Back in 1960, the March 26th issue of Woman magazine, supplied recipes to help a bride cater for her wedding buffet.
While today, the bride and groom will often book a reception in a hotel, where a four-course dinner will be served to a hundred and fifty wedding guests. For many newlyweds to keep the costs down in 1960 the bride and her family would make most of the food. The exception being the cake which was sometimes outsourced to a bakery or a relative who was considered a good baker, would offer to make the cake. Then after the church, a function room would be hired for the reception of fifty guests on average.
Wedding Celebration spread
So what typical wedding food did a bride and groom have at their wedding in 1960.
Savoury Vol-Au-Vents, the magazine suggests chicken and mushroom or a very fancy Crab and egg.
Sandwich Hearts with fillings including cream cheese, onion and watercress, shrimp and celery or ham, minced walnuts and mayonnaise
Rose Petal Cakes
Ice-strawberry (strawberry ice cream)
The Wedding cake
A fruitcake mix of sultanas, currants, seedless raisins, cherries, candied peel, almonds. They suggest the lower tier of the wedding cake will serve fifty guests. The cost of a two-tier cake with icing but no decoration was £3 6s. 6d.
Each guest would be served six to eight savouries, two cakes and one helping of fruit salad and ice cream.
The magazine gives details on how much drink to supply for fifty guests at your wedding buffet.
What your guests will drink
Quantities for 50
Champagne or white wine: 15 to 18 bottles. One bottle fills 5-6 glasses.
Tea: 3/4 lb. tea, 7 pints milk, 2 1/2lb. Sugar.
Coffee: 1 1/2 lb. Ground coffee, 12 pints water, 12 pints milk, 2 1/2 lb. Sugar.
While this food and drink list might not seem like much, this was a wedding buffet and the party would generally finish by the evening compared to today where guests party into the night with a band and Deejay. In 1960, the bride and groom would often change into their going away outfits and depart before their guests. Considering the cost of weddings today, the idea of a 1960’s small intimate wedding buffet sounds ideal.
Source: Author’s own copy of Woman magazine dated 26th March 1960