A Whimsical Garden Wedding at a Private Residence in Milton, Massachusetts

With their wedding's lush garden setting, twinkling lights and breathtaking decor, Simin Lee (27 and a student) and Nicholas Bodnar’s (26 and a student) early fall affair felt straight out of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." The pair gathered their friends and families on a warm September evening at Simin’s family's home in Milton, Massachusetts, a 20th-century manor in the Georgian style with English gardens, for an unforgettable al fresco fete filled with sentimental touches and tradition. With a whimsical soiree in mind, the couple's decor decisions came easily; they ultimately chose a palette of soft ivory, pink and green hues inspired by the setting and grand floral arrangements to bring their vision to life. “We felt so lucky to have such a venue, especially because of its family ties, and hoped the general experience of our wedding would reflect this elegance and magic,” Simin says. The festivities unfolded with a sweet and touching garden ceremony. “We designed our ceremony to reflect, honor and unite our rich cultural backgrounds,” Simin says. “Our ceremony was composed of three phases: a Jewish part officiated by Nicholas’s father, a Persian part officiated by my uncle and a Western/civil ceremony officiated by my Chinese uncle,” Simin says. Persian rugs lined the aisle leading the couple to the piece de resistance for the outdoor affair: a lavish vine chuppah draped in lush ivory roses, under which stood the sofreh aghd, a traditional Persian wedding spread. “It features many items that symbolize the couple’s new life together and are deeply rooted in Persian history,” Simin says. After saying “I do,” the newlyweds made their way up the aisle while upbeat Persian dance music played and guests showered them in ivory rose petals. The reception was held in a sailcloth Sperry tent. The pros at Winston Flowers, Rentals Unlimited and Simeral & Co. transformed the space into a romantic, whimsical scene, evoking the magic and mystery of summer nights through carefully curated decor. A network of lanterns hung overhead, designed to look as if they were floating in midair, and large branches were framed by tent’s poles, making guests feel as though they had been transported to an enchanted forest. Bouquets of blush and ivory roses and hydrangeas arranged into ornate high and low styles dotted the tables, bringing the beauty of the home’s surrounding gardens indoors. No soiree would be complete without a hint of glitz, and shimmery gold table linens and gold-rimmed china and stemware certainly filled the bill. Guests enjoyed a classic Persian wedding meal, then hit the dance floor when Sultans of Swing played late into the night. “They played a fantastic mix of classic jazz and swing, as well as covers of more contemporary songs,” Simin says. “We also had a Persian DJ, who intermittently played sets of fast tempo and Persian dance music while the band rested.” A tip from Simin and Nicholas: “Make sure to work hard to respect each other and your families. Include as many people as possible in the planning and the wedding itself. Make everyone else feel special to make the day even more special for you and your partner.” —Libby MacCarthy