Different faiths kept the Arends couple from marrying because they avoided getting into the complications of rituals. But after spending 14 years together and bearing a child, Mansoor Arends finally decided to tie the knot with Celeste Baliraj.
Their picturesque beach wedding, fit for a film scene, set the bar for couples who may be facing the same dilemma.
"Because of our different religions we wanted to have a ceremony that was nonreligious but still kept the elements of a white wedding and traditional reception. Also, because we are from different cities - it made sense to have it as a 'destination wedding' so that our families from across the world could easily make it without feeling like the venue was leaned towards one side of the family. We both also just loved the idea of getting married on the beach because it would be a different experience," says Baliraj.
Baliraj, who grew up in Port Elizabeth, says she couldn't wait to finally become the wife to her fiance' from the diamond town of Kimberley.
They met in Joburg in January 2004 through mutual friends. But it would be their son who would eventually pop the question.