The couple married Nov. 4 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
They say love always finds a way — and for this couple, it did. After more than two decades.
To be fair, the obstacles were understandable. Paige Barrie Samson and David Lee Wyant met in Mrs. Shea’s second grade classroom at Pine View School in 1990, when cooties were still a concern and the piggy bank wasn’t quite full enough to fund an evening on the town (or playground).
They interacted a few times during the next 20-some years, but on New Year’s Eve 2015, something changed.
Paige had flown home from Los Angeles for the holidays, and she was looking for a fun way to ring in 2016. When she heard David was having a party, she invited herself. Knowing that she would likely fall asleep at 10 p.m. if she didn’t make pre-party plans, she got his phone number to ask what he was doing before. The pair met up in downtown Sarasota shortly before midnight.
The night ended with a promise to hang out before Paige returned to her job in L.A. They did the next day, and the day after that — that time for dinner with Paige’s family. When she left, they knew they would be seeing each other again soon.
They dated long distance for the next nine months.
David had major surgery in Boston in July of 2016, and Paige moved into an apartment with him and his mom for a month while he was in recovery.
“Paige was there the whole time and that really solidified our relationship,” David says. “Coming out of that recovery trip, I knew I wanted to marry her.”
David planned to ask her the big question on a walk across the John Ringling Causeway once they were both back in Sarasota, but still recovering from his surgery, he didn’t feel up for the walk. Instead, he surprised Paige by popping the question in the privacy of their home one morning.
They didn’t have a bay view, but they had a St. Paul and the Broken Bones record to dance to in celebration.
Paige and David made most of their wedding decisions around the idea of working with Phil Mancini, who has been a part of every family milestone in Paige’s lifetime.
After choosing Marie Selby Botanical Gardens as the venue and Phil as the caterer, it was all about the details. Because Paige and David have both been to many weddings, the pair wanted their celebration to stand out.
This came across best in their Save-The-Dates, which featured the two of them dressed in vintage clothes and heavy makeup to appear more than twice their age. The tagline read “Paige & David are going to grow old together … but first they’re getting married!”
"Being in our mid '30s we’ve had a lot of friends get married and been a part of a lot of weddings," David says. "We thought if we were going to spend money on a save the date, we didn’t want it to be bland, we wanted it to be different."
This fun, unique flair continued in the invitations, which featured a portrait of the couple commissioned by artist Michelle Guintu, who David had previously commissioned a piece from through a favorite gallery of his, New Image Art in Los Angeles. The two loved her work and decided to work with her again for their big day. The same portrait, enlarged, hung at the reception, and the cake was topped with an identical pop art figurine.
On Nov. 4, the couple said their vows — which they wrote themselves — overlooking the John Ringling Causeway and Sarasota Bay on the lawn of Michael's on the Bay at Selby Gardens.
“What I said in my vows is that (after Boston) I realized I could take on any challenges if I had him by my side,” Paige says. “To me, that’s the sign of the happiest, most real and most committed relationships.”
David’s favorite part of the special day was reciting his vows to Paige and listening to hers. Paige’s was their first look, and not having to keep her dress a secret from David anymore (she's not so great at keeping her own secrets, she admits).
"The moment we saw each other ... there had been so much to deal with going into the weekend and so it was finally a break and a moment that was just about us," she says.