The Paper Wedding Anniversary

At the end of the second year comes the paper wedding, which can be made a most artistic and charming affair if crepe paper be used for decorations and costumes.

Regarding the furnishing: All that appeared in cotton at the former anniversary can now be made in paper, except for cushion covers. The floral decorations can be particularly effective, for paper blossoms, when well made, so closely resemble nature that only the senses of touch and smell reveal the sham.

As for paper presents—their name is legion. Lamp-shades, screens, writing-paper, fans, blotters, Japanese panels, books, subscriptions to magazines, and unframed etchings or drawings are a few that suggest themselves.

The invitations can be sent out in the usual way, and the invited guests, if it be a costume affair may wear paper costumes as far as possible.

By employing the always useful crepe paper, these can be made strikingly pretty or comical, as the taste of the wearer dictates; even wrapping and newspapers can be pressed into service, and most original toilettes made therefrom.

A picturesque idea for the supper room is to have a number of small tables instead of a large one, each representing a flower and a corresponding color.

Thus a rose table would have cloth and napkins of pink Japanese paper, little baskets in the shape of roses to hold salted almonds and bonbons, pink paper ribbons tied about the sandwiches, the ices served in cardboard tubs set in the hearts of pink paper roses, the candles or banquet lamp protected with rose shades; and for souvenirs, dainty pink paper fans, with the initials of host and hostess and the dates written upon them in gold.

A sunflower table could be decorated in the same way with yellow, a lily table with white, blue with corn-flowers, and purple with violets.

A pleasant way to dispel the slight formality and stiffness that are usually present when guests first assemble is to have two large tissue-paper balloons suspended at either end of the drawing-room, one bearing the host’s initials in gold, the other those of the hostess.

Beneath, the guests form circles, the gentlemen under that with the host’s initials, with the hostess in the center; and the ladies under the other, surrounding the host.

At a given signal the hostess bursts her balloon, and the host his, with long gilded wands, and a shower of paper blossoms descends. There is one for each guest, and all bear numbers in gold; those of one balloon corresponding to those of the other. Each gentleman then seeks the lady whose flower matches his own, and she becomes his partner for the evening.

Another idea for the second milestone, after two years of married life, is to observe the anniversary by a card party. If a large number of guests are invited, plan to serve the supper on the small card tables that have been in use during the evening, arranging the table in the dining-room for simple buffet refreshments, of which the guests are invited to partake between the games.

This table should be covered with a small linen cloth (laid over a thin canton flannel), to which is pinned a valance of crepe paper, stamped in a delicate fern design, over a flounce of plain white crepe paper.

Use a square of the decorated paper as a centerpiece, and a crystal vase filled with bride roses and feathery asters for the floral decoration.

Drape the decorated paper at the edge of the table in regular festoons and fasten with bunches of the bride roses tied with bows of white crepe paper.

Candle-shades may be fashioned from the white crepe paper, ornamented with tiny natural ferns tied with narrow green satin ribbon.

For the edibles, provide dainty cucumber, lettuce and minced chicken sandwiches, delicious little cakes iced with vanilla and pistachio frosting, and a large punch-bowl filled with white cherry punch.

Small fancy dishes should also be placed upon the table, holding salted almonds, pitted olives, white bonbons and crystallized mint leaves. No waitress will be required in the dining-room (except to remove the soiled glasses and bring in a fresh supply), as the guests are privileged to help themselves.

In serving the supper, have the waitress first cover each card table with a small cloth made from the white crepe paper, sufficiently large to cover the green felt top; Japanese napkins decorated in green and gold should then be distributed, followed by the first course, served on breakfast plates and accompanied by a silver breakfast fork.

This may consist of hot minced chicken, served in individual paper cases, cucumber jelly salad and finger rolls. When these plates are removed, the dessert plates, holding the sweet course, are substituted; this comprises a small crepe paper box filled with pistache ice cream, an individual mold of vanilla russe and small iced cakes.

Coffee may complete this simple menu if the hostess so desires, and fancy boxes, with loops of narrow green and white ribbons, as pictured in this chapter, may contain the wedding cake, which is handed to the guests by the maid at their departure.

A number of yards of tissue-paper garlands and balls of cut tissue- paper in various bright colors may be used extensively throughout the rooms. A bower may be made of them in the front parlor, and under it the host and hostess may stand to receive their guests.

The hostess may wear a dress fashioned principally of exquisitely tinted tissue-paper over some thin material, with a bouquet of paper flowers that are beautiful imitations of pink and white roses.

The decoration of a certain supper room was especially novel and attractive. Ropes of cut tissue-paper festooned the walls, being caught up here and there with bands from which depended brilliant paper balls. A large number of these balls also hung from the ceiling on silken threads and were later presented to the gentlemen as souvenirs for shaving papers.

A long oval table was covered with pale-blue paper and edged with a narrow border of finely cut and curled white tissue-paper. In the center was a large, circular mirror, bordered by a broad band of natural-looking water-lilies and half-opened buds made of tissue-paper. A spray or two of lilies were laid on the mirror as if floating on the placid bosom of a lake.

The plates laid for the guests had been purchased of some wholesale stationer, being made of pressed paper in imitation of flowered china; and they were placed on pretty paper doilies beside which were laid quaintly figured Japanese paper napkins.

The French peas were served in little paper trays, the uncapped strawberries in dainty paper baskets, a delicious sherbet in miniature paper buckets, and a variegated ice on a round lace-paper doily. After the ice came French kisses or mottoes, which contained bright colored fancy paper caps, with which the guests decorated themselves amid much merriment.

Jean Wilde Clark, Ed., "Wedding Anniversaries: The Paper Wedding," in Weddings and Wedding Anniversaries: A Book of Good Form in the Conduct of Marriage Ceremonies . . . with Added Chapters about the Various Anniversaries, New York: The Butterick Publishing Company, 1910, pp. 95-97.

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