According to Islamic law a man and a woman can say their vows themselves and be married, as simple as that, however like everywhere else marriage is no simple affair in Iran. Usually a clergy or a licensed person or sometimes a well-established judge performs the ceremony and then the marriage is registered in the official registry. In the past centuries performing marriage ceremony has been one of the sources of income for the clergies, although it never has been their monopoly.
Still in this ceremony the authority is not that of the office, but it rests with the couple. Those who perform the ceremony ask for the power of attorney first to perform the ceremony and they say their religious vows on behalf of the couple. (This is the part that a bride should wait three times to say; “yes”)
It has been a long and ancient custom to have this ceremony performed by an individual of high standing in the society and good reputation. Thus many grand ayatollahs, Sufis, men famous for their honesty or virtues are usually asked to perform this ceremony. Former President Khatami is no exception in this matter. The photo, taken from webneveshteha.com, shows him after performing the ceremony for Amir Mehdi Jouleh a screenplay writer.
What is interesting about this photo? Well in a society where wearing a tie is officially discouraged how often you see a former president with a groom who is wearing a pink tie!