Almost as if time had stood still, two years later we all gathered together again at River Highlands Ranch for their wedding open house! Their 2020 wedding vendor event had been the last big event before the shutdown and in some ways it’s a whole new world. But we still came together for the same reason — to celebrate love and marriage!
It’s always so fun getting to capture the next stage of a family’s life, and this family has doubled since our first shoot together! Christmas is always a busy time but I’m so happy everyone was in town so we could capture the moments and traditions in this season of their lives!
It started off with a conversation after church one day where Zachary let me know he had been thinking about Monica for awhile now and was wanting to pursue a relationship with her. Friends with both them separately and around for events Zachary put together like disc golf, let’s just say this wasn’t a total surprise to me. I wasn’t sure where Monica’s heart was but Zachary was hopeful from the start mentioning that his current school schedule would allow for them to spend more time together until his classes started at Davis in the fall and possibly a wedding the next summer after her graduation??
And all these months later, it looks like he wasn’t wrong! Official in April, by August Zachary was in talks with me about photographing a surprise proposal. But the timing didn’t come about until October where he worked out every detail to have Monica remember all their special dates and memories through a scavenger hunt! Starting off getting her nails done (smart guy!), Zachary sent Monica and her friend off for a day of following clues while he and his friends created this little area for a surprise proposal complete with battery-powered bistro lights. When she arrived, they talked and danced while he sang. When he came to to the line “All I want is you, will you be my bride” Zachary shocked Monica by getting down one knee. Let’s just say their wedding in July is just what the “doctor” ordered. ;-)
Sometimes the last minute shoots work out best! Between all her senior classes, work, and a deadline for printing awesome graduation announcements, we were able to find the one afternoon to fit in Sage’s shoot! You probably can’t even tell that many of these favorites were shot after sunset as a storm rolled into town! Love that Sage could just go with the flow and make everything look as effortless as her natural beauty!
It has always been a desire for this space online to be helpful for my couples when planning their wedding, beyond just the visual inspiration! Because of this I was excited when I contacted Matt from Someone Said Yes to see if he could share some insider, little-known tips for working with your wedding DJ, and he said yes!! ;-) So get ready to bookmark this post or write down these deets! Oh and if you’re still looking for a DJ in the Grass Valley to Tahoe area, Matt is one of the very best!!
Planning the Best Wedding Ever?
Here are my thoughts on a few commonly overlooked details –
Don’t put the DJ in an obscure location; the DJ needs to be easily visible and near the dance floor so they can see it to get a feel for the crowd. I kind insist in being on the edge of the dance floor. It’s a better experience.
If there are older guests, try not to sit them close or right in front of the speaker(s).
Don’t micromanage the timeline. We do need the order of events but not necessarily the exact time for each.
For your wedding, keep in mind that your guests are going to be where you are. If you’re on the dance floor, the guests will be too!
If you have lighting above the dance floor, keep in mind that darker is better. Use dimmers for chandeliers, cafe lighting, house lights, etc. (This is really important)
If you have a bar or photo booth at your wedding, please try to put it in the main room where the DJ is. You want to keep people near the dance floor at all times.
When picking your music, you don’t have to overdo it. Pick 20 or so songs you like and a few you don’t, and let me fill in from there.
When selecting your songs for your wedding, take into account not only your taste, but the guests’ as well. I can send you a link so your guests can request some music before your wedding. Let’s review and pick some of the best ones.
You always want to leave the guests wanting more. It’s not your responsibility to entertain guests until 2am. For most weddings, a 10pm “last dance” works great and leaves plenty of time for an after-party.
If you have to cut corners on your budget, please don’t skimp on your DJ. I am passionate about my profession and I’m focused on helping to create the best wedding ever.
For more DJ inspo and to see Matt do some impromptu sessions, check him out on his website and social media!
Based in northern California, in the little town of Grass Valley, and available for travel. Locally from Nevada County, Tahoe, Roseville, Sacramento, Napa, San Francisco, Bay Area, Chico, and Redding and down to Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Malibu, and San Diego are some of the places California has to offer. But I’m not only a northern California wedding photographer, I’ve had the joy to travel to amazing places like Seattle, Portland, Vancouver BC, San Antonio, Houston, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, Boston, and Virginia. And now that I’ve traveled to Albania, Rome, Florence, Venice, and the shores of Italy and over to Paris, France, I can’t wait to go back and capture more memories on film! Passport in one hand and a camera in the other!