Wedding Announcements Etiquette - By MRS ELIZABETH JOHNSTONE

An engagement may be announced soon after it is entered upon, or not until several weeks before the marriage. Usually the engagement is known to the two families some time in advance of the later formal announcement.
The announcement of the engagement comes through the girl's family; the man waits until it is their pleasure to make it known. The usual way is for the girl and her mother to write notes to relatives and close friends. The man, of course, will know when this is done, and may send notes to his relatives and friends, or acquaint them by word of mouth, at the same date. No special form is employed for such notes; they are always informal and familiar.

How Disclosed
Sometimes a girl announces her engagement to her most intimate girl friends at a small tea or luncheon her mother or some relative gives for her. In this case the decorations are suggestive. Heart-shaped place cards, decorated with the entwined initials of the two parties; pink flowers, banked in heart-shape and pierced with silver arrows, for a centerpiece, and sandwiches and cakes in heart shape, the latter decorated in pink, are often used. At each plate may be a small cluster of pink carnations, tied with narrow ribbons, one end connecting with an arrow in the centerpiece. When these are drawn out some appropriate sentiment is found attached, which is read aloud by the guest.
Any novel form may be employed in communicating the joyous intelligence. Midway the repast some friend previously selected for the honor may propose a health to the two who are betrothed; some¬one may ask a moment's indulgence while she reads an interesting paragraph from a letter, or a mock telegram may be delivered. Congratulations are in order; sometimes the fiance has been held in reserve, and is brought in to share with his fiancee the good wishes of her friends.
All who receive notes are expected to call in person or send letters of congratulation. Flowers are often sent, and dinners, theater parties, and other entertainments given for the young couple. Engagement gifts are often given; china being a favorite choice, though any gift is in order.
After the Announcement
Immediately upon the announcement of the engagement the parents of the young man call upon his fiancee and her mother, whether previously acquainted or not. His family takes the initiative in the exchange of hospitality which follows. Calls are to be returned within a week. In case the man's family live at a distance, the members should at once write cordial, kindly letters to the girl, to which she must reply within a few days. She should not "gush" but should show her desire to know them, and a cordial and friendly feeling. The prospective mother-in-law may invite the girl to visit her. She should remember that no matter how welcome the alliance she is under inspection, as it were, and do her best, through courtesy and tact and friendliness to create a favorable impression.

The Girl's Behavior
The engagement ring is not worn until the engagement is announced. If the young man's means permit, it is usually as handsome a diamond solitaire as he can afford. No womanly girl would wish her fiance to go in debt to purchase her ring. Should it be less handsome than she had hoped or expected, she should not give the slightest evidence of disappointment. That would seem mercenary and grasping. Nevertheless, a girl does doubtless get much more joy out of her engagement ring than she does out of her wedding ring.
Though a girl may receive from her affianced gifts of jewelry, silver, etc., as well as the bonbons, books and flowers she was privileged to accept before her engagement, it is not in good taste for him to offer any article of wearing apparel to her. He is not to buy clothes for her until after their marriage. Nothing that cannot be returned to him uninjured in case the engagement is broken is really correct for her to receive.
She will naturally receive many notes, letters, etc., from her fiance, especially if he is called out of town often, or resides in another city. The inexperienced, very-much-in-love girl is quite likely to write very ardent and affectionate letters. Leave that to the man. If she knows her Thackeray she will remember the rose-colored billet-doux poor Amelia used to write to her George, and which lay unopened day after day, and will model her missives upon the style of Lucy Snowe's to the Professor--"a morsel of ice, flavored with ever so slight a zest of sweetness." Let her make them bright, chatty, kindly, but not too tender.

Length of Engagement
As for the length of an engagement, it is often argued that if one has made a mistake, it is much better to find it out before marriage than after. A prolonged engagement, however, is not advisable. It embarrasses a girl to be asked "When is it going to be?" and be obliged to make evasive answers. The old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" often proves untrue. The long engagement is a strain, undoubtedly. A year is quite long enough for the two to demonstrate their fidelity and for all necessary preparations.

Breaking Off

If the two develop incompatibility, after being convinced it is irreconcilable the only thing to do is to sever the tie. This is often heart-breaking if caused by the infidelity of one party, and always humiliating, especially to the girl. To spare her as much as possible, the man assumes the breaking-off was her act. He never allows himself to speak of her save in terms of the most perfect respect. The presents, letters, pictures, are returned, and Cupid retires discomfited. The girl's mother writes to her friends and tells them the engagement is broken; no reason is given and no person of tact or knowledge of social forms will inquire why or ever allude to the matter to either of the parties to the engagement or their parents.
"Being engaged" does not relax etiquette. It does not justify a journey or an excursion together, nor appearance in public places unchaperoned. Lovers refrain from caresses or evidence of their devotion in the presence of others; in short they should conduct themselves with decorum.

The Wedding Trousseau
In case everything goes well when the wedding day is set it is the custom to announce the engagement in the society columns in the newspapers. The trousseau is nearly ready, the linen chest is filled, the details of the wedding settled. It is not customary now for the expectant bride to have dozens and dozens of undergarments, to be laid aside, turn yellow and go out of style. One dozen of each garment is an ample supply for the average bride; even half a dozen new garments of each kind have been known to answer every purpose. She should have a moderate supply of  shoes, corsets, gloves, petticoats, both silk and cambric, and handkerchiefs. Fashions change so rapidly now that it is foolish to lay in a great stock of gowns. The supply of these must be in accordance with her social position and its requirements. After she is married, she will find her table-cloths and nap¬kins, sheets, and pillow slips and towels a much greater source of satisfaction than a lot of passe gowns and wraps. Her silver and linen are marked with the initials of her maiden name. These initials are always embroidered on the latter.
The supply of table and bed-linen will depend upon the size of her house and the style in which she lives. Six sheets and six pillow and bolster slips are allowed to each bed, and twelve towels, half of them bath towels, to each bedroom. She should have dinner and lunch cloths, with napkins to match; it is usual to allow a dozen napkins to each cloth. It is good economy to purchase all these in a good quality. The dinner cloths and napkins should be of double damask, so called. The very large dinner napkins--seven-eighths of a yard square--are less in favor than the medium, three-quarter size. A fairly ample supply of comforts, down and silk quilts, and blankets, is often acquired by purchase before marriage.

WEDDING FESTIVITIES.

Very soon after the wedding invitations are out, the bride's friends bestir themselves and a number of entertainments are planned in her honor. These are dinners, luncheons, teas, and theatre parties, the latter often prefaced by a dinner at the house of the hostess. Often these include the bridal party--bridesmaids and "best man." To dinners and theatre parties the bridegroom-to-be is invited; lunch¬eons and teas are given by the bride's friends to her. The bride¬groom's bachelor friends frequently give a dinner for him--a farewell to the man so soon to rank as "Benedict, the married man."
These functions in honor of the bride are exclusive, rather than general, invitations being restricted to familiar friends. The bride's relatives are the entertainers. At such functions the bride expectant may wear one of the gowns of her trousseau. Because of these entertainments, which are really quite a tax on the girl's strength and vital¬ity, the trousseau should be complete and the wedding preparations well under way before they begin. Most of them seem to be crowded into the week or ten days preceding the ceremony.

Engagement "Showers."

"The shower"--an entertainment that is somewhat on the order of an informal tea at which each guest brings some gift to the bride--has been called "provincial." It has a recognized place in middle class society, at least, and may be made an enjoyable function. No two "showers" are alike, hostesses vieing with each other in the endeavor to present something original and attractive. The linen shower is one of the most popular, each guest bringing some contribution to the bride's linen chest. These are the more valued if the handiwork of the giver, and some girls always have a bit of work in progress which may, when finished, be their offering at a linen shower.
Only intimate friends are asked to a linen shower and the occasion is entirely informal. The invitations may be couched in this form:

My Dear Miss Ames
I am giving a linen shower for our mutual friend, Miss Gray, who is to be married next month, and would be very glad to have you with us. I am asking a few friends for luncheon on Thursday, January sixth, at one o'clock, and hope you will be able to come. As the "shower" is to be a surprise to Miss Gray, please do not mention it should you see her.
Very cordially,
Helen Brown.


The invitation should be promptly answered. Usually, the nature of the entertainment is not known to the guest of honor until she arrives; sometimes not until she is seated at the table.

How Presented
The more unique the method of presentation the more amusing the surprise of the guest. The gifts are to be neatly wrapped up in white tissue paper, tied with ribbons, the card of the giver being enclosed. Often some sentiment is written on the card, or an original rhyme; this the recipient reads aloud when the gift is unwrapped.
At one long remembered shower, the centerpiece was a white linen parasol, beautifully embroidered and the gift of the hostess. This, open, was fastened upright, the block of wood which held it being hidden under asparagus plumosus interspersed with pink roses. Under this were arranged the several packages. Between each course the guest of honor was requested to draw and open a parcel, the remainder being opened before leaving the table. At another luncheon the gifts were brought in by a boy dressed as a messenger, one at a time, as if just delivered. The surprise of the guest at the first delivery greatly amused her friends. One guest contributed a handsome lunch cloth, another the napkins to match, each marked with embroidered initials. An embroidered white linen handbag, for use with a white gown, was enclosed in a box about a foot square; within this was another, neatly wrapped and tied, which, opened, contained another and still another, keeping expectancy at its height. The "Jack Horner pie" has been used, and the "showered" girl has been handed a white satin ribbon and been bidden to follow where it led her, discovering at the end the pile of presents.
Gifts for a linen shower may include towels of all kinds, the monogrammed damask and initialed guest towels, embroidered linen pillow slips; centerpieces, doilies, bureau scarfs and many other textile gifts suggest themselves. The "kitchen shower" suggests the useful; the handkerchief shower is dainty.

Refreshments

The refreshments at such an entertainment may be as simple as one likes, unless the invitations are for a luncheon; in that case they should be more elaborate. Chocolate and sandwiches with cake and ices; sandwiches, cake and coffee, are allowable. The guests are seated at a table, which should be decorated with pink and white flowers. Pink carnations are beautiful for this use. The guest of honor is seated at the hostess's right hand and is served first. She must thank those who have presented the gifts individually, and express to her hostess her pleasure in the entertainment and her gratitude for the trouble she has taken for her.

WEDDING PREPARATIONS

The Expense of a Wedding
It may be said at the outset that no wedding should be more costly than the financial standing of the bride's family warrants. If the bridegroom's family is wealthy, and that of the bride in very moderate circumstances, there will be many to intimate that the bridegroom "put up for it." The intimation is a sneer, because the bride's family should pay all the expenses of a wedding. If the expense is manifestly beyond the resources of the bride's father, society lifts its eyebrows.
Of course her wedding is the one pageant in which the girl is the central figure--the admired of all beholders. It is quite natural for her to wish it to be beautiful, to look lovely herself, and not to go empty-handed to her husband. But no sensible girl will have a grand wedding if its cost will put her father in debt. If Mary's music lessons must be intermitted, or John's entrance into college postponed because of her trousseau and her wedding, she should assume some of the sacrifice herself and be content with a more modest outfit and a simple ceremony. Thousands of thoughtless girls leave their families to recover slowly from the financial strain of their wedding. It is selfish and inconsiderate for a girl to say, "You will never have to do it again for me," or "I shall be no further expense to you." That may be true, but it is no justification.
Nor is it permissible for the bridegroom to furnish any part of the bride's trousseau. If she is poor, and is to marry into wealth, good taste and public opinion counsel her to confine her wedding preparations to what she or her family can pay for. Let her make ready a simple wedding dress and going-away gown, or be married in the latter, and take with her to her new home only her under linen and the treasured keepsakes of her maiden days. As soon as she is wife, her husband may lavish silks and laces and furs upon her, but not before.

The Bride's Privileges
It is the province of the bride to name the wedding day, subject of course to the insistence of her fiance, who will urge an early date. She decides whether her wedding shall be formal or informal, at church or at home. She chooses the clergyman who shall perform the ceremony, the bridegroom notifying him of her desire. Her family issues--and pays for--the wedding invitations and announcement cards. It is customary to ask the bridegroom to make out a list of those of his relatives and friends to whom he wishes these sent. The bride names her attendants, decides upon their number and if a bridal procession is contemplated, consults with them as to their gowns and the accessories. Here she is in duty bound to consider the expense to be incurred by those invited to take part in the affair, unless she is prepared to pay for their gowns herself; this how¬ever is seldom done. If she desires her attendants to wear some particular adornment which will be of no use to them afterwards, as a fancy muff or boa, she should pay for it herself. She may endeavor to arrange with her dressmaker to make their gowns if she can obtain a reduction on account of their being made alike, or the large order placed. To be invited to serve as bridesmaid is often an expensive compliment, as it usually involves a new gown and hat, the latter always being worn at a church wedding.
If the bride decides to have but one attendant, the latter is usually styled her maid-of-honor, and may be her sister or her most intimate friend. If she has more than one maid she should include the bride¬groom's sister, if he has one. If a matron-of-honor is to participate, she should be a friend or sister of the bride who has been recently wedded. The bridesmaids are chosen from her unmarried friends.

Who Pays?
The question is often asked, "Who pays, for" this, that or the other item.
The bridegroom provides the marriage certificate, the wedding ring, pays the clergyman, and for the carriage in which he drives away with the bride. He sends a gift and the bouquet to the bride; usually gives gifts of jewelry to the bridesmaids and the best man, and often includes the ushers.
The bride's family pays for the wedding cards, pays the florist and the caterer, the expense of opening the church and the service of the sexton; the music, carriages for the bridal party, in short, the bills are for the family to pay. Where a wedding is very elaborate, the details are sometimes turned over to a "manager," who sees to everything, and receives a fat fee for his services.

The Wedding Gown
Choice of a wedding gown depends upon the style of the wedding. At a church wedding it is as handsome as the bride can afford. Any girl is excusable for wishing her wedding to be "an occasion," and her bridal attire as beautiful as possible. White is suitable, and there are so many fabrics in that color that all purses can be accommodated. The gown may be of satin, crepe de chine, messaline, lace or chiffon, or of simple white organdie; all are appropriate for a church wedding. With any of these a veil should be worn. Two and a half yards of tulle will be sufficient; other acces¬sories are white kid gloves, white slippers and white silk hose, if white is worn. White is suitable for the most elaborate church wedding and for the simplest ceremony at home. The gown is made en train, as a rule; always so for a church wedding, and always with high neck and long sleeves.
A bride may elect to be married in a traveling dress. For this some pretty light color, as light gray, champagne, tan or biscuit color is chosen. A hat must be worn with such a costume, and for a young bride is by preference trimmed with flowers. It is correct to carry flowers--not a shower bouquet, however--with such a gown, which is to be changed for a plainer one for actual travel. For this dark blue, brown, or gray are suitable colors; gloves match, and the hat is in¬conspicuously trimmed. It is the bride's greatest desire not to look "just married."

Later Wear of the Wedding Gown
The wedding gown is worn at the more formal of the post-nuptial entertainments. The trousseau should include an evening dress and wrap. For the former, black lace, chiffon cloth or net will prove the most serviceable, and almost universally becoming. A traveling gown, a handsome suit for visiting, receptions, etc., a pretty gown for receiving at home, and several house gowns will be needed. Kimonas, bath-robes, dressing-jackets, are included in the less ornamental parts of the trousseau.
A girl often invites her intimate friends to inspect her wedding finery, rejoicing in their admiration. The privilege of such a view is highly valued.

Bridal Flowers
Orange flowers are reserved for the bride, and she never wears any other in her hair, at least no other that are artificial. She may carry any flowers, she prefers; the florists make all seasons alike. Often an order is given months in advance for the bride's favorite flower to grace her wedding, and the florist forces it to bloom at the appointed time. White roses and carnations can be had at almost any season; sweet peas, white lilacs, lilies of the valley, are less easy to procure. The "shower bouquet" has many narrow white satin ribbons falling from it to the foot of the skirt, and knotted at intervals round flower sprays.
The rarest of bridal flowers are the orchids, so costly that only the rich may have them, though a few orchids, two or three, are sometimes put with lilies of the valley, or Roman hyacinths, inter¬mixed with stephanotis or stevia, for the bridal bouquet. Bridesmaids may carry large clusters of flowers tied with ribbons, the flowers suiting their costumes. Or, if they all wear white, American Beauties may be chosen. The usual preference is for flowers in more delicate hues.

The Widow's Bridal Attire
A widow does not wear white at her second wedding, nor a veil, nor does she have bridesmaids. Her usual choice is to be married in a handsome traveling gown of some light color, wearing hat and gloves to match. The material may be silk or broadcloth for a church wedding. She wears her wedding ring up to the day of her second marriage. Though she may have no bridesmaids she may have a matron-of-honor, some married friend, who wears a street or reception dress, with suitable hat and gloves.
A woman who has entered her fourth decade does not, as a rule, wear white when married.
It is no longer customary for a woman to go into semi-retirement preceding her marriage. She does not parade herself; no lady would do that, but she accepts invitations and appears at all the fetes planned for her up to the wedding day. As a result, she is often very tired and fagged before the event.

The Man's Wedding Garments
One of the most frequent inquiries made of the editors of women's departments in magazines relates to the proper attire for the bridegroom.
"When is it correct to wear a dress suit?" and
"What should the bridegroom wear at a day wedding?"
"The dress suit," so called, is the man's evening clothes. Naturally, then, he will not don his evening attire until evening--after or for a six o'clock dinner,' This should dispose of the question of "the dress suit." For a man to wear evening clothes at a noon wedding would be as absurd as for a woman to appear in a ball dress at that hour.
For a day wedding a man wears a black frock coat and gray trousers; his waistcoat may match the coat or be of white duck or marseilles, white shirt with standing collar, and tie of the fashionable cut in pearl gray or soft white silk. Pearl-colored kid gloves are worn, and a silk hat. The overcoat is black. A boutonniere of white flowers is usually worn.
The above is the correct dress for best man and ushers at a day wedding, in church or at home.
For a formal evening wedding, full evening dress is worn by bride¬groom, best man and ushers. The suit is of fine black worsted, silk faced as to the coat. The waistcoat may be of the same material, or white duck or marseilles may be worn. A fine white linen shirt with standing collar, and pearl or white enamel studs, white lawn tie, white or pearl-gray kid gloves stitched in the same color, and patent leather pumps complete the attire. A black overcoat, single breasted, and silk hat are the additions for out-of-door wear.

The Bride's Mother
The bride's mother wears a handsome reception dress. Black with much jet and lace, pearl gray, mauve and lavender are favorite colors for her. White gloves are worn. Mourning attire should never be seen at a wedding. If the bride's mother, or any of the family, are in mourning, it must be laid aside for the occasion. Black may be worn, but it must be lightened with white lace, jet, or other accessories that will take it out of the conventional garb of grief. Guests of course gown themselves handsomely.


MANNERS AND SOCIAL CUSTOMS FOR OUR GREAT MIDDLE CLASS
AS WELL AS OUR BEST SOCIETY
Correspondence, Cards and Introductions, Dress for Different Occasions, Weddings, Christenings, Funerals, Etc.,
Social Functions, Dinners, Luncheons.
Gifts, "Showers," Calls, and Hundreds of Other Essential Subjects so Vital to Culture and Refinement of Men, Women, School-Girls and Boys at Home and in Public.
By MRS ELIZABETH JOHNSTONE
Excerpt from the book:
MOTHER'S'  REMEDIES
Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada.
By DR. T. J. RITTER
PUBLISHED BY G.H. FOOTE  PUB. CO. DETROIT MICH 1921
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