I have played organ and piano for many, many weddings throughout the years, and once did play for a double wedding! It was a wonderful experience, with twice the love and excitement of an ordinary wedding!
In the 1880 census of Cincinnati, Ohio, we find the Rev. A. I. Hobbs, age 44, his wife Rachel, 44, and three daughters – Alice, 26; Stella, 13; and Verta, 8. Shortly after that census the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky.
In searching for information about the grooms, Dr. Samuel Ayres graduated from medical school in Louisville in 1883, and received the second place award, a gold medal, at the ceremony. He was a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Louisville in 1885, but moves to Big Bend, Kansas, in 1886, due to his health.
Wednesday, December 23, 1885
A large Gathering at the First Christian Church to Witness a Double Wedding
Rev. G. B. Peak and Miss Alice Hobbs – Dr. Samuel Ayres and Miss Stella Hobbs
The most notable nuptial event of the season took place last evening at the First Christian Church, where Miss Alice Hobbs was united in marriage to Rev. Geo. B. Peak and Miss Stella Hobbs to Dr. Samuel Ayres. This has been pre-eminently a season of weddings, many of them brilliant society events, and some of them very largely attended, but it is safe to say that no previous occasion has drawn together such a crowd as were present last evening. The church was packed. The aisles had to be cleared to allow the bridal party room to pass in. The crowd, however, immediately closed in behind them, filled the aisles, crowded the vestibule, covered the steps and the sidewalk.
The young ladies are daughters of Rev. A. I. Hobbs, who has been for several years pastor of the First Christian Church, and during their residence here they have become endeared to the members of that congregation and have made many friends outside of their church.
Rev. George B. Peak, who was wedded to the eldest daughter, Miss Alice, was formerly of Paducah, but has recently been called to take charge of a new church in Bloomington, Ind.
Dr. Samuel Ayres, who was married to Miss Stella, is a promising young physician of this city, and occupies the position of Dean in the Hospital College of Medicine.
The ceremony took place at 9 o’clock, Rev. Dr. Hobbs, the brides’ father, officiating. The pulpit was tastefully and elaborately decorated, tall foliage plants and brilliantly colored flowers arranged around them to form an effective mass of leaves and blossoms. The bridal party entered by both doors, three ushers walking abreast in each aisle, followed by two bridesmaids. Then came the brides with the first bridesmaids. Miss Alice was accompanied by Miss Carrie Owen, Miss Stella by Miss Mamie Shouse.
Prof. Hast played the Wedding March, and, as the first strains sounded through the church, the bridal party entered in the order described, walked slowly to the front, and took their places at the altar. They were met here by the grooms and the minister, who proceeded to pronounce the ceremony. Miss Alice being the elder, was married first, to Rev. Geo. B. Peak, and after, by a separate ceremony, Miss Stella became the wife of Dr. Samuel Ayres.
The bridal toilets were alike in every detail. The dresses were of cream satin, the court trains being of handsome brocaded material, the fronts of plain satin. The waists were cut square in the neck, and filled with fluffy plaitings of illusion; the sleeves, which came a little below the elbow, were partially covered by long cream-colored gloves. The veils were draped with white hyacinths, and each of the brides carried a large bouquet of the same flowers.
The bridesmaids were Misses Carrie Owens, Claude Wheeler, Bessie Slaughter, Mamie L. Shouse, Julia Barkly, and Louise Barkly. They were short white toilets, and carried bouquets of white hyacinths and pink roses.
The ushers were Messrs. Chars. Lesner, Geo. Cross, Hume Logan, Geo. Walton, Geo. L. Sehon and Dr. Samuel G. Dabney.
Seats were reserved near the altar for the Young Ladies’ Missionary Society, of which Miss Alice has long been president. On the other side of the church was the primary class of the Sunday School, which has been under the charge of Miss Stella. The class taught by Miss Alice was also present and occupied seats near the front.
After the ceremony there was an informal reception at the house, where the bridal party received the congratulations of their friends before starting on their wedding journey.
The presents included everything of a presentable nature, handsome silver, porcelain, bisque, exquisite glassware, bronze ornaments, paintings and engravings. Among the handsomest were the presents from the Sunday School classes and Missionary Society.
The decoration of the church, which was intended as a surprise for the young ladies, was done by the ladies of the church, and a committee of florists could not have improved upon the result.
The bridal party left last night immediately after the reception. Mr. and Mrs. Ayres go to Cincinnati, Mr. and Mrs. Peak go to visit relatives of the groom, but all will return to this city to spend Christmas. After the holidays, Mr. and Mrs. Park leave for their future home in Bloomington, Ind. Mr. and Mrs. Ayres will remain with Dr. Hobbs during the winter.