Shahrzad Akbary and Andrew Bach first met in 2011, during their first day of medical school in Arizona. Hanging out in a group setting, their first “date” was a hike; and within a month, the two were inseparable.
After medical school, the couple moved to Florida for their internship years, followed by a move to Michigan – Andrew’s home state – for their residencies. During their second year of residence, they returned to Arizona for a classmate’s wedding, where Shahrzad coincidentally caught the bouquet. Even though their friends started pressuring Andrew to propose, nobody had any idea what he was planning for the next morning.
“WE WANTED THE RECEPTION SPACE TO LOOK LIKE WE HAD BROUGHT THE OUTDOOR GARDEN IN.”
“We woke up, excited to hike in Scottsdale as we had done so many times early on in our relationship,” Shahrzad describes. “As we got to the top of the mountain, Andrew got down on one knee and I tearfully exclaimed, ‘Yes!’ As we got back to my cousin’s house, I was surprised again by my entire family coming in from LA to celebrate!”
The couple knew they wanted to get married in Shahrzad’s home town of LA and have a traditional Persian-American wedding. They fell in love with the Four Seasons LA at Beverly Hills instantly, as Shahrzad always wanted a lot of greenery incorporated, and the Four Seasons’ courtyard sealed the deal. While it was difficult to plan a wedding in Los Angeles from Michigan, wedding planner Alicia Townsend helped with the process, along with the bride’s mother and sisters
“We wanted our Sofreh Aghd to be very traditional and unique,” adds Shahrzad. “We weren’t a fan of the very modern, ‘boxy’ sofrehs we were seeing, so we decided to collaborate with our florist and deign our own. Many of the elements were handmade and came from different parts of Iran, and they were set atop the ceremony space with dramatic cascading florals.
Since half of our guests, including Andrew’s family, were not Persian, we explained the ceremony thoroughly in our program and then we stood and did traditional English vows. We brought in traditional Persian dancers to continue the celebrations; and while Andrew was nervous about his Persian dancing, he nailed it! A traditional Persian tea station and fruit display were loved by our guests, and our MirMir photobooth was a huge hit.”
The newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a celebration steeped in elegance, romance, and timelessness. White florals and lush greenery decked the space, while candlelight cast a warm glow. “We wanted the reception space to look like we had brought the outdoor garden in, and it was absolutely breathtaking,” the bride explains. “Our signature cocktails were a nod to our careers as physicians – the ‘Dr. Bach’ was an old fashioned, and the ‘Dr. Akbary’ was a spicy margarita.”
After their wedding, the newlyweds enjoyed some rest and relaxation at Four Seasons Punta Mita in Mexico. A private, romantic dinner upon one of the resort cliffs was their most memorable evening after a day spent floating around the lazy river with cocktails.”