PHOENIX – The bride and groom both wore white, a sharp contrast to their usual maroon and gold. When Josh Nummer and Annika Larson exchanged wedding vows in August, they embarked on a path together that will be filled with faith and a good amount of schedule juggling.
As athletes, the couple are used to their Arizona State uniforms and busy schedules. Despite the level of commitment required for being an athlete, and marriage, the Nummers wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We knew we were going to get married,” Annika said of the Aug. 1 wedding. “Since we knew we just wanted to kind of make that official, but that was our choice. And we took on that knowing right away that we were going to be student-athletes during this time frame.”
Annika, a libero on the volleyball team, first met Nummer, a wrestler, at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting in 2019.
Josh remembers Annika’s boldness as she introduced herself, but it wasn’t until the following January that their relationship took off.
The couple discovered they had mutual friends and attended a Kanye West concert at ASU. Since then, they haven’t looked back. The couple share a love of the outdoors and value each other’s hard work ethic, one of the many attributes the couple share.
“I’d say we have really blue collar values,” Josh said. “You just show up and you do what you’re supposed to do and be an honest person and get your work done. That’s really what we bonded over. And here we are.”
With their Christian faith at the forefront of their relationship, they knew that marriage was the right decision for them and got engaged last December after dating almost two years.
“When I was looking for someone to marry I just wanted someone who was bold in their faith,” Annika said. “And I think that Josh and I, we both value time together, and we both value just joy for life. One thing that I love about Josh is that he’s just so joyful. And I think that outlook has helped me in my life.”
With volleyball a fall sport and wrestling taking place in the winter, Josh and Annika are able to support each other during their respective seasons.
Annika and the ASU volleyball team has been on the road since Sept. 2. The Sun Devils continue their tournament play with the Red Raider Classic in Lubbock, Texas, this weekend.
“One of us is always in season,” Josh said. “So the blessing of that is that there’s always someone who’s less busy and there’s always somebody that can pick up the slack around the house, or can make dinner when you’re just dog tired, or been traveling or whatever. And then the curse of that is, someone always has an obligation so we can’t travel anywhere, we can’t do anything just because we don’t align.”
Due to their different seasons, the Nummers had limited time to plan their wedding. Originally aiming for May, the couple waited until August because Annika’s sister was getting married in May.
Luckily, and unusually, Josh and Annika had one week off in August for their wedding. Their friends and teammates took part in their special day. Ethan Pickren, Josh’s friend and teammate, has seen the couple’s relationship develop over the past two years.
“They are devoted to each other and I think that the way they walk with their faith has shown through everything that they do,” Pickren said. “They are both definitely goofballs, but I think that they both play off of each other really well, and over the course of just a couple years I’ve seen them get closer.”
Although weddings can be stressful, Josh and Annika’s special day ran smoothly due to their families and bridal party providing ample support.
“The people who we had (as) my bridesmaids, and my mom and my dad and everyone who was on that day, their support was just amazing,” Annika said. “I walked in and there was really not a stressful part of that.”
With a stress-free, beautiful day, the couple forgot one key step: Signing their marriage license.
“We had a very great, amazing day,” Annika said. ?I think the next morning, we heard something from Mike, who did our wedding, and he said, ‘Did you notice that we never signed the marriage license?’”
A few weeks later, they officially signed their marriage license.
With their plates and hearts full, Annika and Josh wouldn’t have it any other way.