Real Weddings

Susan and David at The Rockleigh

Details of the Day: Our wedding day was beyond anything I could have dreamed of. We combined Afghan, Muslim, Jewish, and American elements for our multicultural modern elegance theme. Purple, gold, and jewel tones were used throughout. I am first generation American – I was raised by Muslim Afghans who immigrated to America shortly after the Soviet Afghan war. David was raised Reform Jewish. Interfaith marriages between Muslim women and Jewish men are very rare; it was important to us that both of our backgrounds were represented and combined seamlessly. Our wedding ceremony was officiated by Rabbi David Winship, David’s friend since elementary school, and Imam Abudullah Antepli from Duke University. They worked together to create a wedding program that was so inspiring and exceeded our expectations. Our band played the traditional Afghan wedding song “Ahesta Boro” (literally meaning walk slowly/graciously) as we entered the reception. After dinner, our bridesmaids changed into traditional Afghan dresses and danced the Attan (the national dance of Afghanistan). We also had the henna ceremony. Shortly after, our guests joined us for the Hora. The Theme: Purple was our main color but we introduced jewel tones and gold in our decor and flowers. Our centerpieces were beautiful – 32 tall v-vases with white dendro orchids in the vase. We chose lavender and fuschia roses, white and green hydrangeas, and dark purple lisianthus. Each table also had 3 cylinders with floating candles. My bouquet was made up of Schwartzwalder mini cala lillies – my friends joked that you can’t take the “emo” out of the girl. Our bridesmaids bouquets were composed of fuchsia and lavender roses, green hydrangea, and plum cala lilies. Our flower girl had a pom ball similar to the bridesmaids bouquets, which was also unique. The Gown: I had two wedding gowns – a fitted, green lace gown and an off white, satin, ballgown. An important element of Afghan culture was incorporated into my wedding look – the green dress. It is tradition for the bride to wear a green dress. My mom and I spent months looking for it and even considered dying a dress. Once we saw the lace Jovani dress, we knew it was it. We worked with a seamstress to add sleeves and create the veil. I wore champagne colored Manolo Blahnik hangisi pumps with the green dress. My traditional American wedding dress was a satin Stephen Yearick ballgown with beaded cap sleeves. I had probably tried on about 30 dresses before finding it. I was willing to try anything because you never know how it will look on your body. Once I put on the dress, I felt like a Persian princess. I was so happy that I was able to find it with both my mom and my mother in law (since she lives in Boston). The Venue: We were looking for a place that would take our breath away and from the moment we walked into the venue and saw the grand staircase, we knew it was the place. As we continued the tour and saw the fountains and ballroom with the beautiful chandeliers, all the pieces of the day started to fall into place. The Menu: Our guests joked that they though cocktail hour was the dinner portion – The Rockleigh just does an amazing job with their food. We had six actions stations, a seafood bar, and passed appetizers. The first course of our sit down dinner was Herb dusted lamb chips with baby spinach and creamed barley. We gave our guests a choice of a 10 oz filet mignon, crispy skin Long Island striped bass, and Tuscan roasted chicken for the main course. Dessert was wild berries in a crispy wonton wrapper, served with chocolate sauce. Each table also had a fruit plate. Our wedding cake was so delicious. We had a white cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Those flavors paired with the gold crunch layer was heaven. I also surprised Dave with a groom’s cake. It was chocolate cake with chocolate mousse. The Signature Cocktail: Dave and I love cocktails and one of our favorite parts of planning was choosing our signature cocktail. We spent a day testing recipes. My drink was named the “S’Cosmo” and had vodka, aperol, blood orange juice, and lime juice. Dave’s was called the “Frankel Nor’easter” and had bourbon, lime juice, ginger beer, and maple syrup. Favorite Moment: Being surrounded by our friends and family who had traveled all over the world to spend our day with us. We are so lucky to have the love and support we have. I also loved the Afghan dance my bridesmaids did for us. They looked so beautiful too! Favorite Detail: The music! We had a DJ and a live band. They switched seamless and really held the fusion theme together. Something that went wrong: I was dropped at the end of our first dance! We took ballroom dance classes in preparation for it. However, we practiced in workout clothes and did not think about executing the dance in a ballgown. After the first few steps, Dave became nervous that he would step on my dress and that was his focus. When the song was about to come to a close, he was supposed to dip me. I went in for the dip while he went in to spin me and I just went down. The gasp from our guests was so loud. Honeymoon: We took a “mini moon” to San Juan, Puerto Rico the week after our wedding. In August, we traveled to the Amalfi Coast of Italy and visited Ravello, Positano, Sorrento, Capri and then spent a few days in Amsterdam.

wedding details



Ceremony Location

The Rockleigh

Reception Location

The Rockleigh


Chris Bartow Photography

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