A common colloquialism is for a wedding party and their guests to put on their dancing shoes for a reception.
But running shoes? That's what will be happening this Saturday, Oct. 19, after 32-year-old lovebirds John Graham and Devon Benoit tie the knot near their home in Pitt Meadows.
And you're invited.
Not to the ceremony itself, mind you - that's reserved for the roughly 150 guests who received formal invitations.
After the ceremony, however, the couple and their guests will make their way over to the path in the Osprey Village area for a community walk/run in support of Athletes In Kind (AIK), a locally run, non-profit charity organization that supports families that are struggling financially because of childhood cancer.
Since 2005, AIK has donated more than $120,000 to the BC Childhood Cancer Parents Association.
The public is welcome to walk or jog along the path that runs parallel to the Fraser River, starting at roughly 3:15 p.m. near the Stomping Grounds Coffee House, which is catering the event.
Donations to AIK are being accepted.
"Neither of us has had a personal experience with childhood cancers in our families, but we were welcomed with such open arms in the AIK community, and it's such a positive cause," Devon said, adding that she and John aim to keep the wedding "very community inspired."
They are supporting a local charity (AIK), using a local caterer (Stomping grounds), with local music (Tim Renaud), a local photographer (Kelsey Simpson) and "many other little aspects of the day," she said.
"John is with the Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue, so many of those members will be joining us for the day, too," Devon noted.
The soon-to-be wed couple has a common love for exercise and fitness. They met in January 2011 as participants in Sole Experience Friday night run clinics, in which John was a leader. Sole Experience owner Eric Muller, who is attending the wedding with his family, has been coaching youth-run programs for seven years through AIK, which hosts running events to raise money for its cause.
Through the Sole Experience clinic, the two lovebirds hit it off instantly.
"There was an instant friendship, most definitely," Devon related. "I'm not as 'runner-ish' as John but I was a competitive swimmer so we had similar childhoods with being really active in competitive sports." The two are now pace group leaders with Sole Experience.
Devon said AIK is like "a family to us."
"We met through AIK and wanted that represented," Devon said. "We are inviting the community and our run family." In full wedding attire, John and Devon plan on slipping on their running shoes and taking part in the unique fundraiser. John will be wearing a suit and tie and his new wife will be adorned in her mom's wedding dress.
"We're celebrating AIK in wedding style," Devon said, adding that, "John and I are going to veer off and then cheer everyone on at the finish line."
Eric Muller's wife Lorie, the founder and president of AIK, added, "Our run group has had shirts made just for the occasion to really give this a special event feel."
She added that the hubby and bride are "a very cool couple that has combined sport, giving, and romance."
Muller said running and helping the community are what John and Devon are all about.
"We're a really big family of runners and outdoor enthusiasts," she said. "It's pretty cool." The finish line will be the wedding party's receiving line, Lorie noted.
To celebrate John and Devon's pending marriage, Sole Experience is offering two-forone memberships to its Sole Mates clinics, up to Oct. 20.
Visit www.soleexperience.ca or email Eric Muller through the website. Visit the AIK website at www.athletesinkind.com.
@ Copyright 2013