Kimia and Bahador’s Persian wedding in Noto was a collision of cultures. Wildly beautiful pastel floral installations rose from the ground, inspired by traditional Persian gardens at an earth-colored Sicilian castle. Effortlessly chic, the ceremony took place under a giant fig tree where nature appeared to have reclaimed the crumbling building’s walls. Subtle colors were styled throughout each space, with fine objects created by Iranian artists and sourced from antique shops and bazaars. Tehran-based Sanaz Nataj designed Kimia’s bespoke modern minimalist gown, inspired by traditional Iranian concepts.
Rosita and Michele from Primopiano Photografica captured this Noto, Sicily wedding.
Names / Bahador Adab & Kimia
Location / Noto, Sicily
Wedding Date / August 31st, 2022
Guest Numbers / 160
How We Met
Kimia: We met in June 2012 when I was living in London. Bahador moved from Toronto to London to study Film at London Film School and I was at the end of my Masters degree in Luxury PR & Marketing. Since then we have been together as a couple and as business partners running a curated multi-brand lifestyle platform working with Iranian designers and artists. After 10 years of working and living together we decided to get married.
Bahador: We were watching the Euro Cup finals (Spain vs. Italy) in 2012 and Kimia and a few of her friends had joined us. We lived close by so we decided to bike ride home together. Not having a proper pocket, I asked Kimia to safeguard my phone. However, when I finally got home, I realized I had forgotten to ask for my phone back. I didn’t have to wait long because she quickly found me on Facebook and let me know she had my phone. With enough LOLs in the message she asked me to hang out that same night to get my phone back. That night, we all watched a movie together and after one hour it had sent everyone to bed. I managed to stay up but ended up sleeping on the couch because I figured it was too late to go out and… well, the rest is history.
Our Engagement Story
Kimia: For our New Year holiday in March we planned to go to Kenya for a Safari experience in Masai Mara and then Seychelles. It was a few days before leaving, on a rainy day, as we were in middle of renovating our new apartment and going back and forth with the construction team. After the site visit we were walking in the rain and I felt very hungry. Bahador stopped me by the local “Jigaraki” which is basically like a small kebab shop but a bit different (it’s a type of Iranian street food). We sat down and after few minutes, I realized something was different in Bahador’s behavior. I perceived him as being a little stressed but excited at the same time. Basically from then onwards, as Bahador puts it, he didn’t do what he had prepared as he had been trying to propose for the past 2 and a half years. Rather than having a proposal set up and all the usuals, we just laughed at ourselves and how it was all happening. Great memories!
What we love most about each other…
Kimia: We have been together for a decade and what I love about Bahador is his energy, his love and his care for all his friends and family. I guess we both love being active, doing things together from working to traveling, learning and growing together. He has always been my best friend from day one and it is just getting stronger as we get older. We were a team and now we are even more of that, his open heart and warmth has always given me the best feeling in life.
Bahador: I like how Kimia says things the way they are regardless of the situation. She is extremely kind and her kindness comes through in her actions. In her own subtle, yet loud ways, you feel her warmth and presence. She has been my lover, best friend and business partner in life for the past 10 years. She has been my compass, whenever we are lost in life, she takes us home. I will follow her anywhere and like how she looks at me when she is happy with everything. She has always pushed me to want to become better. I just love who she is – the way she moves and carries herself.
“I believe when it comes to designing your wedding, staying loyal to the local elements and regional products always puts things in a more natural, beautiful and effortless way.”
Castello Solacium, Italy is definitely a very popular location for couples to host their weddings and for us, we always had the best time traveling anywhere in Italy. The reason we chose Sicily was because it kept its authenticity and rawness, while having the amazing food and warmth of its people. We wanted to have a fully outdoor ceremony and celebration for both days. We had friends and family coming from all around the world, from Iran, Europe and North America, so Italy felt like the place to meet.
When we traveled to find our venue we started in Palermo and ended in Noto. We saw so many beautiful places but I fell in love with Noto. It just felt like I had traveled back in time to a small, cozy town with so much character. The venue itself was the perfect choice for us because we wanted a beautiful historic building but we also wanted it to be minimal with great outdoor space. The main part of it was this beautiful giant 220 years old Moreton Bay Fig tree from Australia which made sense with everything we wanted. We exchanged our vows under this beautiful tree as a symbol of life, strength and resilience.
We wanted to embrace the natural shapes and design of the venue instead of something too accentuated. Striving for it to be romantic and colorful but not too much either. We also wanted it to be minimalist inspired in traditional concepts from both Iranian and Sicilian culture. We made our candle holder centerpieces from the Sicilian head vases with shells and sands as I love the beach life and natural shapes. For our ceremony’s Sofreh, I worked with Shadi Malek who is a multidisciplinary designer from Tehran. She worked for 3 months to put everything together and find every single piece.
Our close family and best friends were staying with us in this amazing wellness retreat in the Sicilian countryside, Casa Di Melo. In the morning, we had breakfast with friends and family and slowly began to prepare and get ready for the day as we started the ceremony quite early at 4:00 pm.
We looked for photographers for a while and finally we decided on Rosita and Michele from Primopiano Photografica since their work was honest yet delicate and romantic. It literally clicked with us. Wedding pictures are with you for a lifetime and I guess we wanted a look that we could look back at and still feel like it is us and not just some set up for a wedding day. We also had analogue photos, as we moved forward we got offered by our videography Volvoreta team to also shoot photos on film for us. What better offer?! To have pictures both in digital format and on film with two different perspectives capturing the same event.
For the wedding video, I kept going through different wedding videos on Instagram but somehow couldn’t connect with what I was finding. Because of Bahador’s background studying film we were quite picky. At some point we even decided not to have a video. Indira really connected and understood what we wanted so she recommended an amazing team from Spain, Volvoreta. They came up with a very interesting suggestion to shoot our wedding video on film. Bahador being a filmmaker, we really loved the idea. The look and the feeling of film can’t be matched. The fact that it was going to be a creative experience rather than a routine wedding video got us excited and all for it.
Watch the wedding video by Volvoreta here.
We didn’t want to overload the venue with flowers as we wanted to keep it minimal and natural, however we spent so much time with our wedding planner to plan the flower center and end pieces. We were so lucky that she was an expert when it comes to flower decoration, in fact her second business is flower design. After looking at so many beautiful flowers we decided to go for the regional and seasonal flowers. I believe when it comes to designing your wedding, staying loyal to the local elements and regional products always puts things in a more natural, beautiful and effortless way.
The main source of the design inspiration for our Persian wedding in Noto was the Moreton Bay Fig tree and the Sofreh itself which was designed and inspired by Persian gardens.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
For our wedding planner, two of my friends had Indira as their planner, and they both held very different style weddings which had been amazingly done. We decided to plan our wedding quite late and everything was fully booked because of the wedding backlog due to Covid. We were so so lucky that we got introduced to Indira. There was no “no” answers when it came to our requests. She is a true go-getter. She is creative but chill with positive vibes. Straight away after our first call, she realized we didn’t want a typical wedding – we wanted something different with a touch of traditional elements. We told her our main priority was our friends and family’s experience, and giving them the best time. After that was taken care of we went for the design, the aesthetic and all the rest.
We couldn’t have done any of it without Indira and her team. From concept and design to execution. It was Indira’s first time organizing a wedding in Sicily and she went beyond our expectations to find the best vendors, suppliers, entertainers and so on. To this day me and Bahador keep saying we wish we could do another wedding with Indira. We can call her a very dear friend now. Not to forget, one of the highlights was her beautiful family as they were part of the team as well. Her sweetest young daughters helped in organizing the wedding favors.
The bridal bouquet was so unique. We wanted it to be special – nothing too conventional. Indira from DPleis Events designed and made a sample. It wasn’t easy to find the exact color of the Callas (zantedeschia) but we achieved it! Each floral piece was designed and created by us with our wedding planner who, with her floral experience, guided us through even the smallest details so it could be created.
Our wedding invites and save the dates were made with help from one of Bahador’s best friends. We used artworks and drawings by Shahrouz Sadr, an Iranian visual artist. He kindly drew some designs and gave us some of his paintings. The menus and the rest of the stationary were designed by our friend Shima who is a graphic designer.
Food & Beverages
After trying different catering services we decided to go all Sicilian. In general when it comes to weddings in Italy we are talking about lots and lots of amazing food. After the Persian ceremony we had a separate area for aperitivo where we had different food stations, a live cooking show, and cold cuts and starters. We then moved to the seated dinner area for a 5 course meal. We also had late snacks around 2am for the after party.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
We worked and collaborated with some of the best Iranian artists and designers from all around the world. Our best friend Sanaz Nataj, who has a couture atelier in Tehran made my wedding dress. We went for a Victorian, hip-exaggerated, very fitted corset for the top piece and then a very fine 100% soft silk net for the skirt which would let light through as I was moving. Four months before the wedding we traveled to Italy and I went to Milan and sourced all the fabric. My shoes were antique gold Francesco Russo heels which I adore for their feminine, sexy and romantic design.
Bridesmaids Dresses & Shoes
For bridesmaids, which I called them team bride, I didn’t want to follow the bridesmaid rituals and duties. We kept it simple and just asked them to wear anything they wanted but just pick pastels and lighter colors.
Hair & Makeup
For my hair and make up, I wanted to look like myself and not do anything new that I am not used to. I went for classic Hollywood eyeliner and a touch of peachy lip color. After the dinner I changed my lipstick to a dark cherry. I wanted to keep my hair effortless. My hair was short so I kept it down with a classic Hollywood curl at the front. I was introduced to Milena by Shadi. Working with Milena was so easy – she really understood the look I was going for.
We love adventures and exploring new cultures and different natural landscapes so we planned a trip to Peru and Mexico. In Peru we went from exploring their amazing cuisine in Lima to spending 5 days in the Amazon and another 5 days relaxing by the beach. After that, we went to Mexico City and fell in love with the city and everything from their architecture to the vibe and the food.
For our entrance we had a violin and harp duet playing the melody of some of our favorite Iranian songs. Our first dance was a song from a band we both love. The first dance song was “I Wanna Be Yours” by Arctic Monkeys.
The entertainment and music was one of the most important things for us in the wedding given it directly affects the experience of all the guests. After the ceremony during the aperitif we had a young Sicilian band until the beginning of the dinner. Then we had an Iranian DJ from Berlin to play international and Iranian songs. For the after party, Bahador’s best friend (one of the groomsmen) surprised us with this amazing playlist that he had worked on.
We started with greetings as Bahador’s sister played the violin. Then my aunt read a poetry by Hafez about love, wine and the celebrations of life. Then, Bahador’s eldest sister read a piece to us and we gave our vows.
Poetry from Hafez followed by traditional Persian ceremony vows with some minor adjustments.
A memorable moment…
The Aghd Ceremony was very memorable and touching. Everything from the entrance music, to the design of the Sofreh, and every little detail in the ceremony. The presence of our family and friends was invaluable. Also, the anticipation for us to see each other gave me a feeling that made me love everything about the “first look”.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
That it would be this FUN!!!
Wedding Venue / Castello Solacium
Wedding Stylist & Planner / DPleis Events
Videography / Volvoreta
Bride’s Dress / Sanaz Nataj
Hair & Makeup / Milena
Stationery / Shima Karimi
Florist / Mary Fiory
Cake & Catering / Natale Giunta
Tables & Furniture / Geni Maison
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