Regina and Sam met through music. Sam was teaching at a music school, and Regina came to help a friend (who also worked at the same place) take some equipment down after a performance.

Sam was interested in Regina from the start. “She was beautiful, and she was very energetic. I could tell she was very charismatic, also,” Sam says. “She came from a large family, and a Christian family, like my own, so it was a really good connection that we had.”

After a year of “hanging out,” the relationship switched officially to seriously dating when Sam said one day, “We’re going to go out—and this is our first date.”

A year-and-a-half later, Sam proposed to Regina, in front of the castle at the Global Winter Wonderland show. Sam got down on one knee with a ring in his hands, telling her how he felt. Regina was excited, surprised and happy. She was also thinking, “Hurry up, I need to say yes!”

Making the changes necessary to keep within budget, and making sacrifices in their time together were planning challenges. Each moved back home with parents for a while to save money. While Sam started a new career and worked several jobs, Regina attended school. Sometimes she would get out of class at 9:50 p.m. and drive over just to hang out with him, often being their only time together for the week.

Keeping the guest list to 100 proved  difficult: Sam has a brother and two sisters, and Regina is one of 12 children. “Eleven siblings, and each of them brings a significant other, that’s 22 and my parents are 24, there’s a quarter of our guest list, just with my siblings,” Regina says. “Then you’ve got to factor in cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends.”

Religion plays a central role in their relationship. “We went into our marriage knowing that our faith and my specific religion would play a very important part,” Regina says.

“(Religion) helps us to center ourselves,” Sam says. “I believe it also helps us stay rooted in family and in community; also just in making the right decisions when you don’t want to.”

The wedding was held at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church, an affiliate of the church that Regina’s family attends. Sam went to mass for several months prior to the ceremony so he could better understand the processes.

A lot of thought and effort went into making their wedding the perfect day. Was it worth it? 

“Our wedding was a total reflection of ourselves, and it was completely fun,” Regina says. “It was the greatest thing of my life so far. I’d do it all over again, and I would do all of the planning all over again.”

“I think for us, with the size of her family, and with me being the last one to marry in my family, it had to be done.” Sam says. “We did it.”

— Margaret Snider