Nicole and Peter’s wedding day is the perfect example of how to effortlessly combine tradition and elegance on your big day. Complete with Tim Tab Studios behind the lens capturing every bit of Art of Imagination decor, we’ve got it all waiting in The Vault!
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From the Bride…Our first encounter was in the hallway of our law school. I stood a little too close to Pete, called my dad, and spoke Arabic loud enough so that he’d hopefully notice. I wasn’t entirely sure if he was Arab, but I thought I would take a shot to get his attention. He heard me – but didn’t quite catch on. He spoke Farsi, not Arabic. Although my tactic to lure him in that day didn’t work, Pete eventually introduced himself and taught me the difference between Arabs and Persians. Fast-forward nearly eight years later – through graduations, cross country moves, years of long distance and different jobs – we got married in Chicago.
Our relationship and background is unique – both of Pete’s parents are from Iran, and my dad is from Lebanon and mom is from a small town in Michigan. We both love and appreciate our cultures, but also have our own way of life in the city. Being authentic to who we are independently, together and with our families was a priority for us.
With a wedding party of 10 each, the girls were up at 7 AM to get the day started. The guys were lucky and Pete started the day with a fresh work out (in true Pete form for those who know him). We had our first look at the hotel, which was by far one of the most intimate and memorable moments of the day. Then we cruised around Chicago until it was time to head to Bridgeport.
Our ceremony was split into two segments: first part Persian, second part American. We really wanted the ceremony to reflect who we were as a couple and wrote the program from scratch. The sofreh aghd – a traditional Persian spread with a number of items, each symbolizing good wishes and blessings – was the centerpiece of our Persian ceremony. With our longtime friends as officiants, we recited traditional Persian vows and our own, and had Lebanese and Persian poems read.
During the cocktail hour and prior to the ceremony, we served Lebanese beer (Almaza – my favorite!), liquor (Arak), and wine, all while playing 50s American music. Our caterer did an amazing job adding a Middle Eastern twist to the entrees and hors d’oeuvres that everyone could enjoy. Thankfully everyone loved the food, another priority of ours with all the different palates in the room! Later on we served an array of Middle Eastern desserts and handed out McDonald’s (with servers in McDonald’s gear) as our late night food. It made for a few fun pictures.
As for the most important part of the night – the dance floor – we had a Persian DJ who was well-versed in all of the different types of music we wanted to play. We were able to mix traditional dances (including the Lebanese dabke and Persian baba karam) with our favorite modern music. The drummer that played the durbake (Middle Eastern drum) was a huge hit and added even more energy to the dance floor.
Looking back the best part of our wedding is not only how happy we were throughout the day and weekend in general, but also seeing how happy our family was. We’ll cherish the pictures of our family members breaking it down on the dance floor for a lifetime.
Photography: Tim Tab Studios | Floral Design: The Bread & Butterfly | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Ma Petite Maison Cake Design | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Catering: LIMELIGHT food illuminated | Makeup: Anjelica Bannos | Makeup: Joanna B Artistry | Hair: Megan Hollinger | Hotel: Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile | Venue: Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft | Bridesmaid's Getting Ready Outfits: Free People | Day-of Wedding Coordination: The Simply Elegant Group | Decor: Art of Imagination