While visiting a friend in the hospital, Jasmine Abedi was introduced to Farzin Toussi. She immediately thought that her sister Colet would be perfect for him. "She came over to my place and actually told me that she met the man I was going to marry," remembers Colet. It turns out that Jasmine's intuition was right on target. "I just instantly felt as if I had known him forever," says Colet of her first date with Farzin. He could not have agreed more, and the two later became engaged in Santa Barbara.
Devoting just under a year to planning the wedding, Colet enlisted the help of her family to bring her fairy-tale wedding dreams to life. "My sister and my mother were instrumental in everything." But deciding where to hold the wedding required no committee meeting; ever since she first stepped foot on the property at seventeen, Colet had wanted to say "I do" at The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, California. With a date in May (her lucky month) available, the first line of her wish list was met.
Bringing the rest to life would call for mixing traditional Persian customs with a "bold and daring" look that was first introduced by lime green and gold invitations. They set an almost royal tone for the celebration that began with a ceremony centered on a sofreh aghd, the presentation of traditional Persian items symbolizing different qualities that the bride and groom would each hope to bring to their new life together. Each item was dramatically displayed on a table covered in moss and vivid floral arrangements. During the ceremony, each guest received a small round box topped with dried flowers and filled with candies and coins to represent good luck and a sweet future for the bride and groom.
Before entering the ballroom for dinner and dancing, guests found their seats by picking up miniature pears with table assignments attached to each stem. Once inside, the couple took to the floor for their first dance -- a moment that Colet says is still her most memorable. "I remember standing outside the ballroom and just staring at my husband. I couldn't believe that it was finally happening!" The music -- a combination of a DJ and a percussionist whom Colet had seen perform around Los Angeles -- kept the dance floor busy and the mood energized. "Everyone just wanted to dance all night long," remembers the bride. Luckily, the revelry was captured on video for posterity by an elaborate production team (a jib crane was included) requested by Farzin, a television producer.
In addition to personalizing the music, Colet felt that the centerpieces were a true expression of her vibrant personality. Colorful displays of peonies, roses, hydrangea, and hanging amaranthus rested atop stripped-down tree trunks, an idea that originated with Jasmine, Colet's adviser in all things wedding. The bride admits she was slightly unsure about the concept at first, but they turned out more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. With such imposing arrangements, just a sprinkling of candlelight was all that was needed to complete the look of each table.
Instead of the more traditional buffet-style meal usually found at Persian weddings, the couple opted for an elegant sit-down dinner that included arugula salad, steak, and salmon. However, guests were encouraged to vacate their seats to enjoy the martini bar and the extensive dessert table filled with pastries, which complemented the chocolate cupcake tower Colet chose for the wedding cake. Each individual confection was topped with sugared fruits like pomegranates and pears to match the feel of the decor. "Everyone loved it," says the bride. "Not to mention, the cupcakes tasted so good!"
And the cupcakes weren't the last of the sweets handed out to guests that evening. Everyone left with gold candy bars personalized with the couple's names and wedding date, another representation of Colet's chocoholic nature.
From start to finish, Colet and Farzin found the wedding planning process a labor of love. "I just adopted a carefree attitude about it," asserts the bride. She's quick to credit her family, once again, for all of their help, but maintains that keeping the real focus of the celebration front and center in her mind was what allowed her to enjoy her wedding so much. "After nine months of fantasizing and thinking about every detail, the moment arrived and I embraced it," she says, adding, "I loved my wedding. Everything was perfect."