Maryam Nik Khahi + Nelson Lourenco

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Bride and bridesmaid dresses
Flag Hill winery wedding

September 4, 2017

Rye and Portsmouth, New Hampshire

An international romance culminating in a stateside wedding can be challenging at best — even more so when one of the couple is Iranian, as bride Maryam Nik Khahi discovered while planning her wedding day with her groom, American citizen Nelson Lourenco. Some challenges were easily solved, others not so much, but in the end the two celebrated their love.

The day started with two ceremonies. “I wanted a ceremony under the open sky and in front of the sea,” says Maryam. “Since my husband is Catholic, we also wanted to honor his family with a traditional ceremony in church.” The solution: one ceremony at the water’s edge at Seacoast Science Center, where the couple exchanged handwritten vows; and a second ceremony at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Portsmouth, for the exchange of rings.

Despite the beautiful day, there was an ache in Maryam’s heart at the absence of her sister and father from the wedding festivities (her mother passed away five years ago), due to them being unable to obtain visas to the U.S. “We worked on getting them visas for months,” she says. “It was extremely difficult, and in the end they were denied entry just two weeks before our wedding.”

Though they were able to broadcast part of the ceremony and reception via FaceTime, Maryam says it understandably was not the same. “My sister was supposed to be my maid of honor, and my father could not walk me down the aisle.” Thankfully, she says, she had great support from her friends and husband’s family, making for a wonderful wedding.

by Pat Chaudoin

{the wedding recipe}

Photographer
Rodeo & Co.

Ceremony
Seacoast Science Center, Rye, NH, and Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Portsmouth, NH

Reception/Catering/Wedding Planner
Flag Hill Winery, Lee, NH

Dress
By Halley Paige from Flair Boston, Boston, MA

Hair & Makeup
Hanri Zadoorian, Glendale, CA

Florist
Flower Kiosk, Portsmouth, NH

Entertainment
Emilia Pepen, harp, Cape Neddick, ME
Ryan Parker Jazz Trio, Dover, NH

Cake
Jacques Pastries, Suncook, NH