2017/08/19 14:00:00

Samantha Portuondo

The Bride

Sam was born on June 1, 1983 in Lima, Peru. She went to the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and got a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communications with a major in Advertising. She worked at a radio station, advertising, marketing and event planning agencies as a copywriter, producer assistant and creative director. She then came to the US and got her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Hood College in 2015. She now works as a graphic and web designer. In her free time she takes pictures, and works on craft projects. Her favorite color is aqua. She loves the instax camera Steve bought for her for their first Valentine’s Day.


Steven Sekellick

The Groom

Steve was born on December 21, 1982 in Maryland. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. He started his career as a graphic designer working for the government, a print shop, and a Washington DC artist. Steve has also been a wedding photographer for 5 years along with his brother. In his free time Steve works on his digital art, paints and plays music. He likes to hike. His favorite color is green, and his favorite shows are about cars, science, and political satires. He wants to take Sam skiing and sledding.

Our Story

By the Bride

I was supposed to meet Steve in September 2015. A friend of mine sent me a message asking me if I wanted to go see her friend (Steve) perform on a open mic in downtown Frederick. Steve’s cousin was also going to be there, so it was cool. It seemed like a group thing. I checked him out on Facebook to make sure he was okay. He looked cute, so I decided to go!

The day of the open mic I got a message on my phone. My dear friends said they couldn’t make it. Suddenly it was just me. I wondered: “well, he is cute, I could go…. but it would be just me!… alone… in a room with a stranger, watching him play, by myself, in a bar…

I didn’t make it that night, but he gave us a captivating recap of how the open mic night went, and I was concerned. That was a lot of detail for a night, and he seemed deeply affected by the open mic moderator’s behavior towards him. I would later find out about Steve’s wondrous and particular sense of humor.

Months later I was late for a friend’s party and ended in the wrong house. Luckily an elder pointed me to the right one. As I walked in the room, I saw Steve and he was just totally into me. I recognized him from Facebook, so I knew he was safe. After the party, he followed me around as we walked to a near bar. His cousin told me he was a good guy. I told her he was cute, and I pointed at him so that he knew. Steve says I said I loved him, but I don’t think I did.  He was pretty quick to make sure he had my phone number, and he took a picture of both of us to hold as evidence we had a great time. He also appears in several photobooth style selfies as if we had been best friends forever. Now, we certainly are.

By the Groom

I couldn’t blame Samantha for backing out the night of the open mic, because at that point we had not yet met.  I just knew I had to rock out in that underground dimly lit bar; it felt like a good thing for me, even if it were on a weeknight.  But, I was curious about her, so I added this levelheaded beauty to my Facebook friends.

Our Facebook interactions gave me butterflies. There was a grace in the way she even shut me down that day, grace that included a request to reschedule for another evening. I had a feeling that months later I would be honored to fulfilled that request.

So, I was Facebook friends with Sam for months before we met; I could easily check up on her and make sure she was safe using Facebook. The fateful night we finally met in Frederick, sparks flew and emotions ran high. In fact, in between the house party and getting kicked out of the several bars, Sam fell in love. Not only did she let half the guests know, but let me know too… We just hit it off.  Yadda yadda yadda.

Dates included: Sushi, Dancing, Ice Skating, Movies, Paint Night, Salsa Dance Lessons, Bowling, Canoeing/Kayaking, Putt Putt, Hiking, and lots more Sushi.

Before she could think of dumping me, I thought I’d better keep her around so, on a cold November evening at Rio, in Gaithersburg Maryland, I proposed, she said yes, and she has a ring to prove I am the luckiest man ever.

"The Best Gift is Your Participation"


Mailing Address:
31 Booth Street, Unit 258, Gaithersburg MD 20878

The Locations

St. Mark Orthodox Church


7124 River Rd, Bethesda
MD 20817


Linganore Winecellars


13601 Glissans Mill Road
Mt Airy, MD 21771


Courtyard by Marriott

RIO Washingtonian Center
204 Boardwalk Pl
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Feel free to choose any hotel of your liking. We got a special group rate at Marriott Courtyard of $89 per night for our guests. You can use it for Friday 18th and/or Saturday 19th. Click on the link below to book at the special rate or call 1800-321-2211 and ask for the Portuondo-Sekellick block.


The Ceremony

St Mark Orthodox Church practices one of the oldest Christian wedding services which dates back to the 4th century. In America, it is not as common as a Protestant or Catholic service, so we would like to provide you with some resources below for those who have not experienced an Orthodox (Eastern) Christian wedding before.
You might stand longer than you would expect, so wear comfortable shoes. Yet, the service will only be about 40 minutes long, and there is standing and sitting throughout (the priest will gesture so that you know when to switch.

Regarding participation, you will not be asked to participate in the service. You are there to observe, party/celebrate with us afterwards :), and pray/sing along throughout the service, if you would like.

The Rite of Betrothal

Rings are exchanged as a sign of commitment and devotion to one another. The exchange signifies that in married life, the weakness of one partner will be compensated by the strength of the other, the imperfections of one, by the perfections of the other.

The Sharing of the Common Cup

Designates a mutual sharing of life in its fullest, a common support for every joy and sorrow experienced in life's walk. This signifies that in marriage all things are shared equally, joys as well as sorrows.

The Crowning

Crowns are placed on the heads of the bride and groom. The bride and groom are crowned as queen and king of their kingdom, the home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. The crowns are joined together with a ribbon symbolizing that the two are now one.

The Procession around the Sacramental Table

The priest leads the couple three times around the sacramental table. This is the Church guiding and leading the groom and bride in their first steps as husband and wife. They walk around the table carrying candles, symbolic of the Light of Christ.

The Removal of the Crowns and the Final Blessing

All gathered wish the couple many years of blessings. The priest removes the crowns, bestows on them a final blessing, and sends them forth into the world, with hope that as Husband and Wife they will together attain perfect unity of love and peace in Christ Jesus.

Powered by Freak Music - the home of live wedding bands and entertainers for hire.

Wedding Menu

Hors D’oeuvres

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops
Gourmet Cheese Display Brie ~ Gouda~ Pepper Jack ~ Cheddar ~ Swiss or Fontina
Garnished With Fresh Berries Served With Assorted Crackers


Chicken Cordon Bleu
Sliced, Marinated London Broil
Traditional Garden Salad
Pasta With Wine Sauce


Wedding Cake

Wedding Party

Juliana Jones

Mother of the Bride


Therese Sekellick

Mother of the Groom

Claude Jones

Stepfather of the Bride


Anthony Sekellick

Brother of the Groom

Gianfranco Portuondo

Brother of the Bride


Andrew Sekellick

Brother of the Groom

Beth Christoffel



James Russell


Monica Ajlouny



Jeff Faunce


Victoria Neuville



Trey Kulp


Shelah Maul



Theodore Sheppard


Kelly Kennedy



Brooks Perry



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Sam Sam wrote on July 9, 2017 at 1:41 am:
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