Weddings from Around the World

Add some spice to your ‘I do’ with an exotic wedding theme.



At the core of any Iranian wedding is the traditional spread (sofreye aghd), a dazzling presentation with ancient Zoroastrian roots that symbolizes each facet of marriage and married life. When I was planning my own wedding, I was worried how I might incorporate this elaborate spread into a North American wedding, but it worked wonderfully as a focal point for the aisle and ceremony itself.

Weddings from Around the World

The Traditional Iranian Wedding Spread

The concept behind the spread is similar to the “something borrowed, something blue,” where the items are symbolic and lucky. There is a mirror and two candelabras placed at the head of the spread to symbolize the light and fire of life. Seven is a lucky number in the culture, so there are seven traditional herbs and seven pastries to represent a “sweet” life. Decorated eggs symbolize fertility, coins represent prosperity, and simple feta cheese and herb sandwiches (naan-o paneer-o sabzi) represent the basic necessities of life and are offered to guests after the wedding ceremony.

One Iranian wedding tradition that might be fun to tweak for a wedding shower is that during the ceremony, female family members are asked to come up and gently grind two large sugar blocks over-top of a veil placed above the seated bride and groom – spreading their luck in love to the couple. For a wedding shower, instead of the couple, it could just be the bride-to-be and while the women grind the blocks of sugar, they can impart some wedding wisdom.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Avatar of Pegah Aarabi

After obtaining her Honors B.A. and postgraduate journalism degree, Pegah has written and researched for a variety of magazines and newspapers, with celebrities, fashion and travel being her topics of choice. Now settled in Toronto, she has lived in many corners of the world, including the U.S., Switzerland, and Japan. In her spare time, she divides her love unevenly between her poodle, chocolates and shopping.

    Reader Discussion: 7 Comments

    1. Avatar of Sarah Uibel

      This is inspiring me to not only find a husband but to get married in multiple countries! lol

      Guess I need to find a man first. One can dream : )

    2. Avatar of Brana Dane

      Wow… Such amazingly interesting rituals.
      The cutest I feel is welcoming the Groom with Almonds dipped in Honey, according to Greek wedding traditions!!

      I personally love colorful Indian Weddings.
      A friend of mine once attended a wedding in India. It was a wedding in the state of Bengal. I was mesmerized when I saw the wedding pictures.

      A wedding in itself is such a beautiful event and all these different rituals from different cultures, make wedding an even more heart warming.

    3. Avatar of Jude Vargas

      Weddings are love. I just love attending events like this. And watching one, too! Be it in the movies, reality tv shows or just attending a plain classic wedding of a friend. This article showed me different traditions in holding a wedding ceremony. It might actually not be a bad idea to suggest to friends to hold traditional weddings… Hmmm.. 😀

    4. Avatar of Zenab Bello-Osagie

      Zenab Bello-Osagie

      I absolutely love that Urbanette is all about being unconventional and breaking moulds. Integrating inspiration from around the world is such a great idea!

    5. Avatar of Langley Fox

      I love weddings that are unconventional and use influences from multiple cultures. When I get married, I’m going to use some of these ideas. Maybe I’ll do my own henna illustrations.

    6. Avatar of Lyndsi LaRose

      I adore the Iranian sugar tradition and the henna skin decorations. So charming. @Tinsley – great idea! Silver or gold would look stunning!

    7. Avatar of Tinsley Mortimer

      I love the Henna one — so pretty! You could do it in gold or silver metallic… would be so glam!

    Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.

    All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.