April 5, 2019

Thomas F Riley Wilderness Park Engagement | Scott & Nicole

They’re Such Good Sports

One of the things I love about being a wedding photographer in Orange County is all the different places to shoot wedding or engagement photos. We have the beaches, the mountains, unique buildings, and the list goes on. But one of my favorite places to shoot photography is at the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park in Coto De Caza.

This place is truly a gem due to its wildlife sanctuary, open fields, and tall grass. It has an immense amount of native plants and animal life. The park is 544 acres and has trails for mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians alike. Where else would make for a great location for Nicole and Scott’s engagement photo session?

For their session at Thomas F Riley Wilderness Park, Nicole and Scott were easy-going, caring, kind, and just fun to be around. Even their love story is fun to read. Working together, getting engaged while other family members are celebrating their love, etc. We can’t wait to shoot their wedding in 2018 at the Orange County Mining Company.

We hope you enjoy their love story as much as we did.

Nicole and Scott’s Love Story:

Nicole….

Q. How did you both meet and who liked who first?

A. Scott and I met while working at Dick’s Sporting Goods. We were in different departments but would always make excuses to “bump” into one another. I would say I liked Scott first, but he would probably say he liked me first. My guess is that it was around the same time.

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

A. Scott and I had an unofficial first date where we went to see our coworker DJ at a local club. However, our first official date was when we hiked to the Hollywood sign. I would say Scott was more nervous about the date, but I was more nervous about the hiking part.

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

A. Scott and I were on a Western Caribbean cruise with his parents, his brother, and sister-in-law. His parents were celebrating their 40-year anniversary, while his brother and sister-in-law were celebrating their one-year anniversary. Scott was moving to Arizona with his family after the cruise so we had decided to try long-distance before getting engaged. On the first full day at sea, we planned to go to a nice restaurant on the ship to celebrate his parents’ anniversary. Before dinner, Scott said that his parents wanted to take pictures since everyone would be dressed up. While taking pictures Scott proposed. He made sure that we got it captured on video too! I don’t remember anything he said and I started crying instantly. Scott’s dad had to tell me to give an answer because I was just crying. I said “yes” and couldn’t have imagined a better start to our vacation.

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

A. The wedding planning has been exciting for us to learn more about one another. We learned what each other’s priority is when it comes to our big day, and how our priorities are very similar. It is also an excuse for us to plan more visits to see one another. Knowing that this special day means that we get to be together forever is the most special part of the process.

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

A. The most difficult part of wedding planning is being so far apart. Most of our planning has been over Skype, Pinterest boards, and emails. I think the process would be easier if we lived close to one another. Because we have to plan trips to see one another, we also try to limit wedding planning time so that we can enjoy time just being together.

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

A. We chose our ceremony venue because it is where Scott and I grew up going to church. The religious aspect of the day is the most important for us. Our reception venue was chosen based on theme and price. I always wanted a rustic wedding theme, so Orange County Mining Company is the perfect place!

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

A. Most of our inspiration for the wedding day came from the theme we both wanted – rustic. Our reception venue package provides so much for us that it was budget-friendly.

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

A. We are going to Maui for our honeymoon. My parents have a time-share that they are letting us use. Scott and I went to Maui with my parents a few years ago and loved it. I am very excited to start married life with my best friend relaxing on my favorite island.

OK Scott, same questions. Let’s see how they match up with Nicole’s….

Q. How did you both meet and who liked who first?

A. Nicole and I both worked at Dick Sporting Goods in Ladera Ranch. I worked in the team sports department at the time and she was a cashier. I would make an excuse to go up front and grab something to put back in my department because she was working at the time. Later on in my career there I was promoted to freight manager. Nicole was also promoted to a signage coordinator so she and I would have more interaction through our promotions because our departments worked the same hours. I would say that I liked her first before she liked me. But I’m sure she would deny it.

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

A. Well our first date was definitely not normal. I asked her if she wanted to hike the Hollywood sign (side note – I had no idea how difficult that hike was). So I was nervous she may not be able to do it and/or think I was crazy for asking her to work out on the first date. We had an amazing time hiking it. It’s definitely a tough climb because of the elevation gain in such a short distance, but she and I were both really happy we did it and I wouldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

Q. What’s the proposal story? Give us all the details and who cried first?

A. Nicole and I went on a cruise with my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law. We were celebrating my parent’s anniversary along with my brother and sister-in-laws first anniversary. The cruise was through the Western Caribbean. The first full day at sea my brother and I paid for a nice sit-down dinner to celebrate my parent’s anniversary. I had told my parents I wanted to get the proposal on camera, whether it was pictures or GoPro. We were all dressed up nice for dinner and I wanted to find somewhere on the boat where we could capture the proposal. The boat was very busy with foot traffic so we decided to take the pictures in my parent’s room on their balcony overlooking the ocean. While everyone was taking turns having their pictures taken my dad handed me the ring box. It was mine and Nicole’s turn to take pictures and I had to make sure she stood on the opposite side of me so she wouldn’t see the ring box. It was super bright and the sun was reflecting off the ocean so it was hard standing out there to take pictures. We took a bunch of photos and it started to feel hot out (probably just nervous sweating for me). Nicole said, “Okay no more photos” and I replied, “Wait one more photo of us looking out over the balcony.” I turned to Nicole and told her that before we left for the cruise I had talked with her parents about the cruise and how I asked them a special question. I turned to her and got on a knee and asked her will she marry me. She instantly started to cry and my dad said, “Well, answer.” She said, “YES!” I had the moment captured on both video and photo. It was the best way to start out our vacation. I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better.

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

A. The thing I have enjoyed the most about the whole process is learning new stuff about Nicole and deciding on the biggest celebration of love. We get so excited as we cross things out that needed to be done for the wedding like registry list, engagement photos, wedding bands, church meetings, etc. Our priorities for the big day are very similar in our wants and needs, but for me, the most exciting thing in the process is the end result and knowing that I’ll be marrying my best friend.

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

A. The hardest part about planning our wedding is not being able to be 100% in person. I live in Arizona and she is in California, so a lot of our smaller decisions on the wedding have been done through Skype, Pinterest, texts, and emails. It’s not the most ideal way we wanted it to go, but we make trips to and from the two states to decide on bigger ticket items and meet with vendors. We make sure to plan trips and have one chunk of a day being dedicated to wedding planning and the other days focused on other activities, like family, Disneyland, and going out to dinner and various places.

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

A. We decided on the ceremony being at the church Nicole and I grew up going to. Having a religious ceremony is very important to us and our families. We picked our reception venue (Orange County Mining Company) because they were the total package for us. It is a budget-friendly venue, and the restaurant has a rustic theme which fits our theme perfectly so it won’t need any extra items added to it.

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

A. We found our inspiration for the wedding day in the theme we both decided on which was a rustic theme. Orange County Mining Company fit our theme perfectly so it was a no-brainer to go with them.

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

A. We are going to Maui for our honeymoon. I was invited on a trip by her parents a couple of years ago and I had a blast seeing the island. We will be using her parent’s time-share when we go so I can’t wait for the big day to come.

Check out some other fun and unique engagement photography sessions we’ve shot like this one in Downtown LA, this one at Yost Theater, or this Star Wars Themed Engagement session!

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