Sarah and Ben Sampica Wedding Story

Wedding Date
Saturday, September 16, 2017

We started our wedding with a birthday bonfire the night before the ceremony. Not only was it the perfect way to celebrate my husband’s birthday, but it was the best excuse for catching up with family and friends traveling in from out of state.

The next morning, we got up early to hike Lovers Leap in Custer State Park with our wedding party plus friends and family from out of town. It was raining, and fog blocked the view, but we had a morning mimosa toast at the summit. It set the tone for the wedding day, and ensured we got to spend time with some of our favorite people on our big day.

We spent the afternoon taking pictures, even jumping into a canoe to get some photos on the lake before the ceremony. After we said I do, we headed up the hill for yard games and a social hour complete with a beer canoe. We had wood fire oven pizza made on site, plus donuts, Oreo cake, and s’mores for dessert. After dinner, we danced the night away to dueling pianos before curling up around the bonfire with friends.

Wedding Team

How We Met

We unknowingly lived in the same apartment building for a year when we first moved to Pierre. We both ended up moving into completely different apartments before a mutual friend introduced us during a game of pub golf. She told Sarah she could 'totally make Ben happen.' But she didn't need to. We found a mutual love of enchiladas and made plans for a second date curling.

Planning for Our Day

I spent a few summers in college as a camp counselor. When it came to planning our wedding, Camp was the only place that felt right. We embraced the camp vibe from the start, choosing to feature wood fire pizza, donuts, craft beer, and dueling pianos at our reception. I even got new Chacos just for the wedding. We kept our budget on track by DIYing where we could- my dad built our wedding arbor, my sister-in-law hand painted signs down the aisle, my brother made our centerpieces, and my Uncle arranged our flowers. Looking back- some of the things I treasure most are the special handmade elements. The arbor we got married under is now over the front side walk leading to our house, and the signs my sister-in-law made are art in our home.

Hint for Brides

1) If you’re trying to decide between doing something out of the box or playing it safe/traditional- always choose out of the box. I will never regret hiking on our wedding morning instead of going to a hair salon.

2) Pizza and donuts are classier than you think. They’re also tasty and your guests will rave to you about your food months later.

3) Wedding logos are legit. We threw one together in photoshop with our initials and added it to our welcome signs, koozies, plastic cups, and even our guest tree cookie.

4) When your husband-to-be orders a Lego cake topper without telling you, high-five him.

5) Don’t take your wedding too seriously. Your favorite wedding photos will end up being the ones where the groomsman are goofing off when everyone else is looking serious.