Persian-Western California Real Wedding


September 20, 2023
Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Ryan Alonzo Photography

Negin and Christopher’s love story began in the digital realm, sparked by a fateful match on the dating app Hinge. Little did they know that their journey would lead them to a destination wedding that would forever unite their lives in the picturesque coastal town of Cayucos, California.

A Match Made in Cyberspace

“We met through the dating app Hinge,” Negin recalls with a smile. “After matching, we began exchanging messages with each other shortly before Thanksgiving. One of our first conversations involved talking about family Thanksgiving traditions.”

Negin, with her large Persian family, shared a unique tradition that instantly caught Christopher’s attention. “Negin’s family started a tradition a few years back where they took family Fireball shots on Thanksgiving and danced to Pitbull’s song ‘Fireball,'” Christopher explains. “I thought her family sounded awesome, and we went on our first date just after Thanksgiving.”

Little did they know that this fiery tradition would find its way into their wedding celebration.

The Destination Wedding Dream

From the start, Negin and Christopher shared a deep love for travel. “We love to travel, and we try to go out of town as often as we can,” says Negin. “We always knew we wanted a destination wedding so that we could travel somewhere with our friends and family and spend not just a day together, but multiple days celebrating, eating, laughing, traveling, and exploring a fun destination with one another.”

The destination wedding dream took shape as they embarked on the search for the perfect location. “Given the uncertainties of the pandemic at the time we started wedding planning, we wanted to keep the wedding location within California,” Christopher explains. “But we wanted it to feel like a world away.”

Their search led them up the California coast, and they rediscovered Cayucos, a charming, rustic, and sleepy beach town. “We loved that it was off the beaten path and not as commonly traveled,” Negin shares. “We knew a lot of our friends and family had not spent much time in the Central Coast area and had never even heard of Cayucos.”

A visit to Swallow Creek Ranch in Cayucos sealed the deal. “Swallow Creek Ranch checked all these boxes and was also in a town we loved that we had first discovered together early on in our relationship,” Christopher says.

Overcoming Challenges for a Memorable Day

Planning a destination wedding often comes with its unique set of challenges, but Negin and Christopher were determined to incorporate elements of Negin’s Persian heritage into the celebration. “Doing a destination wedding away from a big city meant a lack of Persian wedding vendors,” Negin explains.

However, the couple was resourceful and found a DJ, a vendor team, and even traditional Persian sweets, ensuring that their cultural traditions remained an integral part of the day.

Venue of Dreams: Swallow Creek Ranch

“We really wanted to find a venue that was coastal, natural, and a bit rugged and wild,” says Christopher. Swallow Creek Ranch, with its rustic beauty, coastal views, and a historic blue barn, perfectly matched their vision.

The couple also cherished the venue’s flexibility in choosing vendors and customizing the menu and bar offerings. “Chris really loved the idea of doing a whole animal roast and being able to tailor the beverage offerings,” Negin adds.

Decor and Special Touches

Their wedding decor reflected the beauty of the coastal location, with a natural color scheme, dried elements, slate blue accents, and gold touches. They incorporated elements like baby’s breath, white roses, ranunculus, and greenery into the florals, creating a natural and whimsical aesthetic.

To honor their love for travel, they included nods to it in their decor. A guest globe served as a unique alternative to a traditional guest book, and a travel-themed escort display guided guests to their seats with luggage tags doubling as escort cards/favors.

A Multi-Cultural Ceremony

The ceremony seamlessly blended Persian and American wedding traditions. The Sofreh Aghd, a traditional Persian ceremony spread, featured symbolic items, while traditional Western elements like vows and rings were also exchanged. The couple added English and Persian music to enhance the multi-cultural atmosphere.

The Unique Experience of a Destination Wedding

“Having a destination wedding gave us the opportunity to spend multiple days in a place we love with the people we love,” Negin reflects. “We not only celebrated our marriage but also got to travel and explore a beautiful place with our favorite people.”

“Overall,” Christopher adds, “don’t sweat the small stuff and instead focus on building memories and exploring a destination with those you love most.”



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Vendors: Photographer: Ryan Alonzo Photography; Second Shooter: Trine Bell; Wedding Planner: TH, INC. Weddings + Events; Venue: Swallow Creek Ranch; Florist: Brooke Edelman Floral Design; Stationery: Minted; Cake: SeaBreeze Cupcakes; Hair & Makeup: Rhonda Johnson Makeup and Hair; Gown: Eve of Milady; Gown Store: Kleinfeld Bridal; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Peter Millar; Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo; Ice cream/churro cart: The Churro Cart; Persian sweets: Assal Bakery; Coffee Cart: Lucy’s Coffee Co.; Bartending: Bottles & Ice; Catering: Valley Piggery; Escort display: Backdrop Boutique SB; Sofreh Aghd Display: Elegant Sofreh Design; Persian Ceremony Officiant: Alireza Ghadaksaz; DJ: Modern Symphony; Rentals: Bright Event Rentals & Avenue 12; Videographer: White Elm Video; Ceremony Painter/Caricature Artist: Miles Lewis Art; Marquee Letters: Alpha-Lit Central Coast; Photo Booth: Bessy the Foto Bus

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