Woman's Great-Grandmother, 97, Serves as Her Matron of Honor at Wedding on Christmas Eve

·3 min read
97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding
97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding

The Pointe at Lifespring

Generations came together on Christmas Eve to grant a 97-year-old great-great-grandmother's wish to attend one more family wedding.

Juanita Courtney was thrilled to take on the role of the matron of honor and sign the marriage license at her great-granddaughter Ashley Stewart's ceremony, Today reported.

"She got a little choked up and said, 'I thought I would never get to go to one of my family member's weddings again,'" Stewart told the NBC show.

Fortunately, Courtney didn't have to travel far for the wedding, which was originally going to take place at Disney.

"I got to thinking and talked to my grandmother and said, 'I hate that Nanny can't go [to the Disney wedding], so what if we just did a marriage license ceremony with her?'" Stewart said.

97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding
97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding

The Pointe at Lifespring

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So Stewart and her now-husband Josh, both 26, instead planned a marriage license ceremony at The Pointe at Lifespring, Courtney's senior living facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, Today reported.

The event was arranged with the help of the The Pointe's staff as part of the community's "Living the Dream" initiative, which helps residents turn their wishes into reality, according to Today. Making the occasion even sweeter, Courtney received a dress plus hair and makeup services — all courtesy of The Pointe.

97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding
97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding

The Pointe at Lifespring

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The wedding wouldn't have been complete without "something old," as the tradition goes. Not only did The Pointe staff recreate the bouquet of flowers that Courtney held at her 1947 wedding to her late husband Paul, but they also put to use the couple's cake topper.

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Stewart — who has planned a bigger wedding for next year — surprised her great-great grandmother with 34 family members in attendance for the marriage license ceremony. It was the first time the family was together since Christmas Eve in 2005, as Courtney was too sad to continue the tradition following Paul's death, Today reported.

All of it made Courtney emotional, Stewart told Today: "She just wept, she was so excited."

97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding
97-year-old great-great-grandmother serves as matron of honor at Christmas Eve wedding

The Pointe at Lifespring

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As for Stewart, the newlywed felt a deep appreciation for her family on her and Josh's special day.

"The fact that we have five generations alive who are active in each other's lives is just something that's unheard of," Stewart told Today. "It's a blessing to get to have that. Nanny and Papaw, they set such a great example for all of us in the family and have always been active participants in our lives."