By Ghazal Hajizadeh, owner of Ghazal Sofreh Aghd & Floral Designs
What do couples generally wish for on the big day? Simply put – a bright and happy future. The sofreh aghd, which stems from the ancient Zoroastrian religion, is believed to ensure just this for a couple tying the knot.
The sofreh aghd (wedding spread) is a traditional part of an Iranian ceremony and has changed significantly since its inception. Whether decorated traditionally or with a modern twist, each item symbolizes and represents a quality the couple plans to share as they begin their lives as one.
To name a few, a mirror and candelabras are placed at the head of the spread, representing brightness in the couple's life ahead. Decorated walnuts, almonds, eggs and hazelnuts represent fertility. Crystalized sugar and rock candy represent a sweet life together, while a holy book rests in front of the couple as a symbol of faith and god's blessings.
What I find pleasantly surprising and amazing about recent New York sofreh aghds are requests to combine certain aspects of religions and cultures to reflect the beliefs of individuals and families alike. Interfaith and multicultural weddings are more common in my line of work than I ever thought would be when I first started. I have had huppah and sofreh combinations, Bibles placed alongside Korans and even books of poetry placed in lieu of holy scriptures.
That is the beauty of marriage today. And what better way to celebrate a union than with diversity and a slew of items believed to bring a bright, happy future to you and your soulmate.