Sam was born in Arkansas, educated in Texas (With Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees.), lived and raised his family in Austin, and after pastoring churches in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, moved back to Austin in 2001. He is an ordained minister. Sam and Gretta, together since 1972, love to cook, party, hike, camp, and travel to fun places like Belize, Guatemala and Sicily. “Besides my family, my other passion is cycling. It is fun when children in the neighborhood see me on my recumbent and comment on what a cool bike it is,” says Sam. Sam and Gretta have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Spurred by a lifelong love of the outdoors and, more broadly, the planet, Sam states, “Much of my joy in recent years has come from the conscious practice of a simpler, greener lifestyle.” Sam has actively participated in local interfaith activities with people who are Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and many other religions. In March of 2011 Sam and Gretta took their family on a much-anticipated trip to Italy and Sicily (Sam’s dad was born in Sicily.). Sam’s most memorable trip experience was climbing the slick steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the rain with 10 year-old granddaughter Hannah. Sam says, “Now that I am retired I have had more time to commit to a variety of volunteer, reading and camping activities that both challenge and fulfill me. These activities, along with regular exercise, and not eating as much pasta as I would like, keep me going and excited about the future.”

So, whether at home in Austin with local commitments, at his clients’ weddings, or volunteering on an international level, Sam delights in weaving culture, religion, ideas, and opinions together for richer marriages, and a more peaceful world.

Pre-Marital Consultations Available

Sam Riccobene is available for pre-marital consultations for couples who wish to explore more deeply with Sam their potential for a happy, productive marriage. Sam uses an adaptation of a family systems approach to relationships and in three, one-hour sessions works with couples on such issues as how your parents feel about your marriage, the model for healthy marriage they gave you as children growing up, how you are currently dealing with conflict, what you think will make you happily married, your plans for children, adoption, medical and financial considerations.

Sam is not a certified therapist or pastoral counselor but as an ordained pastor, Sam has used this approach with numerous couples over the past 25 years. Sam believes all couples should consider pre-marital counseling. Through these basic conversations about your future together, he can get to know you better before the wedding and can make referrals to professional counselors if needed.

Sam’s consultation fees are available upon request and a discount is offered if you book your wedding with Austin Weddings Unlimited.