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Emiliano and Soulmaz¬†met in graduate school at University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. They¬†met at a mutual friend’s birthday party and the chase begun there. After several coffee dates, they¬†went on an official dinner date. Although the connection was instant, it was our first official date that did them¬†in. Ever since, they¬†have been supporting one another through their¬†long and grueling graduate programs, as well as, finding time to travel around the world. Several months from their wedding date, they¬†will be celebrating five years together and look forward to many more.

The inspiration for their¬†wedding was the merging of their¬†two cultures (Italian/Mexican and Persian/Turkish) and thus their¬†two families in a very unique and historical U.S. monument at the University of Virginia. Themes included “us”, in terms of the location of the event (where they¬†met, on grounds at UVa), their¬†officiant being a former professor of theirs¬†and catering by Hotcakes (where they had one of their¬†early coffee dates). Other themes included a casual, family-centered, Mediterranean garden feel with spring, pastel colored flowers with loose foliage and greenery decorated around the Colonnade Club, a historical colonial building. Guests enjoyed moving from the different rooms to the outside of the garden, nibbling on Persian pastries and Turkish tea or sipping on traditional Italian cocktails like the negroni or bellini.

Their¬†favorite part of their¬†wedding day was the traditional Persian ceremony. The couple sat before a Sofreh Aghd, a traditional Persian spread which includes various items that symbolize the couple’s new future together (walnuts for fertility, candles for fire, sugar canes and honey to sweeten the union). They¬†had an ornate, traditional Venetian-styled mirror in which they¬†gazed into as they¬†were married. There was a very talented family friend who played the tar, a long-necked traditional Persian string-instrument as our officiate, UVa Professor and Literature/Gender Studies legend, Dr. Farzaneh Miliani officiated the wedding. She spoke of Italian, English and Persian poets – the language of love and the unique union of their¬†families. The Sofreh Aghd spread was breathtaking, the music was enchanting and Dr. Milani’s words were forever inspiring. It was a very beautiful moment.

Whats next after you’re married?¬† Luckily, we have been able to travel together to a handful of different countries in Europe and North America. For our honeymoon, we will be traveling to the Middle East for the first time together and for our first trip as a married couple.

Now that you are married, what words of advice do you have for couples getting married? You should quickly and readily adopt the view “If it rains on your wedding day – it’s good luck!”

Bride & Groom: Soulmaz & Emiliano
Venue for the Ceremony & Reception: The Colonnade Club, Pavilion VII, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.
Officiant:Dr. Farzaneh Milani (Professor at University of Virginia, Chair of Mid-East and South Asian Studies Department)
Wedding Coordinator: Lisa McEwan
Ceremony Music: Amin
Videographer: JC Vera
Catering: Hot Cakes
Cake: Hot Cakes
Florist: Hedge Fine Blooms
Makeup Artist: Naghmeh (Melody) Moadab
Hair Stylist: Mahogany at Salon Cielo
Dress: Bridal Elegance in Richmond, Virginia

Who: Anna & Tony

What: Wedding Cocktail Reception

Where: Cherry Blossom Riverboat¬†‚Äď Alexandria, VA

The day after Anna and Tony had an intimate wedding ceremony at the Inn at Mount Vernon, they had a riverboat cocktail reception with all their friends and family on the Cherry Blossom Riverboat! The riverboat departed from Alexandria and traveled up the Potomac towards Washington DC where everyone could get a great view of the monuments! We were able to get some great dusk portraits on the boat with the Washington Monument lit up behind Anna and Tony. All their friends and family had a great time celebrating Anna and Tony throughout the evening!

Reception Venue: Cherry Blossom Riverboat (Potomac Riverboat Company)
Wedding Coordinator: Alison Grant
Makeup Artist: Valerie Hammer
Hair Stylist: Christophe Jouenne
Dress: Carine’s Bridal
Cake: Custom Cake Design
DJ: DJ/MC Justin and Jordan
Photography: Ron Dressel Photography

Who: Anna & Tony

What: Wedding

Where: Mt Vernon Inn Restaurant¬†‚Äď Alexandria, VA

The Couple’s Love Story:

Our story is one that may not be all that uncommon, but is very special nonetheless. We met in January 2008 as Professional Personal Trainers at our place of work, The Sports Club/LA in Washington, DC.

Just a few months later, Anna was accepted to a very illustrious sports internship with The Walt Disney Company, which would take her to Florida for 6 months. Anna informed Tony of this on their first date on June 9, 2008. As far as Tony was concerned, the decision was not difficult; he would wait for her.

The rest is a story of love, growth and a much anticipated wedding marking the rest of their lives together!

Anny & Tony share their inspiration for their wedding:

Although we wanted to include everyone we love and care for in our wedding celebration, we wanted a small intimate wedding ceremony. As such we decided to have a small wedding and dinner one evening, and then a cocktail reception the following evening that included all of our family and friends. We both enjoy being outdoors, love the night-sky, and value that we met while working in Washington DC. We had hoped to incorporate all of those details, but our primary goal was to keep both our wedding and cocktail reception simply–few decorations to allow the location/scenery to speak for itself.


What was your favorite part of your wedding day? what was your most memorable moment?
Anna — wedding day: Taking pictures together after the wedding ceremony; especially running through the grass with Tony holding my hand to take pictures in front of the Mt. Vernon sign. Tony is a goofball and always can make me laugh. Him hiding under my veil to take “serious” photos kept cracking me up.
Tony — wedding: getting to see my bride for the first time!

What’s next now that you are married?
Having a normal life again! We weren’t able to be as social as we like pre-wedding, so for now just relaxing and enjoying married life.
Now that you are married, what words of advice do you have for couples getting married?

Anna: The best advice we were given, and we’d like to pass along, is to continue (during your wedding day) to take some private moments between the bride and groom. Your day goes by so fast, so remember to take it all in.

Tony: Let the bride do what she wants. And only help when she asks you to. Take private movements together, like Anna said. And do what the bride wants.

Ceremony Venue: Mt Vernon Inn Restaurant – sunken garden
Reception Venue: Mt Vernon Inn RestaurantWedding Coordinator: Mariita Campos
Caterer: Bittersweet Catering
Makeup Artist: Valerie Hammer
Hair Stylist: Christophe jouenne
Dress: Carine’s Bridal
Photography: Ron Dressel Photography

Who: Megan & Tony

What: Wedding

Where: Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables РWaynesboro, VA

The Couple’s Love Story:

Tony and Megan met on a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel. They talked for a month on the phone and text before they met, because Megan was busy in her last semester of nursing school. They finally had a free weekend, so Tony came to Annapolis and took Megan out downtown. They walked City Dock, had sushi at Tsunami, and went bowling (Megan beat him). They weren’t ready for the night to be over, so they went back to Megan’s parents house to have some tea and chat a little longer. And yup, Tony met her parents on our first date…. and they really liked him.
They’ve been together ever since!

Megan & Tony share their inspiration for their wedding:

Our wedding inspiration came from our love for music. We both play guitar and both love country music. Our ceremony incorporated Christian praise songs we love and our cocktail hour was an hour of George Strait, our favorite country singer.
We wanted a wedding set in the beautiful mountains of the Appalachia, and from the moment we saw Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables, we knew it was the perfect setting four our country wedding.
We also wanted to include our Navy life into our wedding so Tony wore his Navy uniform and we had a Navy Arch of Swords
Our food was inspired by Tony’s hometown of Dallas, Texas and Megan’s hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. Hank’s Barbecue made delicious Maryland-style crab cakes, Texas-style brisket, pulled pork sliders, and smoked chicken. To top it all off, we had Hot Cakes make our amazing wedding cake- Lemon Raspberry and Carrot tiers.
Guests were able to enjoy the patio and the breathtaking view of the mountains while roasting s’mores at the fireplace.

Megan & Tony’s¬†favorite part of the wedding was the ceremony. They loved standing in the sun, singing songs, looking up at the sun and beautiful blue sky. And they loved sharing their vows they wrote for one another.

What’s next¬†for Megan & Tony?
“We are honeymooning in the Mediterranean on a cruise, and spending a few extra days in Barcelona. Then we are being relocated to Norfolk for 3 years. Children are in the plans as well.”
Now that you are married, what words of advice do you have for couples getting married?
“I would say stick with your gut. When you find something you love whether it’s a vendor, a dress, a venue or some other aspect of your wedding, go with it. You will be happier in the long run if you stick with your first choice and don’t settle. We did that and we had great vendors, I got the dress of my dreams, and the venue was stunning!
Enjoy being engaged. Don’t get so caught up in wedding planning that you lose sight of what is most important… your relationship. The most important thing about the wedding is that you get to marry the person you love, so, as long as you end up married, your wedding day will be amazing!”

Ceremony Venue: Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables
Reception Venue: Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables
Wedding Coordinator: Barb Lundgren- Barb Wired Events
Officiant: Reverend Scott Davis
DJ: Andy with Party Masters
Catering: Hanks Smokehouse
Florist: Verde Natural Florals
Hair & Makeup Artist: Nikki Benedikt
Dress: Sealed With a Kiss
Cake: Hot Cakes
Photographer: Ron Dressel Photography

  • Barbara - Beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Doretha M Johnson - Absolutely beautiful and such heartwarming captures, this day will be remembered dearly by all!ReplyCancel

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