Celebrating 40 Years of Marriage

Celebrating 40 Years of Marriage

Cynthia Whitters & Phillip Hynek: February 1, 1975

Cynthia Whitters and Phillip Hynek were high school sweethearts at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, IA. Phil was a year ahead of Cindy, and friends with her older brother Tom, which is how they got to know one another. They started dating on and off in 9th and 10th grade. Then, their Junior and Senior year, at a New Year’s Eve party, their romance sparked once again, this time forever….

Phil first fell in love with Cindy’s charming good looks, then her personality. Cindy first fell in love with Phil’s character, he was fun and enjoyed life. Everyone around him felt his energy. She had butterflies every time they were together. Phil proposed to Cindy right after her high school graduation, in the summer of 1974. They were out checking mama sows and their babies in a rainstorm when Phil proposed. Phil figured if Cindy agreed to marry him in a hog lot while they were working, it must be LOVE! Cindy loved the farm and was a tomboy herself, so she didn’t think twice about the proposal!

Phil and Cindy were married February 1, 1975. They had their rehearsal dinner at The Holiday Inn of Cedar Rapids. Four hundred guests joined them for their ceremony at St. Ludmila’s church. Their reception immediately followed, allowing guests to enjoy cake, ice cream, and mints. After that, just family and close friends were invited to join the couple at the bride’s home for ham sandwiches and side dishes. Then everyone, including the four hundred wedding ceremony and reception guests, were invited to the Swisher Dance-Mor Ballroom at 9 p.m. for dancing, snacks, and celebrating. The happy couple left that night to drive to Florida for their two week honeymoon.

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Forty years, six married children, and seventeen grandchildren later, their LOVE still proves to be true. Phil and Cindy have had their ups and downs just like any marriage, but they wouldn’t change a thing. They say in marriage you have to be willing to give more than you receive, it’s never 50/50. Marriage is like a job, it’s always work and never dull. You don’t fall in love, you grow in love.

They have different recollections of the hardest times in their marriage; Phil says finances were their biggest struggle, whereas Cindy says it was Phil’s “time with the boys”. At one point, Phil told Cindy he was there to spice up her life….Cindy decided she’d spice up his by putting habaneros and bay leaves in the sandwiches she packed him for his hunting trip with his buddies. Oh, love and marriage, we’ve all been there! Other struggles were dealing with extended family issues, which is VERY common. No marriage or family is perfect.

Their most memorable moments together are spending time with their children, and now grandchildren, camping or hanging out on their farm. They are always busy with something or someone, but that’s what they enjoy and it keeps them going. They also love riding horses together in the timber. Each winter they make time to take their camper and horses down south for some quality alone time! After being together for so long, they wouldn’t know what to do without each other. They were meant to be family!


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Vendor Credits

Wedding Photographer: Read Photography, Cedar Rapids, IA (

40 Anniversary Photographer: Kelsie Berg, Kalona, IA (

Tuxedos: Armstrongs, Cedar Rapids, IA. Total Cost: $34/Tuxedo rental, Cindy handmade the bowties.

Engagement Rings: James Jewelry, Cedar Rapids, IA, no longer in business. Groom’s ring: $60, Bride’s ½ carat ring: $500

Flowers: Staskalf Flower Shop, Cedar Rapids, IA, no longer in business.

Bridal Gown: A local dress maker hand sewed the bridal gown and veil using a picture of an Alfred Angelo dress as inspiration. Total cost: $59

Something Borrowed & Blue: Mother’s garter

Bridesmaids’ Gown: All handmade

Bridal Accessories:

Pearl Necklace: Cindy’s wedding gift from Phil.

Pearl Earrings: Cindy’s wedding gift from her mom.

Shoes: Armstrongs, Cedar Rapids, IA

Hair & Makeup: DIY

Invitations: Cedar Rapids, IA, no longer in business.

Decorations: DIY

Cake: A family friend made the cake. Total cost: Free, it was a wedding gift. Mints: $2.75/100 mints

Catering: They didn’t have big dinners back then. They had cake, ice cream and handmade mints at their reception. Only close friends and family were invited for a homemade dinner afterwards at the bride’s home.

Rehearsal Dinner: The Holiday Inn, Cedar Rapids, IA (

Ceremony: St. Ludmila’s Church (

Reception: St. Ludmila’s School (

Dance: Dance-Mor Ballroom, Swisher, IA

Band: Leonard Raymond Band, Swisher, IA