"The proper attire at wedding and formal breakfasts, as at all festivals before dinner, is a morning dress. Wedding guest gifts are expected ... they are often of a marvelous level of inappropriateness. On the bridal couple's return they expect the usual succession of dinners and evening parties."
Presents are expected from the connections and friends, and the quantity and value of these have become of late so excessive, that the obligation to give them is felt by all but the richest and most prodigal to be very burdensome. They are often of a marvelous inappropriateness. We have known a silver tureen sent to a young couple whose prospects in life hardly indicated the probability of even a regular supply of the simple pot of soup which good Henry the Fourth of France wished to be the least daily portion of every one of his subjects.
The presents, with the cards of the givers attached, are sent some days before the reception, that they may be displayed on the occasion. This public show of the donatives of the prodigal seems to have been ingeniously designed for the purpose of stimulating the lagging generosity of others, and thus keeping up a practice very grateful, no doubt, to each recipient, but exceedingly painful to most givers.
The proper attire at wedding and formal breakfasts, as at all festivals before dinner, is a morning dress. The gentlemen should wear frock coats, and light vests and trousers, and the ladies their usual morning visiting drapery. The male visitor ordinarily enters the drawing room with his hat in his hand, and the female will always, unless very intimate, present herself with her bonnet on her head.
On the bridal couple's return they expect visits from all those to whom bridal cards have been sent, and the usual succession of dinners and evening parties, after which they lose their distinctive character, and become incorporated into the vast mass of ordinary people.
[From: Bazar Book of Decorum. The care of the Person, Manners, Etiquette, and Ceremonials. 1873]