Produced by Janet Kegg, Josephine Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
Made Easy Series
Acknowledgment is made to Woman's Home Companion, The Ladies' Home Journal, Farm and Fireside, and the Designer for their courteous permission to reprint certain material in this book.
SUMMER WEDDING DECORATIONS
THE TABLE DECORATIONS
MENUS FOR THE BUFFET LUNCHEON
TWO SUMMER WEDDINGS
A Wild Rose Wedding
A Field Flower Wedding
An Orchard Pageant
A Wedding on the Lawn
A Blue and Gold Fall Wedding
Oak Leaves and Cosmos
THREE WINTER WEDDINGS
A Christmas Wedding
A Rainbow Wedding
A Colonial Wedding
It is fun to entertain—if you don't make hard work of it.
And why make hard work of it when there are ways to entertain easily?
Besides you know that the more easily you do it, the more successful you'll be, and there's hardly a woman in the world—is there?—who wouldn't like to be known as a good hostess.
"But," says one of you, "I haven't the knack."
And another says, "I haven't the time or money."
And yet another, "Oh, I never have any ideas."
It's not a question of knack or money or ideas. All you need is to know the secret, and it's an open secret at that!
First, ask yourself what you mean by a successful hostess. Your answer will be, "One whose guests have so good a time that they want to come again."
Sure enough! The secret is out then—entertaining successfully is giving the guests a good time.
"More easily said than done," you say. "What must I do to give the guests a good time?"
And the answer to that is in a nutshell. "Make your entertainment fit the folks to be entertained."
You wouldn't, for instance, think of inviting your grandmother's friends in of an afternoon in honor of the old lady's birthday and playing stagecoach or blindman's buff.
And if you have your Sunday School class of lively boys in for the evening, you won't expect them to play paper and pencil games from eight to ten.
It's really just a matter of common sense coupled with some imagination and forethought to choose the right kind of entertainment.
Along with choosing the right variety of amusement, remember that folks generally like the simple things best and if there's a touch of originality in addition, you've won their hearts. For you see you've made them feel that you took the trouble to plan something "different" in their honor.
Because it's different, it isn't necessarily hard to prepare—there are lots of novelties in decoration, amusement and "eats" that are perfectly simple and inexpensive. They are what help to make entertaining easy, in fact. And just at this point you see comes in the reason for the writing of this little book.
It aims to make entertaining easy by suggesting plans that are simple and a little out-of-the-ordinary to fit the most frequent occasions when you wish to entertain or perhaps must do so. Special care has been taken to consider time and expense, but at the same time to bring in a touch of the unusual.
Don't miss the fun of entertaining because you've always thought it hard work! This book has been prepared to show you how easily, after all, it can be done. And may you have the reward of joy and satisfaction that comes with successful hospitality!
Perhaps you're appointed chairman of the social committee of your young people's church society of or some club. Or maybe you want to entertain for a friend who is visiting you so that she may meet your circle of friends. Anyway it's up to you to plan an evening's amusement for a big crowd of people. If it's a mixed crowd—young and old and in-between (as church socials often are)—you need one kind of plan; if it's a bunch of young folks, or a school class party, or something for the children, you need other plans.
But the secret of all good times for big crowds is to choose entertainment that draws the individuals together in some kind of comradeship, gives them all something in common, and puts them on a friendly footing.
On the door of the parish house as well as in the post-office window appeared a poster adorned with a big smiling face—the kind made by drawing a circle and putting inside of it two eye dots, a nose line, and a cheerful curve for a mouth.
Beneath it the invitation urged everybody to come to a Smiles Social, wearing a smile and bringing an extra one in the pocket. Admission, one smile.
The parish house parlors were decorated with all the laughing or smiling pictures that could be found by the committee in charge. "Mona Lisa" was there with her inscrutable smile, "The Laughing Cavalier," as well as less famous characters, such as smiling girls on calendars and magazine covers. An amusing display of newspaper cartoons also filled one portion of the wall space. Smilax was appropriately enough used for trimming.
At the door was stationed a smiling admission collector, who insisted on an entering smile from everyone. The extra one was not demanded at this point.
With such a beginning and the gallery of smiles about the room to break the ice, the social was assured of the success that followed.
The first stunt tried was called "Throwing Smiles," not a new amusement but always a fun-maker.
One person starts the game by smiling broadly and then pretending to wipe off the smile and throw it to somebody else. As soon as it lands on the next person's face, that person must in turn wipe it off and fling it at a third player. As soon as a smile is supposedly wiped off, the owner of it must maintain a perfectly sober expression.
The company was in screams of laughter before this game had gone very far.
Another amusing game for a large number which goes under various names was called on this occasion "The Smile Factory." The company is divided into two groups which line up opposite each other. Someone is appointed to stand between the two lines with a man's soft hat in hand. If upon being tossed in the air, the hat lands right side up, one group has to laugh while the opposite one remains absolutely sober. When the hat lands upside down, the first group remains solemn and the other group laughs. A member of either side who fails to follow this rule goes over to the opposite side. The side which wins all the members of the other side is announced victorious.
The old-fashioned game of "Poor Pussy" was also played because the point of it is trying not to smile. The younger folk will enjoy it. You may remember that a ring is formed and the person within the ring who is "it," kneels before someone in the circle and mews or purrs appealingly three times successively. Each time the person confronted must answer sternly or calmly "Poor Pussy," never smiling. In case of a smile or a laugh, this person takes the place of "Poor Pussy."
Midway of the evening the extra smiles brought to the social were asked for. Jokes and funny rhymes or sayings were read in turn. If various persons dislike the publicity of such a procedure, all the "smiles" may be collected and presented by two or three clever persons in the form of a minstrel show. This can be called "Smiles in Black and White."
The popular song "Smiles" was in order as well as the older favorite,"
Pack up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile."
The following conundrum was also propounded: What is the longest word in the English language? The answer is "Smiles" because there's a mile between the first and last syllables.
Humorous recitations and others relating to smiles were given by some good readers.
Just before the refreshments came a smile-measuring contest. All stood in line and grinned broadly while a girl with a tape measure took account of each one in turn. The winner received as a prize a grinning little china darky.
The refreshments were enough to make everyone smile—they consisted of pink lemonade and ginger cookies with features marked on them in white icing. The most conspicuous feature was of course the grin.
Try this plan for recruiting attendance at your next church social. It would also "fill the bill" for a jolly midwinter school party. The invitations are made to look like tickets of admission; the men's of red pasteboard and the girls' of blue. They read this way:
To an Aviation Meet
In the —— Church parlors
February 21 8 o'clock
Each member who receives a ticket must make a point of inviting somebody else, and should conduct the guest personally to the social.
The hall or assembly rooms may be decorated with American and Allied colors, and it would be appropriate and effective to suspend in each window a trio of toy balloons, red, white, and blue in color, respectively. Miniature airplanes hung overhead at intervals down the length of the room would add realism.
In different places on the walls fasten conspicuously large posters boldly lettered with the program of events, as follows:
3. STUNTS AND TRICKS:
Loop the loop
To promote fun, put up a few placards featuring certain well-known members in some of the events. For instance:
"See Charlie Hays loop the loop!"
"Mildred Brown's control is wonderful!"
A good leader can make this program go off well by calling on volunteers for the various contests. Sometimes people like better to take part in teams.
The first test, which is called "ground work," is a hopping stunt. The contestants hop on one foot to a given goal, and the one who does it most easily and gracefully and holds out best is declared victorious by the judges. Blue ribbon badges are pinned on the successful persons.
Next comes "control," which turns out to be facial control under difficulties. No matter what the funny, teasing, or pseudo-insulting remarks or performances of the onlookers, the contestants must retain calm and unmoved expressions as they stand in line.
"Balance" proves who best can poise an apple on the head and walk across the room. All the "balancers" start at the same moment, and the first successful ones are awarded the blue ribbon. Balancing peanuts on a knife blade and carrying them thus from one end of the room to the other is another way to execute the test.
When it is time for "flights" everybody is handed a paper aviation cap to put on. Then paper and pencils are passed and all are invited to take flights of fancy. These, it may be explained, may be rhymes, romances, or the biggest lies that can be recalled. A flight of oratory may also be offered. A committee of three appointed on the spot promises to report on the winners at the close of the evening. If preferred, a program of poems and short, comic, exaggerated stories may be prepared beforehand, and fill in this space with apparent impromptu.
The stunts and tricks follow in detail:
1. Hands Up. Only one person knows the stunt and she quite mystifies everyone who presents himself and obeys her, till some one guesses the secret or she finally tells it.
She begins by ordering her student on trial to raise one hand and keep the other at his side while her own back is turned. Upon turning around she is able to specify the hand which was raised. The secret is, of course, that the hand which hangs at the side, because of its position, becomes redder than the raised hand. At a glance she notes the difference in color and so knows which hand has been raised.
2. Spiral. This is a good mixer. All are asked to form in line, one behind another, each one's hands on the shoulders of the person ahead. The leader then starts the line winding around and round the room into a spiral and then unwinding it—the well-known gymnasium class stunt which carried through in a sprightly way is bound to make everybody feel better acquainted.
3. Reverse Speed. Any number line up for a backward race. They go as fast as they can backward to an appointed goal.
4. Low Speed. Any number may enter. This is a "slow" race, that is to say, all contestants progress as slowly as possible to a certain goal.
5. Spin. A supply of children's tops is provided and the ability to spin them properly is demonstrated. A few musical tops among them will add to the hilarity.
6. Nose Dives. This is a stunt which will probably appeal most to the boys or the more adventurous girls. It consists of pushing apples or peanuts along given chalk marks on table or floor by means of the nose only.
7. Loop the Loop. To those who know how to tie different kinds of knots, the announcement of this contest gives a chance to show what they can do.
The "air races" are of two sorts: the "hot air" race and the balloon race. In the "hot air" race the contestants are timed as to the number of words each can say in three minutes with the eyes shut. For the balloon race several strings are stretched from one side of the room to the other, and the same number of toy balloons is supplied. The object is for the contestants to blow their respective balloons across the room, following as nearly as possible the courses of string. The choice of different colored balloons makes for interest and consequent "rooting."
The arrival of the air mail is heralded by the entrance of someone dressed in aviator's garments—warm helmet, goggles, gloves and all—carrying a mail sack (if real, a new one: but an imitation one suffices).
The aviator then proceeds to take out numerous packets which he hands to the guests as far as they go. There should be at least half as many packages as persons present. Each bundle is marked
"Owner unknown. Find another to share this."
The explanation is that each recipient of a parcel must immediately seek a partner and, upon doing so, open the parcel. Enough sandwiches for two are revealed. Meanwhile, hot coffee or chocolate is being passed by pretty waitresses with Japanese fans stuck in their hair airplane-wise.
The evening may end with a "musical flight," or, in other words, a rousing "sing."
For one boy who wanted to entertain a few of the fellows who had been in camp with him, his hospitable sister planned a jolly supper party which undoubtedly owed its success to its "homeiness." Certainly its friendly informality accomplished much more than any large outlay in money could have done. There were to be half a dozen boys, so five other girls were invited to make an equal number of girls and men.
To begin with, the hostess passed around to the girls slips of paper and duplicate slips to the men.
Each slip contained the name of some article of food for supper and the man and girl who drew duplicate slips were thus delegated to prepare that particular dish together.
When all had matched up partners they repaired to the kitchen, a big old-fashioned room with plenty of space for all of them. The hostess and her partner did no cooking, but announced that they would manage this cafeteria.
While all the others were in the kitchen, they arranged on a side table in the dining-room stacks of tin trays, knives, forks, spoons, and paper napkins. Over it they posted a bulletin board in good imitation of a real cafeteria. There were listed on it the five dishes which were being prepared and as a joke a number of others—quite impossible to cook at such a time, as roast beef, mince pie, frozen pudding—all of which were then heavily crossed off in black ink.
When the cooks had finished their tasks (and the cheerful uproar that accompanied their occupations may be easily imagined) the food was arranged on a long kitchen table. Thereupon each person, after possessing him or herself of a tray and the required silver and scanning the menu posted, passed on and pretended to select from the counter. In reality, of course, everyone took everything, and received a check from the hostess with a punch against some "stunt" written on it.
The menu as prepared read as follows:
Chocolate pudding with whipped cream
Tea or coffee
Two tables were left bare in the dining-room and the company chose seats where they wished.
A great deal of additional fun was gained upon finding that someone
had surreptitiously set up a placard on one of the tables reading
"Reserved for Ladies." Over the cold water faucet was a sign reading
"Water" and glasses were grouped near it.
After supper the various stunts registered on the checks and some rollicking songs filled the remainder of a merry evening in which there had been absolutely no chance for stiffness from beginning to end.
These were some of the stunts:
For the Men
1. Show in five different ways how reveille affected your friends.
2. Give an imitation of a lady and her pet "Peke."
3. Go around the room without touching your feet to the floor.
4. Do a ballet act.
5. Dig a trench (in pantomime).
6. Sing a Mother Goose rhyme through your nose.
For the Girls
1. Give a military salute to every man in the room in turn.
2. Choose a partner to walk around the "chimney" with you ten times.
3. Count to fifty, substituting the words "Oh, fudge!" for fives and every multiple of five.
4. Pretend to eat a bunch of grapes.
5. Represent your favorite movie actress till the others guess her correctly.
6. Flirt in three different ways.
A group of high school friends, a social club of boys and girls, or a church society of young people will enjoy giving the following party in March.
Send out invitations written on cards reading as follows:
March is the month of all the year
When lamb and lion do appear,
When pussy willow comes anew
And March hare scampers into view.
If you would meet these creatures four
And maybe several others more,
Then come prepared for work and play
To Grangers' hall, March first, the day.
On the invitation cards, tiny hares, lions, lambs, or sprays of pussy willows can be outlined or traced by means of carbon paper from pictures.
The guests upon arrival draw from a basket containing tiny toy or cracker lions, lambs, rabbits and cats, whichever kind of favor they wish.
According to the favor each one draws, the guests take their places respectively at the March hare table, the lion table, the lamb table, or the pussy willow table. Each table is marked by a distinguishing centerpiece: at the March hare table is a plaster rabbit, at the lion table, a toy lion; the lamb table has a woolly lamb on wheels, and the pussy willow table, a bunch of pussy willows or a stuffed cat.
The fun is now ready to begin, for with the implements and materials provided at each table the guests are required to produce a facsimile of the animal for which the table is named. Different materials are provided at each table, so there is no monotony, as the guests progress from table to table after half an hour's stay at each one in turn.
Modeling clay is the medium in which the March hares are to be done, and no implements except fingers are supposed to be used, though if a boy slyly makes use of his jack-knife, there are no embarrassing questions asked.
The lions are to be carved from potatoes with the aid of little kitchen vegetable knives, and the lambs are to be fashioned from cotton wool, matches, and mucilage.
At the pussy willow table the guests must show how expert they can be at cutting cats, free hand, from flannel. Beads for eyes, and floss and bristles for whiskers, are also furnished.
Prizes are given for the best and the worst specimen at each table.
A rabbit's foot charm, a small reproduction of the Barye lion, or the well-known Perry picture of a lion, a Dresden-china lamb or shepherdess, and a pussy-cat plate, pincushion, or paper weight are suggestions for first prizes, and four little tin horns painted green may be given as booby prizes to the four "greenhorns" who have the worst showing.
In the fall, after school has opened, some class often likes to give a reception to the entering class. An autumn leaf dance in October is the prettiest kind of one to have.
Decorate the school hall with branches of scarlet and yellow maple leaves, or deep red and russet oak boughs.
For the dance programs make covers from water-color paper cut and painted to look like oak or maple leaves. The inside pages can be of thin white paper in the same shape. Attach little red pencils.
Plan one autumn leaf dance in which each girl receives a wreath of autumn leaves from her partner. For refreshments have orange or raspberry ice with vanilla ice-cream, and serve it on plates covered with leaf-shaped paper doilies.
A "RED EAR" party is what they called it in the invitations. It was the opening party of the year in the high school and the seniors planned it.
The cards they sent out said:
Oh, this time o' the year
You'll recall the red ear
(It will never go out o' date);
So the members of "twenty"
Have planned fun a-plenty
At a regular Harvest Home fête—
The school hall was delightfully decorated emphasizing the autumn colors. Bright tawny leaves banked the platform where the orchestra sat, and along the side walls globes of red and orange balloons glowed among the soft tans and browns of cornstalks. From the ceiling, myriads of red and orange paper lanterns swayed brilliantly.
The dance programs were "red ears" cut from cardboard, and tiny red pencils dangled from them. Some of the names of the dances to excite curiosity were:
The Corn Stalk
The Scarecrow Skitter
Pumpkin Pie Walk
Red Ear Dance
Harvest Home Revue
The Corn Stalk was in the nature of a grand march—everybody "stalking stiffly" round and round in time to the music, which ended in a rollicking one-step.
Then followed the Scarecrow Skitter. A dilapidated old cornfield character in all the crudity of flapping black was brought in and established in the center of the floor. In his shabby hat fluttered a handful of rusty crow feathers, and the feature of the dance was for each boy to secure one of them in passing for his partner. The poor old fellow was nearly torn to bits in the process.
The Farmerettes Fancy was another name for "ladies choice." All the girls were given tiny toy rakes, hoes, spades, or other farm implements which they used as favors in choosing partners.
For the Popcorn Waltz, the favors were popcorn chains for the boys to hang around their partners' necks. There was a temptation to devour these adornments as well as to use them for decorative purposes, and on the whole they were a source of much fun.
The orchestra at intervals in this dance made use of some contrivance which sounded like corn popping briskly over the fire.
A shower of snowy white confetti from the balcony still further emphasized the popcorn idea.
In the Orchard One-step the boys were asked to pick peaches. The girls stood behind a high screen and thrust their right hands above it. The boys reached up, touched the "peaches" they chose and thereupon the girls thus designated one-stepped away with their partners.
Instead of a cake walk, a Pumpkin Pie Walk was announced. The contestants could indulge in just as crazy, funny or pretty dance steps as they liked. The reward to the most original, entertaining and clever couple was a big pumpkin pie.
Then came the Red Ear Dance. Everybody was blindfolded and asked to pick an ear of corn from a big basket. When vision was restored the girl holding the red ear (an ordinary ear with a red crepe paper wrapping) was acclaimed queen of the carnival, and was presented with a bouquet of red roses. During the dance a red glow by means of special lighting arrangements filled the hall.
The Harvest Home Dance came just before supper, and lived up to its name, in that paper costume caps designating fruits and vegetables were given out and worn, so that the whole room seemed to be filled with the "harvest."
Tomato, carrot, corn, apple, wheat, squashes, grapes, popcorn, watermelon and blackberry were all represented.
The supper dance occurred midway in the evening, and the other novelty dances described were interspersed before and after it.
The supper consisted merely of peach ice cream with sugared popcorn on top, served on grape leaves, nut macaroons, tiny pumpkin tarts and fruit punch.
Tomato: Turkey red crepe paper or cotton skull cap with pointed green paper calyx and green upstanding stem of wire covered over with paper or cloth.
Carrot: Orange crepe paper or cloth conical cap. This may be made on heavy paper or cardboard foundation. Characteristic lines may be marked on the carrot.
Corn: Green paper or cloth toboggan cap falling gracefully to one side With a long green or gold-colored silk tassel.
Apple: Little round bowl-like cap of glossy red paper with a brown stem of paper-covered wire.
Wheat: A wreath of natural or artificial wheat ears.
Squash: Cardboard or stiff paper cut to make a "crook neck" effect, covered with yellow paper.
Grapes: A graceful floppy green hat of straw or paper with a crown entirely made of artificial or real grape bunches—blue or purple as desired.—A filet of green ribbon with a real or artificial bunch of grapes depending on each side to hang over the ears.
Popcorn: A close-fitting little toque covered with tiny pieces of cotton batting to resemble popped corn.
Watermelon: A crescent-shaped hat to be worn broadside suggesting a slice of watermelon from green paper border (fitting on hair) to pink center dotted with tiny bits of black court plaster to suggest seeds.
Blackberry: Close-fitting little black quilted or puffed bonnet to tie under chin.
A girl who wanted to give an inexpensive jolly little party in honor of a visiting friend in October issued invitations to a nut gathering.
At the top of each correspondence card which served as an invitation, she glued half an almond shell upon which a face was marked in ink. Below this nut head the rest of the figure was drawn in ink on the card, and the inscription read:
Pretend you're a squirrel for once
And join my nut-gathering stunts,
Friday, October the eleventh
at half-past eight.
The first amusement of the evening was introduced by suspending from the chandelier in the center of the room a cocoanut decorated with a comical face and a pointed paper cap perched on top.
Each person from a distance of ten feet was allowed three throws at this cap with a little light rubber ball, the object being to knock Mr. Cocoanut's cap off. The best marksman won a prize.
This first nut stunt caused so much fun that no one wanted to be lured away to a Nut Exhibit. Ten varieties of nuts were represented by pictures or objects and little slips of paper and pencil were distributed for recording guesses.
The display was as follows:
1. A bit of butter on a plate
2. A stout, old-fashioned stick
3. A can of canned peas with indicating label
4. A single pea
5. A map of South America with the outlines of Brazil especially prominent
6. A picture of typical English stone or brick wall
7. A can or cup of cocoa
8. A photograph of Hazel Dawn, the movie star
9. A beetle specimen (dead or alive)
10. Three ears of corn arranged to form the letter A
2. Hickory nut
3. Pecan nut
5. Brazil nut
6. English walnut
8. Hazel nut
9. Betel nut
The winner of this contest also had a prize. Of course a nut party would hardly be complete without a peanut hunt and there was also a peanut race in which the object was to transfer the peanuts from one end of the room to another on the blade of a table knife.
In still another peanut contest the object was to pitch ten peanuts into a narrow-necked jar at a distance of about twelve feet.
To choose partners for refreshments a basket of English walnuts was passed, each little nut with a painted face and a paper cap of some sort. Blue sailor caps, soldier caps, Red Cross nurse head-dresses, Scotch Tam o' Shanters, babies' bonnets, girls' gay garden hats, were all represented. There were only two of a kind, and the two individuals who selected them were of course partners.
In addition each nut proved to be only a hollow nut shell; in one was a conundrum, in its mate the answer.
The refreshments were nut-bread sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, hot cocoa, cocoanut macaroons, vanilla ice-cream with chocolate nut sauce, and peanut brittle.
One teacher planned a very happy May party for her little boy and girl pupils. There was no chance to set up a big May pole out-of-doors for the children to wind, but her idea turned out to be more original and maybe even more jolly.
There were eighteen children included in the party, which was held in the park. On arriving, each child was given a little peaked paper cap of bright colored tissue paper. The boys liked these as well as the girls did, although they found them harder to keep in place on their heads. As soon as the children had donned their caps, three of the tallest children were appointed to "help teacher." This helping consisted in marching proudly out from behind a screen of bushes, carrying three gay little May poles, decked with flowers and colored paper streamers. They had been made by swinging a barrel hoop from a broomstick handle, by means of a number of ribbon-like strips of cloth. Of course the hoops were wound with the cloth, and besides that were trimmed with apple blossoms and lilacs.
From the rim of each hoop the cloth strips hung straight down for two or three feet. The colors on the May pole matched the colored caps that the children wore.
There proved to be just fifteen streamer, and each child was allowed to pick out a streamer to correspond with the color of the cap worn. Thus a little girl with a pink cap would pick out a pink streamer; a little boy with a green cap, a green streamer, and so on. The children who held the May poles were then asked to stand at some distance apart out in the open space of the park, and each little group of five danced round and round, and back and forth, holding and twisting their colored streamers.
Somehow this amused them almost all the long spring afternoon. Different children took turns holding the May poles and sometimes they would even form a procession and hippity-hop around the park. They paraded down Main Street for a little way, but came back to the park in time to play "Drop the Handkerchief," "Hide and Seek," and "Tag," before refreshments were served.
They were perfectly delighted, of course, with strawberry lemonade, brown bread sandwiches, and little frosted cup cakes, which their teacher's mother had made and on which she had outlined in pink candies the individual initials of the children.
Out-of-door entertaining is perhaps the easiest kind of all—if you live in the country or the near-country. Anything elaborate in the arrangements would be quite out of keeping and there's something about being outdoors that takes away constraint. That's probably why outdoor parties, because they are simple and natural, bring people together in a spirit of good fellowship and are certain of success.
Children especially love them and young people always find an evening garden party entrancing.
One of the jolliest kinds of outdoor parties is a bacon bat. It may be a breakfast or a luncheon or a supper, but there is always bacon and an open fire.
Now that automobiles are so abundant, the possibilities for motor picnics and progressive motor parties are many and various.
A girl who lived in the country and had some city friends visiting her gave them the time of their lives at a bacon bat. She telephoned around to some of the young people and invited them to appear about five o'clock in picnic clothes. The hike wouldn't be long, she announced.
At the specified time a jolly bunch assembled to squabble good-naturedly over the various packages and bundles assigned to them to be carried. Under the hostess's direction they betook themselves via footpath and trail to a stone-walled pasture spicy with sweet fern.
Long toasting switches were readily cut by the boys from the trees in the vicinity and wood was collected for two fires. Over one the coffee was set to boil, and over the other the young folks proceeded to toast bacon. Rolls were provided in which to insert the crisp juicy morsels after toasting, and each person ate his or her own bacon sandwiches broiling hot without further ceremony.
Cucumber pickles and mustard proved popular accompaniments and the coffee was appreciated—drunk from tin cups.
There followed some huckleberry turnovers and homemade cookies, but on top of the bacon and rolls they were almost superfluous.
Instead of bacon, chops, steak, or Frankfurters may be roasted, as well as corn in season, but bacon is the least messy to eat.
Following the supper came stories and songs around the bonfire till late in the evening. The city guests enjoyed it all because to them it was so great a novelty. For the hostess it was a much easier way to introduce her guests to her friends than a more formal affair would have been.
A bacon bat is especially fun in spring or fall, but is also very enjoyable on the beach in summer vacation time.
A marshmallow roast in the evening is first cousin to a bacon bat.
Let the children make the invitations they send out for their own daisy party. On heavy water color paper they may draw and cut out simple outlines of daisies—about ten petals around a center which is then colored yellow with crayons. Each petal may hold one or two words of the invitation, thus: Will—you—come—to—our—daisy—party—on—Saturday—at—three?—Betty and John.
Of course there should be some outdoor games, and a good one to play is "Daisy in the Dell." For this the children form in a circle, joining hands, and one is chosen to be daisy-picker. The daisy-picker runs around the outside of the circle, chanting:
"Daisy in the Dell, Daisy in the Dell, I don't pick you, I don't pick you, I do pick you."
The child whom the daisy-picker touches upon reaching, the last word must try to run entirely around the circle and back to his place before the daisy-picker catches him. If he succeeds, he need not be "it"; but if he is caught, he must be the daisy-picker.
"Are You a Daisy?" is another jolly game. The players stand in a line facing one child, who is chosen to be "it." This child asks each one in turn the question, "Are you a daisy?" Each child answers by naming the flower he chooses to be. Thus one may say, "I am a rose"; another, "I am a pansy." If any child chooses to say, "I am a daisy," he is immediately chased by the questioner, and if caught, he must take the place of the questioner. The game then proceeds as before. One rule is that a child must not repeat the name of a flower that another child has given.
A game that is based on the Mother Goose rhyme, "Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief," etc., is called "Rich Man, Poor Man." One child is chosen to whisper to each of the players some word of the rhyme. The named children then stand in a circle, and another child who is "it" may call for any character in the rhyme that he wishes; the child who has been given that name must respond by saying "Here," and then running away. For instance, the one who is "it" may call for "lawyer," and the child to whom that name has been whispered calls out "Here," and is immediately chased by the leader. If he is caught within a reasonable length of time, he is "it," and the former leader drops out. This should be played until only two are left.
The refreshments carry out the daisy idea, and should be served outdoors, either on the piazza or on the lawn. The centerpiece at the supper-table is a big bunch of daisies, and each child has a place-card on which is painted or drawn a daisy face, the petals forming a cap frill. The sandwiches are bread and butter, and some "good-to-eat" daisies can be made from hard-boiled eggs, by cutting the whites petal-shaped, and by mixing the yellow with salad mayonnaise to form the centers. Marguerites and little cakes frosted in yellow and white may be served with vanilla ice cream.
One woman entertained her club at their last meeting of the year with a little porch luncheon. Hawaii had been one of the subjects of study, so the Hawaiian note was dominant throughout.
Each guest was welcomed with a lei, the Hawaiian paper flower garland which signifies friendship. Hung about the neck, these decorations excited much fun.
The Hawaiian features of the refreshments were Hawaiian pineapple salad and little imitation volcanoes which were in reality cones of vanilla ice-cream in the center of which holes had been scooped and then filled with hot caramel sauce, which of course overflowed the sides in true lava fashion.
The favors were tiny dolls, each dressed in a short bright-fringed paper skirt, orange, green, blue or pink, to match the color of the lei which each lady had already received as a souvenir.
During the luncheon the hostess played several Hawaiian musical selections on her phonograph. If any of her friends had owned or played a ukelele, doubtless the plaintive music would have been a feature.
When watermelons were ripe and plentiful, big pink posters cut oval with a painted border of green and black lettering on the pink startled the village with the notice of a watermelon frolic.
Do you like watermelon?
Be sure to come to a watermelon party
on the local fairgrounds
next Tuesday evening
Admission 25 cents
This entitles you to see the minstrel show
Proceeds for the Epworth League
of —— Church
Long plank tables on wooden horses were improvised for serving the watermelons which were contributed by the members of the society. Some of the men acted as carvers of the melons, and the girls served the portions, which were sold for ten cents each.
The grounds were lighted with strings of electric lights in pink and green paper lanterns.
Besides the main attraction there were several booths and side shows, arranged country fair fashion, which drew well. One was labeled THE WATERMELON PATCH. For this, real watermelon vines had been obtained from somebody's garden and placed naturally on the ground. To the vines were tied any number of artificial melons made of green paper stuffed with cotton wadding which concealed tiny favors.
On payment of ten cents any person had the privilege of picking a melon. The prize inside was supposed to be worth the fee.
At another booth, "watermelon cake" was served at five cents a slice. The secret of this was that in making a plain cake the batter had been colored with pink sugar and sprinkled with raisins. The cake was then baked in a round tin and when sliced resembled the pink of watermelon filled with black seeds.
As it was sweet corn season, and as corn is also typical of the South, there was a hot corn vender, who sold steaming ears straight from kettle to buyer.
One feature of the evening was a watermelon contest among the boys. Volunteers were called for and lined up at a table. They were then supplied with large wedges of melon and at the sound of the referee's whistle the race began.
The prize was a whole watermelon.
There was also a watermelon hurdle race. The course was laid out with big watermelons and time was kept for each hurdler.
The main attraction of the evening, however, was the minstrel show. On a raised wooden platform sat the performers with blackened hands and faces. They wore grotesque garb and each one fingered a guitar, mandolin, or banjo.
First they gave a number of well-known Southern melodies such as Old Black Joe, Swanee Riber, Dixie, Massa's in de Cold, Cold Ground. Some whistling numbers were much appreciated and My Alabama Coon, with its humming and strumming, proved a great success. As a special item of their musical program they sang a parody of Apple Blossom Time called It's Watermelon Time in Dixie.
The watermelon frolic was a great success and is recommended to any organization in town or country at watermelon time as a fun—and funds—producing social.
"When It's Watermelon Time in Dixie"
"When It's Apple Blossom Time in
(Sing with appropriate motions)
When it's watermelon time in Dixie Land
Ah wants to be
Right dher you see
In dat dear old melon patch
To eat a batch!
When it's watermelon time in Dixie Land
Dat's de time of all de year
When Ah grin with cheer from ear to ear
Watermelon's jes' GRAND!!!
[Footnote 1: Sway heads and bodies]
[Footnote 2: Jerk thumbs backward over shoulder]
[Footnote 3: Grin broadly—stretch hands from corners of mouth to ears.]
A girl who wished to entertain for a visiting school friend one evening in midsummer sent out invitations to a Japanese Garden Party. She wrote them on the pretty little hand-decorated place-cards which are to be found in most shops now. The Japanese writing paper which comes in rolls is another possibility for them.
She had a wide porch and a big lawn which she decorated for the occasion with strings of pink, yellow and green Japanese lanterns with electric bulbs inside. Settees and wicker chairs were scattered in cosy groups through the shrubbery, and there was a faint odor of burning incense.
For entertainment there was dancing on the porch to the tune of a phonograph and a program of Japanese music, including some selections from "Butterfly" and "The Mikado."
A clever reader gave one of the Hashimura Togo stories, and also the hostess had arranged some artistic tableaux in Japanese fashion.
When it was refreshment time, cunning little girl friends of the hostess appeared in Japanese kimonos, hair done high and stuck full of tiny fans or flowers. They bore Japanese lacquer trays with tiny sandwiches (filled with preserved ginger), cherry ice and rice wafers. A wee Japanese flag was stuck in each portion of cherry ice.
The favors were wee Japanese doilies which the guests were bidden to hunt for under a certain group of trees. While doing so, a sudden surprise shower of seeming cherry blossoms covered them with pink and white petals. These were really confetti petals obligingly scattered by the nimble little waitresses perched in the branches above.
Instead of giving the usual banquet and reception to the seniors, the juniors in a small school might well plan an outdoor picnic and supper. It has the possibility of being jollier than the regulation affair, and is certainly less expensive.
Individual invitations may be sent out to the senior class—quite unusual and mysterious invitations—for each one may consist of a colored feather quill with a message written on a slip of paper wrapped about the end. This reads:
Greetings from the Tribe of Twenteequas
To the Tribe of Nyneteenwas:
Will the Tribe of Nyneteenwas
Smoke the pipe of friendship
Round the camp-fire of the Twenteequas
On the sixteenth day of the Moon of Roses
One hour before waysawi (sunset)?
One of the Twenteequas will act as your guide.
As soon as the two classes have gathered at the picnic ground, the juniors, already decked in head bands of ribbon in their own class colors, may present the seniors with similar ribbons. The boys may have feathers stuck in theirs—if they don't object to head bands.
The chief of the Twenteequas may announce the first stunt as a Hunt for Game, and all must hunt in pairs, matching partners by means of selecting, blindfolded, colored beads from a basket. Pasteboard bows and arrows are supplied, and everyone is told to return at the summons of a beaten tom-tom.
The couples then scatter into the surrounding woods, and hunt for animal crackers which have previously been hidden by a committee of juniors.
The prize for the couple getting the most game might be an animal toy.
Next, volunteers to "Run the Gauntlet" may be called for. The others form in two parallel lines facing each other, armed with pieces of chalk. The victims must run down between the lines to a goal at the end, while the cruel Indians on each side reach out to put a chalk mark on them. The victim who gets the least chalk marks is permitted to select five of his tormentors to perform a series of stunts, previously planned by the junior entertainment committee.
Appropriate ones are these: 1. Give an Indian war whoop. 2. Do an Indian war dance. 3. Give Indian names to five people here. 4. Make a speech in sign language. 5. Tell an Indian story.
Supper should be eaten around a big camp-fire, and should consist of coffee cooked over the fire, nut-bread sandwiches, cold chicken and potato chips, and chocolate ice-cream under individual miniature tepees of brown paper.
Paint on each tepee in black some symbol apparently mysterious but in reality characteristic of the owner. Thus, a girl with a beautiful voice and a talent for singing may have a quaint bird on hers; an athlete, a pair of Indian clubs; a domestic science girl, a bowl and spoon or a kettle, and so on.
Redskins and Palefaces complete the menu, Palefaces being cookies with white icing and features marked in candies, and Redskins being apples.
Toasting marshmallows over the fire and singing school ditties and old favorites will end this unique party delightfully.
A group of girls who lived in the country gave a delightful farewell party for one of their number who was to move out of town to another part of the world. They called it a Progressive Rainbow.
At four o'clock one Saturday afternoon they all met at one of the homes.
The porch was decorated in a red color scheme. A row of red Japanese lanterns hung from the roof all around. Red cushions were scattered about in the chairs and on the steps, and a jar of crimson rambler roses adorned the table.
Everybody sat about and gossiped for a little while, and then fruit cocktails, to which strawberries gave the touch of red, were served.
A tray of red ribbon streamers was passed, and each girl pinned one on her blouse, as the beginning of her rainbow badge.
The guest of honor found with her favor a package tied with red tulle, which she was requested not to open till the end of the afternoon.
After this, two automobiles, owned by members of the group or their families, whisked the party along two miles of fresh country road to the home of another girl in the group.
Little tables had been set on the lawn with a bouquet of old-fashioned marigolds in the center of each one, and a toy orange balloon tied to the back of each chair by a long string. Here were served jellied orange soup in cups, and saltines.
The girls received orange-colored favor ribbons to pin next to their red ones, and the guest of honor received another prize packet, this time tied with orange tulle.
From there they all jumped again into the waiting cars and were transported to the home of a third girl for the third course.
This time it was served in the dining-room, which was decorated with yellow snapdragons. A basket of them filled the center of the table, and at each place was a scalloped shell containing deviled crab meat garnished with lemon quarters and accompanied by tartar sauce. Cubes of hot yellow cornbread were delicious with the crab.
Again the passing of the yellow ribbons to the girls and the presenting of the yellow-tied package to the guest of honor were the signals for leaving to go to the next house.
The automobiles quickly took them there, where the main course of the dinner was to be eaten. Maidenhair ferns were lovely in a green bowl on the table, and tiny wood ferns were scattered over the white tablecloth.
The menu consisted of broiled chicken, fresh green peas, small boiled potatoes with parsley, and rye rolls.
By this time the girls were getting interested in their rainbow of ribbons, to which the green was now added, and the guest of honor received her fourth package, green-tied.
Motoring to the salad course, the group found the dining-room lighted by blue candles, though the guests were begged not to feel blue. Ragged robins were arranged as a centerpiece, and fluttering blue tissue butterflies marked the places.
The salad was prunes stuffed with peanuts in hearts of lettuce, served with French dressing and Dutch cheese balls.
By the time the sixth stop was reached the sun had set and the moon was coming up, so that the girls sat on the veranda in the moon-light and sipped grape-juice ice to the music of romantic ditties. Lavender streamers were added next to the blue ones, and their badges were complete.
As they finally drove up to the last house, they were greeted by a rainbow of tulle which arched the entrance to the porch.
With their fluttering rainbow ribbon badges and the armful of rainbow packages belonging to the guest of honor, they felt very much at home with the rainbow, and the guest of honor was not even surprised to be asked to seek the pot of gold at the foot.
In the yellow pottery jar which she discovered were as many gold nuggets as there were girls, and each nugget was a little gilt-paper-wrapped joke for the trip.
The real, sure-enough farewell gifts to keep were in the packages progressively received, and there was a jolly time opening them under the rainbow.
Birthdays you particularly wish to celebrate happily and successfully. There's your mother's birthday or your brother's or your little son's or daughter's birthday or the birthday of the popular president of your special club.
Then there are the various wedding anniversaries that call for suitable recognition, especially the five, ten, and twenty-five year ones.
Besides these there are countless other events that you want to commemorate pleasantly in some way afterward. These various occasions offer fascinating possibilities for the most delightful of social affairs.
"When I was a bachelor I lived by myself
And all the bread and cheese I got, I put upon the shelf;
The rats and the mice, they made such a strife
I was forced to go to London to buy me a wife.
The streets were so broad and the lanes were so narrow
I was forced to bring my wife home in a wheelbarrow."
This old Mother Goose rhyme was the keynote of a bachelor supper which one girl gave for her brother and a few of his friends on his birthday.
The centerpiece on the table was an arrangement of bachelors' buttons and at every place was a tiny toy wheelbarrow filled with candies, a wee dressed-up dolly dame perched atop of each load.
The rhyme also furnished the reason for the first course, which was most suitably bread and cheese, only the bread was in the form of buttered rounds of toast and the cheese was a delicious Welsh rarebit, accompanied by coffee or gingerale.
Ice-cream in cantaloupes with a chocolate mouse nibbling at the rind followed, to be eaten with those most delicious of all cookies—home-made "hermits."
A pleasant way for a daughter to entertain for her mother is to give a little informal afternoon tea, asking the mother's friends and their daughters and thus making it a kind of mother and daughter affair.
Send out the invitations on your calling card, writing your mother's name at the top. If your mother likes surprises, arrange the party to be one if possible, but if she is like most mothers she will prefer to know what's going on and so be prepared.
The rooms should be decorated with flowers of the season. The country girl will find it easy in spring, summer, or fall.
During the afternoon a little program of previously arranged "mother" songs, lullabies and readings by some of the guests may agreeably interrupt the chat.
Tea, sandwiches and little cakes may be served in the dining-room from a festive birthday table. The centerpiece may be a bowl of pink roses—to match in number the years of the guest of honor. Candles from under rose-colored paper or silk shades may light the room, and if desired each guest may be presented with a miniature band-box covered with rose-sprigged paper or chintz—filled with wee pink and white candies.
When Billy's mother decided to give him a birthday party, she pounced upon the pussy cat plan, partly because pussy-willows are still flourishing in April, but mostly because she knew that kittens and cats are favorites with nine and ten year olds.
The invitations were folded kitty-cornered and inside of each appeared a fat fuzzy little gray puss taken from a real pussy-willow branch. "Puss" had pen and ink ears, whiskers and tail, and likewise a tiny red-painted fence post upon which to sit.
The first game was a good romp at "Puss-in-the-Corner." That was followed by the foolish but funny "Poor Pussy."
While the children were still in a circle for that, Billy's mother explained a new game. It was called "Kitty Kitty" and was carried out on the lines of "Spin the Platter." In every child's ear Billy whispered the name of some sort of cat, as for instance, tiger, "yaller," green-eyes, double-toes, maltese, Angora, black and white, gray.
He then occupied the center of the circle and spun a tin pieplate. As he did so he called out one of the names he had assigned and counted rapidly out loud up to ten. Thus, "Green-eyes, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten."
The child who had been given the name "green-eyes" was supposed to jump up and snatch the pie tin before Billy had finished counting to ten. If "green-eyes" failed, then he had to take Billy's place. Billy, too, of course, had a pussy cat label.
Another circle game that was fun was called "Pussy's Prowlings." It was on the order of stage-coach. Billy's mother told the story of a kitty's wanderings and before she started to tell it, she whispered to each child the name of something which was to appear in the story. For instance, she gave out "haymow," "milk dish," "mouse hole," "catnip."
Every time she mentioned any such name in the process of telling the story, the child who had it was expected to rise from his chair, turn around three times and sit down again. When the words "pussy's prowlings" were mentioned, all the players jumped up and exchanged seats. The story teller also tried to get a seat, and if she succeeded the child who was finally left without one had to continue the story.
Once there was a PUSSYCAT named BLINKY who said to herself one day, "I'm tired of MILK to drink and I'm oh, so hungry for MOUSE. I must go on a MOUSE hunt."
So BLINKY stole out of the red BRICK HOUSE where she lived very happily with the JONES FAMILY. She pattered down the back DOORSTEPS where her MILK SAUCER was set and she scampered along the winding PATH to the BARN.
(That's the way PUSSY'S PROWLINGS began.)
Up the LADDER to the HAYMOW she crept and through the heaps of sweet clover HAY to a HOLE IN THE WALL. There BLINKY knew lived a MOUSE. So she crouched close to the MOUSE HOLE, as still as still could be and watched, and she watched and she watched and she watched.
But that MOUSE must have been away from home or else very busy down in its HOLE, for it never once stuck its little NOSE out. And when BLINKY had watched there in the HAYMOW for three long, long hours, she was so hungry that she couldn't watch for that MOUSE a single minute more.
She thought of the MILK SAUCER by the back DOORSTEPS and she said to herself, "If I can't have MOUSE, MILK won't taste so bad after all."
So BLINKY made her way back through the heaps of HAY and scrambled down the LADDER to the HAYMOW and ran along the winding PATH to the back DOORSTEPS. And there, sure enough, was a SAUCER full of MILK all ready for her to drink. So BLINKY lapped it up very hungrily and was perfectly happy!
(And that's the way PUSSY'S PROWLINGS ended.)
The next game was called "Hunt the Mouse." Billy had hidden a chocolate mouse somewhere in the room and the children were asked to be kitties and try to find it. Whenever anyone came very near the hiding place, Billy miaowed loudly, or if everyone was very far from it, Billy would mew only faintly. The "kitty" who found the mouse kept it for a reward.
In another room the children had a chance to hunt for those mittens which the "naughty kittens" once lost. Many tiny red paper mittens were scattered throughout the room and were much more easily found than the mouse.
The supper table delighted the children. In the center of it sat a big stuffed toy cat surrounded by chocolate mice, and at each child's place a tiny white plush cat with the child's name on a paper tied to the neck had been placed. Such toys can usually be bought in five and ten cent stores.
Pussy-willow sprays laid flat on the tablecloth decorated the table gracefully. The napkins were the paper ones which feature black cats at Hallowe'en.
Little ramekins of creamed chicken pleased the children. With the chicken, Billy's mother served "kitty-cornered" sandwiches of brown bread filled with cream cheese and chopped nuts. There was hot cocoa too, and for the last course individual molds of chocolate blanc mange with whipped cream and a candied cherry on top. Needless to say there was a birthday cake which was brought in ablaze with candles and set before Billy to cut.
Each guest received a souvenir chocolate mouse and was ready to declare upon departure at six that the pussy cat party had been, oh, so jolly!
Once a mother gave a little birthday luncheon for her daughter who was a freshman in high school. It pleased the fourteen-year-old and her friends because of the novelty in decorations and menu.
The class colors were green and white, so that scheme was used throughout. In the center of the table was a green bowl with a few paper narcissi arranged in a flower holder, Japanese fashion.
Around each plate was a wreath of smilax—any small green vine would do perfectly well—and above each plate a tiny green candle burning in a wee holder. The place-cards were tied to the handles of the holders.
Glass dishes of lime drops and wintergreen candies added to the general green and white effect.
The menu consisted of fruit cocktail with a sprig of mint atop of each portion, followed by a second course of chicken à la King generously sprinkled with capers, and accompanied by hot rolls and olives. Then came hot chocolate with a marshmallow floating in each cup and milestone salad, which consisted of oblongs of cream cheese into which numerals cut out of green peppers were pressed. The milestones stood erect on fresh lettuce leaves and were served with French dressing.
After that a birthday cake was borne in ablaze with fourteen green tapers and set before the little hostess to cut. Great was the fun when the fortune favors, baked in the cake, were found by the guests.
Pistachio ice-cream accompanied the cake, but vanilla ice-cream or a green gelatine dessert would be equally fitting.
The favors were little green vanity bags made from ribbon by the fourteen-year-old's mother.
An informal evening party is perhaps the jolliest way to celebrate the fifth wedding anniversary.
After everybody has arrived, try a wooden smile contest. There will be any number of humorous attempts, but few will be wooden. The contestant who smiles most woodenly may receive as a prize a gaily painted wooden jumping jack or any other wooden toy.
The next amusement can be a progressive one, consisting of putting together at tables wooden puzzles of all sorts, including jig-saw puzzles.
Puzzles make good prizes for this contest. One of the carefully packed wooden boxes of candy is another possibility.
Another occupation that is appropriate and fun-making is a pea and tooth-pick contest. Wooden tooth-picks and dried peas soaked up are provided. Each person is then assigned to construct one member of a tooth-pick wedding party properly. The tooth-pick persons when finished should form in a parade down the center of the library table.
A light buffet supper or simply ice-cream and coffee may be served in the dining-room. Decorate the table with a central wooden bowl containing some simple flowers such as daisies, honeysuckles, snapdragons, nasturtiums, or whatever flowers are in season.
There may be wooden candlesticks with candles to match the color scheme and small wooden plates and bowls for candies and nuts.
Serve the ice-cream on wooden plates covered with lace paper doilies, and give as favors tiny wooden household articles such as dolls' rolling-pins, clothespins, barrels, washtubs, spinning wheels, and the like.
The tenth wedding anniversary has many possibilities for fun. An informal social evening or a dinner followed by some jolly stunts are in order.
In any case, arrange for the dining table a centerpiece of a shiny tin funnel filled with bright garden or wild flowers surrounded by a frill of lace paper to represent an old-fashioned, formal bouquet. Use tin candlesticks with bayberry candles for illumination and scatter tiny new patty pans with crinkly edges over the table to hold candies and nuts.
The salad may be served on shiny tin plates covered with lace paper doilies, the ice-cream in individual patty pans, and the coffee or punch in tin cups.
At each place put a tiny funnel bouquet, a miniature of the central one or else some tiny tin toy.
Tin whistles for everybody would promote the hilarity.
The old-fashioned game of "Spin the Platter" would be good to start the entertainment of the evening. Then may come a "tin" minute paper and pencil contest to see who can write the most words beginning or ending with TIN in the allotted ten minutes.
Ten "reel" years of married life may next be shown. This feature is simply a series of movie-like pantomimes showing humorous events, real or imaginary, in the life of the host and hostess—given, of course, by their friends.
A tin band concert will also provide a good time. Those who are in the band perform on instruments contrived from kitchen utensils or the tin noise-making novelties which can be obtained in the shops.
A mock wedding is a funny way to celebrate one of the numerous early wedding anniversaries, especially if a group of young married women friends want to join in a surprise.
The bride may be invited to a chum's house and presently the procession may appear before her.
The bride should have a cheesecloth or mosquito netting veil with dried orange peel to hold the folds in place, and she should carry a bouquet of white chicken feathers tied with white tape—the shower part can be little bows of rags.
The bridesmaids might all wear the cheapest of farmers' hats, with huge bunches of goldenrod or asters on them or else such things as little kitchen utensils sewed on the front in place of flowers. Bouquets of burdock tied with colored cretonne would be attractive for them, or possibly as a substitute for the conventional shepherds' crooks they could carry umbrellas with big bows on the handles. A third suggestion for the bridesmaids is that they carry grape baskets filled with none too choice outdoor flowers and weeds.
There should be a flower girl, of course, who can wear an abbreviated costume. Her hair should be in ringlets with a big ribbon tied around her head, and she may carry a market basket filled with scraps of paper, or flowers if you prefer, to scatter in front of the bride.
The ring bearer may carry a curtain ring on a sofa cushion.
At the ceremony, of course, you must omit all the really solemn parts, but you may let someone make up some questions for the minister to use. For instance, he may say to the mock bridegroom, "Do you promise to obey this woman?" Instead of saying, "I will" and "I do," they may say, "I wilt" and "I doth."
For a wedding breakfast, you might serve creamed codfish in heavy crockery, and follow it with helpings of cream of wheat either cold or hot, which can be served to resemble ice cream in little paper cases. There should be a wedding cake which may be only ginger-bread, and some kind of grotesque motto may be inscribed in the frosting.
A little group, girlhood friends of more than twenty-five years standing, recently planned a pleasant shower for a popular friend, the president, as it happened, of their fortnightly sewing club, on her silver wedding anniversary.
None of the ladies was rich and the gifts were planned to cost not over fifty cents each. Many of them were less than that.
Silver fittings for a work basket were chosen and included a silver needle case, a silver thimble case, a silver hem gauge, a unique tatting shuttle, a little silver ripping knife, a cunning strawberry emery with a silver hull and a wee wax cherry with a silver stem.
The gifts were wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with silver cord with a tiny shining bell inserted in the center of each knot. They were presented in a lovely sweet grass sewing basket, which in turn was wrapped and tied with silver ribbon.
This was not given, however, till the close of the afternoon's sewing, which had gone on as usual, though there was an atmosphere of ill-concealed expectation.
Simple refreshments were brought in and served in buffet style. Home-made ice-cream was passed in little ice cups which had as decorations around the rim a circlet of glittering silvery tinsel. "Silver Cake" and bonbons in silver wrappings accompanied the ice cream.
Last of all, the "shower" was borne in on a silver tray and set before the surprised guest of honor. A little rhyme explained this turn of events to the delightfully mystified recipient:
Because of many a happy hour
With you, well spent, we give this shower,
Just to remember in a way
With love, your silver wedding day.
As an amusing little contest each lady was asked to write down ten things she had learned in the last twenty-five years. The replies made good reading and furnished plenty of conversation till home-going time.
In remembrance of a happy two weeks spent in a little bungalow on Cape Cod, one of the girls of the "bunch" gave a quaint luncheon for the others during the year following.
The invitations bore a tiny spray of bayberry sketched in one corner and read like this:
May the bayberry dip and the odor of pine
At this little reunion luncheon of mine,
Bring back all our fun in the house by the sea,
Where we were as jolly as jolly could be.
On the luncheon table homespun runners were used, crossed in the center where a brown wicker basket filled with the gray green of bayberry branches, brightened by the orange of bittersweet, stood on a mat of fragrant pine.
Green bayberry dips in the simplest of low tin candlesticks lighted the table and at each cover the place-card was a little outline map of Cape Cod with the situation of the summer camp conspicuously marked.
The menu consisted of clam cocktails, codfish cakes and tiny pots of baked beans, hot steamed brown bread cut in small round slices, blueberry tarts, and coffee.
The favors were wee bayberry "waxes" for the sewing basket, each with a bit of a bayberry twig peeping from its top.
"How shall I announce my engagement?" The engaged girl we have always with us, and the next step after the engagement is the announcement of it. Most girls like to have some kind of little social function to break the news to their special circle of friends. Usually a mother or a sister or a chum does the entertaining, though a girl herself may perfectly well plan and carry out such a party.
There are several sorts of affairs which may serve as a setting for an announcement. A favorite kind is a luncheon for a group of girl friends. Even less work is an afternoon tea and to that a girl's men friends may be asked also, though it's really easier to have girls only. Another kind of announcement party is the evening affair to which both men and girl friends are invited and at which the announcement should be "sprung" as a total surprise as in all other announcement affairs.
After the engagement is known, immediately the friends of the bride-to-be begin to think of showers for her. One friend or a group of friends or her club may be hostesses and give such an affair.
There are different ways of planning them. For instance, they may be appropriate to the month, like a Christmas Tree Shower in December or an Indian Summer Shower in November or a Rainy Day Shower in April. Or they may take as keynotes the engaged girl's special likes, as in the case of an apple shower, a kitty shower or an old rose shower. And then again, they may be just plain, ordinary, handkerchief showers, or linen showers, or kitchen showers, with an original touch somewhere.
At a recent engagement luncheon the announcement was made in a unique way.
A large wooden embroidery hoop was hung from the ceiling over the table and in the ring perched a gaily painted wooden parrot, the kind that rocks back and forth when touched.
From the parrot streamers of colored baby ribbon led to the different places, and tied to the ends of the ribbons were tiny notes in envelopes. These on being opened showed the names of the engaged couple and a short rhyme reading thus:
A little bird told me
A very nice thing,
That Randolph gave Sally
A diamond ring.
The refreshments followed somewhat the parrot color scheme, with halves of grapefruit garnished with cherries, chicken à la King, pimento, walnut and cream cheese salad, orange ice, and little cakes with colored frosting.
Small celluloid parrots perched on the rims of the glasses were appropriate souvenirs.
_Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full o' rye,
Four and twenty bluebirds
Baked in a pie;
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing,
About a certain couple here
Who have some news to spring_.
Thus did one girl announce her engagement in the month of May. She had asked twenty-four of her best friends to come to a bluebird tea one Saturday afternoon, and nobody suspected her secret, although they did remember that the bluebird stands for happiness.
The party was held out on the hostess's big porch, which was decorated with jars of pink and white apple blossoms. Everybody had a very good time dancing to the music of the phonograph until it was time for the tea to be served. The waitresses were Betty's two little sisters, who wore as insignia big blue bows on their hair and cunning little aprons made of bluebird cretonne.
The tea was iced and served with lemon and mint in tall glasses. The sandwiches were tiny and round and filled with pink strawberry jam which made them seem like delectable apple-blossom petals. Betty happened to have bluebird plates and she used paper napkins with a bluebird motif.
After the sandwiches came little pink and green and white frosted cakes and last of all the surprise. It appeared to be a great pie with bluebird heads peeking through the crust. In reality the crust was just brown paper touched up with a bit of water color paint and pasted across the top of a big open pan. The bluebirds soon showed what they were when the guests in turn pulled them out of the pie by means of the narrow white ribbon attached to each one. They were really flat pasteboard bluebirds and served as the excuse for the rhyme announcing Betty's engagement.
As a souvenir each guest had a tiny bluebird May basket filled with pink and white Jordan almonds. Small square boxes formed the foundations of the May baskets, the sides were then covered with bluebird crepe paper and the corners tied with wee blue bows. Little cut-out bluebirds hung from the slender handles and bore the names of the individual guests.
When they said good-by, the guests all declared that they had had a bluebirdy time, which in other words meant that Betty had planned very happily.
The invitations to this party read as follows:
Hello! hello! hello!
A party's on the wire;
And you must surely go
Or else arouse my ire!
The affair was planned by one girl to announce the engagement of a chum, and of course the object of the party was not revealed in the invitations.
All kinds of jolly games were played to pass the evening, and one pleasant feature was "A Telephonic Conversation" by Mark Twain rendered by a good reader.
The telephone was the keynote of the evening and played a prominent part in the table decorations. A big blue paper bell such as one sees in front of telephone booths hung over the center of the table. Beneath it was a low bowl of forget-me-nots of which the guests did not see the significance till later.
The candles were white with blue bell-shaped shades, and at each person's plate as a favor stood one of the tiny glass telephones seen in candy stores, full of candies.
The place-cards each bore a mock telephone number, such as Sing 1236,
Circle 6320, Joke 5156, Shiver 9315, Groan 231.
The menu was mostly white and served on blue dishes. It consisted of chicken patties, hot rolls, cream cheese and white grape salad, and vanilla ice-cream in blue frilled paper cases.
Toward the end of the ice-cream course the hostess asked the guests to announce their telephone numbers, in turn. Whereupon, each person was requested to rise from the table and act out his number. This was comparatively simple and made everyone quite hilarious.
When it came the turn of the hostess, she said that her number was Springit 42. The two (2), she said, were Elizabeth and John, and this was the time she had chosen to spring the announcement of their engagement.
Another way in which the announcement could be made is to prepare telephone messages of the news and tie them to the ends of blue ribbons hanging from the tongue of the bell. The hostess may announce that the "bell tolled" when the guests are allowed to open and read their messages.
A girl who was very fond of apples in every form, so much so that all her friends knew about it, was given a clever shower after she became engaged.
The invitations were cut in apple shape and tinted a little with red and green water colors. The following verses voiced the plan of the party and notified the guests:
Invitation to a Shower
Apples, apples everywhere
Will doubtless make up half the fare
On Elsie's future menu pad,
As they are Elsie's greatest fad.
So if you'd keep that fact in mind
In shower presents—'twould be kind;
Send it to me the day before
And come on Saturday at four.
January the twentieth
At Mary's house.
The first amusement of the afternoon was an apple-guessing contest, the names of different varieties of apples to be guessed from literal definitions, thus: The Royal Apple—. King. After that there was an apple-peeling contest in Hallowe'en fashion and each girl threw the peeling over her left shoulder to discover the initial of her future husband.
Immediately following this, the hostess, with the help of one of the other girls, brought in a big bushel basket apparently filled with huge rosy apples, and set it down before the guest of honor.
When the green ribbon around the stem of each make-believe apple was untied, the red crepe paper opened out, disclosing, in wrappings of soft cotton, a variety of gifts for the apple-loving girl.
There was an up-to-date corer and a plate for baking apples, a fat plush apple pincushion for the kitchen, a red apple "bank" with a slit for savings, one of the beautiful Wallace Nutting photographs of a New England apple tree in full pink and white bloom, an artistic brown basket for apples to be kept on the buffet or used for the breakfast table, and a delightful fruit bowl with an apple border.
One girl had contributed a little booklet of choice apple recipes, a jar of apple butter and another of home-made apple sauce. One artistic member of the group had stenciled a crash table runner for the porch table with a conventional apple design in yellow and orange and green, and another girl put the same design very decoratively on a round box of painted tin.
Two of the prettiest gifts were a cunning sports handkerchief with a cluster of apples stamped in one corner, and a smart flat silk hat ornament in the shape of three apples.
Before the happy bride-to-be had finished exclaiming over her gifts, the hostess served buffet refreshments that were as pretty as they were delicious. There were little individual molds of pink apple tapioca, topped with whipped cream and accompanied by small home-made cakes, frosted uniquely. Each one had in the center of its white icing a miniature apple bough as a decoration, made from two red maraschino cherries, two leaf-shaped pieces of green angelica and a bit of citron.
As a surprise for each girl, the hostess had provided a tiny bunch of apple sachets, easily made from scraps of apple-colored silks.
"I like apples more than ever now that I've begun to see their possibilities," the guest of honor declared.
For a girl who was very fond of everything rose-colored, her friends planned an "old-rose" shower on Valentine's Day.
As a result, among the gifts were rose-colored silk stockings, a rose-flowered silk party bag, an old-rose boudoir cap, slippers to match, and towels with old-rose initials. Each gift was wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with old-rose ribbon, and they were all presented on a big tray, the bottom of which was rose-flowered cretonne under glass.
The refreshments were raspberry ice and tiny cakes frosted in rose and white, and each guest carried away as a favor a wee glove handkerchief with an old-rose border.
It sounds odd, but the engaged girl for whom it was given was so very fond of pussy cats that her chum knew that a kitty shower would just exactly suit her.
The invitations, written on cats cut from heavy paper, read this way:
Since Elizabeth Ann is so fond of the kitty
Don't you agree that 'twould be a great pity
If we missed a good chance now for making a hit
By each bringing her some kind of a kit?
The bride-to-be suspected nothing when she was asked to a kitty luncheon at her chum's house.
The table had as decorations a centerpiece of pussy willows and yellow tulips, and the candle shades were made of yellow parchment paper with black silhouettes of cats running around them.
At each girl's place was a tiny china cat with a yellow ribbon bow on its neck to which was tied the place-card.
There was no attempt to carry out the kitty idea in the menu, but it was yellow throughout. The first course was grapefruit, then followed scalloped oysters garnished with lemon slices, chicken and mayonnaise salad, individual baked custards, and sunshine cake.
Upon withdrawing from the table, it was announced that "Pussy was in the well," and forthwith a deep cylindrical waste-basket trimmed with pussy willows was brought in and set before the guest of honor, who was requested to be the one to "pull pussy out."
With a dawning understanding of the meaning of this, the bride-to-be reached in and drew one by one from the waste-basket the "kits" which had been placed there for her. Each one was tied with yellow ribbon and had a black cat pasted on it.
The gifts were all very clever. There was a traveler's sewing kit, a small blacking kit, a wee laundry kit for motoring, a handy kit containing baggage tags, rubber bands, and the like, an emergency kit with safety pins and threaded needle for her handbag, a guest towel with a cross-stitch kitty on one end, a cream pitcher and sugar bowl with a kitten border, a quaint kitten door stop, a painted wooden kitten twine holder, a pair of Angora skating gloves, an odd little sewing apron with linen cats appliqued on the corners, and a knitting bag of cretonne which pictured Puss-in-Boots prominently among other Mother Goose People.
When the excitement of the shower was over, a guessing contest was
played, each answer being a word in which the syllable "cat" figured.
This very jolly afternoon ended with a really hilarious game of
A jolly crowd of young people who had been camping together a great deal gave a lively shower to two of their number who were announcing their engagement.
The affair took place in the city in the winter time and was very informal.
After the "bunch" had gathered, someone suggested that they play charades, one of their favorite diversions.
The engaged persons were chosen to sit with the hostess before the open fire and pretend they were in camp. The word selected was not made known to them, however.
The others all retired into the next room and came back shortly, wrapped in raincoats and sou'westers, each one carrying a knobby package.
"Shower!" they shouted in chorus, throwing their bundles at the group by the fire. The parcels contained all kinds of camp conveniences. There was a camp kit containing knives and forks and spoons, a collapsible drinking cup, a thermos bottle, a pocket compass, an electric flashlight, a folding mirror, a pocket corkscrew, a folding camp grate, a folding camp stool, a folding alcohol stove with a pot, and a pocket camera.
The engaged couple were taken entirely by surprise, for they had supposed the party to be only one of many sociable evenings which the crowd were in the habit of having.
The refreshments were reminiscent of camp and were served on wooden plates around the fire in picnic fashion. The menu consisted of hot bacon and roll sandwiches, dill pickles, coffee, and marshmallows toasted over the flames.
The invitations were made of white water color paper cut in the shape of daisies, with centers tinted yellow. Scattered over the petals were the following lines:
"One I love, two I love,
Three I love I say,
Come and see if this is true
On St. Valentine's Day."
(or "Friday next, I pray")
On all the invitations but the guest of honor's was added: "In honor of Marion's engagement. Please send your remembrance to me the day before."
This direction was put on so that the gifts could all be wrapped in advance by the hostess in white tissue paper, tied with yellow baby ribbon and a big artificial daisy tucked into the knot. Piled on a tray they were brought to the surprised little bride-to-be on the afternoon of the party. The entertainment fulfilled the promise of the invitation in this way: A large paper daisy with many petals was hung against the wall and each guest was given a pointer and asked to select a petal at random. On the back of each petal was written a little fortune rhyme somewhat on the order of this one:
"Five! he loves—good pumpkin pie, So learn to cook it—thus say I."
The refreshments were served in buffet style in the dining room. In the center of the table was a blossoming pot of marguerites. There were individual daisy salads, formed by little mounds of chicken salad covered with yellow mayonnaise and surrounded by a fringe of petals cut from the whites of hard-boiled eggs. With the salad simple bread and butter sandwiches were eaten.
As a second course, frozen custard in paper cups with borders of white paper petals was served with squares of angel cake, frosted in yellow, and squares of sunshine cake, frosted in white.
The principal feature, however, and the final one, was the favor pie. A big imitation daisy was made from a round basket, by covering the top with yellow paper and surrounding the edge with as many petals as there were guests. Each guest was asked to pull a petal from the daisy, and in so doing drew from the basket a tiny doll dressed like a "rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, merchant or chief." The girl whose fate was already assured had been guided to choose a particular petal and her favor doll proved to be dressed in the garb of her fiancé's profession.
1. If you'll only wait a while
Some one nice will make you smile.
2. You will have to choose between
Walking or a limousine.
3. If you only ONLY knew
Who was thinking much of you.
4. At a motion picture show
From the screen your fate you'll know.
5. Something nice you'll sure know
In about a week or so.
6. Don't despise
7. Far across the briny sea
Comes thy lover now to thee.
8. Your career you'll surely ship
And substitute a wedding trip.
9. A dance, a ride, a moonlit lawn,
Your heart will be completely gone.
The third it will be.
11. Beware, beware the eyes of blue
Or they'll surely capture you.
12. Your intellect will meet its equal,
Happy though will be the sequel.
13. A word, a smile, a bow,
Married in a year from now.
14. Try a smile
For a while
15. You will travel far away
Sixteen years from yesterday.
For the girl who is to be married in the winter, an Indian Summer Shower might be given some November evening. The cards of invitation can have a little brown Indian wigwam painted in one corner, or cut out of brown paper and pasted on; or the invitations can be written on pieces of white birch bark, if you happened to have gathered and saved any from the summer vacation. Paper imitation of birch bark might also be used.
Put all the gifts, wrapped in brown tissue paper and tied with gay ribbons, in a toy wigwam which you can make with three sticks and a piece of brown burlap. When the right time comes, the engaged girl is led up to the wigwam and asked to receive the gifts. If there is a small brother or cousin who can be dressed up in an Indian suit to hand out the presents, so much the better.
The hostess may make this any kind of shower she wishes.
After the wigwam has been sacked, it would be fun if you could sit around the open fire to pop corn or toast marshmallows and play the Indian Summer game of "Pipe Dreams." Each girl writes out an imaginary dream of the bride's future. The dreams are read by the hostess, and then each dream paper is consigned to the fire.
The refreshments ought to be very simple, and may consist of hot chocolate and little chocolate cakes, cone-shaped to simulate wigwams, or they may be merely apples, nuts, popcorn, and sweet cider. Serve the nuts and apples in Indian baskets.
For the bride who announces her engagement in December, a Christmas tree shower might be given Christmas week. Send out cards of invitation in the shape of small Christmas trees, or else paste or paint little evergreen trees on white cards. Ask the guests to bring something small enough to be hung on a little Christmas tree. The bride should be asked to come a little later than the others, so that they may have time to hang their gifts on the tree.
The tree may be as elaborate as you wish to make it. Where trees are hard to procure, a cunning little one on a table is quite large enough. It can be decked with gold and silver hearts and candy kisses, and on its branches should hang the shower gifts, prettily wrapped and tied.
When the bride arrives, she must strip the tree. Among its treasures may be English walnut shells, gilded and tied together, with fortune verses inside.—The hostess provides one of these for each guest.
The refreshments may consist of sandwiches cut in the shape of Christmas trees and filled with green pepper and cream cheese; caraway cookies cut in the shape of Christmas trees; and hot chocolate, with a sprig of evergreen tied by a tiny bow of red to each cup-handle.
This affair could be planned specifically as a handkerchief, hosiery or kitchen shower.
Following naturally on the engagement announcement and bridal showers come the wedding plans.
If the bride's house is small, a church wedding may be the solution for her, or else she may plan a house wedding with just a few chosen friends and relatives present.
Very often, if a church wedding is planned, there is a reception afterward at the bride's home. If only a few guests are invited to it, a wedding breakfast or dinner may be served, but if a large number of people are asked, buffet refreshments are sufficient.
According to the different seasons of the year, the weddings may take on varying characters. Spring, summer, fall and winter weddings, indoor and outdoor weddings, all have their own special charms.
Every girl can have a pretty wedding—especially if she lives within reach of the free woods and fields or in a place of gardens and shrubbery.
Wild roses and wild clematis vines with ferns from the woods are lovely in a country church where festoons and garlands are often needed to adorn the bare walls.
Banks of black-eyed Susans with outdoor ferns, bowers of snowy dogwood in season and the fluffy wild pink azalea are very decorative, and so are the spring and early summer shrubs: syringa, deutzia, flowering almond and Japanese snowball.
Mountain laurel, with its exquisite pink flowers and glossy green leaves, lends itself particularly to church decoration. Ropes of the leaves may be looped from the roof to the side walls; and the blossoms massed in the front of the church make a fitting background for a bride and her pink-clad attendants.
In the South, Cape jasmine, in the Far West, the golden California poppies and carnations, are beautiful to use. Of course, nothing is lovelier than roses—pink and white—and should they prove scarce they can be successfully supplemented with pink and white peonies, especially for church decoration purposes.
Meadow rue in great misty clumps as it grows, arranged with tawny field lilies and dark green wood ferns, is remarkably striking in a church.
At one home wedding, big loose bunches of feathery grass, buttercups, daisies, and clover in brown earthern jars filled the corners of the living-room, and in the bay window, where the ceremony took place, tall graceful sprays of Queen Anne's lace arranged with plenty of green, made an artistic background. Glass vases filled with it stood on the window sills and on the floor, the tops of the floor bouquets hiding the window receptacles.
In the dining-room a bowl of pink and white clover occupied the center of the table and there were window boxes of the same sweet flower.
Whatever color scheme is used in the other parts of the house, an entirely different one may be carried out in the dining-room. Some suggestions for simple table decorations in various colors follow:
1. Large low bowl of blue and pink forget-me-nots in the center of the table, with candle shades of white, painted with forget-me-not sprays.
2. Garden basket or glass basket of yellow roses and honeysuckle with graceful sprays of honeysuckle vines trailing to the corners of the table, yellow candle shades.
3. Old-fashioned bouquet of garden flowers in old-fashioned vase—snapdragons, lark-spur, coreopsis, babies' breath, mignonette—old-fashioned stiff little artificial bouquets in white lace paper for favors.
4. Hanging basket of pink and lavender sweet peas and smilax over the table, with smilax reaching to the corners of the table and caught with pink and lavender tulle bows.
5. Wood maidenhair ferns and pink garden roses, tiny ferns scattered over the tablecloth, and rose-colored candle shades.
6. Wild clematis vines from ceiling over table to four corners, and low bowl of wild roses in center beneath sprays.
7. Bachelors' buttons and mignonette in the center of the table connected with small baskets of mignonette at the corners of the table by ribbon matching the blue bachelors' buttons, tied on the handle of each basket.
8. Scarlet poppies in silver vase, silver candlesticks and shades.
9. Large bowl of "Jack" roses in the center on a table mirror, with a single large Jack rose in a slim flower holder at each corner of the table.
10. Wicker basket of June garden pinks (white and pink) with shower of tiny bells hung on pink ribbons above them from the chandelier or ceiling.
Many dining-rooms are too small to have a wedding breakfast served at the table, and for that reason buffet luncheons are most popular.
The dining table is decorated with flowers and often lighted with candles under colored shades, and on it are placed extra supplies of silver and small dishes of olives, nuts and bonbons.
As the guests leave the receiving line, they move informally toward the dining-room, where they stand to be served. If the wedding reception takes place directly after a ceremony in the morning, or at high noon, the refreshments are more elaborate than at an afternoon affair and the guests may be seated to be served in the different rooms.
When a caterer is not employed, and the serving of the refreshments is managed by the hostess herself, it is a pretty and practical plan to ask several young girls to help in the dining-room. They should see that the guests are promptly supplied, and can relieve them of their plates when they have finished.
Below are half a dozen good menus for buffet wedding breakfasts and receptions, varying in degree of formality to suit individual needs.
For wedding favors at a wedding breakfast or reception a number of interesting little souvenirs can be inexpensively prepared. For instance, there are wee fans (bought at the doll department) with the date lettered on each; tiny straw baskets that look like the one the flower girl carries and are filled with very small artificial forget-me-nots and rose-buds; airy butterflies of white and pale yellow silk, to be fastened to fine threads above the table in the dining-room, where they flutter realistically over the flowers beneath.
More frivolous are very diminutive bridesmaid's hats, and at the wedding of a bride who is going to travel far away there may be small boats, either real or of cardboard, with a flying flag of matrimony at the masthead.
The old-fashioned posy gift cards with clasped hands are quaint; so are the little nosegays in white paper frills, and every guest will like a box of bride's cake.
A wild-rose wedding which one bride planned was wonderfully attractive. In one corner of the living-room an arch of woven wire was erected, and covered with graceful wild clematis vines and wild roses. On each window-sill stood a jar of wild roses, and the mantel was banked with them.
The two bridesmaids wore pale green dresses, and carried baskets overflowing with wild roses; the maid of honor wore a gown of wild-rose pink, and carried an arm bouquet of wood maidenhair ferns and wild clematis.
The dining-table was decorated effectively. A crystal bowl filled with wild-rose sprays which trailed over the sides and along the table was placed in the center on a mat of hardy sword ferns. From above the middle of the table four garlands of wild clematis were looped down to the edge of the round table and held with bows of green tulle.
Glass dishes of olives and pink, green, and white candies on the table still further carried out the color scheme.
The menu, which was served in buffet style, was pink and white. It consisted of strawberry and pineapple cocktail, with a sprig of green mint in each glass, sliced ham and pressed chicken, potato chips, hot rolls, raspberry ice, white-frosted cakes cut in the shape of bells, pink-frosted cakes in the shape of hearts.
Fruit punch, pink with strawberry juice and green with mint, was served on the rose-bowered porch by a pretty girl in a rose-flowered frock.
Another country bride used the field flowers for decorating.
Big jars of daisies, buttercups, wild carrot, red clover, and tasseled grasses stood in the corners of all the rooms and filled the empty fireplace.
Four little girls, dressed in white with yellow sashes and hair fillets, carried a daisy chain to form an aisle for the bride and her attendants, and the ceremony took place under a big bell of field daisies.
The bridesmaids wore pale yellow georgette gowns, and carried bouquets of black-eyed Susans, the maid of honor wore old-gold georgette, lightened with white, and carried a loose bunch of daisies and buttercups.
In the center of the dining table a high-handled white-enameled basket held a natural arrangement of sweet white clovers, grasses, and yellow buttercups, and was linked by several streamers of yellow baby ribbon, with four smaller white baskets at the corners which held smaller bouquets of the same flowers. A fluffy yellow bow was tied to the handle of each basket.
The menu was also yellow and white and consisted of hot bouillon, sprinkled with grated hard-boiled egg yolks; chicken jelly salad with mayonnaise; tiny bread and butter sandwiches; frozen custard in ice cups trimmed with white paper petals, so that each individual serving looked like a daisy; small squares of sponge cake, and angel food iced in yellow; yellow and white candies.
The boxes of wedding cake were piled on the hall table, and each one had a wee daisy blossom tied into the knot of white ribbon on top.
There's no wedding quite so picturesque as the outdoor one. Famous is the orchard wedding beneath a blossoming apple tree, where the air is filled with fragrance and the bridal party comes winding through the trees to the trysting place. It needn't be only a poetic fancy, either—it's entirely practical, and if you have a comparatively small house, why not give your guests the beautiful freedom of outdoors instead of cooping them up in the house?
Mark out the path beforehand by mowing the grass in the chosen direction. Select plenty of ushers to conduct the guests to the spot and provide benches and settees for the older folk, who may find it tiring to stand till the wedding party arrives.
There need be no decorations except the natural ones of the orchard; preparations may consist of raking out dead leaves and branches.
A victrola may be arranged in the proper place to furnish the wedding processional—or perhaps some musical friend may be found to play the violin.
The simpler the pageant, the more effective it will be. First may come a tiny flower girl in a white frock, swinging a cretonne flowered sunbonnet from which she tosses apple blossom sprays.
If there are bridesmaids, they should wear the simplest of pink dresses with pink fillets on their hair or else wide straw hats trimmed only with a tiny wreath of flowers.
Possibly the maid of honor may add a note of contrast by wearing forget-me-not blue.
Last of all appear the bride and bridegroom, together, for in an old-fashioned orchard wedding that is less awkward than for the bridegroom to come from some other direction. The bride should wear a simple white gown—formal satin would be out of place.
The wedding breakfast may be served picnic fashion on a long table of boards decked with apple blossoms. Toasts in strawberry punch are in order while an orchestra of robins and bluebirds sing in the apple trees round about—unless the noise drives them away. The little waiting maids should wear white aprons and white caps with an apple blossom sprig stuck in the top.
Following them came a flock of flower children, tiny girls and boys scattering flower petals from the high-handled baskets swinging in their chubby little hands.
Last of all, four abreast, came the bride and bridegroom, with the bride's mother, who gave her away, on the right of the bride, and the best man on the left of the bridegroom. The ribbon girls had accompanied the procession at the proper intervals holding the aisle ribbon, and the last two brought up the rear, winding up the ribbon as they came.
The reception took place immediately afterward on the lawn, and the guests were served with ice-cream and cake wherever they chanced to be by the attentive ribbon girls.
In the back yard at a long table a colored caterer superintended the service.
Altogether it was a most successful wedding and at the same time a fairly easy one to plan since there was no question of overcrowding in the house, although in case of rain it could have been managed there.
A girl who lived in a small town and had a big lawn chose to be married outdoors in August. The blossoming hydrangea hedge in front of the house was made thicker with small evergreen branches stuck down into the ground. One corner of the yard where there was a natural alcove curving in among the shrubs, she picked out for the wedding itself.
The porch was decorated with Japanese lanterns and flowers, and beforehand the guests gathered in groups there or on the lawn.
When it was time for the ceremony, some girl friends of the bride marshalled the guests to the chosen place and then returned to the house to act as ribbon girls. There were about a dozen of them in light summer dresses, and the first couple, holding the ends of long white ribbons, preceded the bridal groups, roping off an aisle across the lawn and among the spectators.
A chorus of young musical friends came first, singing the words and music of Lohengrin.
September and October weddings are always popular, partly perhaps because of the decorating possibilities of the autumn season.
Goldenrod and wild asters one thinks of for early fall. At one evening home wedding where this blue and gold color scheme was used, the stalks of plumey golden rod seemed to be growing naturally along the stair rail; they were held in place at the uprights.
The rooms were hung with blue and golden globes of lights—in reality paper lanterns—sheltering electric bulbs. The fireplace held masses of goldenrod, and blue jars holding wild asters crowned the mantel, the tables, the piano, and the wide window sills.
The bridesmaids wore gowns of yellow organdy and the maid of honor an aster blue costume.
In the dining-room a dull gilt basket of blue asters occupied the center of the table set for a buffet repast, and a bow of blue and golden tulle fluttered from the handle of the basket.
The favors were tiny kewpie dolls, wearing frilly skirts and caps, some of blue and others of yellow. The blue were for the men, the yellow for the girls.
When oak leaves begin to glow with tawny splendor, another girl celebrated her wedding. The house was a bower of rich, deep red and brown foliage, and the "bridey" touch came in with the pale pink garden cosmos that was used.
Cosmos made the background for the wedding group, and was arranged in feathery masses wherever it might contrast with the dark oak leaves.
The wedding was in the late afternoon, and after the sunset light had faded the pink candles began to glow rosily under soft pink shades.
The dining-room table was lovely with pink candle-light and pink cosmos as a centerpiece on a mat of oak leaves. There were pink and white candies and raspberry ice was served with the tiniest of pink and white and green petites fours.
The first girl lived in a country town and evergreens in the woods near by were plentiful. The wedding was a Christmas one, and took place in the late afternoon. Garlands of graceful ground pine were wound over the banisters in the hall, and draped over the doorways to hang down halfway on each side against the ivory white wood-work. In the living-room, two little Christmas trees, lighted with tiny white candles, formed an alcove where the bridal group could stand.
The table in the dining-room was decorated for a buffet luncheon in holiday red and green. There was a centerpiece of red roses, red silk candle shades shading white candles in clear glass candlesticks, and tiny green Christmas ferns scattered on the white cloth.
The menu had the same color harmony, and consisted of consommé, salted crackers, oyster patties, chicken jelly salad with green mayonnaise, salad rolls, olives, pistachio ice-cream in holly-decked cases, little cakes with green icing and silver bonbons stuck on top, and coffee, with green mints.
The second bride lived in the city and had a rainbow wedding. The usual green of potted ferns and palms formed the background of decorations, but over the rounded archway which opened into a small alcove a "rainbow" of tulle—rose, pale pink, yellow, green, blue, and lavender—was arranged. Pink and yellow roses with green foliage were supplemented in the living-room by blue and lavender tulle on the vases. The six bridesmaids wore gowns which matched the tulle rainbow and they carried pink roses.
On the table in the dining-room was a bowl of pink roses, and from the table dome a myriad of baby ribbon streamers in the same varied colors came down at six points, and were held in place by six fluffy favor dolls, dressed in tulle to match the six bridesmaids, to whom they were afterward given as souvenirs.
The menu consisted of chicken à la King, small sandwiches, olives,
Neapolitan ice-cream, fancy frosted cakes, and coffee.
The third girl, with a delight for old-fashioned ways, was followed by six maids in quaint Colonial gowns of plain or flowered silk, no two costumes alike, save for soft white lace fichus. Black velvet neckbands, powdered curls, and "nosegays" of small pink carnations in lace paper holders quite carried out the lovely effect.
The old-fashioned rooms were hung with smilax and asparagus fern, and in every window stood a pot of flowering fuchsias.