Montana Historical Society Press

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MHS Press publishes regional books on the history and cultural resources of Montana. Book titles with asterisks (*) are available as ebooks from most major online ebook retailers.

The award-winning quarterly, Montana The Magazine of Western History, contains articles on the history of Montana and the West. Search the magazine index for a more comprehensive catalog of articles. To obtain prices and/or purchase back issues, email tryan@mt.gov or call (406) 444-4708. Copies may also be available at your local library or the MHS Research Center.

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I Do

I Do

A Cultural History of Montana Weddings

Created: Tuesday, November 12, 1918

A Cultural History of Montana Weddings
by Martha Kohl

Weddings make for great stories—the woman who escaped from her bedroom window to run off with a neighboring rancher; the priest who planned to combine eighth-grade graduation with a wedding mass; the couple who courted for years by mail before managing to overcome the vast distance that separated them; the wedding guests who played cards while waiting for the bride’s grandparents to arrive on a delayed train; the mail-order bride who jilted the man who sent for her; the couple who married on the main pavilion of the 1905 Flathead County Fair; the couple who exchanged their vows at a Great Falls gun show.

Through these stories, I Do tells of wedding traditions as diverse as the couples who live and marry in the West: traditions of Finnish homesteaders, Chinese restaurateurs, Métis fiddlers, Irish miners, Blackfeet students, and Jewish merchants. But whether couples married in a cathedral or an isolated cabin, in 1860 or one hundred years later, their stories offer a unique—and intimate—view of the past.

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