Abbotsford couple married at Highstreet Shopping Centre

Yolanda Black and Kent Owen unite their family in celebration on Feb. 25

Kent Owen and Yolanda Black celebrate their wedding day with their family on Feb. 25 at Highstreet Shopping Centre.

Kent Owen and Yolanda Black celebrate their wedding day with their family on Feb. 25 at Highstreet Shopping Centre.

An Abbotsford couple were married Saturday, Feb. 25 in a unique celebration at Highstreet Shopping Centre.

Yolanda Black and Kent Owen chose the venue for their nuptials because that’s where they had their first date – at the Cineplex movie theatre – three years ago, also on Feb. 25.

Yolanda said the celebration was particularly eventful, given the challenge that the couple has been through in recent times.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer and began her first chemotherapy treatment when the couple’s youngest child – a boy, now eight months old – was just two weeks old.

She has also undergone surgery, and is in physiotherapy.

Yolanda has two other children – a six-year-old daughter and three-year-old son – from a previous relationship, and describes Kent, whom she met on an online dating site, as the love of her life.

“He has taken on the role of daddy to my older kids,” she said.

Yolanda said Highstreet provided the wedding space for free.

“They loved my story of overcoming pain and hardships, and our desire to celebrate life and love and happiness, and our wish to unite our little family into one.”

Yolanda describes the celebration as the best day of their lives. It included eight flower girls; mehndi and tattoo artists; a kids’ corner with punching balloons, colouring and Play-Doh; a dessert buffet; and M&M’s with their names, faces and wedding date on them.

The family celebrated their wedding with a “familymoon” to Great Wolf Lodge in Washington for a couple of days after the wedding.

“We don’t have anyone to watch the kids and can’t afford a babysitter so we (took) the whole gang,” Yolanda said, describing the vacation as “amazing.”

She said she wanted to share the story of her wedding day to inspire others.

“I want mine to be a story of hope. You can beat (cancer), you can live, you can dance with your children on your wedding day!” she said.