In May of 2016, Sepideh Moghaddam and Mani Khoshnejad were first introduced to each other through mutual friends. Their friend originally told Sepideh that Mani was 32 years-old, and told Mani that Sepideh was 27; but Sepideh was actually 22 at the time while Mani was 35. “When we first met, we instantly connected over the fact that our families are from the same small town in Iran,” Sepideh shares.
“In fact, years later, we found out that Mani's aunt was my mom's teacher in high school in Iran. I didn't mind the age difference because, to me, age is really just a number. But Mani was a bit hesitant because of his past experience.
“We are a power couple. We motivate and support each other.”
At the time we met, we were both really busy with our own lives and didn't have time to be in a relationship, so we remained close friends. I was in college full-time, and Mani was running his own private doctor’s practice. Then one day, Mani asked me if anyone would be interested in working at his office because he was short staffed. I ended up taking this position as part-time and somehow ended up taking over the management position of the office – which I am glad I did, because this also showed Mani that my age didn't represent me in the way he thought. Through our work relationship, we really learned a lot about each other and ended up growing closer. It wasn't until June 2018 when we officially started exclusively dating.”
The couple’s first vacation together was in Miami, where they stayed at 1 Hotel South Beach. Since then, trips to Miami and 1 Hotel South Beach have become their go-to get away from their busy lives; so Sepideh didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary when Mani booked them a weekend at 1 Hotel South Beach on September 5, 2020. She even invited her sister, because her sister’s friend lives in Miami and Sepideh thought it’d be a good idea for them all to get together.
“On the morning of the 5th, my sister said she made a dinner reservation for all of us at the restaurant on the rooftop at 1 Hotel,” Sepideh explains. “Once we got to the rooftop, we walked towards the private dining area and noticed Mani was walking really fast ahead of me. At this point, I still did not know he was about to propose. The next thing I see is a lit-up sign with the words ‘Marry Me,’ flowers, candles, and then Mani down on one knee moving his mouth; but I couldn't hear a thing. And honestly, I still have no idea what he was saying while he was down on his knee. The only thing I heard was, ‘Sepi will you marry me,’ and that was the best night of my life!”
The wedding planning process was difficult for the couple, as they live in Houston and were planning a Miami destination wedding at W South Beach. Sepideh also prefers to handle things on her own. After a couple months, however, she realized that she needed a wedding planner in her life, which is when Jessica Ghazal came into the picture.
“She truly helped me a lot throughout this process,” says Sepideh. Once we had our first look, I knew this was going to be a perfect day. After the first look, I was feeling excited and ready to get married. I am the outgoing one in our relationship and love the attention, so I was ready! Mani is totally opposite. He was really nervous because he doesn't like the attention on him, but he was having fun once the reception came.”
The weather had been storming the whole weekend, which is one of the last things any couple would want for a Miami destination wedding – especially one with an outdoor ceremony. Fortunately, the bride and groom woke up to picture-perfect Miami sunshine on the big day.
Their ceremony was short and sweet, with the “best officiant and wedding planner” who prepared every detail in advance during the rehearsal. During the ceremony, Sepideh started to cry and looked back at her bridesmaids for a tissue, but nobody had one. Mani was wearing a handkerchief, which he handed to his bride to wipe her tears; and it made for a funny wedding moment when she stuck the handkerchief back in his pocket when she was done.
“I was taken back by the beauty and all the details I was asking for come to life,” says Sepideh, describing the details and décor. “I really wanted our wedding entrance to be dramatic and grand. We had a Zafe drum group opening, and our MC introduced us as Dr. and Mrs. Khoshnejad. Our family and friends joined us on the dance floor as well.”
Sepideh and Mani’s honeymoon is scheduled for October 15, 2022, when they will set sail for a 7-night luxury yachting experience aboard a Ritz-Carlton Yacht. Their voyage will begin in Barcelona, Spain and end in Nice, France.
“Mani and I truly believe that we are ‘couple goals,’” states Sepideh. “We are a power couple. We motivate and support each other. Which couple do you know that can work with their spouse and also want to hang out with them all day without getting annoyed by each other? We balance each other out well and are excited to experience the rest of our lives together.”
Location: W South Beach, Miami, FL; Photography: Dana Lynn Photography, Miami, FL; Planner: Jessica Ghazal, JG Eventi, Miami, FL