The event Matin describes is a far cry from the usual lavish wedding ceremonies one sees in the Iranian capital.
Excerpts from Matin’s blog post:
It was Wednesday evening when my cellphone rang and I was invited to the wedding ceremony of my good friend Alireza, which was taking place the following night.
I knew that during Ghadir Eid [an Islamic holiday] the family had gone to the Beyt [a term often used to refer to the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and he had been wedded to the niece of martyr Kaveh [Iranian soldiers, Revolutionary Guards, and Basij members who were killed in the war with Iraq are routinely referred to as martyrs].
On Thursday night at 9 p.m. I went to the cultural club of the presidential office. Outside the club, everything was so normal that I thought I had perhaps come to the wrong place.
It didn't seem like the wedding of the son of the president was being held there. I entered the garden and realized that I had to give up my cellphone.
A group of people had lined up to say their first prayers. I entered the hall. A number of tables were empty as the guests seated there had gone to pray.
Fruit and cakes, a bottle of mineral water, some plates and knives was all that had been laid out on the tables for the guests.
I asked about "the doctor." ["The doctor" is how some of Ahmadinejad’s supporters refer to him because of his Ph.D. in civil engineering and traffic transportation management.]
I was told he was praying in the back court.
Because of the lack of space, some of the guests had gone to the back court. I prayed with [senior presidential aide] Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi. Then I went back to the hall.
The doctor was sitting at the first table next to the father of the bride. After warm greetings with him and some of the other officials, I sat at one of the tables.
The groom entered the hall. He said hello to each of the guests and sat next to the doctor and [the father of the bride] Haj Agha Akbari.
The head of the club, Mr. Kheirkhah, told me how the doctor had been attentive about the details of the reception.
He told me that he had ordered only one type of food and that he had paid 3.5 million tomans [approximately $3,500] for the cost of the reception.
He said the number of male guests was 180. Looking around, I saw very few state officials. I had been to weddings of public servants before and there had not only been lots of lavish spending but also many ministers and state officials in attendance.
Maybe I was expecting officials to have lined up there that night with 1,000 guests.
But what I actually saw was a simple, simple wedding. It was a people's reception, because the father of the groom was a man of the people.
Simplicity reigned everywhere at the party. This was evident in the way the guests were hosted. It could also be seen in the car used to transport the bride and the [wedding] banquet itself, which was simple but delicious and fragrant.
The emcee at the reception poked fun at Alireza over the subsidies and the 1 million tomans his future child would receive, which made the doctor smile.
The ceremony ended; the doctor and the bride's father stood in front of the gate to say farewell to the guests.
It was interesting to see how the doctor dealt with 7- and 8-year-old kids who were shouting "Uncle! Uncle!" at him. He would give them a hug and treat them kindly.
Everyone left and the doctor went to the kitchen to thank those who had been working at the reception.
When everyone had gone, the bride and groom got into their car without any additional formalities and went home with their families.
I send my congratulations to my dear friend Alireza, the doctor, his respected family, and also the family of the great martyr Mahmoud Kaveh. May they have a good life under the shadow of the Hidden Imam.