After dating for a year, Samuel and Brittany became Mr. and Mrs. Paculabo in front of family and friends on September 1, 2021, in the United Kingdom. The beautiful bride, Brittany Batson, relives her special wedding day for us and shares, “It was our royal day.”
Samuel Paculabo was born in Bristol, UK, and raised in Eastbourne, UK. He is the eldest son of Christian Music pioneer and worship champion John Paculabo. During his father’s tenure at Kingsway music, Sam worked in marketing under his dad’s leadership for several years in the British Christian music industry. He is also a former Basketball player in the British Basketball League for the Brighton Bears in Brighton, Sussex. Still excellent in his skill, he is currently looking at developing mentorship opportunities to merge his love for Basketball with his heart to empower gifted young people in their talents. Now a West Sussex resident, he enjoys his current role in the social care realm serving and supporting a community of at-risk youth.
The bride, Brittany Batson, is a Texas native but currently lives in Nashville. She is a Worship Leader, earring designer, and Former Celebrity Makeup Artist. Before moving to Nashville, she lived in Los Angeles for nearly ten years. Her musical experiences range from live background performances on nationally televised shows to professional sessions for major label recording artists and singing backgrounds for renowned Christian and Gospel artists.
Sam and I met through his British sister and Brother-in-law (Lucy and Jorge), who moved from England to Nashville. Lucy moved here to work for her late father’s mission-based organization (Justice and Mercy, Intl.) that her father oversaw while in England, while Jorge is a Christian touring artist with singers such as Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin. While attending a mutual friend’s party, I met his sister and organically befriended her and her husband for nearly a year. Then, one day in July, she posted a picture of her brother (Sam, still living in England) on IG, and I nearly fell off my seat! I said, “Who is that, and why has my friend been holding out on me?! lol” After exchanging a few innocent likes on IG with her brother, Lucy texted me out of the blue asking to go to lunch. Perfect timing! When we met up at First Watch in Franklin several weeks later, I wondered if this cute brother of hers was single, and she said yes! He was coming to the States to visit them the following month. Lucy made the formal introduction, he DM’d me several days later, and the rest was history.
Our first date (September 27, 2019) in Nashville was 10 hours long! And on our third date during a Tenn. Titans game, we knew we both found something special. (My cousin plays for the Titans and got us front row seats.) After officially dating and two back-to-back trips to England later, he popped the question, and we were engaged on December 28, 2019. Then COVID hit.
And just like so many other pandemic couples, we were placed on an invisible waiting list, wondering when our turn would be to have a wedding.
We initially planned to be married in August 2020 in Texas at Knotting Hill Place. We looked at Tennessee venues, but we chose Dallas because most of my immediate family are in Texas. But early in 2020, the US placed a travel ban on the UK, which kept him from traveling here. After this halt and surveying other precautions relating to marriage visas, we were advised by Sam’s immigration lawyer to marry in his native country.
As an interracial and intercontinental couple, we’ve had to overcome many obstacles highlighted and made harder due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. But the waiting was worth it.
Sam proposed to me on December 28, 2019, in the courtyard of the Tate Modern Museum in London near St. Paul’s Cathedral. We were surrounded by supportive on-lookers and a local guitarist, which reminded me of Nashville. Sam was so nervous as we walked to the museum that I knew something was up. But you can never plan your reaction for a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
We hope that the three pillars above will undergird each endeavor we establish. Right now, we want people to get familiar with the name, the story and the heart.
Photo courtesy of Brittany Batson