April 15, 2024

New couple weds in Creston history

It’s common for every couple to vision a memorable wedding day as they make their plans.

But when a photographer and a relative said the same thing about the location of a wedding, one newlywed couple took the advice.

“We were debating what we wanted to do,” said Amy Longstaff, who married Chris Downing in December in the church at the Union County Historical Society complex adjacent to McKinley Park.

“These old churches were meant to be photographed because they are beautiful,” Amy said about Taycey Nichole who took the pictures of the big day.

Amy said Taycey was not alone. Chris’ mom also suggested to have the nuptials at the church.

“We were debating what we wanted to do. His mom suggested how neat it would be to marry at the historical church. Those involved knew Dick Anderson was on the historical society board.

“Come, look and see,” Amy said Dick told them. “We didn’t need something super big as it was only family. The plan was low key, relaxed. We didn’t want too much to stress over.”

Amy said the goal was something “intimate.” The historical society church was chosen as 70 were expected to attend. The church can comfortably hold about 100.

Even though the church fit the need, Amy said some things needed to be considered.

“The church is awesome but it does not have heat for a December wedding,” she said. “We did bring in generators for portable heaters.” Amy said those invited were suggested to wear warm clothing and bring coats. Amy said the women in the wedding party were provided shawls.

“Nobody complained for being too cold,” she said.

The lack of cold complaints may have been because of the intent to have a short wedding service.

“We were going to have a short wedding no matter where we would have had it,” she said.

The historical society is simple with its rules for building rental. Candles are not allowed and people can have food and drink only in the house basement. The house basement, which has heat, was used for the wedding party to prepare before the ceremony. The society let the couple decorate the church although electrical outlets can’t be used. Sparklers were allowed outside the buildings.

“They were very easy to work with,” Amy said.

A reception was held afterward at the Eagles Lodge.

Amy said one thing she learned about planning this wedding was to be very specific if the wedding has small attendance but more are invited to the reception.

“Others were invited to the reception, but we still got asked,” she said about comments about the two different events and guest lists. “When you get an invitation and forget, you might not look back. Please still be specific with invitations. Some asked me what they should wear to the ceremony.”

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.