Real Wedding Album: A Historic Celebration on Ellis Island

“Our heritages are really important to both of us,” says Julia Harris, 32, who married Behdad Eghbali, 38, last spring. “I’m from a southern family full of traditions, and Behdad is a first-generation American whose family is from Iran.” Which is why the couple, who met while they were both working on Wall Street, chose to wed on Ellis Island. “It was the perfect place to celebrate the joining of our two backgrounds, and an added bonus was that my great-grandmother had come through there,” explains Julia. Her twin brother and Behdad’s sister officiated the springtime ceremony, which combined traditional American and Persian wedding elements. (Julia and Behdad, both still in finance, sat atop a table set with candies and honey, Iranian symbols of a sweet marriage.) A D.J. spun Persian tunes, while the father-daughter dance was a cotillion waltz that Julia had perfected as a teenager. The multicultural nods extended to the wedding program, which had the years and points of entry of guests’ ancestors. “Everyone told us about their backgrounds in the RSVP cards,” says Julia. “We ended up with a list of people who came to America as early as the 1600s and as recently as 1993.”

The Details
Event Planner: Joy Proctor Design
Dress: Johanna Johnson
Flowers: Baura New York
Catering: Creative Edge Parties
Music: Marianne Bennett Orchestra
Transportation: Statue Cruises
Hair: Eiji Salon
Makeup: Jonny Polizzi
Photographs: Robert Wagner

*This article appears in the Winter 2015 issue of New York Weddings.

Photo: Robert Wagner

Ellis Island, May 3, 2014

Photo: Robert Wagner

 “Everyone took boats over to the island. The day started with dodgy weather but ended with a huge rainbow.”

Photo: Robert Wagner

 “I had no idea the hora was going to happen, but Behdad thought it would be a fun surprise. All of a sudden I was on the chair.”

Photo: Robert Wagner
Real Wedding Album: An Ellis Island Celebration