Jennifer and Tim and a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Wedgewood Golf Course in San Clemente. They were able to beautifully combine both eastern and western cultures on their wedding day. After the traditional wedding ceremony, they had a second Persian ceremony celebrating Jen’s significant cultural background and influences. It was my first experience with a Persian wedding ceremony and I did some research before shooting the wedding to learn a little about what to expect. it was interesting to learn that Persian wedding traditions, despite their local and regional variations, like many other rituals in Iran (Persia) go back to the ancient Zoroastrian tradition.Though some of the the concepts have changed with newer traditions, the actual wedding ceremonies have remained more or less the same as they were originally in the ancient Zoroastrian culture and are still observed in modern day Persian weddings.

The ritual that stood out the most during this wedding was the “Sofreh Aghd” which is a traditional wedding ceremony spread where legal marriage + ceremonial traditions are exchanged. The ceremonial traditions have been practiced for thousands of years and sofreh aghd spreads are usually very customary at Persian weddings. Like most, Iranians have diverse religious backgrounds and the sofreh aghd is a chosen cultural ceremony commonly practiced regardless of faith. There are many symbolic items in which make up the sofreh aghd spread, all in which represent an element of the couple’s new life and marriage together. The word “sofreh” means “spread” and “aghd” means “ceremony. Definitely a new photography experience for us. More information about the Sofreh Aghd down below.

Lastly, A big thank you to Marisa Leanne, Matt Brown and the team at Pixel Perfect Wedding Films for all the great help and footage.

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Here are some images with some information about the significance of the items in the pictures. Definitely unique to Persian weddings and Persian Wedding Photography

Sofreh {Ceremonial cloth} – is the spread used under all of the traditional sofreh items.

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Shamdoon {Candles/candelabras}
Symbolize energy + clarity in the couple’s life together.

Ayeeneh {Mirror}
Represents bringing light + brightness into the future for the married couple. Traditionally the couple look into the mirror together.Persian wedding

 Khoncheh {Assortment of seven symbolic herbs + spices} An assortment of herbs + spices are placed on the spread to guard against the evil eye. The seven herbs + spices include: poppy seeds “khash-khaash”, wild rice “berenj”, angelica “sabzi khoshk”, salt “namak”, nigella seeds “raziyaneh”, black tea “chai” + frankincense “kondor”.

Golaab {Rose water}Is used to perfume the air.

Persian wedding photo

Noon Sangak {Flatbread}A decorative display of flatbread “noon-eh-sangak” symbolizes prosperity for the feasts + couple’s life together. It can be accompanied with feta cheese “noon-o-panir” + fresh herbs.

Tokhm-eh-Morgh {Eggs}Represent fertility for the couple..

Shakheh Nabat {Rock candy} Prettified to symbolize a sweetened life for the newlyweds.

Sekkeh {Coins}Are place on the sofreh spread to represent wealth + prosperity for the couple.

Sheereeni {Sweets + pastries}
Are placed on the sofreh aghd + to be shared with the guests after the ceremony concludes. Sheereeni symbolizes the sweetness of life.

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Toor {Ghand cloth}
A fine fabric, usually silk or lace which is held over the couple’s head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives + friends.

Kaleh Ghand {Sugar cones} Is used during the ceremony over the couple’s head. Happily married woman rub the sugar cones together over the “ghand cloth” while held over the couple’s head to shower their life + marriage with sweetness.

Persian wedding photo

Holy Book of choice {Koran, Bible or a book of poetry such as Hafez}
Placed on the sofreh aghd to symbolize God’s blessing for the couple. The book is usually opened from the middle + placed on the spread in front of the couple as a symbol of faith.San Clemente Golf Club Wedding_0042 San Clemente Golf Club Wedding_0043Asal {Honey}  Consumed right as the ceremony is going to conclude. The bride + groom exchange hands (usually with the pinky) dipped in the honey + shared off the hand to represent sweetness for the couple’s life.

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Thanks for visiting the blog. Visit the contact page if you would like some information about photography for your wedding or event

Wedding Venue: Wedgewood Golf Club, 150 E Avenida Magdalena, San Clemente, CA 92672Vendors List P

Photography: Gary Coelho Photography

Videography: Pixel Perfect Wedding Films

Makeup: Kristy Bradvica | Makeup by KristyLee

 If you were a vendor for this wedding and would like to be added to the list, please use the contact page.