An over-the-top romantic Persian wonderland wedding took place in North Georgia over Memorial Day weekend. Business coach Tallia Deljou and attorney Parsa Garrett tied the knot in a multicultural outdoor ceremony/mélange of Persian and Jewish customs.
Tallia recalled, “There is no place like our venue Barnsley Gardens, a complete hidden oasis surrounded by beautiful trees. Truly magical.” It was an Italian estate of 4,000 acres dating back to 1840 that reopened in 1999, but was sold in 2004 to Julian Saul, the Jewish owner of Queen Carpet, renamed Shaw Floors.
Although the couple was engaged for 20 months, the planning process spanned a year, using the services of Lindsey Wise Designs, who was seven months pregnant on the wedding night.
There were beaucoup attendants: the bridal party consisted of 12 bridesmaids and 15 groomsmen. The bride had some bridesmen and the groom had a groomswoman. Father of the bride Kamy Deljou said, laughing, “There were 314 guests. The list started at 550. Due to capacity issues, we reduced it to 348 invitees. Truly the hardest part of the wedding for us was being selective while being extremely mindful when dealing with such a tight-knit community.”
All in the Details
Tallia’s dress was Blush by Hayley Paige. “I wanted it to feel whimsical and elegant; it was the only one I could picture walking down the aisle in outside under that magical tree. Being surrounded by nature helped me pick the dress with its unique lace patterns.”
Florists Chelsea Brittle of Luxe + Bloom Flower Design provided the earthy, wild and colorful: deep reds and oranges with plenty of leaves and greenery requested by Tallia to mirror the rich hues of the Persian rugs that decorated the aisle. There were 150 feet of Persian carpets provided by Pacific Rugs.
Barnsley Gardens catered on-site, adding a special flair for Persian cuisine while accommodating dietary restrictions for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free guests, meat lovers and “kosher keepers.” They created the signature Persian wedding rice dish Shirin Polo, Persian jeweled rice, at the rehearsal dinner, which was very special for the families.
Blending the Cultures
Tallia said, “It became challenging at times to manage cultural expectations while assuring the wedding felt like an authentic expression of the bride and groom; with the help of a lot of loving people, we made it work! It was a unique blend of many traditions, rituals and backgrounds that have contributed to who we are.” A Greek orthodox aunt shared a prayer during the ceremony. The officiant was an energy healer, making for a very nontraditional type of wedding.
Jewish traditions were front and center with the chuppah, ketubah, and breaking of the glass. Artist/father Kamy designed the chuppah, an exquisite white lace fabric on four wooden posts decorated with vines and leaves. Sister of the bride Nadia recited “Shehechiyanu” and Kiddush wine blessings.
The aisle was comprised of 12 overlapping layered Persian rugs, and there was Persian music, and a traditional Persian ceremonial table, similar to a Passover seder spread, with symbols of sweetness, abundance and love for the bride and groom. During a portion of the ceremony, the heads of the bride and groom were covered by white fabric, and guests were invited to rub sugar cubes overhead to shower them with sweetness.
- Designate time to take photos beforehand and try to stay as present as you can throughout the entire day. We turned down many photos during the reception, and it was the best decision we made because it allowed us to fully remember every moment instead of spending it behind the camera posing and smiling.
- You can’t care too much about every single detail; pick your top three priorities and let everything else just be good enough. Our priorities were the way we designed our ceremony, creating a weekend experience for all, and decorations/flowers.
Dad Kamy: My “aha” moment was walking Tallia down the isle. When we saw the crowd, both Tallia and I cried. It brought back the memory of the moment that Tallia was born 28 years ago at Northside Hospital.
Mom Roya: I was mesmerized by Tallia’s contentment and the way she handled the wedding, She truly lives the life that she is preaching, and mentoring others on their life’s path. Her sweet smile and open heart were felt by all.”
The couple was off for a honeymoon in Paris, Santorini and Mykonos.
Tallia and Parsa will be sharing more advice and lessons learned from their wedding on an upcoming episode of her podcast, “Sincerely Me,” on iTunes and Spotify.
Sofreh Aghd (Wedding Table)
Traditions in Persian weddings date back to Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions founded in ancient Iran about 3,500 years ago.
Sofreh Aghd is a table setting composed of symbolic items:
Mirror (ayaneh); candelabra (shamdoon); poetry book; matching floral arrangements (laleh); silk cloth (termeh); rose water (golab); rock candy (nabaat); bread, cheese, green herbs (Naan-o-Paneer-o-Sabzi); fruit (miveh); bread with Mobarak Baad (congratulations, in Farsi); seven spices: tea, wild rice, Angelica, Nigella seeds, Frankincense, poppy seeds, and salt; seven colors of esfand (wild rue); gold coins (talla sekkeh); honey (Asal); nuts; white candy (Noghl); eggs (tokhme-morgh); sweets (shirini); and chairs for the couple (Sandely).