Long before the internet, gossip magazines and TV, the newspapers would announce famous weddings, while ordinary people like those spread across the nation didn’t have much said about the happy event.
Author and historian Martha Kohl wrote a very interesting book and states why she wrote “I Do” “… primarily because they provide an excellent vehicle for looking at the lives of ordinary people. Weddings are generally well documented; they stand out in people’s memories; and they are one of the few rituals widely celebrated in America.”
Kohl begins her work with a chronological survey of the marriage ritual, from Montana’s territorial days through World War I, the Depression, World War II, and into the hip and casual ceremonies of the 1970s.
She explains how the character of the marriage ceremony was directly influenced by economic times, the coming of the railroads, immigration laws, access to judges and clergymen, and even the marriage of England’s Queen Victoria, who popularized the elegant white wedding costume. She discusses some of the laws affecting matrimony, such as the “gin marriage law,” which prohibited county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to intoxicated persons, and a 1909 law Montana that forbade a Chinese, Japanese or African-American to marry a white person. That law was not abolished until 1953!
Get your own copy of the book: http://www.amazon.com/Do-Cultural-History-Montana-Weddings/dp/0980129214