'It was a hot day,' says bride who popped into shop during wedding

Zaakiya Achmat and Ridhaa Ryklief, the newlywed couple who popped into a supermarket during their wedding at the weekend.
Zaakiya Achmat and Ridhaa Ryklief, the newlywed couple who popped into a supermarket during their wedding at the weekend.
Image: Supplied

All that newlywed 21-year-old Zaakiya Achmat wanted was to stretch her legs, have a snack and a refreshing bottle of cold water after hours of wedding proceedings on a hot day in Cape Town.

"It was a spur of the moment thing .... The driver asked us if we wanted to go to the shop and we said 'sure'," she said.

The bridal pair walked into a supermarket in Rondebosch, in their wedding garb, and became instant celebrities on Saturday.

"They looked at me like, 'Oh my God, what is happening?' Someone asked me if I was in a competition and I told him: ‘We got married this morning, we are just really thirsty because it's been a hot day'."

Her husband, Ridhaa Ryklief, 28, said he was overwhelmed by the attention they had received.

"I didn’t even expect people to be taking photos. I just said 'let's go in and get some water' ... just to stretch our legs a bit and get the normal feeling that you get when you walk in shopping malls," he said on Monday.

A photo snapped of the pair in the supermarket, and shared on Twitter, had been liked more than 1,700 times and retweeted 360 times by 1.30pm on Monday.

Chris Quinn tweeted: "Spotted this young bride in her beautiful wedding gown in @PicknPay Rondebosch. She was traveling from the photo session to the reception and got so hungry. So bought some #Simba crisps and bottled water. My #CapeTown today (Her husband at the back in silver/grey suit)."

"We need more of this on social media. So many beautiful everyday connections that are lost in the complaining online world," was one of the replies to his tweet.

Pick n Pay then jumped on the wedding wagon and harnessed the power of Twitter to find the couple and give them a "nice surprise".

Ryklief, from Ottery, and Achmat, from Manenberg, got married at the Primrose Park Mosque and went for a photo shoot on the University of Cape Town’s upper campus.

Little did they know that their marriage would receive so much social media attention when they decided to go into the store.

Achmat said her bridesmaid was in another car after their photo shoot. "We were walking up and down the stairs during the photo shoot and when we got back to the car the water was very warm," she explained.

"It was a spur of the moment thing;  the driver asked us if we wanted to go to the shop and we said 'sure'. When we got there, my husband asked me if I wanted to get out of the car and  I said 'fine'. And then we went into Pick 'n Pay."

Achmat said the reaction from shoppers had taken her by surprise.

Pick n Pay spokesperson Janine Caradonna said: "Since they chose to spend some of their special day with us, we thought it was a wonderful opportunity to give them a nice surprise to help them celebrate.

"We reached out to Twitter on Sunday to help us find them, and Twitter came through for us. We have just spoken to the couple and we will soon deliver a wedding gift for the happy couple to enjoy," she said on Monday.

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