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Omg I just got MARRIED! And in this episode I share with you ALL the details, from my 3 ceremonies, to my sister circle, to the catastrophe that happened before that almost PREVENTED ME FROM ATTENDING MY OWN WEDDING. Yeah. We go there.
Thank you to my BridesMermaid Cassandra Bodzak for interviewing me and holding space during this episode! Check her out @CassandraBodzak
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Episode 202 All About My Jurassic WEDDING – Part 1 with Sahara Rose
By Sahara Rose
Namaste. It’s Sahara Rose and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast. A place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement. I am so excited to be sharing this episode with you guys because it is all about my wedding. Holy crap, I can’t believe this day has come that I get to do the wedding recap episode, and holy crap, so many things happened. So many lessons learned, so many beautiful experiences– hard experiences– all of it. I went through every single emotion possible, especially on my wedding day. And you know, when I was thinking about how am I going to do this episode during my honeymoon in Fiji, I thought I really want to bring on one of my bridesmermaids, which are my bridesmaids, but I call them my bridesmermaids because I’m a mermaid and so are all of my friends. So I wanted to bring on one of my bridesmermaids to discuss with me. So you guys can be a fly on the wall on a conversation that I would genuinely be having post-wedding.
So I invited one of my bridesmermaids, Cassandra Bodzak, over and I said, “You know, the conversation that we’re about to have about the wedding, let’s just hop on the podcast and do it here, and let’s just talk about everything, because I share everything with my audience.” So we talk about all of it, I get very, very vulnerable about the ups, the downs, the beautiful parts, the difficult parts. This catastrophe that happened the day of my wedding that made me almost not get there, and the most experiences of my life as well.
So I’m really excited to just have this super authentic, super real recap conversation sharing everything that I learned about the wedding experience, how it was for the people who were part of it because, you know, I only know from my own perception, and I spent literally a year planning this wedding. So I’m like, “Oh my God, is this going right, and that, and the flowers,” so it was awesome to also hear from one of my friends who got to just experience the wedding as a spectator and how it was for them. And you know, you realize that so many of the details that you stress about people don’t even notice. And what they notice are the things that you don’t even think about, like the energy and the love between you and your partner. And it really meant so much to me to hear that feedback back from her, so I’m really, really stoked to have this conversation with Cassandra talking all about my wedding details, and of course, to share it with you.
Now, if you want to check out my wedding photos, I am creating an exclusive wedding album just for my email subscribers. So you can head over to the podcast show notes, wherever you’re listening, just head over to the show notes, click on that link, shoot in your email, and I will send you over my wedding album. This contains pictures from our rehearsal dinner, from the cocktail party the night before, from the actual wedding ceremony, wedding party, the Arabic dancing with money flying in the air– yes, we did that too– up on chairs, hula dancers, Tahitian drummers, Jurassic Park, all of the things. You do not want to miss this wedding album. There’s too many pictures for me to even share on social media to begin with, and I also wanted to be aligned with the people that I’m sharing this with because it is such a vulnerable and personal occasion in my life, and I want the people who genuinely want to see it and support to share this really touching and life-changing experience with.
And I just think, you know, the vibration of a wedding is so profound and so high that I wanted the people who really were there in support to see these pictures– not just throwing them on social media and that’s it. So there are some pictures on my Instagram @iamsahararose, but to get the full wedding album, just subscribe over on the show notes, it’s also on my link-in bio @iamsahararose, and you can see it there. Now without further ado, let’s welcome me being interviewed by Cassandra Bodzak, here on the “Highest Self” podcast.
SAHARA: So we are sitting in my living room now, Cassandra and I, just having a little girl chat about the wedding. And we were like, “You know what, let’s just put this on the podcast,” because what better way for you to really experience the wedding than to be chatting with one of my bridesmermaids who was there with me the entire process from planning, to the whole wedding week, and we were just debriefing on all the lessons learned. So Cassandra’s gonna be interviewing me, we’re going to be having a conversation about the wedding, and just bringing you as part of this journey on this sacred week of love.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, cause we know you all want to know all the juicy deets.
SAHARA: Oh yes. So how was it for you, just like as an observer, because you know I have my own spiel of being involved in the planning for an entire year. You know, I started planning this wedding when we got engaged last June, so a year ago, and then I planned this whole wedding in Mexico, and then it fell through, and the cartel scare happened, and I got sick and blah, blah, blah, and then finally in October we found this wedding venue in Hawaii, which I can share more about. So since October, it’s literally it started as a part-time job, and then by April it became a full-time job. Really, and I had heard people saying, “You know, weddings are a lot of work,” and I was like, “How much work could it be? It’s just like a party with a dinner. And I plan all these events all the time, how much work could it be?” And it really was so much work, so I would love to just see from like the spectator perspective, like how is it just to experience it all?
CASSANDRA: I mean, it was definitely the best wedding I’ve ever been to. It was so magical, and so beautiful, and you know, the funny thing that we were chatting about a little bit before we got on the podcast was also that I feel like so much of the things that really made it so special and so magical were not even perhaps some of the things you could have planned. You know, it was like far and away the energy between you and Steven, obviously, right?
And it’s like you think that that goes without saying for a wedding, but I think oftentimes we can get so caught up in all of the like little details of things, and the flowers, or the dress, or the you know, appetizers, whatever. That you don’t realize that actually the energy of the couple sets such a tone for everything, and I really felt like that was the thing that myself and some of the other bridesmaids I know really, really noticed. That from the beginning from when we all got on the island and started connecting, to you know, the dance party we had the day before, you guys and the people that you attracted, and your friends, and your family, just had like there was just like this instant love.
I don’t think I knew any of Steven’s groomsmen before the wedding, but we all just jumped in. We’re all like now we’re brothers and sisters, and we’re gonna dance with each other, and you’re my person, I’m getting to know you, and we just clicked right away. And I feel like that’s such a testament to you guys, and the kind of people that you hang with, and just the vibration that you set.
And then plus, I really do think that I wish I could take all these listeners from the podcast and just like teleport them to like even like, well, my favorite moment obviously was when you guys did your vows, but we’ll get to there later. And just experience what it was like seeing the two of you in this beautiful love bubble and just being in the presence of two people, and you know, guys I know you’re just meeting me, but I don’t say this about everybody– I don’t think I’ve actually ever said this to someone. But two people that are just so clearly meant to be together, and so clearly so well-matched, and so happy, and so in flow, and there were no, you know, it was just so right in every way.
And I feel like that made the wedding just so magical, just such a genuine celebration of your love, and you guys finding each other in this lifetime, and you guys doing this beautiful ritual together with all these people that you care about. Not to mention that you got married on like the Jurassic Park island, which was just crazy and beautiful. So why don’t we start there– how did you end up with the “Jurassic Park” island? And I actually have to tell everyone at home that one of the really cool things among a lot of the cool things they did was you had to take a boat to this island, and here was a recording on the boat that was…
SAHARA: I just need to play it at the end so they can experience it because it is the best thing I’ve ever heard.
CASSANDRA: Yes, it was the best thing ever, you should just play it at the end. Enough said about that, but yeah, so how did you finally come to this place?
SAHARA: So I’ll tell that story, but first, it’s so interesting because I didn’t even… like in all of the planning of the details, and I really thought of every single detail, I didn’t even think about like me and Steven’s dynamic. Like it was never even something that was like on my mind of like, “I hope we’re gonna be good that day.” And now that I see just like other couples, like that actually is a thing. Like a lot of couples have off days, or they fight, or it’s not always easy and in flow, and one of the things that Steven said in his vows– his romantic vibe really blew me away that weekend.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God!
SAHARA: Because he’s normally someone who’s way more like introspective, behind-the-scenes, like you know, doesn’t put all of his emotions into words, more just feels them, he’s a Scorpio as well. But his just ability to just speak the truth, and in the vows he said, “You know, I’ve spent months and weeks and hours and days trying to write these vows, and I write them, and I scribble them, and I try again, and I scribble them, and then I realize that it needs to be easy because everything in our relationship has always been so easy. And so in one go I just wrote this coming from my heart because I knew that that was going to be the most true thing.”
And it’s just so true that our relationship has always been easy. It truly has, like we really… you know, there are times that we have disagreements, but they’re never like these like fights, or you know, like I think every couple could go to couple’s counseling. I would actually love to go one day, but it’s not that we need to, it’s not that like we need someone to like intervene, it’s always been easy. And I do think that we are capable, all of us, of having this relationship, but it comes from finding that ease within yourself. So it was not even on my mind that it could be weird between us, that was just like the given, but I didn’t realize that it would be picked up on by so many other people because so many people have seen that. In fact, I kind of was hesitant about how are my friends going to get along with this friends? Because his friends are like EDM music producers with like tattoos, and like really like, you know, if you look at them, it’s just a different vibe, it’s a different subculture, and my friends are like spiritual leaders, and meditators.
SAHARA: So I was like I was thinking I don’t even want to put you guys at the same tables, like there are my friends’ tables and his friends’ tables. But what ended up being the most beautiful part was just seeing the friendships and romances that formed between these two worlds.
CASSANDRA: Absolutely. There was just so much love. But I think also what I notice about his friends, which I feel like is a similar to Steven, regardless of what industry or what they do, or even you know, kind of how they dress or like how cool they present themselves whatnot, like massive hearts, you know. And so I feel like that was the thing that all of us really connected to. We were like, “Wow, you’re not someone that I would necessarily end up hanging out with, or even have, you know, perhaps a lot in common professionally,” but just like having that big heart, and that sweetness, and that warmth. And you know, also that love for Steven and that love for you, I think that also like permeates to be like, “Oh here, we’re actually all here in service of these two people who we really love, and so let’s just haven awesome time because they created a pretty awesome situation.”
But I want to go back because I love what you said, and I think that’s just an important thing for anybody that’s listening that’s maybe in a long-term relationship, or wants to get married one day. Was I thought it was that characteristic that you said that it’s always been easy, and I know we’ve had a lot of talks about love, and romance, and relationships ourselves just about this energy of like flow. And almost also like just a deep knowing, you know, that this is the person I’m supposed to be with, and I think you know, the fact that you said that. And I’ve felt that also in relationships where, you know, maybe I was going into an interesting situation with my partner, maybe we were like traveling somewhere, we were going to see a difficult family member or something like that. And the one thing that I was sure of was us. You know, I was like, “Well, we’ll be good. I don’t know what we’re– like we might be walking into a dragon, but we’ll be good,” you know. And can you talk a little bit more about and, perhaps you know, was that right off the bat, did you always know that Steven was going to be your husband?
SAHARA: I knew instantly. I mean, when I met him on Bumble, and I was about to swipe “no,” cause when I saw his picture I was like, “I don’t really know if he’s cute or not.” Imagine if I swiped “no”? I mean I do think I would have still met him in some way, but like we don’t cross paths. Like I live on the west side, I hang out at yoga studios and vegan restaurants. He lives in Hollywood, he’s just in his music studio all day, like there’s no parallel places that we could have even bumped into each other. We don’t even work out at the same Equinox, you know? But I do think what we have in common that was also the thread that kept coming up this whole weekend was we both chose our own path.
And everyone who was there were also people that chose their own paths. I mean, whether you’re going against society’s norms to pursue a career in music, or like the arts, or if you’re going into it for yoga, meditation, you’re still taking a massive stand for your truth, and for following your dharma, and whatever it is. So I think all of us had that in common that we’re creative entrepreneurs that are here to just share our highest expression in whatever medium comes through for us. And that’s the basis of me and Steven’s relationship and how, you know, when I met him that first night I was so attracted to him, I literally gave him a hickey on his face, guys– I ate his face.
CASSANDRA: I love it.
SAHARA: And the next day we just woke up and stared into each other’s eyes without speaking for two hours, just without talking, and it was like [robotic sounds] like recalibration of where have you been my whole life? Oh my God, there you are, we’re doing this thing again. And there was never a conversation of like, “Are we going to see other people or not? Like where is this going?” It was like, “Okay, found each other, what’s next?” And instantly, like we met it was like a Thursday our first dinner, we hung out like Saturday, Sunday, by Tuesday I still lived at my Grandma house then, you know. He would come to my Grandma’s house, and we would do work. Like he’d be on his laptop, I’d be on my laptop, and we would just work.
And like I think that has been a huge basis of our relationship that we’re both– like his best man even said when we met, he was at the infancy of his business, AKA no money, he actually called me at the beginning first couple weeks of our relationship crying. He was at the top of the Hollywood Hills, he went up there before himself, and he called me crying. And I’ve never even seen him cry, I wish I’d seen it. But he was like, “I want to be in a relationship with you so bad, and I know a girl like you deserves to be taken out to dinners, and do all these things, and I’m not in a place to be able to provide that for you. And I can totally understand if you don’t want to be with me because of that.”
SAHARA: And he’s like, “I’ve been in situations in the past that’s been a thing, but I invested all the money I had into my business, and I know that it is going to go somewhere, but right now, I don’t have money to do dates, and dinners, and all of these things.” And I was like, “Cool, cause I hate going out to dinner, like let’s cook.” Like, you know, I was just… I didn’t care. And I also lived with my Grandma, and was trying to get this Ayurveda book off the ground, and didn’t have a book deal, and like as his best man said, like “she had no job.” Like I was a hippy who would vend at music festivals, vend my pants, that’s actually what I did. Yeah, like I had my… the Saraswati Couture. Steven used to come with me to festivals, and I would just be the vendor. And I would like some days I would make $1,000, I was like, “Yeah,” and some days like I would go to Venice Beach and vend.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God!
SAHARA: And the cops would kick me off because I don’t have a permit. So like just to see each other from there and have that like, “We’re here to support each other and help each other grow our businesses,” that I truly don’t believe I would have my career, he wouldn’t have his, if it wasn’t for that foundation. And as we kept growing our foundation with each other, it set that foundation in everything else that we did. So this wedding, I felt like as people got to know him because I feel like a lot of my friends didn’t get to know him because he’s always working. I know a lot of his friends, but we don’t talk about past lives, and this kind of stuff, and they got to be acquainted with that. So it’s like both parties got to see this whole other world that they love, and are interested in, and it was just a really cool way of us to remember why our bond started.
CASSANDRA: Yeah. So going along with that theme, were there other things in the wedding that were you felt were really symbolic of representing your– like Steven and you– and kind of the meaning of that?
SAHARA: Yeah, so– well first of all, why Hawaii. So I knew I wanted to have a destination wedding from day one. I’ve never wanted to like get married in L.A.. First of all, I would have like 400 people that would come, so I wanted a little bit of geographical distance just so like the true ride or dies are there. And I really wanted a beach wedding, and I looked at so many places in the Caribbean, this, that, but I love the jungle meets the beach, like that is my ideal right there. There aren’t that many places– I looked at Costa Rica, et cetera. And Hawaii, like I knew about, I had been there, but I always had in my mind Hawaii’s too expensive, I can’t have a wedding there because it’s gonna cost way too much money, and it was really a limiting belief of I’m not deserving of a wedding in Hawaii.
And then finally I was actually at the “This is 50” retreat, I was interviewing Deepak, and this is a retreat for women transitioning to their 50s, and it was like, “Dream, like what could you really want?” And I was like writing out– this was last August– like what would my dream wedding be like? And it would be like in nature, and there’s drummers, and we’re dancing outside, and it’s flowing, and there’s tropical flowers. And I realized like all of these things are Hawaii. And also Steven’s brother has six kids, and he’s like, “I’m not taking them out of the country just in case something happens, they’re like little.” And I’m like Hawaii’s in the U.S., and people get married in Hawaii every single day, why is it just me that it’s too expensive for? Like what a like limiting belief and lack of abundance that I was even holding.
So then I started to look and I found this location, Kulo Ranch, online and I was moved because one: because that island you have to take a boat to, the beach can be private, can just be for you because people can’t just like show up. Whereas if you just go to like, I don’t know, the Marriott, or just a normal beach, you always have those people walking around, and I really didn’t want that. Like even if I was in Tulum or something else, I would have people like, you know, when I’m at the beach and I see a wedding I watch it, too, you know and I just really didn’t want that. And then also just like the mountains, and the nature, and the ruggedness of it, while it’s still also being a direct flight from the U.S. that you don’t need a passport and all that other, you know, conundrum that goes with going to another country.
So we went, and we checked it out, and yeah, like there’s no electricity there, there’s no running water there, like there are a lot of obstacles, it is like a Burning Man wedding. And but I think sometimes like your naivete is your best super power that I was like, “If people do it, I can do it,” you know.
SAHARA: And I’m also really glad that the Mexico wedding fell through because had we gotten married in Mexico, I feel like I would have been almost like borrowing another culture’s traditions. You know, I’m not Mexican, but I just love Mexican culture. We would have done like the pinata, and gotten married in their Catholic church, and all this stuff. And even when I was there, I was like, “I’m not Catholic, like I’m not Mexican,” like I feel like I’m like, you know, trying on a coat, and this is my wedding, and I’m so glad that Hawaii gave us that clean slate of nature and we really got to bring in our own traditions. So we had three ceremonies: the first one was a Christian Reverend, but he didn’t actually really talk about Christianity, which I liked. But Steven is a Christian, so for his family the wanted someone just to represent that faith, which I agreed with.
And then I really wanted to bring in the Hawaiian tradition because we are on that land, and I think it’s so important to just commemorate the spirits of the land, and that culture, and just like we’re not just here on vacation, like we need to honor this place. So we brought in a Hawaiian kahu, which is a Hawaiian high priest, he’s one of the only ones that has been from that tradition. Like his great-great-great-great grandparents have always been high priests, and he says the specific ancient Hawaiian prayer that only very few people are trained in. Which, oh my God, when I hear it, like full-body chills, like his voice, and the sound, and…
CASSANDRA: It was so beautiful.
SAHARA: So beautiful. And in Hawaiian tradition, the woman places the lei on the man, she chooses the man.
CASSANDRA: Ooh, I like that.
SAHARA: Yeah, I know, and it’s so funny because on Bumble you choose the guy.
CASSANDRA: Full circle moment.
SAHARA: So I really did choose him, yeah. So we did the lei ceremony, and the reverend actually was a Hawaiian also, so he was playing the conch shell as he chanted, and it was just this beautiful moment. And then we also brought in the Persian ceremony. So the Persian ceremony is this ancient Zoroastrian tradition. Zoroastrian is a polytheistic religion that predates all, you know, monotheistic religions, and it’s what all Persian people were before the Arabs invaded Iran and converted it to become an Islamic region. So Zoroastrianism is– the tenets are “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.” Like we see that all the time, that’s actually just the tenets of Zoroastrianism.
SAHARA: So it’s all about being true to yourself, and it’s very into the elements. So we have something called a sofreh aghd, which is like a table of wedding. And it has different symbolic things that represent aspects of marriage. For example, a jar of honey that you lick off of each other’s pinkie, and that represents having a sweet life. Or little coins which represents abundance, or a bowl with an orange in water, like the orange is floating in water, and that represents the earth and how the earth always tilts and life goes on. And all of these different just symbolic gestures to set you off on having this beautiful symbolized meaningful marriage. And another beautiful part is four women who, you know, they tend to be the unmarried woman, they hold this lace cloth over your head, and then the happily married woman, they grate sugar over your heads. So I had like my grandma, and my aunts grating sugar over our heads, and just like, you know, having the blessings of the people who’ve walked this path so many times.
And a funny thing that we do in Persian culture is the guy asks the bride– it was my dad who was doing it– he’s like, “Do you take this man to be your husband?” And you’re supposed to just be silent. And he asks you again, “Do you take this man to be your husband?” You’re silent. And then the third time, finally you say, [speaking Persian], which means yes. And this actually– kind of like weird– but it comes from the time that there were arranged marriages. So the first time that the man and woman would meet was at this altar. So in the law you would still have to have her approval, but you know, the girl was like excited but also timid and scared. And there’s a mirror in front of you that in the whole ceremony you’re sitting side-by-side and you can only look at each other through the mirror, like that’s your first glimpse of your love, not face-to-face. And then finally when you say yes, he takes off the veil, that’s when they see each other’s faces for the first time.
SAHARA: So the reason why now we still continue the you don’t say anything until the third time, is it’s a little bit of a hard to get game. Like, “Oh, do you take this man?” “Mm, I don’t know.” And then the older women are supposed to say, “Oh, she’s out picking flowers,” or, “Oh, she’s writing a book.” They’re supposed to give excuses as to why you’re not saying yes. So it’s this little like old tradition that, you know, you still practice, and I love that. And you know, setting up that whole Persian thing, especially like on that island where we had no time, and it was raining earlier that day, and we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to do it, and shipping, and bringing all these things, it was a lot of work. But just to be able to have that moment that my ancestors have been doing for thousands of years, and for us to be able to be initiated the same way made it totally worth it.
CASSANDRA: Absolutely. I mean that was just breath-taking, it was such a beautiful… it was also very… I thought it was really cool of you guys to share that with so many people at the wedding who had never been exposed to that before. I personally thought it was incredible and fascinating, and obviously, I’m a huge fan of ritual. And it was just such like– I mean obviously, everything the wedding is a ritual, right? But like just such a beautiful really ancient symbolic ritual to like bring like the reverence, and the fact that you guys did the three different ones, right, I feel like is also very honoring of just like the kind of people you both are, right?
SAHARA: Yeah, I mean ritual has been something that’s also that we share that’s super important to me, and I did not want just like the generic wedding that, you know, you get married, they play Bruno Mars, and like that’s it. Like everything we made our own, and it was for sure a lot more effort. But even down to the music, like Steven made all of those mixes, he spent so much time on them, and like every down to the detail had our vibration to it. Because we had to bring everything ourselves from like the chairs ,to the flower arrangements, like I had all of your bridesmaid bouquets be used for the tables again just to like carry on. Yeah, I don’t even know if you guys knew that, yeah.
SAHARA: Yeah, like your bouquets were the centerpieces of the tables.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God!
SAHARA: Yeah, I just wanted to like bring in like positive vibration and love into everything. And just for people to walk around and be like, “Oh my God, this represents the couple, and I’m seeing their personality through everything.” Cause I think it’s really easy to be like, “Okay ,do you want options A, B, or C?” Or like, I don’t know, just like everything all white and like that could be beautiful, that could be someone’s style. But I was like bring on the colors, and the messiness, and the culture, and all of it like I want this to be the ultimate display of who we are.
CASSANDRA: And speaking of the ultimate display of who you are, just one of the things I think really spoke out was how literally from the second the reception started we were dancing at like level 11.
CASSANDRA: And we went straight into dancing, and we also did a bunch of classic dances from both of your heritages, right? You want to talk a little bit about the dances and then should we talk about the super baller ritual that happened as well?
SAHARA: Yes, yes. So in Arabic weddings, so in American weddings like you have the cocktail, and then you sit down, and then you’re sitting, and then they come with the first dance, which is a slow dance, and then the father-daughter dance, and then this, and then you eat your dinner. And then finally after all of that you dance, and I’ve noticed that by then, the vibe is down, you just ate, you’re heavy, you don’t really… like I go to so many weddings and there’s barely any dancing, it feels like forced, and then the music is like so corny, and I don’t know. For me, dancing is everything, right? We’re always going to ecstatic dance, so and in Arabic culture, their grand entrance is with drummers and music.
So I knew we were going to have this grand entrance, and I knew that they were going to put us up on chairs, but I didn’t realize the full extent of how it was going to go. So we have the grand entrance, and we’re coming in, and then like we have like three Tahitian drummers who we like told them just like blast like just go along with the Arabic music. And we go in, and we start like, you know, heavy belly dancing, and like jumping, and it’s very just tribal, and everyone’s clapping, and the elders are coming through. And that’s what I loved about it too, like the grandmothers were like center stage dancing.
SAHARA: And I feel like in like Western culture it’s like, uh, if you’re old like you’re to the side. Whereas this is like, “Yes, the grandma’s getting down!” So we’re dancing, the next thing I know, they’re putting me on this chair and like four dudes are holding me up. And at first I was like, “Oh my God, is this really dangerous?” But I was like, no, like I’m just gonna surrender to this moment. And then Steven’s up on someone’s shoulders, and they keep taking turns of one person swooping in and Steven moving to the next person’s shoulders, and the next person. They’re like jumping up and down with Steven, and I’m on the chair, and then Steven’s cousin just starts raining cash on us. I’m like I feel like I’m at a strip club right now. Like I’ve seen like money thrown like at belly dancers, but I’ve never… like there was $1,000 of one dollar bills.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, it was literally, yeah, there was like cash flowing in the air everywhere.
SAHARA: It was raining money. I was like this is the ultimate abundance ritual, like this is the best wedding gift I could have ever… like that was his wedding gift to us. And I was like, “This is the best gift I could have ever gotten.”
CASSANDRA: That is the best wedding gift.
SAHARA: Because it’s like it’s sharing it with everyone, and just like I’m gonna be sharing with you guys like the videos and stuff on my email list. The link is in the podcast show notes if you want to see the pictures, and the videos, I’m gonna be sending it out on email, but you need to see this because…
CASSANDRA: Oh my God, yeah, you guys.
SAHARA: We’re up on chairs, there’s money flowing everywhere, money on the ground, people are just like picking it up and making it rain. And for 30 minutes we just danced hardcore to this like Khaleeji tribal Arabic music, and everyone… like I feel like that was like for sure just like the highlight of this entire wedding experience for me because it was so communal. Everyone was in it, here was no one that was like, “Oh, I’m gonna go get a drink or this,” like everyone wanted to be on the dance floor. No one was drunk, no one was… like this was like 6:00 PM. It was still light out, and we are just getting down.
So I had us do about 30 minutes of just like that Arabic dancing, then move into Reggaeton dancing just to like, you know, get in our bodies a little more, and then finally we did the dinner. And I recommend doing this for anyone who’s having a wedding because of however you start the wedding, that’s gonna be the tone you set for the rest of the note. So if you start it with like, “Oh, I’m sitting down, and this is like a more seated thing,” that’s gonna be the tone. If you started with, “This is a dance party, we’re gonna sit and eat for a little bit, but don’t get too full cause we’re gonna be dancing again soon.” That was the… everyone was just like itching to get back on the dance floor.
CASSANDRA: Absolutely. We were all like could not… did not want to stop dancing.
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CASSANDRA: Speaking of dancing, we also have to talk about your fabulous dance with Steven because I knew a little bit of the back story going into this.
SAHARA: Okay, yes.
CASSANDRA: And you guys taking… but oh God, it was magical.
SAHARA: So I knew we needed to do a really special first dance. And I always loved bachata dancing. Not that I had ever done it in my life, but I love bachata music. If you don’t know what bachata is, it’s a kind of like Latin, Dominican specifically, music if you listen to Aventura, for example. And a lot of songs are like remixed bachata now, but it’s a very like sensual kind of dancing. Like the steps are like one-two-three, and then you like lift up your leg, and then like entwine it in each other, so it’s very romantic.
So I was like, “Steven, we need to do this epic first dance.” And he’s not a dancer, at all, he makes music, but he’s not… he’s more in his head, I’m more in my body. And that’s something that we’ve always like known about each other, and became more and more obvious. But I was like this is so important to me, like there’s… like I was actually getting so stressed out because it was like we were coming closer and closer to the wedding, like the month before. And he was just so busy with other things that I was like, “Oh my God, are we not gonna do this dance?” And then when he saw just how important it was for me, and we had two weeks left to the wedding at this point.
CASSANDRA: Oh my gosh.
SAHARA: He was like, “Okay, fine, we’ll go all in.” And I was like, “It’s supposed to be like a ten-week thing.” He’s like, “We’ll just do all ten classes in the next two weeks.” So we like we ended up doing it, I think, 12 or 14 classes for an hour and a half. Every single morning we would go at 9:00 AM to this place in Santa Monica, the guy has been on like “Dancing With the Stars” and stuff.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God!
SAHARA: He’s amazing, his name is Rodrigo at Studio Maesto, and we would just get in there and practice. And he actually was so good I think because he makes music that he’s able to understand the rhythm and stuff. And he had never taken a dance class in his life, like this was totally a new thing for him. And we went in there, we practiced, and I was also very nervous of like, “Oh my God, what if we mess up,” and you know, performer mindset. But like Steven actually was such a savior for me at this wedding because I was the one who was more involved with the planning, so I was like seeing the things that weren’t going right.
And he was just like, “Let’s just have fun, like it doesn’t matter, like let’s just go with it.” So I’ll also email out that wedding first dance video for everyone on my list, be sure to subscribe over at the show notes. But it was… we decided to do it as a surprise. So instead of like when everyone is sitting and stuff, we didn’t do that, everyone was dancing, and then the DJ was like, “Sahara and Steven have a special surprise for you guys.” Everyone went off the dance floor, and we just did it right there in the middle, and I think everyone was shocked, especially to see Steven dancing like that. And actually now it’s gonna become a hobby that we do together now he loves bachata dancing.
CASSANDRA: Aw, I love that!
SAHARA: So we’re gonna like sign up for classes, and like go dancing more. So I’m really happy, I think it’s really important for couples to have like a shared hobby together, especially one that it’s like a huge thing about it is the guy has to give the lead, right? So even in the dance like I kept wanting to lead because I’m like, “Oh, you’re not doing this right, or this,” and the teacher was like, “Do not tell him that. Like don’t tell him what he’s doing wrong because you’re gonna throw him off and he needs to lead you.”
CASSANDRA: A great lesson for a relationship.
SAHARA: Such a good lesson. Cause I would be like, “You’re not pushing my hand hard enough, and this,” and he was like, “Then that’s what the move is gonna be.” So you have to alter the move to how he’s moving you, which was again, such a big lesson of you can’t be in total control of everything. So yeah, I think just having that dance and that process together also just helped the dynamics of our relationship so much.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God, and also just so symbolic too of like the compromise you both have, and like the give and take, and being like, okay, well you know, with Steven being like, “Well, I’m really swamped with work stuff, but you know what, maybe I can’t do it in the conventional way of like one week, you know, lessons, but let’s do it.” you know.
CASSANDRA: I feel like that’s just so beautiful.
SAHARA: And that’s what it comes down to. It’s like if you can just make it happen, even if it’s in your own way, that’s what matters. It doesn’t have to be the conventional like because we don’t have 9:00 to 5:00 jobs, we don’t have nights to ourselves. You know, like Steven is in the office until 11:00 at night regularly. But on the flipside, you know, there are other benefits to it. So you have to just make it work with your own schedule and not compare it to what other people are doing because other people have different lives than you.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, and honoring what’s important for your partner, right? Now, I love that you said that kind of Steven was like holding it down for the wedding. Which is interesting because I have to tell you guys from a bridesmaid’s perspective, I really saw, you know, all of Sahara’s meditation pay off earlier in the day. Because, well first of all, I was talking with the wedding planner, and the wedding planner was like, “I have never in my life seen a more chill bride.” And she’s like, “More chill couple, really, but like especially,” she’s like, “the bride’s usually the one that’s like super like anxious about stuff, and like worrying about all this stuff.” And she was like, “Your girl is like relaxed.” And I was like, “Yeah, well, you know she’s a spiritual teacher, so.”
SAHARA: That’s how you know I’m real deal, guys.
CASSANDRA: She’s the real deal.
SAHARA: You didn’t hear it from me.
CASSANDRA: She trusts. And you really were, I think I was very impressed, and all of us were very impressed with you because we even had a bit of a moment. And you know, we had kind of like… you know, I know you had been like kind of warned that sometimes things won’t go perfectly according to plan. I think, you know, a lot of us consider that in many things in our life, that like not everything is going to go as we hope. But especially on your wedding day, when there’s like such high stakes, and there’s so many feelings, and all this anticipation, and all of us kind of gathering around you I’m sure, you know, helping not helping in that.
We had a situation, and it was really… I mean, from my perspective, it was like really the only like large situation. But where our driver just didn’t show up at the time he was supposed to show up. So all of the guests got picked up where they were supposed to get picked up, but the bride, the bridal party, just didn’t show up. So we’re like we’re at this cute little villa area, and we’re like trying to find this guy, and we’re like, “Is he in the wrong parking lot? What’s going on?” We’re all like, “Okay, let’s not stress out Sahara too much. Let’s just try to handle it.” It’s not getting handled, and it finally gets to the point where Sahara has to step in. I’m gonna say before she tells you her side of the story, but I’m going to say that she handled it with such impeccable grace considering the emotional energy of the moment, and really you know, even when it did escalate.
SAHARA: It escalated.
CASSANDRA: It escalated a little bit, like it might have been able to be a reality TV show. Bravo would have accepted that, that part. So why don’t you tell me what was going on in your mind when… I mean I think when you first really started… we were trying to just take care of it and hope, like you know, it wouldn’t even be a thing. But it was like he was like a half an hour late, 45 minutes late, and that kind of went. So I was like, “All right, I guess I’m gonna have to make some calls.”
SAHARA: Yeah. So we were gonna do all of our bridal pictures at the hotel, but it was too bright out. So we were like, “Okay, well let’s just go to the wedding venue early.” Since this is like 1:30 at this point, and the driver was supposed to already be there. So the photographer’s like, “Okay, I’m gonna go,” and he saw the driver, there was like a driver waiting at the hotel lobby, so he was like, “Go pick up the girls.” And the guy, he was like, “He’ll probably be there in like 30 seconds,” and we’re waiting, waiting, five minutes, ten minutes. I’m like, “Where could this guy be?” I’m calling the wedding planner and she’s not picking up, so I’m like, “I’m just not gonna stress it right now. I’m just gonna focus on putting…” cause I wrote my vows in my phone, I’m like I’m just gonna focus on writing them on this little booklet that I bought.
So first I just distracted myself. I’m like let them handle, let them stress, I’m just gonna focus on this task at hand because if I’m focusing on this, I won’t have the energetic capacity on that. So that was my first move that was very strategic. Then when it’s like 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes there’s still no driver there. I’m like, “Okay, I’m calling the photographer.” He’s like, “I’m already there. Do you want me to like turn around and pick you up?” I’m like, “Well then I can’t walk down the aisle if I don’t have the bridal party with me,” so you know, where is this driver? Like I’ve paid like a lot of money for transportation, and at this point, the girls are calling their boyfriends who are at the wedding venue, at this point at the ceremony in their chairs, and I’m still stuck at the hotel, which is a 45-minute drive away.
So I’m like, “Fuck, this… like I’m supposed to be there preparing to walk down the aisle right now, and I’m still stuck here, and I can’t get in contact with anyone who can get me a ride.” So Desi, my college roommate, was like, “Okay, should we call Ubers or look at taxis?” And I just knew we were in the middle of nowhere and that just wasn’t gonna be a situation. So that’s when, you know, I feel like in survival mode this like larger energy comes through, and I think that a lot of people in these moments of like, “Holy shit, I’m about to perhaps lose my entire wedding. Like this is an actual possibility that we may just not make it there.” So you could either break down, cry– which probably would have cause you guys to freak out and eventually cause someone else to step up– or you could put your big girl panties on and just fucking step up.
SAHARA: So I was like, “Okay, I know I’m the bride, I know I’m supposed to be cool, but I need to get involved right now.” So I don’t know how we just kept calling the hotel lobby, and this, and finally the guy came. As we’re walking outside it’s raining, so we’re like with umbrellas trying to cover my dress and it was like holy crap, we’re about to go to this outdoor beach wedding, on an island, it’s raining, and everyone is there right now, the ceremony should have been started, and we’re still not there. So then once we get into the car I’m like, “Dude, like where have you been?” And this guy like sometimes people just take their commands so literally, like you can see I’m the bride, he’s like, “Well, I was told I’m not supposed to leave until this bus is full,” and they came with like a 35-person bus, and there’s nine of us. I’m like, “All of the guests are at the wedding venue, this bus is not gonna be full. Like I don’t know what you were told but we need to go.” And he’s like, “No, I can’t leave until this bus is full.”
So he took us back to the Turtle Bay lobby, and we were just sitting in the lobby. I’m like, “Oh my God, I’m perhaps gonna lose my wedding.” So that’s when I was like, “Listen dude, like you need to get us there. Like do you see that I’m the bride? Do you see that this is the entire bridal party? How are you gonna fill up… there’s no one else left.” And he’s like, “Well, I can’t go, these are the orders.” I’m like, “Call your boss, like call someone.” And he’s calling his boss, but he won’t give me the phone, so I’m actually trying to say, “Hello, I’m the bride, please, we’re stranded here, someone take us,” over the guy’s voice. The guy, the driver, started yelling at me saying like, “You’re not the boss of me, like don’t tell me what to do.” And I was like, “Oh my God. I literally wanted to like smack this dude,” but I had to be reminded he’s the guy who’s going to drive us, so I can’t be too feisty here. So I had to be stern, definitely stern, definitely like, “This needs to happen, and I’m not gonna get out of this car.” I’m not gonna give up on this situation of this driving not taking us there. That was not even a possibility in my mind.
And eventually he did, and eventually… I mean on the way there it is pouring rain, and I just didn’t even allow the possibility. I was like, “It’s gonna stop raining by the time it’s the wedding. It’s gonna stop, it’s gonna stop.” So here we are, late, here we are like, you know, your ride to your wedding is supposed to be like popping champagne, having fun, and like Rosie and Alyson are in the front chanting Hari Krishna to try to like defuse the energy. And like we’re just trying to like be like, “So, like what wedding advice do you have,” and like just like keep the conversation.
CASSANDRA: Giving like wedding blessings, yeah.
SAHARA: And like some of the girls are just like sitting, and I don’t know, it’s just intense energy of just going from something like that to just like, “Okay, now we’re at the wedding.” But like really what I learned about this is that the show goes on. Like you may have been totally late, and fumbled your lines and whatever, but once you get on that stage, the show must go on. And you can’t waste time, and you know, life is just how fast you can move from one situation to the next. If you’re going to let that traffic ruin the event, if you’re going to let that shitty conversation get in the way of all the good conversations, you’re not going to have a good life. That these things can happen to you, and they can break you down, and you can choose for the rest of the night to sit on it, or you can be like, “Oh, that was an interesting beginning of my night,” and keep going.
So eventually we got there, and I had really wanted to do a first look with Steven. And you know, at this point we did not know if there was going to be time, but we quickly did do the first look, which I’m so grateful for. Because the first look is the moment for you guys to see each other and connect before you walk down the aisle. So traditionally the first time you see each other is down the aisle, but I really wanted to do the first look. Because one: I didn’t know how much time I would have with him that day one-on-one. Two: you’re supposed to write each other notes. So what we did was he was waiting, his back towards me, and I came behind him and just like all of my worries just dissolved at that moment that I saw like this back, and I was just like… it was just such a reminder for me of why I’m doing this. Like it’s not about the perfect party, it’s about that guy right there.
SAHARA: And so we stood back-to-back, and you know, I was just reading his note to me right now, but the first thing he wrote he was like, “Okay, take a deep breath with me. Three, two, one. Exhale. I know we both needed that right now,” and it was like oh my God, like I’m so blessed to be with someone who just like gets me so much right now. And he was like, “You know, whatever happens today, the only thing that matters right now is at this moment forward we become family.” Like family, like you know, you’d think that you are born into your family, whatever. You choose your family, like right now we’re making the decision to choose to create an entire new lineage of humans.
CASSANDRA: Very epic.
SAHARA: Like this is so big like this is so… like who cares about the details? Like this is us becoming family. So that just like warped me in. And then on the boat ride over, it starts drizzling rain, and I’m like, “Oh my God, there’s no tent out there, there’s no plan B.” And the boat driver happened to have this like old broken umbrella that someone had left the day before, so I am like fending myself off with the rain, and still in my head I’m like, “God, universe, I’m such a good person, I do so much for you. Like please do not rain on my wedding. This can’t happen to me, no. No, this is not happening.” And it started to… and in Hawaii, like you know, when you have those drizzles it turns into a downpour. It stops after five, ten minutes but that’s a five, ten minutes enough to ruin your arch, your everything.
SAHARA: It started to drizzle and it stopped. It did not turn into the downfall, which I’m so excited about. And then that moment before like walking down the aisle, like you know, I was just so just like so much energy in me before and this, and now this is happening, it was all happening so fast. I just kept reminding myself of like, “You’re at your wedding right now. Like you’re about to walk down the aisle right now.” Like everything that was happening I was just verbally saying it to myself to be like, “Like this is your dad walking down the aisle. Like this is the reception.” I call it brain journaling, it’s something I’ve done my whole life, but just to brain journal moments of just like this is how it feels, and tastes, and smells, and sounds right now and just to get myself there. And yeah, going down that aisle, we’re like walking, and I’m looking at all the people just like looking at me, and smiling, and their phones out, even though I had a sign that said, “no phones,” people did not listen. And I’m just looking, and then I look at Steven, and just something came through me that I just broke down crying.
CASSANDRA: That was so sweet.
SAHARA: I don’t even know what it was. I still don’t know. I think it was just honestly all of the energy of the day from like, you know, I experienced every emotion that day. From like anger, sadness, fear, to bliss, happiness, joy.
CASSANDRA: The whole spectrum.
SAHARA: The whole spectrum on that day, which I think is symbolic of what a marriage really is, it’s all of it. And I think just like seeing him it was just this like air of relief of like, “Ah, my husband, finally.”
CASSANDRA: Yeah, finally.
SAHARA: You know? And I did not think I was gonna cry, I’m not a crier. I was actually hoping that he would give me one lonesome tear, which did not happen, but…
CASSANDRA: He did in the first look though.
SAHARA: Was he? No, I don’t…
CASSANDRA: I feel like we were all kind of trying to spy on them while they were doing like, “Oh, he’s crying.”
SAHARA: I mean I surprised myself because I was definitely more of the crier in this situation. But I think that all of that bus shit needed to happen because it broke me open.
SAHARA: And then it just made me so vulnerable to like, “Oh my God, yes, like I’m here to merge with you.” And then in his vows like it was almost like it was so romantic, and so beautiful. And like I thought, like you know, I kept telling him like, “Write your vows, write your vows.” And the fact that he had been working on it for months when he was like acting to me like, “Oh, I’m just gonna do it last minute,” and that just meant so much to me that even after he said his vows I just was like… I started crying.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God, his vows were next level. I feel like also, you know, as a woman sometimes naturally I feel like we’re good at writing like emotional– we’re writers too.
CASSANDRA: So add that to the thing, but his vows were…
SAHARA: A lot of people were like, “I knew you would talk about this stuff, but to see him talk about it, and the past lives, and all the spiritual stuff.”
SAHARA: And also I think that that’s such a good example for like the people in his like more music community to like open them up to consciousness when he’s talking about this not being our first lifetime together, and the cosmos coming forth. I was just so excited. I am deeply humbled to see him speak about that side of himself so openly. Because he is a very spiritual person, but he’s not like a spiritual Instagrammer like I am, it’s just more of his own personal practice. But to be like, yes, and even at the end he was like, “I can’t wait to do this life with you and all of the next lifetimes to come.” And I just love how he infused that into his vows.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, it was so good. That was my highlight of the wedding, Steven’s vows.
SAHARA: They were amazing.
CASSANDRA: So now that you’re looking back and reflecting on all of it, what was something that turned out to be one of your favorite moments that maybe surprised you?
CASSANDRA: You know, so my favorite moment, honestly, yeah it would just be the dancing and the community because at that point there was no more expectation. I feel like before there’s just so much expectation, you’re putting on this show, and it’s like the three ceremonies, and this, and is it gonna work out, and da da da. And then finally when it was over, it was like, “Oh my God, I can just relax.” So just being on that dance floor with everyone surrounding, and everyone clapping, everyone sharing that energy.
And I also really made it my intention of that day to not spend my time in conversation or taking pictures with everyone. Like I see some brides they end up, you know, a friend of mine her and her husband couldn’t even find each other the whole wedding because they just kept getting stuck in conversations. That she would come up and be like, “Oh, have you seen him?” And he would be like, “Have you seen her?” And I did not want that for our wedding so I even said in my little speech I was like, “I’m just gonna be on the dance floor the whole night, you can come see me right here.”
And I’m so glad that I did that because I got to spend as much time as I could connecting with people on the dance floor, open-hearted, which is my favorite way of connecting people, and also I just had so many moments with Steven. You know, I’m really glad we did the sweetheart table, which allowed us to sit together and like just like look out into, “Wow, what we have created here? Like this is incredible.” And just to have those moments of us just dancing together, and having fun, and being silly, so that to me was for sure the highlight. And of course, the ceremony, the vows, and having that resonance, but I loved my brother’s speech.
CASSANDRA: Oh my gosh.
SAHARA: My brother gave the most freaking adorable speech. I definitely started crying after that. But yeah, I think just seeing, you know, I feel like boys just in general they don’t share their emotions that much, but they still have them. And then for them to publicly display it like that, like it was literally the cutest speech. He talked about like my middle school days when I was like super ghetto fab, and then my high school days when I was all about like saving the world, and all of the different phases that I had gone through, but like how no matter what I had his back.
And one thing that he said that really stuck with me, and I was thinking about the whole honeymoon, which I didn’t even remember was he said that cause he went to a different school and he transferred to my school, which was a public school for high school. And he was like, “When I came to public school and I didn’t know anyone, you told all of your friends to wave in the hallway, and that made the world of a difference to me to feel at home.” And I didn’t even remember doing that, but the fact that this 27-year-old boy, like that’s still the thing that he’ll always remember, the fact that I had all of my friends wave at him at the hallway and that made him feel like less of the shy, awkward, nerdy kid. I was like, “Wow, these little things you do for someone that stick with them. And if I could just do more acts of kindness like this, I will be such a happy person.”
And yeah, it’s just all these little things that you take for granted that you just selflessly do can be the maker and break of someone’s entire high school experience. So just to see him share that way, Alyson, Charles’s incredible speech. So Alyson, she’s been on the podcast, RockStar Shaman, she did this beautiful shamanic initiation. So I told her, I was like, “In your speech, like just bring in some spirituality into it.” And she had the drummer synchronize this like beat with her, and she had her rattle, and she just came like wild, wild like– ay ay ay!
CASSANDRA: Oh yeah. She just went for it.
SAHARA: Howling to the moon. She just went for it, and she was playing the rattle, and she was having us all like close our eyes, and clap our hands. It’s like, you know, a lot of like older Persian and Arabic people who have like never done this kind of work, and everyone was just in it. And then she had everyone just say words that they want to give to us. Like love, abundance, joy, just calling out words, and it was just such a beautiful container that she created that to me, again, reminded me of why we’re doing this. It’s not just, okay, you have the ceremony, then you have fun at the reception, and everyone’s drunk and forgets. It’s like, “No, this is a spiritual gathering throughout it all.” And that’s why I am super grateful that she did that, and we were able to accept that tone. And even the way that we started the day.
SAHARA: So let’s share some of that. So the night before Cassandra texted me saying, “Would you like me to come over in the morning and do a meditation for you?” My first thought was, “Oh my God, the morning’s gonna be so stressful. I’m gonna have my hair and make-up. I don’t know if I can do this.” But I was like, “You know what? Like this one meditation could be the difference between my good mood or bad mood that day. So it’s better than me just like, you know, being on my phone or something else.” So you came over and you did this beautiful meditation. Can you share… if you remember, I remember, but yeah.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, I’ll share what I remember, I was just channeling it. But yeah, I always I felt I’ve had clients in the past that have asked me to do wedding day meditation, and it’s been a minute since I’ve done one. But you know, we had so many beautiful intentional things going on, and of course, just because of our relationship and who we are, I was like, well, I also considered it like she probably has a crazy morning, but I’m like, “But I’ll offer it, just in case, you know.” Cause I’m like I’m here and why not, like what a beautiful way to start your day, because it can be a day with so much going on. It’s so easy to get uncentered, it’s so easy to forget the primary intention of your day that to start the day where we’re really just grounded in the love that you and Steven have for each other.
And essentially, we did like a visualization eye gazing meditation without Steven there, like sitting, having them sit across from each other and really seeing the love exchanged. Like inhaling each other’s love and exhaling love to the other person and really being in that infinite, ever-connected stream of love free-flowing between you. To connect that energy and really center that as where you were living that day. So that all the other things that could happen or whatever happened would not kind of break you from that.
And also I am a huge fan of ritual, and initiation, and so that’s you know, for a woman getting– for both people– but especially you know for a woman we’re transcending, right, from our single life, that kind of life, into now into partnership. And that is a really special moment to just honor, and to sit in your power, and to have that, for me, that spiritual ritual, you know, just with you. You know, to be able to say this is like a coming of age for you, a new step in your life, and to take this moment amongst the chaos of people doing hair, and make-up, and all that stuff. And to say, “We’re not going to let this slip by without honoring it like that.”
SAHARA: I loved it, and another thing that you said was you were having me visualize on the golden light that just Steven and I’s energy creates. And then that spreading across the room and the entire wedding, and then that spreading across the entire island, and then that spreading across the entire islands of Hawaii, and then that spreading across the world. And that really stuck with me because it just shows that you as two people creating that love really creates that ripple effect that everyone can feel. And the entire island of Hawaii is going to be a more blissful and joyful place because you are truly diving into love. And something that really just deeply sank with me, and I’m so grateful for you to share that with. And actually, the day after the wedding, when there’s like oh my God, so much to process, and this and that, we had from the day before, we had those coconuts, we had this like epic plant-based lunch the day before.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God, this food was insane.
SAHARA: We’ll tell you about the sister circle, but she had all these beautiful coconuts that she brought, and there were a bunch left over. And I don’t know, I think in my past life I’ve been a water shaman. Like ever since I was like nine years old, I would do coconut rituals on the beach.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God, I love it.
SAHARA: So I was like, “I have all these coconuts, I need to do a coconut ritual.” So I just like took them to the beach, and I was doing my coconut ritual, which is essentially just like giving thanks to the land, and the ancestors, and offering the coconuts back to the sea, and then someone comes up behind me and it’s Steven. And he saw me on the beach, and we did the coconut ritual together, and I was leading him through meditation, and the visualization I said was like our container and the love that it’s creating for this hotel and this island. And so that was inspired by your words, so thank you for that. And I think that he was deeply moved by it too. And you know, just to see that your love can inspire other people to have love. I mean there were a lot of romances that happened that weekend between our friends, and friends and family, and all sorts of combinations of people.
CASSANDRA: Love was in the air.
SAHARA: And just to see that love was so in the air.
CASSANDRA: I really was though.
SAHARA: We were praying, we were like, “Oh my God, I hope there’s another wedding that comes out of our wedding.”
CASSANDRA: It’s likely.
SAHARA: Like how epic.
CASSANDRA: The odds are in your favor.
SAHARA: I know!
CASSANDRA: I think with the amount of people that met.
SAHARA: There’s like four potentials right now, or like a baby, we need something, yeah. But just to be able to see like how many people are like, “Oh my God.” I mean, like a friend of mine saw. He was like, before he was like not sure if partnership, long-term partnership is for him, and after experiencing our wedding, he’s like, “Thank you so much because that made me realize that I’d want to be in a long-term marriage one day.” And it opened up the entire realm of him of what’s possible for him. And it also connected him to his culture because his dad is Lebanese and he’s never been connected to his Arabic side before. And that was like his first time even being part of an Arabic wedding.
And another one of Steven’s friends, Amine, is Arabic and has never been to an Arabic wedding. So for a lot of people, it reminded them of their culture, it reminded them of their potential for love, it reminded them of family. So many people came up to me being like, “Oh my God, just seeing how you guys were such a tight family unit, and like getting to know your dad, and your grandma, and your mom, and your brother, and how much you guys were all there and had each other’s back is something that’s…”
CASSANDRA: Oh my God, Sahara’s dad, you should probably do a podcast episode with your dad.
SAHARA: I know, I should. He was just such a hit. Because my dad is like the smartest person I’ve ever met, and like a lot of people think that of their dad.
CASSANDRA: He’s like Yoda.
SAHARA: But he’s literally like he knows everything. So he was having a blast like talking to people, and getting to know their lives, and being like, “Oh, like your ancestors are from here. Like this is how astronomy relates to astrology,” and like all of these things.
CASSANDRA: He’s just fascinating.
SAHARA: So it was really epic because I feel like a large part of my journey has been disowning myself from my family. You know, like my dad was actually like my biggest rival in my early 20s of me moving to Bali, and having to uncondition myself from everything that I’ve been taught. And there was a lot of disresonance between me and my family, and a lot of me figuring out who I am outside of them. Then honestly, such a healing part of it was for my dad in this speech to be like, “I could not be more proud of my daughter.” Because it was like when I was 23 years old it was like, “I could not be any more ashamed of my daughter.” To now, five years later, to be more proud of my daughter. Why? Because I listened to myself, not because did what he told me to do.
SAHARA: And I think that that was just like, you know, so healing for me, and he talked about that too in his speech. He’s like, “She was gone in Bali for six months, and we were deeply afraid for her, and look at all that she learned.” So I think it’s important for both parents to see that parents don’t always know what’s best for you, and you also might hate your parents and then see that everyone loves them so much, and maybe they do have a lot more gifts that you haven’t been fully appreciating them for.
So moving forward I actually do want to be closer to my family after just seeing how much effort and love that they put into my wedding. And I think that this will like set off our tone in such a deeper way as now as a married woman it’s less of that like child-parent because they like, at this point, like I mean financially they’re not in control of my life. In no ways can they dictate my life, it’s like I’m an adult, and you guys are an adult, and I feel like that’s just going to help us have this much stronger foundation of seeing each other eye-to-eye instead of like child to parent.
CASSANDRA: Wow, how beautiful. What a beautiful like healing to have in that. And also, again, speaks to the fact that like this is a coming of age ritual, right? Where that dynamic now shifts as you, literally, I mean we’ve been having our dads walk us down the aisles for eons right now But to actually feel that energetic change of like, “I am giving you away to Steven right now.”
CASSANDRA: And he can kind of hold that space.
SAHARA: Yeah, this man in your life, it’s not me anymore. Yeah, and that is so beautiful for a parent and child. One like wedding– it’s not a regret– but one thing I became aware of was like how kind of sexist a lot of wedding traditions are. Like it’s very dad-focused, like the dad walks you down the aisle, and you do a first dance with your dad, and the father of the bride speech. And I feel like my mom didn’t really get a chance to be highlighted in the wedding.
SAHARA: I did ask her if she wanted to give a speech and she said that she didn’t. She’s just more into like one-on-one things. But I kind of wish I had maybe pushed her to more because I feel like my dad really got highlighted, and celebrated. He also did the Persian ceremony, and you know, my mom was like the one who was actually like setting up the Persian ceremony, and like a lot of the behind-the-scenes. And I just realized how, you know, if you’re a woman, the father is so focused, and for a groom, the mother is so focused. But I hope that in my daughter’s wedding I get to be involved.
SAHARA: I’m gonna give a speech, and I want to do the ceremony.
CASSANDRA: Like, “I’m gonna give a speech whether you like it or not.”
SAHARA: Yeah. So if anyone’s a bride out there, like just maybe be aware of that. Like I just followed those kind of regular like the father tradition since my mom was like never saying that she wanted to do it, I would just kind of let it go, and I do wish that she had more of a chance to shine and be honored.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, totally. Yeah, and breaking those norms. I will say though I did notice, I actually noticed that your father in the beginning of his speech did try to give as much props as humanly possible to your mom.
CASSANDRA: And I thought, “That’s a very classy move.” I’m glad that he honored her in that way. Because it is true, it’s like of course, you know, and it should even also just be perhaps just individualized. Like what parent do you feel like you want to do this, you know?
SAHARA: Right. Jewish weddings they have both parents walking down the aisle. But well, I’m not Jewish, and also I didn’t want to cover my dress. So I was like…
CASSANDRA: People need to see this gloriousness.
SAHARA: Yeah, sorry, we can’t have two of you. But I do think, yeah, like maybe if she had maybe given a speech or something, that would have been cool. But overall, you know, with the wedding it’s just sort of like it’s that show, it just goes as it goes, and there’s no point in sulking. I’m really glad that I did the honeymoon right after the wedding and didn’t take that like pause of coming back into my life and then the honeymoon. Because from going from all that energy to literally being on a deserted island in Fiji for two weeks where there was no one but me and Steven, I got to really process through a lot of stuff, I got to like let go of, you know, I still held anger towards that whole transportation thing, and why was that a part of my wedding. Or just a lot of things like, I don’t know, the colors of the flowers weren’t how I wanted it to be, or the ring boy didn’t have the rings on him. You know, all these little things that can happen, and I wrote a whole list, and I was like, “What is the point of this list?” Like tell the wedding planner, what’s she gonna say, “Sorry?” Like she can’t go back in time, it just is what it is.
SAHARA: So you just have to be like, “This is how it went. It went exactly as it needed to go. And you have to just focus on the highs and essentially forget about the lows because there’s no point in remembering.” It’s not like you’re gonna have another wedding that you can learn from it and do it again, like that’s it. So just take it as it is, and move forward, and I definitely spent that first week of the honeymoon in a lot of like, “Oh, and this wasn’t right, and that, and they were waiting for a long time for this.” And I was just like what is the point of this? There’s nothing I can do, it happened, and I’m gonna keep on celebrating what’s to come.
CASSANDRA: Yeah what, as you say, a beautiful life lesson in like surrender and unattachment, and also just realizing, you know, that exactly what you said, I have a choice in every moment what I want to focus on. You know, and the whole wedding, and I think the fact that you set such a powerful intention for the wedding about “I want to make sure I dance. I want to make sure that I spend time with my husband. You know, I want to make sure that like I’m not, you know, caught up in conversations and not like actually enjoying the part of the wedding that I want to be a part of,” right? All of those things kind of helped you, and I feel like you accomplished that very successfully, I was very proud of you.
CASSANDRA: You know because I feel like that is one of those things. Like this is what, you know, I feel like what I took as someone who might get married one day. Like be really clear, like you were about what is the most important thing to you in your wedding. Because that, I think the fact that you made that… you aimed your arrow at that, right, made sure that was like 100%, right? That was a green light, that was amazing, and that’ll be the thing that, you know, maybe all these other little things didn’t happen exactly as they want, but like the main thing that was really important to you was 100.
SAHARA: And also, I think what took pressure off was we really made it like a weekend.
SAHARA: So, you know, from Thursday we all just went out to dinner, then Friday we had the rehearsal walking through, which was kind of just like a party just to like see everyone, and connect for the first time. So it wasn’t like all this pressure we’re only going to see each other at the wedding and that’s it. Friday night we had the rehearsal dinner, a little conundrum happened that the wedding planner forgot to put the name tags on people’s tables, so there was a bit of stress of, you know, telling people where they need to sit. Cause sometimes people are like, “Well, I want to sit here and there,” but we handled it with grace, and we kept moving forward.
CASSANDRA: Yes, you did.
SAHARA: And then on Saturday we did the sister circles. So I knew I wanted to bring in ceremony and sisterhood into the wedding weekend. We had the most epic bachelorette party here in L.A., I rented the Party Rock mansion, which yes, is where LMFAO actually lives.
CASSANDRA: It was so fun.
SAHARA: And we did not drink an ounce of alcohol or do an ounce of drugs. We were high on love, and conscious vibes, and Jesus meditations, and all of it.
CASSANDRA: Oh my gosh, yes.
SAHARA: So we should just do another episode about the bachelorette party.
CASSANDRA: Yeah, that’s its own episode.
SAHARA: Cause there’s so much there. But I wanted to bring that energy into the wedding weekend. So the day before we did the sister circle, and all I knew was I wanted to incorporate flower petals, and that I wanted everyone to just like give a blessing to me. Because this beautiful Indian tradition that I love is when women are sitting at the altar, all of the women come, and they whisper words of advice in her ear, and I’m like that’s so stunning. So I didn’t really know like what would come of it, but I knew it was just gonna be awesome, and it really was just almost like… like a talent show of all of you guys just like bringing in your medicine. So we started, you know, it was such a beautiful place, I had this cottage, it was right on the beach, we were on the grass overlooking the water. And a friend of ours, Christine, she brought in cacao, we started with cacao ceremony. And I don’t even know how the flow went, then I think Alyson did her stuff next, Alyson she’s the shaman, the resident shaman.
CASSANDRA: Resident shaman of the group.
SAHARA: And she brought in that beautiful meditation of each person without words giving me their blessing. So I remember yours, Cassandra, you came behind me and you just gave me a hug. And it was so beautiful, like being hugged from behind, is like such a way of being held and just like you’re so supported you can surrender. And I think a lot of times when we are hugging ourselves, it’s like you’re putting in the effort, too, like you’re hugging back. Whereas when someone’s hugging you from behind, there’s nothing you can do, your arms just have to go flaccid, and you just have to surrender into the love. And I’ll always remember that feeling of you hugging me from behind, and how each girl came in with her own unique way. You know, one person like Leona is like playing with my hair, and like reshaping my body, cause that’s just so her.
CASSANDRA: So Leona.
SAHARA: Yeah, and like you know, another girl is like moving my hands, and like everyone’s doing their own, touching my third eye, et cetera. But you know, I thought that was so beautiful because there’s only so much words can say, and just having that physical connection can just take you to such a deeper place and share such a deeper message.
CASSANDRA: Totally. And it was really cool because especially we’ve all been, you know, sitting with each other, and sharing like a lot of– I can’t even remember when or where between the bachelorette party and stuff– like sharing our blessings and our wishings for your day, and for your marriage. And so it was actually a very, it was a beautiful thing to actually think how can I express this? How can I express what’s in my heart in a physical way? And I’m so glad that you received that because that was my thought. I’m like, “I’m gonna sneak attack her from behind so that she just has to like melt into my arms and like really feel like actually feel what it’s like to have someone have your back and like hold you and support you.”
SAHARA: And such a beautiful thing cause I don’t think I’ve ever had a girl do that to me in my life. It’s always like a man.
CASSANDRA: That’s right, I popped the cherry.
SAHARA: Yeah, but it’s so beautiful to be held by your sister.
SAHARA: Like that doesn’t happen.
CASSANDRA: I mean I think that was also something that was super special about– I don’t know was going on in boys camp, but…
SAHARA: They were shaving Steven’s back. We’ll talk about that later.
CASSANDRA: Also a form of male support and ritual I suppose.
SAHARA: Yeah, it is an ancient Arabic ritual.
CASSANDRA: Is it?
SAHARA: That all the men come over and they’re like… they’re like chanting, and singing outside his room, and then they all like 30 of them came, and they like get him ready for the day. So they like shave his back, and they like sprayed him with champagne, and then like shampooed his hair, and like literally got him ready for the day.
CASSANDRA: Oh my God.
SAHARA: The photographer’s like, “There’s like a night and day difference,: between like our room it’s like Deya Dova, like silence, meditation, and their room’s like, “Whoo!”
CASSANDRA: They’re partying over there.
CASSANDRA: That’s really cute though, I love that they did a ritual too.
SAHARA: Yeah. Oh my goodness gracious, there is so much more to share about the lessons learned, and eclipse season, and all of the energetics happening around the wedding. And that’s why our conversation kept going for another hour and I will be having a part two. So whether you’re listening to this on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, YouTube, wherever you’re listening, be sure to subscribe so you are alerted when part two of this conversation goes out in just a couple days. So you can learn all about the deeper aspects that I gained from this wedding experience and just how profound it was on so many energetic levels.
So be sure to subscribe, and also as a reminder, if you want to receive our wedding album, be sure to subscribe over at the link in the podcast show notes. You can also find it on my Instagram bio at @iamsahararose. By subscribing you will receive our full wedding album, all the videos, the details, all of the things. These are exclusive photos that you will not find on social media that I’m just sharing with the fam. So head over there so you can see in picture and video form what we are talking about in this conversation.
If you loved this episode, I would love to share with you the first half of my unreleased book “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type,” which is different from my book “Eat Feel Fresh.” It is my unreleased, never to be released book because it is now part of my “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type” program. I would love to send it to you absolutely free. All you gotta do is leave me a review in the iTunes store, take a screenshot, and email it over to me at [email protected] Again, take a screenshot of the review, and email it to me at [email protected], and I will send you the first half of my unreleased book, “Eat Right For Your Mind Body Type.” Namaste.
Episode 202 All About My Jurassic WEDDING – Part 1 with Sahara Rose