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A Persian Summer Wedding at a Private Estate in Malibu

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Heather Waraksa of The Wedding Artists Co.

Sadé Tavangarian Holz and Matthew Holz, who both work in real estate in Los Angeles, met on Bumble shortly after the app first launched. “My favorite co-worker is best friends with [Bumble founder] Whitney Wolfe Herd and highly recommended downloading the app,” Sadé says. “Funny enough, on our first date, the same co-worker walked into the restaurant with Matt’s friends.” 

After dating for three years, and after Matt asked Sadé’s father for her hand in marriage, he proposed under the guise that she was giving potential buyers a tour of a Bel Air home her father had just built. With both families hiding in the movie theater of the house, the speakers started to play their song, “Hallelujah,” and Matt appeared with flowers. He got down on one knee, and once the ring was on her finger, he pointed to her family, who had moved onto the balcony to shower the couple with rose petals.

For their #TwoHalvesMakeAHolz wedding, they chose the private estate in Malibu called “La Villa Contenta.” It’s famously where Beyoncé spent a summer and the location of her iconic pregnancy photo shoot, announcing that she was expecting twins. “The nearly 4.5-acre compound had everything we were looking for: the beautiful ocean backdrop, the Italian Romanesque intricate architecture, cactus gardens, a French rose garden, and tons of palm trees,” Sadé says. To help plan everything, they hired Sunny Ravanbach from White Lilac Inc., and their August date was exactly four years after the night that they first met.

From the beginning of the planning process, the bride knew she wanted to find dresses that fit the venue properly, so she reached out to bridal stylist Cynthia Cook-Smith, who helped her find a Mira Zwillinger gown in Los Angeles. Sadé then had drop-sleeves created and extended the cathedral veil for her custom, dramatic look.

For the after-party, she changed into a feather and sequin Oscar de la Renta mini dress, and her ’90s baby dreams were fulfilled, as her hairstylist, Eduardo Ponce, gave her a high-pony, and she accessorized with Aquazzura platforms. The groom also changed from a black Tom Ford look into a velvet, sapphire Tom Ford tuxedo and bow tie.

On the day-of, 450 guests were greeted with a farmer’s market display curated by Wolfgang Puck and then made their way to the rose garden for the ceremony. The service had a lot of Persian traditions—the sofreh structure being one of the most important. “My dad and I ended up custom-designing and building our own sofreh, or as we called it, a basket or ‘love nest,’” Sadé says. “It symbolized the health, sweetness, prosperity, joy, fertility, and happiness our life would hopefully be filled with.”

The couple sat in the sofreh, as it hung from the arch of the basket, because Persian couples must be seated during the wedding. And to acknowledge Matt’s Catholic roots, they also included a bible. Once they shared their vows and kissed, they walked back down the aisle, as their guests showered them with rose petals.

By the Romanesque pool, everyone enjoyed Wolfgang Puck’s signature dishes and a mix of live music and the couple’s favorite songs mixed by DJ Mike Soltani. Then, as is tradition in Persian weddings, the bridal party danced and threw rose petals on the couple, as they made their entrance. “My mom served as the official Persian dance teacher for the mostly non-Persian bridal party.”

On the lawn, everyone found their seats at long tables with candles, string lights, fresh herbs, and fruit and greenery. During dinner, Sadé and Matt had their first dance to “Hallelujah,” and then he stunned her family by making a speech in Farsi. The bride danced with her father to a Sadé song, since she was named after her, and then half-way through, the famous Persian singer Andy Madadian came out and performed his song, “Salameh Asheghouneh.

The after-party started under a tent and the theme was inspired by Hôtel Costes in Paris, so there was mood lighting, chandeliers, velvet furniture, and green ferns around the space. The newlyweds entered the party via a choreographed dance that they had practiced with professional dancers.

Later in the evening, burlesque dancers and a chorus-line performed, while Wolfgang Puck created a Moulin Rouge-inspired menu of croque monsieurs, chicken and red velvet waffles, duck fat french fries, and their signature Oscar’s black forrest cherry cakes.

By the end of the night, three guests ended up falling into the pool, multiple guests tried to make their way toward the ocean, and the cops shut down the music around 1:00 a.m. “To say the least, it was a wild evening,” Sadé says. “Nevertheless, Matt and I ended up staying at the property until early into the next morning with a number of our family members and closest friends and watched the sun rise together, utterly in awe of the best night of our lives.”