Matching matrimony: Bride re-creates her grandparents’ wedding photo


At her sister’s wedding, Angela (Reinhardt) Carpenter noticed an old wedding photo on one of the centerpieces.

The bride and groom in the photo are running joyously past a group of bridesmaids, groomsmen and wedding guests in front of the church where they were just married. Nearby, children shout and join in on the celebration.

“It’s got that old-style look to it,” Angela said of the photo. “It looks like it’s right out of a magazine.”

Her mother set the record straight: The bride and groom in the old photo were Angela’s maternal grandparents, Karla and Donald Gorrell. The photo was taken on their wedding day, Sept. 13, 1959, on the steps of the Presbyterian Church in Powell.

Angela, a native of Montana, came to Powell to do her student teaching. Five months after her sister’s wedding, Angela got engaged to Trevor Carpenter, a Powell police officer and the man of her dreams.

She loved his smile and was intrigued by this man of few words; he admired her faith.

“He knew I was the girl [he wanted to marry] that day his sister introduced us,” Angela said.

Trevor proposed to Angela on Dec. 15, 2016, when the windchill was 46 degrees below zero.  “And we were outside,” Angela recalled. “He jokes that he almost turned me into a Popsicle that night.”

When the couple decided to get married in Powell, Angela’s mother suggested re-creating the Gorrells’ wedding photo.

Angela loved the idea. So, when she contacted a photographer, re-creating her grandparents’ photo was one of her first requests.

“When we were talking about the photos that she wanted, that was the No. 1 [priority],” said photographer Jet Snelling of Billings. “It was really important to Angela.”

Snelling and Angela are longtime friends, and she was the only photographer Angela considered for her wedding.

“I’ve known Angela for several years,” Snelling said. “She’s like a daughter to me.”

So the three of them studied the old wedding photo together to decide how they wanted to re-create that photographic moment.

Angela and Trevor were married on Sept. 23 at New Life Church. But, before the wedding, the bride and groom gathered with their wedding party and family members on the steps of Union Presbyterian Church.

It didn’t take long to re-create the 1959 wedding photo, Snelling said.

“I think I had them run down the steps maybe three times,” she said, while the wedding party lined on the right side of the photo, and Angela’s grandparents looked on from the top of the steps.

“We thought it was great,” grandmother Karla Gorrell said. “It was very, very nice, and we loved and enjoyed it, and we enjoyed our whole weekend in Powell. ... We’re actually kind of proud, I think, that our granddaughter loves it there.”

Karla (Barber) and Donald Gorrell both are from Powell. After they were married, they moved to Bozeman, where Donald attended college, and they later settled in Billings.

“I love them with all my heart,” Angela said. “They have a very loving, God-fearing relationship that I admire and would like to have, too. Grandpa and Grandma always said the key to a lasting marriage is to be very Christ-centered and be able to laugh with one another. After 58 years, I think they proved it.”

Karla said she feels honored by Angela’s re-creation of her own wedding photo.

“We’ve got both photos here, framed,” she said.

Snelling said she enjoyed taking photos at Angela’s and Trevor’s wedding.

“That was the most fun I’ve ever had at a wedding,” she said, adding, “I’m not done with Angela. There’s babies to come, family pictures. I’m not done with that girl.”

Courtesy photo