Though they’ve known each other since childhood and were attending the same summer camp in Sonora, Bree and Matt consider their official meeting to be when they were camp counselors. “She was in my mind,” Matt says. “I started to think, ‘I’m going to see her again soon, and I think I want to ask her out on a date.’”

When they did go out a week later, the two visited Cannery Row, had ice cream and strolled the beach. “It was a full moon and it was really an amazing night weather-wise—we just hung out and talked,” Matt recalls. “On the way back to the car, it was kind of goofy, but I asked if I could hold her hand.” Bree felt a little strange at first because she didn’t know Matt all that well. “The first question he asked me was about my relationship with God,” Bree says. “It was extremely attractive to just see how real he was. We walked around town about two hours, talking about life and our thoughts on love and stuff, and we had a lot of connecting points.”

The couple carried on a long distance relationship until Matt moved to Monterey a couple of years later. When a friend asked if they would accompany her to take photographs at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Bree didn’t realize Matt had set up the whole thing because he was going to propose. The friend took a test shot of them at a waterfall, and then Matt dropped to one knee. “I thought they had been acting a little bit weird,” Bree says. “He had a cheesy smile on his face the whole time and so did my friend. It was a good surprise.”

They chose Union Hill Inn as the venue a week after their engagement. Located in Sonora, it had a rustic feel and was about equidistant from each of their families.

On the day of the ceremony, they had their first look under a weeping willow tree. For Bree, it took away any nervousness she felt. “Matt looked at me like I was the only person there…I felt the same way with him.”

Matt’s father, a minister with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, served as the officiant.

“You want your dad’s blessing in anything you do in life,” Matt says. “So to have my dad not only give me his blessing, but also be the one who [brought] my wife and I together…it’s really special.”

The moment Matt’s father pronounced them man and wife, what Matt calls a “unique celebratory roar” rose from the crowd. “We both have very loud and [excitable] families,” Matt says.

Both Bree and Matt are excited to build a life together, and to learn about each other at a deeper level. “We lived near each other, and we were together a lot,” Matt says. “But this is now our life and that is exciting.”

―Margaret Snider