Real LGBT Weddings

Ashna Devi and Marilyn Huijgens

It was an accidental meet online for Ashna Devi and Marilyn Huijgens in 2009. Ashna, originally from Fiji Islands and Marilyn, born in the Netherlands to an Irish mammy and Dutch daddy, hit it off immediately, Skyping for six months before the big meet. Ashna recalls the beginning of her relationship with her beloved ‘Mars’. “Mars flew to New Zealand to meet me on May 12, 2010. I then flew back to Ireland with her a month later and have been here since.”

After three blissful years of dating Mars got down on one knee and proposed to Ashna. “We went up to Donegal for a midweek break. I was hoping to propose to her on the beach by writing in the sand ‘will you marry me?’ but the weather was so bad that day with wind and rain it was safer to stay away from the beach. When we got to the hotel, Ash was videoing the suite we were in so while she had her back turned, I grabbed the ring and kneeled down behind her while nervously saying “Bubba, I want to ask you something…” and she then slowly turned around and I smilingly asked ‘will you marry me?’ with the ring in my hand. She said “Aw baby, of course I will.’ It was a very emotional moment.” 

And so began the wedding planning. The date was set for August 28, 2015. 80 of the girls’ closest friends and family were invited with 20 more joining the afters. The stunning Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry was the chosen venue for their big day.

How was your experience at the Muckross Park Hotel?
 “Our wedding day was epic, thanks to the atmosphere, setting, staff and service at Muckross Park Hotel. It is an absolutely magical place, the setting is amazing, the staff are professional and always up for a friendly little chat and make it their business to make sure you have a real five star experience. The bedrooms (especially the bridal suite) are fab and boost with character, as does the Monk Lounge where you can relax with a drink or with some friends, as we did the night before the wedding.
All in all, a real FIVE star experience.” 

The pair also lit a candle in memory of Ash’s parents right before the ceremony began. 
After the ceremony, it was time to enjoy their fabulous reception with their guests. “The dancing we did when entering the reception room for dinner, we chose the song ‘Hold my hand’ by Jess Glynne, I couldn’t stand still so once we were ready to be seated at the top table and the song was still playing, I was dancing next to Ash while looking at her and singing to her ‘I’m ready for this, there’s no denying, I’m ready for this, you stop me falling…’, it was such an amazing moment.” 

A moment caught by their photographer David McLean. After an emotional rollercoaster of a fabulous wedding day, the newlyweds are now settling into married life and planning their honeymoon to New Zealand at the end of the year. 

So what did it mean for the girls to marry the love of their lives? Ashna gushes about her wife. “It was the best day of my life to be able to marry Mars. As I mentioned earlier, we worked very hard battling many obstacles over the last five years but our wedding day just showed that we are able to tackle any obstacle in our way by being together. She is my pookie bear and I can’t imagine me sharing my life with anyone else.” Marilyn concurs, “The last five years we dealt with a lot from having to prove our relationship for Ashna’s immigration status in Ireland to her dads’ passing and every single one of those obstacles tested our relationship but we came through every one of them and I can safely say that I couldn’t have done that with anyone else but her.

We have our own unique little language that we use sometimes when we talk to each other, the cute talk, that am sure lots of couples have and I love the fact I can be as silly or crazy as I want around her and she tells me off where necessary . And of course with the Marriage Equality referendum passing in May, this was a huge year for us too so it means the world to be able to say that within the next few months we can say we are wifey and wifey and not just civil partners.” 

“We both wore a dress. Ashna got a beautiful Indian style anarkali which she had custom made by an online shop in London. It had beautiful stonework on the front of it and the colours were just fab on her. I wore a bordeaux coloured halter-neck style dress which I bought in a bridal shop in Dublin. Our colours went very well together. Our theme was gold so my dress, Ashna’s dress and that of the bridesmaids all tied in together using gold.” The roles of bridesmaid were given to Ashna’s sister and two of their friends. 

Not to forget the dapper lads of course. “We didn’t have groomsmen as such but we had two pageboys which were our nephews ,aged 4 and 5. Our oldest nephew, 12, was the ring bearer and Marilyn’s dad, brother, cousin, and my brother all wore the same colour suits and ties.”

The ladies had their make up done by the talented staff at Muckross Park Hotel Spa. “They were excellent and again very nice to deal with. They did a great job at making us look our best on the day.” 

Both Marilyn and Ashna recall with fondness the moment they first laid eyes on each other on their wedding day. Marilyn shed tears of joy at the sight of her bride. “I was in floods of tears but didn’t care, she looked absolutely amazing and I could tell by the reaction of our friends and family they all shared the same feeling,” recalls Marilyn. And that set Ashna off! “I think for me it was of course seeing Marilyn coming down the stairs was extremely emotional. I was actually composed until she walked over crying, of course that then set me off, but they were only happy tears. We came a long way since we met in 2010 and I suppose the day was a reward for having worked so hard to get to where we are now.” The ceremony, officiated by Civil Registrar Mary T.O’Shea, was also a highlight for the Fiji native.

“The ceremony itself was absolutely beautiful and I loved the fact that there were funny moments, like when I tried to put the ring on Marilyn’s finger, it initially looked like it wasn’t going to fit, but then it did. The speeches were also fantastic and definitely one of my favourite moments,” shared Ashna.

Tell us about your experience working with David Mc Clean of DMC Photography
 “David McLean was our photographer. There wasn’t one moment where Mars and I felt uncomfortable or felt that we couldn’t be ourselves. David really made us feel at ease and he knew how to get a smile or laugh out of us, mind you, I don’t think it required too much effort. We could not fault David as a photographer and the end result photographs prove he did a fantastic job.” David McLean Photography

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