Weddings are not new to the HHH

Published 7:10 am Sunday, January 31, 2016

The wedding parety of Eileen and Harlan Lysne.  Photo provided

The wedding parety of Eileen and Harlan Lysne.
Photo provided

More than 60 soon-to-be brides visited the Hormel Historic Home last Sunday for the annual Austin Wedding Showcase.

With 25 wedding service providers on site, the enthusiastic brides and their entourage of planners were able to take care of many details on their long to do lists. Vendors showcased venue options, apparel, make-up, disc jockey and photography services, food and cake, and flowers, to mention a few.  It is a lot of work to plan that special day and we are happy that many were able to accomplish so much at the HHH.

Weddings are not new to the HHH. In fact, two HHH volunteers have held wedding receptions at the Home. I asked them to share about why they chose the then YWCA and what they remembered about their day.

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Ann and Roger Dixon celebrated their marriage here on Nov. 1, 1947. Ann’s mother chose the venue because she had worked for the Ben Hormel family when they lived on Kenwood Avenue and she had a fondness for the entire family. The couple hosted a luncheon prepared mostly by Ann’s mother. Friends and family served the meal to the 40-50 guests throughout the historic rooms. Ann stated that “the YWCA was where so much happened in Austin so having her special day here just seemed right.”  She also remembered that the rent to hold her event at the YWCA was only $25 … wish we could still offer that rate today, but we do try to match anyone’s budget.

As a young bride in 1968, Dawn (Steward) Hoffman remembers things much as Ann does.   The silver teapots that are still in the cupboards were used to serve the coffee. The dining room furniture that we continue to use for events today was in place then. And, although the floor and wall coverings are changed, the feel of the environment is the same-warm and inviting.

Eileen Dotzenrod Lysne celebrated her marriage to Harlan at the YWCA on June 10, 1950, and her sister, Virginia, had done so in 1948 when she married Dale Milton. Her mother chose the venue and Eileen remembers it being a very special event. Many brides in that era had their receptions in the church hall, so having hers in our unique venue made Eileen feel extra special.

I would love to compile a history of weddings stories like Ann’s, Dawn’s and Eileen’s. If you or someone you know held a wedding celebration at the HHH (YWCA) in the past please contact me at 507-433-4243 or to share your memories and stories.

Hearth & Home Series

10 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, free

Truths and Myths of a Gluten Free Diet, presented by Hy-Vee Dietitian Courtney Kremer

 History Happy Hour

5:30 p.m. Social, 6 p.m. presentation, Monday, Feb. 8

The Legacy of Jesse James in Minnesota, presented by Hays Scriven, Executive Director of the Northfield Historical Society. Free to members of the HHH, Mower County Historical Society and Friends of the Library. $5 for nonmembers.