Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Persian Wedding Custom: Sofreh Aghd

My clients added the Iranian Wedding Ceremony traditions into their wedding program.  This was a wonderful idea to help guest understand what was taking place.

“The Iranian wedding ceremony incorporates traditions that have been celebrated for centuries.  The Bride and Groom sit facing the “Sofreh Aghd,” a spread that contains food and traditional items they are to share in their new life, each bearing a unique symbolic meaning.
The mirror and candelabras represent purity, light and fire. The herbs, spices and incense guard against evil spirits. The sweets and pastries are to be shared with guests in celebration of the wedding.  The flat bread and coins symbolize prosperity.  Eggs, almonds and nuts symbolize fertility.  Honey is to be used for the first taste in the bride and groom’s new life together.  The sugar cones are to be softly ground above their heads by female friends and family to sweeten their union.  Flowers represent beauty, and rose water is used to perfume and purify the air.  There is also an open book of poetry on the Sofreh.

Our Officiant, Ms. Shahrzad Ardalan, will ask the bride and groom whether they are ready to enter into the marriage contract.  When the bride is asked, she is initially silent and does not answer.  Those in attendance pretend the bride is absent, saying such things as, “She is not here.  She went out to gather rosebuds.”  The question is asked three times and only on the third time does she say “Yes”.  When the groom is asked, however, he is to respond quickly with a “Yes”, or a “Baleh.”  The couple is now declared husband and wife and share a taste of honey.  They are then presented with gifts from family.”

Photo by Winnie Phung

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698