Like so many 2020 weddings, Sara and Bruce originally had a huge Knoxville wedding planned until COVID came into the picture. However, Sara and Bruce gracefully, shifted gears and planned a small, intimate wedding at her childhood home in Johnson City and let me tell you-all – it was absolutely perfect!
I’ll be honest, I have not shot a ton of elopements or small intimate weddings until this year. I mean, I have shot them but the majority of my weddings have always been larger parties. But, I am not in the least disappointed at this shift. These smaller more causal weddings are absolutely up my alley and I have thoroughly enjoyed having more of these. And Sara and Bruce’s was absolutely perfect.
We started the day at her parent’s house for some getting ready and detail shots.
Sara and Bruce got married on 10/10/20, the absolute busiest wedding day of the year, if not the past decade. So, of course, in true 2020 fashion, it was also the rainiest day of the fall.
Rain was forecasted all day, with only a little break in the weather….which happened to be exactly when we were planning on being in Jonesborough for photos. We had to hang out in the car for a bit to wait for the rain to stop, but it did stop and it was absolutely perfect.
And if you haven’t been to Jonesborough, you absolutely must. It is the oldest town in Tennessee and is known for its National Storytelling Festival held every fall. The town is charming and picturesque, full of shops, restaurants, and even a distillery. I am dying to go back for a few days and explore it more fully.
But back to the couple, are they not just beautiful?
This was my first Persian wedding – like ever. And I can’t believe that I have gone 16 years without photographing one. It was so interesting and such a beautiful, beautiful tradition. I learned SO much.
Sara sent me some information beforehand so I could learn a bit about what I was photographing, which is always helpful so I know what to focus on.
In Persian weddings, the Sofreh Aghd is an elaborate table setup is full of elements that have symbolic importance and meaning. What struck me was how ornate it was and how everything had meaning and value to the culture. Regardless of religion, Persians all use the Sofreh Aghd as a centerpiece for their weddings.
All ceremonies have a Holy Book, or in the case of a non-religious ceremony, another book, like a book of poetry.
One of my favorite elements that Sara created for the wedding was this welcome sign. With messages of greeting in 4 languages, English, Farsi, Bangla, and Japanese, it truly showcased their unique and diverse cultural backgrounds.
One custom that I found absolutely interesting was the grinding of sugar cones over the couple, to shower them with sweetness.
The symbolism of the mirror on the table is for, quite literally, a reflection of the couple as they look towards their future.
In Persian ceremonies, the couple feed each other honey!
The backyard ceremony was beautifully thought out.
Information on the Persian ceremonies came mostly from: https://www.linandjirsa.com/sofreh-aghd/