Wedding Dress from ‘65

Barbara Hughson and Dave Clarke grew up near Milk River in Masinasin and near Red Deer in Castor respectively, but they met as young school teachers in Carstairs in 1964. They got engaged were married at Southminster United Church in Lethbridge on August 21, 1965.

Barb and Dave didn’t consider it important to have an elaborate wedding, as they were busy. Dave was moving his parents’ house and Barb was going to summer school. But Barb was the youngest in her family and the only girl and her parents were not to be denied, “No, we’re going to have a wedding.”

Barb told them, “I guess if you want a wedding, we’ll talk by phone, [and] you’ll have to make all of the arrangements.” And they did, for between 100–125 guests. Barb’s sister-in-law, Joan Hughson, was an extremely good seamstress and made Barb her “going away” outfit. The wedding ceremony was at Southminster United Church, the reception was at the El Rancho, and an open house and dance were held for the couple near Milk River at the Masinasin School.

Said Barb of her parents’ determination to plan the wedding, “I recognized some years later that weddings are happy occasions and that if extended families don’t get together for happy occasions they get together for funerals and sad occasions. I understand now how important [the wedding] was to my parents and that it was a good occasion for the whole extended family.”

Barb recently donated her wedding dress and going away outfit to the Galt Museum & Archives. You can find out more about the objects and stories the Galt preserves at