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Heirlooms and Traditions

Mike and Shelley Carlson

I met Mike at the old Keg in Kirkland on December 30,1987 when I was here visiting my mom from Maryland.  He asked me out for lunch and then again for dinner the next day, New Year’s Eve. We had five dates that week and then didn’t see each other again for a year and a half. 

We finally got married on September 11,1992.  I planned our  traditional wedding with my mom’s help. I knew I wanted to wear pearls with my wedding dress. So, for my "something old" on my wedding day, my Mom suggested I wear her pearls. They were given to her by my father when I was a little girl. She thought they would be the perfect length, and they were. Wearing something of hers was very special for us both. I forgot Mike’s wedding ring at home that day, but I brought the pearls.

Kristen and Dan Newell

I must have been just six or seven when Grandma Russell put the silver dime in my hand and told me the story about our family wedding tradition. She began with the old English rhyme for brides seeking various types of good luck, complete with the final and lessor know fifth line: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

My grandmother had had a silver coin in her shoe, and most likely it was a silver sixpence. That coin is now gone, so perhaps it went to one of her sisters and was handed down in their families. In any case, when it came time for my aunt to marry, a silver dime was selected to be the new heirloom. I was told that the coin must be solid silver, to bring pure luck, not cut with an alloy as that may diminish the luck it brings or perhaps might make it impure.  The English favor putting the coin in the left shoe, Irish prefer the right.  We were mostly a Scottish family and perhaps it had to do with political feelings that my grandmother felt the right shoe was the correct placement. Some say the coin must be given by a relative with a good longstanding marriage.  Others say it must be given by someone with good fortune.  Mine was given to me by my aunt who'd had both. 

At my wedding with every step I felt the dime in my right shoe and my grandmother in my heart.       

Doug and Diane (Lundeen) Smith

I wouldn't necessarily call this a tradition, but we did have a few special circumstances to contend with when we got married many years ago. My dad had recently passed away and it was important to me to have his presence felt at the wedding. We had several photos of him near the guestbook, a reference to him in our wedding program, and I wore a gold chain with a fish charm that had belonged to him.  I began to wear the chain right after he passed away and while it didn't exactly fit with my wedding attire, it made me feel a little closer to him on that day.  We were  fortunate to have two of his sisters (my Aunt Sally and Aunt Muriel) fly out from his home state of Minnesota to represent the Lundeen side of the family at our wedding.     

I also gained a daughter through our marriage - Melanie was 6 when we met and 11 the summer we got married. Including her in the ceremony and event was very important to both of us. Mel had taken hula lessons from a very young age, and surprised us by learning a special hula to perform in the ceremony.  She told us just a few days before the wedding, and it ended up being one of the most beautiful, memorable parts of the day.   

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