Ethnic Wedding Series

Real Wedding Spotlight: Swati & Michael

Swati and Michael celebrated their special day at The Hall of Springs on August 25th, 2012.  They had both a traditional Indian ceremony as well as a Christian ceremony in the ballroom of the Hall, it was a beautiful day and a wonderful transformation.  Check out all of the color between the clothing, the decor and the flowers!

The decor for the entire reception by Anthology Design Studio was beautiful.  There was so much color, life, and energy!  Clark + Walker Studio captured the day perfectly- these photos are stunning!

To experience some of the rich traditions of this wedding, take a look at this video by Moak Films!

Ethnic Wedding Series: The Persian Sofreh Aghd

Continuing with our Ethnic Wedding Series, this topic is one that we have started to see more and more of.  It is Persian Weddings and the Sofreh Aghd.   Aghd has many different meanings in Iran, but it mostly commonly means the legal ceremony of an Iranian Wedding.  The Sofreh Ahgd is usually present during a Persian Ceremony, and is taken very seriously because it contains what is believed and hoped to be in the couple’s life and marriage.   Typically set on the floor facing east so that when the couple face the sofreh they face the light, sofrehs are usually covered in traditional white cloths.

We have had a few Sofrehs at the Hall of Springs in the past few years.  Any of you blog readers who read Joe Elario‘s blog will definitely know and recognize Mona and Andrew and their Sofreh.  If not, you can remember them here!

There are certain items that are placed on a Sofreh.  They are:

A Mirror and Two Candelabras on either side of the mirror.  They are the symbols of light and fire.  The candelabras represent the bride and groom and brightness in their future and the mirror reflects the brides image after she removes her veil making her the first thing her groom sees.

A Tray of seven multi-colored herbs and spices or “Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel”.  thees serve the purpose of guarding the couple and their lives together against the evil eye, witchcraft, and to drive away evil spirits.  The seven elements in seven colors are

1. Poppy Seeds “Khash-Khash”

2. Wild Rice :Berenj”

3.  Angelica “Sabzi Khoshk”

4. Salt  “Namak”

5. Nigella Seeds “Raziyaneh”

6. Black Tea “Chaay”

7. Frankincense “Kondor”

A specially baked bread and decorated flatbread (“Noon-e Sangak”) with the blessing “Mobaarak-Baad” written in calligraphy on it using cinnamon, Nigella Seeds, or Glitters.  This is present along with a separate platter of flat bread, cheese, and herbs to be shared with the guests after the ceremony.  This is done in the hopes of bringing the new couple happiness and prosperity.

A basket of decorated eggs and a basket of decorated almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts in the shell to symbolize fertility.

A basket of pomegranates and apples to symbolize heavenly fruit and the divine creation of mankind.

A cup of rose water extracted from Persian Roses “Gol-a Mohammadi” to perfume the air.

A bowl made out of crystallized sugar to sweeten life for the newly weds.

A bowl of gold coins representing wealth and prosperity.

A scarf or shawl made out of silk or any other fine fabric to be held over the bride and groom’s heads throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives.

A brazier “Manghal” holding burning coals sprinkled with wild rue “Espand” a popular incense.  Wild rue is believed to keep the evil eye away and bring on health.

Two sugar cones “Kalleh Ghand” made out of hardened sugar to be used during the ceremony.  They are ground together above the bride and groom’s heads to shower them in sugar thus symbolizing sweetness and happiness.

A cup of honey, to sweeten their life together.  After the ceremony the bride and groom are to each dip their pinky finger in the cup and feed the honey to each other.

A needle and seven strands of colored thread to figuratively sew up the mother-in-laws lips to keep her from saying unpleasant words to the bride.

A copy of the couple’s holy book.

Not all of these things are always on the Sofreh but they are important to the culture and have significant meaning to the ceremony.  Bride and Grooms can pick and choose what means most to them to put on their Sofreh.  Another Persian wedding at the Hall of Springs recently last February.  Remember Anjella and Sarmad? This is what their Sofreh looked like.

And, we have another Sofreh coming up in May of this year at The Hall of Springs, stay tuned for their Real Wedding Spotlight to see how it turned out!

Real Wedding Spotlight: Jessica & Dan

Jessica and Dan were married on Sunday, July 18th 2010 at The Hall of Springs.

They had a beautiful ceremony on the portico….

Rob Spring captured some great shots all night long, here’s a  few fun ones out on the grounds:

Here are some great details from inside the Hall with Central Market Florist providing all of the personal flowers (bouts and bouquets) and The Orchid Place in Ithaca providing all of the centerpieces:

I love the paper crane details throughout!

Mitch Fraiser had the dance floor full all night, here’s a great shot from their First Dance:

Remember Asian Tea Ceremonies?  Well, as promised, here are some pics of a real Asian tea ceremony!

I love this tea pot, it’s so pretty!

Remember that during the tea ceremony, the bride and groom must serve all the seated elders tea…

Congratulations Jessica & Dan!

Ethnic Wedding Series: Sand Ceremonies

Sand Ceremonies are getting more and more popular and replacing the unity candle ceremony ever since Trista and Ryan had a send ceremony on the ABC hit reality show The Bachelorette!

The origins of the sand ceremony are unclear, but legend has it that couples invented it themselves, most likely in Hawaii.   At a certain point in the ceremony, they would stop to scoop up sand from the beach they were married on into a container.

Today, a sand ceremony has many variations, but it is very similar to a unity candle ceremony.  Typically the bride and groom each have a glass container filled with a different color sand (these can be any colors, they can match your wedding colors, or the sand can be from somewhere significant to you).  When it comes time for the ceremony, the bride and groom pour each of their sands into one larger container, symbolizing their joining together as one.   This ceremony can also include family members, in this case each member would have a different vial of sand and they would all pour them together at the same time.   Yet another option is to have the larger container have a base layer of sand representing somewhere special to the couple, or in a more spiritual way, God as the foundation of their marriage.  Here is a picture of what a sand ceremony could look like…

“Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand, one representing you, Bride, and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.  And the other representing you, Groom, and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.  As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one.  Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.”