Matthew McConaughey married his longtime love Camila Alves in a romantic ceremony at home in Austin, Texas and gave his family and close friends (including Reese Witherspoon, Kenny Chesney, and Woody Harrelson) a laid-back weekend to remember. This week's issue of PEOPLE features all the details and exclusive photos of the couple's unforgettable celebration.
The soundtrack at Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves's weekend wedding celebration was filled with happy clamor: old friends catching up, dogs barking, children giggling, and spirited games of beanbag toss and horseshoes. "Everyone was calling it 'glamping' – like glam camping," a guest says of the 47 luxury air-conditioned tents erected on the couple's Austin estate, where some 120 guests spent three days and two nights enjoying boisterous summer fun. "It was like a cool commune."
As the Catholic ceremony got under way, Rev. David Haney, the senior pastor at Austin's Riverbend Church, asked the pair to whisper what they saw in each other at that special moment. "No one could hear what Matthew said to her, but you could feel it," says the guest. "Everyone could see Camila's reaction: First she was smiling and laughing, then you could see her crying. One of the most emotional moments was something nobody could hear. It was beautiful."
Now the new Mr. and Mrs. McConaughey are proudly proclaiming their commitment. "We decided to embrace the ritual of marriage as an opportunity and adventure we'll take together," Matthew, 42, tells PEOPLE of marrying his love of six years, Brazilian-born model and designer Camila, 29. The big day was especially meaningful for the couple's children, son Levi, who turns 4 next month, and daughter Vida, 2 ½. "Levi has asked many times over the years, 'Mama, why am I a McConaughey but you aren't?'" says Camila, who is taking her husband's last name. "They are both very excited. Somehow they both seem to understand what we are doing on a spiritual level." (Vida and Levi served as flower girl and ringer bearer. "They were barefoot, and when they walked in, everyone gasped," says a guest.)
Matthew himself was deeply struck by the meaning of the ceremony as he awaited his bride's entrance. "The silence before she came out, 42 years of history ran through my veins…and then I thought of her," says the Texas-born star, who proposed on Christmas Day last year. "Twenty-nine years, a young lady's dream to marry whomever that may be, the most important moment in the fairy tale, and tonight, right now, I am that man for her, for the first time and forever." Adds his mom, Kay, "Right before Camila came in, I saw Matthew looking up, and I imagined he was thanking God for the joy and love in his life. I could feel the love he was about to share with Camila, and I won't forget it."
Singer John Mellencamp – who attended with girlfriend Meg Ryan – sang psalms set to original music, and reading included Bible passages such as Matthew 6:22. "We chose verses from the Bible that moved us and speak to who we are as a couple," says the groom. The nuptials were sealed with a "long kiss," says a guest, followed by lots of "hooting and hollering and clapping." From start to finish, the entire affair, says those who know the couple best, was uniquely Matthew and Camila. "It was perfect," says a guest. "It felt like they built a village full of love, family, and friends."
Exclusive photos & details of the couple's big day appear only in the 6/25 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now!
*Also In This Week's 'People'*
Tom Cruise, "Rock" Star: "You're Blessed To Be Able To Live Your Dream…"
Hollywood's Hottest Summer Bodies!
Matthew Badger: "…Trying To Make Up For What 3 Little Girls Would Have Done For The Planet"
Andy Samberg On Adam Sandler: "There Is No One I Would Rather Be Mistaken For"
Teen Mom's Amber Portwood: "People Don't Understand What I'm Going Through"