Wedding Planning Tips by NOOR's Robert Shahnazarian | NOOR


Photo by: Lin & Jirsa

Wedding Planning Tips by NOOR’s Robert Shahnazarian

By Robert Shahnazarian (Event Producer)

Featured Photo from Lauren & Micah’s Wedding at NOOR: Photo by Mora Creative | Wedding Coordinator: Elegant Events LA

A wedding celebration combines the unique characteristics of bringing together two families and their loved ones for a single day filled with tradition, food, drinks, music, dancing, and many other important elements.  There are several critical factors in the planning and execution of a wedding that are essential to every wedding regardless of race, culture, religion, socio-economic or sexual orientation. In this blog, celebrated event producer, Robert Shahnazarian, owner of NOOR (Event Venue, Catering) in Pasadena, will provide a high-level roadmap for couples to consider as they begin planning their big day including honoring traditions and assembling their team.

Leah & Jon’s Wedding at NOOR – Photo by Jenny Smith & Co | Wedding Coordinator: Mayberry Events

Cultural Traditions

Weddings are a cultural event that dates back to early Egyptian civilization and have been passed down to the present day. Increasingly, weddings today often involve more than just bringing together families. They now often include bringing together families of two different cultures and/or religions and the importance of honoring each of their traditions is paramount.

Karen & Joseph’s Wedding at NOOR – Photo by Full Spectrum Photo Studio | Wedding Coordinator: Rose Petal Events

Recently, I produced a wedding; the groom was of Latino descent his bride was of Middle Eastern descent. From the onset, I felt it necessary to make sure the couple was aware of the importance of honoring each other’s cultures and traditions and that their wedding day was to not only to celebrate their union but to successfully bring together their families by focusing on several important details.

Angelica & Omar’s Wedding at NOOR – Photo by Parada Studio | Wedding Coordinator: Wife of the Party

For people of Middle Eastern descent, the preferred style of food service is family-style (as opposed to plated or buffet).  Family-style service includes banquet tables pre-set with a dozen or more mezzes (appetizers that include hummus, tabbouleh, etc…) swiftly followed by salad, rice, potatoes and 4 types of meat, fish or poultry.  In addition, rather than have the guests leave the table to get a drink, guests enjoy all of their beverages at the table with bottle service (usually vodka and whiskey) as well as wine, soft drinks, and juice. In Latino culture, beer is always included in celebrations so to satisfy both families, it was recommended to include beer at their wedding celebration.

Gayane & Aram’s Wedding at NOOR – Photo by Erik Fischer Photography | Florist: Elegant Earth Designs

Your Team

Choosing all of the elements that make their wedding should reflect the couple’s uniqueness, style, and taste.  There are a lot of details that the couple not only paid for but are very important to them and are expected to be delivered to them as promised on the day of their wedding. Therefore, the hiring of a seasoned day-of Event Planner cannot be overemphasized. They are a key ingredient in putting together your Vendor team.

Jennifer & Clint’s Wedding at NOOR | Photo by Lin & Jirsa | Wedding Coordinator: Wife of the Party

I equate a couple’s Event Planner to a Contractor responsible for overseeing the build-out of a house.  Just as your Contractor would oversee the plumber, electrician, and carpenter building your house, your Event Planner oversees all of the Vendors that you have hired (Photographer, Videographer, Photo Booth, Florist, Bakery, DJ, Band, Rental company, etc…) and ensures that everything the couple has paid for is successfully delivered. They work directly with the venue’s Event Manager to ensure a seamless delivery of the food and beverage services chosen by the couple.

Ella & Joe’s Wedding at NOOR | Mike of Mood Photo & Video

Manage Details

We know that planning a wedding can become overwhelming. One key factor to ensure that the planning goes smoothly is organization. With so many moving parts involved in creating the big day, it’s crucial that you stay organized throughout the whole process! Starting with the invites and RSVPs, if you plan to send your wedding invitations out the old fashion way through the mail, make sure you send them 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. This gives your guests enough time to receive the invite and respond with their RSVP. However, we’re seeing more and more people starting to send their invites digitally. There are sites that let you create your wedding invites online and send them to your guests right from the website. Another option is to create your invite online and send via email to your guests. This is the quicker option as they will get it the same day and be able to RSVP sooner.

Larissa & Ryan’s Wedding at NOOR – Photo by Kevin Dinh | Wedding Coordinator: Wife of the Party

Keep yourself organized by using a spreadsheet tracking your attendees. Lastly, there are platforms that allow you to create a free event online where you can manage all the details saving you time to handle any other wedding day musts.

Use a planner or calendar to keep your appointments, dates, and times organized. We suggested committing to one device or planner. This way you won’t misplace details or dates you wrote down. Items you might want to consider keeping track of are:

  • Venue– we suggest meeting with your wedding planner and venue event manager about a month prior to the wedding to go over layout details.
  • Vendors– set up times for each vendor to show up on the big day. If flowers and food all come at the same time it can get a little hectic for you or the event manager to manage both at once.
  • Photographer and videographer– determine where and when you want them to be present. Another thing you might want to consider is if you need to ask permission to take your photos at a certain location. If so, talk with the person in charge and set up times that are between your ceremony and reception. That way your guests have time to travel to the venue and enjoy some cocktails.
  • Hair and makeup– you will want to find a couple of hairstylists and makeup artists depending on the number of people in your bridal party. Coordinate when the artists should show up and set up individual times for each bridesmaid interested in using this service.

Elizabeth & Joseph’s Wedding at NOOR – Photo by Brett and Tori | Wedding Coordinator: Willow Tree Weddings

Don’t forget, you’re able to ask for help. Utilize your wedding party, wedding planner, and event manager. But most of all, have fun planning because before you know it the big day will be here and over with a blink of an eye.

Ready. Set. Let’s start planning!


NOOR’s Robert Shahnazarian with our lovely Bride Kiah on the NOOR Terrace – Photo by Jennifer Jasso

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