Photography by
Catherine Hall Studios


Megan Kiryakous & Sadim Khalaf

September 14, 2019. Modesto, CA


A Glamorous Assyrian Wedding in Modesto, California

Photography: Catherine Hall Studios Lafayette, CA; Ceremony Location: St. Zaia Modesto, CA; Reception Location: Modesto Centre Plaza Modesto, CA; Planner: Golden Coast Planning Hollister, CA; Floral & Event Design, Linens: White Lilac, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA; Dress: Pnina Tornai; Bridal Salon: Kleinfeld Bridal New York, NY; Groom’s Attire: Giorgio Armani; Engagement Ring: Cartier; Rentals: Casa De Perrin Los Angeles, CA; Cake: Frost Bakery & Fine Foods Modesto, CA; Lighting: Fontes Pro Sound & Light Ceres, CA; Cinematography: Joseph Hakobi San Jose, CA;

When Megan Kiryakous  walked into her childhood home on a crisp November day, the last thing she expected was to be greeted with hundreds of rose petals, flickering candlelight, balloons, and a piano player. Inside, Sadim Khalaf was waiting for her arrival. He got down on one knee and asked Megan to be his wife. “Very romantic, and a huge surprise!” she recalls fondly.

Of course, she said yes.

The couple share a love for traveling and exploring new places around the world, but for their big day, they opted for a venue that was close to home so family and friends could easily attend. They found a spacious venue that offered a blank slate where their dream wedding could take place: A glamorous, elegant affair, surrounded by all of their nearest and dearest.

To help bring their vision to life, Sadim and Megan worked closely with the amazing team behind White Lilac. It started with a crisp, all-white palette, studded with pops of gold and deep emerald green to symbolize luck, freshness, and renewal. Inspired by their love of nature, the couple was drawn to a floral theme. Every flower was carefully considered and chosen to spark the senses. Megan carried a bouquet of gardenias, selected for their sweet, beautiful fragrance. The hall was transformed into a magical setting filled with striking, oversized arrangements of fresh orchids, roses, and hydrangeas, as well as floral chandeliers hanging overhead. Even the cake – a soaring, multi-tiered design –matched the lush abundance of the celebration.

But when it came to show-stoppers, nothing could match the bride. Megan was resplendent in a stunning Pnina Tornai ball gown with a delicate floral applique, paired with glittering heels by Jimmy Choo and a sparkling floral headpiece as a finishing touch. Her bridesmaids wore emerald green gowns paired with Swarovski earrings, gifted to them by Megan. Sadim and his groomsmen looked sharp in tuxedos by Giorgio Armani.

It was important to Sadim and Megan to honor their Assyrian heritage in their celebration. Guests and groomsmen were gifted beaded scarves and decorated canes – traditional dancing props in Assyrian culture – to take part in the custom of greeting the bride and groom with music and dancing. For entertainment, the couple also invited two Assyrian singers to perform traditional music.

“There was such a positive high frequency throughout the day that really just brought us so much love and happiness,” Megan says.

She also shared a piece of sage advice to other brides-to-be: “In the middle of all the fun and planning, take a moment – or even a weekend away – for yourselves and just enjoy one another. It’s a very special time, and we are so grateful we got to experience the wedding of our dreams.”