Hello Wednesday and hello seven (yes, seven!) SMP weddings to inspire. For those of you new to SMP, here’s a little refresher – we use Wednesday to pretty up the mid week by showing snip-its of several gorgeous soirees. But have no fear, simply click on the full gallery of images to get the entire fete in full. Now that’s a day I am ready to start!

And start we will – with this beautiful blending of cultural traditions by Merrily Wed. This lovely lakeside affair is filled to the brim with beautiful traditions, and its sophisticated, yet rustic style is definitely a good way to kick off this day of pretty. And there is so much more pretty to be had in the full gallery.

Click here for the entire wedding gallery!

From Merrily Wed… Natasha and Ali said their “I Do’s” amidst a beautiful garden lakefront estate on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.  Their 80 guests witnessed a stunning Persian ceremony, known as the Aghd, of which the details were new to some and quite familiar to others.

During the Aghd, Natasha and Alia were seated before a spread of traditional items, called the Sofreh. A Sofreh specialist from Los Angeles was brought in to make this moment truly authentic.  On the Sofreh facing them was a mirror, illuminated by candles on either side.  Many other items were also placed on the Sofreh and each had its own symbolism with regard to prosperity that it may bring.  The married women in the family held above the couple a canopy of fine fabric and ground two cones of sugar over Natasha and Ali’s heads, to hope for a sweet life.  Tasting honey with their fingers was another ritual within the Aghd.

When it came time to say “I Do,” the Persian tradition is more elaborate than Western tradition and entices the bride to agree to marry the groom.  When the officiant asks for the bride’s hand on behalf of the groom, the bride does not speak at first; instead she remains silent, which represents the pursuit of the bride by the groom.  The third time that she is asked the bride speaks up and gives the affirmative response of “baleh!” (yes).  The officiant then directs the question to the groom, who answers yes without hesitation.  This was exciting to watch Natasha and Ali enact this.

By using natural, neutral tones and organic elements along with hints of copper and gold, Natasha’s wedding style was a sophisticated edge to the rustic side of Tahoe.  Her bridal bouquet of lisianthus, peonies and garden roses was accented with grasses, gold skeleton leaves and bleached peacock feathers while a cocoa copper chiffon ribbon tied the luscious arrangement together.  The gold skeleton leaves also graced the aisle sides and the lily floral stringers comprising the birch altar behind the sofreh.  Bleached peacock feathers were used throughout the reception from embellishing the wooden wedding sign to bar arrangements to an element in the unique tablescapes.

For Natasha and Ali’s cocktail style reception, we varied the table sizes to give an on-going party feel and draped luxurious Moire toffee linen over all.  Wooden trivets on each table anchored the detailed centerpieces – each a slight variant combo of lisianthus stems in a bud vase, hurricanes, gold sand, mini pine cones, feather flower clips and pine cone candles.  They served a variety of food and dedicated one station to authentic Persian food made lovingly by Ali’s family.

Natasha and Ali’s wedding day was pure magic and a marriage between a man and a woman as well as a blending of two cultures.

Wedding Design and Planning: Merrily Wed / Wedding Photography: Dave Getzschman of Ben Chrisman Photographers / Wedding Flowers: Bellissima Floral Creations / Wedding Venue: Private Lakefront Estate / Catering: As You Wish Catering / Wedding Cake: Josef’s Vienna Bakery / Music: We Ain’t Saints / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza / Sofreh: Elegant Sofreh Design / Hair: Laura Seegmiller / Wedding Invitations: Paper Monkey Press

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