For as long as I can remember, I have loved this photograph of my paternal grandparents, Harriet Lydia Brown and Thomas Francis Berrett, on their wedding day. The original, on display in my dad’s living room, is a round, metal picture, and I’ve always called it a tintype, having no idea if it really is.
Hattie was 18 years old and Tom was 20 when they were married on 7 May 1902 in the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. They didn’t travel any distance away for a honeymoon, but quietly settled into the important business of homemaking and farming on part of his father’s farm. The Berretts had 8 children, 7 of whom lived to be adults, and they had been married 55 years when Tom passed away in 1957.
I love the way Grandma Berrett is sitting, leaning towards her adored husband. She looks confident, calm, and at the same time, just a little bit spirited. I only knew my grandmother as an older lady – serious, proper and reserved. But this picture reminds me that she was once young and in love and probably bubbling with personality. Her dress and head piece are beautifully simple, and I’m assuming she and/or her mother made her ensemble. I love to think about her picking out the fabric and trim to make the perfect dress for her special day.
Remember that creating a successful marriage is like farming:
you have to start over again every morning.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.