29Mar

Turn Down for What!? | Fun Wedding Receptions

By, March 29, 2016

After you’ve exchanged rings, and sealed the deal with a first kiss, it’s time to party! The guests have been well fed, perhaps with a cocktail (or two) and are ready to cut loose. At this point in the evening, there are many ways to get everyone in a festive mood.

For a little inspiration, we have pulled some of our favorite reception photos from recent weddings. There is a little something for everyone, including a high-energy live band, spontaneous breakdancing, and a grand sparkler exit. So let’s get this party started!

Bride and Groom stand in crowd and kiss during wedding reception

At Alison and Kevin’s wedding (above) at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, the couple surprised their guests with an all-out performance. Backed by a full band, their show-stopping routine featured go-go dancers, dramatic lighting, and bursts of confetti. Within seconds, the party came alive, and guests got on their feet to join the excitement. In moments like this, we love being in the middle of the action, capturing all the energy in the room.

Guests are entertained during wedding reception with grand exit and live performancesGroom takes shot and has money throw at him during wedding reception

We also love when couples throw a few personal twists into their day. For example, the photo above shows our own staff photographer, Billy, during his reception at the Ultimate Skybox in Downtown San Diego. Paying homage to his Greek roots, Billy performed a traditional Zeibekiko dance for guests, and finished with a shot of ouzo. Adding special moments like this keeps the reception festive, while also paying homage to centuries of family tradition. Opa!

DJ plays music and performs for guests at wedding receptionWedding Guests form dance circle during wedding receptionFun, live band perform for guests during wedding receptionAerial view of outdoor reception overlooking city lights

While covering the must-have photos, we also like to explore creative angles and views of the reception area. For example, we captured the photo above by hiking to the roof of the O’Donnell House in Palm Springs, CA. From that vantage point, we were able to achieve this aerial shot of guests at Chelsey and John’s wedding, as they enjoyed the beautiful evening and dinner.

Bride serenaded by band of musicians during wedding receptionWedding Couple have fun posing with photobooth propsWedding guests being entertained by live band performanceBride and Groom celebrate during new year's eve wedding

Planning to have a photo booth during your reception? Borrow a few props and get your groove on! You just can’t beat a dance floor populated with captain hats, oversized glasses and fake mustaches, like at Courtney and Andrew’s New Year’s Eve wedding at Sunset Temple.

Close-up of DJ's hands using digital padLive band with guitarist playing during wedding receptionBride and Groom pose and have fun in photobooth Experimental photo of DJ playing during reception

We wanted to show the DJs some love too! To capture this photo from Jennifer and Jason’s wedding at Hotel del Coronado (see above), we used an experimental technique of slowing down our shutter speed and dragging the image. This allowed the natural light of the equipment and market lighting to take on new form, creating a cool frame around this mixmaster.

Wedding Guests jump into pool during wedding reception

Working up a sweat from all those fresh dance moves? Cool off with a jump in the pool! When we saw these fellas at Arianne and Julien’s wedding inching towards the water for an epic set of cannonballs (see above), our photographers were quick on their toes to freeze the action.

Colorful dancers perform dance at wedding receptionPerformer plays guitar while guests party at wedding receptionGroom prepares to throw garter during wedding reception

Hut, hut…hike! Get a little creative with your garter toss and throw something the guys will want to catch! At Darlene and Jeremy’s wedding at Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, the groom had fun putting a modern spin on this old tradition. By wrapping the garter around a football (go Chargers!), the groom prepared to hike the ball to this buddies for an epic garter catch showdown.

Groom is lifted in air by guests for hora dance

End the night on a high-note…literally! As Ashley and Tyler celebrated their reception at Park Hyatt Aviara, a few close friends swept Tyler off his feet for a fun surprise Hora towards the end of the night. The Hora dance, originating from the Balkans, comes from the words “round (dance)” and “celebration,” and is usually spontaneously prompted by guests. Because we had positioned ourselves in the middle of the excitement, we were able to capture this up-close angle, including Tyler’s priceless reaction.

Couple make grand exit using glowsticksLive performers throw performer in air as confetti goes off

Looking to get your own party started? Click here for more unforgettable moments and reception ideas :)

07Mar

Wedding Professionals Event | Cal-a-Vie Health Spa & Vista Valley Country Club

By, March 07, 2016

Recently, we were excited to photograph a two-part event for our friends in the industry, including wedding coordinators and event professionals. The first part of this beautiful event was put together by top San Diego wedding coordinator Lisa Lippe, of Details Defined. The event took place at two stunning venues in Vista, California, kicking off at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa. This breathtaking property, nestled on two hundred private acres among rolling hills and vineyards, served as the ideal location for the day’s activities.

Wedding at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa Vista

Upon arrival, guests were greeted by the sight of a charming windmill and a gorgeous rustic chapel. The 400-year-old chapel is a luxurious and romantic place for private ceremonies, and is a highlight of Cal-a-Vie. For this event, the little chapel’s aisle was lined with ferns, eucalyptus and other greens designed by Blush Botanicals, and accented with candles throughout.

beautiful sun flare photo of rustic chapel at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa weddingcolorful photo of windmill against blue sky at cal-a-vie, vista, californiaRustic wedding chapel candles and eucalyptus

As guests made their way to the grand entrance, they were presented with refreshing cherry-apple spritzers. Once inside, the cozy group of partygoers chatted and enjoyed the winter sunshine on the lawn. Attendees also relaxed in the living room area, with its antique décor and cozy fireplace.

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The group soon moved along into the L’Orangerie reception venue, and were awed by an elegant banquet table designed by Blush Botanicals. The table was decked out in a rustic natural palette, consisting of brass vases, candles, calming purples, blushing nudes and green plants. The adjacent fireplace, adorned with lush greenery and candles, was the perfect finishing touch to this breathtaking setting.

Long table for rustic wedding receptionRustic beauty luxury wedding tablescapeEucalyptus details on fireplace at wedding

With a little downtime, guests enjoyed delicious appetizers, and lounged on chic tufted outdoor furniture. We couldn’t resist the amazing treats and cakes provided by Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., among them a marble fondant icing that looked too good to eat.

Wedding dessert table at outdoor eventWedding cake by Sweet Cheeks Baking Company in San DiegoArtisan cheese board for eventMarbled wedding cake with lavendar accentsWedding dessert table treatsOutdoor wedding furniture on lawn

Later in the day, we headed over to Vista Valley Country Club, a members-only club and golf retreat adjacent to Cal-A-Vie. Afternoon activities were impressively coordinated by Always Flawless Productions and included a mock wedding ceremony and reception. Table details incorporated colorful florals and linens by Sweet Ribbon Events, and elegant plates, glasses and candle holders by Allie’s Party Equipment Rental.

Vista Valley Country Club Wedding VenueWedding invitations and place settingsWedding sweetheart table in Vista CaliforniaWedding table at Vista receptionSan Diego wedding venue Vista Valley Country Club0211IMG_1668Wedding appetizers in shot glass Wedding dessert and salad in Vista California

Later, a golf cart took party-goers down to the ceremony site, where the venue’s giant gate doors were decorated with flowers. The site’s understated and dreamy presentation included overhead market lights, chandeliers, canvas painting by ArtLive, and music by Mike Officer.

Vista Valley Country Club Wedding with EucalyptusWedding Ceremony set up with market lights Painting of wedding ceremony or reception at Vista Valley Country Club Wedding ceremony hanging chandelliersWedding ceremony accoustic guitarist
San Diego wedding coordinators at Vista Valley Country ClubGolf course at Vista Valley Country Club wedding

The event was a wonderful time for everyone in attendance. It was a pleasure for True Photography to be a part of this special day :)

Cal-a-Vie Event Vendors

Venue: Cal-a-Vie Health Spa
Coordinator: Details Defined
Photographer: True Photography
Florals: Blush Botanicals
Bakery: Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.

Vista Valley Country Club Event Vendors

Venue: Vista Valley Country Club
Coordinator: Always Flawless Productions
Photographer: True Photography
Floral / Linens: Sweet Ribbon Events
Ceremony Lighting: D Lighting
Ceremony Musician: Mike Officer
DJ: Movin Tunes
Rentals: Allie’s Party Equipment Rental
Photo Booth: The Foto Box
Canvas Painting: ArtLive
Caricatures: Caricatures by Dave
Lodging: Welk Resorts

To see recent weddings we have photographed at Vista Valley Country Club, please click here.
For Cal-a-Vie weddings, including the wedding of our own CEO Aaron Feldman, please click here.

22Jan

Venue Spotlight | Grand Tradition

By, January 22, 2016

For those seeking a destination-style wedding just outside of San Diego, one of our favorite spots is the all-inclusive Grand Tradition. We have photographed many weddings at Grand Tradition over the years, and have likely covered every corner :) Located in Fallbrook, CA, the property’s 30 acres of rolling green hills and tropical gardens has something for everyone, including two main venue options onsite. Here are examples of each:

Beverly Mansion

If your style is a bit more traditional and classical, our suggestion is the Beverly Mansion, a classic Victorian estate that overlooks the property’s idyllic heart-shaped lake. Ceremonies at the Beverly Mansion are held outdoors by the gazebo, where couples have the option of being brought out by horse and carriage. It definitely has a storybook feel!

After exchanging vows, guests can dance the night away under massive Swarovski crystal chandeliers. And to end the evening, nothing beats a fun and impressive sparkler grand exit, which is sure to leave your guests in awe :)

View of Beverly Mansion during daytimeBride getting ready at Beverly MansionBridesmaids pose for photo before ceremonyBride and Groom pose outside Beverly MansionCouples celebrate in fun ways on wedding dayBeautiful pink ceremony at Beverly MansionTraditional Bride and GroomCouple arrives in Horse Drawn CarriageBride and Groom kiss at end of ceremonyBride and Groom kiss in fairytale settingBride and Groom Kiss in Front of GateBride and Groom pose by lake at Grand TraditionBride and Groom photographed through hole for creative anglePhoto of Beverly Mansion in early eveningWide angle room photo of Beverly MansionBeautiful and Ornate Crystal ChandelierCouple have fun during First DanceBride and Groom plan fun sparkler exit0001Liseth_Joel_pf

Arbor Terrace

For those seeking a more laid-back, paradise vibe to their day, we recommend the property’s Arbor Terrace and Pavilion. Inspired by the aesthetics of Hana, Hawaii, the Terrace is set against a gorgeous waterfall backdrop, and is adorned with paths covered in beautiful flowers. The Pavilion, where receptions are held, offers features such as the Hospitality Fountain, which is great for photos. There is also a cozy outdoor fireplace, which is a nice comfortable spot to enjoy a relaxing moment with guests.

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Regardless of which location you choose, you are in for a wonderful wedding experience :) For more of our favorite weddings photographed at Grand Tradition, please visit this link.