The Tea Leaves and Tweed Wedding, Part Two: The Reception

Last time, I shared the story of our wedding ceremony day. As I mentioned before, we offset a rather tiny wedding ceremony with a larger celebration the next day, so we could celebrate with more of our friends. This was the “big event” day, and the one that had occupied most of my time and energy over the months leading up to it.

We decided to have a brunch reception in the middle of the day, both because we both love breakfast food, and because out guests might appreciate being able to get home at a reasonable hour, even if they had a drive of a couple hours, rather than paying for a hotel room. I was so thrilled to find Adelphi Mill as a venue because it’s beautiful, has two floors of hardwood flooring, and allows renters to bring whatever food and beverage they want. From there, I found a fantastic local caterer who would do waffles (including gluten-free waffles for our celiac guests!): Wicked Waffle.

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The food was our biggest splurge. We made the decision to go with full catering because it meant we wouldn’t be on our own for setup, serving, rentals, and cleanup. The caterer actually provided pretty much everything we needed, other than the tables and chairs already provided by the Mill. Our one stipulation was that we provided coffee beans and tea leaves because Mr. Tweed and I are very particular about our coffee and tea, respectively. We ended up ordering full-leaf tea bags from Rishi Tea and picked up our freshly-ground coffee the day before from our favorite coffee shop, Vigilante Coffee (they even tucked a wedding congratulations card in the box with the beans!).

After our ceremony day, we both went home so we could play with our cat and spend the night in our own bed. I awoke the next morning next to my new husband and smiled. We snuggled for a bit, made something to eat, and then packed up to go to the Mill. We got there about three hours early. I stayed behind to meet the caterer while Mr. Tweed went to get more of our decorations. We also had a friend meet us to help set up tables, which was good because the caterer ended up hitting ridiculous traffic and being late (he made up for it by bringing an extra staff person to help with setup, free of charge). But by the time it was two hours before the reception start, things were underway.

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I made the decision to keep decoration very simple. A single pink silk rose in a white vase on a lace doily sat in the middle of the dark green table cloths the caterer brought to contrast. It was lovely and simple and the centerpiece didn’t block anyone’s view. And, because they were silk flowers, I could take advantage of Afloral’s Black Friday sale and get all our flowers and vases (including those for my bouquet) months in advance. I also made my own bouquet, a boutonniere for Mr. Tweed, two small corsages for our mothers, and a small bouquet for our friend’s daughter, who joined us for the ceremony as a sort of unofficial flower girl (her mother was unofficial matron of honor).

I also decided to wear my original dress for the reception, as it was more suited to dancing than my ceremony dress, and the beautiful floors were made for dancing! In fact, Mr. Tweed’s main job in wedding planning was to take care of the sound system (which we borrowed from his parents) and the playlist (we mostly used songs we had, with a few purchased off Amazon for the occasion). We ended up going to the Mill in our plain clothes and bringing nice clothes to change just before the reception. Since my hair and makeup were the same as the day before, I’d gotten quite good at it and our caterer even remarked at how quickly I’d gotten ready. With the place set up and our clothes changed, we were ready for our guests.

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The reception went so smoothly. We caught up with everyone, drank mimosas, had coffee and tea, and chatted. Then, the buffet opened and everyone got waffles and things. We moved to the upper level, which was set up with tables around the edges of the room and a dance floor in the middle. Once people had mostly finished their meal (with seconds!), we stood up to thank our guests and had our first dance.

Mr. Tweed and I have been dancing together practically since we first met, so our first dance was a fun and special time for us to focus on each other. We did a swing dance to “Hallelujah I Love Him So,” sung by the irreplaceable Eva Cassidy (whom I had the good fortune to see live before her untimely death, and who was one of my father’s favorite artists). We had fun and our guests seemed to love it, so much so that some of them said they were too intimidated to follow us onto the dance floor! But we kept at it, had a few more dances ourselves, and got a nice group up for “Love Shack.”

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And through all of this, my dear friend and head shot photographer, Bill, took gorgeous photos. He even had Mr. Tweed and I join him outside for a few portraits, which were a nice addition to the shots Josh had taken the day before. Honestly, after the first bit of initial chatting, I hardly noticed him taking photos and was pleasantly surprised by how many great moments he captured.

By the time our dancing playlist had worked through to its final song, many of our guests had already left. The few who were left helped us with clean-up (although the caterers handled most of the big stuff). Mr. Tweed and I changed out of our nice clothes. We packed everything up, and then went home to decompress. And the next morning, we met up with a few of our local friends and people who had stayed in town for coffee and pastries at Vigilante, as is our typical Sunday morning tradition.

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A note on budget:

We ended up spending roughly $8.3k for the whole weekend. Roughly $4.3k was catering (including cash gratuities for each staff person), with $1.5k for our two outfits (including the fact that I got two dresses!). We spent $800 on the venue, $650 on ceremony-day photography, $600 on beverages (sparkling wine, coffee, tea, and water), $300 on decorations and flowers. The remainder was spent on the legal paperwork for the ceremony, plus a little extra for songs we had to buy for our playlist. Invitations we did for free through Paperless Post, and we used a free WordPress theme for our wedding website. I did my own hair and makeup (although I included some extra hair and makeup products in the outfit budget). The Jefferson Suite, plus the luncheon at the tavern after the ceremony was probably less than $1,000 altogether, so our entire wedding weekend was probably just over $9,000.

And thus concluded a fantastic wedding weekend. After the weekend was over, I took a day to myself to relax, return the key to the Mill, and get my post-wedding haircut. Stay tuned next week for the beginning of my posts about our Scottish Honeymoon Adventure!

Photography credits: All photos by William Cornett.

NB: I am not affiliated with any of the businesses linked.

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A Lovely Relaxing Weekend Morning

After many weeks of hectic weekends, I had my first quiet Friday evening at home in a while. I’d just gotten a call from a director casting me in his play, so I knew I didn’t have any more auditions to attend for a while, and I had no plans until Saturday evening. I stopped at the store on my way home from work and picked up some supplies, and made a lovely dinner en famille, complete with a lovely bottle of Bordeaux.

The next morning, I could wish that I might have drunk a little less the evening prior, but I was not feeling too poorly. Rather than sleeping for hours past the alarm and staying in bed until 10, I set an alarm earlier, and sat up in bed for an hour or so, reading articles and drinking a glass of water to rehydrate. Then I slathered on some face cream because I was feeling a bit dry, and went downstairs to help Boyfriend make waffles.

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While he cooked the waffles, I had a big glass of green juice and made a cup of tea with milk while I read a new book. Actually, it is an old book, Enchanted April, but it is new to me. The juice flushed me with fluid and electrolytes and just enough sugar to perk me up while I smelled the waffles from the other room.

Soon enough, all the waffles were ready, and a dabbed one with butter and drizzled it with syrup, and then made a second cup of tea. Breakfast consumed and relaxation achieved, I looked at the clock. It was just after 10 a.m., a time at which, on previous weekend mornings, I might still be lounging about it bed. But this time, I was ready to start my day, well-fed, hydrated, and eager to get moving.

Saturday Morning Waffles

For Christmas, Boyfriend got me a waffle iron. Waffles are one of my favorite foods, from fluffy, American-style waffles at diners, to toaster waffles, to sweet Liege waffles with their bursts of sugar. I had a waffle iron of my own once, which belonged to my father before, but it became too old and sticky and had to be discarded. So imagine my delight when I opened the mysteriously large box given to me on Christmas morning!

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Because we were out of town for the holidays, we did not get to experiment with the iron until this past week. First, I tried Alton Brown’s waffle recipe, as a kind of a baseline. They were perfectly delicious waffles, but I wanted something with a bit more structure and heartiness to it. So I tweaked it myself. I had already found that sprouted wheat flour offered a lighter texture to baked goods than plain whole wheat flour, and as long as I was making them whole wheat and sprouted, I decided I ought to replace refined sugar in the batter. Finally, I removed a bit of the milk called for in the recipe to make a thicker batter. I also used regular whole milk rather than buttermilk, as I hadn’t got any.

Sprouted Wheat Waffles

2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. fine-grain salt (use more if you use a coarse salt)

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

3 eggs, beaten

1 3/4 cups of whole milk

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and syrup, and then whisk in the melted butter slowly. Mix the whole thing gently into the dry ingredients, mixing just until it comes together. There may be lumps. Cook in a waffle iron, according to your particular iron’s idiosyncracies. I got 4 Belgian-sized waffles. Keep waffles warm in a 200 F oven until you are ready to eat. Serve warm with fruit and cream or butter and syrup. If you have leftovers, freeze them in a zip-top plastic bag with the air squeezed out, and layers of parchment between the waffles to prevent sticking together.