A Persian Affair

Azadeh Jamalian & Ala Alavi

The Park
September 4, 2011

During a 2004 visit to Vancouver, Ala Alavi was in the passenger seat of a friend’s car when Azadeh Jamalian drove up beside them. The two exchanged smiles through the car windows, and an instant connection was made. As it turned out, they had a mutual friend. They also both grew up in Iran and moved to Vancouver as teenagers. A two-year long-distance relationship unfolded (Ala, in school in Texas; Azadeh, in Vancouver), before the pair settled together in New York in 2008. Ala, now 32 and an architect, proposed two years later in a Vancouver hotel room. “He brought out the ring, I said ‘yes,’ and we drank a whole bottle of Champagne in five minutes,” says Azadeh, 29, a Ph.D. student. The couple wed at The Park in Chelsea, where they had a traditional Persian ceremony featuring a spread of symbolic items like rose water, a mirror (to reflect brightness and light into the couple’s life), and pomegranates. “The first time Ala asked me out, he sent me a lovely poem by a Persian poet about pomegranates being the symbol of love and beauty,” she says. A raucous dance party continued until 2 a.m. “I just wanted everyone to dance and be as happy as I am.”

The Details

Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore
Suit: Tom Ford
Band: Stephane Wrembel; A Touch of Jazz
D.J.: Babak Hafezi
Flowers: Polux Fleuriste
Hair and Makeup:Matthew Sky of Oh La Luxxe
Cake: Eat Cake Be Merry
Photographs: Brian Dorsey Studios

“Before the ceremony, we went to the High Line with our photographer. We were trying to focus on the shoot and control our excitement, so we nearly failed every pose he asked us to make.” Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios

“I usually watch the U.S. Open, so while I was getting ready, I put it on. It felt good to hear something familiar.” Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios

“Because dinner was served in the garden, we wanted the name cards to feel organic. We decided to hang them from one of the trees.” Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios

“We loved our venue because it felt connected to the streets and energy of New York.” Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios

A Persian Affair