Art is defined as “the expression and application of human creative skill and imagination.” In catering and event planning, the presence of this application is obvious in the details of the design, décor, food and talent. What most will never see, though, is the art of the performance taking place behind the scenes.
The moment a client signs with us it sets into motion a precisely organized ballet between our designers, captains, management and staff that is critical to the success of the event. If any one of our players is misinformed, or out of sync with the others, it could spell disaster. Because we know that nothing is more sacred than your special day, at The Abbey, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to fuse our art, with the latest technology, in order to ensure that we deliver the best events in Southern California, every single time.
To most, a great event is one in which each moment flows seamlessly into the next. From the ceremony, to cocktail hour and into dinner and dancing, the changes are so flawless that you don’t even notice them taking place. But without the right staff doing the jobs they are best at, it would be impossible to achieve. Scheduling our staff was difficult, costly, and time consuming.
Solution: This is why our company has initiated the use of an employee scheduling app to handle all of our staff scheduling.
“Schedulehead” helps us by keeping track of our staff and automating our employee schedules. This is good for our clients as well, since it allows us to spend less time behind the desk and more time working to create perfect events.
By staying at the forefront of technology, The Abbey is able to bring the art of flawless execution to any of your occasions. Whether you’re throwing a party at the office, having an intimate dinner at your home or happily getting married, we’re here to make sure it’s nothing less than perfect.
People are always searching for fun and interesting ways to help make their wedding more personal and unique. Besides using specific wedding themes, colors, or decor, consider incorporating culture and cultural activities into the day’s events to give you and your guests something extra!
If there is a long gap scheduled between the ceremony and reception, take advantage of this time and give your guests a short itinerary of activities to help keep them occupied. One idea is to organize a scavanger hunt that will give your guests the opportunity to explore some of your favorite sites, including personal tidbits along the way. If you’re in an area with museums and galleries, like Balboa Park, map out a walking tour for your guests or even pre-pay admission to some of your favorite venues.
Music is another great way to incorporate culture into your wedding. If you’re looking to pay homage to your cultural background, hire a relevant band to play during your wedding. One of my couple’s had an Irish bagpiper and drummer play during their cocktail hour, whereas other couples had a Mariachi band and Japanese drum circle perform during the reception. Along the same lines of a band performing during your wedding, consider hiring a cultural dance troupe as a lavish spectacle for the reception.
Social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, are a great way to catch up with and keep tabs on friends and associates, as well as kill time when you’re procrastinating at the office. They can also be a great wedding planning resource for ideas, advice, and referrals. Whether some of these are yesterday’s news or brand new to you, here is a small list of social media sites full of wedding info:
Facebook: Many wedding vendors have business pages potential clients can peruse for ideas, event photos, and even reviews. Look through the business’ news feed and pay particular attention to the “Recommendations” section.
Google: Although everyone knows how to use a search engine when researching possible vendors (and admittedly not necessarily a social media outlet), some of the search results on Google will also yield a “Google review” link embedded within the description which you can reference as an additional source of reviews.
Pinterest: Whether you’re searching for the perfect food recipe, style ideas, or random photos, Pinterest is a great way to connect with others who are also wedding planning and to see what they have “pinned” to their wedding boards as inspiration.
Spotify: Music is one of the keys to a great party, so use this social media and streaming music site mixed-into-one to find full versions of the songs you may choose for your first dance or intend to dance to during the reception.
Twitter and Instagram: Maybe it’s just me, but seeing a constant barrage of hashtags on your friend’s status updates or photos can be borderline annoying. But doing a specific search for hashtags like #wedding, #weddinginfo, #weddingtips, and even #wedspiration can yield a useful and bountiful amount of tips, photos, and links to great wedding websites.
Yelp: Arguably the biggest and best source for business reviews and tips, Yelp should be one of the first places you visit for local wedding info. Also do a search for wedding info in “Fresh Lists”.
Finding a venue for your San Diego wedding or private event is probably the single most important factor when it comes to wedding or event planning, since each San Diego venue dictates much of how your event will unfold. This can be an arduous task, since many people are trying to find the perfect balance between what a venue offers as well as cost. To help you in your search, here are some more tips to consider when shopping for the perfect venue:
1. Have a clear understanding on what’s included in the venue fee. Ask about rental hours, time limitations, equipment rentals, and any extra costs. Extra costs can be items like required security for events and even liability insurance purchased by all parties for the protection of the venue.
2. Decide if it’s important to have your venue in a metropolitan area, close to local attractions and hotels, or if you’re into something more rustic and secluded. The former can create an ease and great convenience for your guests, but the latter may instill a more intimate and exclusive environment for them as well.
3. Does the venue have a preferred list of caterers or other wedding professionals you must contract with for your event? Keep this in mind when formulating your budget for several reasons: a) some caterers have food and beverage minimums, no matter the size of your guest count, and b) some venues have exclusive beverage caterers and rental vendors, so you’re stuck with paying their costs no matter what.
4. When you’re deciding on your guest count and matching it up with the venue’s capacity, keep in mind the amount of space your vendors may also use in the area for items like food and beverage tables, and entertainment (like the DJ). For example, your venue may have a capacity of 200 guests but your guest count is lower at 175. However, if you go with a buffet-style dinner, the food tables may take up space that is needed for guest seating. This is why it can be beneficial to bring your wedding coordinator or even your caterer with your when exploring venues so you have a second eye and professional opinion.
5. Although it goes without saying, double check what type of contingency plans are set in case of inclement weather, particularly if your ceremony and reception will be in a fully outdoor venue.
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.
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.
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!
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:)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.