Saturday, July 10, 2010

Historical Photos of a Lovely Wedding from 1960

I recently met some guests who were staying at the hotel. They live in New Hampshire, but stay here quite often. I learned they were married here nearly 50 years ago, so I asked them if they had any photos that they could share with us to scan for our archives.

One of the things that I have learned in managing an historic hotel is that people tend to think of history as something that happened "a long time ago" so they don't necessarily think of the things that occurred in their lifetime as historical. I make it a point to try to collect things "along the way" and find ways to add them to the hotel's collections so that we have more of a complete look at the hotel's history.

These guests were very kind, and on their most recent visit they brought these photos from their well-loved (by their children) wedding album. We were able to get good scans of them to add to our archives, as well as to share with you here.

We love this view of the Ballroom set for this wedding reception in 1960, and shot from the "Grandmother Windows" of the hotel, just as many photographers do today. It is especially fun for us to see the detail of the servers' uniforms, the table settings, floor (the old terrazzo flooring, not carpet), and the chairs that were in use at the time. We also enjoy seeing how they set up the cake as part of the head table.

You can also see this was in the day when the beautiful Palladian windows were boarded over to give a more 'modern' look to the Ballroom, as well as the old chandeliers, which have now been replaced twice, once with plain brass chandeliers, and now with more ornate crystal chandeliers.

The cake had the traditional "bride and groom" topper on it, and actually the couple look a LOT like the couple cutting the cake.

This portrait that was taken in the Pickman Room puzzled several people because of the columns that appear to float outside the window. I was able to point out to them that they are the columns on the Andrew Safford House, which is right across the street from the hotel. Now there are many trees that have grown up, so the view is not identical as it was in this portrait, but the columns are still there.

The "toast" was accomplished in what we call "flats" today, rather than the flute-style glasses that we utilize now. This is a small detail, but one any future bride might want to check, because some function halls and caterers still use the very old-fashioned "flats" to this day. They are not the nicest for the wine, but were a bit of an affectation by unenlightened service staff "back in the day", meaning at a time when wine was not as fully and properly appreciated as it is now.

I hope you enjoy seeing them, and we wish the O'Hare's a happy 50th wedding anniversary, coming up in August 2010!


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