Post # 1
Hello! I’m LDub and I’m a first time poster. I know SQUAT about weddings, was never a girl to dream about her wedding day and infact never even planned on getting married one day!! Well, here I am…Fiance stole my heart and now I’m starting to plan! 🙂 We have been engaged since December but have been trying to save up cash before we start planning. We haven’t picked a date yet but thinking sometime in the next 10 months or so.
We are toying with the idea of a small, intimate (approx. 25 homies or so) ceremony and reception in San Diego on a limited budget (we’re paying for the whole shebang!). We live in TX but Fiance grandparents and my sister and brother-in-law are all west coast folks, so we thought it would be easiest to do it this way for everyone. Not to mention, we arent too thrilled with any local venues in the area. For this post, let’s just focus on the ceremony!
Fiance is a “doer” and i’m a “thinker”. He says we should just show up on a beach and knock it out… *insert smirk and eye roll here please*. I would like to plan it out a little better than THAT! Ha 🙂 I’m just not too sure where to start. I’ve googled my butt off about beach weddings and have come across a few sites, but nothing that really interested me.
The vision is, we have our small ceremony on a beach, possibly followed by a bonfire and beer shindig and then hoof our way over to a resturaunt for our reception. I guess my first question would be, can we just get a marriage license and hop to it on any beach we please? I’m not too concerned about onlookers or even people walking by the wedding. The more the merrier, as long as I’m not feeding them! 🙂 I won’t be having chairs, any kind of altar or even decorations. However, I am concerned about breaking any laws! I would hate to just show up and then have a cop come running up in the middle of the ceremony telling us we have to move along! I’m also wondering, is it legal to bring beer on the beach? Is it legal to have a bonfire? Are there certain beaches that might provide bonfire pits or is this something we would need to construct ourselves?? Lastly, any suggestions on a certain beach we should look into?
Okay, now I’m laughing at myself. After reading over this I sound like such a dork!! Please keep in mind that I have NO idea what I’m doing and I’m not girly in the least bit…and possibly somewhat trashy! HELP ME!!!! 🙂
Post # 3
I would really recommend that you find a wedding coordinator in the area. They will likely have relationships with vendors that you’ll benefit from, and they will be able to take a lot of the stress out of the planning process for you.
I would consider checking out a couple of hotels that have a private beach. We had a bride that just had to get married in Key West once. WHile the ceremony was great, there was a homeless guy sleeping on the picnic table right next to the ceremony. There’s a lot to be said for having a private beach.
Post # 4
I would most definitely check into the website Bridalinsider: http://www.bridalinsider.com. If you’re planning a wedding in San Diego, you most definitely need to be using the Bridalinsider because it is THE resource for all San Diego Brides. You will find wedding reviews from real Brides on their experiences and being a former SD Bride, it saved my sanity and my pocketbook.
Post # 6
Drinking is not longer allowed on San Diego beaches, so be aware of that. I do think their might be one San Diego area beach that does allow it, but I’m not 100% certain. You may want to Google San Diego laws in terms of your ceremony. If your ON the beach, and its a quick and small ceremony with no chairs, altar or decorations to disrupt the normal public use of the beach, then I wouldn’t think they would make you get a permit for that. Many beaches offer bonfire pits, but not alcohol. You can also Google San Diego beaches that have bonfire areas.
As for the BEST beaches, I would HIGHLY recommend La Jolla, Torrey Pines or Del Mar. Those are my favorites, but they also tend to be the busiest, so you really wouldn’t have to mind that kids, people, dogs, surfers, etc would be all around you.
I know your on a budget, so a wedding coordinator probably wouldn’t be the best thing to do financially. I’m sure if you found the restaurant you want the reception at, they could give you insight as to the local vendors. For flowers, I would suggest going to Vons grocery store for your bouquets and boutineers. I have heard great things about them, and plan on using them myself as well.
Post # 7
The wedding bowl in La Jolla is STUNNING and would be a perfect size for the amount of guests you are having. Also, Powerhouse Beach in Del Mar has a great park area that you can reserve, a community center you can rent (comes with tables and chairs and you can bring in any caterer you want! And it has space for both the ceremony and reception, and is right on the beach!). Those are my two favorite “beach” spots. We actually almost had our wedidng at the Powerhouse Community Center!
Post # 8
@crayfish: I almost had mine at Powerhouse as well! It turned out it was to small for our guest list, but it was always my dream to have my ceremony and reception there.
Post # 9
Remember if you’re going to rent at the parks during peak months (June, July and August) you will need to enter into a lottery at the beginning of the month 1 year before the month you plan to get married at. Places like the Wedding Bowl are super coveted and I was told that some times at the SD parks Office (near Balboa Park) people get into real fights over dates. The price to rent at a SD park is $250, which is SUPER reasonable. But then you have to think about chair set up and all that and renting chairs and etc can get super pricey. I looked into it.
I got married at MCASD La Jolla location and rented just the pocket park for $600. That included an event manager, full chair set up and security guard. You do pay like $250 for insurance (which you get back in the end) and if you want av it’s another $100. For the location, which is in Downtown La Jolla and right across from the Wedding Bowl, it was a great deal. Here’s a link: http://mcasd.org/about/host-your-event. I did book my wedding in 2008 so I do not know if that is currently the same price. And since your wedding is going to be small, you can look at the local restaurants to see what they do. I heard George’s (Super fancy and tasty place) is actually affordable for a lunch reception.
Post # 10
Thank you for the feedback! We have had a change of heart as to where we will be holding the wedding and reception, but I hope this post can at least help other ladies looking for the same thing I was!
Post # 11
I second Torrey Pines and la jolla. Personally I think La Jolla cove is goregous! There are also quite a few nice restaraunts in the area! Another nice area is Coronado or SeaPort Village (only thing is it’s more bay like not ocean) but still very pretty!