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After 50 Years Apart, Divorced Couple Remarries in Emotional Ceremony: 'I Shed a Few Tears'

People logo People 4/16/2018 Char Adams

a group of people posing for the camera: Lillian (left) and Harold Holland © Brittney Purnell Photography Lillian (left) and Harold Holland

a man and a woman sitting on a table

© Brittney Purnell Photography

In 1968, Harold and Lillian Holland split after 12 years of marriage. Having married young, the pair says they were too immature for the union to last — but their feelings for each other never went away.

On Saturday, they walked down the aisle in a sweet ceremony in a Kentucky church, determined to live out the rest of their lives together after years apart.

“It was emotional for me, I’ll be honest,” Harold, 83, tells PEOPLE of the wedding, held at Trinity Baptist Church in their hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. “She stood up and I shed a few tears. It went back to the old time. She was beautiful when I married her at 17 years old and she’s beautiful now.”

For the ceremony, Holland wore a black suit with a lavender tie to match Barnes’ attire. The 78-year-old bride wore a long white and lavender dress with a matching jacket. The couple smiled in photos as they wed surrounded by family and friends.

Most of their children and grandchildren were present, beaming as “grandpa married grandma again.” The couple’s grandson Joshua, pastor of Level Ground Community Church in New Orleans, performed the ceremony.

“My favorite part was when he kissed me,” Lillian gushes of Harold. “I’ve known him for a long time. We’ve had different lives in between, but those old feelings started coming back. The wedding was great. It was simple and short, but so good.”

The couple made headlines last month when news of their then-impending nuptials first broke. They originally married in 1955 after meeting at a restaurant in Salt Lick, and had five children —Miriam, Timothy, Mark, Laura and Larry —before divorcing in 1968.

“That divorce was all my fault,” Harold admits. “But she said, ‘I forgave you a long time ago.’ We got married young and I worked a lot. She stayed home with our five kids and I never heard her complain not one time in my life. Now we’re a lot older and we don’t know how long it’s gonna be, but we said we’d walk the last mile together.”

The Hollands went their separate ways and they remarried, but both their spouses died in 2015.

“We were both lonesome and lonely and whenever the kids visited me I would ask about him,” Lillian says. “Whenever they visited him, they’d ask about me. There was still loving and caring there.”

They eventually came together at a family reunion and rekindled their romance. Soon, they were talking about remarrying.

“We want to be together to walk that last long road and be companions. We’re both older and more mature. When we were younger we just didn’t have time for each other. Now we do.”

Now that they’ve remarried, Lillian and Harold have put their honeymoon plans on hold as they work to move Lillian into Harold’s home. But the couple says they won’t hold off on their trip as newlyweds for too long.

“I’ll take her anywhere she wants to go,” Harold says. “I don’t care where it is. I told her we can go anywhere she wants. Life is going to be great.”

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