Ashley and Farzin’s wedding day is one I will never forget. Ashley’s attention to detail is one I’m familiar with. Having worked at the same public accounting firm I knew her taste, her affinity for simple, classic elegance, and I knew the day she envisioned would leave no detail unturned. The details - my favorite part. The underlying aspect that separates a pretty wedding from one that will never be forgotten. Not just the decor details, but the nods to traditions and specific relationship history that mean something.

I hadn’t met Farzin before the pair moved to California, but I knew he was something special to have captivated Ashley’s heart so completely. Planning their wedding included a few challenges I hadn’t encountered before. Incorporating Farzin’s Persian background took research, time and attention. I knew nothing of Iranian wedding traditions. Certainly not their traditional Sofreh Aghd table, or what a knife dance and sugar scrubbing were. These are the challenges in wedding planning I’ve come to embrace and love. When you spend time on learning the meaning behind the traditions and listen to how important it is to a bride to incorporate as much of her groom’s heritage as possible on their special day, you don’t avoid the responsibility to deliver; you don’t procrastinate or leave it as an afterthought. What drove me to incorporate these aspects as completely and accurately as possible was learning Farzin’s family wouldn’t get VISAs to attend their son’s wedding. His family would have to rely on pictures and video and memories spoken to experience the most important day of their son’s life. The recently enacted travel ban quickly felt so much more personal. I failed the family of the only wedding experience they would get if I didn’t exceed the expectations I could only display on film. The groom’s immediate family wouldn’t be present and there were guesrs that had flown in from all over the world for this wedding: Canada, South Korea, and Scotland are just those I recall. Ashley and Farzin were kind not to put the pressure on, but I felt it regardless. I wanted this day to be perfect and truly magical for them.

The morning of their wedding was dark and overcast. It was sprinkling when I arrived at the Old Courthouse museum for setup. Of all the beautiful days we had in September 2017, this Saturday was grey and cool. The darkness was relaxing and calming to work in during setup, my favorite start to a day, but the implications of flipping the entire Courtroom from its pristine, exacting reception setup back to theatre seating for the ceremony then reversed for dinner wasn’t a challenge I wanted to accept that day. Ashley and Farzin took a chance that morning deciding they were going to stick with the outdoor Courtyard ceremony, complete with the Dakota Prairie String Quartet, floral arch and Sofreh Aghd table. It was the best decision. We still had a cool air, but by 4pm on September 16, 2017, the clouds parted, the sun peered through and an absolutely stunning outdoor ceremony at one of Sioux Falls’s oldest historical buildings downtown commenced.

Blush mismatched bridesmaid dresses, sleek black suit and bow-tied groomsmen, a bride that would take your breath away and a best-dressed Hugo Boss groom, they truly complimented each other in the most beautiful way. It wasn’t the words that were said or the blush + neutral floral, it wasn’t the Quartet or the Top Chef caliber dinner that was served. The all-ivory vanilla bean cake wasn’t the focus and the vintage accents didn’t steal the show. The way these two looked at each other that day, the way Farzin got choked up while my own husband assisted tying his bow-tie, the first look they had with one another in the still-dark staircase of the museum, the small smiles and hand-squeezes and eye-smirks that only you and that special person can interpret; it was all the things that weren’t said out loud that made me see the true love these two had for one another. I spent 5 minutes in the bathroom alone that morning saying a word of prayer for them and their families who wouldn’t get this day as traditional couples do, to unite in-person 2 families as 1. In a time when we just can’t seem to get along, when Love seems to come last, it was incredible to see these two from opposites ends of the world share something so ubiquitous to us all in the most subtle way, in silence. 

The team of wedding professionals we had working on this wedding should be briefly noted: This was one of the last weddings my favorite florist Joyce from Elaborations by Joyce and I would work on together as she’d pass the following January, and she stopped the show with her creations this day. The vintage accents and furniture come from long-time preferred vendor and friends at Prairie Lane Vintage Rentals. The food was beautifully plated and served to perfection by another preferred vendor and Sioux Falls great, Chef Jeni & Co. The cake was crafted, a one last masterpiece, by Kari of Sugar’s Baked Goods and Sweet Treats. The sweetheart table backdrop and chandelier were provided by Ideal Wedding & Events. The ever-classic mahogany chivari chairs by ABC Rentals. Ashley’s stunning hair and makeup by the talented Jade Christensen of Chameleon Designs and Jodi Hunter of Bombshell Beauty Makeup Stuido. The ivory and black - simple, gorgeous stationary was designed by preferred vendor Brandi from b.Invited. The day was captured by preferred vendor, cinematographer Ludeman Productions, and you can view their wedding video below. The bright, crisp photography, a wedding reel so gorgeous I have hundreds of photos to pick from, all captured by Mackenzie Orth. The Dakota Prairie String Quartet provided the most beautiful ambiance during the ceremony and cocktail hour, and Adam Sieff of DJ SieffStyle kept the party going till closing time. All of this happened at the perfect venue for a smaller crowd, The Old Courthouse Museum of Sioux Falls. From Walker Down The Aisle, we handled the linens and decor, setup and tear down, styling and design and full coordination of the day.

This wedding will forever remain in my heart as a favorite. This couple will always remind me of the strength and compassion marriage brings. I will always think of how love overcomes when I see a picture of these two on my feed. Ashley and Farzin - congratulations on your one year anniversary! The first year is never the easiest, and I know the two of you have already gone through so much together. Your love is beautiful, your wedding day was beautiful, and the light you bring to your family and friends was truly beautiful to see. You are an inspiring, driven couple and I expect only greatness from you two working as a team.