Yeatts Weddings and the Two-Time Dress

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

Bill and Lib Yeatts Wedding Party

Bill and Lib Yeatts Wedding Party. From left, Patsy Yeatts (Hubbard), Lelia Frances Barnett, Jake Jones, Bill Yeatts, Fred Jones, Lib Vaiden, Coleman Yeatts, Gladys Vaiden, Thelma Barnett.

In 1938 William Reeves “Bill” Yeatts and Elizabeth Cowles “Lib” Vaiden were married in the Wren Chapel at William & Mary College, where Lib had studied education. (They met while both were teaching at Schoolfield High School in Danville, Virginia.)

Bill's sister Patsy Ann Yeatts (Hubbard) was the flower girl; cousins Jake and Fred Jones and Bill's brother Coleman Yeatts served as groomsmen. Three cousins of Lib's were the bridesmaids. A friend of Bill's, the Rev. Forest H. Mead of Midlothian, Virginia, officiated at the ceremony. — An aside: Lib's mother operated a well-known tea room in Williamsburg, and her grandson Bill Yeatts, who lives in Gainesville, Virginia, now owns the lovely sideboard from that tea room.

In 1939 Ruth Yeatts, a sister of Bill, Patsy, and Coleman (and the other four Yeatts children) married Edward John Hall at the Yeatts home place in Dry Fork, Virginia. Littlest sister Patsy Yeatts was the flower girl again and wore the same sweet pale blue dress, with a ruffle sewn around the bottom because she had grown taller.

The wedding was held in the west side yard of the Yeatts property in an area bordered by a horseshoe-shaped flower bed. As a teenager, Ruth had planted several flower beds around the Yeatts home, adding to the beauty of the landscaping, which already involved a long, wide iris bed in the east side yard, running parallel to the rear of the house approximately 400 feet to the road in front of the house. There were also plantings of lilacs, crape myrtle, and “sweet shrub.” (Sweet shrub [Calycanthus floridus] is also known as Carolina Allspice.)

Ruth had come up with the idea of a fish pool on the west side of the house, near the driveway. She asked her brother Bill and cousins Fred and Jake to dig the pool. (The young men were in their late teens and early twenties at the time.) They cut several shortleaf pine trees, and dug a four-foot pool. The pool had straight sides, rather than being basin-shaped, and was lined with concrete. It was manually filled with water. Eventually goldfish and water lilies lived in the restful-looking water.

At the 1939 wedding, the wedding bower was decorated with a flower stand which had a white sheet draped over it and potted ferns and vases of flowers sitting upon it. Small, cut pine trees were positioned to the rear of the horseshoe-shaped flower bed to provide a greenery backdrop for the wedding ceremony.

After Ruth and Ed Hall were married and living in Richmond, they brought back several longleaf pines to plant near the fish pool, and these pines now “reach for the sky” on the Yeatts-Hubbard property.


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