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From her dowry chest, Susan brings gifts for the best man, her maid of honor, the master of ceremonies and for others who helped plan and conduct her wedding.
Katrina Thomas's notes: Perhaps one million Lithuanians now live in the U.S., the greatest number in Chicago, and have been emigrating since the 19th century. Most are Roman Catholic; some are Lutheran. The first wedding I photograph keeps the most traditions, the bride wearing national dress which was woven, embroidered, and sewn especially for her. The newlyweds enter the feast under traditional handwork, a bridge of embroidered sashes, held by their attendants. For them, special dances are performed, and there are customs welcoming the bride to housewifely duties. They share a spikey wedding cake, baked over a fire. Recalling the past in the old country, the bride may carry a symbolic flame from the hearth of her childhood home, which after her marriage she might never ever visit, to the conjugal home where she will live as a wife. The newlyweds leave their celebration through gates formed by the wedding guests, exchanging kisses as they pass.