Infare Dinners on the Homestead

Now a thing of the past, infare dinners were once the only way of celebrating a wedding on the homestead.

Content Tools

I wonder how many remember the infare, or second-day dinner, that used to follow a wedding. My grandmother believed that such a dinner was the outgrowth of the Old World custom of feasting for several days after a special event. I went to many infare dinners as a small child. I loved the cake!

There was a lovely dinner at the home of the bride the day of the wedding, with the bride's family as hosts. On the second day the bridal couple and their guests went to the home of the groom where the infare dinner was served.

If the event took place in summer, long tables were laid under the trees in the yard, oak planks were arranged on wooden horses and covered with cloths. In cold weather the dinner was served indoors, the guests eating in relays according to their importance. Children, of course, were last.

The menu of the infare dinner might include turkey, chicken, guinea fowl, mutton and perhaps a roast shoat or two. There were many, many delicacies.

A stack cake was a feature of both the wedding and the infare dinners, and the families of the bride and the groom vied, each hoping to produce the taller cake. It was said that glass manufacturers conceived the idea of the tall, footed cake plate to lend an illusion of greater height to the cake. A serving was a very thin slice.

Neither the wedding nor the infare dinner was complete without a butter tree which was often the centerpiece on the table. Butter was pressed thru clean cheesecloth so that it came out in long curly strings. A circle of butter curls was laid on a plate and more curls added until a cone, resembling an evergreen tree, was created. The tree often was one or two feet tall.

My grandmother had a white dress with loops of light blue ribbon for her wedding day, and for the infare dinner she wore her second-day dress in dark red worsted with black velvet trim. 

Alma Robison Higbee
Lathrop, Missouri

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.