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Couple get on their bikes for day to remember

IT was not a traditional fairytale wedding for a young Brazilian couple who cycled through the city centre before sinking pints of Guinness in Temple Bar.

Rafael Fernandes dos Santos and Stella Costa Mayrink turned heads on their big day as they cycled around Dublin's city centre in their wedding attire.

The couple met 11 years ago when they were 15 after Stella and her family moved to Vitoria-Espirito Santo, a city 500km north of Rio de Janeiro. The teens went to the same school and instantly became friends.

Both aged 26, the childhood sweethearts moved to Dublin to study English a year ago but stayed on after Rafael got a job here as a software engineer at Avnet Client Solutions.

They had initially planned to get married in Brazil but in the end opted for something a little more Irish when they got hitched last week.

"We were together for seven years before we came here," Rafael said. "We have some friends here but in truth it is only me and her."

PEDAL

First the couple used their Dublin Bikes to get to their wedding and opted for a pedal around Temple Bar and Dublin's docklands and quays and the city centre. Both carried umbrellas in their bicycle baskets in case the rain threatened to ruin their big day.

People cheered the couple on as they cycled past before they then made their way to one of the city's most popular watering holes where they shared a kiss over two pints of Guinness.

Traditions such as the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding were ignored as they helped each other to get ready that morning in the Grafton Capital Hotel.

"We started our day together in a hotel, took a Dublin Bike [each] and hung around the city," said Stella.

"We took a quick Stopover to The Temple Bar Pub to have a pint of Guinness, walked on Henry Street, O'Connell Street and headed to the registration office in Lower Grand Canal," she added.

Stella wore a vintage cream wedding dress and carried a bouquet that she had crafted herself.

They got a rickshaw from their ceremony to lunch in their favourite Spanish restaurant where they cut a tiered cake covered in chocolate and fruit.

The cake was given to them as a gift from Sam's Cookies, in Bray, Co Wicklow, where Stella works part-time while she is still studying.

The day was topped off with a karaoke session where they spent hours belting out hits.

While many of their closest friends and family in Brazil were unable to make the long trip to Ireland for the couple's big day, they live-streamed the wedding and posted links on Facebook for their global audience and guests.

hnews@herald.ie


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