Two La Jolla High graduates tied the knot on 6/7/08 at Mt. SoledadFor Janie Liu and Hamid Badiozamani, love was found in the consecutive numbers. The Carlsbad couple had their first date on 6/5/04 and they said “I do” on 6/7/08.
MR. TEACHWORTH’S FATEFUL CLASS:Paper wads and spitballs brought Janie and Hamid together. The two sat a few rows away from each other in Mr. Teachworth’s physics class in 1996. And on one particular day, Mr. Teachworth, who still teaches at LJHS today, left the classroom to run an errand and some jocks starting horsing around, throwing paper wads and spitballs toward the front of the class. One of the spitballs struck Jamie, who was a freshman at the time. Hamid, then a senior, ran to her rescue. He embraced her to shield her from the attack. “Janie was totally creeped out by this and she got up and promptly left the classroom,” Hamid said. Despite Janie’s lack of interest, Hamid persisted. Hamid would ask Janie out on dates and she would turn him down. Out of respect, Hamid backed off. He graduated from high school that year and the two went their separate ways. Well, at least for a few years.
6/5/04:In 2004, after college and a long list of life experiences, Janie and Hamid’s paths crossed again. The couple ran into each other at Yoshinoya restaurant in Kearny Mesa. “I gave her my number, she called me and we had a date on 6/5/04,” Hamid said. On their first date, they went to Mt. Soledad, Balboa Park and a number of other spots. And the rest was history? Not quite. When Janie, now 27, and Hamid reunited, Janie had just gotten out of a long relationship. Rushing into another serious relationship was not something she wanted. She and Hamid, now 29, took things slow.
‘LOCK THIS DEAL IN’:In the summer of 2007, Janie was accepted into medical school, which meant she was moving to Las Vegas. “Since she was going to be going away, I thought to myself, ‘I better lock this deal in,’” Hamid said. Hamid, co-founder of a company that does loyalty marketing for radio stations, hatched a plan. He told Janie they were going to be going on a trip, but he wouldn’t tell her where they were going. “She’d be on the computer trying to look to see where my Google maps were taking me,” Hamid said. “I knew all this so I tried to throw her off by doing searches in far-off places.” The only thing Hamid told Janie is that they were going south. And they did go south - to the airport. From there, they went to Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna. While in Vienna, the couple attended a concert at Schoenbrunn Palace, which is where Mozart and Salieri competed. Janie loves classical music - one of her majors at UC Berkeley was music. Following the concert, Hamid took Janie to a cafe inside the Hotel Sacher. While there, Hamid asked Janie to close her eyes. He wound up a piano music box that he had bought during the concert’s intermission and put the ring inside. “I told her to open her eyes and said, ‘Let’s get married,’” Hamid said.
A FELLOW LJHS GRAD:The couple began planning their wedding last October. They originally wanted to get married on June 5, since that is their dating anniversary. To their dismay, June 5 was on a Thursday this year. Saturday was their desired day and that just happened to be 6/07/08. They hired wedding planner Cynthia Zatkin Blase, a fellow LJHS grad and owner of CZ Events, to help them coordinate all the details. Janie said the toughest part of the planning was doing it from afar. Since she was at school in Las Vegas, she was doing everything via e-mail and phone. Hamid went to a lot of the planning meetings.
DANCE OF CULTURES:The wedding combined Western tradition with aspects of Janie and Hamid’s cultures. Janie is Taiwanese and Hamid is Iranian. The Iranian tradition of having a sofreh-e-aghd, or a wedding table, was incorporated into the ceremony. The table held items symbolizing various aspects of life and marriage. Incense symbolized health and longevity, almonds and walnuts symbolized fertility and coins stood for financial success. “We got ourselves a Christian minister and we were at Mt. Soledad with the cross behind us - that was supposed to symbolize our American upbringing,” Hamid said. A floral arrangement called “Dance of Cultures” was set up near the cake table at the 167-guest reception, which was held at the Westin downtown. The arrangement combined Asian and Middle Eastern flowers. Guests feasted on an Iranian buffet during dinner and took home gold Chinese takeout boxes filled with Sacher tortes, just like the ones Janie and Hamid ate the night they got engaged.
TAIWANESE BRUNCH:The next morning, approximately 130 of the couple’s guests reunited for a Taiwanese brunch at King’s Garden in Mira Mesa. Hamid and Janie wore custom-made Chinese suits to the brunch. “We still have a lot of connection to our home countries and we wanted to make sure they were well represented,” Hamid said.