Couple cheat death to seal love in marriage

A young couple who found strength in each other after cheating death in the past have finally sealed their love in holy matrimony just before the New Year’s celebrations.

Former Miss Samoa, Papalii Alexandra Iakopo and the love of her life, Anthony Ah Tong celebrated their union at St. Anthony of Padua Moamoa Theological College last week. 

Father Maselino led the wedding ceremony to bless the union of the newlyweds which was witnessed by family, relatives and close friends. 

A reception followed the nuptials at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi (T.A.T.T.E.) Convention Centre at Sogi. 

Mr. Ah Tong is the son of the late deacon, Luamanuvae Gaugau Mateo and Luatuanuu Salafai Ah Tong of Luatuanu’u, Lauli’i and Lalomauga. He is self-employed and is continuing the work of his late father and business cultivating the land and running the family farm. 

The bride is the daughter of the late deacon Iakopo and Fagamalama Isaako of Sapapali’i and Fusi Safotulafai. 

She is currently the Program Manager for Gender and Disability at the Australian High Commission.

The 26-year-old said crossing paths with her husband is through the grace of God as in 2012 she had to go through a heart operation, with the doctors saying she had a 50/50 chance of survival. On the other hand, her husband was also ill and his family was losing hope in seeking a cure for him. 

A year later the lovebirds got through those challenging times and found strength in each other. 

While they did not meet at a romantic place to begin their journey, the pair began a lifelong pathway in a common place – the Savalalo market. 

The couple had been courting for seven years until they decided it was time to receive the holy sacrament of matrimony.

“Our wedding day is our testimony in witnessing God’s grace through every step of our lives and our relationship,” said the couple. “It was also an affirmation that we will continue with our commitment to love one another especially our families no matter what.”

The bride said she is the complete opposite of her husband and she believes that these aspects complement each other in more ways than they had imagined. 

“Anthony has more patience than I do, easy-going, has a forgiving heart, calm about most things and always looks out for his siblings and family,” she said. “For me on the other hand, I tend to run low on patience. 

“I am fun but not too generous and forgiving, I tend to stress about most things, and very tough loving towards my own siblings and family.” 

Mr. Ah Tong said losing their fathers had kept them together and stronger.

“Through all the arguments and challenges we went through we knew that we can never imagine ourselves without each other,” he said.

The couple acknowledged the support of their mothers, siblings, and families in Samoa and abroad for making their special day possible and made reference to the Bible’s Song of Solomon Chapter 3 Verse 4: “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”

“It does speak to the truth of our relationship, and we pray that our journey with love will inspire our friends and family to have faith in God’s timing and blessings.”

The best man was Junior Pasese and Luisa Sooalo Kome was the maid of honor. 

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