Weddings: Shared taxi between two strangers leads to a shared life together
A chance meeting on a night out led to a romance that neither partner could have imagined.
Laura McSherry had no idea she was about to meet the love of her life as she got into a taxi in Belfast one evening in April 2005.
Four years later Laura and Ryan Rodrigues got married, and the pair say they have never looked back.
“He was out with a load of his friends and asked if we wanted to share a taxi, so we all hopped in together,” Laura said.
“I remember Ryan chatting me up in the back of the taxi and in the queue outside a club — he was really good fun.”
Laura (31), a nurse from Ardglass in Co Down, and Ryan (33), a pharmacist from east Belfast, went on their first date just two days later.
“He took me out for a meal and it went from there,” said Laura. “I really liked him and we had a good laugh together.”
After dating for nearly three years, Ryan proposed to Laura during a romantic dinner at Castle Murray House in Co Donegal.
“I won’t say it was unexpected — I had been torturing him to do it for a long time,” Laura joked.
“I’d even picked my ring in advance. I left the style and number for a ring from Lunn’s on his computer and left it up to him.”
The couple wed in a traditional ceremony at the Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Rossglass, Co Down.
Laura said getting married in a 250-year-old church in the shadow of the Mourne Mountains was “a dream come true”.
“There were over 200 people at the wedding and that was just family and friends.”
There was also a special guest at the couple’s big day in September 2009.
Ryan’s uncle, Father Favio Rodrigues, flew nearly 5,000 miles from Goa in India to conduct the ceremony.
“He’s quite old, so it meant a lot to him to marry us and get together with all the family,” said Laura. “It made the day all the more special.”
After a Celtic-themed reception in the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle, Ryan whisked Laura away for a dream honeymoon cruise.
The couple flew to Los Angeles and spent the next few weeks visiting South America, Aruba and the Caribbean.
One year on and the couple, who live off the Castlereagh Road in Belfast, are happily enjoying married life.
“We’ve a wee girl now, Nina, who is just five months old,” said Laura.
“Our wedding and honeymoon were once in a lifetime experiences, but she’s our priority now.
“I would have said my wedding day was the best day of my life — until the day I had her.”