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