Ramaz(d)an started today. (In Iran it's called Ramazan.) Which means that for a whole month no one can get married in Iran. Which means that the month before Ramazan is filled with weddings. Cars get covered with flowers and honk their way through the streets. Men dance in the streets. Music is everywhere.
K and I were staying in a motel in a strange but loveable city south and west of Tehran. They were hosting two weddings a day. "This is our busiest time," the owner told me. "The weather is perfect and it's right before Ramazan. We have two weddings every day."
"But I saw three couples getting their photos taken," I told him.
"Oh they just come here to have their pictures taken. We have a great site. You'll see today that we are very relaxed here. Men and women dance together. There is good music. People have fun now. It's all thanks to Khatami," he told me.
I have never seen such miserable brides and grooms. By the end of my day there, I had seen at least 15 couples. All but two looked terrified and stressed out. "They are exhausted," K said. All but two looked stonily at the cameras photographing them. Two of the couples looked relaxed and happy. The people accompanying them were clearly having a good time. I got the sense that they were, perhaps, teasing the young couples into a state of apprehension.
The brides wore white. Their hair was uncovered. If they could have smiled, they would have looked beautiful.