Check out this article we found this week, that cracks open the social economics surrounding the institution of Marriage.

Posted by: D

November 26th, 2013 >> Other

“6 Reasons Why Black People Aren’t Getting Married”




Disclaimer: I am in fact a single, straight, educated black man who has JUST within the last few years matured enough to seriously consider marriage. Now for me its about timing and the right woman. 

There is an epidemic in The United States.  A country wide problem that threatens to destroy the very fabric of our union if we don’t get it figured out.  The problem is this; people are not getting married as often as they have in the past.  In fact, many of the people who do get married don’t stay married. The numbers say close to fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.  Selah.

My question is why? Intuitively we know marriage is a good thing.  Couples that marry have children and create families, which make strong communities, cities, states and ultimately a strong vibrant country.  Statistically speaking married people live longer, healthier, happier and wealthier lives.  Marriage is surprisingly beneficial for men.  Married men have sex more often and make up to 40% more than their single peers. Yet our generation seems to be waiting longer to get married and in many cases not at all.

The situation is substantially worse in the black community; black women are two times less likely to marry than any other ethnic group of women.  The numbers for black men are down right scary, almost twenty five percent of us will end up spending time in a jail cell. In all honesty when you look at the statistics, many of the problems within the black community can be traced to the lack of couples that marry and stay together.  But again the real issue is why.  Based on my observation and the input of friends here are six reasons.

Finances: Getting married is expensive.  In fact dating is expensive, particularly if you are a man.  The average couple spends over 26k on their wedding and that cost doesn’t include an engagement ring or honeymoon. The average cost of dinner and a movie is north of 145 dollars when you include hair cut, dinner, tip, drinks, movie tickets and popcorn…and I didn’t include taxi(for us Chicagoans and New Yorkers) or gas.  It takes cold hard cash to date and get married.  And if you look at the fact that less than 20 percent of black men advance to college and only a third of those graduate you start to see how this plays out.  The average salary for a black man with no college degree is $18,396 a year.  Its hard to pay 145 dollars for a date on that salary let alone pay 1.5 times it for a wedding.  As a side note: Ladies, men are usually happiest when we are satisfied with our career direction and financial state…dating a man with issues in those areas is usually problematic.

empty wallet

Too Many Choices: For the fellas that are in a practical position to date and marry choosing who to date can be tough.  There are many choices and it can be hard to figure out who is for you.  I call it the “candy store effect”. Even the most God fearing and well intentioned man can find himself entertaining too many “friends” if he isn’t careful.  This causes a completely different set of problems. 1) Men don’t really pursue women like they should…because somewhere some woman is pursuing them. 2) Men can become selfish, seeing women they date as a commodity that can be replaced when the situation requires. 3) Women become objects and trophies to be collected. The only cure for this is maturity, Jesus and a renewed mind towards relationships.  The unfortunate thing is that it takes time for that to happen. Many black men aren’t ready for marriage until there late 20’s and most in there 30’s.

Lack of Maturity: It’s a sad fact but most black boys grow up without a father in the home.  According to the US census, 75 percent of black children will spend some portion of their childhood without a father in the house.  It’s hard to mature into something you’ve never seen.  Additionally the media (music, videos, radio) in our community define a man as a testosterone driven, misogynist who’s main goal in life is the pursuit of pleasure the consumption of more alcohol, more toys and more women. Look at the most popular rappers and athletes to see my point. Many boys grow up trying to emulate that type of man; the rappers they see on television without even knowing it.  The sad part is they are often successful in doing it.  It’s just too bad that type of a man doesn’t value marriage.


Too Much Baggage: The lack of a healthy marriage in the home doesn’t just affect young men.  In fact, it may be difficult for women to identify the traits of a good future father and husband as a result.  This means that many women make poor choices in who they date and are hurt because of the experience.  Often times the damage is carried into the next relationship with similar consequences.  Unfortunately many of these women never understand that the issue is not that good men aren’t available.  The problem is actually that they don’t have the internal discernment to identify a good future mate.  That kind of intuition can only be passed from father to daughter.  Many times they prefer the immature man without even knowing it…passing over many “good” men in the process.

Fear: Personally I define fear as faith based on bad experiences or information.  Unfortunately because so many of our families had bad experiences with relationships and marriage we fear it.  We internalize the pain and frustration we saw so many loved ones go through and shy away from marriage as a result.  For men oftentimes we see it as restriction and loss of freedom.  Many women see it as pain; submitting to a man who ultimately may hurt them emotionally.  It’s a tragedy in the classic sense when you think about it.


Young man waiting for date

Dating Poorly: My pastor used to tell us that dating was to collect data on a future mate.  He also would say if you weren’t ready to be married, then why date? In today’s day and age, dating is less about finding a life long mate and more about selfish pursuits in the now.  Let me explain.  Some women are going out to dinner because they are bored, hungry or just want to get out the house.  They aren’t looking to focus their attention on learning about the guy.  As a consequence they aren’t asking the right questions to identify traits of a good husband and father.  We already know what most men want and even if it isn’t sex, they want the attention from the woman and could care less about her being a good wife or mother.

Conclusion: What if we decided to change? What if we changed our focus? What if we made it popular to be married? Making it a point that Sean Carter and Beyonce aren’t just “together” but they are married and then had a child.  What if we saw Barack and Michelle as more than just the first couple, but as blue prints to design our life after? What if women were open and decided that they would learn how to identify a good man instead of screaming that they don’t exist.  What if we did a better job educating our young men instead of labeling so many “emotionally disabled” at a young age? Then they would have a fighting chance in life and be able to afford marriage.  Fellas what if we decided that central to manhood was the ability to love and cherish one woman…as a wife? What if we stopped honoring the rappers and singers who blatantly objectify women?  If we did this, things would change.  We would see marriage levels rebound within our community and our social ills decline.   The United States itself would be strengthened if we got married more often.

“What do you think?”

Comment down below, and share your thoughts on this article!


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Coronado Community Center

Posted by: D

November 12th, 2013 >> Community Involvement, Coordination, Creative Options, Design, Events, Other, Preferred Venues, Promotions, Venues

Since I first started coordinating weddings in San Diego, there has been one particular space that I have loved more than any other; The Coronado Community Center, which I may like to add, has recently opened the doors to their Club House and gifted us with the privilege of being the first vendor within this much desirable space.  Both of these venue selections are each doubly desirable to myself and to prospective couples.



The Club boasts picturesque views of the water and downtown skyline, flexibility for guests that reserve their rooms, & a fabulous kitchen that allows you to create just about any Menu you could dream of.  And let us not forget one of the most picture perfect ceremony sites that San Diego has to offer!


To commemorate our 15th year and 3rd as #1 Wedding Caterer in San Diego. The Abbey Catering is offering a special for all couples that reserve our services at the Coronado Community Center. Anyone that secures  full service Catering from November 1st 2013 to June 1st 2014, can take advantage of 100 complimentary Wooden Folding Chairs for their ceremony or reception. It’s just our little way to say thank you to the Community Center and the City of Coronado, and to all of our lovely couples that we will be working with for the upcoming 2014 Season. Upgrades are available, see one of our consultants today to discuss your day.


So, happy planning everybody-& Ill see you on the aisle:)





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Looking For A Venue You Will Love? Try #SDMA

Posted by: D

November 5th, 2013 >> Other

Love at first sight… some of us get to experience it once in our lifetimes. We fall in love,  we plan our future, and of course we plan our wedding.  The San Diego Museum of Art is one of the few venues you will look at and  have you falling in love at first sight from the moment you step in through the door, if you have been searching for a venue rich with culture, with a splash of elegance, that does not inhibit you from adding your own personal touch; then search no more! The San Diego Museum of Art has both beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, incredible architecture, and makes for a truly unique and memorable setting for a wedding. Your guests will relish in having the opportunity to see the outstanding art galleries that are the pride of balboa. The Museum’s architecture also makes for some amazing photos for you and your guests to add to your own collections! The San Diego Museum of Art has a location for every type of event for your wedding in it’s different rooms and open spaces; that will be sure to leave you and your guest breathless!







Things to remember when having a wedding where there will be different locations for the ceremony, dinner, and reception:






  • Make sure that you adequately staff your event, there are so many factors involved with insuring we create your vision accurately.  With so much  ground to cover comes a lot of physical and time consuming demands; every member of our catering staff is a vital part of our team, and we all share 1 simple goal, to make your special day your Dream come true. Adding an additional server or two might not seem necessary but the difference an additional set of hands can make is night and day!
  • Guest count will make all the difference on how many staff members you will need.  You want to make sure that your guests are well taken care of.
  • Take advantage of the natural beauty of the grounds and its surroundings. Sometimes less is more, however don’t be afraid to ask your coordinator to help you brainstorm on creative ways to add to the evening.
  • Always depend on your coordinator and trust them indefinitely.  To ensure a successful evening always ask your coordinator for their  advice. They are there not solely for their creativity with planning and decor, but also for their vast experience gained from executing hundreds of amazing events. They want your special day, to be perfect just as badly as you do!

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#Wedding background: #SanDiego Skyline!

Posted by: Robert Battoe

October 10th, 2013 >> Coordination, Creative Options, Design, Events, Party Tips, Tips, Wedding Tips, Weddings

With every bride and groom I meet, there is a constant high level of demand to execute the perfect San Diego wedding.The demand comes certainly from vision, ideal investment, and availability. One new trend I’m enjoying currently is creating my clients complete reception from scratch which includes picking the perfect backdrop, the San Diego skyline.


I recently had a beautiful wedding that needed to be designed and executed within 6 weeks. Short notice can easily complicate things and can certainly create unique challenges that you normally wouldn’t have in a longer time frame. Challenges like finding the right space, understanding whom to retrieve proper permits from and what you need to attain them, and how to execute within the parameters of said permit can be daunting.

La Jolla Abbey Catering Event Wedding

So the first step after considering a space is to get a full proposal based on your  rentals needs.  Based on the time of year, you may want a tent which will be the biggest investment. Tents range from $1400 for under 100 guests to several thousand. Then there are the basics like tables and chairs, dancefloor, lighting, generators etc. Electricity for lighting & music can be complex, make sure you arrange your needs with a specialist. Other weather considerations are elements like heaters or umbrellas. So , while the permit itself may feel like peanuts, expect to spend the same as a standard reception venue.

La Jolla Abbey Catering Wedding Event

Then you need to focus on guest experience. Obviously when you’re planning your wedding , the day is about you. But every invited guest is on that list for a reason. They all impacted your lives in some way making you the perfect person for each other when you met. To ensure guests are happy, check into accessibility for older or handicapped guests, make parking arrangements, and consider proximity to hotels.






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What to expect when securing a unique but remote #Wedding #Venue

Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro

October 3rd, 2013 >> Coordination, Creative Options, Events, Party Tips, Tips, Venues, Wedding Tips

abbey catering wedding event


Recently, one of my friends got married at a beautiful barn in Julian. From the ceremony to the food to the décor, the wedding was absolutely amazing and the venue fit all the items she was looking for: unique, rustic, and not in metro San Diego. As a matter of fact, her wedding was only the second one that had been held there. Like many other brides, finding “a hidden jewel” of a venue like she did is highly desirable, but can bring interesting challenges you should be prepared for that most traditional venues may not face. Here are some of things to expect when you’re securing a unique, but remote venue:



• At a remote venue like a barn, ample sources of power may be an issue, so it’s important to determine all of your power needs, including those of your vendors (i.e. caterer, DJ, etc.). If your venue does not have enough power, then you may need to invest in a generator.
• If your venue is like the one I went to in Julian, you may need to research and invest in portable restrooms. Be sure to rent enough to handle your guest count, because long lines at the restroom make for crabby people.
• Generally, remote or rustic venues are landscaped with grass, dirt, and loose gravel, so warn the ladies in heels and either provide or have them bring heel protectors. The ladies may even want to bring some flats to wear towards the end of the night, particularly for dancing.

abbey catering wedding eventabbey catering wedding event










• Most likely, your venue may not have an established kitchen facility, so be sure your caterer is prepared to bring in all the items and equipment they need to create a mobile kitchen on site.
• One venue I’ve worked with was not searchable on Google maps, so if that’s the case for your wedding, then provide easy driving directions for your guests. If you want to go the extra mile, then put up signs along the route directing your guests toward the venue.
• Don’t forget to give your guests a list of local hotels and transportation options, especially if they’re not familiar with the area.






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Planning your #Wedding day; It’s elementary my dear!

Posted by: Robert Battoe

September 5th, 2013 >> Abbey Vendors, Coordination, Creative Options, Design, Events, Party Tips, Tips, Wedding Tips

Abbey Catering Wedding La Jolla Event




One of the strongest trends in weddings for 2014 are the use of the four elements, water, earth, wind, & fire. Aside from the spiritual use of these aesthetics, they offer a unique way of customizing your day. A lot of couples bring aspects of their first meeting or date into their wedding day using these concepts. Just keep in mind through the planning you need to consider the venues rules and regulations pertaining to your projected vision.



Water- This is a great ways to spruce up your day, add a mobile free standing waterfall or fountain. They’re easy to find or fabricate and a nice way to add some interest to your day. Both movement and the soothing sound can make a great centerpiece or back drop for images.


Wedding Event Abbey Catering La Jolla




Earth- Use of dirt or clay may seem a little messy or on the rustic side of things but I’ve designed weddings that can easily incorporate this element and maintain an elegant flare. Line clear vessels with dirt, colored clay, or rock  to give dimension to centerpieces. Use of planter boxes is also popular right now filled with dirt , rock and a variety of plants. They can be used as centerpieces or in longer planter boxes to create space, section areas ect. There are copious amounts of ways to spread your roots in fertile ground!


La Jolla Abbey Catering Event Wedding





Wind- I know what you might be thinking: Using industrial fans to blow your guests away? In reality, spots all around San Diego have nice and breezy venues. These spots are amazing for guests that are not acclimated to the San Diegan heat in the summers, and gentle winds are more kinder on the hair than you think ladies! Fresh ocean air breezing through your reception, really adds a substantial value to your day!


La Jolla Event Wedding Abbey Catering





Fire- This is going to be the most tricky one to include and is a very venue-based decision. Small fire pits or fireplaces can be bought or rented. Of course candles are an easy way to get the heat going and even torches. One of my favorite examples was one of my clients first met at a bon fire so they incorporated candles and outdoor brazers on their special day. You can always go faux torch or candles if live flame is out of the question.


These are just a few ways to add elements to your day. Call me if you’re looking for any other ideas or concepts- They sky is the limit!




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Preferred #Venue: The Coronado Club Room!

Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro

August 26th, 2013 >> Coordination, Creative Options, Design, Events, Preferred Venues, Tips, Wedding Tips, Weddings

Earlier this month, we had the distinct pleasure of catering the first private event at a new venue in Coronado called The Coronado Club Room, for the wedding of a lovely and beautiful couple, Arran and Lucy. After guests walked to the venue from the beach ceremony in Coronado, guests enjoyed gourmet hors d’oeuvres and a full bar with a specialty cocktail of blood orange and champagne.

Abbey Catering La Jolla Wedding Event

The menu included delectable items like spicy shrimp gazpacho shooters, mini filet wellingtons with a horseradish crème fraiche, and goat cheese and chorizo quesadillas with a chipotle aioli. Pow Wow Vintage Rentals provided beautiful wooden tables and chairs with décor to add an intimate and heavenly element to the wedding. Guests were entertained by the classic rock styling of Ron’s Garage Band.

Wedding Catering La Jolla Event Abbey
The architectural and modern space has gorgeous views of the Coronado Bay and Bridge and perfect for a party of 75 people or less. It includes some basic equipment rentals, likes tables and chairs, provided via the Coronado Community Center. The venue is located at 1985 Strand Way, and events can only be booked on Saturdays until 3pm or all day on Sundays. For more information, don’t hesitate to call one of The Abbey Catering’s event consultants at (888) 238-0949.

Event Wedding Abbey Catering La Jolla


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Selling #wedding gifts: a faux pas or common place?

Posted by: Jo Anne

August 16th, 2013 >> Client Testimonials, Coordination, Design, Trends, Weddings

A new study found that an amazing 82% of newly married couples are planning on selling at least some of their wedding gifts.

Event Wedding Abbey Catering La Jolla Gifts

What do you think about this? Is this something you would consider?

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Bringing the garden theme indoors

Posted by: Robert Battoe

August 8th, 2013 >> Coordination, Creative Options, Design, Events, Party Tips, Tablescapes, Tips, Trends, Wedding Tips, Weddings

Two strong factors can present obstacles for selecting that perfect garden venue for your wedding reception. The first being inflexibility on dates & availability. The other being that most of San Diego’s wedding venues book 12-14 months prior to the wedding date. With other brides gunning for your perfect venue, if you don’t plan ahead, it becomes a very stressful endeavor. So if your time line doesn’t enable you to book your outdoor venue, here are some great ways to bring the outdoors inside!


1. It seems pretty simple but your centerpieces-wildflowers or even roses to can create a garden theme. Over sized centerpieces are a great way to add all those outdoor colors to your table side.


2. Succulents-Very popular last year and still going strong. There are a variety of colors & shapes of this very hearty plant and they make great arrangements and can be used as accents. The great thing is your guests can take them home regardless of a lack of a green thumb, would be hard-pressed to kill them.

succulent Bouquet-22

3. Live Plants & Trees- Renting or buying potted plants or trees , even hedges can really spruce up your ceremony & reception. You can use them to create spaces while still looking dynamic. If you rent them you don’t have the hassle of lugging them back & forth but if purchased, you can recycle them or gift them to your guests.IMG_7393

4. Moss or Grass Installations-Moss can be used as an accompaniment to arrangements or in border boxes to the room or on auxiliary tables. Grass can boxed in cubes and used to create intricate designs on the floor of your hall or ballroom or even on your ceremony isle.


5. Edible Floral- Bring your garden theme to your food & beverage. Any noteworthy San Diego caterer can give you tons of options for integrating edible floral into appetizers, entrees, or craft cocktails.


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Adding flare to your #Wedding or Private #Event

Posted by: Marvin Hanashiro

August 2nd, 2013 >> Coordination, Creative Options, Design, Events, Party Tips, Tips, Wedding Tips, Weddings

Finding the right elements to add to your San Diego wedding or private event can be tricky, since it can be a constant battle between selecting something that is unique, fits your vision, and doesn’t break the bank. Here are some ideas that may be silly and even a little flamboyant, but are sure to wow your guests:


• Instead of a DJ or band, hire a choir or chorus to provide some entertainment for your wedding. What could be more grand or campy than that? They could provide music for everything from the pre-ceremony to your first dance. Here’s a visual: think of Stanford and Anthony’s wedding in the movie, “Sex & The City 2″.
• At a wedding, the sound of glasses clinking is always the cue for the newlyweds to kiss. Why not even the playing field a bit by calling out other married couples throughout the dinner to kiss in front of everyone as well?
• When you’re sending out your wedding invitations, ask guests to write a song that will get them out of their seat to dance. At the right time, play those songs and make the guests get on the dance floor and break out their best moves.
• Station a search light outside your venue to bring attention to the wedding or private event, like a big Hollywood movie premiere. That will definitely bring attention to your event and have passersby wondering, “What’s going on there and why wasn’t I invited?”
• Although it may be more appropriate during a cocktail party, organize a scavenger hunt at a rehearsal dinner or corporate function to provide an interactive element and encourage guests to mingle. Some of the items on the scavenger hunt should encourage people to talk to one another, like having to find three people with the same initial as your first name or revealing people’s special or odd talents. Get creative and have with it!

• Finding the perfect wedding favor may seem impossible, but what do you get those VIP wedding guests, like your best man or maid of honor? Depending on their taste, consider gifting them a monthly subscription to a book, beer, or wine club, or go with a subscription with companies like Birchbox ( With every monthly Birchbox, your friend will receive a selection of beauty, grooming, and lifestyle-related samples from various companies. As a Birchbox member myself, I always look forward to what my box is going to contain each month. This month, I received everything from lip balm to a canvas grilling apron.


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