How to experience Sofreh Aghd at your wedding in France

Château Wedding in France , from  Inga HEUSELE from CTH Events Paris 

as featured on French wedding style 

“To breathe Paris is to preserve one’s soul.”

Victor HUGO

What will be the new chapter of your life? Write it in Paris.

Welcome dinner in Paris, Romantic ceremony, kissing in the château overlooking the Seine and with the Eiffel Tower view, wedding dinner with château view and party in Pavillon de musique de Comtesse du Barry, Paris has all the ingredients for an unforgettable wedding.

To enjoy a breathtaking view of the river, the favorite of Louis XV, Madame du Barry, chose to build, in just nine months, a Pavilion of Music in 1711 by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. This pavilion was immediately considered one of the most accomplished achievements of the architect and one of the archetypes of neoclassicism.

The inauguration took place on September 2, 1771 in the presence of the King. The play of Collé, Henri IV’s Hunting Party, is given a musical supper (the musicians complained of the smallness of the dining-room stands, now closed by mirrors) and a firework display. .

Great artists have participated in the construction of this “madness”: Lefaivre and Couesnon for the shell, Vien for the paintings, Boucher for the ceiling where flies “Coronation of Flora”, Fragonard for “The Four Instants of Love “, its sulphurous panels, Caffieri and Lemoine for sculpted busts, or Guibert, Métivier and Feuillet for pilasters and wooden panels decorated with fine carvings and gilded with gold leaf. On the Seine side, a large terrace dominates the valley, a hundred meters high, supported by four Doric columns.

Their story began 17 years ago when  they have met one morning at work in Dubai at Microsoft. From groom, Pierre :” I opened the door for her going into work one morning and noticed her smile, energy and very friendly attitude. It is very hard not to notice her. She was also shadowing my boss for a week and remembered wondering who is this beautiful curly hair girl that speaks French and perfect American English (in Dubai it can be very rare) and how the hell do you pronounce her name 🙂 “Helay”.


“Across continents and countries, they have met unexpectedly one morning at work. Her smile, love for life, poise, and vast cultural knowledge was enchanting, inspiring and contagious for this country boy from Sherbrooke Quebec :-). Life together in Dubai has been a journey of discoveries, enlightenments, challenges and successes for both of them and they soon realized they were stronger and happier together. After many unforgettable trips, gatherings with friends across the globe, gastronomic cooking attempts and evening gym sessions, they are ecstatic to spend the rest of their lives together and celebrate with their closest friends and family.”


June 23rd 2017, I proposed at the restaurant Taverna Campiello del Remer in Venice Italy. I had planned to trick her during the day and do romantic things where she could expect me to propose but did on purpose not to do anything. We did the drinks with a view, champagne on a gondola, flowers on the bed but nothing. We she has her guard down I took her to a nice restaurant hidden in the back on a street with authentic brick walls. I had planned a forever rose and to give her my mom’s ring that passed away 8 years ago.


Pierre, I am Canadian, born in Sherbrooke, Quebec. I come from a very loving family with strong values that has sacrificed a lot to allow me to be where I am today. I also have an older brother of 3 years (Maxime Descoteaux) who I look up to very much. I am extremely ambitious both from a work and personal perspective. I want the very best for my love ones and myself. I believe I am also kind and generous with others. I want to please and will sacrifice myself for the sake of making others happy. I have good social and communication skills which has allowed me to surround myself with strong friendships and gain success in the workplace.


Pierre, What do you love about her, what inspires you in her?


What’s not to love. She is a true joy to be around and this is unanimous with anyone that meets her. Her smile, love for life, poise, smarts and vast cultural knowledge is enchanting, inspiring and contagious. Helay doesn’t take herself too seriously, she knows how to have fun and is extremely easy to be around. Her strong sense for values like: Family, Friends, Culture, Education, Work and Health are unmatched. From an educational and professional perspective, her journey is truly impressive and inspiring (speaks 5 languages perfectly, undergrad at LSE in London, Ivy league MBA at Wharton with Master in German language, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft). Knowing how hard she has worked to get there it makes it even more special. What’s more amazing, is even with all these successes Helay remains extremely down to earth and rarely discusses her achievements publically


Why did you decide to get married in France? What does France/Paris mean to you?


When we announced to our family and friends that we were getting married surprisingly everyone seemed so excited to have it in France including my family from Canada. For Helay it made a lot of sense given the fact that her family lives there. For me, I love Paris. I would have never thought I would one day have the chance to get married in such a beautiful and romantic city like Paris. I find the city extremely vibrant, full of history and culture. I am very excited we are both able to offer this venue and locations for our friends and family.


We planned for couple the classic symbolic ceremony and Sofreh Aghd.

Getting married and having a ceremony is for them the ultimate commitment, a sign of respect and love. It is also a way for them to solidify our bound and show ourselves to o friends and family as ONE. It is also a way to celebrate the union with all closest friends and family who they don’t necessarily get to see all the time throughout the year.


They wanted heartfelt, funny, warm, intimate ceremony (included Sofreh Aghd). Chic, elegant and with white color.


We designed the ceremony in front of the fontain in the parc of chateau, what could be more romantic? The luxurious venue was overlooking the whole Paris and especially the iconic Parisian monument, Eiffel tower. Flowers, Candles and the path of petals roses, laying transparent chairs and several vases with bouquets of white, rose flowers in transparent medicis vases, huge bunches of white orchids, lanterns on the balcony with 270 ° view over Paris, a transparent marquise to see the castle during the wedding dinner and classical music complete this fairy tale.


*What was done : Sofreh Aghd at your wedding in France,  Description:


A tradition of Afghan weddings is the Sofreh Aghd – an arrangement of symbolic items placed near the altar.


The sofreh is an ornamental spread on a table which contains many items to symbolize different qualities that the couple would hope to bring into their new life together.


The items on the Sofreh represent elements in are deeply engrained in Persian culture especially during celebrations and weddings – in the table below we explain the significance of each item.


As the couple enters and gets to the altar, the bride and groom sit by the sofreh facing the guests.


  1. A mirror is placed on the sofreh in front of the couple, with candles on either side of the mirror. The two candles symbolize the bride and groom and light in their new life together. The candles are lit by the bride and the groom, after which the traditions begin.


  1. After having a seat, the bride and groom’s heads are covered with a decorative silk shawl held up by female family members. The shawl is generally passed down through generations – mine will be the shawl my mother used during her own wedding. This canopy/shawl signifies that the bride and groom are now combined under the same umbrella or roof.
  2. Under the shawl, a mirror is placed in front of the couple and the couple then holds the mirror together – the groom will gaze at his bride’s face through the mirror. This is known as “Ayna Mosaf”. The mirror is there for the couple to view themselves for the first time as a married couple. is getting more outdated since nowadays the bride and groom have seen each other already, yet the traditions remained till this time.
  3. Once the mirror is set back on the table, the couple picks up a holy or significant book and read a few verses together. In my case, we will read a poem from one of the Persian authors Hafez, Sa’adi, or Rumi to each other (need to decide which one)
  4. While each step of the ceremony is taking place, young women (starting with family members, and then expanding to friends among the guests) take turns rubbing sugar cones together above the canopy. The sugar cones made out of hardened sugar are softly ground together. The sugar granules sprinkle onto the canopy, signifying showering the couple in sweetness.
  5. The shawl is then lifted and the bride and groom intertwine their arms and offer each other a sip of a beverage, usually fruit juice/punch to symbolize feeding each other sweetness throughout their life together.