After all of this rain we’ve been having here in Southern California, we were ready to take advantage of the fresh, lush green landscape as the backdrop for some photos! This Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park Engagement was perfectly dreamy and sunlit! And Mark and Diana were a dream to shoot! So easygoing and so much fun!
These two are getting married later this year at Wedgewood Vellano, and we couldn’t be more excited for them!
We hope you enjoy reading the story of how they fell in love!
Q. How & when did you first meet? Describe your thoughts / how you felt about each other. Was it love at first sight?
A. Mark: We knew of each other in high school. We started talking to each other at our friend’s debut dance practice. We got partnered one day and I made her laugh. It wasn’t love at first sight but she was pretty and she laughed at my corny jokes.
Diana: Yeah, we went to the same high school and were actually in choir together during Mark’s senior year, my junior year. We started talking towards the end of my senior year and started dating the summer after I graduated. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I fell pretty quickly. I think we were a few months in when I knew he was it.
Q. What do you both do for work?
A. We both work for Los Angeles County, Department of Public Social Services as Program Assistants but we have different assignments. Mark works for the Medi-Cal Outreach District and I work for the Department’s Bureau of Program and Policy.
Q. GROOM: What was it that made you first start liking your bride-to-be?
A. She laughed at my corny jokes
Q. BRIDE: What was it that made you first start liking your groom-to-be?
A. His personality. Mark’s got this really likable personality. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that didn’t like Mark. I also liked how easy he was to talk to.
Q. Tell us about your first date. What was going through your mind? Where did you go, what did you do?
A. Mark: I accompanied her “job hunting.” She ended up applying for one job and we ended up watching Batman The Dark Knight. I put my moves on her during the movie and it worked!
Diana: What was supposed to be a day of job hunting turned into a movie date. I remember he asked me if I was cold and put his arm around me. I thought it was super cheesy but cute. A few days later he asked me to be his girlfriend and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
Q. What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. (example: pushing each other to new limits, love to travel, huge comic book fans, foodies, etc.) What makes your relationship unique?
A. Mark: At first, parks were our thing. When we first started dating, we made it a mission to visit every park in our hometown of Glendale, CA. Then we graduated to hiking. We love going to concerts. We’ve been to 3 Taylor Swift concerts! But most of all, I love that we can just chill at home on our couch, watch some tv and we’re happy.
Diana: Mark and I have been together for over 10 years now. I don’t think we’ve ever gone without seeing each other for more than 2-3 days. I can honestly say that after 10 years, I still get excited to see him at the end of the day, even after moving in together. I think that makes our relationship pretty special, that after all this time of being together and seeing each other pretty much on a daily basis, we haven’t gotten sick of each other. I love that in Mark I’ve found my forever concert buddy. We have been to so many concerts together. He’s been with me to see some of my all-time favorite artists: Taylor Swift, Adele, Coldplay, and Paramore, plus many more.
Q. Tell us about your proposal story! How / where did it all unfold? Who cried first? Were you surprised?
A. Mark: It happened on 10/07/17 in Seattle, WA. I had gotten the ring back in July and was waiting for the right moment. Diana had ended up booking a weekend trip to Seattle and I knew I wanted to do it there. I was so scared because I thought TSA at the airport would see this small box in my luggage, take it out, and ruin the surprise. Once I got through TSA, I was relieved. We landed and she went to the bathroom and I immediately took the ring out of the bag and put it in my pocket. We drove to where I had envisioned the proposal happening, and I told her I wanted to take a picture. I secretly put my camera in recording and pretended it was on a timer. I did my speech, got down on one knee, and asked her. She cried first and said yes.
Diana: I had been dying to visit the Pacific Northwest, so one day I just booked our flights. It was our first trip together where we had to fly. We landed in Seattle, picked up our rental car, and then Mark suggested we go to Alki Beach to kill time before lunch. Alki Beach has an amazing view of the Seattle skyline. Mark asked me to go stand by the edge of the beach in front of the skyline while he set up the camera, for what I thought was going to be a timed picture. Prior to our trip, I thought that maybe he might propose while in Seattle, but figured that he would wait until I was done with my Master’s program. Needless to say, I was caught off guard when he got down on one knee. At the time, I couldn’t believe it was happening. It felt like a dream. I remember in the middle of his proposal the light bulb in my head went off and mid-proposal I asked him what he was doing because I couldn’t believe it was happening. I think I started crying when I realized that he was proposing to me.
Q. What is one piece of advice you have for couples just beginning the wedding planning process? What have you enjoyed most about planning your wedding?
A. One piece of advice for couples is to not procrastinate. Also, make sure to have good people in your bridal party to help alleviate some of the planning stress.
The best part was the food tasting and our engagement photoshoot so far.
Liked this Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park Engagement? Check out Nicole and Scott’s Thomas F Riley Wilderness Park Engagement!
Three16 Photography is your premier Orange County professional photography studio.