Posted by: Robert Battoe
Say your wedding essentials are all planned and you find out that you have some room in the budget. Or you want to add that extra “pop” to your wedding! Here are some great extras to add that special touch to your special day!
1. Photobooth- These things are still hot and you can certainly get some use out of one. You can go basic or shoot for the moon and go with a set up that does: video, Facebook upload, black & white or color options. (Like The Abbey Caterings!)
2. A Live Band- This option is ideal if you love a certain type of music to dance to. This option really adds some soul to the dance floor. We can arrange a wide verity of great bands, anything from reggae to metal, for a price that may surprise you.
3. Caricature or silhouette artist- this is a fun way to entertain your guests during cocktail hour and they can take something personalized away. This is also a great “favor” option if you are still trying to figure that out.
4. Get a limo! A limo is a little thing that makes a big difference. Ride in style and alleviate any concerns about the two of you arriving on time or, you can have your entire Wedding Party enjoy the ride. It really adds to the fun and decadence of your special day!
5. Ice Bar- every so often I see an ice sculpture, now here is an awesome way to one up that! An ice bar is a great way to add some unique style to your day. How about putting your initials on the front of a custom ice bar for your reception and back light it with your wedding colors, guests will never forget this!
Try to go to caterers that offer different types of options, (like us for instance ;) ) that is how you get the best bang for your buck. You’ll find that adding the extras really increase the overall satisfaction of your special day. The old saying “it’s the little things” really takes effect on wedding extras.
Posted by: Matt Berardi
When choosing a perfect venue, it is all too easy to overlook some important logistical details, turning your special day into a nightmare. Depending on your vision, needs, and catering requirements you may find your venue not suitable for your special day. Listed below are some tips on some of the details you may have over looked:
1. Make sure that your venue can easily accommodate your guest count. Also be sure it has a good flow to it and service can be visualized through the catering and venue managers.
2. Creating a menu that works with the kitchen equipment on-site. Work with your caterer to create a menu that will work specifically well at that location given the challenges in distance, timing, etc.
3. Hiring professionals to execute your event rather than trying to do it yourself. Not having a coordinator may save money, but can compromise the integrity of your event and cause extra stress.
5. Having the correct amount of staffing based on what your expectations are for service, and if there are any venue limitations. Having too few servers will compromise the ability of the caterer to do their jobs and make the event seem poorly planned.
6. Keeping open communication between the caterers, venue, and anyone apart of the planning process. Having everyone on the same page is incredibly critical for any event; this is where an event coordinator can really help.
8. Keeping an open mind, and being flexible to anything that might pop up. Even with everything planned out to the smallest detail there will always be hick-ups in the itinerary.
9. Making sure you keep an eye on the coffers! It’s important to have a budget. The venue and caterer will be your largest expenses. Try to leave extra room for the caterer so you can get all those little upgrades you may want.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. The venue manager is there to help you, don’t feel like you are wasting their time. They want your day to go perfectly just as much as you do!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, with all the planning and stress involved with making your dream day come true, make sure to step back every so often and realize what you are doing. You are planning a lifelong celebration with your soul mate and all your loved ones, so don’t forget to enjoy the process!
Posted by: Darren T.
With a themed wedding, sometimes it’s all too easy to overlook tying in the venue into your theme. Each venue has a very unique feel to it. So if your dream is for a themed wedding, might as well go all the way! The theme is the foundation of your special day. The first building block you place on the foundation should be getting the venue to best compliment your vision. I put together a list of themes I have experienced then added which venue have similar architecture to the theme.
1. A floral/nature theme can be difficult to arrange your color palette, but makes a nice impact if you want a very colorful day! Although San Diego has a vast array of flowers, I recommend planning your special day around the season of the floral palette. You might not realize the extra cost per stem when the flower is out of season. A great venue for a floral theme is of course, the San Diego Botanical Gardens in Encinitas. It has a vast collection of rare and beautiful flowers from all across the world. A perfect location for a floral/nature theme!
2. A destination theme is always a great choice! San Diego has a lot more to offer than beautiful beaches. I’ve had clients make their San Diego weddings into an English garden, a Paris dance club, and my favorite, a costume gala in Vienna. The Thursday Club is a very popular venue, one can easily transform into the destination of your liking.!
3. A specific time period for your wedding theme can be exciting. The Great Gatsby can be loads of fun, An Art Deco theme is always a great idea. A Victorian area setting is always sophisticated. One of my most entertaining receptions I was a part of was set up like a speak easy, I’ll never forget it. The Darlington House, in my opinion ideal for this. The venue really has a vintage look, perfect for this style of theme.
4. A seasonal the me can be unique, especially a winter theme. Being here in San Diego you can bring the snow covered evergreens to life in a modern or traditional sense. Autumn colors are great, especially since the fall is a huge wedding season. I attended a winter theme that was set up like a break in the forest. It was surreal. The Cuvier Club has a perfect color palette for this type of theme. Fall and winter colors really pop out ageist our ballroom floors.
5. Finally, a cultural setting can be personal. Imagine the Orient, India, exotic and full of life! I recently helped a couple with a Polynesian reception. This type of theme is one of rich colors and ornate decorations. It can really add that extra piece of your personalities to your day. A supreme choice for a wedding of this verity are some of the great museums in Balboa Park, the Natural History Museum is great selection.
As your vision becomes more and more vivid, it is all too easy to become overwhelmed. Many brides get discouraged or frustrated, but don’t let that overshadow your special day. It is my job to help alleviate some of this stress. Let me know if I can help make your vision a reality. email@example.com
Posted by: Kevin Roy
It’s that time of the year ladies! La Jolla Cove Suites is hosting an amazing bridal show for the seventh year! Enjoy the beautiful sunset on the ocean and meet with all sorts of vendors. The Abbey Catering will be there, as well as some of our preferred vendors. Come and meet us on Sunday April 14th 6:30-8:00 PM. We are previewing some of our signature dishes and we’ll have Event Consultants to answer any of your questions. Don’t forget to stick around, La Jolla Cove Suites is hosting a bridal raffle! Here’s a link to find out more about this awesome event!
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
It’s no surprise to many ladies (and some gents) that getting your groom/partner excited about wedding planning can be like pulling teeth, but there are ways to get them involved and invested. For starters, you can assign them tasks that may seem small, but are really integral to the planning. Furthermore, there’s at least one aspect to the wedding (aside from the bachelor party) that really gets them pumped up, so pay attention to what gets them excited and give them some autonomy. Here are some specific ways to get that groom from sneer to cheer:
• Guys tend to be money-driven when it comes to making decisions, so have them draw up the initial wedding budget. Once it’s complete, you can review and make adjustments together.
• Unless you’re made of money, you probably have a maximum guest count you can afford to invite. Give your soon-to-be-spouse the ability to invite half of the count, so all is fair and force them to make hard decisions on who makes the cut.
• They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so let him contemplate the reception food and research potential caterers.
• Have the groom research wedding insurance policies, which some venues require and can also protect your deposits.
• If you’re inviting a lot of out-of-town guests that need accommodations, have him research and reserve hotel room blocks. He can also hire the wedding-day transportation for the bridal party as well as the guests (if the hotel is far from the wedding venue).
• Everyone needs a license to make the marriage official, so have him apply for the marriage license and make any necessary appointments.
• Although you’ve probably been very explicit on the R.S.V.P. deadline, there are always people who don’t take heed, so assign him to review the R.S.V.P. list and contact any guests who have not sent in a response for final confirmation.
• If you haven’t hired a wedding coordinator, ask him to call all of your wedding vendors and confirm all of the details. You wouldn’t want all that planning you did go to waste, right?
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
If you read my blog articles, you’ll notice I tend to offer tips and advice for planning many aspects of one’s wedding day, from the rehearsal dinner to post-reception activities. This time, I thought it would be a nice change to ask someone else for their words of wisdom that has first-hand knowledge of weddings as well, my best friend and repeat bridesmaid, Victoria. Here are a few gems she had to share:
1. Remember to try on your bridesmaid dress at least a week before the wedding day, just in case you need to make any last minute alterations. The last thing you want is an ill-fitting dress in all those wedding photos.
2. Bring a change of shoes to the wedding. Unless you’re Wonder Woman and can manage to stand in five-inch heels all day long, you’ll need a pair of flats to give those poor feet a rest.
3. If you’re getting hair and make-up done, bring a button down shirt you can easily change into and out of so you don’t mess up that fabulous face and hairdo.
4. Don’t forget to eat the day of the wedding. With all the rush and excitement of the day, many times everyone forgets to eat and nearly passes out from just standing for photos or during the ceremony. This seriously almost happened with several of the bridesmaids.
5. If the bride is going on their honeymoon directly after the wedding reception, help her pack for the trip a week before the wedding. The last thing the bride will want to do is add another to-do item from her stockpiled wedding list the day of or even right after the wedding.
6. Whether it’s the job of your wedding coordinator or a task assigned to someone in the bridal party, keep in constant communication with any hired day-of transportation. It’s one thing if guests arrive late to the ceremony, but a completely different story when the bride or bridal party doesn’t show up on time.
7. Help keep an eye on the groom and groomsmen. The guys tend to get into all sorts of shenanigans, like having a few too many shots of alcohol right before the ceremony, and no bride wants to see a bunch of sloppy groomsmen at the altar.
Posted by: Matt Berardi
It is safe to say that San Diego is home to some of the best sunsets the US has to offer. With dramatic landscapes and clear skies you can capture some memorable moments as the sun heads towards the horizon. Whether you are looking to capture that moment during your ceremony or for pictures it is important to know when the sun starts to set during each month so you don’t miss it. Here is a little help when building your timeline for your special day.
November, December, and January are months that are home to early sunsets. These months are thought to be colder, and darker because it is apart of the winter season but the reality is it really never gets that cold here. With the average sunsets happening between 4:45 pm and 5:15 pm you can build your timeline around this so by the time the sun is down you and your guest are already inside your venue enjoying refreshments and specialty food.
February, October and March are months which the sunsets range from 5:35 pm to almost 6:15 pm. From a timeline standpoint this fits best with venue rentals and most peoples eating schedules. Outdoor ceremonies typically last fifteen to twenty five minutes. Having your guests back at the venue by 6:00 pm or 6:45 pm is right around dinner time for most. These months are also beautiful and avoid the early and late dinners.
April, May, June, July, August and September are more along the lines of summer time sunsets. With times ranging from 7:00 pm to almost 8:00 pm this leaves many doors open for creating your ideal timeline. Though most of the weddings do not have ceremonies closer to sunset this allows guests to enjoy the day rather than being inside for most of the night. With outdoor ceremonies and cocktail hour happening it is a great time to capture pictures before the dinner portion starts.
Overall it’s best to be open to all months for weddings in San Diego, because lets face it, the weather really is never that bad here. We very fortunate to have such great weather year round, and the sunsets are usually always amazing. Be sure to speak to your photographer about capturing some of these moments on your special day.
Posted by: Darren T.
The la Jolla Cove Bridge Club is a beautiful and intimate venue right on the beach. The venue has many unique and beautiful options, here is a list of some pointers and policies so you know what a night at the La Jolla Bridge club entails:
- The ocean is your back drop, for pictures, mood, and theme.
- The huge grass field provides you with a platform to be used as a ceremony site of up to 150, or a reception to meet your dreams.
- The Club house can be used to host an intimate indoor reception, dance area, or seated dinning for up to 75, with a view of the ocean like no other…
- A designation for any small gathering in the heart of La Jolla.
- They don’t allow any glassware outside
- No hard liquor allowed
- No outdoor amplified music/DJ’s
This beautiful venue is located within the Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Over the years has undergone renovation to keep it modern and quaint. It has also recently had the Rifford room added on. What was once a shuffleboard court, is now a lawn surrounded by trees, bushes, and a variety of blooming flowers.
The venue offers competitive rates, and discounts on a Sunday booking. Music is limited to acoustical outside, which is perfect for any event, and a band can be set up inside. There is an onsite kitchen, small but adequate for most events. Darren is your La Jolla Cove Bridge Club Expert. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for tips, questions, and booking!
Posted by: Robert Battoe
If you are looking for an off the beaten path space to host your next event, check out the Bernardo Winery. Just 15 minutes north of San Diego, the Bernardo Winery is a century old family owned winery, that’s perfect for your next mixer or wedding. Here are some key features of this wonderful venue:
- It’s a beautiful outdoor space ideal for creating a “rustic sheik” feel without breaking the bank.
- The venue is surrounded by trees and beautiful open
- Winery has several beautiful ceremony sites to host your special day
- It boasts some of the most picturesque opportunity’s to document your day. The photo op’s are endless.
- Due to the fact that it’s inland, this venue allows for a longer season if you want to push your event a bit later in any given season.
- Ample parking allows your guests an easy in/out so it alleviates the need for shuttles or valet.
- Lastly, they are a winery! Their selections of wines are diverse and they even have their own Sparkling Brut.
Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro
If you dream of having a beach ceremony, you would naturally assume it’s a non-issue in San Diego, right?
Although beaches are aplenty, having a beach ceremony does not come without a little paperwork. Here are some helpful tips you many not have known:
- There are several shoreline parks sanctioned by the city that can be permitted for a ceremony or private event, like Calumet Park or Cuvier Park (also known as the Wedding Bowl). The permit must be obtained through Balboa Park & Recreation.
- The permits for highly desired locations are done via a lottery. This is a random drawing done once a month for the next year’s same month at the Parks & Recreation office.
- When reserving your permit through the Parks & Recreation office, you don’t have to personally be there; it’s made for out-of-stater’s to be able to fax in applications. They have the same chance of winning as those who are physically present.
- Only one permit is issued for each park per day and costs $273.
- Another point to consider is the fact the permit availability for each park area only opens one year prior to your intended date (ex. permits for July 2014 cannot be obtained until July 2013), so this can pose a problem when trying to coordinate your ceremony and venue dates.
- However, if you need to feel the sand between the toes while you’re exchanging vows, and your wedding is less than a year away; then the only beach that can be permitted year round (except for major holidays) is Windansea in La Jolla.
- Beaches like Pacific Beach and Mission Beach can be permitted only by approval of the district manager for that beach area.