Text and Photography by Bruce Richardson
Every bride dreams of adding unforgettable touches to her wedding celebration that will create memories for years to come. And what could be more memorable for both the bride and her guests than a tea blended especially for the joyous occasion?
There certainly was talk of a wedding tea blend as soon as my son, Ben, and his fiancée, Megan, announced their engagement a few years ago. When the father of the groom is a tea blender, everyone expects the beverage to be an important part of the festivities.
“Is Ben’s dad crafting a special blend for the event?” the bride’s friends all asked. “What teas will he use, and what will he name it?”
Never mind the duties my wife and I faced as we planned a wedding and dinner for 175 guests on our front lawn—my main task was coming up with a tea blend that 1) included the bride’s colors, 2) could be iced for the anticipated warm Kentucky afternoon, and 3) was attractive enough to be packaged in display tins to give as mementos of the joyful gathering.
Following a few false starts, I finally found the inspiration for my one-of-a-kind blend by considering the colors chosen for the day. I began with a base of mild green tea. Then, like a painter preparing his palette, I searched for more dominant aromas such as jasmine flowers to color my recipe. Next, I tossed in a couple of pounds of decadent jasmine pearls. (A wedding is no time to be conservative.) To this heady concoction, I added a generous helping of rare Chinese silver needles white tea for dramatic highlights. Finally, in keeping with the wedding’s blue color scheme, I sprinkled my tea opus with a glorious dose of cornflower petals—sure to please the audience because of its brilliant blue that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses.
The week of the wedding, we packaged the tea in round tins with clear tops that allowed a peek at the colorful contents. Because Ben is an avid cyclist, a custom label showing the bride and groom on a bicycle and bearing the theme “Tour de Love,” along with their names and the date, finished the package. A tin decorated every place setting as the guests arrived for dinner on the lawn. Nearby, a tea station was stocked with 12 gallons of iced Tour de Love tea for guests to enjoy throughout the evening.
Of course, there are simpler ways to infuse tea into a wedding celebration. A small handmade tag with the couple’s names and the phrase “The Perfect Blend” can be attached to the string of a teabag and given as favors. Several tea companies offer packaged tins of wedding blends that make tasteful favors as well, and some can be personalized.
Large or small, the addition of tea to your wedding celebration is certain to steep the day in delicious memories.
From TeaTime, May/June 2015