I loved photographing the Persian wedding of Deena and Cyrus, which took place at a gorgeous custom Sofreh surrounded by manzanita trees at the beautiful Santa Barbara Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in California. This stunning couple actually live in New York, while I live in Los Angeles, so I was delighted that they tapped my team of photographers to document their stunning three-day destination wedding in Santa Barbara. The festivities started off with a welcome party at El Paseo Mexican restaurant, where hundreds of guests partied into the wee small hours. The next day, Deena and Cyrus both got up early to start preparing for their big day. After a first-look and endless images of friends and family, the sun began to lower in the sky, and the Persian wedding ceremony finally began.

Deena and Cyrus sat behind an elegant and uniquely designed Sofreh that was three feet high. The symbolic items placed on the traditional Sofreh all represent a different component of a couple’s new life together. A Sofreh may include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, honey, candelabras, fruits, a Koran or poetry book, herbs and spices, eggs, coins, pastries and, of course, a place for the bride and groom to sit, which is called the mokhaddeh. A Sofreh also always includes a mirror. Sofrehs can be made in all shapes and sizes, and every Sofreh I have seen has been beautiful. I always love when married women rub kaleh ghand (or sugar cones) together over the tooreh ghand (or cloth that is held over the couple’s heads), as it represents showering the couple’s new life together with sweetness.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails in front of a beachfront sunset, then filtered into the ballroom for an evening of incredible music, dancing and heartfelt toasts. The couple rounded out their celebration by hosting an ocean-front farewell brunch complete with dazzling arrays of food and plenty of spicy bloody marys, which delighted guests. I love photographing Persian Muslim weddings and this one was no exception. With coordination by Iconic Event Studios, furniture and decor by Revelry Event Designers, florals by Mille Fiori, rentals by Classic Party Rentals, lighting by Daylight Events, music performances by Rouge Band and Saga Strings, and videography by Impressive Creations. The Sofreh consultant was Parisa Kaprealian at Pretty Please Design. Hair was provided by Monika Michalska while makeup was artfully executed by by Kira Nasrat. The ceremony was officiated by Golnar Djahanbani, with invitations created by Ceci New York. Finally, the bride’s wedding gown was by Galia Lahav, her headpiece, veil and garter were by Homa Creation, and her shoes were by Jimmy Choo. The groom and his groomsmen all wore Tom Ford.

Indispensible second camera by the talented Yoshi Morimoto. And that lovely image of a girl crying? That’s Deena’s sister, who quietly started crying after she first saw her sister in her beautiful wedding dress.

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