Stephanie and Trebor

Image 1 of Stephanie and Trebor

How We Met

Trebor and I met at California Baptist university in Riverside, CA. We had microeconomics together in the fall 2014 semester. It was the first day of classes and I walked in, took a seat somewhere and class was just about to begin. Trebor walked in 5 minutes late with a bow tie and sunglasses on. Ummmm, there’s no sun in this classroom. I was for sure thinking that he was either the class clown or the player that gets the girls. I minded my business the whole semester, but he always turned around and stared at me. Wait, he claims that he was looking at his “friends”. As the semester went on I was involved in the College of Allied Health leadership team and I was beginning to meet new people and just get involved.

I was a transfer student so I was a little older than some of my friends, which was fine! Trebor on the other hand has been there since freshman year and this was the beginning of his 3rd year. I was getting really close to different people on the leadership team and one guy was like a “little brother”. He was from Hawaii so he would only go back during the Christmas break and summers. During the Thanksgiving break, I offered him to come stay with my family and he agreed. He was Filipino and I was Filipino, so you know how that goes.

Image 2 of Stephanie and Trebor

Anyways he was really into my cousin and vice versa. They ended up dating, which led me to Trebor. I’ve always hung out with Christian and his roommate Will at their apartment on campus, but I never saw their other two roommates. So I never made a big deal about it. One day before winter break I decided to surprise Christian with Joann (my cousin) because he was leaving for break to Hawaii the following week.

I took her to school on a Saturday, we surprised him and went to Chick-fil-A. They wanted to walk around campus and I was getting cold so I asked Christian if I could go to his apartment and just wait for them as I eat my salad. He said it was no problem, but one of his roommates might come home. I went up to the apartment and ate my salad by the table. I hear keys jiggle at the door and Trebor from my micro class walks in! I’m stunned. I mean I though he was cute, but I knew he was Filipino and that is not really my type of guy.

Image 3 of Stephanie and Trebor

But there was something different about him. He looks like he’s seen a ghost and his first words to me are, “hey! You’re in my micro class!? How did you do on the exam!?” I laughed and said, “hi! I’m Stephanie! Nice to meet you and I got a B! He laughed and we just got to talking. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but this was different. We talked about everything. We both love Disney! We are both super family oriented and so much more! Christian and Joann came back and Christian said, “so you’ve met my roommate!” I said yeah, I had micro with him!

I felt like there was something that no one was telling me, but I brushed it off. Joann and I were getting ready to head back home to Orange County, it was now officially winter break for us. Christian and Joann said their goodbyes and as we were walking out, Trebor said, hey! You should put your number in my phone and we should go to Disneyland sometime. I laughed and said, SMOOTHE…. sure! Fast forward 2 weeks later…were on our first date at Disneyland having the time of our lives!

Image 4 of Stephanie and Trebor

But we’ve been texting since the day we officially met. Time flew by and I was falling for this guy. He admits on this date that he has seen me around and that he knew Christian knew me! He knew that Christian was dating my cousin and was begging him to introduce me. Christian and Joann both knew Filipino guys weren’t my type and they knew I wasn’t into guys that were younger than me. Honestly, I’ve just never met anyone I was interested in that was younger. It wasn’t a big deal as long as they seemed mature and a complete gentleman. They told Trebor this information and he felt discouraged. But that didn’t stop him from trying. He told me this and I said…I’m glad you proved me wrong. We became official in January 2015! I’ve never been happier…

how they asked

Every girl has a dream of finding her Prince Charming and having her happily ever after. You dream about the ring, the dress, your bridesmaids, the perfect groom, heck! You even dream about the honeymoon and everything else that follows. However, you never really think about HOW Prince Charming is going to propose…

Two weeks prior to the proposal, I received a call from my best friend’s boyfriend Todd. He called me freaking out saying, “Stephanie, I’m going to ask Brooke to marry me and I’m going to need your help!” Of course I was ecstatic and super honored that he chose me to be a part of it. He gave me the location and the instructions, but there was one problem…every time Brooke and I hangout we are 1. always in gym clothes 2. always eating and 3. never by the beach. I said Todd how are you going to get her to dress up semi-descent? He told me do not worry! I got it covered!

Time went on and it was almost Saturday, September 10! I’m freaking out and confiding in my boyfriend (Trebor) of what to do and how to stall for time since Todd wants me to go with her to get our nails done, go shopping, have dinner AND then reach the proposal sight by sunset! Ummm Todd, Brooke and I don’t do sunsets!!! But nonetheless I was super excited for her to be marrying the man of her dreams!! Saturday rolls around and I call Trebor, he’s out with his family on a normal Saturday afternoon, tells me to have a great time and that we will see each other tomorrow….so I thought.

Brooke arrives at my house and I offer to drive us to go get our nails done! It worked out perfectly because we both needed a mani/pedi quite badly! It’s 2:00pm, we get to the salon and relax while soaking our feet and just catching up! I’m frantically texting Todd for instructions and if things are running according to schedule. He assures me everything is on time and to continue with our girls day. After we were relaxed and refreshed we decided to do what every girl does…SHOP! We headed to a nearby Marshall’s and looked around. I already wasn’t into what I was wearing, but then again it wasn’t me who was getting engaged. Brooke decided to try some stuff on so I figured I might as well try on some stuff too.

We both found some super cute dresses and decided, hey! lets wear them to dinner! In my head my “plan” was working. Nails, check. Shopping, check. Dinner, about to be checked. Then proposal at sunset. We headed down to the harbor by Dana point and had a quick bite to eat. My stomach was in knots! I couldn’t help but think, how do I get her to the park? What if I ruin the surprise? What if she knows something is up? I was so nervous. I get a text from Todd and he tells me to stall! So we order another round of chips and just continue to talk like we always do! So a little about Brooke: I met met her on orientation day as we were transferring to California Baptist University and we just clicked instantly. She’s always been dependable, fun, crazy and that friend that’s always got your back for anything! There’s 3 of us! But our other is happily married in Texas, ain’t that right Tay!

Anyways, About an hour later…I got the text that it was time! I got instructions to head up to the park and to look for a table with a laptop. I had to open the laptop and watch the video with her then let her go find the man of her dreams! Ok, simple enough!! I tell her let’s take a stroll and finish our conversation then head home! She agrees and we head towards the park that is right up the hill by the Laguna Cliffs Marriott hotel! I tell her that I love this place and that my brother had gotten married there a while back! She mentioned let’s go check it out! We get out of the car and start walking, I’m nervous! We see the laptop and Brooke opens it!? I’m thinking…ummmm ok?? We watch the video and Todd pops up! I put my arm around her to prepare for the waterworks only to find him telling Brooke that he loves her and that this video is actually for me!

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He said, “Stephanie, I’m sorry for tricking you, please don’t hurt me!” Brooke then takes my arm off of her and she puts her arm around me. The video transitions to Trebor (who filmed this with Todd and Brooke a while back). He said “Surprise honey!” And after that I don’t know, I lost it! Slowly some people were moving up really close to me with cameras as I was watching the video and I quickly realized that this was the day that I’d been looking forward to my whole life! It wasn’t Brooke, (although I can’t wait until her time) it was mine!! After the video ended I turned to Brooke with my ugly crying face and said, “what do I do now?” (Because apparently I didn’t hear what he said in the video because I was crying and trying to take it all in!) Brooke, grabbed my purse, wiped my tears and said, “follow the trees down the path and find your man!”

I did just that! I was followed by my personal paparazzi and followed the trees down to the private amphitheater where I can see Trebor looking over the harbor! I felt like I was in a movie. Along the trees were different sayings from classic Disney movies hand painted on canvases. There were rose petals everywhere and when he turned around my heart stopped for sure. I could not believe that he planned all of this! I reached him and he walked me over to the heart shaped rose petals on the floor with a glass case enclosing a single rose like in Beauty & the Beast (my favorite Disney movie). I couldn’t believe this was happening! The photographers and videographers were all around us as he was saying how much he loved me and how he doesn’t want to spend another day without me. I couldn’t help, but think Lord, I don’t deserve him, but thank you! I was in tears of joy the whole time! He got down on one knee, I saw the ring, he asked me to marry him and I said…..YES!!!

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We kissed and out of no where, tons of cheers and clapping came out of the trees surrounded! He has our immediate family and some close friends come witness this special time for us! I was in awe of how much this man went to ask me to marry him! After the proposal our friends and family left and I knew we were going to meet up with the later. Our awesome photographers and videographers wanted to catch some pictures and amazing footage before the light was gone!

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Trebor knew them from college (CBU) and I was just in awe of their work! After all the celebrity moments, Trebor and I headed back to my house! When we go there we went inside and I saw all our family and friends! There was a freaking surprise party!!! I couldn’t believe it (because I live far! So the fact that all these people came out here meant the world to me) we celebrated and caught up with everyone! I was so in awe of how beautiful this day was.

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I woke up thinking my best friend was going to be engaged and the next day I woke up with the ring still on my finger, it wasn’t a dream. I am about to have my happily ever after with my Prince Charming! It’s a day that I will never forget and always cherish! I can’t wait to be the future Mrs. Bitanga!

Image 9 of Stephanie and Trebor

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Special Thanks

Blake Burns
 | Photography
Levi Molina
 | Photography
Alexa & Adam Sims
 | Videography