The Ruby Wedding Anniversary
Forty years after the wedding day comes the ruby wedding. A very pretty reception can be given for this by decorating with ribbon, silk, or crepe paper as near the color of the gem as possible, and deep crimson carnations or Jacque Minot roses.
The refreshments can consist of lobster salad, port wine jelly, claret punch, ices flavored with strawberry or raspberry and colored with cochineal, or decorated with cherries, and cakes iced with cochineal- colored frosting.
The table should be lighted with wax candles having crimson satin shades, and the little baskets, trays, etc., for the sweetmeats, can be covered with deep red crepe paper; the invitations should be printed in dark red ink.
Although Mr. and Mrs. Hall had marriageable grandchildren and thought it rather frivolous to have celebrations in their honor they were finally persuaded to give their consent to this—the fortieth anniversary of their marriage.
For this ruby wedding, the color scheme in decorating the house was most effective. In the hall, a large central light suspended from the ceiling was agreeably softened by a ruby-colored globe, and about this light a star-shaped design was formed with ruby- hued fairy lamps.
Similar lamps were hung in an artistic arrangement up the staircase, and others were secured on a wire structure against the wall to form the dates, between which were the words, “The Ruby Wedding.”
The doors and windows of the parlor were outlined with these tiny, jewel-like lamps, and in the open space above the folding doors the two dates and the name of the anniversary were formed as in the hall. The two mantels were banked with white carnations, and the dates were wrought with dark-red carnations in the soft backgrounds thus formed.
Growing plants of these fragrant, graceful flowers were used generously throughout the parlors—against the mirrors and window curtains, upon trellises reared along the walls, on pretty brackets, and on the various tables and stands.
A sort of bay window at the rear of the back parlor was fitted up in a novel and ingenious manner. A light frame trellis was built around the end walls and was so constructed that it projected five or six feet into the room, with a lattice overhead like an arbor.
Over this entire structure were trained numerous wild grape vines, which had been procured from the woods that day and were twined about the walls and arbor in a very realistic manner, their lower ends being thrust into jars of damp earth to keep the leaves from wilting.
The branches were hung with tempting clusters of grapes—Concords, Catawbas, and other luscious domestic varieties, and mammoth clusters of Tokays and Malagas. The grapes were arranged with due regard to artistic mingling of colors, and the general effect was excellent.
At one side of the entrance to the arbor was a pretty table supporting a beautiful wine set of ruby-colored Bohemian glass and trays of the same filled with biscuits and fancy cakes.
Opposite this table was a narrow rustic one, with bunches of grapes along one side; and here the guests sat and chatted, while they were served with grapes on wooden trays by two young sons of the family. The floor beneath the arbor was spread with bright- green grass mats.
Dancing was enjoyed by the young people, but the last dance was “Sir Roger de Coverly,” gotten up expressly for the elders, and its first figures were executed with great spirit by Mr. Hall and his stately dame, neither of whom had entirely lost the grace of movement for which they had been famous in their youth.
The arrangement of the supper table was both original and pleasing. In the center was a slight mound or pedestal, upon which was placed a candelabrum of ruby-colored and crystal Bohemian glass holding wax candles that burned under ruby-colored shades.
All about the pedestal, and to within two feet of the edge of the long, oval table, was arranged a mass of dark- red geraniums that glowed like a gigantic ruby. This bed of brilliant coloring was bordered by a band of green geranium leaves, upon which the two dates were traced in alternation, with the wedded couple’s initials between.
A number of the gifts were of ruby-colored Venetian or Bohemian glass, and where it was practical these were used in serving supper.
Among the table ware thus displayed were lovely ice cream plates, sherbet glasses, olive and almond trays, bonbon baskets, and salad- bowls.
The menu included such delicacies as boned turkey and cranberry jelly, beet salad, lobster in the shell, raspberry sherbet colored to a ruby tint with cochineal, dark-red gelatin served in dainty baskets of orange rind, tomato cups with cherries frozen on top, ruby cream molded in rose forms, cake marbled with ruby veining, blood oranges, and ruby-skinned apples.
Jean Wilde Clark, Ed., "Wedding Anniversaries: The Ruby 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. 122-123.