The Leather Wedding Anniversary
In the instance of the married pair who have sailed the sea of matrimony for three years, they can, should they so desire, celebrate the event by giving a leather wedding, that being the form decreed by custom for this anniversary.
Leather seems, on first thought, a very stupid and unwieldy substance to attempt to draw into social festivities, but after due consideration the case will not appear so hopeless.
There are now to be had innumerable articles, both useful and ornamental, in leather decorated with pyrography, as well as tinted in most beautiful shades, which are suitable for almost all occasions.
The invitations, engraved or written on squares of genuine sheepskin parchment (not the paper imitation), can be mailed in the usual way. Parchment envelopes are also obtainable.
Leather is, of course, impracticable for use in costumes, save in the shape of gloves and shoes, belts and other accessories. If the hostess has her library fitted up in leather, she can transfer the chairs, couch and table to her drawing-room, or else make the library the scene of the progressive euchre, whist, angling or other party, any of which are pleasant and appropriate amusements for the evening’s entertainment.
Scarlet and black leather game counters, which can be purchased as reasonably as twenty-five cents a pair or as costly as ten dollars a dozen, should be painted with the important dates and monogram of the host and hostess and numbered in sets of four, there being as many sets as there are card or game tables.
Thus for the head table, No. 1, two scarlet and two black counters would each bear the number "1;” for Table 2, four others, two of a color, would be numbered “2,” etc.
When the guests are assembled, these counters are placed on a table, painted side down, and each lady draws a scarlet one and each gentleman a black. Then they take their seats at the tables the number of which corresponds to that on the counters.
The prizes may be few or numerous and as handsome or inexpensive as the hostess desires, but they must all be of leather.
As the menu for a card party is never as elaborate as when there are music and dancing, it would be quite correct to dispense with set tables, and have the refreshments served by waiters at the conclusion of the game.
If this is done, coffee, toasted wafers, rye or graham bread—cut very thin and the crust removed—made into sandwiches with devilled turkey and sardines, wine jelly and small fancy cakes are amply sufficient.
Serve the wafers, sandwiches and cakes in dishes made by cutting thin, dressed calfskin into the shape of a five-petaled flower, bending up the petals and lacing them together with tan baby-ribbon.
Holes for the lacing can be made with a punch, and the shaping can be done easily and neatly by running a penknife lightly across the leather on the right side where the bend is desired.
The calfskin can be obtained in sheet form at any shoemaker’s or department store. Dainty little doilies can be made to place under the plates.
These may be of burnt leather or of chamois leather cut round or square, and fringed to the depth of two inches, and simple flower designs painted on these in water colors.
Presents proper for this anniversary are innumerable. Dress-suit cases, traveling bags, medicine chests, writing outfits, hunting paraphernalia, gloves, fancy belts and girdles, portemonnaies and music holders are a few of them, and they may be more or less elaborately burned or otherwise decorated, or of exquisitely tinted leather.
Beautiful presents can also be made of chamois leather and suede kid. These include tobacco pouches, blotters, pen wipers, book-covers and glove or handkerchief cases. Beautiful gifts in tooled leather are to be obtained—watch fobs, desk fittings of leather, book-covers, and the like.
At a dainty leather wedding the cards were printed in gilt or silver lettering on oblong pieces of white leather and enclosed in envelopes of the leathery material called leatherette. Embossed goods are also shown in this imitation leather, which resembles antique vellum; and both paper and envelopes may be obtained at any large stationery shop.
The souvenirs were daintily tinted leather cut in heart shapes with a couplet similar to this:
There is nothing like leather,
When well put together,
burned or painted in colors on the leather.
Original ideas could very well follow this suggestion.
Instead of the traditional bride’s-cake in white satin boxes, there was distributed chocolate cake in dainty boxes of tan leatherette, tied with bronzed or gilt shoestrings, such as are used for lacing fancy shoes. Burnt Leather cases in novel shapes are sometimes used instead of boxes.
Jean Wilde Clark, Ed., "Wedding Anniversaries: The Leather 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. 97-100.