In January 2016 we each agreed to a blind date at Alden & Harlow (thanks Ted and Alison). He was funny, she was charming, and the night ended with an exchange of phone numbers. It was slow going at first but once the first kiss was out of the way we were full speed ahead. We moved in together after 6 months and, despite some disagreement on furniture choices, we never looked back. Oh, and Simon, our dog, helped too.
Then came the moment to propose. After a month of surprising Clare with small gifts leading up to her 30th birthday, Mohammad prepared one more present in a giant box. Champagne, pastries, and an hour of brilliant sunlight on what had been an otherwise dreary day set the stage on their roof deck. Clare unwrapped the last package to ever shrinking dimensions. The rest is a blur, even to them. Neither quite remembers what the other said exactly at that moment but both knew it was yes.
Photo Credit: Suzanna March Photography
Susan and Peter Bernard
Susan and Peter met while working at JP Morgan in New York, shortly before Susan moved to Zurich, Switzerland. After many letters and some hiking and skiing, they decided to get married, settling in Brooklyn. Soon enough Clare was born and they were relocating to London. Unfortunately for Clare they were not there long enough for her British accent to be permanent. Eventually they decided to put down roots in Sherborn, MA where they are honored and happy to be hosting the wedding!
Elahe and Bijan Hamidian
Elahe and Bijan met in Isfahan, Iran on their college campus and married not long after. And although they were both literature majors, they produced a physicist offspring. Mohammad's parents made a difficult journey from Iran to Canada in 1986, wanting a safer life for their children. After 30 years, their Persian spirit is intact with a little maple syrup mixed in. They have been delighted by meeting the Bernards and are excited for the joining of the families.
Cindy is Clare's aunt and godmother. Clare has fond memories of going to see Cindy's art exhibits in New York when she was young -- a particular favorite involved many birds of different sizes flying in groups all over the walls. Cindy has always been perceptive and has a unique perspective on everything from art to human nature so Clare can't wait to hear what she has to say during the wedding ceremony.
Amir is Mohammad's uncle. From taking Mohammad on his first rollercoaster ride to camping in the great outdoors and skydiving together, Amir has also been the wonderful big brother. If you ask anyone in the family to describe him, devoted, loving, and funny would find a place in everybody's reply. Amir will be performing the traditional Persian ceremony at the wedding.
Victoria Shulman (maid of honor)
Tori joined Clare's class halfway through 3rd grade and quickly became known as "nurse Tori" because she took care of all the other kids when they got hurt in school. Tori has been an amazing friend over the years supporting Clare through all of the trials and tribulations of young adulthood -- from visiting Clare in Baltimore during college to helping clean her apartment before Mo visited for the first time. Clare is anxiously waiting for Tori to move back into her condo 2 blocks away.
Annie and Clare also met in 3rd grade, but through horseback riding rather than school. They spent countless hours getting into trouble at the barn together; they built forts out of hay bales, rescued abandoned kittens, tried to train a dog to hunt using Where the Red Fern Grows as their instruction manual, and did quite a bit of riding too.
The first time Lizzie and Clare met in 3rd grade they did not see eye-to-eye on the grand design for the toy train track they were building. Later they bonded over their love for candy and their fear of high-school boys. Clare wouldn't have made it through high school without her!
Gaya and Clare met at Johns Hopkins where they were in the same dorm and took the same physics and math classes. They lived together, studied together, did errands together, and had fun together for the next three years leading to many of Clare's fondest college memories.
Abby and Clare met in 1st grade when Clare visited Charles River School and Abby was her guide. They went to high school together and then ended up living only one floor away from each other freshman year at Johns Hopkins. Abby has seen all of Clare's most embarrassing moments and is gracious enough not to remind her of them too frequently.
Arman Hamidian (best man)
Mohammad was jealous of his younger brother, Arman, when they were kids because of the redistribution of good toys. But soon enough, they found joy in watching and playing Star Trek together using their bunk bed as a stage. Arman has seen and been there for it all including the dorky days of high school, the rough days in college, and the happy times of today. Over a decade of living in different cities has not diminished Arman and Mohammad's brotherly love.
Vivi and Mohammad met in graduate school and hit it off instantly. Their love for cooking, climbing cherry trees, yoga on the beach, and sharing notes on life mistakes created one of Mohammad's great friendships. Through good times and hard times, Vivi always picked up the phone when Mohammad needed a friendly ear. Suspiciously enough, however, Vivi only moved back to Ithaca as Mohammad was on his way to Boston!
Mohammad and Ben started as lab mates in graduate school, became roommates, and built a friendship over poker nights, grilling in the backyard, dance parties, and moving massive pianos into small rooms. Ben is the genuine cool kid who makes everybody else also feel like the cool kid. Mohammad will always remember that.
Although Sarah met Mohammad in grad school because Ben made the best decision of his life to date her, the ensuing friendship formed nearly spontaneously. Mohammad's days at Cornell were filled with a lot more laughter and brussel sprouts when Sarah came over not to mention funny faces, beauty masks, and kindness. Sarah saved Mohammad's life during his great drunken 28th birthday by placing a bicycle helmet on his head as he played Bach inventions. The video evidence has since disappeared.