From chance encounter to happily ever after
After three years of dating, Jadyn Patrilita Ualesi and Taua'i Fagaloia Vaetoe finally tied the knot last Saturday at the Matafelefele Methodist Church, followed by their wedding reception at the Sheraton Hotel.
Their love story began with a chance meeting between the 23-year-old bride and her 27-year-old husband at her family's store, where Fagaloia would make regular stops on his way to work.
"He used to collect credit bills from local stores in town, including my store, and that’s how we met," she said.
"I had a crush on him but I didn’t think I had a chance because I was just a local girl and I didn’t think I was his type. But one day he came in to the store and asked for my number, instead of asking for the credit bills. From there we started off as friends and eventually became a couple."
Fast forward a few years later, when the couple planned to marry, they decided to forgo the usual celebration of an engagement and instead focus on the wedding day.
"We were making plans and neither of us wanted a proposal. We decided to budget our money only for the wedding," she said.
Jadyn had recently returned from New Zealand, where she had been working for a year and a half, and the couple were making arrangements for their big day.
Their plans included a pre-wedding photoshoot and to Jadyn's surprise, Fagaloia had planned a special surprise for his bride-to-be at the last location.
"When we came to the last stop, both of our families from both sides were waiting for us, holding up a sign saying “Will you marry me?” It was very emotional because he went out of his way to do all that to make it special."
After three years of courtship, Jadyn said Fagaloia's commitment to his family is what caught and has kept her attention.
"Even when he's tired, he would always try and make time for me either after work, or his games, or after he does chores for his family."
Strong commitment and focus on family was especially important during their time of separation while Jadyn was working in New Zealand.
"It was honestly so hard for us both. There was lack of communication, before and after work, it was all too much at times. But we tried our best.
"We had to keep going as I wanted to provide for my family from overseas and he was working here in Samoa.
"One thing that I love about this man, whom I call my husband now, is how he puts his family above his own needs. He always tries to provide for his family; the school fees, the bills, the shopping for his siblings' uniforms and groceries," she said.
Looking ahead, Mrs Vaetoe is taking it all in her stride.
"We will learn along the way, with our families, with the challenges during our marriage and create a better environment around our own family. For better or for worse, I will always be here for him no matter what," said the bride.
The Vaetoe's wedding theme was inspired by Jadyn's favourite colour - green - and the new bride said they were stunned at how it all came together.
They both wanted a small, simple wedding, however, she said that their parents made sure it was the perfect wedding for them and for all their guests to enjoy.
"To our parents, we thank you for making our day special for both of us and for teaching us the true meaning of love and commitment. We are who we are because of you," added Mrs Vaetoe.
"We especially thank those who helped to make our wedding an unforgettable one. We will always cherish each and one of you in our hearts."
Jadyn is the daughter of Sili'a Kilipoa Ualesi and Tauili'ili Eti Ualesi from the villages of Tufuiopa, Lepea, Safotu and Utualii while Fagaloia is the son of Anosi Vaetoe and the late Taua'i Titioali'isili Vaetoe from the villages of Moata'a, Papasataua and Usoalii.