Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Fifth Month-a-versary to Us!

A bridesmaid
The moment we saw each other for the first time on our wedding day
Details of my beautiful gown
Here are some more photos of the little touches that made our wedding so special to us and for your guests.

Jewish Wedding Traditions

Overlooking our beautiful Ketubah

Dancing the Hora

Under the chuppah breaking the glass

Members of the wedding party building the chuppah

The Chuppah:

In Jewish weddings, the couple gets married under the chuppah, or the wedding canopy, symbolizing the new home the couple will build together. Just as a chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one's guests. This "home" is also initially devoid of furniture as a reminder that the basis of a Jewish home is the people within it, not the possessions. Our chuppah was made of green bamboo and a white cloth. It was designed and put together by our good friends, Carrie and Ladd, with the help of the member of the wedding party.

The Ketubah:

The ketubah, a traditional Jewish marriage contract, literally means "that which is written". Before our ceremony, we signed our ketubah, which symbolizes the commitment we made to each other as we bagan our life together.

Seven Jewish Blessings:

In both Persian and Jewish cultures, seven is a mystical number. In Jewish weddings, seven blessings are wish upon the bride and groom, recognizing passion and friendship in marriage. We intermingled this tradition with a ancient Persian tradition of hand-fastening.

Blessing of the Wine:

Wine is the symbol of joy and abundance in the Jewish tradition and celebrates the union of the bride and groom. Persians believe that sharing honey will ensure a life filled with sweetness. We took these traditions and merged them to symbolize our commitment to undertake the sharing of all that life may bring.

Breaking of the Glass:

Perhaps the best known of all Jewish wedding rituals. It serves as reminder of the transforming nature of marriage, it also implies a wish: "let this marriage last as long as it would take to put this glass back together." For us, the breaking of the glass signified the breaking down of walls and barriers between people of different faiths, cultures and traditions. We also adapted our own tradition of having BOTH of us break the glass, instead of the traditional custom of having the groom do it alone. Equality is a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Persian Wedding Traditions

Mirror and spice tray

Prayer book

Apples and sweets

Candles and flowers

Painted eggs & nuts and crystallized sugar

Our wedding was a very multi-cultural and interfaith affair, reflecting our diverse backgrounds and cutures. While our wedding ceremony incorporated a lot of elements from the Jewish traditions, our celebration also reflected many elements of ancient Persian wedding rituals. For example, during our second wine ceremony, the officiant added a drop of honey to the wine we shared. Sharing honey by a newlywed couple symbolizes the start of a sweet married life, according to Persian tradition.

Persian wedding rituals are more than 2500 years old, dating back to the ancient Zoroastrian tradition, the old religion of Iran before the advent of Islam. Traditionally, the ceremony takes before the wedding spread or Sofreh-ye-Aghd, which we also had at our wedding. The articles placed on the Sofreh symbolize values, wishes & hopes of those close to the bride & groom for the new couple.

Mirror represents the purity of marriage; Candles represent light & fire, sacred in ancient Persia; Decorated Bread & Cheese & Herbs Platter represent prosperity; Honey, Sweets & Kaseh-Nabat (crystallized sugar bowl) represent a sweet future; Eggs & Nuts represent fertility; Live Fish represent life; Pomegranates & Apples represent joyous future, pomegranate is a heavenly fruit & apples symbolize the divine creation of mankind; Gold Coins represent wealth; Espand a type of incense used in Zoroastrian purification rituals & to ward off evil; Spice Tray (Seenie Atel o Batel) with seven types of spices to guard against evil eye & drive away evil spirits; Rose Water to perfume & purify the air; Red Roses, with Thorns, to remind the couple that marriage is always beautiful but not without its adversities; Fresh Flowers express the hope that beauty will adorn the couple’s life together; A Sacred Book such as Avesta, Bible Quran or, as at our wedding, a Hebrew Prayer Book, represents faith in God.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Perfect Day

We got the rough cut of our wedding DVD yesterday. We opened a bottle of wine, lit some candles left from our wedding and watched the who thing twice!! One word: fabulous.
Watching it brought the whole day back. We both remembered things that had gone by too fast and the feelings and events all over again. It was so wonderful to re-live our wedding this way five months later.
Such a wonderful wedding and such a fabulous day!
Stay tuned, I'll be adding more photos and details in the next few days.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

To My Sister

On Her Wedding Day
In D.C. a Few Years Back

In LA for my Birthday.
At My Wedding.

On Saturday, September 9, 2006, my closest friend and the maid of honor at my wedding, Bahar, married her fiancé, Nelson. It was a small civil ceremony, and they’re planning a big wedding next year. But, it was such an important day and I am saddened by the fact that I missed it. You see, she lives in “Right” Coast, and I live in the Left. Add to it the fact that they planned the whole thing in t-h-r-e-e days, and you see why I was absent.

Bahar and I met in law school and by complete happenstance. As a matter of fact, our meeting was against odds, since we were a year apart in school curriculum and could have very easily never run into to each other. But we did meet and we did become friends and as time went on, we became more than friends…we became each other’s family. I see myself in her in so many ways on one hand, and a person so completely the exact opposite of me on the other. I don’t know what she sees when she looks at me. Maybe a pushy, big-mouthed broad. But, somehow we fit, somehow we work.

We’ve been through a lifetime in the last decade…accomplishments, successes, gains, losses, heartaches, rejections, deaths, loves, and now marriages. And I’m certain that we’ll be there for each other through all the future lifetimes to come…babies, careers, adversities and challenges, as well as all the happy times.

Bahar, I still cannot believe that I wasn't there for your special, but I couldn’t be happier for you & Nelson. I wish you happy days, romantic nights, and all the love you can handle. I pray that you find peace, tranquility and prosperity with Nelson and I hope that life brings you nothing but fortune, health, happiness, bliss and love.

I love you,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Our Wedding

It was Saturday, April 29, 2006. The sky was filled with silvery clouds. We had hoped for a warm sunny late spring day, but it was perfect just as it was because it was our wedding day.

We walked over to the beach, took our places, and got ready to walk down the aisle. And, just then something magical happened. All of a sudden, the cold, the wind, the clouds…they all melted away. The noise died down, the commotion silenced. All I could hear was my heart beating and all I felt was my close friend and escort holding my hand as we began our walk over the sand dunes and down the beach to our beautiful bamboo Chuppah.

I don’t remember much. I know I was smiling and I tired to look into each and every guest’s eyes to connect with each soul who had come to witness our marriage. Our friend, John, was playing “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton with his guitar. I picked it because I have always love it, but considering my father’s passing three weeks before the wedding, the song seemed to be even more fitting.

At the end of the aisle, Scott stood, so handsome and so serene. He was so tranquil through the entire ceremony, and whenever I fought tears back I only had to look into his handsome, happy and peaceful face to center myself and calm my heart.

The ceremony was a blend of old and new, Jew and Persian, the traditional and the zen. Our officiant, Jane Mayer, drew everyone into the ceremony by asking us to face our guests and making everyone connect from the start of the program. We had a hand fastening ceremony, borrowed from ancient Persian Zoroastrian traditions, but Jane made it our own by cutting the ties off, revealing to the audience that we were bound not by visible or tangible ties, but by invisible emotional ties of love and commitment. The ceremony ended by both of stepping on glass…I love equality.

The reception continued the theme of the coming together and the blending of two distinct cultures and backgrounds. A Sofreh-ye-Aghd or traditional Persian wedding spread was present, representing my ancient heritage, traditions and rituals dating back to more than 2500 years. We began the night by dancing the Hora, a very boisterous traditional Jewish celebration, and ended with some very festive Persian dancing. And our guests feasted on delicious Persian food, including Shirin Polo, or Sweet, symbolizing the start of a sweet married life for the bride and groom.

Our reception was filled with lots unique and personal touches. Our centerpieces represented earth, wind, fire and water. The tables were named after songs by Scott’s favorite band, the Allman Brothers. Madonna songs reigned prominent and I even got a chance to do some vogueing. Strike a pose! Our very last song was “Little Martha”, by the Allman Brothers Band, and the song most ABB concerts end to.

Our wedding was full of uniqueness, love and tradition. It was simply perfect.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I Heart Paris!

I have always loved Paris and dreamt of going there all my life. Knowing this, when we planned our honeymoon earlier this year, Scott made sure that we ended our dreamy trip in Paris. It was a VERY short visit-only 24 hours-but it was a dream come true.
That's why visiting these websites have become part of my daily routine. So, how cares if I only had one day in Paris. Now I get to visit Paris everyday. This will have to be enough until we go there again.

Enjoy and Bon Voyage!
ParisDailyPhoto (making of)

Happy Labor Day, everyone. The long holiday weekend has been a fun one for the two of us. We began by attending a live taping of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. After the show, we went to the Stinking Rose for dinner.
On Saturday, we had lunch with a person who's currently attending the law school we attended. She had contacted me because she has an interest in practicing my area of law. It was such a surreal feeling being the lawyer who career dispenses advice to a novice. It seems like it was only a second ago when we were where this woman is now, trying to figure out our way through the maze. Later on Saturday, we went to a friend's pool party, and still later, we went out for some Persian food for dinner. Y-U-M!!
On Sunday, we attanded a friend's sister's wedding. It was an Indian wedding, our first. It was so full of color and love and beauty and music! Simply lovely. We danced our butts off, literally. As a matter of fact, we're both totally sore from all the dancing!!!
Today has been a lazy day. After a slow start, we each caught a different metinee movie. Scott saw World Trade Center, and I saw the Illusionist. What an absolutely beautiful film. I highly recommend it. Scott also liked his movie, and thought it was very well made. He seemed a bit shaken by it and has been in a somber mood ever since. I knew how that movie would affect me, and that's why I did not see it. We're now ending the day by some mellow and relaxed reading, writing and watching TV.
So, that was our long weekend. Let's see what the week will being.