Location is everything!

So we’ve got our anniversary date picked and our wedding city. How about some actual decisions that involve vendors? Indeed. A good place to start. Let’s start with some of the biggest and most expensive shall we?

Dun dun dun (hear the musical notes?)

Venue! Wait, no! VenueS, with an “s”.  At least it became Venues in the end. (now there’s a little foreshadowing for you. Onward shall we?)

We knew what we wanted, the trick was to find it within a reasonable price point.

Location Critiera

1. We wanted something close to the beach. The whole point of having a San Diego wedding was to give our out of town guests a vacation.

2. We really wanted a location where guests could stay and we could have our civil ceremony. FSIL had her wedding at a hotel in Phoenix years ago and everyone loved it because it felt like a family reunion weekend. We really wanted to recreate this feeling.

3. Cost effective. This is a difficult task during peak summer months in a vacation hot spot.

4. Not too far from airport (and later our reception location).

Knowing these critieria, I did what any good modern day bride does. I hit the internet and scoured it for ideas. And I created excel sheet after excel sheet to break down the costs and compare across different locations.

A total side note: Remember the Vietnamese thing? Yeah, this is when all the fighting began between Mama Dearest and I. She, the traditionalist, HAD to have a Chinese reception at Jasmine Seafood Restauarnt for her closest 350 friends and family. And I do mean HAD TO HAVE! Even if I suggested a different Chinese restaurant, it was unacceptable. Papa Dearest, on the other hand, thought it was neat and interesting to have something “different” and not typical for a Vietnamese bride. One thing both Mama and Papa dearest were concerned about were food options. They really felt that it was important to provide “good” food and not just a slab of chicken and some vegetables. This was merely the start to the cultural battles that ensued.

Ok back on track. So I explored options around San Diego befitting of a large wedding within budget. HA! I laugh remembering my naivete about wedding planning. With our prior criteria and now an additional criteria of having a large wedding with good food, we started looking at hotels. O – M – G. Not a good idea if you want to have any kind of budget friendly wedding.

Mama and Papa Dearest suggested we look into the Hyatt Regency La Jolla because they had attended a beautiful wedding there that served yummy food. Beautiful indeed! Fits 600 people. Price per person way too high! C’est la vie. Beauty comes with a price my friends.

At this point in our internet searching, we realized that we would likely need to have a Chinese banquet reception in order to accommodate the number of guests my parents desired and still have a reasonable cost per person. Then I came upon the great sites. A light bulb went off with this discovery!

Vacation Rentals by Owners and Beachfront Only Vacation Rentals. YES! Talk about scoring. We could try to rent a large house (i.e., mansion .. hello… sweet!). Our out of town guests could stay there, we could have a small civil ceremony there. It was a brilliant idea. Using just the internet, we narrowed it down to 2 choices.


Option 1: The Grand Beachfroom Rooftop Wedding that sleeps 60 in 4 condo units with 20 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms. The only major glitch with this site was it’s location. It’s pretty far from the airport and north of the city. This site is across the street from the beach!

Option 2: Ocean View Villas which sleeps 30 in 5 condo units. Each condo unit has a full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, and a pull out sofa bed. This group also owns a house across the street that sleeps an additional 16. The glitch here is the fewer number of beds. This site boosts it’s own private beach!


We actually only ended up looking at one of these, fell in love, and booked it.

Which one do you think we chose?


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