A chance meeting on a night out more than five years ago led to love and marriage for Dhirendra and Jill Mahadeva.
Dhirendra (36), an orthopaedic surgeon from Malaysia, and Jill (36), a clinical psychologist from Coleraine, were both living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne when they first got together.
They got chatting in a bar, became friends, started to date and then became engaged at the beginning of last year. Jill and Dhirendra, who currently live in Birmingham, first married in May 2011 at a civil ceremony in |Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Then, on April 14, they married for a second time, in front of 90 guests, at a Hindu wedding ceremony at Lissanoure Castle in Loughgiel, Co Antrim.
“We had a fantastic day,” Jill said. “Everything was about bringing our different cultures together.
“I arrived for the service in a tuk-tuk, with our little girl, Maya, and my father.
“We had shamrocks and Indian decorations everywhere and Irish
and Malaysian food at the reception.
“There were tiny pies with different fillings, like chilli crab and chicken and leek, that went down very well with our guests. Our day was about bringing Malaysian, Indian and Irish culture together.”
The happy couple's colourful Hindu wedding service was the first of its kind to be held at the romantic gothic-style Lissanoure Castle.
Jill said it was lovely their 10-month-old daughter, Maya, could be part of the ceremony.
“It was a very colourful day,” Jill added.
“We really made the most of the day.
“It was fun and very relaxed.
“It was a first for Lissanoure Castle hosting a Hindu ceremony,” she said.
“It involved us having a fire inside, being tied together and both making seven different vows to each other.”
The Mahadeva family will be moving to South Africa in August for a year, so they hope to have a honeymoon then.
“Married life is great,” said Jill. “People are already asking about a third wedding, because they had such a good time celebrating our marriage.
“I would like to thank my family and Dhiren's family for all their love and support.”