Some say marriage isn’t a word, it’s a sentence.
However, we have a more positive outlook here at Guinness World Records. We have direct evidence to prove that real, long-lasting love does exist.
But don’t just take our word for it. We’re here to share with you some nuggets of wisdom from the world’s oldest and longest-married couples.
For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, these record holders have experienced it all.
The longest marriage ever was enjoyed by Herbert Fisher (USA, b. 1905) and Zelmyra Fisher (USA, b. 1907).
The couple had been married for 86 years 290 days as of 27 February 2011, when Mr Fisher passed away.
Together they withstood the Great Depression and World War II, lived through the Civil Rights Movement and eventually lived to witness the first African-American president of the USA. President Obama even sent them a signed commendation in 2010!
Herbert and Zelmyra grew up together as best friends in North Carolina, USA and married on 13 May 1924. Herbert was 18 years old and Zelmyra was 16.
"A friend is for life; our marriage has lasted a lifetime," they said in a Twitter Q&A on Valentine’s Day 2010.
However, if you’re looking for their biggest secret to a long-lasting marriage, you may be disappointed to find out there isn’t one.
“There's no secret to our marriage, we just did what was needed for each other and our family."
With each day that passed, their relationship grew stronger and more secure. "Divorce was NEVER an option, or even a thought," they wrote.
The best piece of marriage advice Zelmyra and Herbert ever received was to "respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart."
Their fondest memory of their record-breaking marriage was the legacy they left behind; 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
Longest marriage for a living couple
Eugene Gladu (USA, b. 1919) and Dolores Gladu (USA, b.1922) have been husband and wife longer than any other couple alive today.
Married on 25 May 1940 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the couple were awarded their Guinness World Records titles in July 2021 after 81 years 57 days of marriage.
They have a total of five generations in their family!
Eugene and Dolores currently live together in an assisted living facility, still enjoying each other’s company after all these years.
The pair have lived an active lifestyle and spent their prime years dancing, canoeing, snowmobiling, hiking and travelling together.
Oldest married couple (aggregate age)
Ecuadorian couple Waldramina Maclovia Quinteros Reyes (b. 16 October 1915) and Julio Cesar Mora Tapia (b. 10 March 1910) were older than any other married couple ever.
110 year-old Julio Cesar and 105-year-old Waldramina had a combined age of 215 years 231 days and had been married for 79 years when Julio Cesar passed away in October 2020.
Their long love story began in the summer of 1934, when Julio Cesar was introduced to Waldramina whilst she was visiting her older sister.
He quickly developed a crush on the young beauty, so he set about wooing her with poetry. Waldramina was equally captivated by her suitor's youthful spirit, caring personality and way with words.
Seven years later, on 7 February 1941, the couple decided to officially tie the knot. They held a secret ceremony because their families didn’t get along, nor did they approve of the union.
"It was not easy because our relatives did not have a good relationship, but with time and patience we were able to unite them and we became an example and the best reference for the younger generations."
Julio Cesar and Waldramina consider mutual respect, love and maturity to be the keys to a long, happy marriage.
"The love and maturity that we had as a couple from the beginning of the marriage allowed us to know each other and grow emotionally to define our future."
"Respect, compassion and consideration with which we maintained our relationship was very important; we never argued or fought. There were disagreements, but they were not noticeable to any of our children who also deserved respect and love."
Julio Cesar and Waldramina had five children together. Today, the family has grown to include 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and 9 great-great-grandchildren.
Oldest couple to marry - aggregate age
The combined age of the oldest ever bride and groom is 194 years 280 days.
In 2015, after 27 years of dating, 91-year-old Doreen Luckie (UK, b. 6 September 1923) married George Kirby (UK, b.13 June 1912) on his 103rd birthday.
George proposed to Doreen earlier that year on Valentine’s Day, after some encouragement from his adult children.
"We were having dinner, and I asked Doreen if she wanted to be married to me for a short time. I was so happy that she said yes," George told The Telegraph.
"I didn't get down on one knee, because I don't think I would have been able to get back up." - George
George and Doreen met in 1988 through a matchmaking service for seniors, which paired them up based on their mutual likes and dislikes.
Doreen was a "proper lady, a great friend and good company" according to George, who soon fell for her.
They began living together in a hotel owned by George’s son in East Sussex, which is where they eventually tied the knot.
After George found out that they had broken a world record, the web-surfing centenarian posted on his Facebook page, "I'm told that the Guinness Book of Records has officially accepted that Doreen and I will be the oldest couple in the world to marry. Who would have thought it. I need a lie down now to think about it more."
"We seem to have made every national newspaper. Good job I didn't marry her years ago," he joked.
In 2016, George passed away "in good spirits, laughing and joking," a month before his and Doreen’s first anniversary.
More record-breaking marriages
- Tallest married couple ever - Anna Haining Swan (Canada, 1846-1888) was 7 ft 11 in (2.41 m) tall and married Martin van Buren Bates (USA, 1837-1919), who was 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m), combining for a height of 15 ft 8 in (4.77 m).
- Shortest married couple - Paulo Gabriel da Silva Barros and Katyucia Lie Hoshino (both Brazil), measure a combined height of 181.41 cm (71.42 in), as verified on 3 November 2016.
- Oldest married couple to run a marathon - With a combined age of 170 years 30 days, Japanese couple Masatsugu Uchida, aged 86 years 289 days, and his wife Ryoko Uchida, aged 83 years 106 days, ran the 2019 Kobe Marathon.
- Deepest underwater wedding - In 2013, Hiroyuki Yoshida (Japan) and Sandra Smith (USA) married 130 metres (426 ft 6 in) below the surface of Song Hong Lake, Thailand.
- Largest mass wedding ceremony in a prison - 120 inmates of Carandiru prison, Sao Paulo, Brazil, married their fiancees in a mass ceremony on June 14, 2000.