March 10, 2021

Mike Ward Community Park Wedding | Matthew & Elizabeth

 

Orange County Wedding Photographer

Our team of photographers here in Orange County have seen quite a bit of change this past year due to the Coronavirus. We’ve seen weddings postponed, or even cancelled. But for many, waiting to marry their love is not an option and therefore opt to do a smaller backyard wedding. And that’s what this super lovely couple chose to do, as Matthew & Elizabeth’s Mike Ward Community Park wedding photos in Irvine by Three16 Photography shows that a pandemic cannot leave love behind.

Elizabeth and Matthew still plan on having a larger celebration sometime in 2021 to include more family and friends, but for now, their micro-wedding took place in the backyard of her parent’s private residence that butts up against the Mike Ward Community Park. After the ceremony, the park is where we went to shoot some of their wedding photos.

The Mike Ward Community Park is a fairly large park area that includes lakes, bridges, gazebos, a couple of basketball, handball and sand volleyball courts, an amphitheater, and a beach looking lagoon where the kids can play in. Located right in the middle of a city area, this park is oddly designed as it is broken up into three sections, including the north section which is not only across the street from the south side, but there is a shopping center in between as well. But despite its oddity, this 22-acre park is a great location for your wedding and/or engagement photo session.

On Elizabeth and Matthew’s wedding day, it was a bit on the warm side, but this nice sunny day got a bit cooler the closer to sunset we got. The décor was simplified, but just as beautiful had they gone all out. One of the highlights of the ceremony itself was the visual from behind the altar as it was a gorgeous lake from the park. It not only makes for great ambiance, but it was great backdrop to their ceremony photos. One of our favorite aspects of this day was the incorporation of Cabo, their Labrador Retriever.

From being high school classmates, to a long-distance relationship, Matthew and Elizabeth are finely together as one, and we couldn’t be happier for them.

All of the details of this off the lake private backyard wedding were captured by the team at Three16 Photography.

We would really like to thank Elizabeth and Matthew 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.

Elizabeth and Matthew’s Love Story

How did you both meet and who liked who first?

We were high school classmates but did not start dating until a couple weeks before graduation. In fact, we hardly knew each other throughout high school. After going to winter formal together, Matt developed a crush for Elizabeth, and asked her out. We were long distance for two years of college (on opposite coasts), but Matt transferred to Elizabeth’s school (Johns Hopkins in Baltimore) before his junior year, and we have been together ever since.

Tell us about your first date. Who was more nervous and what did you guys do?

We watched a movie that neither of us actually wanted to watch but both of us pretended we wanted to watch (Avengers). Matt showed up in flip flops and basketball shorts for the date and Elizabeth still makes fun of him to this day about it. Matt was more nervous and accidentally took a wrong turn on the way to the movie theatre.

What’s the proposal story? Give us all the details, and tell us, who cried first?

Elizabeth had previously boasted that Matt wouldn’t be able to surprise her about the proposal. Matt set up fake dinner plans in DC (so Elizabeth would be dressed up and ready to be proposed to) and then drove by a cul-de-sac with cherry blossoms in full bloom. We walked up the street and Matt proposed there. Elizabeth was in shock about the whole thing, and he did it so fast the photographer could only capture one shot.


As you approach the wedding day, what have you both enjoyed most about the wedding planning process?

We have enjoyed envisioning our wedding day when we visited our ceremony and reception location.

What has been the hardest part about planning your wedding?

It has been a little difficult contacting and meeting with vendors as we are on the East Coast, but we seem to have almost everything under control now.

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

Elizabeth’s style is dreamy, elegant, and timeless. Her favorite colors are pastel colors. She looked at wedding magazines and drew most of her vision from Instagram pictures.

Where are you going for the honeymoon and why did you choose that destination?

Unsure. We were planning on island hopping in the Mediterranean (Elizabeth’s favorite place) and Taiwan (where Elizabeth has family), but with the emergence of the Coronavirus, we have been reluctant to make definitive plans until we have more information. Elizabeth is taking off two months of work, called a “sabbatical” so we can travel. Matt is starting medical school in the fall where he will be very busy for the next 10 years(!) so we wanted to take some extended time off to relax and travel!

We are very excited!

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