PLATTSBURGH - Not many people can say they have been with the same person for 50 years. But, George and Joanne Rabideau can.
The Rabideaus celebrated their golden anniversary Aug. 13 - with a little bit of style.
Their nephew and godson, Shawn Rabideau, is an event planner and designer based in New York City who has worked for celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Barbara Walters and Star Jones. Recently, he was seen on Bravo as the event planner for the show "Bethenny Getting Married?," featuring natural food chef Bethenny Frankel.
However, his most recent endeavor was putting together the centerpieces for his aunt and uncle's anniversary celebration at American Legion Post 20.
"We called him and we asked if he would do the flowers," Joanne recalled. "And, he said, 'Oh, I'd love to aunt Joanne' ... that was it. I just told him how many tables there was. We didn't know anything.
Shawn said he was happy to do the flowers for his aunt and uncle, because he sees them as an inspiration.
"They've been married for 50 years and they really are indicative of what a marriage is," he said. "They've seen the good times, they've seen the bad times, and they're an inspiration for all the couples out there that you really can make it through."
Although he left the rest of the decorating to his cousins, Shawn admitted they looked to him for some advice.
"They were asking questions ... so I gave them some pointers to help them," he said.
For the flowers, Shawn brought together what he considered "fun" flowers, in yellows and whites.
"My aunt, she wanted something bright and cheerful," he said. "I wanted something that was just bright and pretty and simple. That is why I chose the yellow and white. I didn't want it to be too 'wedding' because of the fact that it's not a wedding."
It was however, a renewal of their vows.
After 50 years together, both Joanne and George decided it was time to recreate the day they became husband and wife.
"We had talked about it at previous anniversaries, but this is a milestone," said George. "We had to do something." Ever the romantic, George also surprised his bride with brand new wedding rings.
"I didn't know anything about it," laughed Joanne.
Shawn created Joanne's bouquet, which she took with her down the aisle of St. Peter's Church, a place that holds special meaning for the couple.
"We were married there. My mom and dad were married there. I was baptized there. Her mother and father were both buried from there. My father was buried from there," George explained. "Even though we weren't always using that church, we always felt a connection."
For their future together, George already has some plans in mind.
"Getting this together, doing the planning ... we're keeping notes and for our 100th we're going to make some changes," he said.