Tag Archives: Orange

Bella Collina Wedding DJ in San Clemente, CA [VIDEO]

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:
http://www.youtube.com/user/lindseyharper?feature=results_main

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:

Sound for Wedding Ceremony

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:

  • Pyle
  • VocoPro
  • Nady

Here are some brands that haven’t proven to be worthy or unworthy:

  • Line 6
  • Behringer

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.

4. Options

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.

Tustin Ranch Golf Club – Tustin, CA

Special Offer:

Book this package with Ceremony Service for $1520* (Normally $1670; you MUST mention this post at the time of inquiry).

Includes:
6 total hours of sound, lighting, DJ & MC services
Ceremony Music & Microphoning Package:

  • 2 Speakers (150 watt rms each; appropriate for congregations of up to 180)
  • 1 Countryman Wireless Microphone (discreet headset worn by officiant)
  • 1 Lapel Wireless Microphone (worn by groom for vows)
  • 1 Handheld Wireless Microphone on Stand (for readings by bridal party / guest)

Cocktail Hour Music

  • Stand-alone sound system
  • 1 handheld microphone for addressing crowd

Reception Package:

  • 800watt PA system (appropriate for crowds up to 180 guests)
  • DJ console (Media Used: MIDI, Vinyl, MP3s)
  • 10 channel mixer
  • 1 wireless microphone for toasts
  • 4 piece dance lighting

Uplighting (Standard):

  • Up to 18 fixtures of static, one color uplights (Par38 Halogens or Par64 LEDs, depending on color) (appropriate for Up to 180 guests)

Cake Spotlighting:

  • Spotlight projector illuminates your cake from high altitude

*Offer may not be combined with any other offers.


Easily the best wedding venue to have your wedding in the city of Tustin.  The golf course itself is nestled in a very exclusive, well-to-do area between Tustin, Irvine and Santa Ana Hills.

There’s a beautiful water works display embedded in the green landscape as soon as you drive into their lot, making a first impression of elegance and profusion.  I would say this is the main theme of their facility.

Their parking is ample, and if you have heavy parcels to unload, you can double park along the building and place them on a dolly to deliver to all four areas of interest:

    1. Ceremony site (on the Eastern side of the Club House; it is ramp accessible)
    2. Main Banquet Hall (accessible through the courtyard)
    3. Secondary Banquet Hall (there are two partitions here that are both easily accessible from the parking lot)
    4. Courtyard (Could be your Cocktail Hour area)

Pros:

Electrical: I’ve never had a problem with power at this venue.  I like the fact that their engineer took the time to clearly label the circuits on each receptacles, making it easy to identify which outlets are running on the same circuits.  It’s crucial to separate high power demand electronics, such as the DJ booth, chocolate fountains and coffee makers to avoid power failure on your big day.

Staff: I love the staff and crew at this location.  They work hard and also have very high morale and solidarity, and their positive attitude can be contagious.

View: The view in the main hall is gorgeous!  There’s a huge panoramic window that overlooks the puting green and the rest of the golf course, and it’s green for as far as the eyes can see!  There’s plenty of photo ops in their landscapes.

Cons:

Odd Shapes: The only technical con that I can mention about this venue, is that both of their halls are not rectangular.  The main room is shaped like two unevenly conjoined rectangles, that disallows symmetry for laying out the DJ gear.  This is where the experience and creativity of the DJ must work it’s magic, especially with things like audio distribution and up-lighting which require even distribution through out a space.  I have seen some impressive up-lighting designs in the main hall under the tutelage of my mentor, please see the video below.

The Second banquet hall does have blank white walls and up-lighting works easily in that room (please have a look at the video below) but it is long and narrow, and not as cozy as a less rectangular room.  I suppose it wouldn’t affect you as much, if you’re okay with splitting the B&G families from each other during dinner.  To me, the layout reminds me of the two houses of congress.

In Summery: If you’re fixed on a trendy / Oscar-feel wedding using up-lighting, make sure to hire a DJ with a great amount of experience or someone from their vendor list (because they will know the room very well).  As for the second room I think you might find more value at a more rectangular hall (with high ceilings) else where.  It’s  definitely a great pick if your wedding is during the summertime, and the sun is still out during dinner, when your crowd can enjoy the view.  The staff is very professional, and catering has always been spot-on (timing is everything!), and the venue itself is immaculate.

Please have a look at some footage I’ve shot working a Holiday party in what I like to call the Secondary Banquet Hall (the wedge shaped room; partitions one and two):

I will try my best to get some footage of the Main hall in two weeks, since I will be setting up for a wedding there.