The beautiful Cardinal Golf Club will be filled with all the perfect touches that make a bride’s day special. The Spring 2009 show date is January 10th followed by the Fall 2009 show date of October 4th. Both shows are open to all future brides and their entourage from 10 am to 4 pm. The York Region shows feature a fashion show, seminars and treats at 12 noon and 2:30 pm (times are approximate). Admission is just $5.00, pre-registration is not required




Metro Toronto Convention Centre (NORTH BUILDING)
255 Front Street West
Toronto, ON, M5V 2W6

Phone: 905.264.7000
Fax: 905.264.7300
136 Winges Rd., 2nd Floor, Unit 10
Woodbridge, ON L4L 6C4




From the West:

* Take the 401 East to 427 South
* Follow the Gardiner Expressway and exit at Spadina Avenue and go north
* For the North Building, proceed further north on Spadina Avenue to Front Street and turn right

From the East:

* Take the 401 West to the Don Valley Parkway south
* Follow the Gardiner Expressway to Spadina Avenue and go north
* For the North Building, proceed further north on Spadina Avenue to Front Street and turn right

DIRECTIONS – By Train & Bus:

Union Station, Toronto’s main rail station, is a block away from the Convention Centre, connected by the weather-protected Skywalk. The Bus Terminal is just five minutes away by cab, ten minutes by public transit.

DIRECTIONS – By Public Transit:

Streetcars, buses, subways and GO trains provide the city with one of North America’s safest and most efficient public transit systems. It connects all parts of Toronto and outlying areas to Union Station, the city’s transportation hub. Union Station is accessible from the Centre via the Skywalk, a weather-protected walkway.

The Wedding Show 2009 at the Carlu

Dec 29, 2008 Author: John | Filed under: GTA Upcoming Wedding Shows


The Wedding Show hosts wedding industry experts in a boutique-inspired setting. Bride and grooms can see the latest in wedding gowns, wedding cakes, invitations, photographers, event planners and more.


Fri., January 09, 2009, From: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Sat., January 10, 2009, From: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sun., January 11, 2009, From: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Carlu
444 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M5B2H4

Parking: Yes
Parking Details: Underground parking with entrances off of Bay St. and Gerrard St. W

Venue Details:

Return to 1930s elegance and charm at The Carlu. Formerly the seventh floor of Eaton’s College Park, this multi-functional venue hosts cultural and social functions, meetings, conferences, trade shows and fashion shows.

Designed by famous French architect Jacques Carlu (1890-1976), the venue reflected his unique style from the furniture to the fashions worn by the staff. His other notable projects include Paris’ Palais de Chaillot at Trocadero and New York’s Rockefeller Center. The seventh floor space was originally comprised of private dining and function rooms, and an acoustically near-perfect concert hall which featured performances by internationally renowned talent, before closing its doors in 1979.

The current restoration by Toronto’s ERA Architects was a two year project. It’s one of the finest surviving examples of the Art Moderne style in the world, and a testament to the historical and architectural grandeur that is a part of Toronto’s heritage.

The seventh floor is divided into five major areas: The Grand Foyer, The Concert Hall, The Round Room, The Sky Room, and The Clipper Rooms. Comprising approximately 50,000 square feet of useable area, The Carlu accommodates events from 10 to 1,700 people.

Many of the original artwork and structures remained, including the Lalique fountain, and a wraparound mural designed by Natasha Carlu in The Round Room . The Art Moderne-inspired furniture design and fixtures, an original domed ceiling, the use of monel metal, and black vitrolite glass throughout the floor, is all a part of staying true to The Carlu’s original elegance.

The multi-functional Concert Hall was said to have “the best acoustics in North America,” by pianist Glenn Gould, and with its balcony level can accommodate live theatre, concerts and cinema, in addition to gala dinners and cocktail receptions.

For more information please call 416-597-1931, or write to
Getting There:
By Transit:
On the Yonge Subway line get off at College.

With destination weddings on the rise, it is becoming more and more important for couples to have a means for informing their guests of their upcoming wedding plans as well as provide recommendations for out-of-town guests.

Wedding websites allow your guests one-stop shopping when it comes time for them to arrange their travel plans as well as other details. You can be as specific as you wish and link your website directly to the hotel reservation pages that you would like to recommend to your guests.

You will find that having a website is not only a time-saver but a budget-saver as well. The multiple mailings that can sometimes become necessary to communicate with your guests can easily eat up a good portion of any wedding budget. Allowing your guests to RSVP online will also cut down on your wedding expenses. No need for RSVP cards! However, you can always order just enough for those guests who may not be web savvy.

Destination weddings have definitely become a way for couples to express their style in a less traditional way. If you choose to have your wedding in a destination location, try to make it a fun experience for you and your fiancé as well as for your guests.

Destination Wedding Tips

1. Location, Location, Location. When selecting a location, choose one that appeals to your tastes and wedding style. Keep in mind, however, that because it won’t be as easy as going down the street to the local church to attend your wedding, you’ll have to assume that your guest list may be smaller. You’ll need to get a good sense about the number of attendees you wish to have before selecting your event facility so you can be confident that it will be appropriate for the crowd.

2. Less is More. Destination weddings can be expensive not only for those getting married, but also for those attending. Try to be mindful of that when selecting your wedding site so those who are closest to you can afford to attend. Consider having your wedding during the off-season so costs will be lower. Traditionally, accommodation expenses are covered for the bridesmaids by the bride’s family and for the groomsmen by the groom’s family. All other guests should be responsible for their own expenses. Most hotels will work with you to offer group discounts.

3. Assist your Guests. You may know the location that you will be flying off to for your dream wedding like the back of your hand, but most of your guests will not. Your wedding website can be a tool to help you educate your guests about the area, local attractions, accommodation ideas, the weather and directions. Making their job easier will only amount in a larger turnout at your wedding. Use your website to remind them of the things they may not consider such as a passport if required for your chosen location.

Article by Wedding Window

Plan Your 2009 Wedding with These Key Themes and Trends in Mind

While June is traditionally the wedding season of the year, you may be foregoing a summer wedding this year in favor of a fresh Spring wedding next year. Spring weddings can be the perfect way to celebrate the season and enjoy another event after the holidays. Bridal fashions for Spring continue to center around romantic, goddess-inspired looks, but 2009 calls for a grand slimdown with the tighter, fitted styles of the 1920’s flapper era.

If you’ve recently gotten engaged or have already booked your Spring 2009 wedding date, keep your wedding plans on the right track with these top trends:

Spring 2009 Wedding Trend: Flower Embroidery
Milan Fashion Week showcased several awe-inspiring gowns and runways across Europe quickly followed suit. Flower embroidery in contrasting thread colors on the classic white gown include burgundy, black, navy and dark green. Look for elegant Victorian designs that give this trend a fresh romantic twist.

Spring 2009 Wedding Trend: Empire Waist Goddess Gowns
Continuing on with the Grecian-inspired looks of Fall 2008, Spring 2009 takes on some inspiration from muses of yesteryear with a long, loose-fitting and flowing gown. These dresses are ideal for tall and slender women who want to accentuate the shoulders, collar bone and neck area.

Spring 2009: Pink and Blue Bridesmaid Dresses
While some adventurous brides can get away with a pink and blue-hued dress, others can still make the most of this trend by adding a splash of innocent pastels to the crowd of bridesmaids. Baby blue and pink combination dresses and accessories are a top trend for Spring 2009, and can easily freshen up your theme for the year.

Spring 2009 Wedding Trend: The Miniskirt Wedding Gown
If you’ve been working on those gams all Fall and winter, ’tis the season to show off yoru legs with a miniskirt wedding gown. If you prefer a more modest look the knee-length dress is plenty appropriate for Spring 2009; take the cue from Oscar de La Rent and other wedding dress designers who led the runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2008.


(ARA) – Next to planning the actual wedding, most brides-to-be will tell you the next hardest thing is figuring out what to put on their gift registries. And one of the big mistakes brides make is not registering for enough.

“It’s definitely a lesson in compromise,” says Taryn Abbott-Wilson, Visual Merchandising Director for Pier 1 Imports. “When my husband and I got married, he had traditional, upholstered furniture and several wooden pieces in the same light finish, while I had a lot of dark antiques. We ended up utilizing almost all of our furniture by combining what worked together and then purchasing a few items to finish out the look.”

“Couples need to think ‘complete’ and register for the smallest accessories to the biggest items. They are doing their guests and themselves a big favor by giving everyone a good range of gifts to choose from and assuring themselves that they’ll be ready for their new family life together,” says Roseanna Robinson, bridal director for The Pfaltzgraff Co., America’s oldest continuously operating pottery company.

According to Robinson, the average age for couples getting married, today, is in the late 20’s. “Most brides and grooms-to-be have lived on their own for a while and accumulated several household items,” says Robinson. “So they need to be strategic about planning their registries.”

Robinson says that means taking inventory of what each person already has, picking out their favorite pieces, and discarding the rest. “Couples should also ask themselves three questions – what are your favorite foods, what does it take to prepare them and what is the best way to serve them? This is a good starting point,” says Robinson, who has been advising brides-to-be on how to complete their gift registries for more than two decades.

She says choosing an everyday dinnerware pattern is usually the main decision that helps structure the registry. “Traditionally formal china was a “must-have” and most often was very expensive, making it feel like another big commitment. Today the overwhelming trend is towards casual dinnerware at affordable prices, which gives registering couples many different options to suit their lifestyle. I encourage brides to have fun, choose pieces that complement the things they already have, and if they want, register for several different patterns,” says Robinson

One pattern Robinson says is gaining in popularity is Pfaltzgraff’s new Pistoulet collection, based on illustrations from the Jana Kolpen book, “The Secrets of Pistoulet.”

“From the moment we discovered the book, we envisioned a beautiful and romantic casual dinnerware collection that would bring to the table Jana Kolpen’s central theme and message – the powerful role that food and meals play to nourish our souls and unite us with friends and family,” says Marsha Everton, president and chief executive officer at Pfaltzgraff.

Each piece in the collection is brightly decorated with freely rendered flowers, vines and vegetables drawn from or influenced by the book’s illustrations, also by Kolpen. Bright, colorful drawings are set against wide watercolor washes that evoke the light and colors of southern France.

“The design is sophisticated in a warm and inviting way, allowing for great mix-and-match possibilities,” says Robinson. “It appeals to both brides and grooms, who are increasingly more vocal in the bridal registry process. The chip-resistant, highly durable Pistoulet collection stands up to everyday use and is safe in the dishwasher, oven, freezer and microwave.”

Featuring a broad range of dinnerware, serveware and accessories, pieces in the collection range in price from $7.99 for a single bread plate to $359.88 for a 36-piece dinnerware set. The Pistoulet collection is available at major department and specialty stores nationwide, including J.C. Penny, and more than 70 Pfaltzgraff stores at outlet malls across the country.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Go the extra mile to show your support for a greener wedding.  Here are some things to consider when you have decided to go for a gren wedding:

The overarching theme here should be simplification. There are eco-friendly versions of most wedding products, but the best option is usually to forego the items altogether. Reuse wherever possible – and save not only resources, but cash too.

Weigh the expenses
That said, some items you just can’t live without, and usually the green version is more expensive than the original. You’ll need to factor this into your wedding budget. To keep your budget in check, determine which areas you’re willing to spend more on for a good cause (i.e. organic cuisine), and where you can save to make up for that added expense (i.e. forego the wedding dress or favors). This wedding budget guide offers even more budgeting advice

Many new companies have entered the growing green weddings market. Before booking your vendors, check out businesses that claim to provide green services and confirm that they really do.

One green turn deserves another. Let your guests know the steps you’ve taken to plan your green wedding, and show them that an elegant event doesn’t have to be harmful to the environment. Who knows, many of your guests may be inspired to do the same.

All in the Details – Green Wedding Ideas

Invitations & Stationery
1. Recycle – use recycled paper or paper made from alternative fiber – such as hemp or bamboo. Check out these resources for an array of custom, recycled papers: or
2. Splurge on calligraphy – calligraphy may cost more, but it saves inks, toners, solvents and chemicals involved in printing.
3. Condense – save trees by minimizing inserts and other paper products. Always print on front and back, and try to fit it all on one sheet.
4. Go completely green – send all correspondence via email. The etiquette gods may swoon – but if you’re dead set on being green, electronic mailings are the most earth friendly way to go.

1. Rent for a cause – find a venue that will benefit from your site rental fee – such as a museum, gallery or other cultural organization. Confirm how that venue will use your fee.
2. Go outside – a beach, the woods, gardens – they all make an ideal setting for a green wedding (just be sure to leave it as you found it).
3. Find a green venue – some venues are demonstrating a commitment to saving water and energy, reducing waste, or serving locally grown/organic menus. Check out these resources for green minded venues:
– Green Hotels Association (
– Green Seal (

Décor Elements
1. Use candlelight – not only are candles energy efficient, they also create a soft romantic glow for an elegant reception. Better yet, look for soy candles – they’re cleaner and longer burning since they’re made from a renewable resource.
2. Use bamboo – one of the most sustainable materials on earth, bamboo is an eco-friendly décor option with an organic, modern feel. Use bamboo stalks for centerpieces or other décor elements.

1. Think double duty – invite your ceremony arrangements to the reception! You can use them to decorate your cake or gift table – you’ll waste less and save money doing it.
2. Buy organic, locally grown blooms – organic flowers are grown in an environmentally friendly way, without pesticides.
Getting locally grown ones will save the fuel burned from transporting the flowers. If you can’t find a local florist who can provide organic blooms, order yours from
3. Conserve cut flowers – using cut flowers just once is a waste. See if you can share yours with another wedding taking place on the same day.
4. Skip cut flowers altogether – top your tables with potted arrangements for guests to take and plant in their yards after the wedding.

1. Think organic – ensure that you, your guests and the staff won’t be exposed to pesticides. Many caterers specialize in organic foods, and almost any caterer can provide an organic menu if you ask them.
2. Think local – if you’re concerned about the cost involved in a completely organic menu, go local instead. Serving locally grown food eliminates fuel reliance and supports local farmers. Check out or to find farmers markets, farms and other sources of local food.
3. Reuse utensils – find a caterer who recycles materials and/or uses linen and china instead of disposables.
4. Donate the leftovers – work with your caterer to send leftovers to a food shelter or other organization.

1. Sub ingredients – have your baker use organic and/or local sugar, flour, butter and eggs. Some bakers even specialize in organic cakes.

1. Go secondhand – a used gown reduces fuels used in creating a new one.
2. Get green fibers – natural fibers like silk and organic cotton are better for the environment than synthetic ones.
3. Go couture – if your wallet can afford it, couture gowns are usually made from natural fabrics.
4. Donate – provide a green gown decision for another bride when you give or sell yours after the wedding.

Avoid wasteful trinkets – donate to a charity in the name of your guests

1. Limit long distance travel – have the wedding in a location where few guests will have to fly to get there.
2.Walk – host your room block, ceremony and reception at the same site – or within walking distance
3. Carpool – organize car pools for your guests in hybrid vehicles
4. Getaway in low emission style – get creative and use a non-motorized vehicle for your final sendoff – bikes, horseback, sleds, skates, wagons, or any old school conveyance will do.

Other Green Ideas
The truth is – no matter how great your green intentions are, most weddings have a huge environmental impact from the fuel used transporting your guests – via car or plane – to your wedding. Since this is extremely difficult to avoid, the “greenest” brides are purchasing carbon offsets to reduce their wedding’s footprint.

How it works: calculate the mileage guests will travel, and offset their carbon dioxide emissions by donating to programs that plant trees or preserve rain forests. <> is a website that does this for you – you enter your wedding details, and the site calculates your footprint, charges you accordingly, and then invests the money for you in energy saving technologies.

Article Author:
Cori Russell of and Gala Weddings Magazine

On Bended Knee Wedding Coordination out of Los Angeles wants to help you avoid these common wedding pitfalls.

10. Don’t Rock the Cash Bar – When it comes to alcohol at your reception, what you serve is entirely up to you. Whether you choose to serve a full bar, limited cocktails, Beer and Wine, or no alcohol at all will be based on various factors including budget. The one option that is not recommended is a Cash Bar. Your guests should be gracious enough to accept what is being offered to them. If however a guest feels the need for a drink selection that is not offered, chances are that he or she will be resourceful enough to find it.

Also, request that bartenders not put out tip jars. If you are hosting the bar, tell your catering contact that you are happy to pay gratuity to the bartender(s) but that you do not want your guests to feel obligated to tip.

9. Go flat! A huge number of brides give feedback that they wish they had worn flats, having kicked off their heels during the reception. As a bride you can expect to be standing for 8-12 hours on your wedding day. Be sure to break in your shoes well in advance. Even when wearing flats, unexpected blisters can form after a few hours on your feet.

8. Have a little faith. D.J.’s are perhaps the wedding vendor most micromanaged by couples. Too many song requests may actually impede the flow of your party. You hire your D.J. to judge when to play what music. You wouldn’t instruct your Caterer step by step on how to prepare food, or your Photographer on what angles and lenses to use. Limit your D.J. request list to a few favorites and a do-not-play list of only the songs you cannot stand. Do not get carried away and have some trust.

7. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
What really matters most to you, the photographer, the music and dancing, the food and wine, the decorations, or being able to accommodate a large guest list? Put your money towards what you care about. You will have regrets if you skimp on what really counts. When you, the Bride and Groom are not footing the bill yourselves however, you may have to forfeit some financial decision-making. If this is the case you will need to compromise on certain priorities or if you really want that pricey photographer offer to pay for one yourself.

6. Bibbity Bobbity Boo. Wedding Dress shops are notorious for having your dress shipped in at the last minute. Think about it, if you owned a Wedding Dress Boutique you wouldn’t want every brides dress held at your shop for nine+ months before their weddings. Schedule your first fitting well before your wedding. Your final dress fitting should be no less than 1 week prior to your wedding so that alterations can still be made.
Tuxedo rentals for all attendants must be tried on, that includes Dad. Whether the Tailor seemed to take precise measurements or not, too many men still show up at weddings with high waters or baggy tuxes.

5. Don’t hit the road, Jack. Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most important days of your life. You will be exhausted and a bit disorderly the following day. Going away is the last thing you will want to worry about. Wait at least a couple of days before venturing on your honeymoon. Your wits will thank you.

4. Last night of single life. DO NOT hold your Bachelor or Bachelorette party the night before your wedding! This may seem like a no-brainer but many brides and grooms still practice the archaic ritual of drinking all night on that fatal evening. It is simply not worth it, as the Bride/Groom and your attendants will no doubt feel tired, look tired, have a hangover, or worse be sick walking down the aisle. If necessary, request that any out of town attendants arrive a day earlier to help you to prepare and celebrate a different night. 

3. No Guidance. With no Director there are too many details left to too many people at your ceremony. Having a Wedding Coordinator allows for one person to coordinate your wedding party processional, music, minister, seating guests and to resolve any unexpected last minute complications. A Coordinator will ease the stress level of everyone, including you, tremendously on your wedding day. So if your location does not include a Wedding Day Coordinator who also directs your rehearsal, hire your own. A Wedding Coordinator may be much more affordable than you think.

2. Stretching yourself too thin. As the bride you will make everyone around you crazy by waiting until the last minute in planning and finalizing details. If you have a hard time planning and prioritizing on your own then get help. You don’t want to be remembered as “one of those brides” that put everything off and then expected her friends and family to pick up the pieces, do you?

Do not commit yourself to social events the day before your wedding. This day is meant for you to wrap up loose ends, beautify yourself, attend your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner in many cases, and most importantly get some amount of rest for the day ahead. You are going to need it!

1. High demands. Try to keep in mind that although your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen may offer you extra help, these friends can become taken advantage of. The only “official obligations” of wedding party members are emotional support, the financial expense of wedding attire and travel, participation in the rehearsal and the obvious role on your wedding day. In the case of the MOH or BM, reception toasts are traditional as well. Other help that these individuals may offer should not be viewed as duties, but rather as acts of kindness including: setting up/tearing down, transporting ceremony goods, throwing a bridal shower or other party, distributing gratuities, and any other help that is offered.

Remember to be thoughtful towards your attendants. Bridesmaids may not be comfortable in 4 inch heels, purchasing new jewelry or paying to have their hair or makeup professionally styled. Do not forget to personally thank any bridal party members for taking part in your wedding, as well as family members who gave you assistance. A small thank you gift is always appreciated.

Article Author:
Jackie Baird, owner of
On Bended Knee, Wedding Coordination

Weddings are ceremonies marking a rite of passage. In the past, they ritualized the union of two or more people for purposes of securing property, heirs, and citizens and for strengthening diplomatic ties. Weddings united households, clans, tribes, villages, and countries. Such rituals took place in what we now know as the United States long before the arrival of nonindigenous peoples.

For Native Americans, the marriage ceremony was a very public celebration marking the transition of one spouse to the family and household of the other. Most often it was the male partner moving into the female’s family in the mostly matrilineal cultures of North America. In the eastern United States, when a young man decided on a partner, he might woo her, but none of this took place in public—except his final approach, which might include his painting his face to appear as attractive as possible when he sought the intended’s consent and the permission of her parents. To get that permission, the man might send ambassadors from his family with his intentions to the family of the woman. Depending on the meaning of the marriage in family, village, clan, or tribal terms, the parents consulted people outside their immediate family, such as a sachem or close members of their clan.

A two-part ceremony often followed such negotiations. First was a private reciprocal exchange between the couples’ families, to ensure that if either partner decided to leave the marriage, the woman would not be disadvantaged in terms of losing her means of support. Second, a public acknowledgment of the union often included a feast for the village or the united clans. Before the assembly took part in the feast, the bride’s father announced the reason for the gathering. Then they ate, and finally, the newly married couple returned home or were escorted to the quarters in which they would well for some or all of the years of their marriage.

The earliest immigrants to North America brought their wedding practices with them from Western Europe. Those rituals included witnesses to stand up with the couple before a minister, which may reflect an ancient practice of “marriage by capture” in which the groom, in kidnapping his bride-to-be, took many strong men with him, where as the bride surrounded herself with women to keep off the aggressors. Bride prices or dowries were a carryover of the practice of repaying the bride’s father for the loss of her contribution to the family. Modern weddings continue the practice of having other young men and women standup with the bride and groom, while gifts are brought for the couple, rather than the parents of the bride. Honeymoons may reflect the escape of the kidnapper and his captive. In the nineteenth-century South, wedding trips sometimes included several members of the wedding party and/or the family members of the bride and groom.

Courtship and marriage patterns among slaves were conditioned by their peculiar circumstances. Most prospective partners preferred to choose their spouses from plantations other than their own rather than choose someone they might have witnessed being whipped, raped, or otherwise used by white slave owners or overseers. Plantation owners frowned on such choices, however, because slave children followed the condition of their mother, which meant that if a male slave married off his plantation, his owner would not benefit from any children of the union.

After consent of parents, in the cases of free women brides, or owners, in the cases of slaves, the owner conducted a traditional ceremony or gave that over to a preacher, to be performed, if possible, in a church. Weddings often included many people from the plantation and neighboring plantations. Owners would sometimes open their big houses up for the occasion and provide feasts for the guests. A playful practice to show who would be in charge in the new household involved jumping over a broomstick. Whoever was able to jump over the broom backward without touching it would “wear the pants” in the family. If both partners sailed over without touching the stick, their marriage was destined for congenial relations.

The Chinese who immigrated to the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century in search for gold or work on the railroad were mostly men. Some left wives behind and lived as bachelors or used prostitutes imported from China. Often, Chinese or Japanese families sold their daughters to merchants, expecting them to marry upon arrival in the United States. However, whereas some of the girls and young women were set up in arranged marriages, others were enslaved for prostitution.

Part of the Spanish empire in the Americas extended up into what is now known as the American Southwest. Spanish culture mixed with Pueblo Indian culture to form a new combination of rituals. As with Native Americans in other parts of North America, the Pueblo experimented with sex and consummated marriage relationships before any ceremony took place, which the Spaniard missionaries found repugnant. They insisted on the adoption of the Catholic wedding ritual. There were three phases to the wedding ceremony. First, the bride’s friends and relations escorted her to the church, where the wedding was performed by a priest, who also blessed the wedding ring provided by the groom. When the ceremony finished, the crowd escorted the newly weds to the groom’s home, celebrating with a feast and warding off evil spirits with gunfire. After the feast, the guests and the bride and groom danced late into the night. The dancing was an important ritual of community coherence.


Axtell, James, ed. The Indian Peoples of Eastern America: A Documentary History of the Sexes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.

Blassingame, John. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South. Rev. andenl. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Gutiérrez, Ramón A. When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500– 1846. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1991.

Joyner, Charles. Down By the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984.

Rosen, Ruth. The Lost Sisterhood: Prostitution in America, 1900– 1918. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

Internet Source:

Seligson, Marcia. The Eternal Bliss Machine: America’s Way of Wedding. New York: Morrow, 1973.

The Persian wedding ceremony despite its local and regional variations, like many other rituals in Iran goes back to the ancient Zoroastrian tradition. Zoroastrianism was the religion of Parsi nation (Persians) before the introduction of Islam to the country, 1400 years before present. Zoroastrians believe in a single god, an all-wise creator who is supreme “Ahura Mazda” also known as Ormuzd, and they are dedicated to a three-fold path, as shown in their motto: “Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds”. Though the concepts and theory of the marriage have changed drastically by Islamic traditions and Koran, the actual ceremonies have remained more or less the same as they were originally in the ancient Zoroastrian culture. In modern Iran the marriage ceremony is more a symbol of their rich ancient culture than religion, even though it has been influenced by religion to some extent.

For Iranians marriage is considered to be an event, which must be celebrated not quietly but with glory and distinction. It is the most conspicuous of all the rituals and must be celebrated in the presence of an assembly, which can bear witness to the event.

In the ancient times, the musicians playing at marriage gatherings used drums to announce the marriage to the people of the town or village. The group that gathered for the marriage was called the assembly “Anjoman” for the queenly bride.

Traditionally, both the bride and the bridegroom would dress in white with wreaths of flower on their necks, something similar to the Hawaiian Lei. These wreaths of flower are still worn in modern wedding ceremonies in Pakistan (which used to be part of the great Persian Empire), but it is eliminated from the Iranian wedding ceremony. The color white is a symbol of purity, innocence and faithfulness. Today most modern Iranian couples follow the western dress code and style.

There are two stages to a Persian marriage. Most often both take place on the same day, but occasionally there could be some time between the two. The first is called “Aghd”, the legal process of getting married, when both the bride and bridegroom and their guardians sign a marriage contract. The second stage is “Jashn-e Aroosi”, the actual feasts and the celebrations, which traditionally lasted from 3 to 7 days.

The ceremony takes place in a specially decorated room with flowers and a beautiful and elaborately decorated spread on the floor called “Sofreh-ye Aghd”. Traditionally Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of sunrise (light). Consequently when bride and bridegroom are seated at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd they will be facing “The Light”.

By custom Aghd would normally take place at bride’s parents/guardians home. The arrival of the guests, who are to be witnesses to the marriage of the couple, initiates the wedding ceremony. Traditionally the couples’ guardians and other elder close family members are present in the room to greet the guests and guide them to their seats. After all the guests are seated the bridegroom is the first to take his seat in the room at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd. The bride comes afterwards and joins the bridegroom at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd. The bridegroom always sits on the right hand side of the bride. In Zoroastrian culture the right side designates a place of respect.

The spread that is used on the floor as the backdrop for Sofreh-ye Aghd was traditionally passed from mother to daughter (or occasionally son). The spread is made of a luxurious fabric such as “Termeh” (Cashmere: A rich gold embroidered fabric originally made in Cashmere from the soft wool found beneath the hair of the goats of Cashmere, Tibet, and the Himalayas), “Atlas” (Gold embroidered satin) or “Abrisham” (Silk).

On Sofreh-ye Aghd, the following items are placed:

  • Mirror (of fate) “Aayeneh-ye Bakht” and two Candelabras (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future) one on either side of the mirror. The mirror and two candelabras are symbols of light and fire, two very important elements in the Zoroastrian culture. When the bride enters the room she has her veil covering her face. Once the bride sits beside the bridegroom she removes her veil and the first thing that the bridegroom sees in the mirror should be the reflection of his wife-to-be.
  • A tray of seven multi-colored herbs and spices “Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel” to guard the couple and their lives together against the evil eye, witchcraft and to drive away evil spirits. This tray consists of seven elements in seven colors:
    1. Poppy Seeds “Khash-Khaash” (to break spells and witchcraft)
    2. Wild Rice “Berenj”
    3. Angelica “Sabzi Khoshk”
    4. Salt “Namak” (to blind the evil eye)
    5. Nigella Seeds “Raziyaneh”
    6. Black Tea “Chaay”
    7. Frankincense “Kondor” (to burn the evil spirits)
  • A specially baked and decorated flatbread “Noon-e Sangak” with blessing “Mobaarak-Baad” written in calligraphy on it. The writing is usually with either saffron “Zaffaron”, cinnamon, Nigella seeds, or glitters. This symbolizes prosperity for the feasts and for the couple’s life thereafter. A separate platter of this flat bread, feta cheese and fresh herbs are also present to be shared with the guests after the ceremony, to bring the new couple happiness and prosperity.
  • A basket of decorated eggs and a basket of decorated almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in the shell to symbolize fertility.
  • A basket of pomegranates and/or apples for a joyous future. Pomegranates are considered heavenly fruits and apples symbolize the divine creation of mankind.
  • A cup of rose water extracted from special Persian roses “Gol-e Mohammadi” to perfume the air.
  • A bowl made out of crystallized sugar “Kaas-e Nabaat/Shaakh-e Nabaat” to sweeten life for the newly wed.
  • A brazier “Manghal” holding burning coals sprinkled with wild rue “Espand” a popular incense. Wild rue is used in many Zoroastrian ceremonies, rituals and purification rites. It is believed to keep the evil eye away and bring on plenty of health.
  • A bowl of gold coins representing wealth and prosperity.
  • A scarf or shawl made out of silk or any other fine fabric to be held over the bride and bridegroom’s head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives (mostly bride’s close family members).
  • Two sugar cones “Kalleh Ghand” made out of hardened sugar to be used during the ceremony. These sugar cones are grinded together above the bride and bridegroom’s head (over the scarf held above their heads) throughout the ceremony to shower them in sugar (symbolizing sweetness and happiness).
  • A cup of honey to sweeten life. Immediately after the couple is married they each should dip one pinky finger in the cup of honey and feed it to the other one.
  • A needle and seven strands of colored thread to figuratively sew up the mother-in-law’s lips from speaking unpleasant words to the bride! The shawl that is held above the couple’s head throughout the ceremony is sewed in one corner by the needle and threads.
  • A copy of Koran “Ghoraan-e Majid” (the Moslem’s holy book) opened in the middle and placed on the spread. This symbolizes God’s blessing for the couple. Traditionally “Avesta” the ancient Zoroastrian holy book was present during the ceremony and readings were made from it. Eventually Koran replaced Avesta after Iran became a Moslem nation.
  • A prayer carpet/kit “Jaa-Namaaz” spread open in the center of Sofreh-ye Aghd to remind the couple of importance of prayer both at blissful times and times of hardship. This prayer kit includes a small rug “Sajjaadeh” to be spread on the floor at the time of prayer, a small cube of molded clay with prayers written on it “Mohr” and a strand of prayer beads “Tasbih”.
  • An assortment of sweets and pastries to be shared with the guests after the ceremony. The assortment usually includes: Sugar coated almond strips “Noghl”, Baklava (a sweet flaky Persian pastry “Baaghlavaa”), Mulberry-almond paste made in the shape of mulberries “Tout”, Rice-flour cookies “Noon-Berenji”, Chickpea-flour cookies “Noon-Nokhodchi”, Almond-flour cookies “Noon-Baadoomi”, and Honey roasted almonds “Sohaan A’sali”.

When the bride and bridegroom are both seated the marriage ceremony begins. Usually the Moslem priest “Mullah” or other males with recognized authority such as a notary public will be the master of ceremony and perform the legal part of the ceremony. The bride and the bridegroom have each a marriage witness. Usually older and married males are chosen amongst close relations to stand as witnesses. The ceremony consists of preliminary blessings, questions to the witnesses, guardians and the marrying couple. Finally the ceremony is solemnized by giving some prayers for the newly wed couple and signing of a legal marriage contract.

After the preliminary blessings and a few words about the importance of the institution of marriage, the master of ceremony confirms with both the parents or guardians that they indeed wish to proceed with the ceremony and there are no objections. Then the master of ceremony asks the mutual consent of the couple. First the bridegroom is asked if he wishes to enter into the marriage contract, then the bride is asked the same question. Once the bride is asked if she agrees to the marriage, she pauses. The question is repeated three times and it is only at the third time that she will say yes. To make the bridegroom wait for the bride’s answer is to signify that it is the husband who seeks the wife and is eager to have her and not the other way around!

During the reading of the marriage contract, all the unmarried ladies are asked to leave the room. There exists the belief that a girl should only hear the marriage ceremony’s readings for her own marriage or her chances for marriage might be ill-fated! Nowadays the single ladies do not seem to be too worried about finding a husband and getting married, because most of them stay in the room to witness the ceremony.

During the service married female relatives of the couple (mainly the bride) hold over the couple’s head the fine scarf. Two different actions take place at the same time. Two pieces of crystallized sugar shaped like cones are rubbed together, a symbolic act to sweeten the couple’s life. In the second act two parts of the same fabric are sewn together with needle and thread to symbolize sewing mother-in-law’s lips together. The ceremony is reminiscent of the ancient traditions.

Once the bride has said yes to the proposal, the master of the ceremony pronounces the couple husband and wife and asks for God’s blessing to be with the couple in their lives together. The bride and bridegroom place the wedding bands on each other’s hands and feed each other honey. Afterwards the couple, their guardians, witnesses and master of ceremony sign the documents.

Traditionally after the ceremony while the bride and groom are still seated the bride is showered with gifts, usually expensive jewelry, and all she receives is hers. The bridegroom does not receive many gifts. He only receives one gift from the bride’s parents/guardians. When all the gifts are presented to the bride the wedding ceremony is officially concluded. Generally after the ceremony the bride and bridegroom and the guests move to the location of the wedding celebration party “Aroosi” and celebrate the occasion by playing laud cheerful music, dancing and consuming some lavishly prepared food.

The celebration includes a lavish meal, sometimes with a whole roast lamb as the centerpiece. Jeweled rice “Morrasah Polo” or sweet rice “Shirin Polo” is always served along with many other dishes and an elaborate wedding cake. The celebration, with so much feasting, singing, and dancing, is a day for all to remember. After the guests have gone home, it is customary to give the remaining pastries to those who were unable to come and to those who helped make the day a success. The sugar cones are kept by the bride for good luck.

Before they enter their home, the bride kicks over a bowl of water placed in the doorway. The water spilled on the threshold represents enlightenment, happiness, and purification for their new house. A friendly competition starts with the bride and groom as the bride tries to enter her house while stepping on her husband’s feet. This act makes the bride the boss in the household.

In recent years, the Persian communities abroad have changed and adopted the life-styles of their host countries. The Persian marriage ceremony, however, is so old and can be such a beautiful ceremony that it would be a shame not to enact it.