Bahareh and Brandon's spring garden wedding in San Marcos celebrated the bride's Persian culture with a beautiful sofreh aghd she made with her mother! Their ceremony blended traditional Persian practices, like the shaving of the sugar combs over their heads, with current American traditions. The venue was the perfect garden setting, and the vintage rustic decor and neutral, organic color palette complemented each other beautifully. Carrie McGuire Photography captured their day!
A Persian-American garden estate wedding in San Marcos, CA
For those of you who know Bahareh, she is very difficult to surprise! The first step was finding the perfect ring with the help of her amazing sisters, Bita and Sara. After their many “dentist appointments” and my endless time “playing tennis,” we came up with a beautiful customized diamond ring that we knew she would love.
The next step was to pick the perfect place to make it happen. Although I did consider doing it at the Rise festival, I didn't quite have the ring ready and it would have been too rushed. Little did I know at the time of that trip, that Bahareh was anticipating me to pop the question at the Rise festival (remember, difficult to surprise!). It was a funny story afterwards that ended up helping to keep the actual surprise intact as you will soon see.
Bahareh and I had already planned to attend my good friend Zach's wedding to Brooke in Indiana, and we decided to make it an extended trip to explore the east coast a bit and take a trip to Florida. Bahareh had told me repeatedly how much fun she had in Florida in the past, and this would be a great way to make it even an even more special place for her. I researched several places near Miami that I thought would be a great setting for this special occasion and finally decided on Matheson Hammock Park.
After going through two nerve-racking airport security checkpoints with the ring hidden in the depths of my carry-on luggage, we arrived in beautiful sunny Miami, Florida. I was constantly checking the weather report and praying there would be no rain on December 15th, 2015. On top of this, there were two close calls where the surprise was almost ruined. The first was during Zach and Brooke's wedding during cocktail hour when Bahareh turned to me and said “You want to hear something funny? My friend Holly told me she thinks you are going to propose to me on this trip.” Thinking my cover was blown, I blushed, and she called it out, to which I vehemently denied, and luckily she said “Oh it must be these red Christmas lights.” The second was the night before the proposal in our hotel room. Bahareh had stepped away to take a call, and it was none other than Holly! Bahareh filled me in on the call in which Holly asked her if I had done it yet. At this point, I took Bahareh's hand and told her “I don't want you to be constantly wondering when it's going to happen, and I want us to enjoy this relaxing trip and you not to think about it like our last trip. When it happens it will all make sense.” This was the key moment in keeping the surprise, as she was assured at this point that something was definitely being planned but likely at least a month or two away.
The morning of the proposal came, and Bahareh and I had a nice brunch at our hotel while my nerves were at an all-time high. I was struggling to keep the rather large ring box concealed in my pocket, and managed to get away to the bathroom to switch to my sock. We were all ready to go, and I opened up my phone to request an “Uber” as we had done all trip long. Our driver arrived, and asked where to. I told him that I was thinking about checking out a few different parks, and listed them off including Matheson Hammock, and asked him for his opinion on which he thought was the best choice. He described them all, but singled out Matheson Hammock as being the most eye-catching one to see. He was a very friendly driver, and gave us basically a tour of Miami beach on our 25 minute ride to the park. We arrived, and we walked around a bit, until I found the tree that I saw in pictures that I wanted to pop the question at. I took Bahareh over to the tree, and asked if she wanted to take some pictures with me at the tree. As she was getting out her phone, I got down on one knee, retrieved the ring from my sock, gave my speech, and asked her “Will you marry me?” After a resounding “Yes!”, a man with a camera appeared behind us who had captured the moment. He approached us, and I introduced Bahareh to our “Uber driver,” who was now without his sweater and sunglasses. We immediately had a 2-hour engagement photo session, and after had an amazing seafood dinner at the Red Fish Grill right there at the park. She was legitimately surprised and had a million questions for me. I had a few other surprises for her, and we spent the next few days exploring the Florida Keys and sailing into the sunset together.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was always drawn to settings with lush greenery. I was obsessed with the book, “The Secret Garden,” written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and always dreamt of one day getting married in a setting just like it. Twin Oaks Historic Garden Estate was the first venue I stepped foot in and it was this beautiful garden brought to life with hummingbirds, music playing through every nook and cranny and distressed, vintage decor. I looked to my mom and two sisters and we all knew in that moment that this was it.
To complement the natural green garden, I went with a very natural and organic palette. The dresses were all different shades of nude and all flowy and whimsical. I wanted the wedding to look elegant but not too rigid. I loved the mix and match bridesmaid dress theme and felt that it looked cohesive without looking too uniform.
My wedding dress is not at all what I was originally imagined wearing. When it was picked out for me, I almost didn't even want to try it on. However, once I went through a few unsuccessful options I decided to give my dress a try and I was so perplexed by it at first. It felt so good on and when I walked out to show my sisters and aunt, they looked amazed. Their eyes lit up in a way that I hadn't seen with any other dress. I walked back and forth a few times and could see myself wearing this dress on the big day. I took my aunt's suggestion of adding buttons down the back and that really made it my own.
My husband, Brandon, has beautiful, bright blue eyes, and I thought that a blue suit would look so beautiful against the white dress, nude colored bridesmaid dresses and the green garden. It was that pop of color that really tied everything together.
The Flowers, Cake & Favors
My florist, Sara Quintana with Sweet Stems, was wonderful from start to finish. I wanted to go with a natural, less-is-more type of look. I didn't want the florals to look overly done and Sara helped guide me through the process of choosing flowers that were organic and whimsical (baby's breath, eucalyptus, thistle, etc).
We felt that a naked cake best fit our theme. The cake was handmade from scratch and it was beautiful without being overly stated. We complemented the cake with an assortment of desserts, which included macarons, cupcakes, lavender lemon cookies and more.
We ordered our table favors from Etsy. Etsy is amazing for creating unique, personalized favors that are customized for your day. We had Rx medicine bottles filled with Skittles (since Brandon is a pharmacist) and other unique ones like tiny olive oil bottles with thyme. We even created confetti poppers for the grand exit that had our names and date on them.
Special Details & Traditions
My mother and I designed the Persian wedding spread, called “Sofreh Aghd,” at the wedding. Once we saw how costly it was to hire someone to create the detailed spread, we decided to take on the project and were grateful we did. It was great bonding time and we loved that the end result was a table we decorated and designed together. It brought big smiles to our faces when attendees asked who we hired to put the spread together.
We created our very own American-Persian wedding fusion and a dear family friend of ours officiated the wedding in English with bits of Farsi. Because I was born in Iran and to Persian parents, my Persian/American culture is a big part of who I am, and I wanted that to be represented on the wedding day.