The Home Beautiful

JUST BEFORE THE WEDDING

Perhaps no less exacting than the wedding itself are those preliminary entertainments which herald the glad event.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON June 15 1926
The Home Beautiful

JUST BEFORE THE WEDDING

Perhaps no less exacting than the wedding itself are those preliminary entertainments which herald the glad event.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON June 15 1926

JUST BEFORE THE WEDDING

Perhaps no less exacting than the wedding itself are those preliminary entertainments which herald the glad event.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON

The Home Beautiful

ORIGINALITY—that is the problem of the modern hostess—and yet she must, in all entertaining, outside the family circle, still retain that formality which gives every dinner a touch of ceremony, every luncheon the impress of finesse and perfect appointment. It is the seemingly effortless combining of these two factors, which marks the work of the perfect hostess.

It is the special occasion, however, which places the mistress of the home upon her mettle. It is expected that none of her details will be irrelevant or meaningless. This is particularly true of the functions which precede a wedding. Perhaps the most important of these is the Announcement Party, which usually takes the form of either a luncheon or dinner.

Two attitudes may be taken in the planning of this party. One is to regard it simply as an ordinary dinner or luncheon—until by some surprising method of announcement, the secret is out. The other is to indicate the bridal atmosphere from the first, with favors that suggest the happy occasion, the centrepiece, itself, helping to herald the glad tidings. In this case the actual announcement merely comes as a logical sequence to the whole party.

Every hostess will have to make her choice of announcement, and then carry it out faithfully. For my part, I prefer an announcement dinner to a luncheon, for the reason that it may be a mixed affair, the groom’s men friends, who are usually too busy for parties during the afternoon, being invited, and also because it may be lent an added dignity by the presence of the bride’s father, who may make the announcement himself. This little ceremony would be out of keeping at a luncheon of women friends alone.

The table for such a dinner is reproduced at the top of this page. While this particular table is set

with covers for only six, such a dinner would, in all probability, seat at least twelve —old friends of the bride and groom and such acquaintances as have been recently associated with them in their days of courtship.

A plan has been followed in the setting of this table which should apply to most entertainments of this nature.

Its floral decoration is light, airy and dainty, and, in coloring, the table has not usurped that frothy, silvery white and pinkness, which is the special prerogative of the wedding table itself. For instance, for its smartness of pellucid green, a Minton china was picked, with a cream background and a motif in green, lightened with faint touches of rose. The goblets are of faintest fluted green, with stems of heavier tone. The floral centrepiece, of butterfly roses, lily of the valley and

baby’s breath, is filled with an abundance of soft greenery. The linen includes a rich damask cloth in Adam design, to match the eighteenth century “Grosvenor”

pattern of the flat silver, and large dinner napkins of Italian embroidery and filet. The favors are distinctly bridal; little silver bells on slender stems, tied with

tulle bows, silver horse-shoes centred with orange blossoms, silver slippers filled with blossoms; all symbols of luck and happy tidings. Among the baby’s breath and roses, little silver bells are tied, which, if the flowers are touched or even slightly jostled, tinkle prettily.

One wine glass must be included for drinking the health of the bride and groom. The bride’s father may make his announcement when the meal is well under way, or earlier, in order that the gaiety may have full sway through the greater part of the meal.

The Clever Announcement

NOW we come to the other type of announcement entertainment — the luncheon where the news of the engagement is to be kept a secret to the very end. Some ingenious methods of disclosing this surprise suggest themselves. Most original, was the announcement luncheon of a very brilliant young woman, whose connection was chiefly among the University set of her city, and whom no one would ever have suspected of any ulterior motive in holding a luncheon the beginning of the fall term. It was one of the large luncheons which often celebrated the return of the women folk of a University faculty, and was accepted as such,' until just in the middle of the meal a telegram was handed to a young matron at the table. Opening it, with haste and apparent alarm, she then read out the news of the engagement.

There are a hundred and one unusual ways of suggesting, rather than actually announcing, the occasion of the party; such as presenting the bride with a wedding ring, largely tagged as from the groom; having her served with a miniature wedding cake on which stand a toy bride and groom tagged with the couples’ names; or by reading a mock-serious

proclamation couched in pompous andpseudo-legal language. Many such “stunts” present themselve ! to the imaginative hostess.

The Shower And Its Possibilities

THE next entertainment which presents itself to the friends and relatives of the bride elect, is the shower. Here the problem is to get a new idea in presenting the gifts showered. On the table, shown below, is an idea for a silver shower, prettily worked out. The silver for the bride has been made into an integral part of an oldfashioned bouquet which rests at her place on the table.

The luncheon includes six covers, and each guest has contributed a knife, fork and spoon. The color scheme of the table itself is carried out in pink. The Minton plates have a broad rose band, sparingly touched with gold.The individual cover squares, of fine embroidery and filet, are in keeping with the delicate feeling of the whole table. The floral centrepiece consists of four small vases of sweetheart roses, forget-me-nots and baby’s breath, while the shower bouquet itself contains all the traditional flowers in pink, blue and white, and, also, the velvety touch of pansy. Cream-colored candles, with a faint suggestion of pink, complete the table decoration, save for cupid-guarded place cards above each plate.

The bouquet idea for the shower is a thoroughly original one, and it will prove a most unusual effect if adopted quickly. This idea may be suggested in many small objects, but it particularly lends itself to flat silver of any description, such as spoons, oyster forks or any small set found suitable and less expensive than the full knife, fork, and spoon service.

Note the setting of this luncheon table. Little ice-cream forks are provided for the dessert course, which look more like small spoons. A close examination will disclose their rounded little teeth just at the tip. They are a pretty innovation, and a good suggestion for a silver shower in themselves. Another interesting touch is the Colonial glassware. The goblets are a little heavy, but they are most serviceable as well as the smartest effects in modern cut glass in Colonial designs. For the bride’s first home they are an admirable choice, and were singled out for this table for that reason.

The Luncheon and Dinner Service

THE serving methods of a formal luncheon and a formal dinner, are practically the same. All formal repasts of the daylight hour are served a la russe, or from dishes passed by the waitress. A pair of capable maids are almost a necessity at a large meal, both for serving and for clearing the table with despatch and deftness. When the table is deserted, coffee may be served in the drawingroom, but at luncheon, if not at dinner, the hostess may serve this at table. A six or seven course meal is all that is required with perhaps a sherbert added if a very rich meat course has been served, or if game is on the menu. The old days of endless dishes, none of which were completely enjoyed, are now over, and the appreciation of a meal is centred on few but perfectly prepared and served courses.