Aziza + Daniel's Pinecroft Wedding Celebration
Our first dance was to La Vie en Rose by Louis Armstrong Also, we wanted a small wedding and we had just 55 of our closest family and friends there. Daniel and I love things to be meaningful so everything in our wedding was carefully selected and had a story behind it. Our reception tables had names instead of numbers and these were things or events that were special to us.
Where did you honeymoon?
We went on a mini-moon to California (our favorite place!) and we are planning our official honeymoon which will definitely be on an island!
Best thing about being married?
Everything. It is so special to look over at your spouse and know that this is the person you're going to experience many of life's big moments and adventures with and grow old with!
Tell us a little about you and Daniel.
I am originally from India and Daniel's half Persian. He is a physician and I work at Unilever (think the company behind Ben & Jerry's, Talenti, Breyers, Dove, Q-Tips, Seventh Generation... etc.).
We rescued a pitbull about 2 years ago and his name is Maximus. He is definitely the most important member of our household! We share a lot of the same values and interests which is great because there is always so much we can find to do together! We love food and enjoy exploring different cuisines.
We love to travel together and debate politics, technology and the like. We also enjoy maintaining old traditions and creating new ones. Our biggest difference is that I love to plan and organize whereas Daniel enjoys being spontaneous and free. We find ways to do both! :)
How did you and Daniel meet?
We met at Igby's about four years ago! People never believe us when we tell them we met at a bar. We had a few mutual friends and we started talking and ended up having such a blast! We talked about everything under the sun, partied at my friend's house which was downtown and then we went straight to our first date at Sleepy Bee Cafe in Oakley. Everything was just so easy. It was like being with a long lost friend.
How were your personal styles reflected in your wedding day?
Daniel and I have very similar personal styles with few differences. We love everything classic, traditional and regal, be it music or architecture or fashion. We chose the Pinecroft Mansion because we wanted to get married at a venue that reflected our style. I chose a very classic ball gown silhouette for my dress and Daniel was very particular about the style of lapel on his tuxedo (he went with a shawl lapel!). We wanted our invitations to be very traditional and Kristen did a beautiful job of reflecting both of our styles in the design.
Also, we set the dress code for our wedding as 'Black Tie' to keep the style and theme alive and even our dog wore a tuxedo. We had a live classical music trio for our ceremony and worked closely with our DJ to pick the songs for the dinner to ensure they reflected our love for Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Dean Martin (ah, I could go on!).
How did you decide on your venue? Why was it the perfect choice?
Pinecroft Mansion was the only venue we actually toured. I spoke to almost all the venues in Cincinnati but we chose to tour Pinecroft because of its beautiful architecture and that they allowed dogs. It was very important to us that Max be in the wedding and Pinecroft was happy to welcome him. He ended up being the star of the show and their staff loved him! He has already made a few appearances on their social media profiles. Also, Pinecroft is managed by Funky's Catering and given their reputation, we knew our wedding day and food would be in great hands so it was easily the perfect choice.
We crafted our table name holders ourselves and they were little silver Nutcrackers because that was the ballet show that Daniel took me for on my birthday (it was his first gift to me!). For wedding favors, we bought plain ivory ceramic ornaments with a gold thread and did the calligraphy on them by ourselves. We used the design of our initials from our invitations and added the date. We also chose to have photographs of our parents' and grandparents' wedding days displayed at the entrance in classic frames. We really wanted every detail to be special and unique to us and reflect our style, our cultures, our families and our love.
The ceremony was officiated by Daniel's uncle, and Daniel's father and my uncle and aunt did readings of their choice during the ceremony. That was such a beautiful moment and Jonathan's photographs really bring that across. The day was truly all about the celebration of love and family.
Describe your wedding day. Is there a particular moment that remains in your memory most vividly?
Magical. Our wedding was on December 28, 2018 and despite the low temperatures the days before our wedding, it was 60 degrees and sunny! We had a dream team of vendors because everyone went above and beyond and the day progressed seamlessly! Contrary to what most would think, it was a very relaxed and calm day. This was really important to us so we made sure that our day would be enjoyable instead of filled with things to do.
Our photographer and videographer enjoyed this too and were able to exercise full creative control because there were no restrictions on time. Most people say your wedding day flies by, but, for us it went by at just the right pace! We enjoyed every minute. One of our favorite moments was at the end of our ceremony, after our first kiss, when everyone stood up to cheer and clap, Max let out a loud bark and howl! It was as if he knew!
What were your favorite details?
The food by Funky's Catering was spectacular. We wanted our cultures reflected in the food so other than our hors d'ouevres which we picked from Funky's options', we designed a custom dinner menu including three courses, a salad, a Persian course and an Indian course. My mother-in-law is Persian and she taught them how to make the Persian course of kebabs and saffron rice. That was so special to us! She is famous for her kebabs and they are notoriously difficult to make.
Funky's was gracious enough to invite us into their kitchen so that my mother-in-law could work with Chef Scott to show him how to make her recipe. When we tasted the Persian course at the reception, we were blown away! Chef Scott and his team replicated her recipe so well that you couldn't tell the difference! It was amazing!. Also, the Indian course was delicious and apparently a few years ago, an Indian grandmother showed them how to make it.
Also, Daniel's mom made baklava and traditional Persian sweets to accompany the wedding cake. It was absolutely perfect! We also have to say that the service was exquisite. The service was so well-timed and coordinated and all of our servers even wore white gloves. Funky's really makes sure every detail is perfect!
Our flowers were also very special to us because Daniel found Robin Wood Flowers a few years ago and that's where he bought his first bouquet of flowers for me. Her flowers filled the whole venue with a delicate scent and they were so regal and romantic!
Best advice you received on wedding planning?
I love to plan and organize events so I chose to serve as the wedding planner for our wedding. So, I have a piece of advice to share and that is to enjoy the whole process! A wedding day is the culmination of months of planning and choices. It is ephemeral so I really took the time to enjoy every minute of the process of planning. I spoke to many vendors and we carefully built our dream team. After that, I spent a lot of time going over the details and working closely with each of them.
Enjoying the process made the wedding day so much more special because I was conscious of all the effort that went in to bring this day to life. Also, it never hurts to be a little laidback on your wedding day! After all, the day is about the both of you so you should just be able to enjoy it and relax. Don't sweat any of the small stuff and stay away from a hectic timeline. You want to be able to savor the small and special moments rather than running from one thing to the next!
Aziza’s Gown: Louise Christine Bridal in Oakwood, Ohio | Groom's Attire: Folchi's | Best Man and Fathers Attire: Folchi's | Wedding Bands: Made and engraved by Tiffany and Co. | Flowers: Robin Wood Flowers | Event and/or Wedding Planner: Aziza Lyons | Cake and other Sweets: Wedding cake by The BonBonerie and sweets by the groom's mother | Catering: Funky's Catering (special mention of Chef Scott!) | Music: Ceremony Music by the Midnight Rose Trio and Reception Music by DJ Joey of DJ Toad Productions | Venues: Pinecroft Mansion at Crosley Estate | Linens: All Occasions | Photography: Jonathan Gibson Photography | Videography: Light Parade Films | Makeup: Nancy Dawson at BRIDEface | Hair: Amanda Guilmette at BRIDEface