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‘Wedding of the Year’ just two people making vows

Lower mainland papers had it touted as "The B.C.

Lower mainland papers had it touted as "The B.C. Wedding of the Year," as 43-year-old Arthur Robert Griffiths, ex-owner of the Vancouver Grizzlies and Canucks, wed 23-year-old Janella Aimee David, ex-dancer for the Vancouver Grizzlies Extreme Team. (Note to the daily papers:… she’s actually 29 and a successful businesswoman.)

To anyone from Whistler who happened to wander out to Lost Lake Aug. 11, the white satin tent really wasn’t out of the ordinary. Dozens of couples tie the knot at the scenic location each summer. The price tag wasn’t outrageous. The bride and groom envisioned "West Coast elegance," and aside from using wooden chivaree chairs (as opposed to plastic fold downs) the requests were met simply and affordably.

"We had a basketball net at the reception and lugging that thing around was the hardest part," laughs Linda Marshall of Whistler Wedding Planners. "I never imagined the wedding would garner so much attention."

There were the little extras, like South American Leondis roses and matching "prince and princess" chairs for the groom and bride, but nothing particularly outlandish from the other 17 weddings Marshall had on the go at the same time. And although no detail slipped past Marshall and her crew of 12 (aside from park sprinklers that took them by surprise the night before the ceremony), a few details did slip past the Vancouver press – the personal details, the ones that made the day memorable for just two people in love.

"They had actually hired a Vancouver company to do the wedding but it fell through," says Marshall. "They came to me just six weeks before the date. I usually have about six months to plan a wedding."

The couple also dumped Vancouver florists and technical staff under the assurance from Marshall that Whistler had everything it took to pull off the wedding. Marshall, however, is quick to add that she takes no credit for the success of the day. She was the link that pulled in the efforts of the whole community.

"Arthur is an important member of our community. He helped bring the 2010 Winter Olympic bid to Whistler. Everyone from the Parks and Recreation Department to Transit and the regular companies I work with wanted to make sure the wedding happened. But the most important thing that Arthur and Janella want to stress is the privacy they were afforded by the whole town," says Marshall.

The personal touches that the bride and groom went out of their way to bring to the day were also lost on the mainstream press. The names of various "sports glitterati" in attendance topped the story in the National Post . The story ended with the fact that the vanilla ice cream served at the reception was Ben and Jerry’s. And somewhere in between was brief mention of the jar of jam and music CD given to each guest. What it failed to mention was the hours the couple spent making the jam and CD with their own four hands, a sincere gesture of thanks to those who came to witness two more people confirming their love.