Wedding Traditions on a Nebraska Homestead

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

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,

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
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.