GUEST CODE:Thanks to our multicultural society, you may find yourself at a wedding this summer that celebrates in ways you aren't familiar with — and we're here to help. Each week, the HuffPost Canada Living team will take a look at a different culture's wedding and tell you about the customs, traditions and rules that go along with celebrating your friends' big days.
At a first glance, a Persian wedding may look similar to other weddings you've been to: long white wedding gowns, a cake-cutting spectacle and of course, the first dance.
"What sets Persian weddings apart is their tradition-infused ceremony. The ceremony is rich with old customs and stunning details conducted in an intimate setting around an elaborate spread of symbolic items to ward off the evil eye," says Sara Baig of Sara Baig Designs.
The spread, which is called sofreh aghd, often has food and floral arrangements, among other things, as well as a mirror called a aayeneh-ye bakht, which is the mirror of fate. For Persians, marriage is an important day not only for the couple, but also for the two families uniting as one, Baig says.
"Marriage is regarded as a union for life and as in most cultures, both men and women are encouraged to hold hands through thick and thin and treat each other with respect and trust."
On average, Baig says, Persian weddings can have over 300 guests, cost over $80,000, and last for about an hour — followed by hours of eating and dancing.
Here are 9 things you may not know about Persian weddings: