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Wed on a Wednesday: Soulful, Low-Key Nuptials in Our Favorite NYC Tea House

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Wed on a Wednesday: Soulful, Low-Key Nuptials in Our Favorite NYC Tea House

April 18, 2022

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.

té company is located on the first floor of a landmarked greenwich village 9
Above: Té Company is located on the first floor of a landmarked Greenwich Village brownstone at 163 West 10th Street. Marked only by a gold teapot and a discreet sign on the door, it’s known by word of mouth and a New Yorker rave review. Photograph by Elena Liao.
the bride greets the groom carrying a bouquet she made herself. her dress is fr 10
Above: The bride greets the groom carrying a bouquet she made herself. Her dress is from Reformation: “purchased off the rack, no tailoring needed.” His suit was borrowed from a friend—”he never wears suits.” Both work in marketing and were introduced in a client meeting. She grew up in Nanjing, in mainland China, and he’s from Taiwan (he first came to the US to attend Syracuse University).
peonies, tulips, lilacs, and thou. the day before the wedding, candace and frie 11
Above: Peonies, tulips, lilacs, and thou. The day before the wedding, Candace and friends got up at 5 a.m. to hit New York’s flower market: for retail shoppers, she says, “it’s not cheaper, but there’s more variety and it’s very fresh.” On the morning of the event, while Candace was having her hair and makeup done, her friends were at Té Company arranging everything. When they ran out of vases, they put milk bottles to use. The charmingly creased tablecloth is nothing more than a paper party cover. Photograph by Elena Liao.
right after the flowers had been procured, candace realized they could use a ba 12
Above: Right after the flowers had been procured, Candace realized they could use a backdrop: “we Googled the city’s wedding companies until we found one willing to rent us something.” The crescent-shaped prop came festooned with convincing looking faux hydrangeas that the group dressed up with fresh flowers and grasses. Photograph by Elena Liao.
a friend officiated while the wedding party recorded the event for family and f 13
Above: A friend officiated while the wedding party recorded the event for family and friends who couldn’t be there.The officiant, Candace tells us, “received her approval from the city clerk the day before the wedding.” Her scarf was purchased on Amazon—”it was part of a minister’s costume.”
té company kept the tea flowing and served its signature snacks made by el 14
Above: Té Company kept the tea flowing and served its signature snacks made by Elena’s husband and business partner, chef Frederico Ribeiro, formerly of Per Se. His traditional Taiwanese tea accompaniments are available for mail order and are exceptional (along with Té Company teas, they’re a go-to Remodelista present for all occasions)…

“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.

for savory snacks, there were mooncakes (warm pastry buns filled, in this case, 15
Above: For savory snacks, there were mooncakes (warm pastry buns filled, in this case, with spiced pork and scallions) and Taiwanese tea eggs (see the recipe on the Té Company blog). Note the dried artichoke: Elena uses them as natural decoration. Photograph by Elena Liao.
the wedding &#8\2\20;cake&#8\2\2\1; was a savory and sweet confection t 16
Above: The wedding “cake” was a savory and sweet confection that came from Candace’s favorite Asian-fusion bakery: the baker makes pastry and said he doesn’t know how to do cakes, so I suggested a pastry tower.”
a detail of the faux hydrangeas mixed with fresh stems. for sourcing ideas, see 17
Above: A detail of the faux hydrangeas mixed with fresh stems. For sourcing ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Eerily Lifelike Faux Plants for the Home.
yes, there was champagne and also tea for toasting. &#8\2\20;we served orie 18
Above: Yes, there was Champagne and also tea for toasting. “We served Oriental Beauty, known as Champagne oolong,” says Elena.The wedding party came from New York and around the US—”we’ve been far from our homes for years, so our friends are our family now,” says Candace. Later in the day, the group moved on to Flushing, Queens, for Chinese barbecue.
no limo needed. the newlyweds strut up seventh avenue. 19
Above: No limo needed. The newlyweds strut up Seventh Avenue.

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