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Is June still the most favored time for weddings? Just counting up the wedding anniversaries coming up this week, I come up with 30 couples married in June between the dates of June 23rd and June 30th. Included in that time span is my mother and dad’s 60th wedding anniversary, my aunt and uncle, Phyllis and Eugene Hagen’s anniversary, my cousin, and Barb and Dale Mrotz. My daughter, Kimberly, and her husband, Mike, just celebrated their wedding anniversary on the 17th of June. My grandparents, Richard and Christine Hanson, were married on my grandmother’s 19th birthday on the 19th of June in the year 1919.

It seems nowadays that many weddings dates revolve around when there is a place available for their wedding, or more than likely the place they would like to have for their reception. Very few receptions are held in the church anymore because of space, and many have now added a wedding dance as big part of the festivities.

In yesteryears, when there were one or few caterers, it was often the neighbors, women’s circles at the churches, or friends who prepared and then served the refreshments after the wedding. The size of weddings makes a difference of course as to where the couple plan to hold the wedding. They are limited to how many guests they can invite, as couples don't want to invite more to the festivities than what was available for seating.

Weddings have become more costly. The bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses are just about always purchased now instead of being hand made. Some dresses are long, some are short, and some are in between. The groomsmen most generally wear rented tuxedos. The wedding cakes and flowers are purchased as well.

The wedding cakes are almost extinct. The elaborate cakes of 50 some years ago would be priceless now. Many of the cakes during that time period were often made by a friend or neighbor lady who specialized in making decorated cakes. My aunt, Helyn, made my mother’s wedding cake and my aunt Phyllis' wedding cake. 

My aunt’s cake took a case of eggs to make the angel food for all the various sizes of layers that made up her wedding cake. The cake was high and beautiful and had a decoration on the top. Most often a replica of a bridal couple adorned the top of the weddings cakes during that time period.

Orpha Sommers, who lived north of Ellendale, made my sister’s wedding cake. Kaye still maintains it was the most beautiful thing at her wedding. It was many tiers high, with a bubbling fountain in the middle, and had columns that separated the layers. Eight heart shaped cakes surrounded it. The cake was chocolate with white frosting on top. 

Amy Thompson and Orla Christensen baked their share of wedding cakes. Mrs. Amos (Beverly) Farr’s cakes were decorated with bridges and dolls dressed as bridesmaids on stairs. They were decorated into the sides of the cakes or crossed over from one cake to another in a double cake.

Many bridal couples now have a small cake that graces the serving table, and serve sheet cake that is much easier to serve. In fact, cupcakes seem to be the cake of choice today, maybe because no cutting is necessary.

Mrs. Gudvangen from Albert Lea made the flowers that graced my mom and dad’s cake, including roses, pansies and whatever. She had nimble fingers and sat and talked and pinched and twirled the fondant into the delicate flowers for atop the cake. Mrs. C.F. Peterson, who lived south of Ellendale, arranged the flowers on the altar, the decorations all from her garden. It was to be a start of a vocation she never imagined, but she loved flowers.

Wedding flowers are most generally purchased for weddings now, not like those earlier years when they were grown in their families’, relatives’ or neighbors’ flower gardens. My aunt, Phyllis Hagen, had bouquets of orchids that came directly from Hawaii, arriving by rural mail carrier at noon for the afternoon wedding that day. That's faith in the U.S. mail!

Weddings have also changed a great deal in regards to "setting." Back in the earlier years, they were held at the home of the bride, the parsonage, city hall, or the Little Brown Church. The largest share of them are now held in churches, but quite often one will receive an invitation for a wedding that may be held indoors, outdoors, on the beach, on horseback, in airplanes, or at the local justice of the peace. 

Some pick holidays or birthdays for the date of their wedding so they won't "forget" their anniversaries. Time can be from early morning, afternoon or evening and candlelight hours. Surprisingly, some have even been held on Halloween, like Rose Mangskau’s parents, who said they couldn't think of anything trickier to do.

Music, too, has changed, especially when you look back at music played during receptions, from no music, to local music, to old time or country bands, to today’s DJs.

Most bridal couples were younger back in those "early days" than what you may find now, which may have had its advantages as they were not "set" in their individual ways. Many young people today are inclined to further their education and get established before they get married now.

Family, size, location, or month of marriage probably had less to do with the success of marriages as the bride and groom themselves. At any rate, the guests have an enjoyable time renewing old friendships with relatives and friends, as well as meeting many new people during the wedding and reception.

Hopefully, the wedding celebration can go on as couples celebrate 10, 25, 50, 60 and 75 years or more of anniversaries of that special day when they were first named husband and wife.

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, June 23rd: Ralph & Alyce Randall, Carlie (Thompson) & Joseph Sevcik, Greg Bartsch, Ann Farr, Amanda Wacek, Rhonda Reichl, and Rebecca Schei

• Friday, June 24th: Rhyan Rebea Fritz, LuAnn Hanson, Gordon Hanson, Joel Butler, Andy Sommers, Mary Harty, Sheryl Berg, Rick A. Miller, Curt & Carole Schember, Julie (Krieg) & Brian Hove, Valerie (Tobiason) & Scott Quiring, Stephanie (Morris) & Brad Hendrickson, Jennifer (Pence) & Juan Ortega, and Danielle (Cook) & Travis Johnson

• Saturday, June 25th: Paul & Deb Wallace, Brad & Jannell Tufte, David & Lori Lembke, James & Mardelyn Thompson, Boyd & Jeanene Reese, Brady Nelson, Rachel Lerum, Michael Bell, Hugh O'Byrne, Brady Nelson Heimer, Marilyn Nelson, Boyd Reese and Steve Lunning

• Sunday, June 26th: Michelle Marie & Marissa Ann Leeman, Tony Muri, Richard Holmes, Michelle Davidson, Tiffany Olson, Ray Jepson, Pennie Ladlie, Tristan & Michael Ingvaldson, Chuck & Ann Southworth and Tom & Wilma Arbogast

• Monday, June 27th: Eugene & Phyllis Hagen, Carlyle & Judy Hagen, Jamie & Kim (Weckwerth) Farr, Stormi Hagen, Mary Groth, Karrie (Newgard) Moen, Marge Trandem, Michelle Vangen, Milton Nelson and Sandi Serdahl

• Tuesday, June 28th: Warren & Bonnie Nelson, Jenny (Broskoff) & Chris Dutton, Danielle (Wagner) & LuVerne Zacharis, Amanda (Reese) Beavens, Shane Reese, Margaret Dobberstein, Zack Kromminga, Sara Hoyt, Sara Jensen and Noah Peterson

• Wednesday, June 29th: Donald Hope, Nate VerHey, Courtney Haugen, Jacob Peterson, Brenda (Janka) Tschann, Jane (Jensen) Bratten, Berniece Whelan, Barb & Dale Mrotz, Brent & Valerie Christensen, Brent & Michelle Meiners, Wally & Marge Wobschall

• Thursday, June 30th: Tamara & Jeff Busho, Susan (Schmidt) & Jon Anderson, Ann & Brent Wiersma, Nate & Kristine VerHey, Julie Vanden Heuvel, Robin Eder, Nathan Robertson, Donna Reichl, Steve Jensen, Barb Wright, Lorrie Kelly and Roger Shaunce

• Friday, July 1st: Keralyn (Paulsen) Powers, Eugene Hagen, Mary Edwardson, Linda O'Neil, Joanna Ruth Vermedahl, Maureen Wayne, Jill Hanson, Chris Ihrke, Jason Churchill, Marjorie Otterson, Deb Schimek, Rachel (Eaker) Lee, Gary Carlson, Tristan Bangert, Robert Christensen, Roger & Joyce Wayne, Heather (Krause) & Dion Quiram and Frank & Marilyn Cuden

With each passing year, grow stronger, grow wiser, and grow richer in spirit. May the year be filled with new discoveries.

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