Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Buying your "ayneh shamdoon"

Traditionally gifted from the groom, an ‘ayeneh bakht’ (ornate mirror of fate) and a pair of shamdoon (candelabras or candleholders), symbolize the union of energy and life. The mirror of fate which represents a bright future is the focal point of the ‘sofreh’, while the two candelabras on either side of the mirror, one represent the bride and the groom. How beautiful is it that as the couple sit to be married, the first thing they see is the reflection of their future spouse.

How to choose the right “ayneh shamdoon”?

Nowadays, a lot of our clients rent these items from us with the rest of their sofreh. But some still want to buy their own to keep. Here are a few guidelines to go by if you are purchasing your own.

Above all, the mirror and candelabras you choose for your “sofreh aghd” should reflect your personal style and the style and theme of your wedding as a whole. Though most Persians tend to prefer a more ornate and classic design, the “ayneh shamdoon” of a sofreh can also be simple and modern.

Because they are the focal point, the “ayneh shamdoon” need to stand out. The size should be proportionate to your sofreh. Sometimes people make the mistake of buying ones that are too small. Elevating the mirror gives a more dramatic feel to your sofreh.

The mirror can be any shape but one has to be sure that it can stand upright. The mirrors made in Iran typically have a handle built into them like a picture frame and stand on their own. But if you purchase your mirror in the west or other countries, chances are you have to purchase stands for it. We can also help you stand your mirror up securely.

As for the candle holders, you can opt for either a candle holder or candelabra for a more dramatic affect. Though if your sofreh is big, candelabras are the better choice.

As Iran is known for its metal work, perhaps the most popular and traditional “ayneh shamdoon” is the Persian silver with its intricate etched designs. But any beautiful silver “ayneh shamdoon” will do. If the containers in your sofreh are mostly silver or a mix of silver and crystal, it is best to have a silver “ayneh shamdoon”.

Another popular material is crystal. If your candelabras are crystal or clear glass, your ayneh (mirror) can either be crystal or a Venetian style mirror. Venetian style mirrors are the kind where the frame is also cut mirror. They compliment ornate Persian sofrehs due to their dramatic nature. In Iran, they also have the most beautiful ”ayneh shamdoon” that are a combination of crystal and silver.

A gold or antique gold “ayneh shamdoon” is also a gorgeous option for sofrehs that incorporate the same color within the other symbols and containers. Some gold candelabras also have hanging crystals which gives the sofreh a more ornate look. Antique stores are a good place to shop for gold candelabras. Other places to shop for your ayneh shamdoon are specialty home decor stores, high end department stores, and online.

Love & Light,
Sofreh Atelier

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A shout out to our favorite Web Designer!

So you might have noticed our website looks slightly different. Whenever we need to tweak something, we call on our amazing web designer, Luis E. Claudio. Better known as ELOY, this talented graphic designer and illustrator has experience with web design and brand building. He's really nice and so accommodating. Check out some of the range of his designs and illustrations. If you ever need him for a project, we'll be happy to pass on his contact info. Thanks Eloy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Videos of our recent Sofrehs

This was a champagne/gold sofreh done for one of the sweetest couples we've had the pleasure of working with:

Nazli & Teja Wedding
Video by: Michael Brazda Films

and here's an "All White" sofreh we did for another great couple
Video by: Thomas Bowen Films

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Flower & Design ideas to enhance your Sofreh Aghd

The traditional and ever-so-beautiful flower arrangement idea for a "Sofreh Aghd" is having two large arrangements at the back close to the mirror and candelabras. Here are some additional ideas that you may want to consider:

using a canopy (similar to the Jewish wedding chuppah)

hanging lanterns, chandeliers, candles or flowers

flower spheres (in or around your sofreh)

flower petals (either scattered on the sofreh or framing the sofreh or swirled in the sofreh)

tall branches

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bridal Make Up

As we've mentioned before, we have partnered up with the area's best vendors for all your wedding needs. And today we're proud to let you know about our favorite make up artist. Nour Kazoun of "madeupart" is truly talented and her work speaks for itself. Nour has a background in graphic design and her style and innovation are exceptional. Her work is a perfect fit for the modern Persian bride. Here are some samples of Nour's work. Feel free to ask us about her or any other vendors for your wedding.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

a very Persian favor!

Check out this really cute favor idea from! PASHMAK (persian cotton candy or "fairy floss") packets are such a good idea for a favor in your sofreh as they are modern and chic yet PERSIAN! She goes through a step by step DYI tutorial on how to make them.

The pashmak comes from Pariya. They seem to have really good products and really cute packaging.

We found out about this through our friends (and fantasic wedding planners) Full Circle Eventi's blog.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Current trends for your wedding

We thought this information might be useful for our newly engaged couples :-) As always we remind you that we have partnered up with the best vendors for all of your wedding needs and we will be glad to give you their information.

Your Stationery

Stationery adorned with embellishments such as ribbons, crystals, beads, feathers, or similar accents are super popular. Pocket style invitations are in very high demand while many couples are also looking for eco-friendly and green alternatives.
Wedding Accessories
Shorter trains and veils are popular as well as boleros, faux-fur wraps and shawls. Light weight fabrics, such as organza, lace, tulle and chiffon, make perfect wraps for the Spring &r Summer
Hair Ornaments
Hairpins, brooches, tiaras, combs and hair vines made with crystals, pearls, rhinestones, and/or silk flowers are beautiful and many beautiful pieces can be found on etsy.

Wedding Dresses

Romantic, flowing dresses in floor-length styles remain popular. Brides today choose dresses with flowing, soft fabrics, ruffles, satin sashes (at the waist), and delicate floral details. Most dress silhouettes are refined and include the delicate overlaying of fabrics such as chiffon, tulle and lace. Gowns with crystals, cubic zirconia, and/or pearl embellished bodices are very popular at the moment.
The modified A-line skirt also remains prominent although many designers have included ball gowns and tea-length styles in their lines as well. Strapless gowns are perennial favorites, but this season has brought back the off-the-shoulder look for brides who want to accentuate their neckline or draw attention to gorgeous jewelry. We are continuing to see color in wedding dresses which have been popular for some time internationally. Champagne, platinum and even black are currently popular.

Wedding Cakes

Cakes decorated with handmade icing flowers, shells/starfish and delicate dots and scrollwork remain popular. Couples are choosing cakes that fit with the location, theme and season of their wedding.
Buttercream or smooth fondant frostings are most common. Popular cake flavors include lemon, chocolate, carrot, spice and “white” although some couples are choosing non-traditional flavors such as gingerbread, espresso and hazelnut. Flowers, sculptures, and large monogrammed letters are replacing the traditional bride and groom cake top.

Wedding Reception Decorations

Brides are choosing centerpieces that are in the same color tones, but of different sizes. This gives the reception tables a more interesting look and a less “coordinated” feel. Unique vase fillers include glass marbles, sea glass shells, acrylic ice, water absorbing crystals/beads, and fresh fruits such as lemons and limes.
Another popular trend is the candy buffet or confection bar. Pretty silver spoons or scoops in each container allows guests to fill small boxes or bags as take-home favors.

Wedding Ceremony

A current trend is for couples to walk down separate aisles during the ceremony and meet together in front of their guests. They write their own vows and incorporate their children in the case of second marriages. Pets are also part of the day.
Grooms typically escort their mothers down the aisle.
Brides are escorted by both father and/or stepfather, or by her mother, mother and father together, or grandparents or by a significant person in their life.
Traditional guest books remain popular, however, a trend that has been around for many years is to display the couple’s engagement photograph on an easel at the ceremony entrance. The photo is matted, framed without glass and takes the place of a guest book when guests sign the matting.

Eco-friendly or Green Weddings

Going green is important in almost every area of life including weddings. Many couples are choosing organic fabrics, flowers, food and invitations, etc. In the event of global climate change, making green and sustainable choices helps our environmental crisis tremendously. Decisions that lessen the amount of carbon emissions promote sustainable practices, support local businesses, foster community and worldwide health and longevity.
Wedding Photography
The photo-journalistic (candid) approach to wedding photography is preferred by many brides to the traditional posed shots. Capturing the day’s events as they happen helps tell the story of your wedding. Naturally, posed pictures are still enjoyed and requesting that some of the photos be black and white is common.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Norooz festival at the Smithsonian

On March 7th, 2010, the Smithsonian held a Nowruz festival at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery celebrating the upcoming Persian New Year. There were so many different activities including music, storytelling, backgammon games, fire jumping, food, a book signing by the one and only Najmieh Batmanglij and of course viewing the sofreh ye haft sin! We were excited to be a part of the festivities by doing the official “haft sin” table at the entrance of the Sackler building. Our theme this year was “nature” as spring is nature renewing itself. With its rustic feel, the haft seen’s seven “s” symbols were nestled in twigs, branches and nests accented with the color green.

A special thanks to my husband Zaheer who helped me set up. We had a good time meeting so many people… especially Massumeh Farhad, Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler galleries. She was so personable. And last but not least, it’s always nice to see and have the approval of our dear friend Najmieh Batmanglij, the renowned chef and food writer who calls our work “Avant garde”.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An excellent wedding coordinator!

We've recently had the pleasure of connecting with Lisa Nelson, who is a very versatile and personable wedding and event planner. Her company, ELEGANT EVENT PLANNING AND DESIGN, offers many different packages to fit the clients' needs. Check out the company website's gallery to learn about and get a glimpse of her amazing work. We're excited to work with her in the future.

Here is what lisa had to say about us in her BLOG.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Slowly but surely...

So with one of us being a newly wed and the other a soon-to-be mommy (YAY), we've yet to blog regulary. But we just wanted to say that we are excited for the upcoming Norooz (persian new year) holiday season. And we can't wait to set up our personal and professional haft seens!

Here is one we did for the Iranian Medical Society at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Tysons, Va. (photo by: Terry Wingfield)

Norooz is the first day of spring and a haft seen (haft sin) is the spread or table setting with specific symbols on it. To learn more about this beautiful tradition, click here:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Check out our video on youtube!

A compilation of some of our work for your enjoyment. We have such a good time doing each sofreh; both of us are perfectionists so half the time we forget it's someone else's sofreh and we work on each one as if it were our own!