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Library offers peek at weddings past

Gown worn by Juliette Lohman, Hudson, in 1954. <i>Judy Wiff photos</i>

In a time of year filled with excitement and emotion, the River Falls Public Library Gallery is offering another celebratory event: An exhibition of wedding dresses.

"I Take Thee...The Wedding Dress Exhibit" will open with a public reception 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.

"At last count we had over 40 dresses," said Rita Kozak, who curated the exhibit.

She said clothing loaned by local people includes dresses from the early 1900s, suits, long gowns, short dresses and dresses in different colors.

One woman offered four dresses "going back on both sides of her family," said Kozak. It was, she said, "kind of a complete collection from one person."

She added, "Many of (the dresses) have really lovely stories."

Some of the tales are about families saving rationing coupons to buy sugar for the wedding cake or gasoline for the honeymoon.

"People really cared for these dresses," said Kozak of preserving the outfits. "It's like the one thing that gets carried through the generations."

Exhibit dates are Dec. 17 through Jan. 26. For more information, call Jera Terreng, the library's events and gallery coordinator, at 715-426-3496.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.