Raeva Malik and Shervin Mirshahi’s Indian-Persian wedding wasn’t just a one-day celebration, but rather a week-long affair filled with floral installments, henna tattoos, and even aerialist performers—à la Cirque du Solei style. The med-school sweethearts held multiple gatherings and parties over the course of a week in order to bring their two families (and cultures!) together. “We both come from such rich heritages and backgrounds that center around the importance of family,” Raeva says.
So, for their multicultural celebration, they planned two ceremonies, a traditional Hindu ceremony and Persian service, and held an elegant sit-down reception, for almost 600 guests, inside Union Station’s main hall. To learn how they pulled it all off, from choosing the dinner menus to their wow-worthy ombre Mandap, check out their extravagant multi-day Indian-Persian wedding below.
The Indian-Persian Wedding Fashion
Raeva and Shervin both wore Indian and Persian clothing for their multi-day wedding. For their ceremonies, Raeva opted for a crystal-covered burgundy, mauve, and magenta sari and had her hands painted with henna. She also decided to wear her mother’s gold necklace, the same necklace her mother wore when she married Raeva’s father in India, to add a sentimental piece to the look. As for Shervin, he wore a shimmering gold sherwani.
After the ceremonies, the couple changed into a second look for their reception. “The reception dress was my splurge, by Indian designer Tarun Tahliani,” Raeva says, adding that Shervin also splurged on his wedding tuxedo, which was from Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label.
The Indian-Persian Wedding Ceremony
To honor each of the couple’s cultures, they decided to host two ceremonies, one Hindu and one Persian. The first service, the Hindu ceremony, was held at the bride’s parents’ home and took place underneath a gorgeous fresh floral Mandap. The Mandap, featuring a purple, mauve, blush, and ivory ombre, served as the perfect backdrop for vows and photo-ops. Each rose petal was hand strung and also paired with hanging crystal to provide a shimmering effect during the dusk ceremony. “The outdoor [Hindu] ceremony was very special to me because it’s a tradition not many people do anymore,” Raeva says. That they were able to host the ceremony outside and at the place where Raeva grew up added an extra sentimental feel to their wedding.
The second service, the Persian ceremony, was also special because it was filled with customs and traditions that were important to Shervin and his family. The table, or sofreh aghd, over which the ceremony took place, included decorative pieces that were handmade my Shervin’s mother and family. “It was lovely to learn some of the similar traditions and music shared between the two regions,” Raeva says.
The Couple’s Portraits
For their wedding portraits, the couple posed at several of DC’s most iconic landmarks and areas, including The National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial. These were especially meaningful to the couple because they are where Shervin proposed. “Shervin actually proposed to me three times,” Raeva says—but the first two times Shervin ‘didn’t think were special enough.’ He really wanted their proposal to be perfect, and after waiting in line all afternoon to get a table at Bad Saint, a popular DC restaurant, with a romantic walk to follow at the National Mall, Shervin found out that the third time was the charm. He asked Raeva to marry him right at the Lincoln Memorial. “It was special to get to take some beautiful pictures there before our reception at Union Station,” they said.
The couple celebrated their Indian-Persian wedding with a stunning reception at Union Station. “Being from the DC area and having been a visitor to [Union Station] so many times, both as a traveler and tourist, I could never have imagined having a wedding event there,” Raeva says. The pair chose to decorate the historic hall with a “crisp and timeless” all-white color palette, which featured clear glassware and dim candle lighting. “The only pop of color in the room were the hand-painted papier-mâchée trinket boxes, which were custom-made in Kashmir, Raeva’s home country,” they said.
The couple crafted a menu, which highlighted Indian and Persian flavors, by working with their two caterers Bombay Tandoor and Design Cuisine. Menu items included Kashmiri chicken meatballs, which the bride’s mother also helped make, Persian chopped salad, and several family-style sides. After dinner, a six-tiered cake featuring a dramatic cascade of red roses, was cut and served followed by a surprise performance by We Cirque. “We wanted the food, flowers, and [entertainment] to fit the space, so everything on this day was grand,” Raeva says. “It turned out perfectly.”
Photographer: Nat Wongsaroj Photography | Venue: Private Residence (Ceremony); Union Station (Reception) | Event Planning: CG & Co Event | Event Design & Florist: Sarah Khan Event Styling | Invitations: Khushi Invitations | Catering: Bombay Tandoor (Ceremony); Design Cuisine (Reception) | Cake: Senora Monica Cakes | Hair and Makeup Artist: Makeup by Dina | Bride’s Attire: Talking Threads (Ceremony); Tarun Tahliani (Reception) | Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren Purple Label (Tuxedo) | Music/Entertainment: Dynasty Ave (Ceremony); Cherry Blossom String Quartet (Cocktail Hour); DJ Stoon (Reception); Pyroxotic (Aerialists) | Videographer: Josh Gooden | Custom Bars: Syzgy Events | Furniture Rentals: Something Vintage | Lighting: Frost Lightning