Amy and Luke had their wedding and reception at Tioga Gardens, in Owego, NY. This was the first time I had been to Tioga Gardens so I gave myself a lot of extra time to make the drive to ensure I would have some time to familiarize myself with the venue. I was so glad I had extra time because the drive down Route 38, through Dryden, and all the small towns along the way was beautiful with spectacular scenic beauty around every bend in the road.
I arrived at Tioga Gardens and immediately fell in love. Primarily a Florist and Garden Center, it also has gorgeous grounds with meticulously maintained perennial gardens, a separate area to have a wedding ceremony surrounded by lush, exotic water features including an arched bridge & small gazebo and a pavilion. Photo opportunities abound.
After the ceremony, everyone leisurely made their way to the reception area while enjoying the gardens and peaceful bucolic setting that Tioga Gardens offered. Guests enjoyed a nice assortment of hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour and then a delicious meal provided by Red & White Catering.
For their first dance, Amy and Luke selected a tune by Bunny Wailer, “Dreamland.” Toasts were then given by the Best Man, Michael, the Maid of Honor, Genna and the Bride’s Father, Phil.
Amy and her Father danced to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys and then Luke and his Mother danced to “A Song For My Son” by Donna Lee Honeywell. A short time later the wedding cake was cut and the dance floor was opened for dancing.
Highlighting the evening was a Slovak wedding ceremony called the Redovy. In this ceremony, the bridal veil is removed by the Godmother who then gives it to the Mother of the Bride. Following this, the Mother of the Bride places a bridal cap (The Cepec) on the Bride’s head and the Bridal Dance begins (The Redovy.) The Bridal Dance is an opportunity for the guests to dance with the bride and then each guest receives a drink and a small piece of wedding cake. It was wonderful traditional dance that I had not experienced before.
And then there were the Polkas! Wow, did the guests enjoy that as well as the rest of the dance music that was played. All in all, it was a fantastic time for everyone and the bride and groom enjoyed every second of it.
It was great fun to be able to share this day with Amy and Luke. Congratulations to the bride and groom and here are a few more photos that I took during the evening. Enjoy.