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Together for 15 years, couple wins wedding for surviving 'tribulations'

When Coleen Duncan learned she’d won an all expenses-paid-for weddingyesterday, she was convinced it was an April Fool’s Day joke.

When Coleen Duncan learned she’d won an all expenses-paid-for wedding yesterday, she was convinced it was an April Fool’s Day joke.

Duncan, 37, who lives in Port Coquitlam, had entered a contest in February to win the $30,000 wedding, and was called yesterday to the studios of photographer Daniela Ciuffa after being told she was one of three finalists.

“I came down here expecting to be in the top three … and we walked through the door and were handed flowers and an invitation to our own wedding,” said Duncan. “I feel like I’m in the middle of a dream.”

Elana Lancit, a wedding planner and one of the organizers of the contest, said Duncan and her partner, Rob Richards, were chosen out of hundreds of applicants because they’d been together for 15 years despite going through “a lot of tribulations.”

“They didn’t give up on each other,” Lancit said. “They deserved a break.”

Duncan said Richards had struggled with alcoholism, which had almost torn them apart. They had also nearly lost their young daughter and were fostering two nieces.

“We put wedding plans on hold … and gave up the dream to buy a house (for the kids),” Duncan said. “So (this) is complete twist of fate. It’s been 15 years coming.”

The couple will be married on May 6 at the University of B.C. Boathouse.

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• More than 15 local vendors are donating their time and expertise, including Images On Video Productions, Sweet Beginnings, Garlands Florists and Sound Explosion Entertainment.

 
 
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