A genuinely special wedding is one that centers on the bride and groom, showcasing their distinct lifestyles and personal ideals of beauty. Sacha and Arya embarked on a challenging journey, diverging from societal expectations for their wedding to craft a dream celebration. Remarkably, they successfully brought it to life. For further details and insights into their beautiful journey and wedding, continue reading and enjoy photos captured by THE WED member, Abigail Lewis.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Arya and I both grew up in Beverly Hills. I went to Sinai Akiba for elementary school and then to Milken Community High School. Arya went to Stephen S. Wise for elementary school and then to Milken Community High School. We became very close friends freshman year. We shared a lot of the same friends at Milken and both had a lot of friends at Beverly Hills High School. After a year at Milken, Arya decided to leave and went to Beverly Hills High. We continued our friendship, only getting closer. Back then, we had AIM and would talk every minute from the second we got home from school. The friend-zone blossomed, and in 11th grade, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We went on to USC for undergrad, and Arya began joining his dad's business, manufacturing and distribution, while I started interning at WME. By senior year of college, we were both working full time - I was an executive assistant to the Head of Corporate Events, and Arya was the CEO of Universal Elastic & Garment Supply.
We both took pride in our work. We both weren't into school - I hated test-taking, Arya just didn't see a point in school. We felt like we had a leg up on our friends because they were still figuring out what to do after college, and we were both working 9-5 (or in my case, 7 am - 7 pm because I was living the Devil Wears Prada life).
Fast forward 8 years - Arya and I are still dating. Arya was still working with his dad, running the company, carpooling to and from work, pouring every ounce of his heart and soul into the business. I was living in my parents' guest house, working at a tech start-up, and feeling a little lost. Arya’s dad suddenly passes away. Our world turns upside down.
As an only child, Arya carries a lot on his shoulders. He was at a complete standstill. I packed a bag and moved in with him and his mom. I didn’t know how I was going to help without coming in and helping him and his mom physically get back on their feet. We planned a funeral, shiva services, and dinners for a month. I organized friends to be over every day for 30 days straight so Arya and his mom didn't have to think about anything.
A month later, my sister and I got an apartment in West Hollywood, and I felt confident Arya and his mom would make their transitions back to their everyday life as well. Arya spent most nights with his mom but would spend two to three nights a week at my apartment. He got back into the groove of his business, and I continued for a bit more time at the startup.
A few months later, Arya found a house down the street from his mom's (in Trousdale Estates) and decided to make an offer. With the help of my mom, a well-known real estate agent in Beverly Hills, Susan Smith, his offer was accepted. We were moving in together! The kitchen needed some upgrades, and the house needed painting. We took about a month after closing to fix it up, and I moved right in. Although Arya and his mom were still mourning, it was a good push for them both to get back their old life.
Can you share your engagement story?
Just before our 10-year anniversary, 1.5 years after his dad passed away and 1 year after officially living/owning this house together, Arya was ready. He proposed three days before our 10-year anniversary. He tried so desperately to get me to Rosewood for the proposal he had planned, but I really wasn't in the mood. It was pouring with rain, and I didn't want to spend the weekend inside the bungalow while it rained. I refused. Little did I know that he had a whole plan to propose with flowers and a photographer (oops). We both woke up on that Friday morning, and I got ready for work, started making my coffee, and Arya started putting on a suit. I said, "What the heck are you doing?" (he works at a warehouse, he normally wears shorts or sweats and a t-shirt). He told me he had a big meeting and asked if he looked good. I told him there were stains on his shirt and he looked like a freak, so I picked out a new outfit and told him to leave so he wouldn't be late. Suddenly he changed his mind and told me the meeting wasn't until noon, so he was staying for coffee. As I was making his coffee, he went into our backyard and took our dog (who was just perfectly groomed and blow-dried) into the pouring rain and started screaming at me that there was a bird, and I needed to come. I really wasn't down, so I acted like I couldn't hear him. He came inside (now soaking wet) and dragged me outside, got on a knee, and proposed with our dog kneeling next to him. It was perfect.
What did you envision your wedding to be like?
Fast forward a month, and we have no clue what to do for our wedding. Do we do an engagement? Do we just have a wedding? Do we get eloped? We did what we do best and just brushed it off, hoping it would sort itself out. Another month goes by, and we're still in a pickle.
We decide we're just going to get married with our family at the Bel Air Hotel - 120 person capacity. We start writing down the list, and I reach out to a planner who my aunt recommended, Melissa Sullivan. I explain my story - "Look, my fiance and I have very different cultures. He comes from a Persian family where they like to do the most. My family couldn't be more opposite - let's save as much money as we can." I instantly clicked with Melissa. I shared my thoughts and ideas, and she made me feel normal and heard. She sent me a proposal, and my fiance and I sat with it for a week before he talked to his mom, and everything changed.
As an only child, as a Persian only child, Arya's mom wanted to go BIG. His 700-person Bar Mitzvah was nothing. This was her son, and rightfully so, she wanted to celebrate him with everything. She was not a fan of our idea for a small wedding. Back to the drawing board. I revisited the conversation with Melissa, and while I thought she would've been shocked and turned off, she was so calm and cool about it - a 300-person wedding at the Rosewood Miramar Beach. We got the date locked in for October, started the mood board of ideas, and continued working on the list.
Looking back, I feel like I wasn't myself during that period of time. I was fighting with my fiance every week, reminding him of date deadlines - by this date we need to have food finalized, by this date we need to have name cards, by this date, blah, blah, blah. I was so moody. I couldn't find a dress I liked - I didn't even know what my vibe was. Melissa was so patient and encouraging, but I really didn't feel like this was my wedding. I think I went radio silent for a month, and somewhere in that time, Arya and I had a conversation about this whole wedding - what are we doing?
We're known by our friends as the king and queen of Irish exits - we leave every party an hour in and choose not to say bye so people don't start questioning why we're leaving. We like to do things lowkey, Arya doesn't have Instagram, never has. He hates being posted on social media and this idea that people need validation from others for what they're doing. We don't normally do things for our birthdays because we hate the attention. How were we going to be the centers of attention at a 300-person wedding? All eyes on us?! We can't leave until the night is over?! Sounds like an actual nightmare.
We talked for hours, really trying to take into consideration that this is a celebration for our families too. Finally, we decided this is for us, let's do what makes us happiest. I called Melissa first thing in the morning and told her we're canceling Rosewood - how quickly could we do a wedding at home? She could not have sounded more excited for us to be back at our original plan. She revised the proposal, sent over ideas, and scheduled a site visit. This was the vibe I was going for. We called up our Rabbi, found the first available date (one month from the date I called), and made a paperless post.
From the moment we stopped thinking about the big wedding we didn't want and started planning the intimate wedding of our dreams, everything shifted. It was like the stars were aligning for us - the florist whom I never thought would be available was suddenly free, the photographer of my dreams was going to do a special film series... Everything was perfect.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
A couple of weeks before my wedding, I ordered a dress from Poshmark - a white Bernadette gown. It was simple and pretty. It wasn't anything special, but it was comfortable and fit the 'summer soiree' look I was going for. The week leading up to my wedding, I was sitting at home and thought maybe since I'm doing a wedding at home and I'm not spending a crazy amount, I should find something more special. I wasn't going to stress about it, but if I came across something in this short period of time (one week), then maybe I can say it's meant to be. I knew wedding dresses were made-to-order; most take 6-9 months to make, but why not try? I called my sister on Monday morning (6 days before wedding day) and asked if she could come shopping with me. We started at Vivienne Westwood, then to YSL, Tom Ford, Saks, Neiman's - nothing fit or was in stock.
On Tuesday morning (5 days before wedding day), I was still thinking about it, not stressed, but thinking. So I got on my computer and ordered some white dresses from Net-A-Porter, Luisaviaroma, and MyTheresa. I didn't know my size, so I ordered a range of different sizes and maxed out my credit card. I felt better knowing that I had something as a backup, but if one of these fits AND would make it in time before my wedding, then wow, the stars are really aligning for me.
On Thursday morning (3 days before wedding day), I had kind of given up on the orders that now said they would be arriving the following week. I was on a walk with my sister in Beverly Hills when my mom called and asked if we wanted to meet her at the Tiffany store on Rodeo Dr. We were making our way over, and my sister said let's see if there's anything good in the What Goes Around NYC store on Brighton. We popped in and started looking around. The sales associate asked if there was anything we were looking for, and my sister blurted out 'Do you guys have any white gowns like a wedding dress?'. To my complete surprise, he told us they just got in a beautiful Reem Acra dress that actually comes with a veil (crap, I thought, I even forgot to buy a veil). They were keeping it in the back, so he brought it out for me to try on. 'It's a size 8,' he said, 'but just try it on because it's been altered.' I slipped the beautiful lace dress over my legs and closed my eyes while my sister zipped me up. 'HOLY CRAP, it fits.' I walked out of the dressing room as my mom walked into the store. Her eyes were tearing. The sales associate had chills all over his body. I was in shock. I felt like a real-life princess.
Tell us about the program for your wedding.
We ended up having 65 guests at my mother-in-law's house in Trousdale Estates. We had 6 tables of just family - perfectly mixed amongst my husband's Persian side and my South African side.
We started with welcome drinks at 3 PM, signed the Ketubah by 3:30 PM, and the ceremony began at 4 PM. After the ceremony, we enjoyed Persian Abgoosht while our parents and my siblings gave speeches. We continued into the main course and followed with LOTS of dancing. By 10:30 PM, Arya and I gave each other the look - the one where we Irish exit... We drove off (down the street), and our new life as husband and wife began.