, Wells says they were more than game to participate, which didn't even take much work in the costume department: "He is always wearing a bowtie, so he didn't even have to dress the part!"

There was just one problem: Neither grandparent had actually seen the movie. A relative screened the opening sequence for them so they could see the inspiration for the balloons, but passed on showing them any of the sadder scenes.

"They were adorable and super into it," Grace says of the Lutzes. "I asked how they met and he said that he was going off to war and he told her that if she wrote to him, he would write back. They became pen pals, then friends, and fell in love and have been together ever since."

Once the photos were finished, Wells posted them on the wedding website Style Me Pretty, where they started to go viral within hours as people shared the images far and wide on social media. Admirers wrote to Wells and Grace from as far away as China, Spain, and Australia — some even asking if they could arrange custom photo shoots for their own parents or grandparents.

For the two friends and collaborators, the real treat was how many positive reactions the photos got. "The outpouring of well wishes have been so nice and heartwarming," Wells says. "I read 100-something comments from all over the world and started crying. It doesn't matter where you live, everyone loves love."

And the best reaction, of course, came from Grandpa and Nina themselves. A relative read the Style Me Pretty comments aloud to the couple, but they had to ask someone to print the pages out so they could send copies to friends who didn't have computers. Inspired by that, Wells and her husband put the photos together into a beautifully bound scrapbook and presented it to the Lutzes on Christmas morning.

Although it's back to business as usual for Grace and Wells, who primarily do editorial photo shoots for brands and events, they know they might not ever get an assignment as special and meaningful as the one they did with the Lutzes.

"Nothing will ever be as good as this shoot," says Grace. "Nothing can beat this."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • Homeowner shoots man who refused to leave his property

    Homeowner shoots man who refused to leave his property

    Saturday, July 26 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-07-27 02:19:45 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A homeowner shot a man who police say was on his property and refused to leave. It happened Saturday night around 11:30 in the evening in a neighborhood on the South Hill near Lincoln Park. Neighbors say it all happened pretty quickly.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A homeowner shot a man who police say was on his property and refused to leave. It happened Saturday night around 11:30 in the evening in a neighborhood on the South Hill near Lincoln Park. Neighbors say it all happened pretty quickly.>>
  • Fatal motorcycle collision on SR 291

    Fatal motorcycle collision on SR 291

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:53:01 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The collision on SR 291 near mile post 9 is now fatal according to Sacred Heart Hospital.A 17 year old female was driving in a four car sedan that was in the northbound lane going southbound when it struck the motorcycle head on.62 year old Robert White was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He was wearing a helmet.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The collision on SR 291 near mile post 9 is now fatal according to Sacred Heart Hospital.A 17 year old female was driving in a four car sedan that was in the northbound lane going southbound when it struck the motorcycle head on.62 year old Robert White was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He was wearing a helmet.>>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.>>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.>>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.>>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.>>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.>>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.>>