Wedding At Warrensburg

Miss Vonna Vada Ritchie


Deloss Stoddard Brown

Event of the Season - October 17, 1905

Three Hundred Guests Witness the Ceremony

The marriage of Miss Vonna Vada Ritchie and Deloss Stoddard Brown, Jr. of Peoria, took place Tuesday morning at the bride's beautiful country place Walnut Lawn, near Warrensburg. There was a great elaborateness of detail in the arrangements of the function. Three hundred invitations were issued. It was the most important wedding that has taken place in the vicinity of Warrensburg for several years, both because of the number of invited guests of the couple.

It being a chrysanthemum wedding, the use of that flower was extensive. Especially was this true of the large tent at the side of the house in which the wedding breakfast was served. Three colors of chrysanthemums were used, pink, yellow and white. Wild smilax was also used effectively as a base.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was performed in the Methodist church at Warrensburg at 11 o'clock Tuesday morning. Rev. R.E. Pierce of Harristown assisted by William Landis of Warrensburg, was the officiating clergyman. The Rev. Mr. Pierce was until recently pastor of the church at Warrensburg. Rev. Mr. Landis is the present pastor.

As Miss Gertrude Thompson played Mendelsohn's wedding march the bride leaning on the arm of her father, and preceded by six bridesmaids and the maid of honor, moved slowly up the aisle to the altar. There she was met by the groom, his best man and the ushers. The ring ceremony was then performed by the Rev. Mr. Pierce. After the party left the church the organist played Lohengrin's "Bridal Chorus."

The Gowns

The gown worn by the bride was elegantly tailored of white satin messaline, trimmed in Irish point lace and cut en traine, with high neck. A tulle bridal veil swept the ground. She carried a shower bouquet of lilies of the valley. A half wreath of Golden Gate roses was worn in her hair. The only ornament was a broch of pearls and diamonds made in the shape of a bird of paradise, a gift from the groom.

Miss Bonnie Funk of Decatur, the maid of honor, was attired in an orange crepe de chine gown with hat to match. She also wore a scarf and muff of yellow chrysanthemums.

The six bridesmaids were Misses Marguerite Smith, Grace Kellog and Lucy Proctor of Peoria, Caroline White, and Edna Albert of Warrensburg, and Miss Georgia Rider of Pekin. All were gowned in pink crepe with hats to match and carried white parasols. At the top of each parasol was fixed a pink rosebud.

The bride's mother wore a beautiful gown of amethyst aeolian cloth trimmed in Irish point lace.

S.S. Neiman of Warrensburg, acted as best man to the groom. The ushers were Kirby Stahl of Decatur and Robert Off, Willard Mosher, Grant M. Miles and Clarke Vance of Peoria.

The Church Decorations

Green and white were the colors used in the church decorations. As the church is in the course of remodeling, the pulpit had not been replaced. To circumvent this inconvenience a bank of palms was arranged and in front of this the ceremony was performed. The piano was entirely concealed behind an immense bank of palms. Branches of wild smilax were arched over the windows and doors. Ropes of white ribbon were stretched along the pews in both aisles after the guests were all seated. At the end of each pew a bunch of white chrysanthemums tied in a bow of two and a half yards of white ribbon, was placed. Carpet was laid for the bridal party from the door of the church to the carriages. Five carriages from Decatur were used in conveying the bridal party.

Received At Bride's House

Immediately following the ceremony at the church, the guests proceded to the home of the bride, Walnut Lawn, where a reception was tendered for the party. Those in the receiving line were the parents of the bride, Mr. and Mrs. William Ritchie, and Mr. and Mrs. Deloss Stoddard Brown, Sr. of Peoria, the bride and groom, maid of honor, best man and Mrs. Catherine Funk, grandmother of the bride.

Wild smilax constituted the prinicipal decoration in the house. This was used over the windows and doors, on the mantels and about the chandeliers. Growing palms filled the entire space in the bay window. Vases of cut flowers, white and pink roses and carnations, were set on the mantels.

At the noon hour a wedding breakfast was served. This was prepared by E.C. Theilig of Peoria, who catered, and was served in four courses in the dining tent. This tent was some forty feet square and was simply a mass of smilax, which formed a canopy overhead and hung part way down the sides. Several hundred chrysanthemums of the three prevailing colors were strewn throughout the mass of smilax. The bride's table, which was 20 feet square, was built around the center pole, which was also covered with wild smilax.

Seated at the bride's table were bride and groom, maid of honor, best man, six bridesmaids, six ushers, Mr. and Mrs. William Ritchie, father and mother of the bride; Mr. and Mrs. Deloss S. Brown, Sr., father and mother of the groom; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lane of Peoria, the latter a sister of the groom; Rev. R.E. Pierce and wife of Harristown, Miss Catherine Funk, grandmother of the bride, and Gertrude Thompson, who played the wedding march.

The two hundred guests who partook of the breakfast were seated at the tables forming the hollow square about that of the bride. All the guests were seated at once. The menu consisted of:

Fruit Cocktail
Fried Chicken    Creamed Potatoes

Green Peas in Cases
Pocketbook Rolls     Scalloped Oysters
Celery   Olives   Pickles
Orange Ice    Cakes

Combination Salad

Ice Cream    Salted Almonds

The ice cream was molded into the form of chrysanthemums in three colors, pink, yellow and white.

Tour The East

Mr. and Mrs. Brown left at 2:30 o'clock for Washington and other eastern points of interest. After a visit of two weeks they will live at the home of the groom's parents, 806 Glen Oak avenue, Peoria. They will be home to their friends there after November 15. They expect to occupy the home that was presented to them by the father of the bride about March 1. This is at 99 Baker avenue.

The bride's traveling gown was of Alice blue cloth with a hat to match.

Costly Gifts

The bride received many expensive and beautiful gifts, the largest of which was the new house costing $15,000, a present from the father of the bride. From Mrs. Funk, her grandmother, she received a beautiful chest of silver containing over a hundred pieces. Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Sr. presented her with a sherbert set of cut glass ornamented with gold and a gold clock. There were many other pieces of cut glass, several Persian rugs, a beautiful electric lamp and many other varieties.

The Couple

Miss Ritchie is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Ritchie of Warrensburg and is a handsome and charming young lady. She graduated a year ago from the Bradley Polytechnic school of Peoria with high honors. She took a scientific course.

Mr. Brown is in the real estate business in Peoria. He is also interested in the music house of Brown, Page and Hillman, being manager of the store. His father is also largely interested in this business.

* The above article was printed in the Decatur Herald on 20 October 1905. Photos of Miss Ritchie and Mr. Brown appeared alongside.


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