This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
From forty to fifty small tables are arranged with four seats to each, menu cards form the centre-piece. The prettiest I have seen were triangular, of white porcelain, headed with a cupid perched in a tree, and a slim fair maiden in robes of white, with cornflowers in her Leghorn hat, standing in a very fre-Ra-fhaelite field, with one of the archer god's darts in her breast and her hand on it. Whilst an Adonis of, I must confess, rather dusky hue, and curly hair, was issuing from behind a tree. By the way, I may as well here give the:
Galantine de tete de veau.
Terrines (Potted meats).
Terrines de leveret.
Et perigord, boeuf, faison, etc.
Mayonnaise du saumon.
Mayonnaise vert, blanc et jaune.
Creme de veau, etc.
Godivaux et quenelles.
Poulettes. Jambons de Yorke.
Dindon roti et en galantine, chevreuil rote.
Faisan roti. Faisan a l'Indienne.
Mayonnaise de perdreaux. Pate de perdreaux.
Florendines de lievre. Trophee de becasse.
Paid de becasse. Pluviers en broche.
Pates des gibers. Salades.
Maraschino. Noyeau, pink and white.
Punch and lovintr cup.
"The arrangements of the buffet are in this wise. In the centre of the horseshoe table is the wedding cake, ornamented with a wreath of natural white flowers and green foliage of a light character round its base. The various tiers are dressed with groupings of designs in sugar work, showing forth some Shakesperean love story; Ten-nysonian idyll; or groupings of historic scenes from the family history. The edges are piped in white, and the wreaths on the cake are of sugar work. If natural flowers are used they are not placed on the sugar work or icing direct, but In delicate vases, and the stem3 wrapped in damp cotton wool, as no water must touch the icing, and the flavor of flowers and plants do not add to the gout of the cake's icing. There are usually stands of three tiers about four feet long, draped in crimson or pale blue sateen with lace valances, on which rest the lighter pastries, jellies, creams, etc., interspersed with groups of many-hued flowers in pots, together with bouquets, and stands of cut exotics, epergnes of fruits.
Trophies of game, fowl or sweets rests on the buffet itself, whilst between the four-feet tiers spaces are left where, behind the buffet, the carvers, in their spotless white dress and caps, are to be seen busily engaged, and their assistant servers, neatly dressed young women, handing the plates to the army of well-trained servants and waiters attending to the guests, who group themselves at the small tables or sit down at a long dining table in the centre of the room.
"The rage just now is to have a high-class string quartette band playing really good chamber music, and not a few of dear old Abbe Lizzt's pieces, Mendelssohn's songs without words music from the Mid-summer Night's Dream, selections from Flotow, Gounod, etc., find their way into the programme of sweet sounds. The cake in the Salle a Manger is not supposed to be cut till the bride's parents or sisters send it out to their absent friends and relatives. To dream on, eh? It is the cake in the reception room that receives the honor of distribution, and is partaken of with light wine at the reception." - Cordon Bleu in British and Foreign Confectioner.