Ronald Sonali

IF THERE’S one thing you notice about Sonali and Ronald Naidu, it’s their chemistry and how they enjoy each other’s company. Even as they attended to their traditional wedding ritual, one could notice the genuine warmth shared between the two as they giggled and exchanged knowing smiles.

“We are a couple who refuse to live a routine life. We come up with plans even on a Monday evening,” said Ronald.

Both originally from Suva, the couple made their home in New Zealand and have been living there for more than 10 years.

“I am a solicitor by profession and Ron is a heavy machinery operator,” Sonali said.

“We initially saw each other back in 2008 when we both went to Fiji for a visit but got introduced officially in 2009. I was studying at that time.”

The couple soon became fast friends and started officially dating in 2010.

“I remember one winter morning when we were heading on a road trip. Ron came to pick me from home and realised it was quite chilly so he headed back to his car in the cold just to get the car heated up so I would not feel cold. That was the day I quietly told myself, ‘he is a keeper’,” she shared.

The couple tied the knot on January 22 this year at the Novotel Entertainment Centre in Lami, Suva.

They stayed true to their South Indian heritage and had their wedding conducted by the head priest of the Maha Mariamman Temple in Suva.

According to the couple, five priests assisted in the lavish wedding ceremony attended by about 1000 guests.

“It was surely a special day as I finally became the wife of the man I love from my heart and soul,” Sonali said.

“I am the youngest child in my family and as I walked down the aisle towards the mandap (main centre where the rituals were conducted), it made my entire family emotional. My parents held my hand and walked me up to my husband.

“The priest took my hand and handed it over to Ronald who walked me up to the main centre to commence the rituals. Our favourite moment was captured by our photographer Navneet Narayan.

“The moment where Ron put the taali (a South Indian pendent which is a symbol of marriage worn by a bride) on me and made the marriage official traditionally, it was just a beautiful moment to treasure for both of us.

“The entire credit of the beautifully organised wedding goes to my family who did not compromise at all in making it a royal function,” she added.

According to the couple, the wedding ceremony was not only just about their marriage but more of a family reunion as most of their extended family members came from other parts of the world to witness their special day.

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