In my time being an Orange County wedding photographer, I have met some truly amazing people and couples. Whether I knew them prior to their wedding, or we met because they hired me as their photographer, there always seems to be a connection that blossoms and continues to grow even as the wedding has come and gone. One of these amazing couples that I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work with is Alex and Sheila.
Sheila and Alex met through a mutual friend back in 2008 on the Fourth of July, and as time
went by, they found themselves spending more and more time together, which ultimately led
to their wedding day. One of the unique things you will read about them in their Love Story is
the story behind Alex’s proposal and his choice for proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge in New
York City. You’ll get a feel for how great this guy is when you read about his thought process as
to where to do it, how he was going to do it and then how he had to rush that morning to make
to the bridge on time. I guess this is what they mean by a “New York Minute.”
Alex and Sheila got married at the beautiful Villa Del Sol in downtown Fullerton, CA. The Villa
Del Sol has a rustic and vintage Spanish appeal to it. By day, the courtyard is surrounded by
approximately 32 local businesses and eateries. At night, it offers an amazing atmosphere for
an outdoor wedding and reception area. The Villa Del Sol radiates that Spanish Villa feel to it
and it includes many amazing backdrops for your wedding ceremony and reception, which
Three16 Photography would love to capture for you.
I truly hope you enjoy reading their Love Story as much as I do.
Q: How did you both meet and who liked who first?
A: We met through a mutual friend on July 4th, 2008. And I (Alex) liked her first, I guess.
Q: Tell us about your first date. What did you guys do and who was more nervous?
A: That same summer we first met, I asked our friends if they wanted to go to the
California Science Center to check out an exhibit. Fortunately, no one else wanted to go except
Sheila. I’m not sure if she just felt bad for me, but it turned out to be a good thing because I got
to spend some time and got to know her a little bit.
Then after the museum, we ate at Zencu Sushi in Little Tokyo. It was during dinner when I
realized that she wasn’t your ordinary girl. Seeing that I didn’t touch the salad that came with
the bento box I ordered, she asked if she can have it. So, without hesitation I said “yes” of
course, and she then proceeded to finish it. That was the moment I found out Sheila wasn’t
afraid of being herself, when it comes to food (haha). But all kidding aside, that’s one of the
many things I admire about her.
I would say that we both weren’t really nervous because we didn’t really consider it as a “date,”
we were just enjoying each other’s company.
Q: What’s the proposal story? Give us the details and who cried first?
A: Last October we traveled to New York with a couple of Sheila’s co-workers and a few of
our friends from church. I didn’t tell anyone on the trip that I was going to propose to Sheila
except for my immediate family and a couple close friends back home.
Weeks before our trip, I was really stressed out because I haven’t figured out all the
details on how and where to propose to Sheila. After much research and a lot of reading on
reviews and articles about where the best place in New York a guy can propose, I finally decided
to do it on the Brooklyn Bridge. Seems cliché, but to me it would be a bit better than your
typical proposal. Deciding on the place was only half the battle because I still had to figure out
HOW to do it.
A few days before our trip, I stumbled upon a story of a photographer who proposed to
his girlfriend on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise. This was actually a great idea because they
would avoid all the crazy crowds walking through the bridge and the idea of proposing in front
of all those people was not what I had in mind. I wanted it to be somewhat intimate and
without crowds of tourists ruining your moment and pictures walking by. And I’ve watched
videos on YouTube of guys proposing to their girlfriends during a busy New York day on the
Brooklyn Bridge and it just wasn’t the scene I pictured in my head. So, I decided to go with the
same idea of proposing to Sheila very early in the morning at sunrise.
After watching a Broadway show the night before, I secretly told her co-workers that I
was going to propose to Sheila and about my plan on how to do it. I told them that we needed
to be at the bridge at 7am so we can see the sunrise as I propose. I researched when the sun would rise for that particular day. Little did they know, but they would be an integral part of the
When we got home, I set my alarm for 5:45 am and tried to go to bed. However, since
our AirBnB was right above a bar, we barely got any sleep because the music was on until 4am!
To make matters worse, I was so tired that I slept thru the alarm. Sheila had to wake me up
around 6:15am and asked if I still wanted to try make it to the bridge to take pictures. Of
course, I said yes, and got ready really fast.
So, this is the part where her co-workers played their role in making the proposal happen that day. By the time Sheila went over to their room to wake them up, they were already to go to the bridge! If they both weren’t ready, Sheila would have never gone along with the plan and the proposal wouldn’t have happened. Sheila was very annoyed that I still wanted to go just to take pictures. I asked her if she wanted to put on some makeup before we left, she quickly said, “no, there’s no time for that”. In her mind,
she just wanted me to take the pictures and go back to bed.
Once everyone was ready to go, I called a cab and we all headed down to the bridge.
Fortunately, it was early on a Saturday morning so there wasn’t a lot of traffic. We got to the
bridge around 7:10ish and the sun was already peeking out on the horizon of the Manhattan
skyline, so I had to make it happen really quick. Once we got to the spot where I wanted to do
the proposal, I told Sheila that we should take a couple of pictures of just the two of us. So, I
asked her co-worker Leslie to take a couple shots of us. While Sheila was fixing herself up
(remember no makeup) to look decent for the camera, I went into my backpack to get the ring
and put it in my back pocket.
Once she and I were both ready, Leslie took an initial shot of us. Sheila then started to
walk away after the first picture, which was actually perfect because it gave me the chance to
reach into my pocket for the ring. Once I had the ring in my hand, I took her hand and asked her
to take one more picture. As she turned around, I started to go down on one knee, then all of a
sudden, a bicyclist race passed by and almost hit me. Once she saw me, Sheila started to cry
and was speechless. It happened so fast I don’t really remember what else I said other than,
“Will you marry me?” Fortunately, she said yes and here we are a year later planning for the
next chapter of our lives.
Q: As you approach the wedding day, what have you both enjoyed most about the
wedding planning process?
A: For one, I think we both agreed on the food and cake tastings we did. And secondly, we
both discovered how we worked together as a couple in putting our wedding together.
Q: What has been the hardest part about planning your wedding?
A: The hardest thing about planning our wedding is staying on budget, which we failed to
Q: Why did you choose your particular wedding and reception venue- the Villa Del Sol?
A: Sheila discovered the venue online and immediately loved it.
Q: Where did you draw some of your inspiration from for your wedding day?
A: Most of our wedding inspirations and ideas are from Sheila and her Pinterest Fairy Tale
Q: Where are you two going for your honeymoon and how did you choose that
A: At the moment, we don’t have anything booked because our honeymoon won’t take
place until December. However, Sheila really wants to visit London, Paris and Rome to
experience Europe around the holidays.
Vendors that Alex and Sheila used for their beautiful wedding ceremony and reception include:
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION LOCATION
The Villa Del Sol
Address: 305 N. Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832
Name of Person: Kindra Houston
Company: Vista Print
Company: David’s Bridal
Brand / Designer: White by Vera Wang
HAIR & MAKEUP
Company: Kelly Zhang
Name of Person: Cindy & Mieko
Company: Friar Tux
Company: Jenny B. Floral Design
Company: Fullerton Brew Co
Company: Simply Sweet Cakery
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY
Company: Three16 Photography
Company: DJ Element