SA love story: Different faiths couldn't keep them apart, they were tied by heart

SA love story: Different faiths couldn't keep them apart, they were tied by heart

When Cupid shoots his little arrow at your heart, he doesn't first check what your religious beliefs are.

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People fall in love with each other's souls and then things like religion doesn't have to matter as much.

Beautiful - and clearly in love - couple Celeste Baliraj and Mansoor Arends prove this wonderfully.

The two recently got married on a beach after being together for 14 years and having a son.

For a long time, religion did hamper Celeste and Mansoor's marriage plans but only because of the ritual complications.

The couple finally settled on a wedding ceremony that wasn't religiously orientated but still had the elements of a traditional wedding. A beach in Ballito Bay was the ideal background for their plans.

Celeste and Mansoor met in 2004 in Johannesburg. While Mansoor was eager to marry Celeste, it wasn't he who asked her to marry him.

That task was taken by their young son.

Celeste remembers how it happened:

Our son asked me on behalf of his dad. He always wants him to be part of any big decision or event in our lives.

She had gotten home from work when her excited son approached her with the ring and asked if she would marry his father. She couldn't say no.

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Celeste says she knew a traditional wedding was never an option because of their different religions, according to a report by SundayWorld.

So, they compromised.

The Arends wedding took place without a priest or imam. They simply used a marriage officer to make things legal.

Celeste also walked down the aisle alone because being 'given away' by her father didn't feel right when she and Mansoor have been together for years.

The wedding dress Celeste settled on was a little unconventional because she didn't want a cumbersome dress.

The initial design was my own, but my designer, Gerald C, based in Pretoria, helped me make it look more bridal than I originally had in mind.

This couple is an inspiration to any couples who feel their religions are standing in the way of their happiness. All it takes is a bit of compromise and a lot of love.

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