I DON’T SUPPOSE it matters where you are married— in a church, at home or the registry office—so long as the knot is securely tied. But if you have a lawn which is your pride and joy, why not have the ceremony there? The weatherman is usually kind in June; the flowers are at their loveliest and altogether the garden is a pleasant spot.
An outdoor wedding is quite the thing among those rich and fashionable folk with big houses and spacious grounds, but it can be equally charming in a much more modest setting. Of course, if you have only a thirty-foot lot with a mere patch of green in front and no backyard to speak of. it isn’t practical. But if you live in the country or in a house which boasts of a bit of land around it. you might like to have the great event take place on the porch or on the lawn.
There are certain advantages in this arrangement besides the attractiveness of the surroundings. In the first place, it is usually less expensive and that’s something these days. Then there is usually less fuss about it and certainly less formality, and you can have more people. I know it costs a little if you want to build an arch or some social setting, but that is one of the extras you can omit if you want to be economical. And I admit you can't always depend on the weatherman—rain may drive everyone indoors—so it is necessary to prepare for that possibility and set the house in order. Even so, the chances are that any June day you choose will be perfect for garden festivities.
One of the nicest weddings I have seen was an outdoor affair which could be carried out on a less elaborate scale with great success.
The wide verandah was decorated with a profusion of potted plants and flowers, and the doorway banked with blooms to form a background for the bridal party, which arrived from a side entrance. Guests stood about on the lawn to watch the ceremony; then, after the reception, strolled about at their leisure or sat at little tables under the trees. The wedding breakfast was spread, buffet fashion, under a marquee, with maids in attendance to assist the guests in helping themselves to dishes appropriate to al fresco dining. There was no hot dish, though coffee was served from huge urns. Instead, there were a great platter of fancy cold cuts, a whole boiled salmon resplendent in its mayonnaise coat, delicious salads, tiny sandwiches, and a variety of crisp, tasty accompaniments. Later, ices were brought out with little cakes, salted nuts, and squares cut from a huge wedding cake to go with it.
Another outdoor wedding took place on a
terraced lawn, the bridal party standing in the open on the highest terrace and returning there, after the signing of the register, to receive the guests. A hedge of bridal wreath in flower made an appropriate and exquisite background for a buffet table. Refreshments were mostly linger foods, or dishes to be eaten with a spoon or fork. There were sandwiches in variety—quantities of them—substantial enough to be something of a feast, yet dainty and attractive, in keeping with the happy occasion. A chicken salad mixture was arranged in lettuce cups on a huge platter and, with the servers provided, these were transferred to the plates by the guests themselves. From an assortment of relishes each chose according to his fancy, and selected from the array of sandwiches, buttered rolls, tiny biscuits and other dainties.
A Successful Table
TOR THE SECOND course a large mold of vanilla mousse I was served by a friend of the bride, and guests added their own garnishes from a large glass bowl of fresh strawberries. Plates of little frosted cakes in paper cases, macaroons, wafers and cookies gave one a choice of delicious sweets, and a huge punch bowl with its blocks of floating ice offered a sparkling, thirst-quenching drink. Wedding cake was served in individual boxes, tied with a bow of white ribbon. You could nibble it there and take a piece home to sleep on.
At a wedding breakfast, the table, like the bride, should look its loveliest. The one illustrated has a centrepiece of graceful swans holding white flowers arranged with artful simplicity.
The bridal cake in all its glory might have this place of honor, or. if you want to strike a more novel note, have a duplicate of the bride’s bouquet and carry out the color scheme of her gown or the bridesmaids' costumes.
A successful table, buffet style, does not just happen. Set about arranging it as an artist with lovely linen, gleaming silver. jxilished glass, china and luscious foods to make your picture. And above all, see that it is laid for convenient selfservice; with things in logical sequence to prevent confusion. One course food, serving silver and dishes is often grouped at one end, with a coffee urn at (lie other presided over by some lovely lady who fills your cup. Then the ices or other dessert, with dainty accompaniments, are brought out. and lastly the cake, with a glass of fruit punch to toast the bride.
Or, if the party is not large and there is no danger of overcrowding the table, all the food may lx1 set in place at once the main course at one end and the sweets at the other, with the beverage in the centre, at one side where it may be easily reached.
Little tables about the lawn are not exactly a necessity, but you will find your guests appreciate some place to put their plates down. Men, and a few ladies, are notoriously impatient at trying to juggle a cup of coffee in one hand and something else in the other and who can blame them? Specially designed plates with a place for the cup may be found in china, or colorful unbreakable material suitable for an informal outdoor affair. These might lxused for dessert and coffee.
Of course, you may decide to just go off and get married.
and that certainly is the simplest way. But you are not likely to be a bride more than once. Perhaps you'll think it worth a little trouble and expense to have your friends share your happiness.
Buffet Menus for Outdoor Weddings
Chilled Shrimp Salad with Capers C ueumber Sandw ¡ches Ojien-face Tomato Sandwiches Green and Rijx> Olives Fresh Pineapjile Mousse Small Frosted Cakes Assortment of Wafers. Macaroons,
Nut Bars. etc.
Coffee Iced Fruit Punch
Chicken and Almond Molds Chilled Asjiaragus on Tomato Slices Buttered Finger Rolls Cream Cheese and Pineapple Sandwiches Cucumber Canapés Gherkins
Green and Ripe Olives Small Celery Curls Peanut Brittle Ice Cream or
Ic Cream and Pineapple Ice Molded Together
Mocha Squares Assorted Small Cakes Wedding Cake
Salted Nuts Bonbons
Coffee Fruit Punch
lx/¿ to 8 Cupfuls of shrimps % Cupful of thinly sliced pickled pearl onions 1 % Cupfuls of capers 1}4 Cupfuls of thinly sliced sweet pickles
Rinse the shrimps in cold water, remove the black streak, break into pieces, combine with the French dressing and chill for two or three hours. Combine with the prepared pickles and onions and the capers. Moisten with a little mayonnaise and serve on a bed of crisp lettuce on a large platter, garnished with sections of lemon, slices of hard-cooked egg and crisp parsley. Serve additional mayonnaise in a bowl. Twenty-five to thirty servings.
Chicken and Almond Mold
8 Tablespoon fuis of gelatine
1 Cupful of cold chicken stock
2 Cupfuls of boiling chicken
3 Tablespoonfuls of lemon
2 Cupfuls of mayonnaise 2 Cupfuls of whipping cream G Cupfuls of diced cooked chicken
2 Cupfuls of finely diced celery 2 Cupfuls of shredded toasted almonds
1 Cupful of diced cucumber or
Seasonings to taste iy Tablespoon fuis of chopped parsley
Soak the gelatine in the cold stock for alx>ut ten minutes. Add the boiling stock and stir until dissolved. Cool and add the lemon juice and the mayonnaise. When the mixture lx*gins to thicken, fold in the cream, which has been whipped until stiff. Combine the chicken, celery, almonds, cucumber or pineapple seasonings and iwrsley, and fold into the gelatine mixture. Turn into large wet molds and chill until firm and cold. Serve on a bed of lettuce with additional mayonnaise and a garnish of ripe olives. Twenty-five to thirty servings.
2 Quarts of hulled ripe straw-
Juice of three lemons
4 Cupfuls of sugar 2 Quarts of water
Wash and hull the berries, crush and add the lemon juice. Combine the sugar and the water, heat to boiling, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and boil for ten minutes. When cold, add to the crushed berries and freeze, using eight measures of ice to one measure of salt Serves twenty to twentyfour people.
Spring Salad Sandwiches
1y Cupfuls of very finely diced cucumbers
y Cupful pi grater! raw carrot Y¿ Cupful of very finely chopped celery
y¿ Cupful of paper thin radish slices
iy Cupfuls of very finely
shredded and chopped cabbage
1 Teaspoonful of grated onion Mayonnaise
Prepare the vegetables as directed, being very particular to have them very fine. Toss lightly together and add mayonnaise to moisten. Spread between thin slices of buttered bread and cut in attractive shapes.
Peanut Brittle Ice Cream
2 Cupfuls of peanut brittle
2 Quarts of thin cream
1 Cupful of sugar y Teaspoonful of salt 1 y Tablespoonfuls of vanilla
Crush the peanut brittle very fine, using a rolling pin. Combine the cream, sugar, salt and vanilla, stir until the sugar is dissolved and turn into a freezer. Freeze, using eight parts of ice to one part of rock salt, until the mixture is of the consistency of mush. Open the freezer, add the crushed peanut brittle and mix well. Freeze until stiff and pack in four parts of ice to one part of salt until needed. Twenty-two to twenty-eight people.
y Cupful of shortening 1 Cupful of suga 4 Eggs
1 Cupful of sifted pastry flour
1 Teaspoon ful of baking powder Pinch of salt
y¿ Teaspoonful of vanilla y Cupful of guava or currant jelly
Cream the shortening until very light, add the sugar and continue creaming until the mass is light and fluffy. Add the unbeaten eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after the addition of each one. Measure the sifted flour and sift again with the baking powder and salt. Add to the first mixture and beat until smooth. Bake in a shallow greased pan about ten by sixteen inches in a moderate oven—350 degrees Fahr.—for twenty to thirty minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then invert on a cake rack until the cake falls from the pan. With a long sharp knife, split the cake into two layers and cover the lower half with the jelly which has been beaten
until of the consistency of thick syrup. Replace the upper half and ice the top with a butter icing. Cut in small triangular-shaped pieces, and garnish the top with half of a pecan nut. Or cut the cake with fancy cutters, ice the top and sides with thin butter icing, which may be tinted with vegetable coloring in a variety of pastel shades Garnish as desired with candied fruits, nut meats, cocoanut. plain, toasted or tinted, tiny candies, or chocolate shot.
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