It takes two
Stefan and Victoria’s Persian wedding honoured the groom’s roots and a bride’s dreams of a fairytale day
Stefan Reza Thomas and Victoria Marks
Where: Ceremony at St John’s Church, Welwyn Garden City, followed by reception at the Old Palace, Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
Photography: Neal Houghton Photography
Stefan and I got married twice in one day as we wanted to include his family’s Persian roots in the day’s events. I felt nervous walking down the aisle but the ceremony was beautiful as we made our vows to each other.
We chose Hatfield House for our reception because of its historical background and grounds. With a beautiful Victorian church and the reception at Hatfield House I wanted a style of dress which would match my ‘palace’. ‘Hollywood Dreams’ was the first dress I tried on and the one I chose. I wore a full-length veil and my tiara was brought from Iran by my fantastic in-laws. Our colour scheme of gold and teal was echoed in the magnificent tapestries in the Old Palace.
Before we entered the Old Palace, the ancient Persian ritual of Esfand took place to ward off evil spirits. The Persian ceremony, with us seated behind a fabulous display called the sofrehaghd, complemented our church wedding with its self-written vows. In front of us was a table displaying many symbolic items for the good things in life. Married ladies were invited to sprinkle sugar on to a canopy over our heads and the small bridesmaids brought us honey, and our rings which we placed on each other’s fingers for the second time.
The tables had a Persian theme with beautiful favours and table decorations from Iran. Speeches followed and then came the cake, which went down a storm with mini versions of us as the cake toppers.
The evening began with a traditional Persian knife dance. A cloud of bubbles enveloped us during our first dance before everyone joined in.
WHO DID WHAT
Photography: Neal Houghton Wedding Photography, London, 07947 467291, www.nehweddingphotography.com
Venue: The Old Palace, Hatfield House, Hatfield, Herts, 01707 262055, www.hatfield-house.co.uk
Dress: Marshmallow Bride, St Albans, Herts, 01727 833823, www.marshmallowbride.co.uk
Accessories: Clifford-Burr, Ware, Herts, 01920 463311, www.cliffordburr.co.uk; Tiara from Iran
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Hinxworth Bridal Ltd, Herts, 01462 835761, www.andrewbeswickdesign.com/HinxworthBridal/Hinxworth_Bridal
Hair: NV Hair, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, 01707 324191, www.sohairuk.co.uk
Make-up: Elley Spa, Welwyn Garden City, 01707 331158, www.elleyspa.co.uk
Groom’s outfit: Hinxworth Bridal, as above
Stationery: JNP Printing & Stationery Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, 01707 332385, www.jnpprint.co.uk
Flowers: Flowers by Daizy, Hitchin, Herts, 01438 871448, www.daizy.co.uk
Cake: Hundreds ‘n’ Thousands, Herts, 07917 509008, www.hundredsnthousands.co.uk
Catering: Leith’s, Hatfield House Hospitality, 01707 262055
Venue Dresser: The Flowerpot, Stevenage, Herts, 01438 352433,www.theflowerpotstevenage.co.uk
Transport: Lord Cars, Hatfield, Herts, 01727 828106, www.lordcars.co.uk
Videographer: ARM Productions, www.armproductions.co.uk
Entertainment: Disco Services UK, Welwyn Garden City, 01707 395551, www.discoservicesuk.co.uk; toastmaster, Richard Heywood, Rickmansworth, Herts, 01923 777903, www.professionaltoastmaster.com