I was born in Iran to an older sister and two loving parents. We immigrated to Vancouver in 1989, so I was a resident of North Shore, Vancouver for the majority of my upbringing. Amin has a similar story to mine. He too was born in Iran but before immigrating to Vancouver by way of Berlin.
Our love is rooted in our friendship and began fourteen years ago through my cousin Ramin. It is hard to describe how we fell in love. It was this gradual growing of affection, trust, friendship, and eventually love. We were drawn to each other first by our sense of humors, our ability to listen to and confide in one another, and a knowledge that the other would always be there. Friendship gave way to love that led to us wanting to spend the rest of our lives together. We make each other laugh. He makes me feel brave, and I make him feel complete.
As soon as we saw our wedding venue, we knew it was perfect. It had everything we wanted, including a beautiful view, a gazebo where we could have an outside ceremony, and room enough to house all of our friends and family. We wanted to have a weekend away with all of our loved ones in the same place. The more we got to know the venue and the wedding coordinator, Nicola, the more we fell in love. We ended up booking the venue by the time we finished the tour.
I wore a beautiful long ivory dress with a deep open back. Amin was decked out in a a sharp, fully tailored blue suit, burgundy tie, and silver cuff links. My hair was adorned by a beautiful, vintage-style diamond hair comb lent to me by my loving sister in-law. Around my neck was a drop three diamond necklace gifted to me by my mother. The dress was chosen with the help of my bridesmaids and aunts, and the shoes were purchased with my sister. Everything I wore that day was significant to me because it was so deeply connected to a group of women that I love, am grateful for, and/ or have been fortunate to be raised by.
We were incredibly fortunate with our venue. It brought so much beauty and character to our wedding day that when it came to decor we felt like we could concentrate on a few details to make it our own. We did not have any flowers at our wedding aside from the ones that already aligned the edges of the courtyard and surrounded the gazebo.
The Juan de Fuca Straight made for an incredible backdrop to our ceremony, and the dock was a perfect place for pictures.
Our ceremony was a combination of Canadian and Persian traditions. After our wedding party, Amin walked both moms down the aisle and helped them to their seats. I was walked down by my father with the help of my two cousins that prevented by dress from dragging on the wet ground. He walked me to the end of the aisle where Amin embraced my father and then took my hand and helped me around the traditional Persian wedding table. It is a low table which had placed upon it a number of symbolic items. Each item represents a facet of life that is wished upon the almost newly married couple: health, fertility, love, wealth, and an acknowledgement of the past and future. The table is also beautifully decorated with candles and flowers. To our left and right stood out wedding party.
We began standing, as our officiant, Brenda Partridge, commenced the ceremony. She started by welcoming everyone and explaining how much it meant to Amin and I to have them there with us that day to not only celebrate but to witness our union. This led straight into the Persian part of the ceremony.
This part was adapted to fit for Amin and I. We did not have a completely traditional Persian ceremony. Instead we incorporated what meant the most to us: our families.
The Persian portion began with my father playing a beautiful song on the Persian instrument called the santur. This music has been the soundtrack of my life as my father has been playing as long as I can remember. As he began to play, we sat down on a bench before the table as the bridesmaids moved to take their new positions alongside the groomsmen.
Two of the bridesmaids unfurled a beautiful long piece of lace above our heads. At this point, my aunt began to recite a beautiful poem by the poet Haafiz, one that spoke of falling in love and recognizing true love. As the music and her words washed over our guests, the female members of our family rose one by one and approached and stood behind us. They were handed two large blocks of sugar covered with lace and slowly rubbed the pieces together above our heads and the long piece of lace. The falling granules of sugar symbolize the happiness, love, and well-being the women were blessing us with. It began with both of our moms and included our aunts and cousins.
Once the poem concluded, and the song subsided, the wedding party returned to their positions and Brenda continued with the Canadian ceremony. Amin and I exchanged our vows and then were announced husband and wife!
We walked back down the aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” as our guests blew bubbles, and then danced into the night at the reception!
Words by Golly, the bride, as told by Amber Marlow. Photos by Taryn Pickard.
My name is Taryn Pickard and I have an intense passion for helping people connect to themselves and nature. I love to do this through my photography and my everyday life. I also have a passion for honest and raw moments, and I love to capture those moments for my clients! During my non-camera time, I am mountain biking, hiking, and spending time on my sailboat.