Cafe owners tie the knot while on the clock


Brittany Adams

Michael Reed reads his vows to his bride, Tonya Gregory, as Gregory’s son stands with them as the best man.

Michael Reed and Tonya Gregory began planning their wedding at the end of February and finally wed on March 29, 2016, and their ceremony was anything but traditional.

The couple own Drogo N’ Tuck Cafe, located in The Market House, and decided it would be the perfect place to exchange vows.

“It was kind of like a joke at first,” Gregory said.  “So we didn’t have to leave work and lose business.”

Reed said that while it might have started as a joke, all of their friends and family embraced the idea and supported their decision.

At first the couple was only expecting a few of their closest friends to stop in during their work-day, but the wedding ended up being a widely attended and appreciated event.

“We created an event on Facebook called ‘Wedding Bliss,’” said Gregory. “Some people said they were coming but our friends were like ‘We’ll be there’ and it was a lot more than I expected.  Like I just figured the moms and siblings and close friends, but I think it’s going to be like a party.”

The amount of people attending was the only factor that made the couple nervous on the big day.  Gregory said that when they were only expecting a few people she was fine but as more people decided to come, it became a larger affair to plan and host.

While the couple planned to treat their work day as normal, coming in and working at the cafe until an hour  before the ceremony, then returning to work afterwards, they said the day did not feel like any other.

“I feel like we should have closed way earlier,” Gregory said.

“We’re fine,” Reed responded laughing.

“It feels weird, because you know, we’re getting married in an hour and I’m still in my apron, I’ve been doing dishes,” Gregory said.

The couple had a fairly traditional ceremony, as they wrote their own vows, incorporated Gregory’s son as Reed’s best man and included several readings.  It was officiated by Allegheny’s chaplain, Jane Ellen Nickell.  The couple’s attire, however, was a caricature of their personalities.

“I decided [what to wear] based on her outfit,” Reed said.

Gregory wore a dress that she described as Doctor Who inspired.

“It’s brown and it’s got screwdrivers all over it,” Gregory said. “I just thought it would be something casual and then after I bought it I thought maybe I shouldn’t have bought it, but then he ended up coordinating his outfit to mine, so he’s like ‘You have to wear it now.’”

Although the newlyweds were not expecting a large crowd initially, the cafe and aisles of The Market House were filled with friends.  Two attendees included Mike Mattera, a family friend of the groom, and Andy Schuwerk, who has known Reed since eighth grade and has been friends with the bride for six years, both Meadville residents. Both agreed that not many were surprised about the choice of venue.  Mattera said the couple is about as non-traditional as you can get.

“For them, this is absolutely traditional,” said Schuwerk. “Like Forrest Gump’s mom says, ‘What does normal mean anyways?’”

After the ceremony there was cake and appetizers for guests but the couple went right back to work. Gregory headed home to finish up some homework as she finishes up college courses to receive a bachelor’s degree in photography and Reed worked the cafe.

26057362591_3b6260b7da_zBrittany Adams