He was Catholic. She was Methodist. It wasn't a good match for a family in the 1940s.
"It was bad. My father wouldn't even come to the reception," said Elaine Stroncek, longtime Steamboat Springs resident.
World War II brought poverty and uncertainty to American lives, so most weddings and the outfits worn to the occasions were of plain.
Stroncek walked into a Minneapolis, Minn., department store in 1946 to buy her wedding dress.
Stroncek's husband, Hank, searched the streets of Minneapolis for a white shirt for his wedding suit.
"I walked into a Jewish store on Washington Avenue and the guy had a white shirt behind the counter," Hank said. "I didn't have a lot of money when I came back. I was making $69 a month."
"There were a lot of things we couldn't get back then," Stroncek said of the limited clothing and fabrics.
Stroncek found a bluish gray calf-length rayon skirt with a flattering tie-in-the-back blouse to match.
Although the lime green buttons that line down the back have turned the fabric a pinkish tint, the admiration for her rebellious behavior back then makes her smile.
Because the church would not marry the couple, the priest decided to conduct the ceremony at his office. The people in the priest's office numbered five on April 27, 1946.
Stroncek said her daughter would not have fit into the same wedding attire when she married but it continues to hang in her closet as a reminder of the day she married a member of the Coast Guard.
One month before her wedding, Stroncek's fianc Hank, came back from war at sea to find a bride patiently awaiting his lifetime promises.
"She nailed me pretty fast," Hank said.
Longtime Routt County resident Benita Bristol was married just after the war Jan. 26, 1947. Bristol said she didn't wear a conventional wedding dress because they were poor also.
"I just wore a teal blue suit. It was 1947, just after the war. We were trying to decide what to do with our lives," Bristol recalled.
Bristol and husband, Everett "Ev" Bristol, married at the United Methodist Church on Eighth and Oak streets in Steamboat with only immediate family members present. Neither of their parents paid for the wedding, so an elaborate ceremony wasn't feasible.
"I was 25. I was considered an old maid," Bristol said.
At the age of 21, Caroline Fisher's grandmother was married in Concord, Calif., in 1926 but had a wedding dress typical of the time period.
America flourished monetarily in the 1920s, compared to the 1930s and 1940s, which was reflected in bridal attire.
It was an ivory-colored pearl-beaded dress about calf-length with a sleeveless top surrounded by thin mesh. Fisher said it looks "flapperish" but an old photograph reveals the bodice of the dress wrapped in another coating of light mesh or chiffon.
Her grandmother imported materials from Europe to have her wedding dress custom made.
Now the dress sits crumpled in a box in Fisher's closet and old photos only are taken out of drawers when memories are conjured by other family members.
When Fisher's grandmother was moving to an extended-care facility about 10 years ago, Fisher made sure nothing precious was left in her old home.
"I looked through every nook and cranny and found Cal's dress," Fisher said of her grandmother Caroline.
Fisher said she contemplated wearing the dress at her wedding in 1996, 70 years later, but its tattered state made her think twice.
"It's not in a horrible state but at that time, all the women were so skinny. The arms (of the dress) were so small," Fisher said.
Fisher searched through thrift and antique stores in Chicago to find an antique-looking wedding dress but ended up with a sleeveless white dress with a lacey back and a small train.
"Now that I look at it, I don't know why I didn't wear it," Fisher said. "I've kept it in a box crumpled up. Luckily, we live in a dry climate. If I were to salvage it now it would cost me a fortune."