Weddings

An Elegant Nature-Inspired Winery Wedding With a Persian-American Flare

Their long-awaited day celebrated the cultures of both bride and groom.

Photographs by Stephanie Messick Photography

Sameera Gharagozloo and Robert Meyer are a modern-day love story come to life. The two met on a dating app and then married about four years later (and then again, a year and a half after that). There were some bumps along the way—a short hospital stint and a global pandemic were the biggest challenges—but in the end they were able to have the Persian-American wedding they’d dreamed of.

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The First Date

Sameera, a dentist, and Robert, an antitrust attorney, met up in person for the first time at Barcocina in Fells Point (Rob made the hour-long drive from DC to Baltimore to get there). “We shared guacamole and drank margaritas (a foreshadowing of our favorite cocktail to share together),” Samee says.

“He was so polite, handsome, smart, funny, and just seemed so kind,” she adds. “He was a little shier than I had anticipated so I wasn’t sure that he was as interested in me as I was in him.”

“Samee was super sweet, kind, smart, and beautiful,” Rob says. “And even before we met, when we were exchanging emails and texts, I felt like we had a lot in common and connected in a way that made conversing so easy and natural.”

The two made plans for a second date, but a surprise medical emergency landed Samee in the Georgetown hospital, so Rob met her (and her entire family) there instead. They went on more dates even while Samee was recovering at home in Great Falls.

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The Engagement

Samee’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, so during dinner at her childhood home about two and a half years after they started dating, Rob popped the question during the “what I’m thankful for” portion of the evening, getting down on one knee in front of Samee’s whole family.

The pair got married in May of 2020 (their pre-pandemic wedding date), about a year and a half after getting engaged, then celebrated with loved ones with a larger ceremony and a reception in August of 2021.

“[In May of 2020] Rob and I went to Stone Tower Winery and read our vows and had a personal ceremony with only us and the officiant,” Samee says. “Our wedding planner, Katie Joga, surprised us [with] cake and champagne in the beautiful gardens of Little Oatlands in Leesburg, VA. She had worked with my mom to gather letters from our friends and family. We read our letters, lots of tears were shed, and we shared a really special afternoon together. We came home to a dinner cooked by a private chef, which we ate in our backyard after a family zoom toast.”

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The Wedding

Rob and Samee got married (again) on August 8, 2021, at Stone Tower Winery surrounded by 150 guests. Their wedding was a blending of American and Persian cultures—including Persian music, dancing, and traditional wedding rice.

“It was officiated by my mom, and it was so wonderful to feel like the cultures and families were blending together seamlessly,” Samee says.

The couple’s theme was “elegant garden party.” The colors were white, green, and light blue, and bunches of anemones, garden roses, sweet peas, ranunculus, lace cap hydrangeas, and delphinium were tastefully placed throughout the venue.

For food, guests munched on hors d’oeuvres of mac and cheese bites, lamb and mint lollipops, Peruvian beef with potato crisps, tropical fish taco, feta and watermelon skewers, mini grilled cheese and sort rib sandwiches. The seated meal included a first course of red and yellow tomato tartare with avocado and rosemary focaccia; a main course choice of tenderloin pave with lemon arugula gremolata, pistachio encrusted halibut, or vegetarian grilled cauliflower steak; and sides of rosemary potato galette, lemony grilled vegetables, and Shirin polo (Persian wedding rice).

They also served custom ice cream sandwiches from the Captain Cookie truck, and had a small cookies and cream wedding cake.

Before the ceremony, guests were treated with a flute of sparkling rosé, and during the cocktail hour two specialty drinks were served: a lawn tennis and spicy margaritas.

As a special touch, the couple splurged on a hanging floral installation for the reception. “[We] really wanted to make the indoor space feel like an outdoor garden wedding,” Samee says.

After their dream wedding, Samee and Rob traveled to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The couple now lives in Alexandria.

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The Details

Photography:  Stephanie MessickVenue: Stone Tower WineryPlanning & Design: Katie Joga- Pure Whimsy Events | Florist: Rachel-Floral and Bloom  | Invitations: MintedCatering: Occasions | Cake: Occasions; Captain Cookie food truck | Hair Stylist: Janette MooreMakeup Artist: Erica Basha | Bride’s Attire: Kelly Faetanini, The Bridal Room, Mclean, VA | Groom’s Attire: custom tailored suit from Senszio (Prashant Motwani) | Music: Bachelor Boys | Transportation: Reston Limousine | Videographer: Paper Boyshttps://vimeo.com/paperboysfilms/sameeraandrobert

Tori Bergel
Editorial Fellow
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