German Wedding Invitation Details


Our family has a photo of the framed wedding invitation of my 2nd great aunt and uncle. It's a charmingly simple one. When I first came across it, I loved that it was printed in German even though the wedding was being held in Chicago.

The family story is that Helene Bruhn had always wanted to move to the United States. Having lost her husband in 1899 in an accident, Helena Bruhn decided to sell the family farm and in 1901 joined the three of her children, including Anna, who had already made the journey. My great-grandfather, Hans and his younger last three siblings joined her on the Phonecia.

Just the next year, Helene was sending out invitations to her daughter Anna's wedding.

Anyone who can read cursive today can read the letters even without knowing any German or being familiar with the often mysterious Kurrent handwriting or the sometimes frustrating Fraktur printing.

You can get the main gist - Anna is marrying Rudolf Heinkel on September 17, 1902 at 6419 May Street in Chicago, Illinois. But sometimes it's the detail that is fun and opens up new questions - in this case, ones which I haven't answered.

I just loved it when I realized that the couple was getting married in the apartment of my 2nd great grandmother, Helene Bruhn, and her daughter Anna. It quickly gave me a snapshot that it couldn't have been a large wedding.

The wedding was also on a Wednesday at 7pm which seems an odd day of the week and unusually late in the day- maybe they wanted to wait until people were off work, but it does seem a funny time.

I wonder if Anna was already expecting their first son (he was born the following year), or if perhaps the couple came from different religions. Helene's name was on the invitation, so it seems like she was wanted to have this wedding happen. I don't know many details (yet).

I do know, however, that the marriage was a fruitful one. We have a photo from 26 years later of the family. Anna and Rudolf had six good looking kids.

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