Le-Belvedere-Wedding

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Published in: Style Me Pretty

From the Bride:
We actually first met in March 2010 at a party celebrating the Persian new year. Farzad’s best man, Saman, was actually our mutual friend and we met through him. After that initial meeting, we didn’t see each other for 5 years until reconnecting again in 2015 through Saman again. After hanging out a couple of times, he asked me to be his date at an upcoming gala and the rest is history! Funny thing is that when our parents met for the first time, they actually ended up already knowing each other through the Persian community. It felt like it was meant to be from the very beginning! 3 years after our first date, Farzad said he had a special day planned to celebrate this milestone. He told me we had reservations for a fancy restaurant for lunch and were getting drinks at one of my favourite spots downtown. He told me to dress up for the occasion. While strolling through downtown Ottawa on our way to lunch, we were approached by 2 young photographers who asked if they could take photos of us for their new studio website. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant at first, but seeing how willing Farzad was, I agreed to do it. The photographers guided several poses, one of which I turned my back to Farzad. They told me to turn around for the next picture, and when I did he was standing on one knee! After the initial SHOCK, I said YES of course!

Since we’re both Persian, we wanted to incorporate cultural traditions into our wedding day, while still keeping some western elements. We did a traditional Iranian ceremony with a Sofreh Aghd (table spread with various objects that each have meaning to celebrate the new marriage). We both had bridesmaids/groomsmen and did the traditional father/daughter dances. We had two first dances so that we could incorporate both Persian dancing and a western slow dance. After our grand entrance into the reception hall, we did our Persian dance that’s more upbeat. For our slow dance, we had all our guests go outside with sparklers and we walked through the sparklers and had our slow dance—it was magical! Our venue was Le Belvedere —famous for its cliffside views and romantic atmosphere. We were originally supposed to get married in 2020, but like many other couples, we had to delay it to 2021 due to COVID. This also meant we had to reduce our guest list to 80. Considering Persian weddings usually have over 200 guests (some reaching 400), this was more of an intimate affair! In the end, we loved this guest-list number since it meant that we got to interact with every guest making it that much more special and memorable. Since our venue has such an incredible view, we didn’t need to go overboard on decor and florals. Our main themes were classy, romantic, and elegant. Our colour palette was dusty rose, dark green/sage green, and gold. The bridesmaids wore dusty rose while the groomsmen wore light grey.

For the ceremony we had a traditional Persian table spread set up, called the Sofreh Aghd. Each object on the table symbolizes something related to the new marriage (e.g. sweetness, fertility, prosperity, fruitful future). We sat at the front of this beautiful spread during our ceremony and a canopy was held over our heads by members of our family. As the ceremony took place, members of the family took turns grinding sugar cones together so that the sugar granules fell into the canopy, symbolically showering us with sweetness for our marriage. The table that’s needed for the Persian spread needs to be a specific height so that guests could still see us during the ceremony with all of the items that are required. We couldn’t actually find a table that met our needs, but luckily my husband is a talented woodworker and so he was able to build us the table we ended up using! It added a special element to use something he built for our day and it was something only a few people knew about.

“For the reception, we wanted to keep it clean and elegant. Our florist made the most elegant floral centrepieces in a gold compote. Some of our floral and greenery types included: ranunculus, pink/peachy roses, blush stock, eucalyptus, and Italian ruscus. We had a sweetheart table with a massive greenery arrangement, with pops of white/pink roses spanning the table. We also repurposed some of the large floral arrangements from the ceremony table to the reception area. We had a Polaroid station located at the entrance so that our guests could capture moments throughout the evening. For the cake, we kept it elegant and feminine. Our florist also assisted with adding florals to the cake to make it flow with the rest of the décor.

I wanted my bridal bouquet to have light pink and white components, but I wasn’t too picky about the specific flowers. I hired a florist I trusted completely and left the design element up to her since I adore her overall style and arrangements she’s done in the past. Some of the floral and greenery types she ended up using included: ranunculus, pink/peachy roses, blush stock, eucalyptus and Italian ruscus. I provided pictures of what I liked, and she blew me away with the end result. I was also obsessed with our sweetheart table that had a massive greenery arrangement, with pops of white/pink roses. It was a big statement piece and really added to the space! We also had rose petals given to our guests in small cones to throw during our exit from the ceremony which added a lovely touch, especially for our pictures!

For our wedding favours we gave small jars of local honey, sourced from our family friends that own a bee farm. We actually filled and signed each of the jars ourselves, which added a nice personal touch (although it took a lot longer than we originally thought)! Our favourite part of the day was the first look. It was an intimate moment that we had before the chaos of the day began and it really took away all of our nerves when we saw each other for the first time. It also gave us a chance to take pictures and have some alone time before seeing our guests. I would highly recommend a first look!

My main wedding dress was a Martina Liana (style 906) from With Love Bridal Boutique. I loved it the moment I tried it on because it was exactly what I wanted in a dress – classy and elegant while still feeling sexy! Later in the evening before our slow dance, I changed into a simpler fitted white dress. I loved the contrast between the two looks, and both were surprisingly comfortable which was important to me! Farzad did a traditional 3-piece light gray suit with a tie. He’s known for loving his Casio watches, so he wore his gold one on our wedding day. I wanted the bridesmaids to all to have the same gowns so that the collective pictures looked clean and elegant. They wore a long dress from BHLDN Madrie Dress in the color dusty rose.

The most special part of the day was the first look and also walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Farzad standing there. The speeches were also so special to us and very emotional! All the small things that I was worried/stressed about (e.g. bridal/grooms entrances, dances, changing into a second gown, etc.) didn’t end up mattering at all. I would try to enjoy every second of your wedding day and hire a coordinator to assist with all the things you don’t want to worry about. I would also book a venue that has a good reputation for food, service, organization, and overall customer service. These venues might cost more but you’ll save a ton of time, effort, and stress if you go with the pros! I also highly recommend choosing vendors that have worked together in the past and recommend each other. I called my vendor team the “dream team” because they were honestly the best group of people and made sure everything went smoothly! They also had a rapport with each other which meant they did a lot of the planning and organizing together on the side without my direct involvement. It made the whole experience less stressful and more fun, which is exactly what your wedding planning/actual day should be!

Vendors

Venue: Le Belvèdére
Event Planning, Design & Florals: Sinclair & Co. Design
Photography: Stephanie Mason & Co.
Videography: Up North Wedding Films
Bridal Gown: With Love Bridal
Cake: Valentina Sweets
Groom’s Attire: Mario Uomo
Rings: Goldform Ottawa
Hair: Pärla Hair
Makeup: Rebecca Rose Beauty

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