I Do: A Cultural History of Montana Weddings (softcover)
By Martha Kohl. Softcover, 256 pages, photos.
Through engaging stories of romance, insightful analysis, and historic intriguing photographs, I Do: A Cultural History of Montana Weddings provides an intimate and surprising look at an important tradition.
I Do journeys through the last 150 years of Montana history, from the 1860s gold rush to the internet age, to reveal the lives of ordinary people, from Finnish homesteaders, Chinese restaurateurs, and Métis fiddlers to struggling miners, Blackfeet students, and Jewish merchants. Along the way, readers will encounter fascinating stories: the couple who courted by mail for five years before managing to overcome the vast distance that separated them; the bride and groom who won a contest whose prize was an expenses-paid ceremony in the main pavilion at the 1905 Flathead County Fair; the sixteen-year-old schoolgirl who shimmied out of her bedroom window to elope with a high school classmate; and the lavish nuptials of Helena millionaire Thomas Cruse and his bride Margaret Carter―a party so public, long-lasting, and jubilant that, according to one historian, in response to its excesses, it reinvigorated the local temperance movement.
Whether celebrated in a cathedral, a courthouse, or an isolated cabin, weddings offer a glimpse of a time when lives, families, and communities join together. In the end, readers will find themselves more knowledgeable, both about Montana's vibrant, multicultural past and about one of America's most enduring traditions and important rites of passage.
Softcover, 256 pages, photos.