A RIOT of colour and music descended on The Sage Gateshead last night as it hosted its biggest ever wedding celebrations for two sisters.
Bagpipes, horse-drawn carriages and 250,000 red petals were on show at the iconic music hall to mark the double celebration for siblings Sumita and Surita Miah.
The pair both got married earlier in the week, but their father Mahtab Miah – the owner of Indian restaurant Vujon on the Newcastle Quayside – decided to throw a lavish party last night at the Gateshead attraction to commemorate the unions.
Passers-by stopped to watch in delight as the spectacular ceremony unfurled.
The event kicked off at 5pm when the distinctive notes of a bagpipe sounded over the Tyne.
Dressed in traditional attire, the Scottish musician was on hand to welcome the arrival of the two sisters.
Bedecked in burgundy and gold saris, each bride arrived in a separate horse-drawn carriage, with their bridesmaids, while their entourage followed in five old-fashioned white Rolls Royces.
They were then individually carried into the music hall in an ornate sedan chair. More than 700 guests, some from as far afield as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and America, were waiting to greet them.
The Sage itself had been transformed into the perfect wedding venue – lined with gold silk and red carpet, while the foyer had been turned into a sophisticated dining hall adorned with flowers, with the Tyne and the restored Quayside proving the perfect backdrop.
Moments later, the grooms arrived, accompanied by traditional Indian music and dancing from their relatives.
Mr Miah had chosen the unusual venue after a suggestion from a business contact who worked for Sage software.
He wanted to hold a special evening to mark the marriage of his daughter Sumita, 29, a barrister, to Sheikh Imram Yahyo, which was held on Saturday.
The event was also held to mark the union of his younger daughter Surita, 28, to Manchester businessman Russell Choudhury, which had taken place the previous Sunday.
The opulent evening was more than six months in the planning, and is the biggest event of its kind to be held at the venue.
Last night, a proud Mr Miah said: “It’s fantastic. It looks fabulous inside and its worked out perfectly.”
Prayers and dinner were followed by traditional Indian music and dancing before a dazzling display of pyrotechnics outside the venue lit up the Tyne.