By Cynthia Ellingsen
Samantha and Wesley Sams first noticed one another on the basketball court. They were both students at UK and Samantha liked to play ball at the Johnson Center, primarily competing against the guys. Samantha later struck up a conversation with Wes when she saw him on the patio at Harvey’s bar. They started to date soon after. Two and a half years later, he surprised her with a proposal.
The proposal took place during a family vacation in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. Samantha and her older sister were there, along with Wes’ family. That night, his mom, Judy, sent Samantha to find Wes on the beach under the guise of making their dinner reservation on time.
To Samantha’s surprise, there were signs stuck into the sand etched with sweet messages. The signs led to the top of a sand dune. Wes waited in the center of a heart constructed from flower-filled Mason jars. He got down on one knee and pulled out a mini-Mason jar with a diamond ring inside. Of course, Samantha said, “YES!”
Wes and Samantha set the date for June 21, 2014. Their rehearsal dinner was held the night before at their home. A huge storm moved the festivities indoors and guests enjoyed Cajun catering from Bourbon N’ Toulouse along with a 30lb crawfish boil. That night, the men stayed at the house and the women stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in Beaumont Centre.
The wedding ceremony was held at WinStar Farm and decorations included Mason jars accessorized with Samantha’s great-grandmother’s jewelry. Family and friends also added personalized touches to the ceremony. Samantha’s sister read “Blessing of the Hands” and the music was provided by Will Padgett, the son of the bride’s friend. Even the preacher was a friend of the couple. When addressing the fact that marriage is a commitment, he mentioned the commitment Samantha demonstrated while holding a table at Buffalo Wings on the day of the 2012 NCAA Basketball Championship.
The reception followed the romantic, fun and rustic mood of the ceremony and featured corn hole, horse troughs for drinks, and homemade signs. It was hosted by close family friends of the bride, Bill and Susan Casner, who lost their daughter in the Bali bombings. The reception was a perfect opportunity to remember Kari, bring family and friends together, and celebrate new love.
Family also helped with the entertainment. Her father’s band played at cocktail hour and a few songs with the wedding band. The bride sang a song with her sisters and later, the sisters and maids of honor serenaded the bride and groom with a parody of “Let it Go”.
Samantha and Wes enjoyed every moment of their special day. “Being able to marry your best friend and share it with all your friends and family in such a beautiful place was beyond memorable, it was magical.”
Wedding Planner: Deanna Dillender | Florist: Natural Endeavors | Catering: Jalapeños | Venue: WinStar Farm (private residence) | Band: Shades of Grass and Solid Rock’It Boosters | Photographer: Kerri Sparks | Videographer: Equilateral Productions | Hair & Make-Up: Tricia Newsom | Cake & Cupcakes: Magee’s | Rentals: Events with Design