The Couple: Anne-Marie and Craig Matos

Wedding Date: September 22, 2012

Photography by Shoop’s Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: My husband and I met in El Dorado Hills in December of 2011, while Craig was on his winter break from Seminary school in Australia. It was absolutely love at first sight. After a month of dating, Craig returned to school to finish his degree, and we were able to build our relationship on a strong foundation of communication, through a long distance relationship.

After Craig graduated in July of 2012, he moved back to California, and within days asked me to be his wife. We quickly planned our dream wedding together, and all of the elements just fell into place: venue, vendors, my dress, everything you can think of!

On top of that, my mom and other family members came alongside us, to help with the planning and overseeing of the big day. My Mom and husband also helped me to make almost all of decorations for the wedding to keep expenses down.

Shortly after our wedding day, Craig and I were blessed with the opportunity to move back to Sydney, Australia as a couple, and are currently living out or dream helping to build the local Church.

What was the most amazing part of your day? Saying, “I DO!” and becoming husband and wife. Being able to share our day with all of our loved ones just made it that much better.

What else would you like to share about your big day? Craig and I definitely took a “Do It Yourself” approach in organizing and preparing for our wedding. We chose to have an intimate setting of about 80 guests and we were so blessed by that. Not only did we get to spend time with each and every guest on our special day, but each of our guests played a huge part it helping to make our day so amazing. In particular, about 20 of our guests, actually helped to set up our venue, oversee our reception, and then surprised us the next day, by cleaning up and putting everything away at the venue during our wedding night. We absolutely could not have done it without them.

Ceremony Site: Historic Emmanuel Baptist Church

Reception Venue: Coloma Country Inn

Photographer: Shoop’s Photography

Videographer: Family Member

Caterer: Sierra Smoke House

Cake: Little Bliss Cakery

Flowers: Verbena Flowers & Trimmings

Favors: DIY

Bridal Attire: De La Rosa’s Bridal & Tuxedos

Hair: Kafey at Morgan Taylor Salon

Make-up: DIY

Invitations: DIY

Ceremony Entertainment: Music a Due

Reception Entertainment: Grant Peterson

Photo Booth: DIY with Shoop’s Photography

Honeymoon Location: Bodega Bay, CA

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out? Amber Felts, from Shoop’s Photography, was an absolute joy to work with. My husband and I were blown away by the pictures she took and the moments she captured. She is so great to work with and brings such an ease and calmness to your big day. We love Shoop’s Photography!

Once more, we absolutely loved and would wholeheartedly recommend, all of the vendors listed above. They were great to work with and brought something special to our day. A BIG thank you!

First Dance Song: “Cheek to Cheek” by Fred Astaire.

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? My advice is to keep it simple and enjoy every minute of your wedding experience. At the end of the day, it should really be about the beauty of joining together as husband and wife and sharing that moment with the ones you love. So be sure to surround yourself with people before and on your special day that are friends to your destiny and are there to truly champion and celebrate your unity in marriage.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Absolutely not. We honestly feel that nothing could have gone better and even the little hiccups we experienced (like My husband’s bow-tie breaking moments before the ceremony) just added to the character and uniqueness of the day.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.

Photos courtesy of and copyright Shoop’s Photography.

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