Weddings can be perplexing and overwhelming when you consider the etiquette involved. To make matters more daunting, these social “dos and don’ts” continue to change with time. What would an acceptable wedding in Greeley have been like in the 1880s?
When Rozene E. Meeker, daughter of Greeley’s founder Nathan C. Meeker, married Edward R. Skewes in August of 1886 their nuptials were written about in the Greeley Tribune. They chose to have their ceremony on a Thursday evening at the home of Mrs. N.C. Meeker. Rozene “wore an elegant dress, of cream-colored satin, with a handmade lace overdress, set off with diamonds.”
After the ceremony, guests remained in the home and over refreshments “passed a pleasant time in social chat.” This type of gathering was more informal than a church wedding.
In total, about seventy people were in attendance. Each invited guest was listed in the paper, along with what they gifted to the newly married couple. There was quite the variety of gifts: money, jewelry, a gold-lined toothpick receiver, Mexican “filigree curiosities,” silver utensils, and birch bark napkin rings.
According to the etiquette of the time, from the ceremony to the gifts this wedding would have been deemed well within the realm of customary behavior.
Greeley Museums has information about Weld County history including late 19th century Greeley Tribune editions, photos, dresses, and more. Learn more about the collections and the research center here.
Originally published in the Greeley Tribune.
Written by Sarah Lester, Museum Educator, City of Greeley Museums