A couple who have been separated on different continents by coronavirus have finally married in Scotland.
Piriyah and Sandeep Krishnan passed the lockdown an ocean of their own as he was stranded in Missouri in the United States and she stayed in London.
The couple’s dream wedding in Malaysia was called off and they had no way to reunite in the same country.
But a Stirling Council registrar saved the day and they were then able to start their married life in the United States.
The groom even wore a kilt and the couple climbed Ben Nevis to celebrate their nuptials.
Priyah and Sandeep’s relationship began with a strong pinch of luck.
Upon returning from a medical mission trip to India, British cardiologist Sandeep, who lives in the United States, made a stopover in London.
He told BBC Scotland’s Mornings with Jackie Brambles: “I was at Heathrow and had 20 or 30 minutes to kill so I pulled out my app wondering what Indian women look like in Europe. I was curious. So I saw Piriyah’s face and I thought “oh, she’s beautiful”.
“I had to talk to him, so I slid to the right and never thought of anything else about it. I never knew I had paired her up until several weeks later. “
Meanwhile, in London, lawyer Piriyah had searched right for a handsome doctor she had seen on the same dating app Dil Mil.
When entering her preferences on the app, she was very specific that she didn’t want a long-distance relationship. She had worked hard to pass bar qualifications and had no intention of meeting anyone outside of the UK.
But Sandeep, who was technically in the UK for less than half an hour, slipped through the algorithm and their sliding door moment brought them closer.
The couple started chatting through the app and then spoke on the phone. They were about to decide to meet before Piriyah realized Sandeep was not in London, but in Oklahoma.
By this time, the connection was already made and the two determined how they would reunite in real life. They decided to meet halfway, so they settled in Florida and their first date was a weeklong cruise from Miami to Cuba.
Piriyah said: “It was absolutely crazy looking back, but I think to do such a bold thing you have to have something in you that says ‘you have to try, it’s real’.
The couple started dating, although their dates had an international theme.
Piriyah said, “Things went really fast. We were dating for about a year and traveled to about seven countries together. We just thought we were making the most of a long distance relationship and every time we met we would try to meet in different countries. We got to know each other and we really bonded and built on the relationship. ”
Sandeep asked the big question after a skydive in California.
The couple were to be married in May in a temple in Malaysia where they had spent one of their “dates”.
But the coronavirus pandemic has put an end to marriage plans.
“Take the tour”
Piriyah said: “I was returning from the United States to London and the day I landed in the United Kingdom was the day President Trump imposed the travel ban. For five months we were apart and like many couples our marriage had to be postponed.
“We didn’t know when we were going to meet again. One day, I got in touch with my father, telling him that I felt like there was a big mountain in front of me and I didn’t know how I was going to do it.
“He told me not to examine it, to find a way around the problem. It was a moment for me and I realized that one of the exceptions to the travel ban was that if you were the wife of an American citizen, you could travel to the United States. ”
They had to get married anyway, so they set out to make it as they could.
Piriyah tried all of the advice in England and was told couples must give physical notice a month before getting married.
She then tried Scotland and it was a sympathetic Registrar from the Stirling Council who came to the rescue.
Piriyah said, “I will never forget this woman I spoke to – a wonderful woman who showed more than sympathy, she showed empathy and that was the turning point.
“They said we could give notice online and show our physical documents the same day. So we gave notice that day and got married 30 days later. “
Sandeep arrived in Scotland in mid-July to be quarantined there for two weeks.
Their ceremony was held in August at the Tolbooth registrars in Stirling and, due to regulations, was held outside. The couple had four guests and an audience of loved ones watching online.
The newly married couple climbed Ben Nevis the next day to mark the moment and Scotland will be forever special to them, as will the Stirling Council Registrar.
Piriyah said, “This lady will always hold a special place in our hearts. She made the impossible possible and that’s all we can do for each other. “