Dillon-LaForge Wedding – part 2

The bridesmaids and maid of honor, in their white gowns, proceeded up the aisle between guidons and school colors held by cadet sergeants who were stationed at intervals. The bride was escorted up the aisle by Major Mercer. “As the party reached the stage, the bridegroom-to-be attired in a [cadet] captain’s uniform emerged from the first entrance to the left of the brilliantly lighted scene. He was closely followed by the groom’s party consisting of Messrs. Sheldon, Scholder, Venne, Exendine, and Denny, who also wore the full uniform of their rank. As the parties met on the stage, they formed a semi-circle in front of the chancel, before which was the Rev. Dr. Norcross who performed the ceremony.”

Major Mercer gave the bride away and the ceremony continued. At the end of the brief ceremony, “the orchestra again broke forth with the wedding march and the party proceded down the aisle under a canopy of crossed cavalry guidons.” After leaving the auditorium, the bridal party walked the short distance to the gymnasium that had been “elaborately decorated for the occasion,” along with a large number of specially invited guests.

Major and Mrs. Mercer presented the guests to the newly wedded couple. Wedding gifts filled several tables that had been positioned specifically for the purpose. No mention was made of the food served, the music that was played, or the rituals that were observed during the reception. It’s fair to assume that the chicken dance wasn’t one of them.

When the newlyweds departed to catch the ten o’clock train for Washington, they were showered with rice and old shoes. After their honeymoon, they returned to work at the school. He played football on the varsity team the following fall.

Although simple when compared to many contemporary weddings, this celebration was surely much more elaborate than those of all but the wealthiest girls at that time.

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