With COVID-19 era restrictions and changes likely to remain for a while, micro weddings- weddings with 50 or fewer guests - are gaining popularity.
Last year, I helped to plan a beautiful micro wedding at the charming Connors Center in Dover – a hidden gem near Boston. The venue can accommodate large groups, but can also serve as an ideal setting for a small-scale wedding. I want to tell you a short story to illustrate that it is, in fact, possible to have your dream wedding even in these difficult times, even if it has to be small. While this couple got married last year, before all of the COVID-19 complications, I believe their micro-wedding is a stunning example of the possibilities that these small events present!
In early 2019, Maryam called me and asked if I could help her with her wedding planning process. It was in February, and she wanted her wedding to be on May 26th – right after her school exams (she was working on her Ph.D. in mathematics at UMass Boston at the time).
She recently moved to Boston and needed help with finding everything, including the dress! When we met, Maryam explained that she is already married but she and her husband, Jason, never had a proper celebration.
Maryam & Jason were each completing their master’s degrees in mathematics at a university in Dayton, Ohio when they were paired up for a class assignment. They got to know each other, and eventually, Jason asked her on a date to see the musical Wicked.
In May 2017, they rented a cabin near Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio for a short getaway. On the last day of the trip, Jason suggested they hike to a nearby waterfall. When they got there, Jason said he wanted to sit on a rock and “enjoy the view for a few moments”.
“I said, ‘No, I want to [leave]. There’s still a long way to go,’ and he said, ‘Can you please sit just a minute?” Maryam recalls. She knelt down to look for a clean place on the rock to sit, and when she looked up, Jason took a ring out of his pocket.
“He said, ‘You’ve changed my life and I’d really like to spend the rest of my life with you,' ” Maryam says. “He said a lot of nice words, actually, but I was so excited that I can’t remember all of them.” On their drive back home, Jason asked Maryam when she wanted to get married. She told him “as soon as possible”. The couple tied the knot two weeks later in a no-frills ceremony in Indianapolis.
By 2019, Maryam was pursuing a Ph.D. at UMass Boston and Jason was working outside of Massachusetts. But despite being separated, they decided to have another wedding celebration—this time on the East Coast. Maryam knew that none of her Iranian relatives would be able to attend, and told me that her wedding would be small – up to 45 people. The couple wasn’t interested in having a big party but preferred an intimate celebration with their loved ones.
With less than four months until the wedding, we needed to choose a venue quickly. We explored a few options and decided on The Connors Center, a grand, stone mansion situated on an 80-acre estate in Dover. Maryam chose the photographer, Alex Gordias from Alex Gordias Photography, who joined us on the venue search.
The next important thing was to find the dress. Maryam was looking for a modern wedding dress with a long train, floral lace, and a bit of sparkle. I was delighted to help Maryam in her search, as her family was unable to come from Iran. After visiting a few Boston boutiques, I watched, overjoyed, as Maryam found the perfect gown at Allegria Bridal! Her Eve of Miladymermaid dress had it all! Plus, the removable sleeves made it even more unique.
Food was another vital consideration. While Maryam wanted to offer her guests choices, she felt she needed to include some traditional Persian food for the dinner reception. We selected The Capers Catering and I joined Maryam at the food tasting. The chef was attentive to Maryam’s suggestions, and we ended up selecting a mouth-watering menu. At the reception, the guests were amazed by the food’s presentation and quality. Indeed, Capers went above and beyond to create an authentic and irresistible Persian meal.
The wedding was an elegant blend of modern and traditional styles. Highlighting the spring, we used pastel colors with a combination of off-white, blush, champagne, gold, lemon-green, and ivory. The traditional arch was also a springtime celebration, decorated with white orchids, roses, and hydrangeas. The floral designer Florissima expertly brought Maryam's vision to life.
We incorporated a few elements of the traditional Persian Sofreh Aghd ceremony into the symbolic ceremony, which included a table of symbolic items, such as nuts, a Hafez poetry book, a mirror, candles, wheat, and Persian pastries.
As her dress had a bit of a champagne hue, Maryam searched for a rose gold, dusty-pink hair color, make-up, and accessories. Her hairstyle, half up half down and curly was inspired by hairstylist Victoria Schimbator. Maryam wanted her makeup to be matte, with shimmering eyeshadow. The makeup artist Vera Gordias followed the bride’s wishes and Maryam was delighted with the outcome of her stunning hair and makeup.
Maryam's wedding bouquet consisted of delicate pink ranunculuses, complementing the look.
The weather was perfect on Maryam and Jason’s wedding day. The couple had their first look at a small waterfall, reminiscent of the place where Jason proposed to Maryam two years earlier.
Jason’s father walked Maryam down the aisle to the lovely sounds of classical harp and violin. The justice of the peace, Michelle Lydon, conducted the emotional ceremony.
Then, after a relaxing outdoor cocktail hour, everyone was invited into the beautiful, dark-paneled library room for dinner.
The tables were featuring tall floral decors and a multitude of candles. Party Rental Ltd and Retonica Lighting helped us to create a polished and exquisite look. The guests performed the traditional “Persian Wedding Knife Dance" and enjoyed delicious food. DJ Arman Manshady played a fun mix of songs in English, Farsi, Spanish, and Turkish. The pair shared their first dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.”
At their reception, the couple served a two-tier cake from Montilio's Baking Company. The delicate cake was decorated with sugar flowers and a line in Farsi from Maryam and Jason’s favorite poetry book by Hafez that read “Love is everything.” Maryam also ordered some authentic Persian sweets to complement the desserts’ table.
“I always dreamed of the way my wedding would look, and my wedding was indeed very close to my childhood dream,” Maryam told me.
We would like to end this post with some advice from Maryam:
"Your wedding day is the most important day of your life, and nothing is more important than what you like and what you want. Make a clear image of what you want for your wedding and explain it to people who may help you to make it true. Showing pictures was very helpful most of the time. And the most important thing: an expert wedding planner is a must!"