This Couple Planned Their Modern Persian Wedding in Just Three Months
Sherri and David met in November of 2017 at a restaurant and lounge in Seattle where they shared a drink and a great fireside conversation. After their first date, Sherri headed to Los Angeles to visit her family for 10 days, and the two ended up texting throughout her trip. "We felt like we knew each other so well before date two," Sherri says of their relationship's earliest days.
In April 2019, David flew down to L.A.—while Sherri was away on a work trip—to visit her parents and ask for their daughter's hand in marriage. Two months later, David convinced Sherri to visit her parents for Father's Day with a proposal in mind. He popped the question during a private moment at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills early on Sunday morning, a time when the park is mostly quiet. They returned to a surprise engagement party celebration with friends and family and immediately began celebrating their next step.
The couple worked with a planning team from Imagine Weddings & Special Events to pull off their vision of timeless elegance at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California. When the venue had the ideal space for 60 guests on their anniversary date; November 16, they decided to go ahead and get married in just three months. They invited their closest friends and family members to join them for an intimate ceremony and reception that incorporated traditions from both Sherri's Persian heritage and David's Portuguese background.
With just three months before the big day, the couple needed their invitations turned around quickly. They looked to Minted to create a petite suite with gold flower detailing that directed guests to their wedding website.
One of Sherri's favorite memories from the big day was spending so much time with her aunts, cousins, friends, and glam squad before the ceremony. She didn't have a formal bridal party, but her favorite women were close by her side.
The bride didn't have much luck finding the right wedding dress in Seattle or Los Angeles, so she started looking online. As a big Say Yes to the Dress fan, she ended up on Kleinfeld's website, looking at Tony Ward's designs. Drawn to the texture and floral detailing in his collection, she excitedly booked a red-eye to New York to go to his trunk show in May 2018. She chose the mermaid "Sancia" gown with floral appliqué detailing and buttons down the back. She loved how the dress accentuated her curves in a flattering way—and that it was comfortable enough to dance the night away in.
Sherri paired her wedding dress with a dramatic cathedral veil and finished her look with Fallon earrings, a bracelet she bought at Bloomingdales, and silver Badgely Mischka shoes with flower details. She also carried a symmetrical bouquet with lush florals in a soft color palette of white, cream, blush, and pink.
David wore a pique lapel black tuxedo with a cream bow tie from The Black Tux; he completed his ensemble with with airplane cuff links to represent his career as an aerospace engineer.
The First Look
The couple met for their first look on the Monte Vista lawn at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore. Sherri tapped David on the shoulder, he turned around, and each of them got more emotional than they expected.
David and Sherri's ceremony took place on the lawn overlooking the ocean, where gold round-back cushioned chairs were set up on either side of the aisle.
Garden on the Aisle
The aisle was lined with garden-style flower arrangements consisting of garden roses, hydrangea, amaranthus, maidenhair fern, peonies, ranunculus, anemones, and gardenia branches. White pillar candles in glass votives were placed at the aisle's entrance.
During the ceremony, a guitarist played as Sherri walked down the aisle with her father. The couple exchanged personal vows they wrote for each other, causing almost every guest to shed a tear. Sherri's cousin read a meaningful love-related Bible verse during the ceremony to incorporate David's Catholic faith.
The Sofreh Spread
Sherri's mom pitched in to create the sofreh aghd, a spread of symbolic items that is traditionally a centerpiece at Persian wedding ceremonies. The spread included a mirror to represent a bright future, candles to symbolize clarity in the path ahead, seasonal fruits to represent a joyous future, and more. They even included a Portuguese "Rooster of Barcelos," a beacon of good luck. "My mother worked on the sofreh for many months," Sherri says. "She hand-sewed many items."
Welcome to Marriage
During the service, the couple took part in a Persian tradition where happily married female relatives and friends hold a fine fabric, or tooreh ghand, over the couple's head to wish them a sweet and joyous marriage.
Portraits Over Cocktails
Sherri and David skipped their cocktail hour to take photos on the lawn and the beach with their photographer. Meanwhile, guitarist David Patt set the mood while attendees enjoyed an open bar and passed appetizers.
The food options included New Zealand baby lamb rack with mint pesto, short rib tostones with pickled shallots, avocado toast with pickled red onions and furikake, and vegetable spring rolls with a plum sauce.
Guests found their table numbers at a gold-rimmed seating chart with painted and real floral embellishments.
The reception took place in the resort's El Mar room, where wood-beamed ceilings, oversized chandeliers, and gold floor-length curtains created a feeling of opulence. Long tables were topped with white linens and a variety of flower arrangements and gold-rimmed candleholders.
Place settings incorporated gold flatware, gold-rimmed plates, and ivory linen napkins. Each spot was marked with a pressed-flower nameplate and a menu that matched the invitation suite.
Peonies, ranunculus, antique hydrangea, amaranthus, viburnum, jasmine vine, and more blooms were integrated into the garden-inspired centerpieces; they were placed in gold compotes for a touch of glamour.
Table numbers were written in white calligraphy on glass plates pressed with buds and leaves.
A mirrored fireplace served as the focal point for the room; the mantle was decorated with large organic floral arrangements that matched those on the tabletops.
The Fun First Dance
Sherri and David considered taking classes to prepare for their first dance, but with a limited timeline, they decided to skip them. "We realized that being serious wasn't going to reflect neither our personalities nor our dance techniques," Sherri says. "We both love electronic and Latin music, and wanted to spice up the energy as part of our first dance."
The couple worked with their DJ, Bennet Schmidt, to come up with a mix of Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello's "Senorita," Sugarhill Gang's "Apache (Jump On It)," and Pitbull's "Fireball." The couple put a spin on choreography they found online to put together a first spin that was entirely their own.
The couple's three-tiered white wedding cake stood atop a gold cake stand and was embellished with a cascading floral design. The yellow cake was soaked with Chambord liqueur and filled with vanilla cream and fresh raspberries.
To couples who are knee-deep in wedding planning, Sherri recommends sticking to your wedding vision. "David and I ultimately hosted a non-traditional wedding by our cultural standards," she says. "However, our elders were very pleased with how the day turned out!"
Photography, Ashley Ludaescher
Venue and Catering, Four Seasons Santa Barbara
Event Planning and Design, Rebecca Gigandet Imagine Weddings
Videography, Santa Barbara Wedding Films
Flowers, Camellia Floral Design
Paper Products, Fete & Quill
Bride's Gown, Tony Ward for Kleinfeld Bridal
Hair and Makeup, Luna Bella Makeup & Hair
Bride's Shoes, Badgley Mischka
Bride's Jewelry, Fallon Jewelry; Bloomingdale's
Groom's Attire, Black Tux
Music, David Patt
Cake, Four Seasons Santa Barbara
Rentals, Town and Country Event Rentals
Lighting, Bella Vista Designs