Amber & Ramon-Featured Real Wedding from the Summer/Fall 2013 issue of Real Weddings Magazine ( Photos by and copyright Shoop's Photography (

The first time Amber set foot in Sacramento’s Immaculate Conception Parish, she knew it was the perfect place to say “I do” to her fiancé, Ramon. “This is where I’m going to get married,” she whispered as they took in the beauty of their surroundings. “The natural wood all around, the small chapel-feel to it…I couldn’t see myself exchanging vows anywhere else,” Amber recalls.

The bride and groom first met when Amber began working for Ramon’s parents. Although Ramon wasted no time asking his future bride out, their first date got off to a slow start when he was three hours late to pick her up. “Something told me I should still go on the date despite how late he was,” Amber says. “Everyone that knows him knows that he’s always late to everything—so much so that his mom threatened that she would have him spend the night [at] the priest’s house so that he would be on time to his own wedding.”

Fast forward more than a decade and the happy couple was in no rush to tie the knot. Their families, on the other hand, had a different agenda. “Our mothers and his grandmother got together one night and conspired to plan our wedding.” Amber explains. “They corralled me and asked, ‘When are you two going to get married?’ I responded, ‘I don’t know.’ They immediately called Ramon and asked him to come over to his grandma’s house. He had no idea what was coming his way!” When Ramon finally arrived, it was his grandmother who had the honor of asking Amber’s mother for her daughter’s hand in marriage. The ambush was a success—by night’s end, it was decided that the newly engaged couple would wed on Ramon’s late grandfather’s birthday.

“One of the moments that I hold dear and close to my heart is when my mom walked me down the aisle,” says Amber of her August nuptials. “I felt that instead of her showing me off, I was proudly showing her off because she raised me all on her own, and thanks to her, I am the woman that I am today.”

Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests headed to a private estate to continue celebrating. According to Ramon, the couple hoped to create “a fun atmosphere with our closest friends and family”— something that they achieved with handcrafted favors, delicious food by Taqueria Maya’s, and live music courtesy of Vilma Diaz y La Sonora.

“Before we made it to the dance floor [for] our first dance, there was a moment in which we were both just taking it all in,” Amber explains. “We looked up and the sky was glowing…the sunset was breathtaking, it was all surreal. I’m sure that both of our dads were looking down on us from heaven giving us the most beautiful sunset that we’ve ever seen.”

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