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The Grooms’ American-Persian Wedding in Montecito Was The Great Gatsby Meets Magic Mike

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Valorie Darling

|Planning by 

Alexandra Kolendrianos

After meeting poolside at a house party in Los Angeles, Darius Ameri and Trevor Cochrane’s love story started off with a splash. Nine years later, Darius asked Trevor to marry him in Beverly Hills during the Persian New Year, Norouz, and further surprised Trevor with a post-proposal party with their friends and family—the first time they had all been together since the pandemic.

Transitioning into a post-COVID world, the couple wanted to host their wedding in California to ease travel for their nearest and dearest. Even though they wouldn’t be leaving their home state, they still sought out a venue that would at least make the event feel like a destination wedding. The Rosewood Miramar Beach’s casual elegance and East Coast aesthetic navigated that fine balance. “Once we saw the beautiful Great Lawn, where we would host the ceremony, and the Chandelier Ballroom, where we would host the reception, we were sold,” Trevor confesses. Further inspired by the black and white color scheme of the hotel, Darius and Trevor committed to a similar monochromatic theme for the wedding. With a clever hashtag of #TrevorGetAmeried, Darius and Trevor enlisted Alexandra Kolendrianos to plan the event and Valorie Darling to photograph it. Mark’s Garden arranged the blooming florals.

Naturally, the wedding party dress code was black to contrast against the grooms-to-be in their white dinner jackets. Darius and Trevor matched in Ralph Lauren Purple Label tuxedos, but differed with their Christian Louboutin shoes. Darius notes, “Trevor opted for one encrusted with stones, which may have been a bigger hit with our guests than the wedding itself!”

On June 11, 2022, guests were welcomed to the Rosewood with a glass of Champagne or cucumber water and the sweet serenade of a string quartet. The processional walked to Subito Stringss beautiful “Ave Maria” rendition, and the couple’s dear friend, Inna Khidekel—Trevor’s friend from high school and, in fact, his prom date—officiated the ceremony.

The soon-to-be-weds walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” escorted by their mothers. The ceremony fused American vows with a modern take on the Persian Aghd ceremony, which combines ancient Zoroastrian religious rituals and traditional Persian customs. Trevor’s sister-in-law and Darius’s cousin held the veil over the grooms, and their mothers took turns sprinkling sugar from two sugar cones, representing the sweetness of their impending nuptials. All this happened to the tune of the Mozart’s Catholic “Ave Verum Corpus,” effectively marrying both of the grooms’ backgrounds.

In a traditional Persian ceremony, a spouse is not to appear overly eager for marriage. They have to be demure and play hard to get,” Darius explains. “Thus, it is tradition for a Persian spouse to remain silent the first few times they are asked to wed during the ceremony. Trevor in particular elicited a roaring laugh from the audience with his priceless facial expression when he remained silent after being first asked.” Ultimately, though, both grooms gave a resounding and enthusiastic “Yes!” The Aghd finished with them feeding each other a spoonful of honey, and the American portion commenced. They exchanged rings and vows of “I choose you to be my husband this day and every day.” 

The ceremony begat a soft soundtrack of crying and sniffling from the audience and even the grooms. “I think the tears stemmed from the power of realizing that I had wanted the traditional family and fairytale ending all of my life, and it was finally coming true in a way that was true to my Persian heritage,” Darius ruminates. “As gay men, we sometimes have doubts about what our futures hold in terms of love, especially when we are young, fearful, and still in the closet. This was a seminal moment proving that love conquers, especially when we looked out and saw guests from all backgrounds, ages, walks of life, and hometowns looking back at us, a multiethnic, same-sex couple, with love and support.”

The couple took further poetic liberty with the Aghd and featured the Sofreh, a Persian wedding display, during cocktail hour instead of the ceremony. This way, guests could walk up to it and learn about the tradition over a glass of wine.

From there, guests were ushered into the Chandelier Ball, where the Flash Dance DJs played music that could have been heard at an upbeat Middle Eastern lounge. Tall candelabras anchored the tables, with lounge seating by the dance floor, a signature of their wedding planner, Alexandra.

Trevor’s father welcomed everyone to the reception with a toast, saying, “I looked at these two guys, the way that they talked to each other, and their eyes. There was a love and a caring between these two that was unmistakable.” 

The delectable four-course dinner was followed with a dark chocolate, mocha-filled cake, cut while Frank Sinatra crooned “Strangers in the Night” overhead.

And then, the party really began. Men in bedazzled jackets entered the dance floor, led by lead dancer Donna Hood of Tease Productions. They performed an eight-minute dance number set to modern renditions of 1920s songs. The crowd went into a frenzy when the grand finale was a burlesque show—complete with shirtless male dancers. One guest even commented,  “This wedding is The Great Gatsby with a touch of Magic Mike!” Suffice to say, the crowd was in the mood for dancing, which lasted until the early morning hours.