Storybook Wedding: Sammy and Natalie

Read how the happy couple met and fell in love.
ESSENCE.COM May, 10, 2012

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Sammy Carolina and Natalie Shaw worked in different departments at a Dallas telecommunications company. One day she joined him at lunch and hit it off instantly.


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The two have blended their family with Natalie’s two daughters and his son. Sammy spotted the ESSENCE Storybook Wedding contest and wrote in to surprise the love of his life. He was selected as one of six finalists.

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3 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

Two days after moving their blended family into a new apartment, Sammy and Natalie enjoyed a private boat ride and stroll along the shore at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club.


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4 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

The couple recently celebrated their two-year anniversary. “I love what we have. She looks out for me,” Sammy says. “Usually it’s a man who has the role of protector, but sometimes a man needs help.”


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5 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

Natalie was shocked to discover on the beach stroll rose petals that spelled “Will You Marry Me?” After confirming the message was for her, she accepted.


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6 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

“I am lucky to have found someone who wanted our love to be shared with everyone,” Natalie says. “Since day one we have always supported each other and will continue forever and ever.”

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7 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

The two are always up for a good time, whether heading out with friends or family game night playing Hungry Hippo.

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8 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

The couple toast to their new life together, as they prepare to become husband and wife. “This in is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I know she is worth the reward,” Sammy says.

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9 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

Why they want your vote: “Dating as a single mom can be tricky, but Sammy made it easy.” Natalie says. “He loves me for me and treats my two daughters as his own. I want to set the right example for them.”

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10 of 10 Photography by Diana Zalucky

See more of Sammy and Natalie’s story and their Disney World engagement in the June issue of ESSENCE.


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