SAMANTHA & TYLER

Sept. 30, 2016

Leonardtown Courthouse

Photos courtesy of Candace Nicole Photography

IT STARTED WITH A TRUCK

“Tyler and I met at the end of our junior year of high school. We had a mutual friend who asked a group of us to go bowling and from there, we continued hanging out and getting to know each other,” said Samantha Hall of Leonardtown. “We still laugh at the fact that that first night when he showed up I said to him, ‘You and I are going to be best friends.’ We had never met, I just really liked his truck — but boy, were those words the start of something great!

“When we got engaged, we had been together a little over six years. We had finished high school and college together and were looking to buy our first home. I had set up a family photo session with Candace [of Candace Nicole Photography] for my parents’ Christmas gift. Little did I know Tyler had already gone and spoken to my parents asking for permission and then my mother reached out to Candace to be prepared for a surprise proposal.

“We had taken almost all of the family shots and had left Tyler and me for last because we had brought along our pup, Bo, to get a few additional pictures. Tyler’s parents had offered to hang out with Bo until the end so he couldn’t get anyone dirty. Apparently everyone was in the surprise, and I was truly surprised when Tyler got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever. Dec. 20, 2015 was an excellent day!

“Being with each other for as long as we have and having gone through so much together has changed us both. Thankfully we have grown closer as we have grown up over the years. The thing I love most about Tyler is how much of a hard worker he is. He gives everything all he has and works tirelessly to make sure he does his best in all aspects of life — from picking up a second job in a trade he knew little about, to how much he puts into the care for the fish he has at the hatchery. He regularly comes home after working all day to help me with building projects or small home renovations. Not only does he work hard at his jobs, but he also makes our relationship a priority so we don’t lose ourselves in the day to day.”

“The thing I love most about Sam is how caring she is and that she is always willing to put others before [herself],” said Tyler Hall. “Also how responsible she is and that she makes sure we stay on top of everything in our busy schedule. Sam is a good balance for me because she is more outgoing and gets us to try new things and go new places. I am so happy with Sam and can’t wait to see what our future together brings us.”

WHY WAIT? INSPIRED TO ELOPE

“Honestly, the stress of planning a big wedding made me say ‘Why not just get married at the courthouse?’ We had been together for what felt like forever and from early on, I would tell Tyler that I just want to be his wife and start our life together,” said Samantha. “We had purchased a home that we were working on making our own and I kept asking myself, ‘Why are we waiting another year?’

“I had started to plan a big wedding and everything was getting more and more stressful and I found myself not enjoying the process anymore. When I brought the idea up of going to courthouse and cutting out a huge part of the planning, Tyler was the one unsure because he didn’t want to me to feel like I missed out on something. As much as I love him for thinking of me like that, I knew deep down that I just wanted to marry this man and I didn’t care when or how, so we decided on the courthouse.”

ANY SURPRISES ALONG THE WAY?

“I was surprised after we decided on eloping at the courthouse just how supportive, understanding and happy everyone would be for us. We still had around 30 people come with us to the courthouse, but all the other family members that weren’t there were still just as excited for us,” Samantha recalled. “After that decision was made, everything fell into place. We were still having a reception the day after our wedding so that everyone could come and celebrate with us and planning the reception became the easiest thing. It was as if the stress had disappeared overnight and things began to line up just right.”

RAINY-DAY CHALLENGES

“Rain, rain and more rain. It had rained for what felt like the entire week leading up to our wedding day. We had planned to head down to Newtowne Neck State Park for photos after the ceremony with Candace, and the amount of rain we were having would not have allowed that. Our reception was at his great grandmother’s house on the water and her yard was slowly turning into a mud pit.

“I decided not to stress about the rain. I wholeheartedly told myself that if it rains, it rains and we would make the best of it because I was finally getting to marry my best friend. Somehow, the day of, it didn’t rain. The day was overcast and perfect! It sprinkled a little but only between the ceremony and us heading out to take pictures.”

WHICH DETAILS REMAIN SHARP?

“The pops of burgundy and red that we picked stand out. It was the smallest detail but the one we had wanted from the beginning — from the ruby red earrings I wore, my maid of honor wearing a burgundy dress, my beautiful bouquet with burgundy accents, and how handsome Tyler looked when I finally got to see him and that burgundy tie he had on.

“Our whole day is embedded in my memory, but I have always loved the smaller details in life. Even now I see burgundy and I’m drawn to it because of the memories associated with it.”

WORRYING FOR NAUGHT

“I wish I hadn’t worried about the day-of happenings. While we didn’t have the rehearsal dinner like most, I had sketched out a plan with timing for the day,” said Samantha. “I knew when I had to get up and go to appointments and what time everything was taking place. The first half of the day felt like it took forever, but in reality it was only a couple of hours. I had worried there wouldn’t be enough time for everything but there definitely was and I actually got to enjoy the day at my parents’ house before getting ready and heading to the courthouse.

“After the day was over, I asked Tyler if he had had a long day like I had. He told me no, that he had a great morning of fishing and hanging out with Bo. He made himself some lunch before jumping in the shower to get ready and meeting me at the courthouse. I really had to laugh because he had such a relaxing morning and I had worried that things wouldn’t go quite right when, in fact, everything turned out just fine.”

— Samantha and Tyler Hall, Leonardtown

"Right, Meg?" columnist and special sections editor for Maryland Independent, The Enterprise, The Calvert Recorder and Chesapeake 360 in Southern Maryland. Find her on Twitter @rightmeg.

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