Persian Wedding in Italy
A & S contacted us after postponing their wedding that was supposed to be in Amalfi Coast.
The wedding planning was too stressful for them and for two years they felt overwhelmed by the planning therefore they decided to hire a wedding planner. After few skype calls it was pretty clear that they better change their wedding destination: Amalfi coast seems to them a perfect place to host an informal and intimate event, but they were thinking of having a more formal wedding day.
Lake Como was a much better option for them, and after visiting some venues together, including a boat trip to look at the venues from the lake as well, they fell in love with Villa Pizzo in Cernobbio.
Villa Pizzo is an amazing wedding venue composed by three buildings that is located between Cernobbio and Moltrasio. It is a very romantic place thanks to its location, being situated on the tip “pizzo” so it has an unbelievably panoramic view on the lake from any point. Its pastel pink and orange facade also make a dreamy and delicate wedding backdrop, plus the panoramic terrace was perfect for the ceremony.
Both Bride and Groom have Persian heritage so they decided to include a couple of Iranian traditions to their Persian Wedding in Italy.
Some insights on Persian Weddings traditions:
Persian wedding ceremonies have different variations depending on the region, but the actual ceremony goes back to the Zoroastrian traditions. For Iranians a wedding is a special event that must be celebrated with an infinite splendor. It’s not just an important day for the wedding couple but also for the two families, that are involved both emotionally and financially.
In the past, as in many religious affiliations, the marriage was arranged by the parents or the eldest family members. Nowadays couples decide by themselves, but they still like to keep traditions alive.
Before the wedding day there are some events/ceremonies that involve both families, and all the negotiations are usually carried out by both fathers. Negotiations involve all the financial details of any wedding payment, usually the groom’s family is expected to pay for all the expenses, and higher is the status of the bride more luxury will be needed during the wedding and for the presents that the grooms side offers her, which typically consists in jewellery.
On the wedding day bride and groom are both dressed in white with flower garlands. The bride in Persian is also alled Arous, meaning white.
The ceremony takes place during the daylight, because during the Zoroastrian period darkness was associated with hostile spirits. The area must be well decorated with flowers and any sort of elaborated decorations.
The Sofreh Aghed, is kind of an altar, so it can be a table, but it must be faced in direction of sunrise. The table will display several items, each symbolizing a different aspect of the Zoroastrian religion. Mirror and candelabras represent light and fire, flat bread to bring prosperous feasts, Gold represents prosperity. Honey and crystallized sugar is to sweeten the couples life. Incense is burnt to keep the evil away.
Grain seeds symbolizing abundance and fertility. A glass bowl with gold fish and an orange green leaf. A bunch of herbs like parsley and mint with bread and cheese was also placed on the same table.
The cloth used is called ‘Sofreh’ and it is normally very elaborate itself , including the rich ‘Termeh’ a very expensive hand made material from India.
Normally the groom is the first one who takes a seat in the ceremony area, on the right side, to symbolize a place of respect.
Bride and Groom have one witness each, usually an older and already married male.
The first part of the ceremony consists in a blessing, a question to the two witnesses, readings from the holy book and the signing of the marriage contract. After the blessing the priest ask to the witnesses and parents if there are no objections to the marriage, and after their positive feedback the priest asks for mutual consent to the couple.
The first question is for the groom, and when the priest will ask the same question to the bride she will pauses and remains silent. The question is in fact traditionally repeated two times to her and she will have to say yes only after the last question. During this hesitation moment the mother of the groom and her sisters or female relatives will give the bride some coins and jewelry to encourage her to say yes.
During the ceremony, female relatives of the bride, two or four, hold over the couple’s head a delicate fabric like silk, that up to 19th Century was green, the favorite color of Zoroastrians culture, nowadays white is the most common color. Other married ladies come to take turn and rub together two pieces of crystallized sugar, shaped like cons. Each cone represents bride and groom and this ritual symbolize that every contact between them will be sweet.
Another rite is that two parts of the same fabric will be symbolically sewn together, as the couple’s lifes will be sewn together. These two pieces of fabrics symbolize the Zorastrian tradition of Koshti (Belt) that are given to the teenagers to mark the passage from childhood to adulthood.
Once this is over the couple, holding each other right hands, taste some honey for a better and sweeter life.
When Bride and Groom leave the ceremony, they are showered with coins, flowers, rice and the sweet candy noghl, Noghl are almonds covered with sugar, what in Italy we call confetti and as well as in Italy these sugar coated almonds are used in all the Iranian ceremonies and they are believed to bring sweetness into life.
After the ceremony, there are lavish feasts, dancing, music and entertainment.
Another interesting tradition is Ragshen Chagoo, the Persian knife dance. The Persian dance is performed at the beginning by a dancer/guests holding a knife and asking to the newlyweds for money in exchange. The couple must give money to the dancer but when the dancer guest receives the money he will passes the knife to another dancer, and so on. At the end the couple is given the knife with which they can finally cut the wedding cake.
Enjoy these amazing photos taken by Daniele Vertelli during this lavish Persian wedding in Italy:
Persian Wedding in Italy, dream Team:
Wedding Planning and Design: Italian Wedding Designer
Wedding Venue: Villa Pizzo
Hair & Make up: Samantha Pretto
Celebrant: Lake Como Wedding Celebrants
Photographer: Daniele Vertelli
Videographer: Katia Casprini
Caterer: AFM banqueting
Music and Lights: Blunotte Eventi
Flowers: I figli dei Fiori
Furniture: Oltre il Giardino