Very short video from the Barn at Strawberry Farms Golf Course. Very kick back wedding reception with up-lighting. This couple was incredibly easy to please. I just shot the video with my phone during down time, so I didn’t really get much footage. This should give you a good idea of how the venue might look with uplighting though.
Wedding at the historic landmark Casa Romantica. This venue overlooks the San Clemente pier and ocean, and has a Spanish mission feel to it that’s hard to duplicate.
Ceremony takes place on the terrace, Cocktail hour inside the Salon, Dinner Reception in the Courtyard and Dancing back in the Salon. I’ve got the Salon sound system wirelessly chained to the Courtyard sound system, so I just have to have one playback device for music, and the people in the courtyard can hear what’s going on in the Salon, if they’re out there to take a smoke during the second half of reception.
Awesome couple, I met the bride and her mom for a pre-consultation, and they were so sweet, we totally hit it off. I couldn’t ask for a smoother booking process. I didn’t meet the groom until the wedding, but he turned out to be as awesome as his bride.
Always a pleasure at this location. Can’t wait to do another there!
Another wedding at the Hyatt Regancy in Huntington Beach, CA. This is one of the popular Waterfront properties. It’s usually a zoo on Saturdays during the wedding season, but we lucked out that they didn’t double book the room, and we were able to get in early for setup. The only downside is finishing an hour early, which is not a terrible problem to have I suppose.
This is the Mariner’s ballroom located below the Grand Ballroom. Logistically speaking, it’s the easiest ballroom to access for vendors, because it’s just around the corner from the loading dock. All of the other ballrooms suck, because you have to get in the elevator and go through the kitchen. I hope I get this room more often!
My partner Jason and his understudy Kathy did an awesome job with the uplighting. We used light lavender on three sides plus purple columns during dinner and a simple dancefloor focused color chase during dancing which turned out nicely. Also the monogram (GoBO) setup was super easy in this room because they section off 1/3 of it for staging (depending on the crowd size) with light curtains, and you can toss your speakers, cabling and lighting equipment behind it. Usually we have to drape each stand individually, so this also allowed us to save a heck of a lot of time. Might be an incentive to book this room!
I’m using 4 speakers, basically two stereo fields sitting next to each other in a LR – LR fashion. I would have probably went mono, if I wasn’t able to hide the cables behind the curtain, so there’s another plus. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video!
Seacliff Country Club is a hidden gem in Huntington Beach. Their reception halls are to some extent plain, but in very good repair and a perfect canvas for lighting work. They have the ceremonies on the back ledge overlooking the golf course, which is very pretty.
I totally missed getting footage in the cocktail hour foyer. I also did music in there, but no biggie.
The catering captain and venue coordinator were awesome to work with. It makes a huge difference when you’re working with professionals that really care about the event. Everybody was on board to make the night seamless, and I can tell you this is quite rare and very valuable.
The clients had Pinkberry Frozen Yogurts and In-N-Out burgers and fries delivered the last hour of the reception, which brought a lot of charm to the wedding I think. I love having light hearted and laid back couples like this. I seem to get many of these in Huntington Beach; which is Surf City after all. Hope to be back soon!
The Summit House in Fullerton is one of the prettier venues in Orange County. The structure is white with windows all over; it’s begs for uplighting. I get to DJ here about twice a year, and it’s always a pleasure lighting it up!
The couple was really sweet as well. The bride had me meet them at Starbucks by their house for our first meeting, and so there would be no confusion, she came decked out in her “Bride” (in reign stone) outfit. As soon as I saw her, I knew I wanted to work with this couple! I love couples who are obviously enthusiastic about their wedding; it adds another level of satisfaction, and frankly, makes me want to work harder for them. The groom made a special edit with two songs for their first dance, and they choreographer a dance routine which they hammered perfectly.
I’m sure this will be one of the most memorable weddings the crowd will ever attended. Can’t wait to do another like this!
Another Ceremony, Cocktail and Reception with active LED Up-lighting and GoBO at Bella Collina in San Clemente, Orange County, CA. This is one of my favorite venues to do lighting production because the structure is so pretty, and the walls are white. If you’re targeting the South Orange County area, and you’re going for a high fashioned look, this is the place to do it.
We’re using a blended static and active uplighting service here. A third of the fixtures (the ones around the dancefloor) start changing colors when the dancing starts, while the rest in the seating areas stay static. The colors are totally pre-programmable too. Personally, I like this effect better than hooking all of the uplights together, where the whole room spazzes out. If you’re just trying to mingle at the tables, you get exhausted by the stimulation (especially if you’re grandma). The tricky part is having a wireless trigger for this setup, but don’t worry, you’re in good hands with me!
Sorry, I only got footage of the Reception hall and buffet room (which is usually used as the greenroom, or vendor break room). We also had singer Lindsey Harper hooked in during Ceremony and Cocktails. I really wish I got some footage (though I did manage to get audio; might reup this with a clip; if I get clearance that is), she’s incredible! Check her out at her channel:
I also got to work with the High Society Wedding & Event Planning team for the first time. Kudos to them for pulling off such a well produced event! They were on top of communication throughout the consult process, and made sure all of the vendors were well prepped with each other during the final month of the wedding. As a DJ, this kind of help is absolutely PRICELESS.
Big thumbs up to my Crew / Staff Alex! I hadn’t worked with him since a gig at the Vibiana, and had forgotten how incredibly hardworking and reliable he is. The’s got a pioneering spirit and the work ethic of a farmer. Good help is hard to find, and I’m glad I’ve found a few this past year.
Last but not least, the bride and groom and their friends were awesome! I DJed one of her friends wedding, so she had a lot of faith in me from the get-go, and that always makes things so much easier. She super sweet and had such a strong vision with each aspect of the wedding also, which made the delivery of services even more gratifying.
I really hope to tap more into this market; I know I’m North county, but I LOVE this location, and the brides it produces.
PS – Realizing now that I need to do more stills, and stop moving the camera around so much. Will be mindful of this, next time I do video.
Oh and by the way. If you go to the Bella Collina website and look at their weddings page, you’ll see a photo of one of my up-lighting jobs (about 2010) there. Here’s footage from that event:
Very often the first questions we are asked when speaking to potential wedding clients is:
Our answer: Saturdays start at $1000, our average wedding quote is around $1200.
Most DJs in the industry (not to mention many other vendors) do not have set prices for the services that they provide. Instead, they ask that you come in for a meeting so they can practice something called U.C.R.; usual, customary and reasonable. This is the subjective art of negotiating the highest dollar figure someone would pay, based on the potential client’s appearance, the car they arrive in, and the location of their event.
We at DJ Dais dislike employing this practice for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s a little bit sleazy. Of course the entrepreneur’s need to get the most out of every opportunity is understandable, but to make a sale based on social indicators sounds too much like the quackery of used car salesmen. Services should have a specified price, and should cost the same no matter who purchases it.
Secondly, much like lying, we would have to keep the different quotes memorized, ready to recall at any given moment. I suppose a multi-tiered pricing system would make this easier, but this is frankly too much work and trouble to con a few extra bucks from someone.
Instead, we’ve come up with a chart of what each service should cost, accounting for the cost of equipment usage and maintenance, the man power needed to operate, and the extra setup and breakdown time the service will require. As a result, our clients can pick and choose a la carte services with fixed prices, the only variance dependent on the date the service is used (Saturdays and Holidays are generally busier than Mondays).
Whomever you decide to hire for your wedding ceremony sound, make sure they have broadcast quality wireless microphones and the knowhow to use them. This is the ceremony that binds you and your fiancé together for the rest of your days, you want to make sure you do everything in your power to always remember that it was beautiful and perfect. This is the one day out of your life that you will benefit from the use of the highest quality sound equipment; don’t skimp out on this part. Use what the Hollywood pros use.
The world of wireless microphones, not to mention the world of live sound, is a very delicate and volatile craft and it takes years of training to master the techniques necessary to pull off a flawless ceremony. Part of it is in using the best equipment available. Here are a few differences comparing high quality wireless mics from low quality wireless mics:
1. Acceptable Make & Models:
- Audio Technica ATW Series
- Shure SLX Series
- Sennheiser EW Series
I own nothing but Sennheiser wireless equipment (enough mics for two full weddings) one of the units indeed came out of a satellite news broadcast van from a network TV station in Los Angeles (down-size bad for them, good for me!) You want to walk away from these low quality brands:
Here are some brands that haven’t proven to be worthy or unworthy:
- Line 6
Feeling lucky? Just go with the tried and tested three!
2. UHF vs VHF
These are different frequency bands, and though it’s not the main determining factor for how high quality a transmitter / receiver might be, the professional microphones run on the UHF band (yes, as in the Weird Al movie.) You might notice that most discount mics are VHF.
There are digital units that run in the Giga-Hz ranges, but unfortunately, many of the companies that produce them have not been tried and tested for their dependability like the three above.
3. Operable distances
Cheaper mics often have a usable operating distance of 20 feet. This means that the further away you take your microphone away from the receiver past a 20 feet radius, the less reliable it becomes, causing interruptive noise.
The Sennheisers have a 300 foot operating distance (under ideal conditions), and 100 foot real world usable distance. This means that you can have a good amount of walls, bodies, furniture between the microphone and receiver, and you will still be able to depend on a signal fairly strong for up to 100 feet. Or in other words, if your sound guy is 20 feet from the chapel, that signal is going to be impenetrable.
The professional microphones have more options than the cheaper ones, and unfortunately, is more complex as well. You will need to make sure your sound guy knows how to operate the equipment proficiently (just ask him what the “squelch” is for; it’s a noise gate that stops low amplitude interference in the tuned frequency from registering as a mic signal).
The easiest way to root out the sound guys who don’t understand how to use professional equipment, is to see how much experience they have doing live sound or stage work or wedding ceremonies. Your usual nightclub DJs NOT going to have any experience in this field though he might insist that he know’s what he’s doing; DO NOT ASK HIM TO BE YOUR SOUND GUY.
My good friend George Hemminger has started a series on his YouTube channel and website, surviveandthrivetv.net, regarding my business.
He likes to feature businesses that are doing well in our current down economy, and I’m honored that he has chosen my company as one of his features. Please watch the video below and subscribe to his channel for updates.