Wedding Anniversary
  Posted May 1st, 2012 by Zdenko  in Edmonton, Family | 4 comments

My son got married…

By: Zdenko Kahlina

Hello everyone!
It has been three years already! Samantha Louise Bagnall and Neven Kahlina got married on May 2nd, 2009. It was one beautiful day in between several cold days at the beginning of May that year. They have become a proud parents of little baby Luka since than. It was a beautiful ceremony at St. Joachim Catholic Church, followed by a reception and a dance at St. John’s Cultural Centre in Edmonton.

We couldn’t ask for a better day. It was sunny and warm (+22 degrees), and all the bridesmaids got sunburns. We all enjoyed the warm day standing in front of the church and taking pictures in every imaginable position.


The church where they got married was just beautiful; it has huge ceilings, grand arches, and lots of room for 150 wedding guests to move around in. St. Joachim’s is Edmonton’s oldest Roman Catholic parish, dating back to 1854 when Father Albert Lacombe converted a small building within Fort Edmonton into a chapel. It was later given the name of St. Joachim by Bishop Alexander Antoine Taché. 




The ceremony in the church was wonderful. Though it is a church in the French neighborhood, the priest Fr. Paul Moret held ceremony in English. Here is how my brother described it: ” It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to (including my own). The church was beautiful, ceremony was great (and short) and people around were wonderful. Sam’s family is great, they are all wonderful people”.

After the ceremony at the church, it was time to take zillion family pictures in front of the church. Than, it was bridal party turn to go off at different location to take more pictures. They all went to the Louise McKinney Park, by the Shaw conference centre.




We arrived at the St. John’s Cultural Centre for the reception around 5:15 pm, to relax for a couple of minutes before the party starts!!! A receiving line, consisting of Sam, Neven, Cindy, Keith, Vera and Zdenko, was there to welcome all the guests.  The lineups were not that long, but it was pretty busy for a while. When the cocktail hour started, I was so close to the bar that I could “smell” the beer, yet so far… as I was not able to leave my duty, before I welcomed all the guests to the reception.


dsc_5237Once all the guests were seated, ceremony started. DJ Dave (Bob Layton’s son; Bob Layton is very popular commentator for Edmonton’s Global TV station) introduced the whole wedding party.

The bridal party pairs were:

•1.      Sanja and Ben
•2.      Vicky and Josh
•3.      Kelly and Blaz
•4.      Becca and Mark

Ben and Josh introduced each member of the bridal party with a short description of who they are and how they are related/connected to the bride and groo

It was time for DJ Dave to call out the table numbers for the buffet line-up. After the dinner (by the way, food was great!) ceremony went well. It was time for the speeches.

First was Becca’s turn. She did a great job describing how the sisters grownup together.

Sanja, Neven’s sister, was next. She is a nurse at ICU in Royal Alexandra hospital. She lives only two blocks away from Sam and Neven and with her boyfriend Jeremy and her dog Rheya is a frequent visitor at Sam and Neven’s house. Having come to Canada from Croatia at a young age Sanja and Neven have been very close siblings and are very good friends as well.

Than Mark (Neven’s best man) had his speech and a toast to the groom. Neven and Mark know each other pretty much since Neven came to Canada and the Kahlina family started going to the Edmonton Croatian community gatherings and the Croatian church. They went to high school together; both lived in Calgary with a couple of other friends. They were each other’s wingmen while single. Now they are both getting married in the same year – Mark and Andrea Kemper are getting married later this year.

After Mark it was Vera’s and Zdenko’s turn to welcome Sam to the family. And they did (you can read his speech bellow).

Sam’s father Keith welcomed Neven to the Bagnall family…

At the end, Neven wanted to say few words too…

Ben and Josh wrapped up the speeches and introduced the slideshow that Sanja set up on the main display. The slideshow was something special. In 15 minutes we were introduced to Sam’s and Neven’s childhood with lots of memorable pictures.


When the slide show was finished DJ invited everyone to the dance floor for Bride and grooms first dance. This was followed by the dance for the wedding party, followed by bride’s dance with her dad and by that point everyone was welcomed to dance floor.

This is all for the blog. Hope you enjoyed reading it. I’m sure this wedding will give them something to talk about for the rest of their lives! 




 Best man:
 dsc_5014Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Mark Marinic. There are obviously two very important people here today, without whom very little of this would have been possible. Neven and Sam, when you guys look at each other I can see how much you love each other and today is definitely a testament to that.  When Neven asked me to be his man, I was very overwhelmed and honored, I mean who else would you ask?

Kidding aside, this day has been so incredible and special and I am so happy that you found the love of your life, I know you will have many happy years together.

 I have known Neven for over 19 years; ever since he came to Canada at the age of 13 I remember seeing him and his family at the community gatherings and at the Croatian church. As time went on, I started seeing him around more and more and thought “Yah this is a cool guy!” and we became friends and have been ever since.

Neven, one of the best memories I have of you is when you told me you were going to ask Sam to merry you. You were so excited and happy when you described this special moment to me.  I saw your face light up. I thought to myself “she was the one”.  

Look at us now, back in the old city again and both getting married in the same year! How did this happen???

I’d just like to say Neven, you are a very lucky man, Sam is beautiful, smart, funny, warm and loving and she deserves a good man like you! So thank God you married her before she found some else.

Sam, I did the very best that I could to make Neven who he is today, if he every gets out of line, just let me know!!

I would like to say to the bridesmaids how beautiful and stunning all of you look today! And thank you for everything you have done to help prepare for this special day!

And to the groomsmen, you guys clean up pretty good too! Who knew a shower and a tux could make us look so handsome!

Neven, a few words of advise I’ve heard along the way, number 1) Marriage isn’t a word, it’s a sentence, (pause for laughing) and number 2) Marriage is a three-ring circus – engagement ring, wedding ring, suffering.

Well, my speech is almost done but before I finish, would everyone please stand and join me in a TOAST to Neven, a lifetime of happiness and love. To Neven!!!

From the bottom of my heart and with all kidding aside, may your love survive the test of time, lasting forever! Each of us in this room wishes you a long life of love, laughter, and growth. Along with the good times, there will be tough times but together you will get through whatever hand life deals.

Along with the wedding party, I would like to propose a toast to the happy couple and wish a lifetime of love and happiness together. To Neven and Sam!!!

Father of the groom:
Dear family and friends! Good evening!
dsc_5192It is my pleasure to welcome friends and relatives of both families to share this very special day. As father of the Groom it is my privilege and real pleasure to welcome Sam’s parents, Cindy and Keith and all her sisters and brothers.

Special thanks to our guests who came from afar (UK, Scotland, USA (Oklahoma), Toronto, Vancouver), your effort makes our celebration that much more special.

Not that long ago, Sam asked me if I was going to give a speech at the weeding, to welcome her to our family. I was honored then as I am now, happy to finally, have this opportunity to say:” Sam, on behalf of our family I welcome you to our lives and our hearts.”  (I want you to be my friend on the Facebook!)

We love you and thank you for joining our family! I’m sure everyone will agree with me when I say you are beautiful and today your beauty is even more radiant than ever!!!

I remember the day Neven introduced you to us for the first time, it was right after you left that Vera and I looked at each other with a smile and unspoken thoughts: “Oh, we sure hope Neven falls for her because she is a “keeper”. It turns out our wish was granted.

Our Son Neven is standing here today; honest, determined, loving and loved, a respectful and respected young man who makes me proud to be his father. (I do forgive you for taking my car(s) without permission!)

Neven I am here to say today that both, your mother Vera and I love you unconditionally for everyday of your life and those feelings will stay with us forever. You made us even happier with finding Sam and bringing her to yours and our lives.

Since the day we were introduced we just love to say repeatedly: “Sam is the best “thing” that could happen to Neven”. She understands you, better than we ever could!

Sam stays calm and is very persistent; she knows what she wants and how to get it (done). Whatever it is, to our surprise, Neven is listening! Well, most of the time. Right Sam!?

It appears they assigned their chores quite equally: Neven takes care of the remote control, computer games, Beamer, barbeque and beer. Sam takes care of the rest!? Nobody’s complaining…… Not yet!

We love YOU both very much!

Toast: Please all rise and join us in a toast to the bride and groom:

“May your lives and this marriage be a symbol to us all, of the love in your hearts and the joy that will last forever.”

We wish you and your guests to have a great time tonight! Enjoy!

Groom’s speech:
dsc_5010Ladies and Gentlemen, family and friends, thank you all for being here to share this special day with us. We have been planning this day for a long time and it has turned out to be everything we have imagined and hoped for.


Sam and I met two and a half years ago at a friends going away party and from the first few dates it was clear that we were a perfect match. She has just enough patience to put up with my sometimes immature ways and I……well…..I’m just lucky to have her. Her family has accepted me as one of their own and my family has done the same with her. As a matter of fact sometimes I think they like her more than me.


We would like to thank all of our guests, friends and family for showing their support today and for sharing this special day in our lives with us. We would like to offer special thanks to some guests who have traveled from far away to be with us today and even apologize that we have not been able to spend more time with them but as you all know this day required a lot of work and organizing.

We would like to thank:

Lorraine, Geoff, Emma and Daniel Hodson as well as Jennifer Clegg whom are here visiting us from England.

Jan and Bob Bagnall from Scotland.

Simon and Amy Bagnall from Arkansas.

Ljiljana Mironovic from Toronto.

Branko and Zlata Vukic from Vancouver.

Amanda Kelloway from Vancouver.

Rob Gora from Vancouver.

Karmyn, Chad and Abi Graham from Okotoks.

Guests not present:

Unfortunately, it’s not been possible to have everyone we love here with us today, but we know they’re here with us in spirit & they’re not only in our thoughts today, but more importantly they’re with us in our hearts.


We would like to thank both sets of parents as we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for them. We want to thank them all for the love and support over the years and for everything they have done to help make this day special for us.

To my Mum & Dad….

Thank you for all the advice you have given me, for putting up with me and pointing me in the right direction. Although I wasn’t always an obedient kid and had a tendency to do the exact opposite of what I was taught I think it’s safe to say now that I turned out OK. I’m sure you will have a lot of advice and suggestions to pass on to Sam as she will surely need to be armed with patience and Love going forward with her life with me.

Mum, Dad I love you very much, hold your heads high you’ve done a great job!

To Sam’s parents

Thank you for all your love and support and for giving Sam a great start in life. I believe that I’m also meant to thank you for putting up with her in her childhood and teenage years, however when I asked her for some embarrassing snippets of information for this part of my speech, I got the reply: ‘I’m perfect, I didn’t do anything wrong when I was a child’!!….

Of course I haven’t just gained a wife today, but also a family. Thank you to all of them for making me feel so welcome. Most of all, thank you for bringing Sam up to be the woman that I have married.

Mark and groomsmen

I’ve known Mark or Marko for about 18-19 years or so… and both Sam and I are very pleased to hear that Mark & Andrea have decided to get married later this year. I can only hope to be able to return the favor of helping with your wedding as well as you have helped us with ours. I think it needs to be mentioned that the bachelor Party was one for the history books and Mark with the help of all the groomsmen did a wonderful job planning a day filled with fun and exciting events.

I would also like to thank Blaz, Josh and Ben for everything they have done for us and for their support and love. Since Ben is getting married to Jenn later this year and Josh and Jenna will be tying the knot soon also I guess the pressure now falls on Blaz’s shoulders to take the next step….

Many thanks for all your support today…

Becca and Bridesmaids

We would like to thank Becca and the Bridesmaids who I am sure you will all agree look amazing today for their love and support. They have done a brilliant job planning and helping out with the wedding and making sure Sam didn’t run off somewhere at the last minute.


I now come to the most important person in my life – my wife!

Honey, it’s been a long time coming and I can’t stop smiling! Simply put…. ‘You look absolutely stunning, you take my breath away!’ I’m just so proud to be your Husband… Thank You for choosing me to spend the rest of your life with!

They say, ‘To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.’ It works for me.

We have so many plans to make throughout our lives together but, whatever happens, I know that we will be together forever and that is all that matters in this world. I love you simply because you are you. That’s why I know for the rest of my life I will always be in love with only you!




dsc_5127The bride: Samantha Bagnall Kahlina



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4 comments to “Wedding Anniversary”

  1. Comment by Vera Kahlina:

    Great job! Lovely reading and ever lasting memory for all of us! Thanks

  2. Comment by live band:

    Really enjoyed the read, ill add to my feed, thanks.

  3. Comment by Immac:

    Your blog is so interesting! I have subscribed on rss and I will read it regullary/

  4. Comment by brealayvaxy:

    Nice blog! Very interesting posts. I will often read it. Also e-mailed on rss.

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