On the topic of news, one of our photos along with a great article on Cinnamon & Galib’s wedding is currently out in the January 17th issue of the Georgia Straight! We were honoured when contacted by the reporter looking to feature our work, and these two were the perfect couple for the story.
Click “read the rest of this entry” to read the article here!
Wedding Watch 2008
By Pieta Woolley
Dressed in his red serge RCMP uniform, Galib Bhayani waited for his bride, Cinnamon Wiesner, to enter the ceremony space at Coquitlam’s Executive Plaza Hotel. Days before, the corporal had returned from southeastern Sudan, where he had served as the regional chief of security with the United Nations peacekeeping force, shielding doctors and aid workers from mines and insurgent attacks. Now, he surveyed a room full of 250 friends and relations: his South Asian relatives had flown in from Pakistan and Hong Kong, while Cinnamon’s German Canadian and Métis relatives had come from Winnipeg and Langley. That moment, he said, was a highlight of the wedding.“I spent 10 seconds reflecting on all these people before she came in the room,” Galib said. “Being the oldest male in my family, they were all just so happy to see me finally settled. Moms always worry about their boys. And they’re immigrants. They’re all hoping that we don’t have to go through the struggles that they did to get to this country.”
If the West Coast’s promise could be embodied by a wedding, it would be this one, which took place on October 6 and 7, 2007. Both of the Bhayanis are dedicated to volunteering: just after they got engaged in 2005, they spent a week in a camp in Pakistan’s Kashmir mountains, helping people displaced by the October 2005 earthquake.
They’re both federal public servants too. They started dating when Galib asked Cinnamon to accompany him to a gala sponsored by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, which had nominated him for outstanding police officer of the year. He didn’t win the honour, she explained, “But he won me.”
For their wedding, which took place three years after they began dating, instead of a bride-focused event, the pair chose to make their families the centre of their wedding.
“Everybody says it’s your day, but it’s not,” said Cinnamon. “It’s everyone’s celebration of the two of you.…That’s what surprised me about our wedding. By the time it happened, I was expecting to just sign on the dotted line. But there was the happiness.”
The two had a lot to accommodate: a total of 350 relatives and friends, two religions, young partiers and older traditionalists, plus a mid-sized budget. They solved some of the challenges by splitting the wedding into two days. At 10:30 on the Saturday morning, they were married in a fusion Ismaili-nondenominational ceremony at the Executive Plaza Hotel Coquitlam, which was followed by a South Asian–themed lunch for 250. On the Sunday, they hosted an elegant West Coast–themed appetizer-and-wine reception for 125 friends, and all-night dancing at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport hotel. Only a few guests were invited to attend both events.
Over the course of the weekend, Cinnamon wore two white wedding dresses and a bright-pink sari. Galib wore two suits and his RCMP uniform.
Although this all seems far from the mythical “typical” wedding, the couple is surprisingly representative of modern marriage, according to Statistics Canada. Cinnamon is 32, the average age of Canadian brides. At 38, Galib is a little older; the average groom is 34. Plus, 95 percent of British Columbians marry someone of the opposite sex.
What stands out most is the Muslim-Christian mix. Among today’s seniors, just one in 10 married interreligiously. But among young people today, the number is one in four, and growing.
Galib and Cinnamon, then, are pioneers for Vancouver’s future weddings: different traditions, different religions, different style, and different communities, but with one important thing in common: commitment.