Our Pioneer Wedding

Updated 06 October 2004

Russ and I had an 1850s pioneer wedding on September 25th at my parents' home in Cresco, Iowa.

Why? Because Russ and I are interested in history. (We got engaged at Gettysburg.)

Because my family is interested in history. (My sister made a Civil War costume for her husband.)

And because my parents' house is 150 years old this year. My mother has done a lot of research on local history and the history of our house, and we have reason to believe that the first wedding in Howard County took place at our house in 1856. (Russ didn't want to wait for that anniversary.)

Our Wedding:

Program - The Vernon Springs Herald
1850s Clothing
The Wedding Plan

The research was a lot of fun. Here's some of what I found.
Living History Farms - lots of great info and events.
State Historical Society of Iowa - more great resources.

Clothing Resources: American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs.
The Book of Costume.
Dressed for the Photographer.
The Ladies' Self-Instructor. 1853.
Marriage a la Mode: Three Centuries of Wedding Dress. The National Trust, 2003. By Shelley Tobin, Sarah Pepper, and Margaret Willes. (Not just about clothes.)
Zeller, Karyn. A Reenactor's Guide to Clothing and Fabrics of the Civil War Era.
Past Patterns - great authenticity, but instructions aren't as good as typical commercial patterns.
Simplicity Patterns - Simplicity Costumes
Butterick Patterns - not as many authentic looking choices.
McCall's Patterns - a couple of choices.

18th Century Weddings: Marriage a la Mode: Three Centuries of Wedding Dress. The National Trust, 2003. By Shelley Tobin,Sarah Pepper, and Margaret Willes. (Not just about clothes.)
The Victorian Wedding: Part One.
The Victorian Wedding: Part Two.
Pioneer Life-History of Scott Co - 1882.
Life Styles of Early Settlers of Benton County, Arkansas.
Wedding Customs in Antebellum America
Carolyn's Victorian Wedding Resources.
Victorian Weddings
Etiquette of Courting, Proposing, Weddings from Inquire Within for Anything You Want to Know, or Over Three Thousand Seven Hundred Facts Worth Knowing, New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1856.
Etiquette of Weddings.
18th Century Food:
Food on the Frontier: Minnesota Cooking from 1850 to 1900. Minnesota Historical Society, 1975. By Marjorie Kreidberg.
Heritage Gateway, Pioneer General Reference.
1860's Foods: Union, Confederate, & on the Frontier courtesy of the North Collins Historical Society, Georgianne Bowman, editor.
The White Wedding: A Victorian Tradition.
Pioneer Life