Sam & Grace got married on a beautiful, warm summer day! I started my day in Covina with my second shooter, whom you might have seen before from Diakonia Collective, Grace Yellow! Where was John during this wedding? He was a groomsman, standing by Sam’s side! :)
Now this Sam & Grace have graced us with their presence one time before, as they gave me the opportunity to cover their proposal story, too! Most of their relationship story can read about in that post (read their story, here)!
I met this sweet couple nearly 5 years ago in college! Grace was the Women’s Ministry coordinator, and Sam was in charge of Men’s! At the time they weren’t dating, and while perhaps we might have thought I don’t believe many people thought that they ever would–but we were all pleasantly surprised! :)
Sam and Grace started dating a couple years after they graduated from UCR. I can still remember when I first found out they started dating! I was shocked but extremely happy for the both of them! Sam’s always been a quirky and funny guy, but very genuine and kind. I had met up with Grace and had one of the longest meet ups in my college history with her. She’s just as kind and genuine and equally as weird, but in a good way! ;) The two of them together is just so sweet to see!
John had the same take on them, as well! :)
“The first time Sam told me that he was dating Grace, he said it so casually it was like as if he just threw a bomb over his shoulder without being conscious of what he was doing. I was shocked! I mean, my mind was slow on understanding that they were now a couple! But in an instant I could see that they were somehow, in a really weird way, very similar to each other. Everyone thinks Sam is the weird one, but I believe that Grace compliments him just as well and because of this, I believe they are so well matched to one another. Besides the fact that they both love Christ, that they have genuine personalities and a great sense of humor, it is the fact that they both have these genuine quirks which in my opinion makes their relationship both real and perfect” – John
Without further adieu, take a peak into Sam & Grace’s relationship, and their sweet wedding!
The girls got ready at the lovely home of the maid of honor, Jessica!
Grace gave her bridesmaids sweet personalized necklaces to wear on her big day! I absolutely loved the color of the mismatched dresses the bridesmaids wore!
Grace looked beautiful with her wedding dress on! :)
Silly bridesmaids! ;)
The ruffles on the back of Grace’s dress were so sweet! :)
The gentlemen got ready at Sam & Grace’s new apartment! Since John was with them already, he took their photos as they got ready, too! :)
John got to help Sam get ready, too! :)
As the wedding ceremony time came closer, we all met back up at the Diamond Bar Center for the first look and for portraits!
Veil and dress on, Grace was ready for her first look with Sam!
Sam was SO excited! It was sweet seeing him bounce around waiting to see his beautiful bride!
I think it took a minute for it all to set in for the both of them! I can’t get over how happy Sam’s face was!
After their first look, Sam & Grace took the bridal party portraits. It was sweet seeing them surrounded by their some of their “besties”. :)
Of course, being surrounded by their best friends entailed several moments such as this:
After spending time with their bridal party, Grace Yellow and I took the beautiful couple for their bridal session!
The way Sam looked at Grace with just joy and love continually makes my heart so happy!
“I love how Grace remembers to place God first before me. I know that when her relationship with God is strong, then her mind and actions reflect that in our relationship. I also love how Grace is very considerate and always has my best intention in mind.”
If you saw their proposal story, you saw that they did something similar during their session at the park!
“We really enjoy going on hikes. (Mostly I just enjoy the time with her and the view from the top. If I had a choice I’d probably just drive to the top. Oh physical activity… Haha) Just to get away from the busy world and to enjoy God’s creation. When we get to the summit, the view is usually amazing and you get to take a step back and realize how small you are and appreciate how powerful God is and also how much He loves us to send His Son Jesus to die for our sins.”
Grace shared with me a couple reasons why she loved Sam. :)
“I love love loveeee his relationship with God. I know it’s cliche, but I remember when I was deciding if I should date him, Eric called me and said I would NEVER find a guy who is so tight with God as he was and is. Those words rang true. Day after day, week after week, month after month and now I can say year after year- I always see him prioritizing his relationship with God above me, school, games, family, etc. Every chance he gets, he spends it in prayer and reading
the bible. He cherishes the word of God simply by putting it into action. Unlike in James where the man walks away and forget his reflection, Sam walks away knowing how is he.”
“We both have a huge desire of being like Christ and the church. We talk about how we want our relationship to be a light and to be an example. (I know it’s cliche but it’s because we really want Christ to dominate and rule our relationship) So because we have that vision in our minds, when we are confronted with difficulties we want to glorify God first so we work through it. It’s also part of our personalities to serve those we love because of the way we grew up. We both enjoy putting others first, so sometimes when we do get into conflicts its because we’re being too considerate.”
Often times in this world, people try to find their ultimate joy and solutions through their significant other, and it’s easy to fall into that trap. Sam & Grace’s relationship is one that is truly Christ-centered, and it was great hearing their perspective of where they find their true joy.
“…Our relationship works because we both know that this relationship is not the answer to our problems, and that we cannot find satisfaction from one another alone. That is too great a burden. Rather we find our joy and satisfaction in God first, then we share and enjoy that joy and love from God with each other.”
“…Personally for me the reasons why I knew for certain I wanted to marry (Sam) were: 1. He points me to Christ and gives me to desire to pursue an intimate relationship with God 2. I just kind of want to spend the rest of my life with him. 3. financially and time wise its a good time 4. I think we’re mature enough and we’ve learned about what makes us tick enough to overcome any issues that may arise.”
Truly, you could just see their joy and love for one another! Grace was an absolutely beautiful bride, and Sam was the happiest groom! :)
As the start of the ceremony drew closer, Sam and Grace retreated to rest and relax before the big ceremony!
The room was filled to the brim with people who truly loved Sam and Grace. :)
I love the exchanged looks between Grace and her dad as she walked down the isle! :)
Jessica, the maid of honor, and Sam’s brother led everyone in worship. :)
As Pastor Ben began his sermon, it was funny seeing Sam and Grace interact during the ceremony! Haha!
The vows exchanged were beautiful. I teared hearing them being said by each Grace and Sam. Grace allowed me to share a couple portions of her vows that I loved. First, there was this funny statement! HAHA!
“Sam… I really have to thank you. I have to say, God really used you to teach me not to make silly bets. Because I now owe a few people some money (not a lot, don’t worry!) and one weirdo five gallons of ice cream. But you know, I’m glad I lost because I was able to gain so much more than I could have imagined.”
“You love me as Christ loves the church and you sacrifice yourself all the time to present me blameless and pure by bringing me to the cross through the word of God. Thank you for all those nights you spent encouraging me and all those morning verses that both comforted me and challenged me.”
“I love you not for what you make, your accomplishments, or your success in the worlds eye, but because of your love for God, and because I love you for who you are”
HAHA! Sam preparing for the kiss!
As they danced out, there was so much joy in the room! :)
Haha of course this happened as well! ;)
So much excitement from the bridal party! :)
Quite a few group photos were taken, but I thought to share the AACF group photo since I may or may not have gotten to be in it! ;)
Let me just take a minute to say that Kristen, one of Grace’s beautiful bridesmaids, DIY-ed the floral arrangements for the entire day–boutonnieres, bouquets and centerpieces! :)
And so the reception began and a joyous celebration ensued! :)
The entrances were phenomenal! ;) Great job, John!
And just when we thought their first dance was coming to an end… things got CRAZY! ;) EVERYONE was surprised by what happened next–even the bridal party!
They. Got. Down! :)
“The dance was all Sam’s idea. But the overall goal was to kick start the wedding and make sure everyone had fun!”
And then they grabbed the bridal party in! ;)
Once the entrance was complete, Mark and Jocelyn, Sam & Grace’s discipler, introduced “The Kissing Game”! Like what happened in Kenny & Melissa’s wedding (view here), married couples had to demonstrate a kiss that the newlyweds couple would then have to perform! ;) It’s becoming a popular trend!
And then began the speeches! :)
The shoe game for the Xus! :)
There were also some sweet performances made for Sam & Grace! The first one was from their talented friend, Patrick!
And then, Sam’s family welcomed Grace into the family with a “What Does the Fox Say” rendition for the newlyweds! ;)
During the downtime, Grace struck some poses for me! ;)
Grace’s sister did a kiss that shocked Grace! haha!
The cake was so beautiful–and tasty, too!! :)
Grace was such a tease with the bouquet toss!
And just when Sam & Grace thought their kissing streak was over, there was one last challenge! :)
Grace may be tinier than Sam, but she’s strong! Haha! :) After all the events, Sam & Grace got to dance the night away surrounded by their family and friends! It was such a sweet night! :)
I asked Sam if he had anything to say about Grace now that they’re married, and he replied with the sweetest, and funniest, reply! HAHA
“I LOVE her she’s adorable!!! and cute! even though she doesnt’ know it! ^_^ and cuddly!!! and an amazing wife!!!”
He was really ecstatic! HAHA So how’s married life for Grace?
“Honestly, it takes a lot of time to seep in. There are still times when I realized I’m married and I’m going home to someone not my parents. But it’s great. It’s really a joy to see Sam every day and I’m not just saying this because we’re in the so-called ‘honeymoon phase’. It really is. Of course we’ve already had our difficulties but in those difficulties, it’s easier to find joy when you’re looking for Christ and investing Him into the relationship. Clique answer, but hey- it’s the truth. (Mostly Sam though. :X)”
& Here’s her advice to the soon to be wed:
“Have fun. When the day arrives- it’s about your union so don’t care about how it turns out, who is there, what it looks like, how you look like, or how your pictures look like.”
Her last point is so true! When my clients are focused on enjoying themselves and their moments together, THAT’S when the best moments are captured! :)
CONGRATULATIONS SAM & GRACE!!!