2020 has been the worst year yet. The COVID global pandemic caused small businesses to shut down, people to lose their jobs, couples to cancel, reschedule or re-plan their weddings, and families to stay apart from each other due to a health crisis. And just when we thought things couldn't get worse, the war in Artsakh started in September. Our hearts have shattered into a million pieces, and we pray for all the families who have been affected - from our heroic soldiers who fought to protect our land, to the displaced families of Artsakh. 

Like most Armenians, we have done what we can to help - financial donations, activisms to drive awareness, contacting representatives, etc. Our favorite way to support Armenia is by supporting Armenian owned businesses and Armenian organizations. We started Harsanik in 2007 because we wanted to celebrate our rich Armenian culture and to support Armenian wedding vendors. And so we hope you will continue to support Armenian owned businesses this holiday season and for all future gift giving celebrations. And if you can't find the right gift, consider making a donation in lieu of gifts.

We've compiled our Buy Armenian: Holiday Gift Guide so you can feel good treating your loved one while supporting Armenians.

Buy Armenian Gift Guide: Ararat Gift Box Subscription from Armenia

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With Summer coming to an end, we are transitioning to darker colors, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and everyone's favorite, Fall and Winter fashion. As leaves turn brown and the weather gets cold, bridal gown styles change as well. We scoured the internet and found 12 beautiful wedding gowns that are perfect for a Fall or Winter wedding. We chose our favorite designs from three top wedding designers: Pronovias, Ysa Makino, and Berta Bridal. We hope these dresses inspire new brides and help simplify the wedding dress shopping experience.  

1. Pronovias

Top Bridal Gowns for Fall and Winter 2018

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Bridal Bouquets have traditionally been carried down the aisle by many brides. They are very important and must match the style of the wedding and the bride's overall look. The bridal bouquet makes a statement as it is the bride's main accessory during the wedding. There are many styles of bouquets to complement every bride. Brides can choose to do one or a combination of these styles. Here are 8 styles of bridal bouquets to help you find the one that best suits you! 

1. Round Bouquet

A round bouquet usually consists of flowers cut at the same height and tightly bound by stems in a round shape. This bouquet is perfect for the classic, traditional bride. 

round bridal bouquet

See more photos from Ishtar and Lawrence's Featured Wedding

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Armenian weddings have many traditions. The red and green ribbon ceremony is one such tradition. This ceremony is said to be an old Armenian tradition that has been passed down and kept mainly by Armenians in specific areas of Iran, such as Isfahan. As most traditions, there might be slight variations of its’ origins. 

In the old times, the crown that was placed on the bride and groom’s heads during the wedding ceremony was made of white, green and red threads. These colors signified peace, life, and sacrifice. The red and green ribbons are related to this tradition. Accordingly, green signifies life and red signifies sacrifice.

red and green ribbon ceremony

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Recently, a very dear friend of Harsanik co-founders Marineh and Garen, Sevada Mardirosian, got engaged. Marineh and Sevada went to Hoover High School together (Go Tornadoes!) and Sevada still jokes that he is the reason Marineh was able to attend her high school graduation ceremony. Sevada mentioned to Marineh a few days before the proposal his plans of popping the question, and we were ecstatic with the wonderful news.  And it was no surprise that Sevada planned an incredibly romantic proposal since he is a hopeless romantic. He paid attention to every tiny detail and made sure to sweep Lusineh off her feet. We're thrilled to feature Sevada and Lusineh's love story and proposal details on Harsanik! 

Featured Proposal: Sevada & Lusineh

Tell us about how you two met and what drew you to each other. 

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If Sako and Lilit look familiar to you, it's because we've been following their love story on our blog since last year! First, we shared Sako and Lilit's heartwarming proposal at their dance studio. We later featured the couple's stunning engagement party and engagement photo shoot. So we're thrilled to now share Sako and Lilit's beautiful wedding that took place on September 21, 2018. Sako and Lilit have a special type of love that one can clearly see in pictures and videos. We spoke with Lilit to get the details about their wedding day, the memorable first look, and their wedding planning adventures.

Featured Wedding: Sarkis & Lilit

Tell us about your wedding planning experience.

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Harout and Vanessa were the winners of the Harsanik Engagement Photoshoot Giveaway with Jay Jay Studios. As part of the giveaway terms, we asked the couple to allow us to share their photos on social media. Not only did Harout and Vanessa share their photos with us, but they even gave us and our followers on Instagram backstage access to their entire photo session! We didn't expect to fall head over heels in love with this couple when Jay Jay Studios did our Instagram Takeover in April. After their photo session, we connected with them to learn a bit more about them. Harout and Vanessa are both Armenian and were born in Southern California. Harout works in Venture Capital and Vanessa is an attorney. We thoroughly enjoyed connecting with these young professionals and learning all about their love story, their romantic proposal, and their gorgeous engagement photoshoot at the LACMA Urban Lights

Featured Engagement Photoshoot: Harout & Vanessa

When and how did you two meet?

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This weekend, the lovely couple Star and Zhebo got married on Saturday, October 17th. While we normally love to share wedding stories and photos, this week we are thrilled to feature Star's bridal shower. Star’s Bollywood theme bridal shower was fun, unique, and simply stunning! We absolutely love when people incorporate a unique theme as part of their event, so we interviewed Star to learn all about her gorgeous and unique Bollywood themed bridal shower. We adored every detail and are very excited to share with you the inspiration behind the theme, the design elements, the games and the traditions incorporated!

Star's Bollywood Bridal Shower

Photos by Rene Zadori Photography

Before we share photos and details of this gorgeous shower, we wanted to introduce to you the couple. Every wedding begins with a love story and Zhebo and Star have theirs! The two went to school together. They were friends in high school, but never anything more. They lost touch after high school and happened to meet at work years later. They became good friends again, and before they knew it, they became inseparable. As Star jokes, so she let him marry her! Interestingly, they are polar opposites with uncompromising love and respect for each other! They have both made such progress in life since meeting each other and can’t wait for all the more to come in the future. They are excited to begin this new journey together. Marriage won't be the end of anything; Instead the beginning of everything.

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