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  • Dan Kumeiko

Modern Cree Estate, Palm Springs Wedding | Sam + Ando

Updated: Mar 5

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.― Dr. Seuss

Under the bright, beaming sun of Palm Springs, Calif., Samantha and Ando shared their vows and took the very first step into their lives as husband and wife. Only the smiles on the couple's faces were as bright as the shining sun that illuminated their future together.

The Palm Spring Cree Estate boasted perfect spaces to hold Samantha and Ando's modern wedding. The outdoor space served as a humble ceremony hall with simple wood fold-out chairs and tall palm trees.


This outdoor spaces would be where the couple would become man and wife officially and dance the night away with their loved ones, hours later.


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Of course way before the ceremony, both halves of the couple spent hours preparing for their big day. Surrounded by his best men, groom Ando started dressing in his modern wedding attire. From shoes to accessories, his ensemble was a breath of fresh air.

Going for a modern look, Ando opted for a light grey suit instead of a classic black and white tux. Though not the traditional groom's wear, the suit was sharp, nonetheless and matched his equally sharp fresh cut and accessories.


Ando balanced his sharp suit with some personal flair. Instead of opting for the simple monochrome dress shirts, he went for one with a floral pattern and paired it with a dark blue tie. A golden paper clip pin was the cherry on top of Ando's wedding look.

Inside his suit jacket, Ando had his wedding date embroidered, which brought another level of personality, creativity and originality to his look.

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When he and his best buds were done dressing up, they headed over to the estate's tennis courts. Though they didn't play a doubles match, they lit the tennis court up with their suave mugs and looks.


The Cree Estate was a perfect setting not only for its wedding spaces, but also for other areas that served well for impromptu photoshoots.

As Ando and his men made their way to the ceremony area, Samantha prepared for her walk down the aisle with her loved ones including her mother.


Even before donning her wedding gown, Samantha was a vision to behold. Instead of opting for a grand hairstyle and over-the-top makeup, the bride went for a simple, yet elegant bun and natural-looking makeup.

Once hair and makeup was ready, it was time to put on the dress. Per tradition, Samantha's mother, who beamed with pride and excitement, put her daughter, the soon-to-be Mrs. Johnson, into her wedding gown.


Samantha's dress was far from over-the-top, which kept in line with the couple's modern aesthetic. Instead of the whole princess-style gown, the bride went with a simple spaghetti strap lace dress.


The garment, which featured a form-fitting silhouette and an intricate gown, was perfect for the hot August day in Palm Springs. And while the dress definitely awed loved ones attending the ceremony, it also doubled as the perfect wedding reception dress later in the evening.


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Before she made her way to the aisle to finally meet with her husband-to-be, Samantha completed her look with sparkling accessories including a gold bracelet and earrings. Of course, Mom had to help put the finishing touches on her daughter.

Over at the outdoor ceremony hall, friends and family waited in the sunshine with anticipation. They shielded themselves from the heat with provided parasols as they continued to snap pics of the big day and share their excitement.


Finally, the music played and the crowed settled. It was time to start the ceremony.

Samantha made her way down the aisle towards the altar, where Ando and his groom's men waited. Upon seeing his bride for the first time, Ando shed tears of joy, as did others in the audience.

The two, finally came together at the altar, sharing a few laughs before the ceremony and vows began. Once everything settled and both bride and groom regained composure, Ando started his vows for his wife-to-be.


"It's the soft smile you give when I kiss your forehead every morning, it's the way you rub my back while navigating the hell that is the Ralph's produce aisle, it's the way you never let us go to bed without a final kiss," he read. "These moments aren't promises or commitments for the future. They're the simple things that make us Sam and Ando. They're the reasons you're before me and I'm before you today. "

After his vows, it was Sam's time to share hers.


"I know little girls have this dream, where they're going to have a movie moment where they just know. My mom always said, 'when you know, you know.' I never had that dream until you tapped me on the shoulder and I had my very own movie moment," she told her fiancée. "It was electric shock and calm all at the same time."

After the two exchanged their vows and rings, it was time to finally share their first kiss as husband and wife. And when they did so, their loved ones burst into cheers and applause. It was a truly beautiful ceremony of love underneath the California sun.

After their guests sprinkled them with confetti and flower petals down the aisle, the now married couple prepared for their wedding reception. Each of them dressed perfectly for the Palm Springs heat.


Instead of changing into completely different outfits, Ando shed his suit jacket and Sam her veil, keeping her gown on for the evening.

To keep the celebration lively even before the reception, Sam and Ando requested that their adult guests take a shot of tequila, lime, salt and all, before finding their table. After they had done so, they were able to make their way to the reception area.


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Even before the full course meal, Sam and Ando's guests could feast on the intricate and delectable hors d'oeuvres including mozzarella skewers and a charcuterie board.

Finally, the same high-energy that drove the wedding ceremony hours before reemerged as both bride's maids and groom's men danced their way into the reception area. And not too long after, Sam and Ando made their first ever entrance as husband and wife.

The open air reception was underway and saw family members share moving testimonials and also featured the couple sharing their first dance. The energy of that September day endured even hours past sunset, filling the Palm Spring desert with joy and laughter.

Like any wedding reception, Sam and Ando's boasted hours of dancing. Attendees from all over the world took to the dance floor to strut their stuff and celebrate the happy couple. Two sides of friends and family finally mingled and became one


And as always, the cake cutting was one of the highlights of the incredibly amusing night. As Sam and Ando had precariously cut, then feasted on their cake, their attendees got a taste of a variety of donuts, and cake if they so desired.

For Sam and Ando, that September night would be one for the books, one to never forget. It was a culmination of the little things that brought them together and a glimpse at all the moments they would soon create. Fro both, it was a movie moment.

Relieve Sam and Ando's big day with our highlights reel:

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