Real Columbus Wedding: Sama Sabihi and Owen Daugherty

Baha’i, Persian and Christian traditions combine in this beautiful Downtown event.

Jennifer Wray
Sama Sabihi and Owen Daugherty married on June 10, 2022, at the Columbus Museum of Art.

June 10, 2022 | Credit Bosco Sticks—cheese-stuffed breadsticks from a dive bar—for building the foundation of Sama Sabihi and Owen Daugherty’s romance: The pair met while sitting next to each other at Oldfield’s North Fourth Tavern. “I’m not a drinker, but they just have the best snacks,” Sama says. 

Things got serious fast, and in 2018, the couple relocated to Washington, D.C., for Sama's graduate program. In 2021, Owen proposed, Sama said yes, and their work to plan a wedding from afar began. The resulting event incorporated Sama’s and Owen’s religious traditions (Persian/Baha’i and Christian, respectively) and other personal touches. 

Owen’s friends played music for the processional, and the wedding program was designed as a newspaper, reflecting his career in journalism. 

Baha’i weddings only require that the couple exchange a brief vow. To that, Sama and Owen added a reading from the Bible, a prayer in Farsi, chanting by Sama’s grandmother and readings from the works of bell hooks and 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, as well as vows they wrote themselves. Persian elements included the incorporation of sofreh aghd (a table with items representing the couple’s life together and marriage) and a ceremony in which Sama’s sisters sprinkled sugar on the couple to symbolically sweeten the marriage. 

Sama’s brother designed a poster for guests to sign. A friend gave them dance lessons; another did Sama’s hair and makeup. Both their mothers helped with dessert. “It was important to us to have our loved ones be a part of the wedding,” Sama says. 

The couple’s first dance was to “Find Someone Like You” by Swedish-born, Persian singer Snoh Aalegra; wedding favors came from Calabash Tea in D.C., which created a custom blend and packaging with a QR code linked to a playlist of the couple’s favorite songs. Kuro Neko Cake Studio created a cake with roses and pistachios as a nod to the traditional Persian Love Cake; the cake also served as the center of a Persian “knife dance.” 

Owen’s advice to other couples when wedding planning? Trust your gut. “Stay true to what you like,” he says. “It’s really easy to get inundated with ideas. We knew what we were about, what we wanted. 


Photographer and videographer: Bear Creative Co. 

Planner: 614 Events and Planning 

Ceremony, reception and caterer: Columbus Museum of Art 

Desserts: Cake from Kuro Neko Cake Studio, other desserts from Kris’s Confections (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) 

Florist and rentals: Prema Designs 

Music: Elite Plus Events 

Stationery: Invitation suite from Avant-Garde Impressions, other stationery from 

Signage: PGH Print Ship (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 

Accommodations: Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph (newlyweds), Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel (guests) 

Rehearsal dinner: Antiques on High 

Bride’s attire: Lotus Threads gown from Rosalin’s Bridal Boutique (Falls Church, Virginia), Sara Gabriel veil from Luxe Redux Bridal, Jeffrey Campbell heels 

Gown alterations: Original Alterations 

Groom’s attire: Tuxedo and accessories from The Black Tux 

Rings: Scott's Custom Jewelers 

Bridesmaids’ attire: Park & Fifth gowns 

Flower girl’s attire: Dress from Dillard’s 

Groomsmen’s attire: Suits from Pursuit 

Ring bearer’s attire: Suit from JCPenney 

A version of this story first appeared in the spring/summer 2023 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in January 2023.