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 is a native Texan. She relives her special wedding day for us and shares, “It was our royal day.”
Tell us how you found your true love, what made you decide to make a public commitment in the form of marriage and the wedding day?
Our wedding was held at Hengrave, Hall, Bury Saint Edmunds IP28 6LZ, United Kingdom Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 3 p.m.
THE VENUE: Hengrave Hall is a Tudor manor house in Hengrave near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England and was the seat of the Kitson and Gage families 1525-1887. This stunning Grade 1* listed mansion is situated within an impressive 350-acre estate and is an exclusive use wedding venue, which exudes historic charm. This magnificent mansion is filled with 27 luxurious bedrooms and was built in 1525. Hengrave Hall has a fascinating history and its own idyllic chapel. Elizabeth I stayed at Hengrave in 1578 and there is a chamber named in her honor. The madrigalist John Wilbye was employed by the Kitsons at Hengrave and in London, as was the composer Edward Johnson. King James II also visited Hengrave throughout the 1670s. Suffolk/Bury St. Edmunds is located approximately two hours northeast of London.
The groom, 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. Currently a West Sussex resident, he enjoys his currently 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 10 years. Her musical experiences range from live background performances on nationally televised shows to professional sessions for major label recording artists, as well as singing background for numerous renown Christian and Gospel artists.
Brittany was also seen in several national commercials as well as a testimonial for four national and international Proactiv commercials. Brittany modeled in three seasons of the Nashville Pink Bride Wedding Show with Glitz and David’s Bridal. She was featured on page 118 in the Pink Bride/ Tennessee Weddings Magazine wearing a Glitz Bridal gown.
OUR STORY: 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 with 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. 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 several weeks later at First Watch in Franklin, I asked if this cute brother of hers was single and she said yes! In fact, 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 (Sept. 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 Dec. 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 because most of my immediate family are in Texas, we chose Dallas. 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. After gaining some clarity and direction (and being thrust to marry in England, which I’m not mad about!) our wedding immediately became a destination wedding for US guests.
Because of certain travel restrictions, we kept it more on an intimate scale of 60 people (which ended up best befitting the quaint castle-like manor and the petite church on its grounds). I abandoned my US estate homes search and began looking for UK wedding venues. I’ve always loved the Gothic Revival Style architecture, so England started to feel like the perfect place.
I paired my love for their country’s old yet ornate grandeur with my personal nostalgic vintage junkie vibe. England worked! And why not make it a castle?! – they are everywhere there anyways! With a few Google and YouTube searches for castle wedding venues with churches on site, my eyes landed on Hengrave Hall and they never swayed. I knew it was love at first sight. I joke with Sam that I fell in love with the venue first and just needed him to get married there! He didn’t find that too funny! I was working the cyber end of the venue searches from America, and he and his mom visited the locations on ground there in the UK. Of course, we kept coming back to Hengrave Hall. We locked in our deposit Aug or Sept. 2020 and I had my first venue tour there in November. But because COVID was not going anywhere, we had to move our wedding date three times!
Talk about stressful. Planning a wedding is one thing, but planning a wedding overseas, in the middle of a pandemic, in a relationship torn apart by travel bans, is on an entirely different level. Love and faith kept us going.
We knew God put us together. We chose to persevere believing that our story would encourage so many other couples. We were not just committed to each other, we were “committed to the commitment.”
This marriage is significant for so many reasons, especially as the newest “Paculabo” to join into a huge family legacy of worship and justice.
As an interracial and an intercontinental couple, we’ve had to overcome many obstacles particularly highlighted and made harder due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. But the waiting was worth it.
Not only did we grow and learn each other better (under stressful opposition and uncertain times) but since we didn’t rush the process of marriage as we could have done initially, we were afforded a fresh perspective of true commitment and loyalty in our relationship, plus the perfect window of time when COVID rates had dropped dramatically in the UK, guests could travel there with more ease than before, and weddings had finally returned full force.
God-willing, Sam plans to come to Tennessee 2022. In the meantime, I’ll be partaking in short stays in the UK.
THE PROPOSAL: Sam proposed to me on Dec. 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 totally 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. Once we were fixated in the perfect spot, he began to tell me how much I meant to him and I just knew it was happening.
Everything was so perfect except he was so nervous that he forgot what finger he was putting the ring on! Lol. As you can see, it wasn’t a dealbreaker!
THE ATTIRE & INSPIRATION: Ceremony Dress: Ceremony Dress: “Helen” from Milla Nova’s Royal Collection Reception Dress: Mikaella #2105 (No belt) Headpiece & Earrings: Asya Lapteva Bridal (Based in Russia) Veil: Viero Bridal Shoes: Zara Bridesmaid Dresses: “Askins Crystal Slit Gown” by Tadashi Shoji Other: *My cascading bouquet included a royal flower that can only be grown in a royal garden of a royal family. My florist was the only florist in the area to have access to this particular flower that descended from the line of Queen Victoria. *Many have compared the wedding or the inspiration to Megan Markle, particularly because of our interracial relationship and my choice of a minimalistic second dress.
Although I respect Megan, she was not a part of the planning vision. But it’s a fun comparison! JOHN PACULABO: Sam’s father was a giant and legend in the Christian Music Industry. Someone once called the Paculabo name and legacy “Worship Royalty”. But he was, on the contrary, a humble man; a man of little words but great impact. Affectionately known as “John Pac”, he was a Christian Music pioneer and worship champion. He was best known for his Manager Director role at Kingsway Music. Kingsway was bought out and merged with now Integrity music. John was also a trustee to Kingsway Trust which still exists today and has since merged with CLC book publishing. He was a former musician of the band Parchment, an A&R manager and label founder. John Pac was the man who introduced such acts as Tim Hughes and Matt Redman to the Christian music scene and they are global Christian artist sensations today.
ATTENDEES: Guests included friends and family from all over the world with places such as: UK, Netherlands, and various cities and states in the US (Chicago, Florida – Jacksonville & Tallahassee –, Los Angeles, Orange County, Houston, East Texas and Nashville). A family from South Africa was set to come but had to renege due to the UK travel ban and restrictions still in place.
- Jonathan Brown – President of Integrity Music, Nashville
- Les and Judith Moir – Les Moir has played a significant role in the international contemporary worship music community. As a mentor, A&R manager, record producer and bass player, he has encouraged and coached many worship leaders, musicians and songwriters. Les is married to Judith and they are based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Producer for many noted gospel acts. Former A&R for Integrity Music 28 years.
3.Adrian Anderson – Recording Artist, philanthropist, Beauty Entrepreneur, Speaker, Member of Grammy Nominated Dove Award Winning Music Group “Trin-I-tee 5:7” and the Recording Academy
- Angela Jollivette- Music Supervisor/Producer. Former Recording Academy; Grammy Awards Department
- Geneen White – Recording Artist, Song Writer, Worship Leader. Based in Los Angeles
- Mat Owen – Executive Director of Kingsway CLC Trust (Music and Book Publishing, Eastbourne, UK)
- Pastor Doug Williams – Doug Williams is the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Christian Centre, a large and thriving inner-city church in the East-end of London. Doug is a well-respected and much sought after Christian motivational speaker, with strong teaching gifts and an apostolic calling to leaders. He travels widely internationally, to conduct leadership training sessions, church retreats and men’s conferences. He is a singer / songwriter and has played with numerous gospel artists and singers.
THE BRAND: House of Paculabo HOP is a family branding founded on the concepts of Bridging, Truth, and Heritage. We want to lay new groundwork for generations to come from our unique joining together as a cross-continental couple, while including the vast generational inheritance bestowed upon us. We consider ourselves: bridge builders, truth seekers, and culture keepers. Our family will be built on the bedrock of our crest banner line: “in domo hac nos Deum colimus” – In this house, we worship God. By this we are reminded that as a Christian family, everything we do and take part of will be unto the glory of God. With our new family name and now brand on the horizon, we are looking to set fashion at the forefront. We are currently narrowing down the market and discovering how to merge the likings of fashion-forward European trends, traditional British elements with American standards. As we hope to expand, music along with mission work will inevitably follow suit as our hearts and heritage direct us down this path.
We hope that the three aforementioned pillars will undergird each endeavor we establish. Right now, we want people to get familiar with the name, the story and the heart.