As in England, the wedding dress is invariably white, and a wreath of flowers is worn on the hair under a long tulle veil which completely covers her dress. The poorer classes have white muslin for their bridal garment, the richer wear silk, but the veil is always of white tulle. The bride is led to the church by her father, who is followed by a procession of male friends and relations to the number of, perhaps, a hundred.
The marriage ceremony is performed according to the rites of the Roman Church, and at the conclusion of the service they all return to the house, where the ladies are assembled, and a reception is held, light refreshment being offered to the guests.
Corsican marriages are generally arranged by the parents, and the wishes of the bride are of even less consequence than they are in France. The travelled, wealthy classes of Corsica have recently adopted the conventional Continental attire for the bridegroom.
Consequently, the element of picturesqueness does not enter so fully into the bridal processions as when the bridegroom, best-man, and their following of friends and relatives wore the national costume. As civilisation - or what we, perhaps mistakenly, regard as civilisation - advances eastward, northward, and southward, the picturesque recedes before it, and every brightly coloured national dress will, in a couple of decades, be but a memory.
A Sardinian Wedding
One of the prettiest, most romantic, and most picturesque processions left to us in these modern, practical days is that which precedes by about a week a Sardinian marriage, when all the personal effects of the bride are moved to her future home. Furniture, kitchen utensils, clothing, oil, and wine are piled on waggons drawn by bullocks with oranges stuck on their horns, and flowers and ribbons tied round their necks. In front of the procession marches a little band of musicians, playing pipes, and at the rear, on the last waggon, decorated with flowers, rests the bride's spindle and distaff, full of white wool, the emblem of past industry, and pledge of future willingness to work. The bride herself rides behind the waggons on a beautiful white horse, the bridle of which is held by a male relative.
Some days later, the young couple attend Mass together, the bride being accompanied by some female friends, and a day or two afterwards the marriage takes place, the service being that of the Roman Catholic Church.
On returning from the church, the usual feast is held, relatives and friends being entertained by the bride's parents. The bride and bridegroom eat from the same plate and drink from the same cup, a symbol of their being about to share the same fate. Then, in procession, bride and bridegroom and guests go to the new home, which is gaily decorated with flowers and evergreeens. Here the bride's mother receives her daughter, and then follows an idyllic little scene. With a more or less dramatic gesture, the mother throws into the air a plateful of wheat and salt - the first symbolical of plenty, the second of hospitality. Then she holds out her hands and utters a benison : "May the Saints bless thee, my daughter." The bride then passes into her new home, where dancing, eating, and drinking conclude the wedding-day ceremonies.
Silver, Golden, and Diamond Wedding Anniversaries - Wooden and Tin Anniversaries - Royal
George's Message to Workhouse Inmates who were Celebrating their Diamond Wedding
Deep down in the heart of nearly every individual is a feeling of sentiment for the anniversaries of their life, of which every year brings its share. Some of these are so sacred that they are kept hidden in the innermost recesses of the memory, some are so sad that they cannot be thought of without tears, while there are others so joyous that friends and relatives are gathered together to assist in celebrating their observance.
From our German cousins has come the pretty custom of celebrating the rare fiftieth anniversary of the marriage of a united couple with all the festive rites of a golden wedding, or the less rarely occurring event of the twenty-fifth anniversary as a silver wedding. Formerly, other wedding anniversaries used also to be observed, such as a cotton wedding for the first year, a paper, a leather, and a wooden wedding. The tenth anniversary was celebrated as a tin wedding, the latter metal presumably being of more value then than now. In the present day, however, most of these have fallen into disuse, the silver, golden, and diamond weddings being the only ones to which public recognition is conceded.
It is given to very few to achieve the distinction of a diamond wedding, for sixty years of wedded life is a longer span than is granted to most - longer, indeed, than many would desire, for by that time hearts must be growing weary and the brain almost tired of counting the landmarks on the road of life.
There is no doubt of the popularity of these anniversaries, for they are acclaimed by all, from the crowned heads of monarchs to the humblest inmates of the almshouses.
A Notable Anniversary
During the last half century there have been some very notable celebrations, foremost among them being the golden wedding of his Majesty King Christian IX. of