Outdoor functions popular in August — how to manage them
No entertainments are more popular in summer than “garden parties,” and consequently they are generally given whenever facilities offer themselves for so doing.
The garden party season actually commences toward the end of June — about the 21st — and even earlier, and many of these functions have already taken place. Not a few are annual affairs, and are anticipated with no little pleasure by the guests usually invited.
One distinct difference between afternoon at homes and garden parties is that husbands are invited with their wives to the latter and seldom to the former, and also that they invariably go to the one when possible, and very rarely to the other.
Bachelors make a concession, however, and attend at homes given by their intimate friends, and here and there a man accompanies his wife to an at home, although it is almost a favor on his part when he does so; but he drives out of town to a garden party with his wife or daughters as a matter of course, as the fact of a party given outdoors instead of within doors commends itself to most men.
Invitations to garden parties are issued on at home cards, and the words, “At home,” the usual formula, save in the instances there given.
When two dates are put upon the invitation cards, as is often the case, a hesitation arises as to whether guests are expected to go to both or to one only, and many queries reach us with regard to this point. As a rule, guests are not expected to accept for both dates, but to choose the one most convenient. There are exceptions, however, to this received rule, and guests not infrequently do attend two garden parties, when the dates are wide apart and when they are intimate friends of the giver, but on alternate dates — that is, when a week only elapses between the dates mentioned — the acceptance for one only is usually expected, unless something is said to the contrary by the hostess on the departure of her guests. In the country, such intimation is often given to the principal neighbors, but seldom in town.
Again, in the country, the words, “and party,” are put upon the cards, meant to include the members of a family and any visitors who may be staying at the house. Thus a home party brought to a country garden party is sometimes rather a large one, while in town no latitude is given to bring friends, and permission has to be obtained before venturing to do so.
Amusements & refreshments
In the country, tennis and croquet afford amusement sufficient for the guests at the generality of garden parties, although at very large gatherings, a band — usually a local one — is added to form an additional attraction, while in town, the most popular bands are engaged by the givers of these entertainments.
Guests usually remain a longer time at a garden party than at an afternoon at home, and for this reason “Good-bye” is said to the hostess on departure when possible, although those who leave early omit this civility on account of her being still engaged in receiving arrivals. At very large functions, cards are left in the hall on departure, and thus the obligation of doing so afterwards is obviated.
It is customary to serve refreshments in the house and out of doors, in the former case tea, coffee and all kinds of dainty cakes, sandwiches, sweets, hothouse fruits, etc., being given on long tables in the dining room or library, and without doors in some convenient spot, strawberries and cream. Ices and iced cups are provided. Occasionally, refreshments are served in a large marquee or tent instead of in the house, when more convenient to do so, or the latter supplements the former when the number of guests is considerable.
Photo 2: A handsome garden-party gown of shot silk (1898)
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Publication: Kansas City Journal (Kansas City, Mo.)
Publication date: August 7, 1898