February 24, 2021

Irvine Regional Park Engagement | Shawn & Stephanie

Orange County Professional Photographer

One of the best parts of being a professional photographer in Orange County, especially in the wedding industry, is meeting and getting to know all the people you cross paths with. One of the things I love about photographing engagement photo sessions, is that the couple is generally more at ease with one another, as well as with the photographer and with their surroundings compared to that of their wedding day. It is a time for them just to relax, be in love, be in the moment with each other and to get used to being in front of a camera. An engagement photo session allows the couple to really put their love for one another on display and I got this feeling in a recent shoot with Stephanie and Shawn at the Irvine Regional Park.

Located in the city of Orange, Irvine Regional Park, with all its beautiful nature, is one of our favorite park locations in Orange County. Shooting engagement photography at this park allows us to capture plenty of amazing and natural backdrops that will truly enhance your engagement photos. If we time it right, we can capture the beauty of a sunset bouncing off the waterfall, which can be absolutely beautiful.

At this particular photo session, you can really feel the love between Shawn and Stephanie. Their session was playful and loving, and they seemed very relaxed amongst all the incredible nature.

Many people say that you can be enamored with a person you never met over cheese fries and beer. Ok, maybe they don’t say that, but it worked for Shawn and Stephanie. Next thing you know it, you’re learning new technology so you can “DM” a woman for a date. Boy it’s tough out there, isn’t it?

Regardless of what brings two people together and all the steps they take that lead to falling in love, planning a wedding and a life together, we just adore these two.

All of the details of this engagement session were captured by the team at Three16 Photography. We would really like to thank Stephanie and Shawn for allowing us 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.

Stephanie and Shawn’s Love Story

How & When did you first meet? Describe your thoughts and how you felt about each other. Was it love at first sight?

We met in August 2016 at Islands’ Happy Hour when a mutual friend brought Shawn along. Cheese fries & beer were the start of our love story. Shawn was pretty quiet and reserved, while Stephanie was chatty and loud, as usual. It took about three more happy hour meetups with friends for us to finally go on an actual date. Shawn had to Google how to DM someone on Instagram to initiate a one-on-one conversation. Not necessarily love at first sight, but we were both definitely interested at first sight!

What do you both do for work?

Stephanie is a high school English teacher and Shawn is a high school Special Education teacher and football coach. We work at the same high school!

GROOM: What was it that made you first start liking your bride-to-be?

I really liked her humor and her ability to be extremely blunt! Stephanie has no problem saying what is on her mind, which is admirable. When that mixes with her sarcasm, it’s usually a recipe for hilariousness. As we started dating, I found out that Stephanie also has a huge heart, though she may not let anyone know that right away. This is most exemplified by how she treats all her students. From the A+ kid to the one every teacher dreads having, she is able to provide them with just what they need and usually becomes their favorite teacher by the end of the year. Her ability to connect with people and bring down their walls is crazy impressive and something I love and envy about her.

BRIDE: What was it that made you first start liking your groom-to-be?

I really liked how Shawn was super down to earth, kind, funny, and had a real calming effect on me. Shawn has a passion for working with students with special needs, and I thought that was AMAZING and really showed how caring and loving he could be. I also really admired the way he interacted with his football players and their parents, which isn’t always an easy task. The first football season that we were dating, so many of the moms would come up to me and say how much their sons loved Shawn and how great he was with them, which I definitely noticed and liked as well.

Tell us about your first date. What was going through your mind and where did you go and what did you do?

Our first official date was at Lazy Dog Cafe. We were both a bit nervous, but we ordered drinks out on the patio and talked for a few hours. She wore a long blue dress that Shawn still notices anytime she wears it now. The date ended with a kiss, but she started laughing in the middle of it. At first Shawn thought he had totally blown it, but Stephanie was just too excited that he finally made a move!

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

Our relationship is unique in that we don’t really share a lot of the same hobbies or interests; we are definitely the epitome of “opposites attract.” The great thing about that though is we are both pretty open to trying the other person’s interest. We also really complement each other well in almost every situation. Being so opposite, we do a good job of bringing each other to this healthy medium that really benefits both of us. That being said, we do have some strong common interests…one being WINE and the other being CHEESE! We love going down to Temecula on a lazy Sunday and just enjoying some great wine at some of our favorite wineries. We will bring friends along if they are free, but we are perfectly fine going down just the two of us and enjoying each other’s company.

Tell us about your proposal story! How and Where did it all unfold? Were you surprised and tell us, who cried first?

The proposal happened down in Temecula at Wilson Creek Winery. Shawn had the ring for about a month or two before proposing and was hiding it in a drawer at Stephanie’s house. We finally had set up a date to go down to Temecula and take our Christmas card photo. Our friends, Eric and Brandon also came down with us. Shawn had filled them in earlier about what he was planning. We took our first photo and after looking at it, Shawn said, “How bout we do one more?” Stephanie agreed, and right before we took the picture Shawn said, “How about we try it like this?” and got down on one knee. It took her a good two seconds to realize what was going on, but it couldn’t have gone any better. Steph definitely cried!

What is one piece of advice you have for couples just beginning the wedding planning process and what have you enjoyed most about planning your wedding?

Our advice is to first decide on what you want and like and what you do NOT want and like. It also helps to think back to weddings that you have attended and ask for recommendations! Our friends were really honest with the vendors they loved and the vendors they would not recommend. Stephanie is very organized and has created a folder with everything related to all our vendors, our guest list with addresses, and all the other tiny details. This process has felt way too easy and enjoyable!

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