After being introduced by a mutual friend while living on opposite sides of the country, Hedieh Abaei waited anxiously for Farid Toub to fly from Georgia to California for the couple’s first date. One month later, a fanciful night of dinner and drinks at Los Angeles hot spots concluded with Farid playfully smearing ketchup on Hedieh’s face, which shocked the bride but confirmed the couple’s comfort with one another from early on.

Almost one year after their initial meeting, Farid asked Hedieh for her hand in marriage during a candlelit dinner on the beach in Mexico, and she delightfully accepted his romantic pronouncement of love. “The proposal itself was really important to me,” begins Farid. “I wanted everything to go perfectly, and it did!” After a large engagement party, the lighthearted couple began planning their nuptials. The two agreed that their wedding celebration would focus solely on their desires, not to be swayed by others’ opinions.

“Farid is from Vancouver and I am from Los Angeles, but we thought it would be appropriate to have our wedding in Atlanta where we are starting our life together,” reveals the bride. One of the city’s beloved historical buildings was selected as the couple’s venue, with two beautiful ballrooms serving as opulent canvases for the amorous décor of the wedding celebration.

Hedieh was resplendent in an ivory fit-and-flare gown of silk as she entered the ceremony. Her dark hair was swept away from her face into an elegant coiffure, which revealed the classic Queen-Anne neckline of her bridal ensemble. Crystal embellishments and exaggerated bow detail accented the romantic keyhole back of her gown. She carried a lovely bouquet of blush florals with subtle crystal details that accented her feminine bridal accessories: a classic veil; delicate necklace; and dazzling chandelier earrings.

“Walking down the aisle to receive Hedi from her parents was something I’ll never forget – she looked beautiful,” says Farid adoringly. Rose petals lined the aisleway of the ceremony, while twinkling candles in clear votives sat atop mirrored displays. Towering vessels radiating with creamy hydrangeas, blush and pink roses, and touches of green foliage completed the picturesque pathway. “We planned our wedding with a vision of romance to create a beautiful ambience,” explains the bride.

Handcrafted relief ceilings with ornate patterns towered high above the couple’s elegant chuppah, which featured dazzling crystals, candle ornaments, and blush roses suspended from wintry branches that circled the elaborate structure. “The chuppah itself had a lot of family symbolism, which was important to both of us,” describes Farid, who donned a classic black tuxedo and dapper alabaster bow tie during the nuptials. In remembrance of past generations, the talit of the groom’s great-grandfather was displayed subtly overhead.

Following the couple’s traditional Jewish ceremony, the fun and festivities began without delay. Guests were directed towards a table dotted with monogrammed shot glasses designed as escort cards. “We both come from families that love a great party,” begins the bride. “So, we decided to display seating assignments on little flags hanging out of tequila shots!”

Monumental white columns, ornate archways, and mint walls reminiscent of a bygone era greeted 175 of the couple’s closest friends and family upon entrance to the grand ballroom. Glamorous chandeliers suspended from handpainted ceilings glistened over the enchanting tablescapes of the romantic reception space. Dreamy centerpieces alternating in height emerged from rosette-textured linens. Billowing hydrangeas, romantic roses, and stunning orchids in shades of blush, pink, and cream brimmed with elegance over the gold vases, and ivory candles atop golden candlesticks glistened throughout the night.

A buffet-style dinner service was followed by dessert, which featured a series of red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate cupcakes for guests to enjoy. The party lasted well into the early-morning hours, and dancing was uninterrupted. Hedieh, who styled her tresses in long, loose curls for the reception, says her favorite moment of the night was a shocking performance by her groom. Recounts Farid, “I surprised Hedi with a Persian rap song that I changed the lyrics to.” Remembers the bride, “I was absolutely shocked! It was a very funny and cute moment.”

The couple encourages future brides and grooms to enjoy every aspect of their engagement, despite the stresses that come with planning a wedding. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” advises the bride. “Everything will work out in the end. Just follow both of your visions – not what others want for you.” Her groom agrees, “Make sure to do your own thing. It’s a day that has to be about you two.”