Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Vintage Wedding Food Ideas

Before we look at vintage wedding food ideas, we have to define what a vintage wedding is. The definition of the word vintage is the year or place in which wine, especially wine of high quality, was produced. The part of this definition that applies to Vintage Weddings is to identify what era your wedding theme is going to be based on. A 1920’s style wedding offers up different foods than a 1950s-themed wedding. If you want a truly vintage style menu for your wedding, don’t mix vintage eras, but stay true to the theme you’ve chosen.

The most popular eras for vintage weddings today are the 1920s, 1940s and 1950s, so for this blog, we’ll look at ideas for those three decades.

Vintage Wedding Menu Ideas

1920s

The 1920s was an era of dramatic changes known as the Roaring 20s and the Jazz Age, and motion pictures were introduced. It was an age of prosperity and offers a wide variety of options when planning your vintage menu.


  • Finger foods: deviled eggs, tea sandwiches, mushrooms stuffed with pimientos, shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon canapés
  • Salad: You can make this optional because according to food historian Krishnendu Ray, at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, “many thought salads to be effeminate and French,” and so they were missing from the menu. Salads did make a comeback though with the invention of the Caesar Salad made from romaine lettuce, Romano cheese, bread, olive oil and some eggs.
  • Entrée: Baked Ham soaked and rolled in liquor and breadcrumbs served with celery stuffed with cream cheese and red pimentos, carrots and peas, and potatoes with cheese.
  • Dessert: Walnut bread or caramel custard


1940s

If you go with a big band theme your menu will be different than choosing an afternoon tea which highlights a buffet of cakes paired with tea served in mismatched cups. During WWII, with rationing, food served at a wedding would be limited, but 1940’s American cuisine offers a wide variety of tasty menu options. Here are a few options to inspire your choices:

  • Salad: Mix cooked green beans cut into 1 in. lengths, diced cooked potato, and a large lettuce shredded. Decorate with sliced tomato and a few chopped spring onions
  • Soup: Wartime pumpkin soup, cream of potato soup, or clam chowder
  • Entrée: Deviled chicken served with sweet and sour carrots
  • Dessert: Cola Marsh Ice (made with marshmallows, cola, salt and lemon juice and sliced for best presentation), or banana shortcake


1950s

In the post WWII 1950s things changed. We had drive-in theaters, TV dinners, beatniks, I Love Lucy, and society loved to dance.

  • Salad: the 1950s was the era of salads made with Jell-O. For your menu consider molded Jell-O made with cottage cheese and canned fruit. Greens salads should be made with iceberg lettuce served with French dressing or a vinaigrette.
  • Appetizer: Deviled eggs, fondue, or fruit skewers. For a more casual wedding serve up celery and Cheese Whiz
  • Entrees: Roast or Swedish meatballs, with mashed potatoes and corn or green beans. For a casual wedding individual pot pies are a good choice. For something between casual and elegant, serve steak with fries.
  • Dessert: Fruit cup, or ice cream banana split.


These ideas just begin to scratch the surface of vintage dining. Once you know your wedding theme, decide on dishes in keeping with that theme. The main thing is to keep it fun. You want your guests to feel like they are at a celebration!

Images: pixabay, flickr.com, wikipedia


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Irish Wedding Bell Tradition then and Now

If I say wedding bells, most of my readers will picture church bells ringing to celebrate the vows taken by newlyweds. Did you ever wonder where the wedding bells tradition came from? It roots go back to an Irish tradition when the bells were sounded to ward off evil spirits to make a happy family life certain. But this tradition goes back even farther -- before church bells.

The Irish wedding bell tradition began with the Irish family giving the couple a set of bells after they recited their vows. Again, the bells were rung to ward off evil spirits. After they were married, the wedding bells were kept in the couple’s home to remind them of their vows to each other.

Today, the Irish wedding bell makes a great wedding gift for Irish couples. The custom is to place it in a prominent place in the newlywed’s home, and if/when the couple happens to argue they ring the bell as a reminder of their wedding vows and the original ringing of the church bells on their wedding day. According to this custom, if the argument can’t be settled affably, the bell is rung louder. The reasoning − the sound of the bell can purify and dispel over stimulated emotions. The result is supposed to be a change in perspective. Plus, the sounding of the bell signals the end of the argument, even if neither the husband or wife capitulated. It offers the equivalent of a “time out” in the “discussion,” and allows time for both people to cool down and think rationally. For this reason, it is also known as the Irish make up bell.

The Irish wedding bell remains an endearing wedding tradition with its origins in an old superstition. Today it can be celebrated in a number of ways. Some couples give their guests small bells at the ceremony to be rung after the vows are completed, or at the reception to be used as kissing bells. Some brides choose to wear a small bracelet or charm with tiny bells. All of these offer ways to include this tradition in your special day, but having an Irish wedding bell on display in your home offers a special keepsake marking the couple’s Irish heritage and the special vows exchanged that day.


Image sources: Amazon

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Why Do We Throw Rice at Weddings?

Throwing rice used to be a popular wedding tradition but it’s one we’ve stepped away from more and more in modern times for a number of reasons, including the fact that it isn’t allowed in most venues. Originally guests threw oats, grains, dried corn, (for Czech newlyweds it was peas), and eventually it was rice. Showering the newlyweds with this “life-giving” seed was meant to shower the couple with good fortune, prosperity, and fertility.

One of the reasons rice isn’t thrown much today is due to an urban legend which says rice is harmful to birds, but this has been proven false. The story speculated that the rice expanded in the birds’ stomachs and caused our feathered friends to explode. In 1985 a Connecticut state legislator even introduced a bill to outlaw the practice and those caught throwing rice would be fined $50.

Other issues with throwing hard grain is that it can actually hurt, get in your ears, poke your eyes, etc. If people toss the grain underhand it gently showers the bride and groom, but when hurled like a major-league pitcher, with speed and purpose, it hurts.

If you like the traditional symbolism associated with throwing “life-giving” seed to wish the newly married couple good luck as they leave the church, there are a variety of other options. Probably the most popular is birdseed or sunflower seeds. While these are bird-friendly options, like rice these can hurt if thrown with vigor and be slippery on sidewalks creating a slipping hazard. For those wishing to avoid that risk, some people have turned to blowing bubbles, but this too can be really slippery if done indoors as bubbles from so many well-wishers land on the floor and pop creating a soapy film, so be careful.


Other options include flower petals, which can provide beautiful color for some stunning wedding pictures. I’ve also seen people release butterflies (which dates back to the 90s), but environmentalists point out that this will cause an imbalance to the ecosystem.

So what is the best alternative to throwing rice at a wedding? They make biodegradable confetti which is lightweight, comes in color or white, and falls gracefully which makes for great wedding photos -- plus it dissolves when it rains so there’s no mess to clean up. That's a big plus in my book.

Image Sources: dmitrimarkine.com, Amazon


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ideas for Something, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Today many brides follow the tradition of wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. This tradition comes from an Old English rhyme which originated in England in the late 19th century:

Something olde,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue,
A sixpence in your shoe.

The four objects commonly added to the bride’s wedding attire or to what she carries with her on the big day are historically just good luck charms. Don't stress too much about them. You can easily accomplish this by keeping the items small and hanging them from the bridal bouquet. For instance, you can include an old photograph borrowed from a family member, tied with a blue ribbon and you’ll have old, new, borrowed, and blue all in the bouquet. Or for a really easy option, you can purchase a trinket that can be pinned or clicked into place.

What these Items Represent
While this practice is still widely practiced today, it belongs to wedding traditions thought to bring good luck. In this case, each item has its own meaning or blessing. 

Old represents continuity
New signifies optimism
Borrowed item stands for happiness
Blue symbolizes love, purity, and fidelity
Sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity (largely a British custom)

Most of the time the Maid of Honor is the one responsible for making sure the bride is equipped with these items, but it can be fun to include members of the family too.


Ideas for Something, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
Including family or other loved ones in this wedding tradition adds an element of sentiment that will become part of your own wedding lore. For instance, go to your mom or sister for something borrowed. And for something old, have dad pull out an old photo of the two of you or a baby picture of you from his wallet just before you walk down the aisle. And ask a brother or uncle or close male family friend to come up with something blue. In this way, it’s more like a wedding scavenger hunt and a great way to create a special memory unique to your wedding story.


Source: pixabay.com, etsy

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What Did Weddings Look Like the Year You Were Born?

1960s bride and groom
When it comes to weddings, those of us who have been around for a while can look at a photo and guess the era of the wedding based on how the bride, groom, and bridal party is dressed and of course hairstyles.

While on Facebook today, I came across a slideshow that takes a look at bridal fashion starting back in 1916. It's a fun overview that includes interesting tidbits of history and wedding traditions. Enjoy the 100-year journey! And if you're considering a vintage wedding, it's also a perfect resource.

Wedding dresses like this one pictured in 1929 represent typical wedding dress style of the era, but by the 1950s designs evolved to include billowing skirts and wasp-waist designs. As an example of a wasp-waste the waistline, Elizabeth Taylor's wedding dress waist measured 20 inches!

By the 1960s, wedding dress designs became sleeker but cakes grew fancier. In the 60s and 70s it was still common to hold a wedding reception at someone's house, but as wedding traditions continued to evolve along with the dresses in the decades following, the wedding ceremony, venue, and reception grew increasingly extravagant...and expensive.
1929 wedding

Even in the 70s it wasn't unusual for a family member or close friend to make a wedding dress as a way to save money. Back then, fabric was way cheaper. To put it into perspective, malls were still a brand-new concept at the time. Another way to save was to order your dress through one of the catalogs like J.C. Penney, Sears, or Montgomery Wards. This was also a great place to order bridesmaids dresses especially when the wedding party lived in different states.

Photo credits: Pixbay, wikipedia




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Newer Wedding Trends and Traditions

In my last post we looked at some of today's most popular traditions and I mentioned that in this post we'd look new practices that are becoming traditions in their own rite. After all, every tradition starts somewhere. For instance, the tradition of wedding flowers started in ancient Rome when brides carried herbs beneath their veils to ward off evil spirits and ensure fertility and fidelity for the union. Similarly, in ancient Greece, brides used Ivy to represent lasting love.


Overtime, the incorporation of flowers in weddings has become a tradition. We have flower girls, wedding flowers, including the bridal bouquet, pew decorations, corsages for mothers of the bride and groom, reception flowers, and more. In fact, wedding flowers are big business with different flowers symbolizing unique meanings.

With all that said, today's modern trends in wedding flowers leave the traditional standard behind and leans toward personal preference. Traditional white is still in style, but today's trends have brides going with anything from bold and robust colors to monochromatic selections with only one flower or color, and bridesmaids' bouquets that no longer have to match the bride's bouquet. Plus in today's global society, flowers aren't as restricted by season, so if the bride loves stargazer lilies which traditionally bloom mid-to-late summer and are known for their fragrant perfume they are available for winter weddings, too.

Dances
Another tradition that's changing are the bride and groom's first dance, as well as the father-daughter or mother-and-son dance. Today, the trend for the newly married couple is to step away from the traditional slow dance and liven things up with something like a tango or salsa. Another step away from tradition replaces the father/daughter dance by having the bride dance with her mother, stepfather, or special friend.


Another trend for wedding dances is to have the DJ call all the married couples to the dance floor and gradually eliminate them as the dance goes on leaving the longest married couple with the honor of the last couple dancing.

Instead of Bouquet Toss
While the bouquet toss is still one of the most practiced wedding traditions, the trend seems to have brides moving away from the practice. The reason behind this seems to be many single friends aren't interested in participating in the bouquet toss these days, so instead brides are giving the bouquet to their parents as a special memento.

Instead of Garter Toss
Instead of the garter toss, couples are including their youngest guests in the fun. One popular idea is the tossing of a white teddy bear for one lucky winner to catch. An alternative to this is to toss soft, wrapped candy so all the kids can grab a prize.

Personalized Escort Cards
As a special way to thank each wedding guest, some couples write out a personalized thank-you on a small card which doubles as their escort cards. These also make a special keepsake for wedding guest.


Signature Drink
A fairly new trend includes offering a signature drink to guests during cocktail hour. The hardest part for this one is to think up a clever name for the drink.

Slideshow
Another new wedding tradition includes a slideshow designed to entertain guests with slides of the bride and groom starting with childhood photos and working through their lives to courtship and engagement.

Today, I guess we could say the newest wedding tradition is that anything goes. 


Photo credits: Pixbay, Viemo, Viemo

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wedding Traditions Most Practiced Today


Every bride and groom wants their wedding day to be special and memorable. And many want it to stand out from the rest by doing something different or unique. But it gets harder and harder to find the new and different because word spreads fast. For instance, I remember the first time I had carrot wedding cake. What a delicious difference. That might have been twenty years ago. Now it is common place to have wedding cakes comprised of different flavors for each layer, or even wedding cupcakes. So the traditional wedding cake is gradually becoming an obsolete tradition. 


Some wedding traditions have become so entrenched in culture that many times people look at them as rules to be followed. What you do with that will depend on whether you are one who abides by the rules or someone who believes rules are made to be broken. With that said, this post takes a look at the most-practiced wedding traditions today.


Father of Bride Giving the Bride Away
In a 2014 Harris poll, most people still think the father of the bride should give the bride away. However, people aren't so sure about sticking him with the bill for the wedding anymore.

Spending Night Before the Wedding Apart
The UK's four-star Hallmark Hotels also polled people in the UK regarding wedding traditions and 54 percent of them believe couples should spend the night before the wedding apart. In the U.S. we are even more traditional with 74 percent of us following this tradition.



Something, Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
This tradition of the bride wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is a tradition that originates from an Old English rhyme but is still widely practiced today. 

Adding these items to what the bride wears is among wedding traditions thought to bring good luck, but each item has its own meaning. The old represents continuity, the new signifies optimism, the borrowed item stands for happiness, and the blue symbolizes love, purity, and fidelity.

Throwing the Bouquet
Throwing the bridal bouquet is another popular tradition which stems from a time when other women tried to rip pieces of the bride's dress and flowers to steal some of her good luck for themselves. Back then, the bride tossed her flowers into the air in order to make her get away while the guests were distracted. Today, the belief tied to this practice has morphed into whoever catches it will be the next to be married.

In my next blog we'll take a look at new practices that are quickly becoming traditions in their own rite.

Related article: Wedding Traditions Origins: Newer Wedding Trends and Traditions


Photo credits: John Mayer, Timothy Marsee