Vintage Valentine’s Day Greetings

The roots of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to Ancient Rome, though the modern incarnation of the Holiday didn’t begin until the turn of the 19th century.This article in Town & Country Magazine illustrates a brief history of how Valentine’s Day has evolved and why the tradition of sending greeting cards has become a fixture of the season.

We love looking back at vintage Valentine’s Day cards from the 19th and 20th centuries to see changing trends. Many of the bold illustrations and puns of the past have given way to more subtle designs, though we can’t help but smile when we look at how people have expressed their love through the ages.

Please feel free to share some of your favorite Valentine’s Day cards that you have received over the years and tag us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Real Weddings: Suzanne and Daniel

Suzanne Schueller and Daniel Gottlander

July 25, 2015

Saint Anne’s Church

Mackinac Island, Michigan

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On a breezy Friday evening, welcome cocktails with incomparable views of the Straits of Mackinac thrilled guests on the East Front Porch of the legendary Grand Hotel. A lively dinner followed in the hotel’s grand yet still intimate Cottage Restaurant.GrandHotel_East_Front_Porch

Then, on the big day and an absolutely perfect July Saturday, Suzanne and Daniel exchanged vows in Saint Anne’s Church. Ste._Anne's_Catholic_Church_on_Mackinac_Island[1](The parish used a historic log church for over a century but the current church complex dates from 1874.) Revelry followed the ceremony at the Grand Hotel’s charming outpost, Woods. Located a short carriage ride into the wooded interior of the island, Woods, housed in an opulent Tudor mansion with Bavarian charm, proved the perfect hideaway for dinner and dancing.Schueller_Coach_WoodsSchuellerCoach

Historic Mackinac Island, located between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan where two Great Lakes meet, is under four square miles and has a year round population of fewer than 500 people. One of the island’s famed Victorian houses has been in the family for generations. Motorized vehicles were only briefly allowed on the island and have been prohibited since 1898. No Uber here; bicycles and elegant horse-drawn carriages are the norm.

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With Suzanne’s parents, Shannon and Dean, Dempsey & Carroll was pleased to create the most classic engraved foldover invitations, reception cards, and response card sets as well as several short stacks of lovely ceremony program booklets bound by ivory silk ribbon. For Daniel’s parents, Eva and Robert, we created an inspired rehearsal dinner invitation in our vibrant peacock blue ink. Delightful papers for a splendid series of events. Congratulations, Suzanne and Daniel!Schueller_InformationCard-web

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Photography: Sara Wright

Wedding Video: William Erwin

A spotlight on Bizia Greene

Dempsey & Carroll event curator Austin Ackles sat down with Bizia to discuss etiquette and her recent wedding.bizia1

AA: Most of our clients have their thank you cards printed at the same time as their wedding invitations. Occasionally, I get panicked phone calls as gifts start arriving far in advance of the wedding. When should the thank you cards be sent?

BG: Ideally thank you notes should be sent as gifts arrive but you can allow up to three months after the wedding. Give yourself a head start by ordering stationery, selecting beautiful postage and addressing envelopes in advance of your wedding date. After the whirlwind of the celebrations and honeymoon you’ll be glad to come home to part of the task complete. Make writing your notes a relaxing ritual with a well lit, comfortable space accompanied by a cup of tea or glass of bubbly. Share the task with your partner and write a few a day.

AA: With the holiday season approaching, we’ll all be attending too many wonderful parties. What should every gracious thank you note include?

BG: When thanking your host, reference something unique about the event that moved you i.e. the beautiful decor, the delicious trifle like your grandmother used to make or the new friends you made. By making it personal your host will know the event was a success and you’re sure to get an invite to the next soirée.

.AA: What thank you card have you received that left you with the most lasting impression?

BG: Thank you notes that expressed the impact of our attention to detail and effort stand out. My husband and I received a few shortly after our wedding complimenting our weekend events, decor, catering and seating arrangements to name a few. It made us feel like all the hard work we put into curating a memorable and warm celebration was recognized and appreciated.

AA: Your own wedding was just about two months ago. In terms of planning, what was your biggest worry that simply evaporated on the big day?

BG: The weather, of course! Our wedding ceremony and reception were supposed to be outside. Although we had a rain plan, most of our energy wabizia2s spent on the outdoor vision. We began the ceremony outside and midway through thunder and lightning moved in quickly. Guests rallied and began carrying their chairs indoors where we finished the ceremony. I got to arrive at my own wedding twice and was relieved to see what good sports they all were. We dined by candlelight because the power went out. In fact, everyone thought the evening was very memorable and laughed about it. In the end, guests are there to celebrate you rain or shine.

 

 

In 1883, Messrs. Dempsey & Carroll published LOVE

LOVE’S POWER

Then, more than blest I fondly swear,

“No power can with Love’s power compare!

None in the starry court of Jove

Is greater than the god of Love!

If any can yet greater be,

Yes, my Neaera! Yes, ‘tis thee!”

Nott.

LOVE Book

A Love of Many Colors: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Imagine a love fueled by both intense devotion and tumultuous passion. This was the reality for artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. During the span of their 27 year relationship, artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exchanged numerous letters that reflect the spectrum of their love, encompassing their joy, anguish, and desire.

In 1922, Frida Kahlo met painter Diego Rivera, whose work she admired deeply. After not being in contact for several years, the artists reconnected in 1928 and Rivera began to act as Kahlo’s artistic mentor. Their relationship eventually became intimate, yielding one of art history’s most fascinating romances. The artists inspired one another, Kahlo and Rivera urging one another to explore their passion deeper in their art. Diego is cited as stating, “I did not know it then, but Frida had already become the most important fact in my life. And would continue to be up to the moment she died, 27 years later.” (Source: http://www.diego-rivera.org/quotes.html) Despite their immense love for one another, Kahlo and Rivera had multiple affairs throughout their marriage. Yet, Kahlo and Rivera remained devoted to one another because of a resilient passion that withstood even their relationship’s darkest moments.

Transcribed translation:

Diego.
Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or love.
To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your anguish, and within the very beating of your heart.
All this madness if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion.
I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth.
I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors [sic], because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.

F.

Madeleine Garone,

Madeleine Garone signature

Revisiting Our 14 Days of Valentines: The Chosen Love Note

This year we at Dempsey & Carroll asked ourselves, “Why does Valentine’s Day have to be only one day?” With this question in mind, we launched the 14 Days of Valentines to promote and honor the love that surrounds us. Image

We extended the opportunity to everyone to share their love notes with us. After being inspired by such moving and personal notes, we selected our favorite, a love note from Michael Buffon to his wife. He graciously allowed us to share his note, which can be found below.

I still remember the first time I met you…hours went by in what seemed like minutes.  I knew that there was something special about you and I felt an instant connection. Twelve years went by and through chance we reconnected and my life was changed forever.

My wife, best friend, and lover, you’re more than I could have ever imagined.  I love you more each day and I am yours forever.  I am truly blessed and celebrate our love with you this Valentine’s Day. 

Notes like Michael’s show us love is a profound and powerful sentiment that we can feel and experience. We thank Michael, his wife, and all who shared their letters for making this a very special Valentine’s Day for us. Though Valentine’s Day has come and gone, we can make believe it’s Valentine’s Day every day with kind actions (those “just because I love you” kind), smiles, and of course, a thoughtful handwritten note.

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After the War Ends, Love is Still There: Winston and Clementine Churchill

In times of love and war, handwritten letters reigned. For Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine, their letters acted as portals into each other’s worlds while apart during their 56 year relationship. Twenty-five years before he was to become the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Churchill, who was deeply devoted to his country, joined the army to fight in World War I. As he ventured into the war zone, he wrote a letter addressed to his beloved Clementine on July 17, 1915, in an envelope marked with “To be sent to Mrs. Churchill in the event of my death.” Despite the worry that burdened Clementine’s heart while her husband was away at war, she ultimately never had to open the letter.

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Churchill’s letter to Clementine in case of his death. Dated July 17, 1915. (Image courtesy of: http://www.cam.ac.uk/about-the-university/history/800th-anniversary?800redirect=page/117/winston-churchill.htm)

Transcription:

Do not grieve for me too much. I am a spirit confident of my rights. Death is only an incident & not the most important which happens to us in this state of being. On the whole, especially since I met you my darling I have been happy, & you have taught me how noble a woman’s heart can be. If there is anywhere else I shall be on the look out for you. Meanwhile look forward, feel free, rejoice in life, cherish the children, guard my memory. God bless you.

Good bye.

W.

The couple’s correspondence acted as an avenue to the other’s hearts during an era in which the loss of life was staggering. It is because of their letters that the love between Winston and Clementine Churchill became immortal.

Winston and Clementine Churchill saluting the troops aboard the RMS “Queen Mary” in 1943. (Image courtesy of: http://www.stevenujifusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/7435172.jpg)

Winston and Clementine Churchill saluting the troops aboard the RMS “Queen Mary” in 1943. (Image courtesy of: http://www.stevenujifusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/7435172.jpg)