Alcott wit and wisdom

Wedding Blessings, Wedded Bliss
A Celebration of Love & Marriage

“ … so Anna takes forty dollars in gold for her dower as well as a legion of virtues with which to bless her husband.”

~Abigail May Alcott journal of May 23, 1860

Having indulged “the pleasant little conceit of Anna’s” that she be married on the anniversary of her mother’s wedding, Abigail May Alcott later pressed a fragrant stem of the wedding flower -- lily of the valley -- into her journal and wrote that she hoped her daughter would “find herself fully possessed of the strength, endurance, all abiding love, to meet the exigencies and aspirations of wedded life.”   For all in the Alcott family, as with most families, this special occasion evoked a wide range of responses, including the startling comment from the usually copious father-of-the-bride that, “I cannot yet write about it.”

 lilies_sm.jpg (28001 bytes)

On May 23, 1860, Anna Alcott and John Pratt were married in the Parlor of Orchard House.  The few family members and close friends who were invited watched as this tender-hearted couple pledged their lives to each other and celebrated with cake and dancing on the lawn.  Louisa May Alcott's impressions of this event were captured in her diary and used, years later, in the writing of Little Women:

"A lovely day, the house full of sunshine, flowers, friends, and happiness. 
Uncle S. J. May married them, with no fuss,
but much love, and we all stood round her. 
She in her silver-gray silk, with lilies of the valley (John's flower)
in her bosom and hair. 
We have had a little feast ...
then the old folks danced round the bridal pair making a
pretty picture to remember, under our Revolutionary elm."

Every few years a commemoration of the wedding is held at Orchard House with Alcott descendants and their family members re-creating the same scene of years ago. Those in attendance echo Mr. Alcott’s heartfelt warm wishes:

“May all good and grace attend her and him!”

Alcott descendant Tanja Baur (Germany) gazes at portraits of Anna and John Pratt in the Parlor of Orchard House in preparation for the wedding re-enactment. Tanjaa_sm.jpg (11762 bytes)


More Wit and Wisdom from the Alcotts

January The New Year
February Valentine's Day
Black History Month
March Women's History Month
April The Promise of Spring
May / June Wedding Blessings, Wedded Bliss
July / August Nature and Gardens
September Education and Schools
October The Wisdom of Little Women
November Birthdays
December Christmas

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Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association