Love at first sight for couple wed 40 years
WHEN Shirley and Alan Pitts first met over four decades ago, they said they connected instantly.
The Bundaberg couple celebrated 40 years of marriage this week and said they were still as much in love with each other as they were on their wedding day.
"The first time I met him I couldn't stop talking to him, he had such a lovely disposition," Shirley said.
"I think it was love at first sight."
The couple first crossed paths at a dance in Brisbane but Shirley admitted there wasn't much dancing going on.
"I was talking to him mostly," she laughed.
The duo hit it off instantly and dated for about two years before deciding to tie the knot.
"I proposed at Kangaroo Point, we were in a flat," Alan said.
"The wedding was then held at a reception centre in Brisbane."
"It had a garden chapel which was lovely and we had about 40 guests," Shirley said.
The bride made her own wedding dress on the big day and also made the groom's suit and her children's outfits.
"She is a dressmaker by trade," Alan said proudly.
"I gave Alan a short-sleeved suit because the wedding was in January and very hot, and safari suits were all the rage in those days," Shirley said.
"I made my son a little miniature suit and then my daughter a bridesmaid dress."
Alan and Shirley then swapped life in Brisbane for Melbourne, where they owned a convenience store for more than four years.
They made the move to Bundaberg after that to be with family.
Alan worked in pubs and clubs around the region, including The Tattersalls Hotel and The Bluewater Sports Club, while Shirley set up her own dress-making business.
The couple are now retired and enjoying life together.
They said the best part about their marriage was the companionship.
"We just love each other's company - we still do after all of these years," Shirley said.
"I still feel excited being around him."
The duo said recognising each other was important.
"The best thing is to accept your partner as they are," Shirley said.
"We keep our own identities and we don't try to change each other.
"Also, persevere through it all," Alan said.