We had the opportunity to perform at the Crossings in Carlsbad for the first time last weekend, and were blown away with the property!
From a gorgeously manicured golf course, to buildings in the style of the Italian countryside, this place has it all. Their outdoor ceremony site, pictured above, looks over Carlsbad out to the ocean. We were there on a somewhat overcast day, but it was still really stunning.
Their event banquet space inside is everything you could ask for - with windows looking out to their wrap around deck, and all the views beyond, as well as interior high ceilings, a stone fireplace, and room for numerous tables and a dance floor, this place is an otherwise blank slate ready for your imagination!
Found a great NYT article about wedding ceremony music trends and history. Check it out and give us your thoughts - what are you planning for your ceremony?
Our continuing series of music on our play lists recently that you might enjoy too!
The Canadian Brass have been around for a long time, and many of the best players in the world have performed with them or wanted to! What makes them so good? Well, they are phenomenal musicians of course. But like us, they also have an incredible library of unique arrangements of music that are engaging, fun to listen to, and help bring in new audiences.
One of the most beautiful pieces of music they've recorded (in my opinion) is Make Our Garden Grow, from Candide, written by Leonard Bernstein. On brass instruments, this piece sounds amazing, give it a listen:
Our string trio had the chance to perform at The Thursday Club for their wedding open house on April 10th, 2019. It was such a good time! We got to schmooze with engaged couples, catch up with some of our favorite wedding pros, and enjoy really awesome dinner and dessert samples by some of San Diego's best catering companies!
In our new segment, we are going to post about some amazing music that we love listening to and/or playing, in hopes that it brightens your day! Today, the masterful soundtrack to How To Train Your Dragon 2, by John Powell. In fact, the soundtrack to all three movies in the series is phenomenal, but we hadn't listened to the second one in a while so, here it is!
We can spend hours just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful and exciting melodies that make up this soundtrack, and you probably guessed by now, yes we do have it in our music library to play at events! If you are like us and fall in love with this music, let us know in the comments below and feel free to suggest other movie tunes to listen in on!
Did you ever wonder how the music to your favorite movies was created? After the composer meets with the director and producers and comes up with their musical concepts, a full symphony orchestra gathers in recording studios located all over the world to fill out the magic that is movie music. From brassy chords to soaring strings, the recording studio orchestra is a fun place to be a fly on the wall, and these masterful pros bring it all together to get up on the big screen.
A little rant in this blog post - the individual musicians are some of the only people in movie credits who aren't listed! You'll see some people like drivers or caterers get credit at the end of films, but the hard working and talented musicians for some reason don't. Hoping that changes sometime- the movies absolutely wouldn't be the same without the music!
Bringing your unique music styles to your wedding ceremony!
Historically, most wedding ceremonies followed the same traditional pattern. Classical background music while guests were seated, a Handel or Vivaldi piece while the bridal party entered, Wagner's wedding march for the bride, and Mendelssohn's march for the recessional. These time tested music pieces are still hits with so many couples - there is a reason they are so popular - they work well and are recognizable to almost everyone that we are having a wedding here!
More often now, we are finding younger couples that want something a little different, more styled to their tastes in music or something that brings up a happy memory for them. What is great about our ensembles is that we are able to deliver on that request, and have acquired a large list of music that will transport you to your favorite band, a special concert, or a movie that gives you all the feels!
With a pop library that spans back to the 1960s, we've included hits from some amazing musicians, like the Jackson 5, the Beatles, Elton John, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Queen, and so many others. Our musical abilities also include so many different movie soundtracks including Disney and Pixar favorites as well. You have a special song in mind that we don't already have in our library - no problem, we can arrange it just for you!
We checked recently, and here is a list of the top modern/pop songs requested by our brides for wedding entrances:
1: A Thousand Years, Christina Perri, as covered by the Piano Guys
2: All You Need is Love, the Beatles
3: Tale as Old as Time, Beauty & The Beast, Alan Menken
4: Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
5: I'm Yours, Jason Mraz
6: A Whole New World, Disney's Aladdin, Alan Menken
7: Moonlight Serenade, Glenn Miller
8: Imagine, John Lennon
9: It Had to Be You, Gus Kahn
10: You've Got a Friend in Me, Toy Story, Randy Newman
We had the opportunity to attend the fall open house at the Bali Hai restaurant on Shelter Island, and meet with clients and other wedding professionals who are regulars at ceremonies here. First off, the weather couldn't have been better - scattered clouds with clear skies, a fantastic view of downtown, and a magical sunset.
Kona Kai is the perfect place for events and weddings in San Diego!
I had the opportunity to take a site tour of the newly renovated Kona Kai resort, located on Shelter Island in San Diego. The place is breathtaking, inside and out. It reminded me of a Greek village overlooking the water, and the views were stunning. Keep in mind, I'm a musician, not a professional photographer, but hopefully you can get the gist of the place and see what a special feeling it has.
It was a hot day up in Vista at Shadowridge Golf Club, but that didn't stop the guests and the wedding party from dressing to the 10's! Everyone looked fabulous, and the surroundings were beautiful. Shadowridge has an excellent staff of friendly people who know what they are doing when it comes to coordinating weddings, coupled with a secluded private ceremony location and onsite clubhouse, it is a great all-encompassing location for weddings in North County San Diego.
Our group had an opportunity to play for Kareem & Paige's wedding ceremony at Milagro Winery, our first time at this gorgeous Ramona venue. The rolling hills, oak trees, and vineyards really bring out a Central Coast vibe, just going to show that you really can find any style of wedding venue or location right here in San Diego County.
San Diego and Southern California provides such a wonderful and diverse amount of different locations and feels for wedding ceremonies and celebrations. From the beaches and luxury high rise hotels of the city, a short drive up to Temecula provides beautiful wine country rustic wedding ceremony venues, like Ponte Winery where we played earlier this month.
Wedding Ceremony Music Options
Our string & harp trio headed to Mission Bay to play for a beautiful outdoor wedding at the Paradise Point Resort yesterday. The weather was perfect, overcast but still bright out, not hot but not cold, and all of the guests were happy to be there (so were we!)
Our day started off checking out the reception site where we played after the ceremony, and setting up our string trio for the processional. The clients requested a harp/violin/cello trio, which is a beautiful option and provides many options for wedding ceremony music.
This past weekend was beautiful for outdoor occasions, with cool breezes, mild coastal weather, and clear blue ocean water. The Martin Johnson House, part of UCSD and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, sits atop the beautiful cliffs of La Jolla and looks south toward the Cove and La Jolla Village. The views are perfect for San Diego outdoor weddings, and the grounds are reminiscent of a small cabin in the woods, with really endless possibilities of decorating.
Our couple hired our string duet, which is a great ensemble for this intimate location. The strings are easily heard over a gathering of 50 family and friends, and provided pre-ceremony and processional & recessional music for the bride and her new groom.
We had the opportunity to return to the beautiful Morgan Run Club and Resort over the weekend, and are always impressed by this Rancho Santa Fe / Del Mar area wedding venue. Beyond the views and welcoming spaces, the staff at Morgan Run are incredibly friendly, outgoing, and helpful- so you really feel like you're part of the family here and that is why it is such a special place.
Morgan Run is, primarily, a golf and tennis club- and they have the facilities to prove it! Gorgeous greens go on for miles, and the courts are top notch. On site, their aquatic and gym facilities leave nothing behind either, and they even offer a kids day camp for wedding parties which is quite reasonable!
When people picture La Jolla, it is typically the quaint downtown with boutique shops, waterfront parks, and gorgeous historic buildings. The Estancia Hotel fits in perfectly with the ideals and natural beauty of the area, but is an absolutely unique property that should be considered on anyone's list of wedding venues in the La Jolla area.
The history of the hotel and gardens is a unique story unto itself. Originally a horse stable, the property has been developed into an urban oasis, filled with stunning succulents and open spaces, and a small campus of historic buildings with rooms of varying sizes for any number of events.
I am by no means a wedding photographer! That being said, I had the opportunity to tour the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay with a group of other great wedding professionals on a gorgeous January afternoon, and wanted to share my experience with soon-to-be brides and grooms or others looking for an amazing space for an all-encompassing event with true San Diego bayside class.
The Hyatt Regency in Mission Bay is a distinct landmark, with a tall tower of hotel rooms and a sprawling front row seat to the bay. But the hotel resort has many hidden gems that might not be obvious just by driving by.
Weddings in the Botanic Gardens of Encinitas:
The San Diego Botanic Gardens are an oasis in the middle of Encinitas, a cute coastal town about 15 minutes north of San Diego. The gardens have a rich history, having been developed since the early 1900s on land overlooking the Pacific Ocean and incorporating a wide variety of different spaces. While you could consider this a museum for plant species, the gardens have evolved and become a spectacular event space, perfect for weddings, parties, engagements, photo shoots, and other happenings.
When you live in San Diego, the outdoors provides year round beautiful wedding settings. This was the case this past Friday in Chula Vista, at the Otay Lakes area in a park called Mountain Hawk.
Rolling hills, a pristine lake, and a beautiful outdoor amphitheater made this December wedding one to write about. There aren't many places in the US that you can do an outdoor wedding like this at the end of the year.
Live Music at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar
Many people might not know about the hidden gem in Del Mar called the Fairmont Grand. It's somewhat secluded, not on any major roadway, but the resort is an absolutely spectacular site, perfect for weddings, holiday parties, and other events.
Our wind trio has had the opportunity to perform here a few times for different events, and we were just honored to play for a company holiday party in their Elizabeth Capella, a wood adorned chapel with amazing acoustics.
Bringing Royal Customs to Your San Diego Wedding
With the recent announcement of the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we thought it would be fun to focus on tips for making your wedding royal-inspired! British royal weddings have always caused quite a stir with brides from all over the world looking for inspiration on how they can bring a bit of the custom and class into their own ceremonies.
Balboa Park is the heart of this city. The sprawling gardens and parkscapes surrounded by urban San Diego provide some incredibly scenic and unique backdrops for weddings and other fun events. The shear size of the park itself has so many different interesting spaces, buildings, and gardens that anyone can easily find their perfect wedding spot, on any budget, with any dream in mind.
Here are a few location ideas in the park, but of course we aren't covering everything. If you have questions about San Diego wedding venues or just want some general tips, we are happy to provide our expertise!
The Prado - Upscale Weddings in Balboa Park
Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the classy and upscale Prado restaurant hosts many weddings and events every month. They have many options for both ceremony and receptions sites, including their grand ballroom, a gorgeous outdoor enclosed patio, garden spaces, and pictured above the patio fountain. Having an all-inclusive upscale Balboa Park wedding ceremony here would be easy, leaving all of the details to the superb event staff and being able to keep guests in one central location.
The Left Coast Quintet has had the privilege of bringing music to a number of different events at the Prado. For more info, check out: Balboa Park - Prado Weddings & Events
1930s & 40s Movie Style in the Heart of Southern CA
We had the opportunity to tour the historic Lafayette Hotel in University Heights recently, and were incredibly impressed by the style, class, and ambiance the hotel offers. Having a wedding at the Lafayette means stepping back in time to the roaring swing era of classic Hollywood, when big bands took the stage and movie stars mingled with the locals.
Cuvier Park Wedding Music
San Diego is full of beautiful places, where the venue itself actually becomes part of the event. Cuvier Park in La Jolla, also known as the Wedding Bowl, is certainly one of those special spots. This semi-secluded spot with some of the most iconic views that San Diego is known for might be difficult to acquire, with various permits from the City and scheduling with other events, but once secured you can be sure that you have one of the best outdoor wedding venues in San Diego!
Booking the Wedding Bowl La Jolla for your Weddings & Events:
San Diego Holiday Party Music & Ideas!
Creepy ghouls and goblins are coming soon, followed quickly by explorers with turkey, and jolly old men in red pajamas being flown by reindeer. Yes, it's holiday season in San Diego, and while the weather here might not provide any white dusting of snow or icicles hanging from awnings, it does mean fun parties, great food, and entertaining music!
Here are some ideas for those of you trying to plan for your office or home holiday party that we have found fun, insightful, or interesting. Remember to book your live music with us as soon as you've set a date, so we can start going over the perfect playlist for your San Diego holiday party.
A Key Gaslamp San Diego Wedding Location!
The downtown San Diego Gaslamp district is home to many fine restaurants, clubs, activities, and hotels, and one of the newest and finest is The Pendry, recently opened in February 2017. The prime location on J Street between 5th & 6th was developed with class, sophistication, and elegance, and it's no wonder that it is the place to be for many visitors and locals alike.
I should start by mentioning this isn't just a hotel, it's a destination. With multiple restaurants, meeting spaces, event halls, an underground club, bars, swimming club & spa, their visitors could easily just wander around for a few days and enjoy everything the location has to offer. I toured the facility with many other San Diego Wedding professionals, ranging from photographers to event planners to other venue coordinators, and we all really enjoyed the atmosphere and incredible opportunities that The Pendry has to offer.
Check out some of the other pictures I took during the tour, and let me know what your favorite wedding venue is in San Diego- maybe I'll visit there next! If you contact the Pendry for an event, please let them know I sent ya!
Dan is the bassoonist & one of the founders of the LCQ.