Leelanau Weddings Through the Decades
Leelanau Historical Society
Created on February 5, 2021
Celebrating the life, love, and marriages of couples from Leelanau County. Enjoy the collection of antique dresses, photographs and stories. This is an extension of a physical exhibit at the Leelanau Historical Society Museum in Leland, MI.
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Harriet M. Greilick
Harriet M. Greilick & Dr. Joseph F. Slepicka
The couple married at Harriet's parent's home in Greilickville (Named for Harriet's father and his prosperous lumber business). Joseph was originally from Chicago where he practiced medicine until 1903 when he relocated to Traverse City, MI. He resided and worked in Leland when he married Harriet.
They took up residence in Suttons Bay in 1905 where they raised their three daughters and a son. Their home still stands today.
Luella M. Nelson & John K. Van Raalte
The couple met at the Carroll Stander garage in Leland, when Luella's Father brought his car in. John moved from Holland, MI to Leland, MI to work as an automobile mechanic and decided to make Leland his home. In their memoirs, Stories of a Leland Family, he recalled:
“I was working at the garage, and a young lady came down. As I remember, she had on a pink knit suit. Her father had bought a new automobile which she drove. The only cigarette I remember Luella ever smoking was the one on the day she showed up at the garage.” Luella recalled that she was trying to impress the handsome newcomer in town.
John and Luella had 4 children and opened Van's Garage in Leland in 1933. The garage is still run by the family.
Alvina Galla & Stanley W. Popa
On July 5th, 1941, Dorothy and John married in a joint ceremony and reception with Alvina and Stanley Popa. The joint wedding ceremony took place at Isadore's Holy Rosary Church in Cedar, MI. They also shared a reception.
At the time of Alvina's and Stanley's Engagement, Alvina was working as a live-in nanny/housekeeper in Dexter, Michigan. The lady of the house took Alvina shopping at the only major store in the area, Montgomery Wards, hoping to find a suitable dress, as this store did not have a bridal department. When they entered the store, there hung a beautiful wedding gown that someone had special ordered and later changed their mind. Alvina tried it on, it fit like a glove. She spent a whole month's salary on that dress - $25.00.
She did wear a veil, but as the story goes, she was dancing at her reception at the dance hall above Cedar Tavern. Every time she flung her head the veil would snag on the roofing nails as the dance hall had no proper ceiling at the time. Alvina and Stanley raised 2 children and were happily married for over 60 years before Stanley passed away at the age of 92 in January 2003; Alvina joined him in November of 2007 at the age of 82.
Dorothy R. Galla and John A. Popa
On July 5th, 1941, Dorothy and John married in a joint ceremony and reception with Alvena and Stanley Popa. The joint wedding ceremony took place at Isadore's Holy Rosary Church in Cedar, MI. They also shared a reception.
Dorothy and John met because her sister, Alvina was going on a date to the movies with Stanley. Stanley asked his brother John to pick up his date (Alvina) and in doing so John met Dorothy and he asked her out on the spot. Their first date was a double date, which turned into a double wedding, and 50 years later turned into a celebration of renewing their vows together.
Dorothy and John had seven children together and resided in Solon Township.
Thirteen months after the wedding Dorothy gave birth to a son who died. Her father made a casket for the baby boy and Dorothy lined it with her wedding veil.
Dorothy and Alvina Galla