From first kiss to “I Do”: Esther Lee and Brian Samia, October 25, 2008

Women everywhere will tell you that you never forget your first kiss. In Esther Lee-Samia’s case, she married Brian — the boy who gave her that memorable smooch — albeit years later.

Esther and Brian met at Sanford Middle School. And while they weren’t high school sweethearts, cupid’s arrow was working its magic. Years later, after the two had parted then moved back to the southern Maine area, they started dating in 2002.

“I stalked him through,” Esther said. “Before there was facebook, there was” Five years later tied the knot at Esther’s workplace, the Nonantum resort in Kennebunkport.

He proposed with a cathedral-set, round, one-carat solitaire diamond ring during the dessert course at a local Italian restaurant.

“I hadn’t even expected it,” she said. “I was totally blown away. The next morning, after calling friends and family, I knew that I wanted a fall wedding. We got engaged in April, but money was an issue, so we put it off until the following October.”

The first vendor the couple secured was the reception venue. As the Nonantum’s banquet manager, Esther has been present at well over 600 weddings and seen lots of different styles of weddings.

“We wanted to make sure that we had our reception at the Nonantum,” Esther said. “I was very comfortable with the setting and I knew that a bride could go comatose and they would take care of everything just like nothing had happened.”

By choosing an experienced vendor, Esther and Brian also knew that they would get the true “ins and outs” of wedding planning — including leads on great vendors.

And the couple knew they wanted to take advantage of Maine’s beautiful fall weather. Using the theme of “fall” the couple capitalized on Maine’s fall beauty through their décor, food, cake, and colors.

“Fall is the most natural, beautiful time of year, and I knew there would already be so much decoration and color that I wouldn’t need to pay for it. I just believe it’s the most beautiful time of the year.”

Their ceremony was held at the Main Street Baptist Church in Kennebunk, even allowed the couple’s own pastor to preside over the nuptials. And the couple chose to have just two attendants each.

“It was a good decision,” Esther said. “It was a lot more intimate. I got to the church on time, but on my first step down the aisle, I lost it. We had 150 guests, and had a nice, touching ceremony. Even the rain held off.”

Once at the reception, the couple captialized on the fact that the Nonantum is a “green resort that [uses] local food.” From apple cider bisque to petite filet with butternut squash ravioli to grilled swordfish with mango salsa, the food meshed with the color scheme and fall theme perfectly.

But the most important part of the Big Day, Esther said, was that everyone had fun.

“Looking back at it now, we realize our day wasn’t very serious and that’s OK,” Esther said. “I don’t think I would have done anything differently. We had a great time.”

The details:
Ceremony: Main Street Baptist Church, Kennebunk
Reception, Catering, and Lodging: Nonantum Resort
Ceremony and Reception DJ: Greg Powers
Flowers: Calluna
Makeup and Hair: Naviina Salon
Wedding Jewelry: Jeweler’s Outlet, Sanford
Invitation and programs: Ann Bishop, Portsmouth, NH
Photography: Life’s Big Events


Story by Debra Bell, Marry ME Magazine editor
Photographs by Life’s Big Events