When Matt proposed to Elizabeth in their San Francisco apartment, he wasn’t expecting her response to be, “I just hung up on my mom!” While she did say, “Yes,” the in-the-moment reaction makes for a sweet and unforgettable moment in the video of his proposal.
The couple met in 2006, while working together for an environmental nonprofit in Sacramento. They both had crushes on each other, but neither acknowledged it at the time. Not long after, she moved to Santa Cruz and he to New Jersey for new positions within the same company. They kept in touch as friends, commiserating over work stresses. “Every time I spoke to him, I would get butterflies,” she says. He felt the same way. “My crush for Elizabeth kept growing,” he says. “Every time I would tell my boss I had talked to her, I would blush and my boss would tease that, ‘I luh –uh –uh –uh –ve her.’”
Then, they both moved again—he to San Francisco for grad school and she to Los Angeles for another job change. When she had a flight out of SFO, she called Matt and asked if he wanted to have a drink and catch up. “Over the previous two years, we had talked occasionally and had hung out twice. But I always had such a strong feeling pulling me toward him. I felt he was ‘who I was supposed to be with,’” she explains. It was this night that they shared their first kiss.
For the next few months, they took turns visiting each other. “After work one day, I decided that not another day would go by without me telling her (to her face) that I loved her,” he says. “I drove all night and knocked on her door at 5 a.m. When she opened the door, I told her I loved her.” Soon after, she moved to San Francisco and he graduated. To celebrate, he took a trip to Peru with his friends, which was life changing. “I knew I didn’t want to have experiences like that without her. That’s when I decided I was going to ask [her to marry me] and that’s where I first looked for a ring,” he says.
They started planning a big wedding in San Francisco, but realized it wasn’t the wedding they truly wanted. “We contemplated eloping, having a tiny wedding, and finally decided that we wanted to have a small wedding in the Tahoe area in the winter,” Elizabeth says. Once they found their venue, everything else fell into place. “Patty, the owner of The Cedar House Sport Hotel, made planning so fun and not stressful—well, as stress-free as planning a wedding can be,” she says laughing.
Elizabeth was surprised by the wide range of emotions she felt on the day of the wedding. “My friend Erin and I went to breakfast and then we saw the rabbi. That is what set me off crying for the rest of the day,” she says. “He told me to take a walk alone and think about everything that brought me to this day. It was great advice and really centered me.”
As for their top wedding priorities, the couple wanted everyone to feel like they were a part of the day and to have fun. “We made sure the ceremony was emotional, the food was delicious, the drinks were flowing, and that we stayed on the dance floor,” she says. To sum up the day in one word, Matt says it was “awesome.” “Els said she wanted a ceremony where everyone cried, and that happened—including me. And I wanted a ‘90s hip-hop dance party, and that happened too!”