After meeting one another through a dating app, Sherwin Figueroa and Dr. Ilan Safir opted to have a typical outing of dinner and drinks for their first date. Though Sherwin didn’t care for the intense cocktail she ordered, she drank it right up, mesmerized by Ilan’s gorgeous blue eyes. Ilan noticed what she ordered and felt both surprised and intrigued by it. They laugh about the drink debacle now, but admit they were both immediately smitten with each other.
A year later, Sherwin was under the impression that Ilan didn’t want to get engaged until he was hired at a medical practice. To her surprise, he planned a romantic dinner on the anniversary of their first date and asked for her hand in marriage with a gorgeous cushion-cut diamond set in a custom-made band while he was still in the process of interviewing.
They easily decided on a location for their springtime nuptials: Atlanta. “I’m from the city, and it’s where we met,” notes the bride. The couple also wanted to make everything as convenient as possible for their guests, so they opted for a hotel with great accommodations located in a lively part of town.
Ilan wanted to be involved in the planning, but he and Sherwin also knew they needed professional guidance. “We were very fortunate to have an amazing wedding planner, Brian Green, who listened and understood us completely,” says the bride. “I told him if there was a décor spectrum – from elegant to regal to timeless, I wanted to be in the middle. Not too minimal, not too over-the-top, and we didn’t want to follow too many trends where we would regret any outdated fads.”
Sherwin looked like royalty, wearing a tiered gown with a dazzling bodice and sparkling tiara while holding a beautiful array of white flowers, including peonies, ranunculuses, and gardenias, as she made her way down the aisle. The couple opted for a reform Jewish ceremony performed in English and Hebrew. Instead of the bride circling the groom seven times with her parents, the bride circled three times, then the groom circled three, and the final time, the betrothed circled together. As a nod to the bride’s maternal side of the family, a traditional Persian wedding spread (or sofreh aghd) was set out, complete with fresh fruit, eggs, nuts, breads, coins, rose water, candles and more – all symbolic for something in marriage – were offered on an elaborately set table.
The couple was in awe when they first laid their eyes on the reception ballroom. Though Sherwin and Ilan had met with Brian Green and their florist Edge Design Group to discuss flower height, charger plates, napkin treatments, and additional décor elements, the culmination of it all was more beautiful than they had even imagined.
Tablescapes were romantic and regal, covered in luxurious damask-printed linens and featuring either gilt candelabra or tall arrangements of roses in shades of white and muted pink. At each place setting sat a bullion-hued charger and fine-linen napkin with a customized menu card atop. The lighting design created a dreamy amber-toned setting in the ballroom, which paired perfectly with the white and gold color palette.
During the seated supper, Ilan’s speech not only thanked guests for attending, but also noted that both he and Sherwin are children of immigrants and they had their parents to thank for their successes. “While our wedding was a celebration of the union between me and Sherwin, none of this would have been possible without the support of our families,” he adds.
The couple was nervous about their first dance to “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra and had opted for dance lessons to help them prepare for the moment. “Having never danced in my life despite my sister being a professional ballroom dancer – funny how life happens that way – I was surprised that we remembered all the steps and didn’t get stage fright!” the groom admits.
The live band kept the crowd on their feet until late in the night, when a Russian singer then started his memorable set. “He sang international songs, from Russian hits to classic American, Jewish, and Persian songs,” illustrates Ilan. “Our guests kept saying how amazing he was.”
“I was so happy with our wedding,” muses the new Mrs. “Enjoy every second of planning; truly savor it. The planning was as fun as the big day.” Ilan sums it up: “Our wedding was truly our dream day.”