A grandmother celebrated 50 years of marriage by shedding six stone so she could fit back into her – WEDDING dress.
Valerie Archer looks stunning in her beautiful dress in a black and white picture from her wedding day on May 29, 1965.
The grandmother-of-one, now 69, decided to go on a diet after seeing a holiday picture last year.
She joined her local slimming group and went from 16st 9lb down to 10st 10lb in just a year – just in time for her 50th wedding anniversary.
Her group leader suggested her trim size 12 figure might fit back into her white dress so Valerie ventured into the loft to dig it out.
Memories of their happy day flooded back for Valerie and husband Trevor, 79, when the dress fitted perfectly.
The bike mad couple, from Wainscott, Kent, celebrated with a family party and friends organised a motorcycle and sidecar so they could relive their memories.
Valerie and Trevor, who have two children, even went back to East Boldre in the New Forest where they went on their honeymoon.
The cottage they stayed in now has new owners but they were happy for the couple to visit and have tea.
Parish councillor Valerie said: “I can’t believe I could get in it again, but I did.
“It was up in the loft and we moved house a few times we always bought it with us.
“I delved into the loft and low and behold it was there. Amazingly it fit perfectly, I just couldn’t believe it. I never thought it actually would.
“When I saw the picture from our anniversary I couldn’t actually believe it was me.”
Valerie joined Weight Watchers three years ago and it was her group leader’s idea to see if she still fit into her wedding dress after she lost so much weight.
She power walks three times a week and goes to group sessions to help others and maintain her weight loss.
Valerie, who used to work a museum guide, added: “There are ups and downs, sometimes I am sure we can’t stand each other.
“In some ways we are opposites but we both like motorbikes.
“I also think that when you first meet somebody there’s got to be that instant spark. The age gap between us didn’t really come into the question at all.”
Former security worker Trevor, who has survived cancer three times, said: “She looked amazing I couldn’t believe it.
“You see someone every day and you don’t notice the difference so much.
“We had a great day.”