Why This Man Began NOOR, a Center for Light, Love and the Party of Your Dreams


Robert Shahnazarian remembers being a small child in Palm Springs. His parents were friends with artists and musicians, who normally worked Saturday nights, but on Sundays came over for all-day barbecues, swimming and big dinners. "When I was trying to go to bed at night, that's when the party would start. There was live music and singing and celebrating in the living room," he said. To this day, he remembers the food and drink laid out on the table, the music, and the feeling of everyone being warmly welcomed.

It's no wonder, then, that Robert went on to work in the music industry, and later, decided to open a Pasadena event venue called NOOR with his wife, Maggie Shahnazarian and brother-in-law, Sarkis Khatchikian. The space is home to parties and corporate meetings, but the main focus is weddings.

The inspiration came when Maggie was planning her brother's wedding. He didn't want a traditional banquet hall wedding—he wanted something more modern and chic and charming, without having to pay exorbitant country club prices, but it was tough to find. After learning how to create the business part of making magic, in November, 2010, NOOR opened its doors as a space that could accommodate all cultures, provide professional service, top-notch food and drink, all at affordable prices.

Robert said that they want their guests to leave with a sense that they've transcended the ordinary. The name NOOR is fitting, then, because in Armenian, it means "pomegranate," a symbol, of fertility and abundance; in Farsi, Arabic and Hindi, the word means "light" or "illumination."

"The couples generally are young, they're in their mid 20s. And all they're thinking about is throwing a great party, but our job is to remind them of parents, grandparents, and cultural sensitivities to ensure that on the day the wedding, everybody's happy," Robert said.

As you celebrate the month of love and make plans for the future, you can visit NOOR now and mid-November for their stylish and luxurious Wedding Show.


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