A wedding is never just a celebration of two souls. It signifies the melding of two families, multiple cultures, and centuries of traditions. And few may understand that as well as Roxanna Nowrouzi, who tied the knot with Alexander Schachter (co-founder of fintech company Kiwi) earlier this year. After all, weddings are a big part of her day-to-day life.
As the founder of Dear Moosh, a wellness and events platform that specializes in wedding curation, Roxanna had quite a task at hand when she found herself in the bridal hot seat. Frustrated with the glaring gaps in the wedding planning industry, the US-raised Iranian entrepreneur used her expertise to bring her dream nuptials to life, customizing every detail until her wedding truly reflected the beauty of her love story. “I’m very proud of the fact that I designed and curated my whole wedding weekend,” she shares with Vogue Arabia. “Throughout the planning process, I felt as though something was missing between vision and execution. We oftentimes get carried away while getting things done, and we skip over creating an identity for these big events. That’s why I carefully curated a team of talented graphic designers, wedding planners, caterers, and used their work to be woven into our overall masterpiece.”
The result? A vibrant Mexico wedding that celebrated the rich traditions of the bride’s Iranian roots, while also spotlighting the groom’s Dominican-French background. But let’s take you back to the very beginning before you dive into the ‘I dos’.
Just like it goes in every romantic binge-watch, Roxanna and Alexander met through mutual friends in a busy city (in their case, New York). “We spent all night dancing and talking, a friend picked me up, and I left thinking that I’d possibly never see him again,” she remembers. But the universe had other plans. “I’ve always been passionate about bringing people together through events. Ever since my teenage years, I’ve hosted various fundraising fashion shows, wellness and social events. Lo and behold, in standard NYC manner, Alex showed up to one of my events the same weekend we first met. Since I was the host, I didn’t have the opportunity to sit down and get to know him better. Fate brought us together four months later when I ran into him yet again at another party, and the rest was history.”
More than five years since the day they first bumped into each other, Alexander popped the question on March 2022, the week of Nowruz, which represents a new season and new beginnings in Persian culture. After taking permission from his bride-to-be’s parents, Alexander “invited me to a “networking breakfast” at a garden,” Roxanna says. “We arrived and walked around, the place was absolutely beautiful. To my surprise, he dropped down on one knee and I was totally caught off guard — especially since it was 9am! His twin brother, who we are extremely close to, caught the whole thing on tape, and was the only one there to share the moment with us. We celebrated with my family that weekend.”
Planning the big day
“Being the event enthusiast that I am, my creative juices started to flow the second Alex popped the question,” Roxanna says. “I had planned and hosted events all of my life as a passion, but our wedding was the ultimate task for me. Mexico became a huge part of our lives as we were commuting between Mexico City and Miami. It was also very familiar to us, being that my husband is Latin and that Mexico was a central point for most of our guests who were traveling from all over the world.” To make her vision come to life, the bride knew just the right person. “Prior to getting engaged, we attended a wedding that was planned by Peter de Anda, and we fell in love with it. We (as in me!) knew we wanted to work with him. We wanted our wedding to be representative of our relationship, identities and cultures, and we made sure to weave that into all of the details. We wanted to highlight my Persian roots and Alex’s Dominican-French background seamlessly.”
The wedding decor
Although Roxanna never imagined having a beach destination wedding, Careyes ended up being the couple’s choice of location for the big day — “If you’ve been lucky enough to visit, you’d understand why. It’s a magical place and we wanted to share its essence with our family and friends,” she explains.
Located off the coast of Mexico, Careyes is a private community that resides within the state of Jalisco, and the couple opted for a light, breezy style of decor to reflect the beauty of spring. “I didn’t want to look back years later and regret my choice. I am a colorful person but I didn’t want to go too bold with the venue, or too big on the theme,” Roxanna elaborates. “We executed this vision by the use of serpentine tables that allowed all of our guests to have an unobstructed jungle or ocean view during the reception. We also added little personalized touches throughout the event, such as the script engraved on the dance floor (“You could be anywhere in the world but you are here with us tonight”), disco-themed hora loca with ABBA heavy music (my favorite), some of our favorite foods served as part of the dinner course, and hand-stamped chocolate displayed on the desserts, along with vegan date crust coconut tarte selected by me, and hazelnut cake selected by Alex.”
Persian, Dominican and French flavors at the wedding
Throughout the weekend, both Roxanna and Alexander also made it a point to bring in elements of their respective cultures into the festivities. In her words, “We wanted our wedding to be representative of our relationship and embrace the dynamic aspects of celebrating different customs.” For starters, “It was important to me and my family to include the Persian tradition of the Sofreh Aghd ceremony, so we decided to incorporate that event into our rehearsal dinner for our closest family and friends,” she explains. “The Sofreh Aghd, which is a traditional Iranian wedding ritual is one where a beautifully decorated spread called “sofreh aghd” is set up with symbolic items. It’s a cultural and spiritual ceremony that symbolizes virtues and blessings for the couple’s new life. The couple stands in front of it, exchanges vows, and participates in various rituals representing sweetness, prosperity, and joy. It’s a cherished tradition reflecting Iran’s cultural heritage in weddings. Luckily, my aunts flew to Iran a few months before the wedding and were able to bring authentic items back to include in our ceremony. That was so special. We also flew in Persian rugs for our beach party, where they were used to create a unique dance floor.”
Moving on to Alexander’s side, “We decided to incorporate the Dominican side into the wedding through their love language, music. In our gift bags, we incorporated symbols from different corners of the world: evil eyes imported from Turkey, mango enchilado from Mexico, pistachios from Iran, hand woven bags from Colombia, and fans from Italy, to name a few,” Roxanna says. “We wanted the wedding weekend to embrace the fact that were were in Mexico, but with a hint of Italian flare, the spirit of Dominican Republic, and the elegance of ancient Persia.”
The bridal ensembles
No wedding is complete until the bride makes a striking appearance, and Roxanna Nowrouzi’s special weekend was full of fashion-forward moments. Not only were her handpicked looks unique, they also spotlighted her deep connection with the Middle East. “Growing up Iranian in the US, I felt disconnected from my culture,” she remembers. “Although I have been fortunate enough to have visited Iran a few times, it wasn’t until I went to university that I truly found my identity among friends from every corner of the Middle East.” Below, a closer look at her outfits for each event:
Day 1: The Persian wedding
“I worked with Abbas Harajli on my Persian wedding dress and custom veil, and the headpiece was custom made by Centimes Bourgeois. I paired the whole look with shoes by Sandra Mansour.”
Day 1: The welcome party
“The welcome party was a white party, and I decided to wear a beautiful magenta draped dress as an ode to a famous Mexican architect who coined the term ‘Mexican Pink’, which is a widely used color in Careyes. I paired it with diamond and emerald earrings, and Rene Caovilla shoes.”
Day 2: The beach party
“I fell in love with Zeynep Tosun’s designs during my bachelorette in Bodrum. I stopped by her studio while in Turkey, and she created an incredible made-to-order piece for me that I wore at my beach party. I completed the look with a vintage Chanel shell clutch from Gossamer, and a custom pearl choker, along with Cult Gaia shoes.
For my second look, I wanted to be comfortable and be able to jump around. My pick was a Devon Windsor swimsuit, worn under a custom beaded skirt made using African shells and flat pearls, by Laura Hanna, a designer based in Miami. I topped the look off with a linen button down.”
Day 3: The wedding
“I have always loved Lebanese designers. From a young age, I knew I wanted to design my wedding dress in Lebanon. For my main outfits and wedding dress, I traveled to Beirut with my maid of honor and our mothers twice to visit different designers, and ultimately fell in love with Saiid Kobeisy’s unique designs. We decided to rework a ready-to-wear dress — the intricate embroidery, the ballgown silhouette, and the pearl veil were everything I wanted. I felt like a princess. Fit and design are important to me, and the team at Saiid Kobeisy was extremely kind and attentive, and wanted to make sure I felt good on my big day. We created a custom embroidered top and skirt that matched the venue. I worked with Centimes Bourgeois to design a unique headpiece to finish off the look and add some extra sparkle.
My second look, which I changed into before our disco “hora loca”, was a feather-detailed David Koma dress that felt like it was made just for me. Fun fact: It arrived just a few days before our wedding as it was a pre-order piece from Trunkshow on Moda Operandi — shoutout to Katie from Moda! I paired the dress with Aquazzura platform heels.”
The most special moments from a weekend full of love
Ask Roxanna to pick one top moment from her wedding, and she replies with an answer few could have expected — but all can identify with. “There were so many incredible moments, but I would say the quiet moments during our ceremony [were my favorite], when we looked over to our guests as we stood on the podium and our beach party. It was so freeing, I was just looking around and felt bottomless love and immensely grateful and present.” Most importantly, what made the Careyes weekend so magical was the fact that it was so personal to the couple, and their loved ones. “We wanted guests to feel like they were transported to an alternate universe but were enwrapped in our love. We wanted them to feel like a part of a special film, the kind that leaves you feeling inspired, refreshed, and ready to take on the world,” the newly-wed reflects. “We have been to many beautiful weddings, but really, we feel like a beautiful wedding is defined by a beautiful and kind-hearted couple. Weddings are extremely intimate, and we wanted to get on that level with our guests, where everyone feels like a huge part of our event and relationship. We wanted people to take a few days out of their busy lives to just live and be present with us. Life is fleeting, moments are fleeting, but love is forever.
Below, take a closer look at some of the highlights from the couple’s wedding weekend.