Defence Minister Peter MacKay and his new bride provided exclusive pictures of their Jan. 4 wedding to celebrity magazine Hello! Canada in exchange for a donation to a favourite cause.
Hello!, which splashed the MacKay nuptials on the cover of its most recent issue, agreed to contribute $5,000 to Stop Child Executions, a non-profit organization that Nazanin Afshin-Jam founded.
The Iranian-born beauty queen turned human-rights activist is president of Stop Child Executions, which dedicated to ending capital punishment for minors in Iran..
In an interview with Hello!, Ms. Afshin-Jam says she first met the Defence Minister several years ago when she sought his help children on death row in Iran. "Peter always stepped up to the plate," she told the magazine.
Although it took several years after their first meeting for romance to blossom, Ms. Afshin-Jam told Hello!: "I've heard people say you just know when you've found 'the one' and I was not sure about that whole thing, but when I met Peter I felt it. I knew with every cell in my body that this was the man I was supposed to be with."
Peter Karroll, Ms. Afshin-Jam's manager and brother-in-law, said it took some convincing for the couple to release the pictures from the wedding, which took place at the One & Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, Mexico.
The Jan. 23 edition of Hello! features a picture of the couple on the front and 10 others on a seven-page spread inside. They were taken during ceremony and at various scenic spots around the resort.
Ms. Afshin-Jam first agreed to be interviewed for the article and then the magazine, which is heavily reliant on celebrity photos, pleaded to be able to run some of the shots, Mr. Karroll said.
The couple was originally not going to release any of the pictures because the wedding photography was a gift from her parents, he said. But Ms. Afshin-Jam and Mr. MacKay had already given one picture to Sun Media. So Mr. Karroll said he tried to convince Ms. Afshin-Jam to agree to the Hello! spread.
"She said 'Well, can we benefit some of the causes?'" he said. "And I said 'I am sure we can make some arrangements.'"
Mr. Karroll said Maclean's magazine also agreed to make a $3,000 payment in exchange for pictures and the money will be given to Soldier On.
The Soldier On Fund helps serving and retired Canadian Forces soldiers with permanent or chronic illness or injury participate in sports and recreation.
The Maclean's piece is a more detailed story about the couple's relationship that is illustrated with four wedding photos. In it, Ms. Afshin-Jam says she intends to remain non-partisan and will not hesitate to express her own thoughts.
"If I have views that differ from what the government is doing, I will vocalize them," she told Maclean's. "I am my own person."