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Brazilian Room Wedding | Deshawn & Alyssa

Orange County Professional Photographer

 Enchanting Geode-Inspired Celebration in the Woods of Northern California

Although I am an Orange County Professional Photographer, I love when I get the opportunity to venture outside my county to shoot photography. Working with a couple as special and God-loving as these two are, it made their

Whether I’m going out of Orange County to Los Angeles, somewhere in Southern California or much further away, I love everything about wedding photography. Engagements, Weddings and Family shoots throughout the years are a passion of mine. When you have a career you love, it’s not a career. It’s better than that.

We’ve all joked about someone “sliding into someone’s DMs”. But this love story is actually a Facebook Direct Message success story! While they were both in college, Deshawn caught a glimpse of Alyssa at a school water polo game. After asking his roommate who this dream girl was, he knew he had to reach out to her. Deshawn messaged Alyssa on Facebook later that day. She was flattered, and they ended up hanging out all night long. They had an instant connection and from that night on they stayed up each night deep in conversation. A couple months after their first encounter, it was Valentine’s Day. Alyssa had a water polo game out of town. Deshawn told her that he had class and couldn’t attend her game, but instead surprised her there with balloons, flowers, chocolate, a giant bear, and a sign that said, “Will you be my girlfriend?”

After two and a half years of dating, on a gorgeous summer day in July, they were on a family vacation at the lake. While Alyssa was out paddle boarding with her family, Deshawn was hiding in the woods preparing and decorating the area where he would pop the question. As Alyssa turned the bend on her board and saw the string of pictures among the trees and her future husband down on one knee, she got off her board and rushed over.

From the day they got engaged to their wedding day, they waited anxiously, knowing that with each passing day they were one step closer to their forever. After months of planning their gorgeous DIY wedding in Northern California, they were so ready to tie the knot! Wedding day was finally here!

We would really like to thank Alyssa and Deshawn for allowing Three16 Photography to be part of your special day. We wish you many years of love and happiness.

Check out their love story. We hope you enjoy it, and their photos, as much as we do.

Alyssa and Deshawn’s Love Story


Azusa Pacific University is where it all started. Deshawn was accepted into APU while Alyssa was finishing up her degree and playing water polo for the Cougars. One day, during a rugby game at APU, Deshawn caught a glimpse of Alyssa and asked his roommate who she was. He looked her up on Facebook and decided to message her later that day:


(The actual Facebook messages)


D: Hey Alyssa, I’m EJ’s roommate. I have seen you around and I think you are really cute and I would like to get to know you.

A: Hi! Aww well thank you. Yea I’m down let’s get a group thing together.

D: Ur welcome, sounds good to me. I’ll talk to EJ and hopefully we can set something up. When are you free

A: What’re ya doing tonight? I have practice but otherwise im free.

D: I’m watching the 9ers game now, thts pretty much it. I’m free as well.

A: Me too! I’m a Niners fan sooo…. Lol

D: Lol That’s what’s up , I am a colts fan but I like the 9ers. I hope they win the Super Bowl.

A: Mmm yea my team 🙂

D: 👍I am a new transfer student.

A: Ooooh ok. Where from

D: I transferred from the university of La Verne. Not too far from here.

A: Oh yea.not at all

D: I like it better here so far, people are very nice and welcoming. Do you wanna hang out after the game, at Becky’s ?

A: Yea I’m down


Later that night, the group hung out. Deshawn and Alyssa got to talking and couldn’t stop. They had an instant connection, unlike any other, as if it were heaven-sent. They stayed up, night after night, in deep conversation about life, God and the future.


February 14, 2014, Valentine’s Day, Alyssa had a water polo game at California Baptist University. Deshawn told her that he had class and couldn’t attend her game, but instead he surprised her there with balloons, flowers, chocolate, a giant bear and a sign that said, “Will you be my girlfriend?” With two signs that said, “Yes” and “Or Nah”. (LOL) She excitedly picked the “YES” sign.


From that moment on, Deshawn and Alyssa were inseparable. They were positive that God brought the two of them together. They had never been more sure about anything in their lives.



July 23, 2016, during a family camping trip at Donner Lake, Truckee, CA, Deshawn decided it was time to take it to the next step and ask Alyssa to be his wife. Earlier in the day, Deshawn read Proverbs 31 to Alyssa.


While Alyssa, her sister Danielle, and her mom Kelly, were paddle boarding in the lake, Deshawn was getting ready for the big question. He decorated the area with a string of pictures amongst the trees and got ready to pop the question. Just as Alyssa turned the bend, Deshawn was on one knee with the ring out. Alyssa got off her board and rushed over to say YES!




It was finally time! Deshawn and Alyssa complement each other in the best way and never stop learning from one another. They challenge each other to be more like Jesus and to be better than the day before.

They couldn’t wait to be united in marriage before God and for all of their closest friends and family to witness it and celebrate it with them. This wedding is truly a testament to God’s faithfulness.

Q:                  What has been the hardest part about planning your wedding?

A:                  DIY weddings are beautiful, but a lot of work. Organizing the details have been the hardest part.

Q:                  Why did you choose your particular wedding and reception venue?

A:                  Before we even got engaged, we both researched our venue separately. When it happened, there was no question as to where we would do it. We love the location and its natural beauty. The indoor reception site is breath-taking with the natural exposed wood beams. We feel like it represents our style.

Q:                  Where did you draw some of your inspiration from for your wedding day?

A:                  Pinterest! We made a Pinterest board filled with ideas. We picked the colors blues, gold, white and different types of wood. We specifically wanted to incorporate blue agate geodes into our wedding because of their beauty, but little did we know that their meaning is deeper than that. Agate geodes are the stone of strength and protection as well as marital and romantic fidelity. So, it really fits perfect into our wedding and marriage.

Q:                  Where are you going for the honeymoon? Are you excited and why did you choose that destination?

A:                  We are extremely excited because we will be going to Jamaica! We both wanted to see something different and explore a tropical setting. We can’t wait to experience the beauty and culture of Jamaica.

Vendors used for Alyssa and Deshawn’s gorgeous Brazilian Room Wedding:

Wedding Venue: Brazilian Room, Tilden Regional Park

Wildcat Canyon Road at Shasta Road, Berkeley, CA 94708

Instagram: @celmaka

Company: Three16 Photography

Instagram: @three16photography

DJ: Mathieu Koontz
Instagram: @thisisprestige

CATERER: Lou Martinez

Company: Susie Cakes

Instagram: @susiecakesbakery

HAIR & MAKE-UP: Ericat

Name of Person: Erica Villanueva
Instagram: @the.ericat

DRESS: Weddings and Dreams

Instagram: @weddingsanddreams

GROOM’S SUIT: Men’s Warehouse

Brand / Designer: Calvin Klein

Loved reading about Deshawn and Alyssa’s Brazilian Room Wedding? Show them some love by liking and commenting below! Also check out some of our other favorite wedding blogs like Hugo and Evelyn’s Rancho Las Lomas Wedding, and Ricky and Cinthya’s Walt Disney Concert Hall Engagement photography session.



Brazilian Room Wedding | Deshawn and Alyssa

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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