The Big Fat Persian/Mormon Wedding

I remember going to many bar mitzvahs in junior high school and being in complete awe of the new and unfamiliar traditions and celebrations. I had a similar feeling last summer when we went inside the Hagia Sophia and some of the other mosques in Turkey and we watched local people partake in their praying rituals.

I actually have always been naturally curious about the affairs and lifestyles of different people and different cultures. Some may call it being nosy, and it sort of is. But not in a bad way - well at least I think so. Perhaps this explains why I enjoy blog stalking, or "BLALK-ing" so much, and yes I just admitted that (you do it too).

So what I'm really trying to get at here is that we went to an Iranian/Mormon wedding last weekend. It was hands-down one of the cooler events we have ever attended. Our friend Brigham (um, can you tell he's LDS?) went to high school with me and Niels. And his wife Sameen is a dental student with Niels at UNLV. They had dated for 5+ years and finally sealed the deal.

Both Niels and I were pretty intrigued to see how it would all go down because Brigham and Sameen are both very pious in their respective religions. Needless to say we were both really impressed by the whole spectacle.

They started with the present day Iranian wedding ceremony. Basically there was a bench that faced a long table with several different objects and foods traditionally associated with marriage in their culture.

There are way too many to name, but some of the most interesting items were: The Koran, golden fertility eggs and walnuts, live goldfish, real sugar crystals and the mirror of fate.

They sat on the bench under what they call a wedding cloth where different members of her family rubbed sugar cubes together over their heads in order to wish them a sweet life together. Thankfully there was a paper on our table that explained all the symbolism of the items, as well as the translation of the entire ceremony as it was performed in the Farsi language.

My favorite part of the whole ceremony is when the celebrant asked Sameen if she would be Brigham's wife. As part of the ceremony, she didn't answer and was silent and her family members replied to the celebrant that she was too busy to answer because she was out picking rose petals. So the celebrant asked Sameen a second time if she would be Brighams wife. Again, she was silent for a moment and her family members replied in Farsi that she was out feeding the sparrows and couldn't be bothered right now. The celebrant asks Sameen for a third and final time and she says, "Baleh!" (yes). The entire room went nuts. Everyone started making all sorts of loud clicking and rolling noises with their tongues and hands - It was fantastic.

Mr. & Mrs. Brigham Joffs

After everyone calmed down from witnessing the lively Iranian celebration, they had everyone sit down and the Bishop came up and civilly and lawfully married them. Talk about a tough act to follow! He did a great job, and both ceremonies were done so tactfully.

We truly had a great time. I really can't think of any other wedding we have stayed at for five hours like we did for this one. We danced to ethnic music intertwined with Michael Jackson, we had great food and saw some old friends from high school. Persians definitely know how to throw a great party!

Specialty drinks menu. So classic.


becca said...

oh man, i'd love to go to something like this!

Lynsey said...

That would have been so cool to go to! What a fun experience!!

jocelyn said...

i have only been to one persian wedding...and her name was also sameen! quite the coincidence.

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