Wedding Traditions on a Nebraska Homestead

In frontier settlement days, wedding traditions included sending out wedding invitations in unusual fashion.

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Grandmother grew up on her father's Stanton County, Nebraska homestead, where the family settled in 1866. When she was a young woman and was planning to marry, she followed a local custom in the manner in which she invited relations and friends to the wedding.

The custom decreed that the best man, chosen by the groom-to-be, had the honor of inviting the guests. Grandmother gave him a list of the families he was to call on, and he rode off to deliver the invitations personally.

At his first destination he knocked on the door and when it was opened, he announced, "William and Caroline will be married October 18. You are invited."

To signify that the family would attend the festivities, the lady of the house brought out a bright ribbon, maybe 18 inches long, and pinned it to the messenger's coat.

At the next stop he made the same announcement and was decorated with another ribbon. And so he rode until all the guests had been invited.

When he came riding back to Grandmother's house, he was bedecked with ribbons, all colors and all lengths, all of them fluttering in the breeze. How she smiled!

The ribbons became a keepsake for the bride.

Mrs. Fred Abendroth
West Point, Nebraska


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.