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  • Writer's pictureUrban Bloom

Faisal and Mandonna Wedding| Gray Gables| Summerfield, North Carolina

We are so excited to share this wedding we shot last summer. We had to opportunity to photograph both the wedding day and a ceremony the night before called Sofreh Aghd, which is a traditional Persian wedding ceremony. In this ceremony, the bride and groom sit side by side in front of a spread. Each item in the spread is represented as an element of the couple's new life and marriage together. The items have various meanings, but follow the pathways of love, sweetness, and fertility. The holy text of the Quran is also placed on the Sofreh Aghd since it is a religious ceremony. As you will see, the bride and groom sit facing a mirror so that they can look at each other throughout the ceremony. Various female family members come and grind sugar above the bride and groom's heads as a symbolism of bringing sweetness into the marriage.

In the ceremony, prayers can be recited, but the main focus is to wed the bride and groom. The groom has to ask the bride three times if she will marry him. The bride's first two responses are shouted out by someone in the audience. For example, the groom asks the bride if she will marry him and someone in the audience will recite, "she has gone to the store." On the third time the groom asks, the bride says, "Yes"! Next, the bride and groom each dip their pinky finger in honey and place it in each other's mouths to bring sweetness to their marriage.

For Faisal and Mandonna's Sofreh Aghd, they had a Quran and a Bible since Mandonna comes from a family of both of those faiths and she is an Iranian American mix. Since Faisal is Pakistani, his religious beliefs and some of his cultural practices were also represented in this ceremony. For example, Mandonna wore a traditional Pakistani dress for the Sofreh Aghd. Also, Mandonna chose to have her Dad be in charge of conducting the ceremony since their ceremony was more cultural than religious. Their main focus was to make this their own and a way to bring their cultures and families together.

What an awesome event this was for us to experience and capture!! It was absolutely beautiful!!


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