Heartfelt Moments We laughed when “taking our pictures in the middle of the grocery store. All the staff we used to work with came to watch, clapping and then presenting us with a cake”. We all cried when “Ivan talked about his parents. A true immigrant story — leaving a war-torn land and coming to Canada for a better future — working two to three jobs at a time to give their kids a better life.” Saphia’s fondest memory: “Dancing with my husband during the reception. We only had eyes for each other. We danced all night ... salsa, traditional Croatian folk dances, fast songs, everything.” Ivan’s fondest memory: “Watching Saphia walk up the aisle...she looked so amazing, so perfect. And the party!” What Saphia loves about Ivan: “He is my rock. He is honest, trustworthy, understanding and an old-school gentleman. His support is unfaltering and he makes me laugh. I feel so lucky to have him as my life partner!” What Ivan loves about Saphia: “Saphia is a firecracker. She’s brought tons of emotion and love to an traditional Balkan household. We love, we laugh and we live life to the fullest because of her.” Saphia’s advice to brides. “Enjoy the process. Remember it’s all about showcasing the love the two of you have together. Have fun, because if you two have fun, everyone else will too!” Ivan’s advice for grooms: “If you don’t always agree on certain things — no worries. We found the compromises ended up being way better in the end because they reflected both of our tastes.” The best piece of marriage advice they have is their personal relationship philosophy. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. And put each other first. We live in a me-me-me kind of world, so in our marriage it’s very important that we think about ourselves as a team. We’re working toward the same goals, the same end product. We’re here to help each other along the way. And we want to make it the most fun ride possible for each other while we’re at it!” hen her grandparents were able to attend both of Saphia Khambalia’s wedding ceremonies to Ivan Vujevic, these were especially-treasured experiences. Still deeply in love after more than fifty years together, her beloved namina and bapa are forced to live apart by the dictates of two debilitating diseases, her grandfather’s Parkinson’s disease and her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important for family and friends to continue to involve and engage loved ones with health issues by including them in these joyous events. Perhaps they cannot attend all the wedding celebrations, but may be able to attend a part. Maybe attendance is no longer possible, but you could include them in a brief wedding photo session. Or take some reception treats, some wedding photos and videos and share memories of these important life occasions. Saphia & Ivan are inspired by the older duo’s deep and abiding love through good and challenging times, including fleeing politically-unstable Uganda in the 1970s. They honoured them in the Indian wedding ceremony by a traditional placing of a shawl around her grandfather as a symbol of respect. Saphia wore the beautifully elegant white saree with lavish silver embroidery that her grandmother wore 53 years ago on her wedding day. Through involvement with Alzheimer Society of Ontario and officially lending her voice and story to Parkinson Society Central & North Ontario as spokesperson, Saphia’s goal is to raise visibility and offer encouragement to everyone these diseases touch. Saphia asks people to help break down stigmas by “fighting back. Try to keep doing things by changing the way you do them. Continue living life to the utmost that you can”. Loved ones can help build up new walls of defence so that diseases like these cannot burglarize every element of lives. Saphia’s grandparents adapt with grace and dignity to ever-changing circumstances, providing inspiration to others. Her namina and bapa choose not to “sit it out” but to participate... an inspiring example of the strength of love. W INDIAN WEDDING PHOTOS: Luca Salvatore Photography | 905.977.7000 Wedding Essentials 2013 75