“I love Chi Omega because I found my bridesmaids in this Sisterhood…”
When asking a Sister why she continuously comes back to Chi Omega over and over again, this is one of the many responses we often hear. We know that to be true by the number of wedding photos Chi Omega is tagged in online and the alumnae groups that still gush over each others’ love stories at reunions.
When Chi Omega is a part of a Sister’s wedding day it affirms the lifelong bonds created and the impact made because of the Fraternity. For years Sisters have chosen to make Chi Omega a part of their special day. From Chi Omega wedding gifts to telling stories of their collegiate days in maid of honor speeches, Sisters continuously reaffirm that Chi Omega was a special part of their lives that they want to involve on their very special day.
These beautiful, china goblets were given as wedding gifts to early members of Psi Chapter. The five Psi Globlets housed in the archives at the Executive Headquarters each came from different Sisters, one belonging to May Miller Shapard, who was not a Psi, but rather a Xi at Northwestern, who served as S.N.V. from 1904-1912. She received the goblet when she married in 1909 as a gift from the Governing Council. The family donated the Psi Goblet to the Fraternity in 1997.
Another known Psi Goblet was gifted to the former editor of The Eleusis, Mattie Craighill Nicholas, Sigma/Randolph-Macon Women’s College.
Although we do not know how many exist and in what colors, Lyn Harris, National Archivist, knows of one cranberry goblet, which is located in the Founders Library at Psi. It belonged to Elizabeth Risser, 1903 Psi initiate and former Psi G.H. Presented June 25, 1913, as a wedding gift.
The First Chi Omega Wedding
On November 6, 1898, Founder Allie Simonds married Kappa Sigma, Van Smith. This ceremony marked the first of countless Chi Omega weddings!
Badges on Wedding Day
Badges are often fastened to the bouquet of Chi Omega brides and her Chi Omega bridesmaids. Some cleverly wear it as jewelry or, as many of our early Sisters did, wear it directly on their wedding dress, the ultimate display of pride in our Fraternity.
Former Governing Council member, Emmie Lela Gramling Perkinson, wore her Chi Omega badge visibly on her dress on her wedding day in 1910.
Of all of our Chi Omega wedding traditions, Shades is most certainly the most cherished and well-known across the Fraternity. One can attend practically any Chi Omega wedding and expect to see Sisters surrounding the blushing bride as they serenade her in the familiar tune. For many, this moment, a rare one in post-grad years where all her beloved Sisters are in the same place, is one that our Sisters cherish for a lifetime.