Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tantalizing Thursday - Sofreh Aghd

Thursday is the day to present beautiful wedding traditions. Jennifer is in her second year with Elegant Event Planning and Design. Jennifer has planned her share of Persian and Middle Eastern Weddings while on Tenure in LA. She has done some fabulous things! So, in honor of her, Thursday is dedicated to all those beautiful traditions - not only in Persian weddings - but different customs from all around the world.

I enjoy making a ceremony more unique and personalized by incorporating beautiful traditions in each and every wedding.

So - sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and elegant tradition that will unfold before your eyes!

Sofreh Aghd

The 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).

On the Sofreh Aghd, are the following...

1. Mirror (of fate) "Aayeneh-ye Bakht" and two Candelabras (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future) . They symbolize light and fire. The Bride enters the room with her veil. When she sits to the left of her Bridegroom and removes her veil, the first thing he will see in the mirror is his Bride-to-be.

2. A tray of seven multi-colored herbs and spices "Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel"- to drive away evil spirits

3. A specially baked and decorated flatbread "Noon-e Sangak" - Prosperity for life.

4. A basket of decorated eggs and a basket of decorated almonds, Walnuts and Hazelnuts for fertility.

5. A basket of pomegranates and/or apples for a joyous future.

A cup of rose water extracted from special Persian roses "Gol-e Mohammadi"to make the air sweet

A cup of honey to sweeten life. The couple offers the other a dab on their fingertip.

8. Two sugar cones "Kalleh Ghand" made out of hardened sugar to be used during the ceremony. These sugar cones are grinded together above the bride and bridegroom's head (over the scarf held above their heads) throughout the ceremony to shower them in sugar (symbolizing sweetness and happiness).

9. A needle and seven strands of colored thread to figuratively sew up the mother-in-law's lips from speaking unpleasant words to the bride!

A brazier "Manghal" holding burning coals sprinkled with wild rue "Espand" a popular incense to bring health to the new family.

A bowl of gold coins representing wealth and prosperity.

12. A copy of the couple's Holy Book is placed on the spread. For Christian couples, it would be the Bible, for Zorastians Avesta, For Muslims Qur'an, .... This symbolizes God's blessing for the couple.

13. A Scarf or Shawl made out of Silk or any other fine fabric to be held over the bride and bridegroom's head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives (mostly bride's close family members).

A bowl made out of crystallized sugar "Kaas-e Nabaat/Shaakh-e Nabaat" to sweeten life for the newly wed.

Photography by Thomas Graves Photography

Happy Planning!

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