When Bita Javadizadeh and Henrik Brun married at Greystone Mansion and Park, a gothic estate in Beverly Hills, the ceremony's traditional Persian elements conjured up scenes from an exotic movie. The bride and her father walked down the aisle to the beat of a daf, an ancient drum. To ward off evil spirits, incense burned in a carrier used at a number of past family weddings, including Bita's parents'. Contemporary touches? The officiant was Bita's college-professor brother, who received a special ordination to perform the vows. And after, the party embraced some local culture with a glittering reception at the Beverly Hills Hotel. —Hillary Quinn
Sacred Script: Though theirs wasn't a religious ceremony, Henrik and Bita honored his Christian and her Muslim backgrounds by giving the service a spiritual tone and including several Biblical passages and blessings.
Two for One: Bita tied a small blue prayer book belonging to her paternal grandfather to her bouquet, to symbolize something old and something blue.
Glass Act: Guests received hand-blown monogrammed votives imported by Bita's dad, who owns a glassware company.
Best Money Savers
Hardly a Stretch: Why hire a big limo when you and your new husband can depart your ceremony in a cozy rental? The twosome zoomed away from Greystone and drove to the reception in a dashing red Volkswagen Beetle convertible—top down, of course.
A Bit of Bubbly: In lieu of pricey champagne, Bita and Henrik served Prosecco, a more affordable Italian sparkling wine, paired with pomegranate nectar.
Funds with Numbers: The couple, who both work in finance, used their professional prowess to develop a strict budget, then stuck to it by negotiating prices with each of their vendors.
Junko Yoshioka, junkoyoshioka.com
Hickey Freeman, hickeyfreeman.com
Ceremony and Reception Site
Greystone Mansion, greystonemansion.org
Katie Moos Photography, katiemoos.com