The Golden Wedding Anniversary
The golden wedding celebrates the fiftieth anniversary, and differs from the silver, ruby and other anniversaries only in the fact that everything pertaining to the table and house decorations should carry out the golden color. The invitations should be printed in gold.
Golden wedding anniversaries are not frequent, and even when both of those who joined hands fifty years before are living, they are not always observed with merry-making. The invitations are printed in gold.
The decorations are such as suggest the fulness of life. Evergreens, autumn leaves, clematis vine, ripened wheat, and all sorts of brilliant foliage are suitable.
It is proper that the aged couple receive their friends sitting, because if their family connections are numerous or their journey through life has been such as to draw many people about them, the renewal of association is apt to be fatiguing.
Serene, happy old age takes note of the inclinations of its grandchildren, and quite aa often as at the silver wedding festivities young people are afforded an opportunity for merry-making.
Memory calls up instances in which the belle and beau of half a century back have led a stately quadrille upon their golden anniversary, and at one of these celebrations a granddaughter, who was the namesake of her grandmother, was attired in the wedding-gown of her ancestress. Any souvenirs of the bridal of fifty years before should be brought out for this occasion.
The invitations announcing the golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald were large square cards edged with gold and printed in gilt. These were encased in square envelopes tied with yellow silk cords ending in tassels. As golden October was the month, the chrysanthemum and golden-rod naturally figured extensively in the floral ornamentations.
In the hall the newel-posts and stair-rails were hidden by a mass of golden-rod and yellow maple leaves, the chimney was banked with the poet's yellow flower, and the fireplace was filled with maple leaves. Branches of the leaves were hung over doorways and windows.
The portieres between the parlors and hall were a unique and pretty feature of the decorations.
They were made of yellow leaves strung by their stems on fine black thread. The strings of leaves were hung not too close together and swayed and trembled with every passing breath. Ropes of smilax draped these picturesque portieres back.
On a blank space of the wall were the dates in large letters formed of yellow leaves. Underneath were two hearts of crimson leaves pierced by an arrow of yellow ones. In the parlors white and yellow chrysanthemums were seen, and beneath a beautiful arch made of these flowers, and bearing the dates “1855-1906,” stood Mr. and Mrs. MacDonald.
Standing near their former master and mistress were Uncle Jake and Aunt Dilsey, who had been present at the original wedding, the one as valet, the other as waiting-maid. Both were gorgeous in holiday attire and beaming with happiness and pride at the place of honor.
The table was an artistic study in green, white, and gold.
The supper was delightful, and in harmony with the occasion. The menu consisted of grated celery sprinkled with lemon juice and served in half a lemon rind, and a yellow egg salad placed in the other half, oblong slices, of toasted bread sprinkled with Edam cheese, square sandwiches filled with minced sardines; calf’s-foot jelly, slices of frozen tomatoes served with mayonnaise, beaten biscuit spread with caviar, and slices of turkey with sparkling lemon jelly and a rather tart orange sherbet, eaten from half an orange rind. Peach cream molded in the form of a peach on a green leaf of pistache ice was eaten with gold-cake.
Jean Wilde Clark, Ed., "Wedding Anniversaries: The Golden 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. 124-125.