There’s so much to love about this wedding. Okanagan cherries as favors? Poutine as a midnight snack? A giant jenga for guests to play with? Goodness, I wish I was invited. Planned by captured by Kevin Trowbridge Photography, you’ll love this outdoor Persian wedding which was held on a private family estate in Langley, British Columbia.
The day was amazing, and felt like the day out in the park with those closest to us, that we had wanted. It was amazing to see our cultures come together, and the Persian wedding ceremony or “Aghd” and the “Raghs Chaghoo” or knife dance added just the right mix to represent my Canadian-Iranian upbringing, and the merging of our two cultures. While I knew it would be too difficult to speak about my father on the day, his presence was felt throughout the wedding, from his picture on the ceremony spread, to his watch around my bouquet (my something borrowed and something old) to the song and slideshow my cousin and I prepared and sang during the reception. I couldn’t help but think the whole night that he would have been so proud that, with the right man at my side and the love and support of our family, our pipe-dream had become a reality.
We paid special attention to was making sure the guests had lots to do. So, with that in mind, we designed a giant Jenga set which was a hit, a giant checkers set, the golf game, as well as several mingling areas where people could watch the games if they didn’t want to participate. On the actual day of, it was an unprecedented 35 degree not a breeze in sight scorcher. Luckily our guests used the blankets we had provided in case of cold as picnic blankets to lay out and relax, while the parasols we had provided shade and with some last minute changes the night before, the ceremony handouts doubled as fans.
We envisioned our theme as a sort of “Country Chic”….clean, crisp and relaxed. Once we had rented the tents with the beautiful liners, we decided to keep the rest of the decor simple so as not to take away from their elegance. Logan’s talented sister designed us gorgeous wedding invitations and the rest of the wedding sprung from that inspiration. Add into that the fact that I had already ordered the bridesmaids dresses which had a butterfly print on them and we had a decor scheme: yellow and white with butterfly accents. From this, countless DIY projects flowed: making giant chalkboards, a giant jenga set, a giant checkers set, eyelet table runners, butterfly table numbers, yellow and white signs, a cherry giveaway station with customized bags stamped with our dog’s silhouette, a golf-themed check-in set, a golfing platform, a platform for the persian ceremony spread, rewiring chandeliers for the tents and the barn and the list goes on. With a limited budget, some of these projects had to get very creative, but we were very pleased with the end result.
My favourite details from the wedding were:
1. The golf-ball escort cards that were arranged in an exact replica of the reception tent, complete with tables, grass, a dance floor and cake table. The golf balls with each guests name on them then doubled as their chance to win a prize by sinking it in one of the buckets we floated in the lake from our home-made “chipping green”.
2. The Okanagan Cherry give-aways. The cherries were fresh from an orchard next to our home in the Okanagan, and guest snacked on them throughout the day and then filled up their yellow baggies to take some home with them as a treat.
3. The mason jar cups with paint felts to write your name on that reduced waste and provided another keepsake for guests.
4. Hearing from our guests about what a great time they had at the wedding, and how much they loved all of the small details.
The actual day was designed around fun and the enjoyment of our guests. One thing we were both adamant about was having a family-style dinner. We didn’t want our guests waiting their turn to access the buffet or having to choose just one entree in a sit down meal. David from Sugar Mountain Catering made our vision come true as guests mingled and passed platters of delicious food. We got rave reviews on the food, and the few bites that we had a chance to swipe were amazing!
Since I can remember, my father and I would talk about how our childhood home in Langley would make the perfect backdrop for a wedding. My dad had surprisingly a lot to say about how the wedding should go but one of his key items was that it would be a day centered around the enjoyment of the guests who made their way out to help you celebrate….not a stuffy affair where guests would be shuttled from spot to spot to serve as props in the wedding. In fact, this was the topic of one of my last conversations with my father before his sudden death in December 2010. So, when my now husband, Logan, proposed 7 months later in Paris, my first and only request to him about the wedding was that it be held at the house in Langley.
This was no small feat. The 7 acre property had been left to the wild for over 10 years and blackberry bushes the size of houses crawled over what was once a pristine landscaped slice of heaven, the house had motes on each side of it where there once were porches and the lawn was more of a dust bowl, generously covered with prickled weeds that had long since dug in formidable roots. Faced with what I thought was an insurmountable challenge, I was resigned to move on from this “pipe dream” and find another venue. Luckily for me, however, I was marrying a man who makes my pipe dreams into reality.
Over the year leading up to the wedding, we were astonished as our family and friends chipped in with blood and sweat to get the property ready for the main event. We had since moved to Kelowna, and for a year, every free moment involved travelling down to Langley to work on the property. However, we never worked alone: we were overwhelmed as our loved ones worked alongside us, and sometimes in our absence building retaining walls, staircases, fences, weeding and planting, and creating the reality of the space my father and I had dreamed of. This wedding was truly a family effort and without everyone’s generous support during the year leading up to it, as well as the week of the wedding, it would not have been possible. We are eternally grateful to them!
A lot of the items from this wedding are now for sale on craigslist. Check it out if you’re planning a similar wedding!
Photography: Kevin Trowbridge Photography
Day-of-coordinator: Tiffany Knopp of the Bride’s Assistant
Flowers: Newlands Golf and Country Club
Decor Vendor: Classic Party Rentals
Cake: Cakes by Meg
Caterer: Sugar Mountain Catering
Ceremony & Reception Location: Family Private Estate
Invitations: Hand designed by Logan’s sister (who was also one of the bridesmaids)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Dress: Bisou Bridal
Makeup/Hair: Mink Makeup
Groom’s Suit: J.Crew