When Shirin and Ronnie met under the flashing strobes of Las Vegas nightclub, Lavo; the last thing either of them expected to find their future partner. But serendipity works in mysterious ways.
Ronnie, working and living in California, was originally from Vancouver, where Shirin was living at the time. With such busy lives, the pair didn’t see each other for about a year after their first meeting. But when they eventually met again for a quick bite, they hit it off immediately and love soon flourished.
Here, Shirin recounts her love story.
"The night Ronnie proposed was the most magical night of my life.
He popped the question at the end of a trip that took us to New York, Paris, Barcelona, Venice and Florence. We’d walked the romantic streets of Paris, taken dreamy gondola rides in Venice and enjoyed candlelit dinners in Florence, yet it was London that he had his heart set on for the proposal.
I didn’t think he was going to propose on the very last day! He asked me to be his wife on the banks of the Thames with London’s skyline providing a dramatic backdrop. It was perfect."
"We had a huge engagement party a year before the Big Day, attended by 400 close friends and family.
It was a beautiful night with beautiful décor and plates upon plates of Indian and Iranian food. I planned the entire event with my in-laws and mum, so it was very much a family affair.
There were also a couple of surprise speeches and Ronnie’s brothers flew in all the way from London to surprise him at our engagement."
"I adored the uber-luxe, hotel chic feel of the Moon Palace resort in Mexico and there was truly something for everyone, from our parents to the kids. After another return visit in December last year to get to grips with the details we got in touch with Melba Lapham-Jensen from Mi Tierra Holidays.
She was incredible, coordinating 100 flights and accommodation and taking care of our family as if they were her own. We booked a DJ and a talented hair and makeup artist from London and took Ellen Ho from Hong Photography with us. After months of planning, it was finally time to head south of the border and get hitched!"
The Religious Ceremony
"Since Ronnie is Sikh and I’m Persian, we had two ceremonies.
Makeup began at 7am so I would be ready for the 11am Sikh ceremony in the resort’s gazebo. Ronnie arrived on a horse with his family and dhol players with my relatives waiting to greet him at the entrance.
The Sikh ceremony was in English as well as Punjabi to allow everyone to enjoy and understand the ceremony."
The Persian wedding
"The Persian ceremony was something I’d been looking forward to my whole life and it was better than I ever could have hoped.
I arrived on a fairytale white carriage pulled by a chestnut brown horse in a gorgeous embroidered white gown with fresh flowers in my hair.
The ceremony was all the more beautiful because my grandfather married us. He spoke beautifully and by the time we walked out of the venue there wasn’t a dry eye in the house."
"Once the Iranian ceremony was over, it was time to celebrate! We had a cocktail hour with a live violinist while guests enjoyed the beach. Ronnie and I made our entrance to a spectacular fireworks display.
We served all our favourite foods at the reception; lots of fresh, light salads, juicy corn on the cob drenched in butter and spiced lamb skewers. Tables were dressed with tall centerpieces made with white roses and smaller vases with orchids."
The bride: Shirin Sharifikhah
The groom: Ronnie Jagday
Married: April 18-19 2015
Reception: Moon Palace Spa & Resort
Photography: Hong Photography