I’m proud to say that I’m a Persian wedding photographer because I can deliver natural and fun Persian and Iranian wedding photography all over the country. The traditions go way back, and although some attitudes to marriage have been influenced and changed by the Islamic religion, the Persian wedding ceremony has remained largely the same as they were in Iranian culture, before Islam arrived in the country.
On this occasion I was helping my friend Kieran Bellis Photography shoot a Persian wedding at the Bolton Excellency, a wedding venue designed specifically for grand Arabian weddings.
Jasmine and Darius had already tied the knot legally the day before. Today was all about the reception and party to celebrate their marriage. We spent the afternoon in Fletcher Moss Park, enjoying a walk and taking some photos. The bride and groom and their entourage were all dressed very smartly for the banquet awaiting them at Bolton Excellency. Jasmine’s dad had brought some balloons and everyone had a lot of fun trying to blow them up and take selfies while holding them at the same time. There was a spot of rain but no one seemed to care they were having so much fun.
We left for the reception venue, and upon arrival, the father of the bride prepared some smoke bombs to welcome our newlywed couple as they approached in their wedding car. Upon entering the main banqueting suite the couple were given a grand round of applause and cheers from their awaiting guests. They were led to the stage where specially prepared seats surrounded by candles and decorations were laid out.
As the ceremony got into full swing, members of the bride and groom’s family took turns grinding two sugar cones together above the married couple, so that the granules fell into the canopy that had been placed above them. This, I learned, is a way of symbolically showering the couple in sweetness and it was a fascinating part of the wedding to photograph. The first kiss followed shortly afterwards, and it was lovely as Darius lifted Jasmine’s veil.
Immediately, everyone hit the dance floor, twirling their handkerchiefs and giving plenty of hugs to family and friends. I was very impressed by the energy displayed by all the guests, whether young or old. Sometime later, the newlyweds were serenaded by the resident singer and violinist, and then it was time for the main event: the cutting of the cake! In Iranian tradition it seems that the bridesmaids will slowly dance towards the bride and groom, and before presenting them with the knife, will receive some money as a gift. I’m sure there are many western bridesmaids out there that are quite jealous!
Naturally, there followed more dancing and Jasmine and Darius had the Persian equivalent of a first dance while being showered with petals and confetti by their family and friends. Massive congratulations to Jasmine and Darius! I had an absolute blast as your Persian wedding photographer at the Bolton Excellency!
Iranian weddings normally are very large indeed, consisting of the couple’s families, extended families, friends and almost all acquaintances. However, the Aghd, the legal part of the ceremony, is solely reserved for close family and friends. This is when the couple will say their vows and exchange rings etc.
The fun really starts at the Aroosi to which all guests are invited. You can expect upbeat music, continuous dancing and a hell of a lot of fun times! They are a celebration of love and life and everyone is expected to have a great time. A popular traditional dance, seen at almost every Persian wedding is the ‘Baba Karam’.
Usually, a buffet dinner awaits the hungry guests. There will be more than enough food for everyone, indeed normally twice as much! It is very important in Persian culture to take care of your guests, hence the over abundance of food. Providing guests with multiple food options is standard etiquette.
Of course there are some aspects to a Persian wedding that will feel very familiar to any westerner attending. The bride and groom will have a first dance, be toasted during speeches from family and friends, and even cut the cake. They will sometimes have another dance after the cake is cut, and the guests will shower them wit rose petals.
The staff at the Bolton Excellency are dedicated to making your dreams come true. It is important to them that bride and grooms enjoy their perfect day and cherish every second. That’s why this sensational wedding venue creates an environment of 5 star luxuries and cultural refinement: a central courtyard in which palm trees are intertwined with an antique marble fountain, and an Arabian lounge dripping in splendour. With its shimmering crystal chandeliers, and elaborate mirrors, this venue is a truly romantic, magical and memorable place.
The hard working staff are well experienced when it comes to catering for the finest detail or special requirements of your day. No matter how large or discreet your wedding, the Bolton Excellency will do all they can to help make your special day. It’s because of wedding venues like this that I really enjoy being a Persian wedding photographer.