Linda Phan and Nina Fowell at the Mother’s Day tea. (Contributed)

Retired B.C. teacher gets invite to Property Brother wedding in Italy

Drew Scott and his fiance Linda Phan say “I do” during week-long celebration in Puglia

It’s rare that an elementary school teacher is invited to a former student’s wedding.

But in a little village in southern Italy on May 12, retired teacher Nina Fowell was there with tears in her eyes to see Drew Scott and his long-time girlfriend, Linda Phan, tie the knot.

Drew and his twin brother Jonathan are best known for the Canadian television series Property Brothers, on which they help couples find fixer-uppers and transform them into dream homes. Most recently, Drew was featured on Dancing With The Stars.

The ceremony took place in Piazza del Borgo, between Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Guests stayed at the Borgo Egnazia. The wedding was featured in People magazine.

Fowell taught the Maple Ridge brothers, including their older brother JD, in her Grade 6/7 class at Yennadon elementary.

“A connection with a Grade 7 teacher is very special,” Fowell said.

“The reason I like teaching that grade is because there is so much going on in their lives at that age. Their bodies are changing, their school is changing, who they are is at a point of growth,” she explained, adding at that stage, the twins were hard to tell apart.

All three of them, she said, were creative.

They came up with their own company, called JAM, which stood for Jon, Andrew and mom, and they were always entrepreneurial.

When they left elementary school, the brothers went to Maple Ridge secondary before Thomas Haney secondary.

“When they hit high school, they really became their own guys,” said Fowell.

“Drew was into basketball, he wanted to teach basketball in high school, and Jon became Jonathan Silver, the illusionist, and wore black and the bling,” Fowell added.

But during that time they never forgot their favourite teacher.

When Fowell retired, they sent her a video congratulating her. She still has it on her phone, and she played it for the guests during the wedding reception.

“Because they said they weren’t going to kiss with the glass banging, you had to talk about some embarrassing moment and so this was mine. It was a visual,” she said.

It starts off with JD saying: “You taught Jon, Drew and I so much over the years. Me, personally, you were the first teacher I ever connected with.

Then Jonathan pipes in with: “For me, you were an inspiration. You just taught me never to give up and always follow my dreams”.

Suddenly, Drew steps into the frame, wearing a black wig, bright pink blush on his cheeks in a bikini top, skirt and headband, saying, ‘And you were a real inspiration for me too Nina. An inspiration in ways words don’t describe.’

“The sound wasn’t great at the wedding when they showed it, but Jon said afterwards: ‘Now there’s a picture that will be stuck in your mind forever.’”

Fowell took her friend Brenda Jenkins to the wedding as a guest. It took three flights to get there and three to get back.

The wedding celebration was a week of events, starting with bachelor and bachelorette parties, a welcoming dinner, the wedding and, finally, a Mother’s Day tea.

Fowell remembers the food.

“For every four people, they would bring you four of something,” Fowell said of the karaoke-style bachelorette party.

“And they would just keep coming and coming and coming.”

At the welcoming dinner, there were booths with meats, cheeses, salads and deserts.

Just before the meal, Drew and Linda thanked their 300 guests for coming. Drew specifically mentioned Fowell and his former basketball coach from Thomas Haney, Mike Shannon, who was also present, and Linda mentioned some of her high school friends.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, I got a mention,’” said Fowell.

The wedding had a traditional menu, but Fowell says, it was extensive and you got served everything.

The Mother’s Day tea was an outdoor barbecue. The wedding took place in what appeared to be an 800-year-old building, although Fowell said she was surprised to learn it was only eight.

“It was beautiful and everybody cried, including Linda and Drew. Her dress was gorgeous,” said Fowell.

Linda’s dress was designed by Claire Pettibone and was described in People as having a cathedral-length train with intricate, hand-beaded floral details on the bodice and sleeves and an open back draped in jewels.

Drew wore a Claymore Imports kilt made from Scott tartan in their family’s signature pattern.

“You have to be a Scott to wear a Scott tartan,” Drew told People magazine.

The first dance started out as a waltz and morphed into a masterpiece choreographed by Drew’s Dancing With The Stars pro-partner Emma Slater and her husband, Sasha Farber.

The wedding cake will be featured on the June 25 episode of Cake Hunters on the Food Network. It featured vanilla with goat cheese and strawberry balsamic, organic red velvet, carrot and chocolate hazelnut with a butter-cream frosting.

Instead of gifts, the newlyweds asked guests to donate to WE Charity, formerly known as Free The Children, founded by Marc and Craig Kielburger, to provide people in need access to clean water and help build schools for communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Fowell, though, decided she still wanted to give them something personal that spoke more to their relationship.

“My in-laws homesteaded a farm in Brandon, Manitoba back in the late 1800s early 1900s. They actually walked out from Toronto with their oxen and everything,” explained Fowell.

On their property, they had a one room schoolhouse for the children.

Fowell’s gift was the bell that the teacher used to ring to call in the children.

“Well, I was their teacher and I thought that was appropriate,” said Fowell.

“They have a huge family and I thought it would make a great dinner bell.”

 

Retired elementary school teacher Nina Fowell with the Scott Brothers, from left, Jonathan, Drew and JD, at Drew Scott’s recent wedding to Linda Phan in Italy. (Contributed)

(Contributed) Retired elementary school teacher Nina Fowell with the Scott Brothers, Jonathan, Drew and JD. They were at Drew’s recent wedding to Linda Phan in Italy.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Nature provides practice space for North Delta musician

Terry Lee has become a fixture over the years playing his cornet in and near the Delta Nature Reserve

Surrey Mountie won’t face charges for scooter scuffle

The Surrey-based IIO has decided not to forward the case to Crown counsel for review

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Pedestrian seriously injured in Surrey traffic crash

A 54-year-old man was hit by a car early Thursday evening while crossing Highway 10 at 152nd Street

BC Hydro replacing hundreds of old power poles in Surrey

More than 10 per cent of BC Hydro poles are at least 50 years old

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

North Delta happenings: week of May 23

Events and community listings for North Delta

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

Most Read