This originally ran as a Local Love in the 2021 issue.
WEDDING DATE June 22, 2019
Natalie Kochesfahani and Taylor Wood first locked eyes at Dulaney High School. It would be almost a decade later, during Natalie’s annual European trip with her sisters, that Taylor would propose to his high school sweetheart by surprising Natalie on the French Riviera with a yellow diamond ring. Afterward, they had an indulgent celebratory lunch at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, along the coast of southern France, with lots of rosé and Champagne flowing. To make the day even more special, Taylor rented a 1965 blue Shelby Cobra—they had seen it on a previous trip together and vowed they would one day use it for a special occasion—and they spent the next few days cruising through the South of France. As they started to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted to channel that wind in the hair magic into their vision. “We wanted the overarching inspiration to be our South of France engagement and love for Provence and the French countryside,” says Natalie. For a venue, they landed quickly on the iconic Belvedere and its timeless beauty. “There’s intricate crown molding, sprawling chandeliers, and gilded embellishments,” says Natalie. “The terms royal and regal come to mind.” The reception décor—velvet linens, silver-rimmed base plates, shantung napkins, cut-crystal glassware, ivory pearl-handled flatware, loads of flowers, candles, and dark mahogany Chiavari chairs—was meant to complement, not compete with, the Belvedere. Also important to Natalie was celebrating her Persian heritage. “At a traditional Persian wedding, there is almost always a display of symbolic items on a table called a sofreh aghd, which represent elements of a couple’s new life and marriage together,” she says. Items such as a mirror, spices, fruit, coins, and a holy book were all part of their sofreh, placed in the center of the cocktail hour room with custom-designed canvases explaining the Persian customs flanking each side of the table. “This served as a beautiful conversation piece for our guests,” she says. Other favorite parts of the day included a stunningly curated grazing table. The 12-foot farm table was overflowing with assorted straw baskets and vessels filled with artisan breads and baguettes, loose floral blooms, sliced and crumbled hard and soft cheeses, cured meats, raw vegetables, whole and julienned, and all the tasty accoutrements like nuts, olives, pesto, tapenades, and feta spreads. Despite the lure of the gorgeous spread, guests took to the dance floor. “I completely underestimated the power of the song ‘Shout,’” says Natalie. “Literally the moment the band got that song underway, our friends hoisted us up and tossed us around to the lyrics of the song. It was the most unexpected—and sort of scary—moment that we will never forget.”
Beauty Sara Mabrouk (makeup); Brushed Beauty (hair) Bridesmaids BCBG Cake The Cake Studio Calligraphy Roc Pen & Ink Catering Belvedere & Co Events Cotton Candy Cart B’more Fluff Custom Champagne Bottles Avoir le Chic Day-of Details D’Anna Printing & Promotionals Floral Design Love & Luster Food Stylist Nichole Bryant Gelato Pitango Gelato Groom and Groomsmen Tom James custom tuxes Linens La Tavola and Select Event Group Location The Belvedere Music Julien Xuereb (ceremony/cocktail hour); SoundNation of Sam Hill Entertainment (reception) Officiant Thoughtful Weddings Plants Plant Farm Rentals PhotographY Vicki Grafton Photography Rentals Select Event Group and White Glove Rentals Stationery + Wedding Crest mlc designs Transportation 1955 Crown Princess Rolls Royce from Vintage Limos Wax Seals Artisaire Wedding Attire Christina Wu at Amanda Ritchey Bridal and Jimmy Choo shoes Wedding PlannER Koches Koncierge