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A fateful night on the town brought Katherine and Jason together in early April 2011. For their one-year anniversary, the couple traveled to southern California. After asking the blessing from Katherine’s parents and buying a ring, Jason surprised Katherine by getting down on one knee on their beachfront suite patio on Catalina Island.

At long last, Katherine Ruth Mazaheri married Jason Michael Franze on May 24, 2014, at the Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City. The finicky Oklahoma weather tested the bride’s nerves and the skills of wedding coordinators Camden Chitwood of Emerson Events and Moe of Bridal Maison. Two ceremonies were planned for the evening, a more intimate, indoor cultural ceremony first, and then a larger traditional American ceremony outdoors. Due to the weather, the ceremonies were switched and the guests were all given clear umbrellas in case it began to sprinkle and a glass of champagne adorned with gold rock candy to begin the night’s festivities.

The bride wore a stunning satin fit-and-flair gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline that was covered in beautifully handcrafted beadwork that included Swarovski crystals, pearls and other intricate beading by Casablanca Bridal. The silhouette featured box pleats with beadwork and embroidery on the front and back of the chapel-length train. Katherine completed her look with a beaded cathedral-length veil, diamond necklace and diamond drop earrings. She carried a bouquet with light pink and white peonies with orchids hanging from the bouquet.

It was essential to Katherine and Jason that cultural traditions be incorporated into the wedding. The exquisite indoor ceremony followed Persian traditions, dating back thousands of years. After all the guests were seated, the groom took the hand of the bride and led her to the head of the Sofreh-ye Aghd, a decorated cloth adorned with traditional and symbolic items including a Holy book, incense, honey, spices, gold coins, rose water, eggs, nuts, flatbread, herbs, pastries and a mirror surrounded with candles. The couple sat in front of a mirror framed by virginal white flowers and lit by candles on each side, and with their reflection of each other symbolizing that the two see themselves as they are and rid themselves of all illusions of each other. The symbolic meaning for each item in the ceremony was listed in the program given to each guest.

Traditionally, the Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of the sunrise (light) so the bride and groom, while sitting at the head of the arrangement, also face the light. The bridesmaids hold a piece of fine fabric or “Ghand Cloth” over the heads of the bride and groom, into which married female guests will grind “Kalleh Ghand,” cones of hardened sugar symbolizing the guests’ wishes for happiness and all the good and sweet things in their life together.

The officiant asked the groom and then the bride if they will take the other to be their wife and husband. Twice, the bride was asked and she remained silent. Guest participation was encouraged here as they offered reasons why the bride was not responding to the groom. Only on being asked a third time she answered affirmatively. This symbolizes traditional courtship, that it is the groom who seeks the bride, and that the bride is entering into the marriage wisely. Once the bride had said yes to the proposal, the bride and groom recited their vows and exchanged rings. Lastly, the bride and groom fed each other honey to bring sweetness to their marriage.

The reception party, or “Aroosi,” was also located at the Gaillardia Country Club. Dinner was a lavish meal including jeweled rice, “Morrash Polo,” typically served during Persian weddings. After dinner, the stunning gold-domed cake was served along with a lavish spread of pastries and traditional Persian tea. The newlyweds danced their first dance to “All of Me” by John Legend. Jordan almonds and miniature commemorative vases with “cheers” written in English, Spanish and Farsi were served as parting gifts for each guest.

The couple departed at midnight to a shower of flower petals the guests tossed for good luck from monogrammed paper cones. They took their honeymoon in Paris, and now reside together in Oklahoma City, where Katherine works as an attorney and Jason is a senior server administration specialist.

Other vendor credits:
Touies Design, Innovative Event Solutions, Gaillardia Country Club, Glorious Day Films