In this era of the coronation-style wedding, we invite you to take inspiration from a marriage party that is the opposite of a grand spectacle—but no less meaningful or joyous. The couple had their first date at Té Company, a Taiwanese tearoom in NYC’s West Village that is one of our favorite hidden places in the city: see The Loveliest Tearoom in New York. Candace Wang, the bride, recently came to Té’s owner, Elena Liao, with a a proposal that their wedding take place in the establishment. They had tiny budget (“under $2,000 for everything wedding related,” Candace tells us) and two weeks notice (“after two years together, when we decided to get married, we didn’t want to do a lot of planning and make everyone wait”). Elena, whose 300-square-foot space, is humming on afternoons and weekends, was willing to accommodate the event if it could take place during off-hours.
On a Wednesday morning in March, friends of the bride’s arrived with flowers, vases, and a crescent-shaped decoration: the hired florist had canceled, so this was an all-hands-on deck affair. Tables got moved around to create a postage-stamp size “stage” for the ceremony, and homemade bouquets were arrayed all around. The friends then scurried off to get changed and a few hours later the wedding party of a dozen, bride, groom, and officiant included, arrived for the noon event.
Photographs by Arin Sang Urai, unless noted.
“Nuts and seeds signify prosperity and lots of children,” says Elena of the Té Company’s Tiny Bars. The ticking tablecloth, a long-ago purchase from Williams Sonoma, hides a freezer underneath: “We drape it to create a podium and stand. When you only have 300 square feet, you have to make every centimeter count.” Photograph by Elena Liao.
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