Wedding Traditions on a Nebraska Homestead

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

| Good Old Days

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!

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