An Elegant Multicultural, Multiday Wedding in Lisbon, Portugal
Kaja Jorgensen and Khaled Verjee blended their cultural backgrounds, love of travel and minimalistic tastes for a wedding in Lisbon, Portugal, for 115 guests. "Our families and friends are scattered around the world, so we knew from the start that our wedding needed to be somewhere easily accessible for everyone," Kaja says. "After many exploratory travels, we finally settled on Lisbon, due its diverse history and feel. Khaled is Ismaili Muslim and I am European, and we felt that the gorgeous Moorish architecture reflected both of our cultures in a unique way." The festivities started with a welcome party at the Hotel Santa Clara 1728, a bridal mehndi and a wedding ceremony at Jardim Botanico d’Ajuda. "We kept décor minimal to let the gardens shine and added Indian touches. There were live food stations serving Indian food, colorful hanging umbrellas, lanterns, henna artists and a sitar player to set the mood," Kaja says. These events were followed by a cleansing ceremony and traditional Indian meals. The next day, guests had a Portuguese dinner at Palácio dos Marqueses da Fronteira. "For our reception, we wanted the décor to complement the 18th-century palace plastered in azulejo tiles and nestled amidst lush gardens," Kaja says. "Blue table accents complemented the blue tiles on the walls, florals were soft and romantic, colors were kept minimal and candles offered a soft glow and intimate atmosphere." Portraits of the bride, the groom and their siblings served as table numbers. For dessert, the couple served a simple one-layer olive oil cake topped with fleur d’oranger cream cheese frosting and physalis. "Our pastry chef thought we were crazy when we showed up with the recipe in hand, but it ended up being so popular that we later included the recipe on our thank-you cards," Kaja says. She wore a few different outfits for the wedding: a bridal sari for her ceremony, a floral organza sari for celebrating and an elegant white dress for the reception the next day. Khaled wore a custom suit for the ceremony and reception, as well as a traditional kurta for celebrating. To end the festivities, Kaja and Khaled hosted a casual brunch on the rooftop of the Verride Palace hotel.
Our favorite #MakeTradition moment: "On the day of our ceremony at the Jardim Botanico d’Ajuda, Khaled was led through the grounds by two drummers, followed by a parade of friends and family that took turns carrying him on their shoulders while dancing their way toward the altar," Kaja says.