MIND BLOWING WEDDING WITH SWORDS? | Also, a Pnina Tornai I Can Get Behind! | by Jodi Miller Photography | In other news, can you tell which movie I just watched?

This wedding is off the chain.  It is fully engaged in kicking butt and taking names, and it’s making no apologies for its actions.  It is EPICNESS, brethren.  Come, join me as I flop around in its bouncy castle of unmitigated brilliance.  Mind the swords.

I’m sorry, I was reading the dictionary and the metaphor-in-ary? again today.

Ok, here, let’s play a game.  This’ll be fun.  The rules: on the count of three, say your answer – and seriously, don’t even think about it, just name it– ok, ready?  Wait.  Ready?  Ok- 1-2-3…


Do you like meaningful weddings that speak both to the bride and groom?  YES?  OMG, ok…

Are you of the opinion that the Kardashians are little more than a mockery of what it truly means to be Persian?  Did you just say YES???


You guys, I am involved in a deep, torrid love affair with this wedding, shared with TKB by Jodi Miller of Jodi Miller Photography.  Jodi and Kurt are so good at what they do, so, so good.  And you’ll soon see that this bonkers wedding is no exception.  Thank you for sharing it, Jodi, you know just how to make my month.  If you’re reading this and your name isn’t Jodi, well then one ‘makes my month’ by capturing images a-like a-this a-one:

I love details, but these moments between family and/or friends are pretty much the best going.  Don’t you think?

Another thing I love is how well this wedding proves a couple of really stellar points I’ve been hoping to prove lately, but, y’know, without having to make much effort on my part.  So thank you, This Wedding, for doing the legwork.  You’re good people, Wedding.

1. FLOOR LENGTH GOWNS – A few brides have asked me if it’s *really* possible to pull off truly lovely LONG BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS that will look good in pictures.  Uhhh YES.  As you can see, we have a case in point today.  Are they not gorgeous?  (The answer is they’re gorgeous.)

2. LIGHTING - Photographers, you know lighting is everything.  That’s pretty much common knowledge (I should hope…?).  But what we’re usually referencing when we talk about *lighting* is natural, or sun, light.  Today, it’s all about professional lighting.  It is so, so awesome for indoor weddings specifically.  The proof is in the pudding.

First, here are some words Jodi shared with me about Neda and Cyrus’s gorgeous wedding:

Neda & Cyrus planned a beautiful and unique wedding, which incorporated both Persian and American traditions. The two of them made a stunning couple and had a beautiful day that was a blend between a symbolic union and an elegant evening affair. They chose The Jefferson Hotel for their wedding location, which is one of Richmond, Virginia’s oldest hotels and is filled with old world style and epic architecture. Neda wanted a venue that was dramatic in the architecture and that would showcase how grand their wedding would be! They had flowers galore…orchids were scattered everywhere, including the boutonnieres, hairpieces for the girls, and of course in her gorgeous bouquet! Every single guest even had their own orchid.  The ceremony had a traditional Persian wedding table lavishly adorned with symbolic decor, including sweets, pastries, honey, nuts, and fruits.  Neda chose to have her father give their ceremony which was very emotional.  At the end of the ceremony, the bride and groom feed each other honey, which represents the sweetness of marriage.  Their reception hall was professionally lit with up lights that created a dramatic backdrop and atmosphere for the evening affair. Neda hand picked her wedding gown in NYC, the groom and groomsmen were outfitted in well-fitting tuxedos, and many of the family and guests changed outfits several times into ballroom gowns to match how grand of occasion their wedding was. Before the cake cutting, there was an elaborate sword dance, which is common in Persian weddings. The unmarried ladies dance with the sword in front of the bride and groom, whom in return give the girls money. There was a several course dinner, toasts, interpretive dances, and afterwards all of their guests flooded the dance floor and danced the night away.

P.S. – Jodi let me know that Josh Gooden has a highlights video of their wedding that you can view here.  My friends, it’s just another example of how redonkulously important cinematography is for your wedding day. :)

Ok now scroll down, and enjoy!

You guys, I’m really loving the lack of nip-slip-inducing-sheerness that this Pnina Tornai has going for it.  I didn’t realize Pnina Tornai made mainstream gowns, that aren’t sheer in the wrong places.

(Places such as the breasts, navel, and upper Leave it to Beaver region.)

Fun Fact: I was having trouble thinking up a new way to refer to m’lady parts on the blog so I asked Honey who’s working from home today for help.  Which means I learned a new lesson today, which is never ask Honey (or, a guy, for that matter) for help in crafting up a new blog-safe term for your lady parts.

So, I’m dying to know, what do you think?  You know, about anything as per usual.  Absolutely anything.

Couple of questions, if you’d prefer a topic:

1. How ’bout that sword situation, eh?  As Jodi informed me, it’s common practice in a traditional Persian wedding for the unmarried ladies to dance with swords in front of the bride and groom, who, in return, give the single ladies some money.

2. If you had your choice, would you go for colorful lighting for your wedding?  Or are you more of a low-key kind of person?  After seeing what pro lighting can do for a reception, I’m inclined to get some for my water closet (I’m going to start calling it that, more upper crust) and for my bedroom.

No red lighting, though.  No red lighting.

xoxo!  - Alison

Photography: Jodi and Kurt of Jodi Miller Photography / Venue: The Jefferson Hotel / Cinematography: Josh Gooden Cinematography / Coordination: Naomi Meyer / Florist: Flowers Make Scents / Caterer + Cake: The Jefferson Hotel / Makeup: Juliet Mates (friend and bridesmaid) / Dress:  Pnina Tornai of Kleinfield, NYC / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design

Label(s): Blue, Color, Purple, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Jenna on December 1, 2011

    I can’t believe brides of all people are asking if it’s possible to pull off floor length bridesmaid dresses!? Um, ladies ask yourselves if you’re going to pull off that floor length wedding dress and you’ve got your answer.
    Floor length dresses are lovely and dreamy and we rarely have an excuse to wear them… Which is kind of the problem with them. I don’t think the problem is pulling them off, I think the problem is you’re almost definitely having your ladies invest in a dress that’s a one-time-wear

  2. Lena on December 1, 2011

    Holy hell, this wedding is gorgeous. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a purple person, but this wedding can BRING IT with the purples. And the flowers. And yes, even that Pnina, which I never, ever imagined I’d say. So basically this wedding has flipped everything I’ve ever known on its head. I may need to take some time to assess.

  3. Alison on December 1, 2011

    Jenna – I’ve actually been asked by many! It’s definitely linked to the prevalence of blogged weddings with short frocks. They’re much more common to see on the internets. :) By the way, you’re SO RIGHT about the one-time wear factor. That’s something to consider, especially if the gowns are pricey! Good call :)

    Lena – Right?! That Pnina. I’m all about it, and I never thought I’d say that. I’m so pleased to see she makes gowns that don’t feature a sheer bodice! What a relief. Also THIS GOWN IS GORGEOUS ON NEDA. So gorgeous.

  4. Shulie [RobbinsBrothers] on December 1, 2011

    That picture of (I’m assuming) the father looking at his bride-daughter with so much love and adoration is just.. wow. It really touched me. Sometimes I imagine my future wedding and try to see moments like that with my own father.. and I truly hope that it can come just a little bit close to that image up there. I kind of have a emotionally-dysfunctional family.. so seeing raw moments of love, kindness, and happiness and my parents being genuinely proud of me seem really alien to me. *sigh* Only time will tell.

    Absolutely beautiful, colorific wedding. Thanks for sharing, Neda and Alison. :)

  5. Annie H on December 2, 2011

    Wow, I Pnina thats I really like. I always picture Pnina Tornai gowns being extra flouffy like extreme flouffy. And every single time a bride tries one of those on in Say Yest to the Dress, the mom or grandma’s jaw drops to the ground in the “you can’t wear that to church” look. So to find one by her that is so simplistic and gorg…I approve. I also love the super sexy romantic thing the bride has going on with her eye shadow.

    Instead of lighting lighting…I really like the look of tons of candle light for weddings. There’s just something about the rustic glow that makes things all romantic and mystical etc. That being said, the purple pink lighting going on above is pretty fab. It’s growing on me as we speak.

    And my mommy always told me to stay away from sharp objects. A klutz like myself would never survive a sword dance.

  6. Alison on December 2, 2011

    Shulie – That’s a beautiful sentiment. Y’know, I’m used to you joking it up in the comments, and you always make me laugh, but I’ve gotta say, I love seeing this other side of you, too. If I was on my period right now I’d probably be tearing up, darling! :)

    Annie – Seriously. me + swords = heads rolling. I gotta give some serious props to those ladies and their ability to hold those sharp objects without bloodletting via a thousand tiny self-inflicted papercuts to the body. Except they would be swordcuts. Considerably worse, I imagine. Leave it to the professionals, that’s what I say.

    I wish I could have seen their performance in person, I die to see something like that at a wedding, SO cool.

  7. Mindy on December 2, 2011

    I love the pink lighting. Our DJ is providing our lighting and I told him “I want the walls to be awash in color but I don’t want it to be so dark people can’t see what they are eating.” He was a bit confused so I am just going to forward some of this pictures to him.

  8. rachel grace on December 2, 2011

    doppelganger alert! the bride looks so much like a kardashian at certain angles.

  9. C on December 3, 2011

    Love love love this wedding. The pops of colors add so much dimension to already beautiful room.

  10. Kat on December 4, 2011

    First – this wedding is AWESOME and ditto to most of the above the comments. But to return the bridesmaid dress question, I definitely think long is better. It is much more flattering to a greater variety of body types and serves better for formal events. The one-time wear is really for all bridesmaid dress (long and short) and really hinges on color and style. I have a bright turquoise satin tealength dress hanging in my closet from a May wedding that I will never touch again, and its not because of the length. The price for the long dresses often differs between $30 to $60 from the short, but I have known several brides that asked their maids to purchase select shoes when wearing short dresses so I think it evens out.

    The one request my maids had for my wedding was actually ti have non-strapless dresses (either 1 shoulder or halter or straps) because most are in agreement that you will be pulling up on a strapless dress if dancing all night.

  11. Libby on December 4, 2011

    I’m being won over by long bridesmaid dresses. I think they are very elegant. And I love that wedding gown. The bride is beautiful!!

  12. Louise on September 9, 2012

    A beautiful reception room, really stunning.

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