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Here comes the bride…breakfast to follow. The Wedding of Stephen Mather and Jane Thacker Floy.

As recorded in the New York Telegram on October 12, 1893…“The marriage of Miss Jeannie Thacker Floy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Floy of Elizabeth, New Jersey to Mr. Stephen

Tyng Mather was celebrated to-day at noon in St. James Church, Elizabeth. The Rev. Edson W. Burr, D.D., pastor of the church, assisted by Rev. James Montgomery, of Brooklyn, officiated. The best man was Mr. Robert Sterling Yard. The maid of honor was Miss Grace S. Floy, sister of the bride. There were no bridesmaids…”


In a trunk in the far recesses of the attic, is an envelope containing the wedding invitation, and other documents related to the event. Among the elements of the invitation is a card reading: Breakfast from half-past twelve until two o’clock 129 West Grand Street.


Wedding breakfast? At the time of Stephen and Jane’s wedding in the late nineteenth century, the reception that followed the ceremony was known as the wedding breakfast.


One school of thought is that the term originated when marriages were celebrated with a Mass, and the couple fasted before the ceremony. Others trace its advent to the mid-19th century. In Britain, the term ‘wedding breakfast’ is still widely used. And indeed, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘wedding breakfast’ was a multi-course evening affair accompanied by a 2009 Meursault, a 2004 Pomerol, and Laurent Perrier Rosé.


As for what Mr. and Mrs. Floy served, that appears to be lost to history.


St. James Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey



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