Unica Forma worked with Brandi on her wedding invitations. She had found one of our marsala and blush designs on Pinterest and had a few changes she wanted us to make to make them unique to her and Reza! She was an absolute pleasure to work with and has inspired many of our more recen
t brides to make their own changes on our predesigned invitations!
Brandi Freeman, 28, just graduated from law school, originally from Eugene, Oregon but lives in San Francisco
Reza Motamedi, 33, Software Engineer, originally from Mashhad, Iran, but lives in San Francisco
We met through mutual friends while in graduate school at the University of Oregon. He was holding a meeting in the afternoon for international graduate students at a bar I went to with some of my friends, who were also international graduate students. These friends wanted to join the meeting, and they introduced us.
Brandi: I thought that Reza was very social, interesting, and handsome. When I first saw him, he was laughing with a big group of friends. I was very attracted to his great laugh and big smile.
Reza: I thought that Brandi was very beautiful and that I would be lucky if I got her to talk to me.
We knew we were in love a few months after dating.
Brandi: I knew that I wanted to marry Reza when we went to visit my grandparents together for the first time. It was raining, and my grandparents’ dog came inside after rolling in something disgusting. Reza and I wanted to give him a bath, but the dog still had the stuff all over him. I remember watching Reza outside in the rain rinsing off my grandparents dog, and then coming in and giving the dog a bath with me, even though he didn’t have to.
Reza: One of the very important moments that affirmed my desire to marry Brandi was when my parents came to visit from Iran and she met them for the first time. She did a lot for them to make their visit special, and they really loved her.
The year we got engaged, our college football team went to the national championship. He had planned to propose after we won the game with our friends around us, but we lost the game! The next morning, we were feeling bummed about the loss, so he told me he had something to lift my spirits. He told me to go into our room, where he had placed the ring box on our bed with a black ribbon around it and proposed right there.
Classic/elegant with Marsala and Ivory tones.
Marsala, ivory, silver, black
Lots of things! Our dog Penny was brought out to the venue to be with us and have some photos
taken. Reza’s immediate family (mom, dad, sister) as well as an aunt and a cousin were not able to join us for the wedding, due to Trump’s Muslim ban. They were approved for visas but never received them. As a result, our wedding was streamed online for them and Reza’s other friends and family abroad that couldn’t attend our wedding. I did a first look with my dad, step dad, and Grandpa, and then Reza, of course. Since Reza is Persian, we included many traditional Persian elements into our wedding.
For the ceremony, we stood when we exchanged vows, but we were seated at a “sofreh aghd aroosi,” or Persian wedding table, for the rest. For the sofreh aghd, the bride and groom sit in front of a table, where many symbolic items for a prosperous marriage are placed. The most important items are a mirror and candlesticks, the mirror for the bride and groom to look into their bright future, lit by the candles. The table is decorated with many other things, such as decorated eggs for fertility, etc., coins to represent wealth, bread (on our table they were folded into flowers) to represent future feasts, fruit for health and joy, etc. Many of the items on our table, including the mirror and candlesticks, were hand picked by Reza’s family in Iran. I read my vows in both Persian and English.
We had a couple of poems read by famous ancient Persian poets, and we finished the ceremony with a traditional gesture: we fed each other honey off of our pinkies as a symbol of the sweetness we will give one another in our marriage. We served Persian and American food for dinner, and had Persian desserts available along with cake.
During the reception we also played the shoe game, where we would answer questions like “Who is the best driver?” by holding up the shoe of either the bride or the groom, which guests really seemed to love. There were a lot of laughs.
Brandi: Seeing Reza’s face when I began reading my vows in Farsi, or getting out onto the dance floor with our friends and family!
Reza: When Brandi was reading her vows.
I planned the entire wedding, and I think that the most fun parts to plan were the parts that allowed us to showcase who we are as a couple, such as putting our favorite songs on the playlist, planning the sofreh aghd, or making our menu with our favorite dishes.
Ceremony Site: Zenith Vineyard, Salem, Oregon
Reception Site: Same as above
Stationery: Announcements from Minted, invitations from Unica Forma, programs & menu from Punch and Biscuit
Photographer: Stevi Sayler Photography
Flowers: Marsala and Ivory flowers by Distinctive Designs by Denice
Gown: Allure Couture – purchased at Blush Bridal Boutique in Eugene, Oregon
Hair: Jasmine Thomas with Blossom and Beauty in Portland, Oregon
Make-Up: Same as above
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Menswear: The Black Tux
Catering: Loustic Catering, Salem, Oregon
Cake: Myriad Designs in Salem, Oregon
Desserts: Persian desserts came from Haleh Bakery in San Jose, California
Music/DJ: Only the Best Sound