10. Iranian Weddings

My informant shared various Iranian wedding traditions with me, more notably ones that were done at her own wedding.  My informant discussed the “aghd” which is the legal ceremony that takes place before the reception. The aghd takes place by the sofreh, which is a table, or setting that has symbolic items placed on it. My informant said that during the ceremony the couple is seated at the foot of the Sofreh, facing the mirror that is placed at the front of the Sofreh. My informant then said that after the couple exchanges rings that they dip their fingers in honey. The husband licks the honey off the wife’s finger and vice versa. The honey is supposed to symbolize the start of their marriage with sweetness and love. After the I-dos it is tradition for the families to give the couple gifts such as gold coins and jewelry.

The items on the sofreh are supposed to protect the couple from harm. Some of the items include: a bowl of gold coins which represent health and prosperity, tray of herbs and spices are meant to protect the couple from evil, there is a copy of the Koran (Muslin holy book), decorated flat bread which symbolizes success for the couple’s life, an assortment of pastries, and pomegranates which symbolize hope for a joyous forthcoming. My informant said that the most important item on the sofreh is the mirror that is placed on the table. The mirror represents fate, and the groom is supposed to see his wife in the mirror for the first time after he takes off her veil.

What really stuck with me after listening to my informant was the way in which the wedding is celebrated. Like most other cultures, weddings are a huge celebration. However in Iranian culture, it is much more of an over the top party.