Sarah and Matt

Agoura Hills, California



Photography | Liana Herrera Photography | @lianaherreraphotography

Venue | The Lodge at Malibou Lake | @maliboulakelodge

Event Planner | AisleMemories | @aislememories

From the Photographer

Sarah and Matt met online. They got married on 2/8/2020 and had their wedding reception at the Lodge at Malibou Lake in Sunny Southern California. I was their wedding day of coordinator but I was also able to take their engagement/couples photos at their wedding reception venue.

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

We met on of all places. After about a week of messaging each other online, Matt asked me out for drinks which was surprising, cause so many guys just seem to ghost you online. We decided to meet at Yardhouse to grab beers. It seemed to go really well because after we finished our drinks we left Yardhouse and then walked around for a couple more hours. By the end of the date, we both seemed really interested in going out again and the rest is history.


What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. What makes your relationship unique?

Matt and I love to eat. Maybe a little too much. We’re constantly on the hunt for new places to try and love giving new food a shot. Our dinners vary a lot throughout the week. We’ll make a Japanese Curry one night, then go get some Indian the next night, followed by burgers or pizza. We also like to visit local breweries and try different craft brews on a regular basis. There’s a sense of adventure with food that we both have. That’s something we really like about one another is our willingness to try new types of cuisine and drinks. Besides being foodies we’re both Star Wars geeks. We love the original trilogy and actually collect Star Wars memorabilia. The third room in our apartment has all kinds of Star Wars merchandise and collectibles, including Matt’s hug book collection.


How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

Matt and I shared a lot of family, religious and moral views. The fact that we aligned on so many things is one of the main reasons I knew he was the one but our personalities also just seemed to mesh really well. Our 3rd date was nearly 6 hours long which was a really good sign. It’s hard to say exactly when I knew he was the one. I think it was a variety of moments that lead to me thinking our relationship had the potential for marriage. One moment I do remember was a Freudian slip I had during Dapper day at Disneyland about 6 months into our relationship. During a conversation with him, I said “This is why you married me”, but I meant to say “This is why you started dating me”. It was too late though and the cat was out of the bag! By the time we hit the 6-month mark I knew that we were a really good match for one another and I was in love with him. That’s the closest moment I can think of where I knew he was the one.


Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

Every 4th of July Matt travels to Oxford, Mississippi to visit his 96-year-old grandmother with a bunch of his extended family. Last year we decided we would go together so I could finally meet her. We spent the entire 4th of July with his family. There were 62 people in total! They really know how to throw a party in the south! The following day, we had a bit of a break from the festivities and went back to his Aunt’s house which had a lovely park outback with a lake in the middle of it. He suggested we go for a walk outside and even though it was blazing hot and incredibly humid I agreed because I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen next. Matt took me out to the gazebo that sat over the lake and sat me down. He talked about how important it was for me to meet his family, especially his grandma. She apparently approved of me and so did the rest of the family. He recapped how well of a match we seemed to make and how we shared similar moral and family values. He then got on one knee and asked me to marry him so of course, I said “YES!”. I had a sneaking suspicion it would happen on our trip because Matt’s grandmother no longer flies anymore and this would be our one chance to celebrate with her. There was a family dinner organized that night so after the proposal and calling all my family back home, we headed to his aunt’s house. Once Matt’s sister arrived and his parents, we told them discretely and then announced the engagement during prayer right before dinner. It was wonderful getting to show the ring to all his relatives and getting their congratulations in person. I could tell they were all really happy for both of us and it was nice getting to celebrate in person with them all.


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!

My ring is a European mine cut diamond from the 1910s-1920s. It was important for me to find a vintage ring. I’ve always loved vintage clothing and more unique looking settings. I wanted something that wasn’t too trendy and spoke to my personality. There’s an elegance I’ve always loved about the Edwardian Era and its jewelry. We don’t have the exact year but it’s designed in the Edwardian style with lovely floral/leafy filigree on the sides and the top of the ring. In some ways, it’s very Elvish looking and considering my love for Lord of the Rings, this is actually a bonus. It’s a 1-carat diamond set in a square setting with 6 smaller diamonds worked into the filigree on each side. It definitely has some bling but it’s not too in your face. The setting is on the lower side but the diamond still has a great shine to it. We found it in Beverly Hills at an estate store. The owner and his team were super knowledgeable about the diamond and we could tell the ring was in good condition and really well crafted. I’ve never seen anything else like it online or in other stores. It was the perfect ring.


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

We actually already got married! It happened back in February and was everything we hoped it would be. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family at our dream location in Malibu a the Stauffer Chapel on Pepperdine’s campus. We held the reception at the Lodge at Malibou Lake.