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Memory Lane: Anthony & Samara Foxx

By Leigh Pressley

Posted: Thursday, Apr. 01, 2010

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We are drawn to celebrity weddings for lots of reasons, none more compelling than the chance to walk in another's white satin shoes for just for a moment. So break out the Aqua Net and bouffant sleeves. We're taking a trip down memory lane with some of Charlotte's own celebrity couples.

Today, Part 1 of 3: Mayor Anthony & Samara Foxx

When Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx wed Samara Ryder in 2001, the weather didn't exactly cooperate. "The whole day was pouring down rain - I mean pouring down rain," Samara says of the Oct. 13 wedding in Baton Rouge. "All the electricity was out in the entire country club. It was a makeshift wedding with candles lit throughout the entire room, but it was really beautiful. My dad walked me down the aisle in candlelight and as soon as I reached Anthony, the lights came back on. People thought we planned it that way."

The 11 a.m. wedding was officiated by Samara's uncle, a Baptist minister, and was attended by about 120 guests. Samara wore a silk dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline and A-line skirt with a cathedral train. After a relaxed reception with no dancing, the couple honeymooned in Maui.

"We didn't want a big blow-out party," says Samara. "Everyone wanted us to dance, but we were relieved not to have to do that. We just enjoyed seeing so many people from different times in our lives."

A Charlotte native, Mayor Foxx met his wife when both served as counsel on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. Both were attorneys who loved music, politics and public service. Their first date - dinner and a movie - led to an engagement two years later.

That didn't go as planned, either.

Mayor Foxx developed an intricate plan to send flowers to the office three days in a row, each with an accompanying card that read, "Will," "You" and "Marry Me?" But the plan went off track when the first card said, "Love, Will" instead of just "Will."

"I thought, Will? Will who? Who's Will?" laughs Samara. "My friend called the florist and even though they weren't supposed to tell, they told her the flowers were from Anthony Foxx. I asked why he sent me flowers from some guy named Will, and he had to explain it all. Even though the plan was ruined, it was a nice proposal."

Nine years later, the couple now has two children - Hillary, 5, and Zachary, 3 - as well a new life-in-the-limelight as Charlotte's First Couple.

"It's been a very hectic year for us," says Samara. "But even from the beginning, our love of public service has been something that carries through our marriage and bonds us. I love that Anthony is authentic and kind. He really cares about people."

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