love doesn't always go to plan

Sama and Hussein wanted to marry surrounded by family and friends, they dreamed of their grandparent's smiling faces, dancing with cousins and parents, and the cheering of those dearest to them as they walked up the aisle as man and wife.

Covid-19 put paid to that dream, with much of their family overseas, they had the option of a small ceremony and starting their life together, or waiting for the unknown. Love doesn't wait. So, with the important people who could gather, and a livestream feed to those who couldn't make it, Sama's sister transformed her loungeroom, created a feast and they set out to celebrate with smiles and joy in their hearts.

Selina from Sleeved Mumma accompanied me as makeup artist and second photographer ( I had the thrill of styling Sama's hair for her), and due to the restrictions, the celebrant was the only non family member in attendance. To say that we were both honoured is an understatement.

persian wedding detail silver bird perched on serving bowl of decorated eggs
egg shapes decorated with gold in serving bowl as part of persian wedding feast
engagement and wedding ring set sitting on pages of Qu'ran for persian wedding
decorated sugar cones for cloth of unity ceremony at persian
gold table decorations for Sofreh, or feast at persian wedding
trays of saffron sugar sticks, nuts and sweets at Sofreh, or fest table for persian wedding
yellow roses floating in water bowl as part of Sofreh or persian wedding feast
decorated tray with gold islamic inscription for persian wedding feast
trays of sweets sitting on sofreh or persian wedding feast table
reflection of wedding couch in mirror as part of persian wedding ceremony

traditional details

One of the things I love most about weddings are the details, this is where the couple's personality shines through, and this was ABSOLUTELY the case here. Sama's heritage is Persian, so they followed many of the details including a Sofreh Aghd, or table near the couple for the ceremony, filled with items that have traditional significance. Although they were legally married by an Australian Celebrant, this day would be considered a Namzhadi or engagement in the Persian tradition.

Other traditional touches on the Sofreh table included a mirror, which signifies eternity, two candlesticks that signify light, nuts, and eggs for fertility, and coins for wealth and prosperity. My favourite touch was in the ceremony itself, when a cloth of unity was held over the couple, and a cousin (it's ALWAYS female) rubbed two sugar cones over the heads of the lovers, so that their marriage may be filled with sweetness. Incense is traditionally swirled around the bride before the bridal party dances (yes DANCES) up the aisle, and the tender moment between Sama and her father as he performed this gift of love for her made my heart catch in my throat.

sofreh aghd setup for persian wedding in lockdown melbourne
daughter adjusting mother's scarf before persian wedding
bride in gold gown having dress adjusted by sister
groom in brown suit adjusting tie before persian wedding
father spreading incense around ceremony before persian wedding
father attaching necklace to bride in gold gown before wedding ceremony
groom gifting flowers to bride on arrival at persian wedding ceremony
bride and groom share a tender moment at persian wedding ceremony while father looks on
bride in gold gown and groom in brown suit smiling at each other during persian wedding ceremony
bride in gold gown and stylish groom dancing as part of persian wedding ceremony

The golden touch

After such a beautiful and meaningful ceremony, featuring lovely golden touches, Selina and I took the newlyweds to a nearby nature reserve for some sunset style photos, mother nature smiled her very best golden light down upon them.

stylish newlyweds in gold and brown holding hands by lake at sunset
newlywed couple in gold and brown embracing in formal pose at sunset in park
persian couple in formal embrace after wedding in park
bride in gold gown holding hand of groom in brown suit as they walk along path by lake
middle eastern bride in gold gown cuddling into groom in brown suit outdoors at sunset
middle eastern couple in tender but formal embrace for outdoor sunset
newlywed couple walking along path and looking back towards camera
persian newlyweds smiling at each other as sunset flares light over their heads
bride in gold gown tickles groom in brown suit as they dance together on path by lake
brunette bride in gold gown looks back at smiling groom as he embraces her with lake in background