Sara & Pouya – Elegant Spring Persian Wedding at Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

Springtime in Vancouver is glorious – especially when the sun is out and blooms are starting to open heralding the end of winter.  That is exactly how Sara & Pouya’s wedding day felt.  A wedding in Spring can be a tricky situation with all the rain, plus the well-known fact that Vancouver is notorious for rainy weather.  But Sara & Pouya lucked out and had the most amazing, warm, sunny day!  Yay!!!

We had the pleasure of photographing their wintery engagement session back in February up at Silver Star Resort in Vernon, BC which you can view here.  We love to get out of our home-base of Kelowna and photograph in different areas, so when they informed us their wedding was to take place at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, we were over the top excited!  Even though we both grew up in the Lower Mainland (South Langley & White Rock), we had never actually ventured to Queen Elizabeth Park before.  As per our usual pre-wedding scouting, we instantly were enamored with it’s beauty and elegance – it’s truly a gem hidden in the middle of the city.  So if you are traveling through Vancouver or call it home and have never been, go check it out!

Sara had a very unique request for her wedding day – she wanted Persian kittens!  She grew up with Persian cats and LOVES them, so it only made sense for her to incorporate them into her wedding day.  We contacted Roma from Wallycats and she graciously agreed to bring out two of her beautiful Persian show cats (Magic Mike & Larry) before the wedding at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.   When the cats arrived at the hotel we were all charmed by their cuteness and for Sara, it probably put her in the best mood possible for the rest of her wedding day.

The ceremony took place in the Celebration Pavilion which is one of the most unique contemporary buildings we have ever photographed in.  With retractable glass walls that open onto the gardens, it is serene, private, and elegant.  After the beautiful Persian ceremony, everyone headed over to the exquisite Seasons in the Park restaurant for the reception while Sara changed into her reception gown.  Queen Elizabeth Park is located at the highest elevation in the centre of Vancouver, so as guests dined on gourmet food they enjoyed the breathtaking views of the city and mountains.  The night was filled with tearful speeches, a jam-packed dance floor, great food, amazing views, and the happiest couple!  Congrats Sara & Pouya – we had such a great time getting to know you both and were so honoured to be a part of your wedding day!

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We’re in love with the beauty and symbolism of Persian ceremonies.  The couple sits in front of a spread of items called a sofreh facing their guests. The table is decadently adorned with many items including flowers, sweets, breads, coins, candles, a mirror, and a Quran.  During the ceremony women who are close to the bride hold a lace fabric above the couple taking turns grinding cones of sugar above them to symbolize a sweet life together and sewing a corner of the fabric together to symbolize the union of the couple.  After the ceremony family members and guests come up to give the couple gifts of gold in the form of jewelry or money.

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Dipping their pinky finger in honey and feeding it to each is another one of the beautiful ceremonial traditions of Persian weddings representing eternal happiness and sweetness in marriage.

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Another Persian wedding tradition is the knife dance, which involves women teasing the groom with their dance moves and cake cutting knife, but only giving it to him if he pays enough!  It is traditional that he pays small amounts and gets refused by all the girls until a really good dancer lures him enough – then he pays the big bucks and is presented with the knife to cut the wedding cake.  We love that a man stepped up to show off his dance moves!

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