Real Weddings

Spring/Summer 2014

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Page 28 of 99 29 perfect Shawna BeiSe never imagined that a blind date could last a lifetime. But when a colleague fixed her up with Alhan Imani, that's exactly what happened. Two-and-a-half years later, on a warm day in May, the couple headed to Harrison Mills for a round of golf. After hitting the greens, Alhan led Shawna to a private cabin at a nearby resort and announced they'd be spending the night. Before Shawna could register her surprise, he hustled her toward the nearby river for a stroll. "I could see he was nervous, but I didn't know why," she says. "He was shaking and his voice was cracking. e next thing I knew, he was on one knee, asking if I'd marry him." After placing a custom-designed ring on her finger, Alhan led Shawna to a picnic table set with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. ey spent the rest of the night in their cedar-scented cabin, fire crackling, and bald eagles soaring overhead. Because the couple wished to wed that summer, planning began immediately. With a tight timeline, they enlisted Soha Lavin of CountDown Events to help. "She worked her magic and found an opening at North Arm Farm in Pemberton," says Shawna, whose stress level was further alleviated by the fact that she and Alhan weren't particu- larly fussy about the details. "ere were a few things we wouldn't budge on: an outdoor venue, good food, good times," she says. "We knew we wanted our wedding to capture the beauty of B.C. But the flowers . . . just make them beautiful." Trusting Lavin to coordinate the event, Shawna set to work designing her gown, starting with a basic shape that she says, "held the DNA of a dress I'd normally wear." She hired designer Alison Hartford of Manuel Mendoza to execute her vision. "We met, I gave her a few details, she sketched," Shawna recalls. "Twenty minutes later she'd drawn my dress to a T. We didn't change a single thing going forward." The spectacular Pemberton setting required minimal embellishment, aside from lush white and pastel blooms and a long table beautifully dressed in white. Below: The magical moment when Alhan first laid eyes on Shawna the day of their wedding: "Here was my wife-to-be, and I was just overwhelmed with happiness." p28-33_Shawna+Alhan.indd 29 14-04-17 12:37 PM

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