Alfie Design Creates Custom Watercolor Invitations for Ultimate Skybox Wedding

By, July 02, 2012

An invitation is an extension of the wedding decor – it sets the tone for the celebration, and gives guests a quick preview of what the day will entail. At Alfie Design, I specialize in custom watercolor wedding invitations. Every invitation suite that I create is customized to the couple, and to the overall feel of their big day! Whether the wedding theme is vintage chic, backyard barbecue, traditional, or old Hollywood glam, the opportunities are endless when using a medium like watercolor.

I recently had the opportunity to work with a beautiful couple, Kate and Matt.  Their wedding was a combination of classic and contemporary. The ceremony was held at Our Lady of the Rosary, followed by an urban reception at the Ultimate Skybox in the Gaslamp. 


When we first discussed the invitations, they envisioned a clean modern feel with a light and intricate design. I used a fine art, soft cotton paper for the invites to provide a sturdy and high quality look.

Unique Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Alfie Design

The wedding color scheme consisted of shades of coral, grey and white. These cool shades worked nicely with the church’s classic appeal. The same colors also paired nicely with the reception venue’s contemporary floor-to-ceiling windows, overlooking downtown San Diego. 

To check out more of my invitations and fine art, please visit alfiedesign.com Unique-Watercolor-Wedding-Invitations-with-Alfie-DesignCustom Watercolor Wedding Invitations with Alfie DesignCustom Watercolor Wedding Invitations with Alfie Design

We decided to keep the suite simple and modern by producing the pieces without mattes, which allowed for double sided cards. This approach is also more cost effective and eco-friendly!  In addition to the announcement, we created a customized map, and an RSVP postcard in shades of shades of coral and white. We then paired the whole suite with a slate-colored envelope!

Unique Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Alfie Design

I always like to make a my invitation suites a complete package by adding a final accent. Whether it’s twine, a band, or a pocket fold with a wax seal, I enjoy finishing with a distinctive touch. For this invite, we used a pale peach twine, which complemented the clean and understated feel of the wedding.  For each suite, I used just over a yard of twine! Once the twine was hand-wrapped around the stack of cards three times, the package was tied together with a knot.

Custom Water Color Invitations by Alfie Design

To further enhance the theme, we created simple escort cards with the coral tone watercolor wash. Also, we made table numbers using the floral design from the invitations. Everything at the wedding paired together beautifully!

Custom Watercolor Wedding Invitations with Alfie DesignWatercolor wedding inviations by Alfie Design

Other designs, such as the program and menu shown here, shared the same intricate floral pieces and watercolor wash used in the invitations.

Unique Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Alfie DesignCustom Watercolor Wedding Invitations with Alfie DesignCustom Watercolor Wedding Invitations with Alfie Design

Kate and Matt were so great to work with!  Their personalities were bubbly, easy going and playful – just like their signature “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” cocktails!  To highlight the drink of the night, I created a sign featuring a watercolor-painted champagne glass!

Watercolor wedding inviations by Alfie DesignWatercolor wedding inviations by Alfie DesignCustom Watercolor Wedding Invites by Alfie Design

 Invitations/Paper Products: Alfie Design
Photography: True Photography


Wedding Images in Color or Black & White?

By, June 04, 2012

True Photography is known for loving color! It grabs your attention. Color can be beautiful, realistic and alive. However, black and white is timeless, understated, and honest, and it allows you to focus on the moment being captured. One question our clients frequently ask is how we decide when a photo should be produced in color or black and white. There’s always a reason behind the way we present each image, and we’re here to give you a peek at our process. 

Since you can always convert a color photo to black and white, but you can never go the other way, we photograph entirely in color! Then, during the enhancement process, we review every image and decide which ones should receive the b&w treatment. Each of our enhancers has a trained eye, and they know how to present the image in the best possible way.

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”- Ted Grant, (godfather of Canadian photojournalism)

In this post, we show you ten color photos, as well as black and white variations of the same images. On the first five images, the color versions are stronger and present better. For the second five images, black and white brings out a little something extra. Take a look below and let us know what you think! 

Five photos we prefer in color:

1) We took this photo during an Indian wedding ceremony, which is a colorful occasion! It is the colors that really brings this image to life. Also, colors have cultural significance in Indian weddings that can be lost in black and white photos.

Black and White vs. Color Photos for weddings with True Photography Black and White vs. Color Photos for weddings with True Photography

2) Sometimes, color just looks prettier. Though we also love this photo in black and white, we miss our bride’s unique red hair, magenta lips, and bright blue eyes. Also, the small details help to finish this image, like the pink in the groom’s boutonniere.

Black and White vs. Color Photos for weddings with True Photography Black and White vs. Color Photos for weddings with True Photography

3) Color grabs your attention! A burst of color (like the red umbrella) draws your eyes to the main focus of the photo – the lightening!  Also, a color image can capture a range of hues and tones that is absent in black and white images.

Black and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True PhotographyBlack and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True Photography

4) Colors can enhance any mood if used correctly. For example, take a look at this bride and groom with their wedding party just after the ceremony. In this image, the colors enhance the humorous and playful situation.

Black and white photo of bride and groom during San Diego WeddingBlack and white photos vs color photos for wedding photography

 5) Colors makes images come to life so they seem more real and vivid. Because flowers are vibrant and have lots of texture, a color version is going to be much more satisfying to the eye.

Black and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True PhotographyBlack and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True Photography

Five photos we prefer in black & white:

1) Black and white reminds us of our past, which we often romanticize.  In this photo of the boys sitting on the curb, the black and white treatment creates a moment in time that takes us back to being young. Also, because we see the world in color, an image like this becomes more interesting and distinctive.

Black and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True PhotographyBlack and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True Photography

2) A photo in black and white allows us to concentrate on the image itself, rather than the color.  In this photo, the groom is emotional as his bride walks down the aisle.  The use of black & white helps to mute the background to focus on the moment.

Black and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True PhotographyBlack and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True Photography

3) Black and white is stark, and it makes people can look more powerful and serious.  The absence of color in this photo really suits the stern expressions of the men and their “Godfather-esque” stances!

Black and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True PhotographyBlack and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True Photography

4) Since a majority of old photography was done in black and white, it can help a modern moment feel timeless.  There’s nothing more classic than a bride looking at her love through the window of a 1930 Chevrolet Packard!  There is no indication in the b&w version that this photo was taken circa 2012!

Black and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True PhotographyBlack and White Vs. Color Wedding Images by True Photography

5)  There is so much emotion in this photo of the bride reading a note from her groom just before the ceremony. The black and white version brings out the facial expressions of the bride and her maid of honor, adding more real drama to the photo.  

Black and white vs. Color wedding photos by True PhotographyBlack and white vs. Color wedding photos by True Photography


Destination wedding at a Palm Springs desert resort

By, June 17, 2011

Even though San Diego is an incredible location for a wedding, some San Diegans actually seek awesome spots elsewhere to tie the knot.  Our friends Laura and CK chose the legendary Riviera Palm Springs Resort & Spa for their destination ceremony and reception. This stylish venue features ultra-contemporary decor, pool-side cabanas, and garden villas.

While we were shooting, we took full advantage of the modern textures, chic decor and luxurious atmosphere of the resort. You can really see these details and the venue’s color palate come alive in the wedding images. Of course, photographing such a beautiful and energetic couple made the photos all the more eye-catching! The weather was absolutely perfect, and as Laura stated, “for a two hour drive, it feels like you are a million miles away on vacation”.

Take a minute to read what Laura had to say about Palm Springs, their wedding colors, details from the ceremony, and a bit of her own advice for brides-to-be!

We chose to have our wedding at The Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs because of the absolutely perfect weather in the desert in April.  We wanted to make our wedding a weekend long event, and be able to have all of our guests hang out together outside by the pool and enjoy themselves for a few days, rather than just the wedding day. This is a boutique hotel, so it was a great size for our 110 guest count. It allowed us to interact with all of our guests during the days leading up to our wedding.

True Photography Wedding Photography San Diego: Nighttime wedding recption Riviera Resort and Spa in Palms Springs


We used the colors champagne, white and blush pink to give a classic, simple and natural feel.  Our flowers were elegant, and were very dramatic in the context of a natural garden setting.

True Photography San Diego: during wedding ceremony with pink bouquet and wine pouring ceremony

We wanted our wedding to be romantic but modern, clean, and not too overdone. We wanted to incorporate the outdoors with flowers and sunshine into our ceremony, and carry that element indoors (with a modern twist) for our reception.  We wanted our guests to feel comfortable, yet chic and classy to allow for a beautiful wedding in a fun atmosphere.

San Diego Wedding Photography: Modern Rivierta Resort in Palm Springs reflection in the mirror of bride and groom San Diego Wedding Photographers: Red wedding at Riveriera Hotel in Palm Springs




My most memorable moment from our wedding day was when I stepped around the corner to enter our ceremony. I held my Dad’s arm and felt like I was floating off of the ground.  The sight of our ceremony was just heavenly! Sunlight was just beginning to set, and the sun was streaming between the trees and mountains. Between the soft sounds of our acoustic guitarist playing a sweet song, the flower petals scattered on the aisle, and the flowy white fabric on our altar just softly blowing in the breeze, it was like a dream. I could have floated down the aisle as I saw my groom waiting for me at the end with a huge smile.

San Diego Wedding Photographers photograph father and bride walking down the aisle with guitar player

I have so so so so many favorite pictures from the day, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It captures our happiness right after the ceremony and is just full of love.  It is so artistic with the sun shining through the back and the low angle.  It is absolutely beautiful.

San Diego Wedding Photography bride and groom during ceremony with sun shining in Palm Springs

I can not say enough wonderful things about True Photography for making our wedding photography experience absolutely perfect! We were so excited to get to work with Aaron and Michael. It was an absolute pleasure. They are extremely professional, and have such great talent and personality. I appreciated all of their communication with me leading up to our event to create a customized fabulous day. I greatly enjoyed working with them, and would absolutely recommend them to any bride!

San Diego Wedding Photography captures bridal party on pool table at Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs

As cliché as it is, and as many times as you hear it, the honest truth from a brand new bride that just went through it is….the day truly and honestly goes by in the blink of an eye. All of your hard work and energy and planning and love going into that day all comes together before your eyes and it is amazingly overwhelming – in a great way!  Take a few moments to step back and look at everything. You will only have a few chances to reflect with everything going on, so really soak each moment in.  This, along with your wonderful photographs, will be the only memories you will have. So cherish and hold onto them for a lifetime.


Photographer: True Photography