Where a wedding is celebrated in the usual forms, cards of invitation are issued at least a week before-hand. The hour selected is usually eight o'clock, P.M. Wedding cake, wines, and other refreshments, are prepared by the bride and her friends for the occasion. The bride is usually dressed in pure white; she wears a white veil, and her head is crowned with a wreath of white flowers, usually artificial; and orange blossoms are preferred. She should wear no ornaments but such as her intended husband or father may present her for the occasion; certainly no gift, if any such are retained, of any former suitor.
The bridesmaids are generally younger than the bride, and should be dressed in white, but more simply than the bride. The bridegroom must be in full dress; that is, he must wear a black or blue dress coat, which, if he pleases, may be faced with white satin; a white vest, black pantaloons, and dress boots or pumps, with black silk stocking, white kid gloves, and a white cravat.
Duties of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. - The bridegroom is attended by on or two groomsmen, who should be dressed in a similar manner. It is the duty of the bridesmaids to assist in dressing the bride, and making the necessary preparations for the guests. The chief groomsman engages the clergyman or magistrate, and upon his arrival introduces him to the bride and bridegroom, and the friends of the parties.
Treatment of guests. - The invited guests, upon their arrival, are received as at other parties, and after visiting the dressing-rooms and arranging their toilets, they proceed to the room where the ceremony is to be performed. In some cases the marriage ceremony is performed before the arrival of the guests.