Shevon Singh & Riley Knowles
Tell us a bit about your love story: Our love story started almost seven years ago when we went on our first date in Vancouver. We originally planned to meet at a coffee shop only to find it unexpectedly closed due to a neighbourhood event. So, we relocated to the only establishment that was open – The Blarney Stone – an Irish pub, which seemed oddly synchronistic as we both happen to have Irish names. A sign perhaps? We like to think so, especially since we instantly hit it off! Our relationship has blossomed ever since and we are so grateful to have found each other.
What were your original plans for your wedding day? When 2020 came around, we were at the point in our relationship where we knew we wanted to get married but didn’t have plans yet. We were in no particular rush especially given the pandemic. If we went with the flow, we probably would’ve gotten engaged in 2020 and married in 2021 with a slightly bigger wedding so all of our family and friends could attend. Maybe even outside of Vancouver. But, things turned out differently because my beloved father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2020 and we were told that he didn’t have much time left. We couldn’t imagine our wedding without him so, in the spirit of carpe diem, we planned the whole thing in less than three weeks!
When you had to change your plans, how did you feel before and after? Before the big day, we felt excited yet intimidated by the daunting task ahead. Not only we were starting from scratch but we were up against the clock of ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions and my father’s declining health. Could we really pull this off? Well, remarkably, we did, thanks to our amazing wedding planner, Brynn, and a lot of generosity. From Riley’s mother gifting us a family ring to my sister lending me her bridal chunari to a friend taking care of our wedding favours. Everyone rallied to make our wedding happen and we are so thankful for how it turned out. It was so special and my father was able to be part of it as we had hoped.
Will you be having a larger celebration next year? We have no plans for next year but we’ve tossed around the idea of maybe having a vow renewal down the road with a larger gathering. We’ll see what happens!
What was your favourite part of the day? The day was chock full of beautiful moments but our favourite part was the vows because they were personal and heartfelt. Another highlight was my father clapping when Riley applied the “sindoor” (a dash of vermillion powder) to my forehead, which is a very meaningful Hindu tradition that symbolizes our union.
What will guests remember most? According to our guests, our ceremony really stood out. Our amazing officiant, Shawn, created an intimate, engaging atmosphere for everyone, which helped us be super present for this big moment in our lives and cherish it as it was happening. It had that same special energy of when we first met years ago only this time our family could be a part of it, which was really cool.
What advice can you give to couples planning a wedding? Take all the help you can get so you can be as present as possible, despite the stress, and enjoy yourself! This day is ultimately about your love for one another so don’t forget that. And, if you can, write your own vows because that helped us stay grounded and connected through it all. Our vows essentially became the compass that guided us through the chaos of wedding planning. So, give vow-writing a shot and check out Young, Hip, and Married for their tips!
Number of guests: 14
Ceremony/reception location (including city): Shaughnessy Restaurant in Vancouver, BC
Photographer: Jamie Delaine Photography
Officiant: Young Hip & Married
Dress designer: Andrea & Leo Couture
Suit designer: Simons
Videographer: Everness Films
Flowers: Our Little Flower Company
Donuts: Lucky’s Doughnuts
Planner: Brynn Belisle from DreamGroup
Bridal Henna: Sangita Maisuria from Vancouver Henna
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