Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Neal and Shannon's Wedding

This past weekend we traveled upstate to attend the wedding of Neal and Shannon.

It was a fabulous event held in the Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center.

"An Enchanted Hudson Valley lodging experience set atop a Hudson River Bluff.
25 miles from Manhattan, 19th century elegance meets state of the art amenities. The nation's first conference center was established in the Hudson Valley in 1840. This is Tarrytown House, a Westchester Hotel & Landmark."

The estate is a group of historical houses that are now used for conferences and parties. We were able to enjoy an indoor pool, spa, sauna, ping pong and pool tables. The wedding reception was a great party with a live band, sit-down dinner, and open bar. The bride provided flip flops for everyone on the dance floor, so uncomfortable shoes wouldn't stop the dancing. In lieu of favors on the table, a donation was made to an animal shelter - I really thought that was a neat idea.

There is only one photo from the wedding, the centerpieces. White hydrangeas in a glass vase - simple and elegant.

The wedding and reception were held in the Biddle House. The front part of the house had lots of little rooms that were nicely decorated. During the cocktail reception the rooms were set up with bars and wait staff passed an array of hors d'oeuvres. The back part of the house had a ballroom (it was added on to the original house once the estate was being used as a conference center). The dance floor was raised up from the dining area, with a balcony overlooking the guest tables. The balcony area made an ideal spot for the couple's first dance.

East Coast weddings flow differently than West Coast weddings. Dancing and toasting is integrated with the meal service. The couple was introduced and immediately danced their first dance. Then the rest of the guests were encouraged to join them on the dance floor. There was more dancing and then the guests were seated for the first course. After the first course, more dancing and then toasts followed by the dinner service. After dinner more dancing and then cupcakes and chocolate dipped strawberries. Cupcakes are huge on the East Coast, they are starting to gain ground out in the West. There was no cutting of the cake, tossing of the bouquet or garter belt.

The Biddle House exterior.

Biddle House entry/front room.
The portrait above the fire place is British Major John Andre. He is famous for being caught with plans to West Point. He received the plans from the infamous General Benedict Arnold. West Point was key to the British, it stopped their ships from moving up the Hudson. If the British had taken West Point they would have cut off New England from the rest of the colonies, very possibly changing the outcome of the Revolutionary War.
(Admit it, all this time you knew Benedict Arnold was a traitor but you never knew why - well now you know.)

Another sitting room in the Biddle House.
During the cocktail reception this room had a cheese and fruit buffet on the back tables.

Dining area in the Biddle House.
During the cocktail reception this area had a bar and off to the side there was an Asian inspired hot appetizer buffet. The leaded glass in the widows was amazing, it really sparkled in the sun the next morning.