Please join Ellie and Michael from April 10-12, 2015 as we celebrate our wedding in New York City.


Mexico City 2013

Michael's Story

Michael Collins was born in London, and grew up in Sheffield, UK. After graduating from Cambridge, he decided to leave jolly old England for the States. After several years in Philadelphia and Boston, he finally moved to New York to teach Natural Language Processing at Columbia University.  Michael is an avid reader, tea drinker, and cyclist. Oh, yea he also plays the saxophone.


Ellie's Story

Ellie was born in a tiny, virtually unknown town called Sewickley in Pennsylvania, and grew up mostly in Wellesley,  Massachusetts and Tehran, Iran. After living in Massachusetts for several years, Ellie moved to New York to study International Education at NYU. Now at Columbia, she works as a student affairs adviser to graduate engineering students. She loves photography, art shows, and being dragged along on 60 mile long bike rides with Michael.


Our Relationship

We met in 2013, at Columbia, working on a Coursera project, but it wasn't until we hung out at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia that we realized there was something there.  Both travelers at heart, we spent a year trotting around the globe, sharing our love for food, art and culture.  Michael proposed to Ellie on July 4, 2014 during a long hike around Halki, Greece. After much coaxing, he convinced her to climb a steep mountain to see a Venetian Castle instead of going to watch the World Cup. At the castle he popped the question and the rest is history!


We have blocked several rooms at two different hotels near our wedding venue. Please see our Accommodation section for more information. 

Photo by PrillipVX


Ceremony & Formal Reception to Follow     

6:00 PM to 11 PM

The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street (on the corner of Park Avenue & 68th Street)
New York, NY

Wear your best suit and dress (cocktail or long) to celebrate a night of dinner and dancing! 


What is Sofreh Aghd?

Translated, "Sofreh Aghd" means "Wedding Spread." Rooted in ancient Zoroastrian traditions, the Sofreh Aghd consists of symbolic objects that bring good luck to the bride and groom. - Artfully Wed

To find out the meaning of each symbolic object, please see here.  

What happens during the ceremony?

During the ceremony the bride and groom sit in front of the table under a silk cloth held by the wedding party, usually women, who are close to the bride and groom.

The ceremony opens with an officiant reciting good wishes to the couple and emphasizing the importance of marriage and family. The officiant then briefly explains the symbolic meaning of each item on the table and its relevance to the couple's relationship and future. For example, honey, is to wish the couple sweetness in their marriage and the candelabras and the mirror represent a bright future.

The officiant then asks the bride if she takes the groom to be her lifelong partner three times, and asks the groom the same question three times as well. Once the couple say yes, they exchange rings, and feed each other honey from the table to seal their marriage in sweetness.

Above photo by


Above Photo by