Friday, February 11, 2011

Cultural Wedding Traditions - Persian Sofreh Aghd

Persian Wedding at The Westlake Village Inn

Wedding Jeannie welcomes you to the recurring blog feature, called CULTURAL WEDDING TRADITIONS. Living and working in Los Angeles has given me the opportunity to work for clients from many interesting cultures. Most often, our clients are blending two cultures, and rely on me for advice in doing so. They understand that I embrace my own Latin Heritage, and I encourage them to incoporate their culture into their wedding. You're invited to come by from time to time, and learn about the beautiful traditions my clients have shared with me along my journey as a wedding planner. So grab a latte, or a glass of wine and let's begin with a Persian Wedding tradition.

Persian Wedding Sofreh Aghd

Afsoon & Henry were married at The Westlake Village Inn. They had a very elaborate and elegant Sofreh Aghd. The Sofreh Aghd is the legal ceremony in the Iranian culture. The Sofreh altar (spread) is a detailed display of items believed to bring the bride and groom blessings in their life and marriage. The altar is displayed on the floor, facing the east, with the couple facing the light. Cushions are placed in front of the altar, as the bride and groom are seated throughout the ceremony. Each item on the sofreh has symbolism for the qualities the couple should possess in their marriage. Common items may be honey, coins, spices, candles, a mirror, and The Koran. Traditionally they are placed in a specific order, shown below.

Whether a sofreh is elaborate or modest, is the personal choice of the couple and their families. Symbolism of the items is what carries the most importance. The ceremony itself is filled with meaningful traditions that may not be fully understood if two cultures are being blended. For that reason I recommend a ceremony program that explains the importance of the sofreh, and the ceremony order.

Afsoon and Henry's wedding was so meaningful to me. How lucky I was to experience these amazing traditions. Afsoon's generosity in teaching me about her culture and her family traditions were a gift to me. She gave me the ability and confidence to plan Persian weddings in the future.

The beautiful photos of Afsoon and Henry's wedding and sofreh were provided courtesy of Simon & Martin Photography

Resources: Persian Mirror Magazine


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