I’m so excited to share today’s wedding in Virginia!  Captured by Eli Turner Studios, Pegah and Victor’s gorgeous wedding incorporates Persian and American wedding traditions, including a Persian wedding ceremony that Pegah and her family designed before the wedding.  Pegah and Victor balanced their desire for a large wedding in the DC area and their goal of staying within a reasonable budget – they pulled it off with some creative DIY efforts and a healthy dose of determination!

From Pegah: There were three key elements we wanted to embrace while planning our wedding: keep it simple, elegant, and fun!  It is so easy to get carried away with wedding planning these days, and we didn’t want to lose sight of what it was all supposed to be about, which is simply celebrating love and being happy!

I am Persian and it was important to me to incorporate my family’s wedding traditions in my own wedding.  We had two wedding ceremonies, starting with a Catholic ceremony followed by a Persian ceremony.  For most of my friends and basically my husband’s entire side, it was a first to see a Persian ceremony.  I was happy it gave such a unique touch to our special day.

The Persian wedding ceremony.  My family has the tradition of all getting together and designing the agh’d (the spread you see on the floor) together before the wedding.  This time around we went for a more natural, earthy theme, using driftwood, bark, dried flowers, and all the other standard elements that go into an Iranian Ceremony.  It turned out so unique and so beautiful, I couldn’t have been happier with it.

To stay within our budget, we ended up doing a lot of the pieces ourselves.  Thanks to lots of help from my family, bridesmaids and Victor, we made our own invitations, programs, table name cards, table numbers, guest welcome notes and bags, and dinner menus.  I spent the first couple months of our engagement going back and forth from Michaels to Paper Source getting ideas.

One of my favorite little details that made our wedding unique was the pug cake topper.  The funny thing is we are not really dog people at all, but Vic and his sister share a random love of pugs.  When Victor’s sister gave us the pug salt and pepper shakers, I knew right then they’d make perfect cake toppers.  While I knew it was fairly untraditional to put dogs on the cake, I knew it would make my new sister smile, so it only made sense to do it!

Our first dance is one of my favorite memories from the wedding.  We wanted to do something original and fun; we went with Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and planned a cheesy little intro with it and everything, it was awesome!  Totally got the crowd revved up for a great party, and we had so much fun doing it!  While we were dancing I didn’t even notice people watching, but when we were finished I was overwhelmed by all our family and friends standing up and cheering, it was a great feeling.  So much love!

Pegah’s advice to other DC-area couples: If you seriously want to stick to a budget, you can do it!  It is so hard to have a big wedding in this area that is a reasonable cost, but it’s not impossible.  Just pick your priorities and all the other little details will fall into place.  We had GREAT food, an open bar (that even let us take tequila shots, yahoo!), a fabulous DJ and of course, the best photographer, and we still actually came just under our budget.  It took a LOT of work and truthfully there were times when it felt like it wasn’t worth all the effort it required, but at the end of the day I would not change a thing.  If you are planning DIY projects, give yourself plenty of time to get them done and get help from your family and friends.

My biggest tip is to keep your eye on the prize – this day is just about marrying the love of your life!  The rest is just details.  Make sure you have someone helping you through the planning process who can remind you of that.

The following Washington, DC wedding vendors contributed to Pegah and Victor’s wedding:

Venue and Catering: Hidden Creek Country Club
Photography: Eli Turner Studios
Floral Design: Green Technology, Inc.
Bride and Bridesmaid Attire: Priscilla of Boston
Shoes: DSW
DJ: Reza Ekbatani
Hair: Red Door Spas
Hair Accessory: Debby Hoffman Bridal

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful weddings!

Photo Credits: Eli Turner Studios

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