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


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


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


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,, wikipedia

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Irish Wedding Bell Tradition then and Now

Irish Make Up Bell
Did you know ringing of wedding bells began with an Irish wedding bell tradition? Yes the ringing of church bells goes back to a tradition when the bells were sounded to ward off evil spirits to make a happy family life for the bride and groom certain, but this wedding tradition goes back even farther -- before church bells -- to the Irish wedding bell.

Irish Wedding Bell Tradition

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.

Why It Is Called the Irish Make Up Bell

Today, the Irish wedding bell makes a great wedding gift for Irish couples and even those who aren't Irish. The custom is to place the bell 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. According to this custom, if the argument can’t be settled affably, the bell is rung louder for these reasons:
Waterford Irish Wedding Bell

  • The sound of the bell can purify and dispel over stimulated emotions. 
  • The result is supposed to be a change in perspective. 
  • 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.

Irish Wedding Bell Tradition Rejuvenated

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. And even if you're not Irish, having a make up bell handy in your home can help remind you of what's really important when you have a falling out.

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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:, Amazon