February 16, 2021

Northwest Open Space Engagement | David & Brianna

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’s a time for them just to relax, be in love, to 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 Brianna and David at two locations, if you will.

Talk about a plot twist, David and Brianna originally planned on having their engagement session shot at the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park, but due to a delay in getting permits from the city, park officials would not allow us to do the shoot, other than the parking lot. Both David and Brianna upon arriving were really understanding and just went with the flow. We took a few photos in the parking lot, but for the most part the background was so beautiful, you really wouldn’t know you were in a parking lot.

From there, we went just a few miles away to the Northwest Open Space, where permits are not required and shot the rest of the session. The session took place around sunset and the weather was a perfect low 70’s.

Located in San Juan Capistrano, Northwest Open Space and is about 500 acres of pure natural beauty with trees, flowers, wood fencing you would see on farms and ranches and plenty of hiking trails. It truly is a gem of a location.

Brianna and David’s story is pretty unique in that they met while both living in Texas, only to learn their families back home in Corona, California live near each other. So basically, they both had to move almost 1,500 miles away to have a chance meeting. Sounds like these two are just meant to be together!

Brianna and David will come together as husband and wife in June 2021 and the staff of Three16 Photography would really like to thank them 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.

Brianna and David’s Love Story

How & When did you first meet? Describe your thoughts and how you felt about each other, and tell us, was it love at first sight?

David and I met in September 2018 right after Labor Day weekend over a dating app.

David’s perspective: I was ecstatic but fearful in finding someone as beautiful as Brianna in Corpus Christi, Texas. When we matched on Bumble, I knew there was no one else in the city like her. I just prayed she wrote me and responded in time. During our first message exchanges, I knew something was different and it was going to be special. After we decided to exchange numbers, we both found out that we were from the same hometown of Corona, Ca and our family only lived a few miles down the street from one another. After we met in person for drinks, my feelings and ideas were solidified and I knew we had an instant connection.

Brianna’s perspective: Going out to first meet David for drinks, I was nervous. I don’t consider myself to be a social butterfly, so I usually have to put myself out there for someone to get to know me. After about three minutes of small talk, my nerves subsided. David made me laugh, always kept the conversation flowing, and he was pretty handsome if I do say so myself. I was very comfortable with him. I set up our first interaction as a brief drink after dinner, so I had an escape route if I needed it (online dating is tough y’all). With David, I didn’t want the night to end. After we said our goodbyes and gave each other a hug, I drove home with the biggest smile on my face. David was a good time and a breath of fresh air. From the beginning, I knew he was different. It couldn’t be put into words and was hard to explain, but he was different.

What do you both do for work?

Brianna is a school psychologist and David is a corpsman in the United States Navy.

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

I began seriously liking Brianna by our third date. I decided to cook her dinner and made her my specialty, and the only thing I had really been cooking as a single man, chicken with veggies and potatoes. After dinner we sat talking on the couch conversing about how truly similar we are. We were both raised riding dirt bikes, going to the river/lake house, and spending our Sunday’s in a Catholic Mass. I was initially very attracted to her and she had an impressive resume. She is a D1 volleyball All-American with a master’s degree.

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

I first started liking my groom-to-be because of his willingness to break all ‘dating rules’. I liked him, he liked me, and he wasn’t ashamed to tell me that or text me first or let me know that he missed me when he went out of town a couple weeks after we met. All the rules that society has put in place did not affect our relationship, which was amazing. He took me out to dinner and on fun dates, opened doors for me, and just flat out spoiled me. I never dated anyone who would offer to rub my feet after dinner or take an interest in getting to know my friends and family. David was so forward with his intentions, and I loved it because I felt the same crazy way about him.

 

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

For our first official date (after getting to know each other via drinks) was to a Sushi bar in a rainy downtown Corpus Christi day. David was initially very excited and eager to get to know someone a little better in a new town. I was ecstatic to get to see the man who left me with butterflies after their last meeting. After dinner, we went to go get drinks and dessert and we were able to talk more. He had a classic old fashioned and I had their specialty cucumber martini. We chatted all night about our lives, how we ended up so far away from home, and past relationships that we had learned from. By the end of the night, David said he knew this relationship was going to be something different and he had to seal the deal with a goodnight kiss.

 

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

What makes us most unique is the fact that we met in Corpus Christi, Texas when we were from the same town of Corona, Ca, 1500 miles away. Brianna went away to college in Texas at 17 and continued to stay there and work after she finished her master’s degree. David moved there the spring before they met, after the Navy stationed him in Corpus Christi for a few years. We are so unique because I truly believe we were meant to cross paths and continue to love each other until the end of time. David and I had the same friends in California, but never knew one another. We really think that was God’s way of telling us that we were meant for one another.

Our relationship is special because we are so similar to one another. Everything just works and feels so natural. It is hard to explain, but we are two halves of a whole person. We enjoy the same things which can be going to eat out at our favorite restaurant or sitting on the couch drinking wine and eating pizza while watching our favorite show on a Friday night.

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

David proposed on Valentine’s Day 2020! He came to pick me up for dinner and when I was finishing getting ready, he seemed off and a little jumpy (hindsight is 20/20 though). He stepped outside on numerous occasions to take a phone call. After we left and got into his truck, I asked where we were going for dinner, and he said we were taking a detour first. He headed towards the beach and pulled onto the sand. We drove for 10 minutes down the deserted beach. Then all of a sudden, up popped a bonfire with two chairs, an ice chest, blankets, and country music playing. David pulled up to it and said that this was all set up for us. Shortly after we arrived, and David handed me an ice-cold White Claw. Then I noticed a Go-Pro set up behind the ice chest. I immediately thought “wow that’s odd” and then moments later, David asked me to dance and the thought slipped my mind. We stood up and danced to the music. After a minute, David got down on a one knee and stated all the reasons why he loves me and asked me to marry him. I was in such shock that I just leaned down and smiled and kissed him over and over. After a bit, David asked if he could stand up and put the ring on my hand. I didn’t cry until after we talked to our families and told them the good news. That’s when the reality hit and we both could not believe (but could) that they were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

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?

The best piece of advice I have to other couples just starting the wedding planning process, is to be easy going and flexible. We began trying to plan a wedding at the end of March 2020, aka the time when the world almost came to an end. No one was working and we weren’t able to get in contact with any vendors or sites. Finally, after some of the dust settled around October, we were able to contact some vendors. However, it seemed like EVERYONE was planning their wedding on the summer date we wanted. This made us really look into some aspects of our wedding and decide if that item, vendor, or site etc was really the end of the world.

We have really enjoyed laughing and talking about our future together. What makes wedding planning amazing and so special is thinking about the life we are going to share together after we have our wedding and get married. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry at many photographs when I saw a special moment and thought about how much I couldn’t wait to share that moment with David.

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