What do you call the moment when a Caymanian guy meets a woman from California? It’s called destiny.
What do you call a destination wedding with both modern and traditional ceremonies? We call it a beautiful thing.
Darren and Nellie are both doctors who are currently doing their medical internship in New York. Both with hectic schedules, they knew that the perfect wedding would have to be in place where they can kick back, relax, spend some quality time with their family and friends and say their I Do’s in complete and utter bliss! Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman was exactly what they wanted for their destination wedding.
Nellie is of Persian descent and asked us to incorporate a Persian Ceremony after the traditional wedding ceremony on the beach. There are two stages to a Persian marriage. Most often both take place on the same day, but occasionally there could be some time between the two. The first is called “Aghd”, the legal process of getting married, when both the bride and bridegroom and their guardians sign a marriage contract.
The second stage is “Jashn-e Aroosi”, the wedding reception – the actual feasts and the celebrations, which traditionally lasts from 3 to 7 days. The Ritz Carlton ballroom was chosen as the locale for this lavish reception.
The Persian ceremony takes place in a specially decorated room with flowers and a beautiful and elaborately decorated spread on the floor called “Sofreh-ye Aghd”. Traditionally Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of sunrise (light). Consequently when bride and groom are seated at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd they will be facing “The Light”.
On Sofreh-ye Aghd, the following items are placed:
- Mirror (of fate) “Aayeneh-ye Bakht” and two Candelabras (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future) one on either side of the mirror. The mirror and two candelabras are symbols of light and fire, two very important elements in the Zoroastrian culture. When the bride enters the room she has her veil covering her face. Once the bride sits beside the groom she removes her veil and the first thing that the bridegroom sees in the mirror should be the reflection of his wife-to-be.
- A tray of seven multi-colored herbs and spices “Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel” to guard the couple and their lives together against the evil eye, witchcraft and to drive away evil spirits.
A few other things essentials included in the Sofreh-yeh Aghd are : a specially baked and decorated flatbread, baskets of decorated eggs, almonds, walmuts, hazelnuts in the shell to symbolize fertility, a basket of apples and pomegranates for joyous future, a cup of rose water from special Persian roses, a brazier holding burning coals, bowl of gold coins, two sugar cones, a scarf or shawl made of silk or any fine fabric, a cup of honey, a needle and seven strands of threads and a copy of the couple’s Holy Book. All of these items symbolize something significant.
After the traditional Persian ceremony, the guests were treated to a scrumptious meal prepared by the world class chefs of Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman.
Dancing ensued right after dinner. The groom doesn’t like to dance but he promised Nellie he will dance all night and that he did! What a group of fun loving people!
What do you call a wedding between such a lovely couple, we call it a dream fulfilled.
Congratulations Darren and Nellie!