Anais and Derek  are set to marry next year at the Ponte Winery in Temecula, California! They collaborated with photographer Jerrick O’Connor of Three16 Photography for their engagement shoot that included a visit to the San Juan Mission in South Orange County and colorful powder paint!


Anais: I met Derek at the Apple store where he worked. I was about 10 minutes late to my appointment, so they had to reschedule me. I remember standing there with my arms crossed because I was so mad! Finally, after about 30 minutes a guy comes up to me and asks how my day is going. In my head I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what do you think? I literally waited for 30 minutes.’ Honestly, at the moment I wanted to be rude because I was upset, but he was so nice and calm that I got over it quickly. He asked me about my phone and I told him my speaker wasn’t working. As he was looking at the phone, I began “the conversation” (I think this was the ‘make it or break it’ moment.) I started off with my favorite thing to talk about, the Lakers! I said, ‘So what do you think about Kobe this year?’ I knew immediately that I picked the right topic because his face lit up. Then I brought up some new Jordan’s that were coming out in a few weeks. Again, his face lit up. We found so many things in common in the 15 minutes we were standing there (personally, I think he was taking extra long on purpose.) When I walked out of there, I remember thinking ‘wow, he was pretty cool.’ He was so easy to talk to and so down to earth, but in reality I never thought I would talk to him again. A couple of days later, I was on Instagram and I saw that I had a request. I opened it up and it was this little Asian guy, with an Apple in his Bio. I thought oh my gosh, how cute, he found me! So I added him. About a week later the craziest thing happened. I dropped my phone, face down, after I had just had it replaced. Now it was completely cracked (so of course I had to post a picture on social media.)  Derek wrote a comment and said ‘I know someone who can fix that.’ I gave him my phone number and I went back to the store to have it replaced. The rest is history!


Anais:  Our first hang-out/date was at Disneyland. I was hesitant about going because of the fact that I wasn’t sure what his intentions were. I remember telling my sister, ‘ugh, should I go? Is it weird?’ But I finally decided to go and ended up having the best time with him. We laughed the entire time and that’s what really set Derek apart. I’ve been completely myself around him since day one. I think that was because we never established or labeled that day as an actual ‘date’ but more of a hang out. I didn’t feel the pressure of asking him uncomfortable questions, because I wasn’t on a ‘date’.

Derek: Before I started following her on Instagram I was nervous that she would think I’m weird for following her first, but in my mind I was thinking that this girl is something special and I didn’t want to miss out and  regret not doing it. After following her I literally threw my phone onto my bed and went for a walk outside. I felt like I was in high school because of the way I was acting. Once Anais followed me back I felt relieved and excited. First thing I did was scroll through her photos knowing that she’s probably doing the same thing. Our first hang-out / date was at Disneyland. I remember on my way to pick her up it felt pretty normal, until I exited the freeway, that’s when I began to feel nervous. I remember the first thing I started to do was chew gum so my breath wouldn’t stink. I also began to sweat a bit too, so I opened the windows to get some air. I remember her walking to my car, and as soon as she got in she said, ‘this is an Evo huh?’ (referring to my car). I was surprised she knew what it was. We got to Disneyland and had a fun night. We laughed and joked, and I felt that I could be myself around her. After that I knew that I wanted to hang out with her again because we had so much fun.


Anais: It was March 21, 2015, a few days before my birthday. Derek had told me that he wanted to take me to dinner on that Saturday since my birthday was on a Tuesday that year. He didn’t want to tell me where dinner was going to be, so I was excited to see where we’d be going. Derek and I are foodies and we love fine dining, so I knew that wherever it was would be amazing. We got to a restaurant in Los Angeles called La Boheme. It had beautiful decor, hanging chandeliers along with black and red walls. However, the experience in the restaurant was not so amazing. Our waiter was totally distracted and not attentive at all. He even forgot to put our food orders in, so we didn’t eat for an hour and a half after ordering. It was honestly a nightmare and I was starving! But during those two hours, Derek and I were laughing, making jokes and making the best out of the situation. It was a reminder to me about how everything could be going crazy around us, and yet we could still make the best of all situations because we were together (as corny as that sounds). After leaving the restaurant we began heading home. I was a little tired and ready to lay down quite honestly. But  we made a slight detour and arrived at the Urban Lights at the LACMA. I had always told Derek that I wanted to go there and walk in between the lights. We began walking toward the lights and I noticed he was acting suspicious, so I could tell something was up. When we got there, Derek got down on his knee. He told me how much he loved me and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I did the typical girl thing and covered my face, but I really was so excited and happy, and overall I felt lucky to have found such an amazing person to spend the rest of my life with.

Derek: She was surprised when it happened, but I had a feeling she knew what was going on because I’m not great at keeping secrets. She probably read the signs that I may have been showing. driven past the lights many times and she would always look over and say how pretty it is.

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Photographer:  Three16 Photography//Museum:San Juan Capistrano Mission//
Submitted via Two Bright Lights