Oh my goodness, if this wedding from photographer Kate Harrison doesn’t remind you of a fairy tale then you’ve probably never set eyes on Snow White or imagined yourself wearing a glass slipper. I mean, cue the chirping songbirds and the raven haired beauty. From the bride and groom’s mesmerizing walk down the aisle to the candy colored confections that decorated every surface, this wedding is a visual tale of epic proportions.
Persian weddings typically happen in 2 stages. The first being the “Aghd” which is considered the ceremony where the bride and groom sign a marriage contract. The second stage is the reception called the “Jashn-e Aroosi’ where a celebration and feasts take place which can last several days.
The Sofreh-ye Aghd is a table on which many items are placed to represent many good things for the couple and to guard them from harm. Most notably is the mirror that is always placed on the table. The mirror which represents fate should be the way in which the groom sees his bride’s face for the first time after she takes off her veil. A bowl of gold coins representing health and prosperity is set out on the “Sofreh-ye Aghd”.
A basket of pomegranates and apples are placed on the table representing the hope for a joyous future.
A tray of multi-colored herbs and spices ( Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel) is also set out on the ”Sofreh-ye Aghd” to guard the couple from evil. The seven herbs and spices are poppy seeds, wild rice, angelica, salt, nigella seeds, black tea and frankincense.
An assortment of sweets and pastries including the Persian staple Baklava is shared with the guests after the ceremony.
As the couple sits together, two guests, females, hold a cloth which is thin and place it on top of their heads and pour hard sugar crystals in it signifying in their relationship, sweetness. The bride and groom are then asked separately if they have accepted one another for future companionship where the bride is asked three times and remains silent for two before answering. Then gifts are given to the couple to bless their future.
From Kate, “There was epic dancing throughout this entire wedding celebration. Epic. And the word celebration truly defines Sheila & Jason’s wedding. It wasn’t just the toasting, applause & loving smiles…it was Sheila & Jason dancing down the aisle together; the cheers for their arrival down the aisle; the beaming, jubilant and vocal guests throughout the ceremony; the music that filled practically every moment of the day; the wedding party adorably rehearsing their elaborate dance routines before being announced…and the five hours of everyone dancing. It was incredibly uplifting, unbridled, meaningful and of course beautiful. Sheila & Jason are two very special, cool cats. I am lucky to know them.”