Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Shamin & Karl: #pintofpersia at Bellinter House

One of our favorite weddings of 2017 was that of Karl and Shamin. Theirs is the perfect example of how to merge two cultures and traditions for a memorable wedding day, and how it can work beautifully in Ireland.  We loved their overall elegant and “approachable formal” aesthetic, voiced throughout their wedding day in that glorious Carolina Herrera gown, a smart formal tuxedo, and a gorgeous French countryside-inspired decor that worked perfectly with the romantic Irish countryside. But what stand out the most is the unique and memorable wedding ceremony they crafted: merging together their Irish and Persian roots, Shamin and Karl created the perfect wedding day. A pint of Guinness, a pinch of prince of Persia, and  Waterlily Weddings is so incredibly honored and proud to present to you this week, the #pintofpersia wedding of Shamin and Karl.

This, is their story…

Shamin is Persian, Karl is Irish. They met back in December of 2015, brought together by Fate once again.  A first date was chaperoned by wine, the conversation was continuous and exciting and they quickly realized they were in fact a great match. It ended with Shamin giving him her Amazon password to watch the show Catastrophe — a comedy about an Irish woman and an American man who fall in love — unbeknownst to them foreshadowing an incredible wedding to come two years later.

Karl popped the question on their one year anniversary with an elaborate engagement plan involving a helicopter from LA to Santa Ynez, landing in a vineyard, good wine, and a glorious sapphire ring. Unfortunately it was too windy to fly, so Plan B took effect with a car drive up to wine country. The vineyard was stunning and the setting was set, and Karl dropped to one knee and asked Shamin to marry him. She said yes! And a wedding was in the works!

Shamin always knew she wanted a destination wedding. Karl, being Irish, still had his entire family in Ireland, so the choice was easy to host a dream destination wedding in there. They envisioned an estate home or castle, one they could exclusively rent out for the wedding weekend so everyone could feel comfortable to let their hair down a bit and celebrate.  Bellinter House was an easy choice — situated conveniently outside of Dublin, it provided the visiting guests an easy start off point to explore Ireland and comfortably fit their wedding party. The home is beautifully appointed in a modern classic style that echoed their LA aesthetic, and it was available for their exclusive use.

Shamin and Karl opted for an outdoor ceremony set in the picturesque grounds. Although the day began misty, as usual the Irish luck pulls through and gave way to a perfectly timed sun shining on the couple just as they were signing contract! Their ceremony was a combination of Persian and Irish traditions. The Persian Sofreh Aghd served as anchor for their ceremony and beautifully set the setting at the ceremony site. A marriage ceremony tradition dating back a thousand years, the sofreh aghd is a table spread where the marriage exchange takes place. There are a variety of objects displayed, each with a special meaning or purpose to bless the couple: mirror represents light and brightness for their future together, candles represent clarity and energy, special herbs and spices are displayed to help ward off the evil eye, eggs symbolize fertility as do almonds and and other nuts, fruits and sweets and much much more. As the ceremony begins to conclude, bride and groom dip their pinky finger into honey and take a taste to symbolize the sweetness of the start of their life together. The tureh ghand (“sugar cloth”) is an adorned cloth held by various happily married female friends and relatives, bestowing blessings upon the couple as they begin their new journey together. The sofreh aghd is a beautiful, extremely meaningful ceremony that truly is spectacular to witness. It was amazing to see it displayed to perfectly in Ireland!

To draw in Karl’s Irish side the ceremony also included a handfasting ceremony, unity candle lighting, and traditional Irish music to set the tone. The couple merged their cultures together perfectly by asking her brother to officiate the Persian portion of the ceremony, having both of their mothers read a wedding poem from Rumi (Shamin’s mother read it in Persian, Karl’s mother read it in English) and as well as a poem by Seamus Heaney. The whole ceremony was beautiful, perfectly set, and unique to the two of them.

As they were pronounced “husband and wife” and Karl kisses his bride, the guests were then invited back to the house for refreshments that include two custom-created cocktails: The Persian Greyhound and the Blarney Stone.  They also offered their guests a whiskey tasting while a string quartet played beautifully in the background.

Meanwhile Karl and Shamin stole away to take some pictures throughout the grounds and estate.

For the reception, guests were invited back to the canopy for dinner: a beautiful French countryside inspired setting with linen, warm candle light, and lots of personalized details enthralled the guests. We love the personalized welcome notes the couple wrote to each guests, expressing their love and and how much they mean to them. A multi course dinner was served including a carefully chosen wine list and finally, dessert! A charming multi-tiered cake of raspberry, chocolate, and almond adorned simply and beautifully with greenery was the perfect sweet ending to this dinner.


To transition into evening, guests were invited to light sparklers and lit the night sky as Shamin and Karl danced their first dance together as husband and wife. It was a magical start to the festivities of the evening, and a really lovely detail.

We loved all of the personal and carefully thought out touches in Shamin and Karl’s wedding. From the unique custom-created stationary that echoed throughout the wedding to the extremely thoughtful notes for guests at the table, you can see a lot of thought and heart went into the planning of this celebration. The French countryside theme was a beautiful color palette for this late summer wedding and played off of the bridal party and venue just exquisitely. What I really love was the embracing of that formality — the return to the tuxedo, the gorgeous gown, the simple and statement accessories, the sense of “approachable formality” throughout the day with the table setting and structure of the reception are quite outstanding. But perhaps the best part of this wedding was how effortlessly Shamin and Karl not only embraced their own cultures and traditions, but more so how they perfectly wove them together into a unique and simply stunning ceremony and celebration.

Absolutely well done and bravo to the both of you!  This is exactly what we mean when we say to embrace who you are, be unique, and go for those personal touches that make you who you are.

Shamin and Karl — we wish you a life full of joy, full of happiness, full of sweetness and may the rest of your life be lit by sparklers along the way!



Venue:  Bellinter House · Photography: Siobhan Byrne Photography   ·   Stationary: Good Juju Ink   ·   Dress: Carolina Herrera  ·  Shoes: Stuart Weitzman   ·   Veil: Caroline Herrera   ·   Headpiece: Twigs & Honey   ·   Jewelry: Jaeger LeCoultre (watch), Claddagh ring, family heirloom emerald ring and necklace set, sapphire engagement ring   ·   Groom: Sartorio   ·   Groom’s Accessories: Cartier watch   ·   Bridesmaids: Joanna August (via Bella Bridesmaids)   ·   Groomsmen:  assorted black tuxedos   ·   Special Details:  bridesmaids were gifted bracelets with their names written in farsi;  stationary was custom created with Shamin’s first initial in Persian “Sh” with Karl’s K and envelope liner included a watercolor of their dog Milky   ·   Something Old: emerald necklace   ·   Something New: undergarments purchased by Karl’s mom & sister   ·   Something Borrowed: ha’penny from Karl’s Dad   ·   Something Blue: sapphire engagement ring

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