Christopher Todd Studios is located in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles where Iranian Americans have settled and is now home to over 70,000 Persians. Irvine California is the second largest Persian population in the United States. We have many opportunities as wedding photographers to photograph Persian Weddings. We are familiar with all the ceremonies and traditions.
Persian Weddings Have Two Main Parts
1. Aghd (ceremony)
Here it is traditional for the bride (aroos) and groom (damad) to sit before the guests where they exchange wedding vows and the official marriage contracts are signed. During the aghd there are many customs that are observed.
- The ceremony begins with groom seated on a bench in front of guests. In front of where he is seated is the sofreye aghd (a table which contains many symbolic items)
- The bride walks into the ceremony wearing a veil, where someone is burning a special incense called esfand (to ward off the evil eye).
- The bride takes a seat next to her groom but it has to be on his left showing respect. The women of the bridal party hold a canopy over the couple's head.
2. Sofreye agh
This is the ceremony in the Persian wedding that is unique from all others in the world. Sofre means tablecloth in Persian. This is usually a simple piece of white cloth that the bride's mother prepares.
Ayné va shamdoon (mirror and candlesticks)
Following the Sofreye agh is the presentation of the mirror and candlesticks. The mirror symbolizes eternity and the candlesticks fire and light represent the brightness of the future and eternal passion. The mirror and candlesticks are situated in front of the bride and groom during the agh. During this part of the ceremony the bride lifts her veil and the groom sees her for the first time in the mirror. The mirror and candlesticks that are used will become a part of the couple’s home as a memento of their wedding ceremony.
Before the couple seals the union with a kiss like in western weddings they feed each other asal (honey). As they walk back down the aisle together joyous music is played and the newlywed couple is showered with coins, flower petals, and confetti.
Mehmoonee (wedding reception)
The wedding reception is the ultimate celebration of love and joy. No expense is spared. Families usually save up for this event for years. All family and friends are invited and it is considered rude not to invite the neighbor. So Persian weddings are typically very large. During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom take time to individually talk to each guest and thank them for attending the wedding. The couple usually set aside some time to stand in a designated spot so that guests have an opportunity to have their photos taken with them. Dinner is served late buffet style with kabobs and other traditional Persian food. It is not uncommon to see an elaborate table of fruits and dessert items out next to tea.
Popular Persian Wedding Locations
- Island Hotel Newport Beach
- Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
- Ritz Carlton
- Montage Resort
- Monarch Beach Resort
- Langham Huntington Pasadena
- Hotel Los Angeles
- Andaz Hotel West Hollywood
- Jonathan Club