I had such a good time at Stefanie & Jeff's wedding and reception a couple of weekends ago! I knew it would be a blast when I was communicating with Stefanie back and forth about her timeline and songs. She really had a complete vision as to how her day would enfold, and it was so gratifying to see it come to life and to be a part of it.
I usually don't post a lot of pictures, especially of decor and the small touches that go into a reception, but I think I should with this wedding. Stefanie really thought of everything and put her own spin on her day.
First she chose Somersett. Somersett is a planned community in northwest Reno nestled between hills with a golf course threading through the community and great views of the surrounding Sierras. In the middle of the property is the community center complete with a clubhouse, community pools and sports facilities, and a commercial area with several shops and restaurants. I have had the privilege of deejaying their community holiday swim parties and it is a well-run organization with great people making sure everything runs smoothly. This day was no exception. They had their ceremony out on a golf tee with the mariachi group Los Mariachis Viajeros providing the seating music. When the time came, I played the processionals- "Sweet Child of Mine" by Vitamin String Quartet for the bridal party and a beautiful version of the "Bridal Chorus" (Here Comes the Bride) for Stefanie and her dad. When Stefanie and Jeff were married and had kissed and been introduced by Pastor Dan to everyone, I played "Happy" as their recessional. After that, the guests went into the clubhouse for cocktails and more Mariachi Viajero music while I moved across the street to the upstairs reception room, the Loft.
Up in the Loft I really appreciated all the work Stefanie and her sisters and friends had put into the room. Near me, right beside the dance floor they had baskets of flip-flops for their guests so they could ditch the high heels and dance the night away. The bar had a great selection of tequilas, Mexican beer, and Mexican bottled coke and other sodas to lend an authentic flair to the evening. Better yet, there was a bucket of coozies with Jeff & Stefanie's names and date on them as a special remembrance of the evening. Very cool!
They had a photobooth, a candy table that was very well stocked, and everywhere the decor matched the red roses placed all around the room.
Finally the favors to take home (not including the coozies) were small little cacti and other succulents. So unique yet so fitting for occasion.
As the guests began to arrive from the clubhouse, traditional Mexican appetizers were served- several types of ceviche, home-made salsas, and chips and quesadillas. Yum! The guests enjoyed themselves while the bridal party finished up pictures with Belinda Grant. Belinda is a phenomenal photographer who I am always excited to work with. She has a very journalistic style as well as taking stunning posed shots. She'll see something happening on the dance floor or at a table and rush over to capture it. A great example of this was as Stefanie and Jeff were walking downstairs towards the reception, she saw a geometric pattern in the pavers below and had them pose as she took pix from the balcony above. Spontaneous but really cool! I tried to get the same shot on my iPhone watching her, and you can imagine how much better her shots are!
Right after that we all welcomed the bridal party in to the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feelin" and then Stefanie and Jeff entered as "Timber" by Pitbull played. The Mariachis Viajeros then took over the music for a while and I was impressed by their ability. The best mariachi group in Reno by far. They moved around the room and played while the dinner buffet was being readied. Uriel, Stefanie's father was such a cool host and dad. He was constantly checking that everyone was having fun and he requested some music from the Viajeros that I realized was all about northern Baja California. Being from San Diego myself I asked him about it, and it turns out that he is from Mexicali, a border town very near my family's camping spot that I have been going to since I was small. We talked about the area, music, and San Felipe and I really felt so at ease with Uriel and Stefanie's family. He even helped sing a Norteno song below and really got the crowd into it. Such fun!
|Uriel and Los Mariachis Viajeros!|
The buffet line then began, and Belinda Grant has a great specialty shot that I really like: as I released a table, those tablemates would come up to the dance floor and get a picture taken by Belinda before they joined the buffet. Such a fantastic idea! Here are the bride & groom & head table starting it off- I know Belinda's shot was 1000% better than mine. That's why I'm a DJ and not a photographer... :)
After dinner, Maid of Honor and Stefanie's sister Jocelyn led off the toasting with an emotional and funny tribute. Dads Uriel & John and other bridal party members gave nice toasts as well and right after that they cut their cake. After enjoying a few bites Jeff & Stefanie then started off the dancing with "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & the Shondells. Such a unique and inspired choice!
Uriel then came up to dance with his daughter for the father-daughter dance. Unlike most of these dances I see, they chose a fast song, Elvis's "Jailhouse Rock" and it brought the crowd to their feet.
Soon thereafter we were dancing non-stop with a huge variety of music, from Elvis Crespo to Avicii to the Beatles and Pitbull. At the first slow break we had a perfect Anniversary Dance, with Antonio and Maria the longest married at 40 years. Other than the bouquet and garter tosses, the dancing never let up. Such a fun crowd, so much so that we went an hour over our original stopping point :)
Thanks to the terrific people at Somersett for all their hard work. Thanks to Belinda of Belinda Grant Photography, a true professional and just a great person to work with. Thanks to the talented Mariachis Viajeros. And finally thanks to Jeffanie (Jeff & Stefanie) for letting me be a part of their memorable day and evening. Felicidades you two!