Monthly Archives: November 2013

Party Rentals (Part 3)

Our last visit was to K&J Rentals in Point Loma.

This place we visited because of the cheapest prices of all of them.  But it also had the worst of the Yelp reviews, mostly due to lack of communication from the owner, Emily.  However, since Emily answered the phone each time I called (three times), I felt this was worth a second look.  Someone had commented that her business was growing, and this may just be growing pains.  Plus, folks on Yelp are crazy and fully too entitled and lack any understanding, so I don’t pay much attention.


We met Emily at our appointment time and she was there and ready.  It’s a small showroom, but everything was displayed.

K&J offers plastic tables instead of the wooden ones of the other places, which we liked.  They were sturdier and thicker.


However, the plates and silverware were mismatched on the table — like three were one pattern, two were another, etc.  This did at least show us they had variety, but didn’t assure either of us that this isn’t what would show up at our venue.

One thing that was of note was Emily’s surprise that we were two men getting married.  When we walked in, she physically looked out the door and asked if there was anyone else (implying a woman).  I said no, it was just us.  She asked which of us was the groom.  I said that we were both grooms.  She laughed, but it wasn’t comfortable laughter.  It’s as though she didn’t know that gays could now get married, and we were certainly her first couple of customers.

The negatives were that Emily didn’t have a computer to write up a quote.  Even though we had an appointment, there was nothing we could take in writing with us.  The prices are MUCH cheaper, and we were told she’d email a quote so we gave her our email address.  She then asked if we could email her and she’d email one back tomorrow.

It hasn’t arrived even though her offices are closed, and I’ll let you know if it does.  We weren’t impressed that she didn’t seem prepared for us with a computer and a quote.  But the prices were lower enough per item (significantly) that we knew we’d be much more equipped to stay within our budget and perhaps put more towards our photographer and caterer, big expenses and our next ones to tackle.

So now we had to make a decision — who would we choose for our party rentals of our $10K Gay Wedding?


Party Rentals (Part 2)

Our second visit was to Patty’s Linens Rentals in National City.


We also didn’t have an appointment (same thing, phone call said just come in).  We were immediately greeted by Patty’s daughter, also named Patty (Patricia).   Since we already had a list now from San Diego Party Rentals, this could have gone faster, but it didn’t.  This isn’t a complaint.  Patricia set up an entire table for us so we could go through tablecloth lengths; she brought out EVERY color of napkin and cloth they offered and we did side by side comparisons.  This was so helpful!


Also, this company had just finished a wedding in the Spanish Village Arts Center, and Patricia showed us about 50 pictures she took of the event as they had set it up.  She offered us assurances that there was plenty of space for the tables and ideas of where things could go.

She even stayed with us half hour after they closed on this Saturday (1pm).  She never even tried to rush us.

The quote for this same list was closer to $1400, but it would include the set up of each table completely.  They do not offer price matching, though, so that price was firm.

Trying to be as budget conscious as we could, we knew we’d have to consider each carefully to make sure we stayed under $10,000.  We certainly also considered how great our time was with Patricia and how comfortable she made us feel.

One more place to check out.

The ‘Party Rentals’ – customer service is king!

So our venue, the Spanish Village Arts Center, would require us to bring in every little thing that we needed.   This caused a huge amount of brainstorming as we thought about things as small as drink stirrers and trash bags (and trash cans!)

We looked for affordable party rental companies with decent reviews and chose three.

Our first stop: San Diego Party Rentals


We visited this place, down in Chula Vista, without an appointment (I had called but was told no appointment was necessary).  What they didn’t mention was that their showroom was being renovated, so there was very little ready to be shown.  Each request required the employee to go in the backroom and bring out an item.   We weren’t in a rush (estimate an hour per quote) so it was fine, but it could have been easier.

For 100 people, including:

Chairs: Resin, padded white

Tables: 12 60″ round tables, half moon table for the grooms

Table Cloths: 13 Table Cloths

Napkins: 100

Silverware: 100 Dinner fork, dinner knife, dinner spoon, dessert fork

Dishes: 100 Dinner plates, dessert plates, salad plates,

Glasses: 100 Water, 60 Wine, 60 beer

13 Salt and Pepper shakers

Delivery, Set up, After hours pick up and break down

This quote came to $1237.00.

The woman who helped us was very nice, very patient, and typed out a quote for us as we watched.  They even price match + 5%, so it may benefit you to get multiple quotes first before going there.  However, their set up only included the set up of chairs and tables, not the dishes and settings; that would be left to our (to be found) coordinator.

Who’s next?

Location Found!

A priority for us, especially living in a new city, was to find a place that we had an emotional attachment to, something that was important to us.

balboa_park_aerial_rendering_south_01_27_11_lgBalboa Park is that place.

We live on the border. It’s where we walk. It’s where we enjoy ourselves. It has awesome museums that are free on Tuesdays.



Our two favorite spots in Balboa Park, that we frequent often and show off to visiting friends, is the Rose Garden and the Spanish Village Arts Center.




A place we loved, beautiful, perfect for photos and acoustics.  We called Parks and Rec for the park, went to their nearby office, filled out a form, ran a credit card, and for $273, the Rose Garden was ours for a ceremony!

What about the reception?  Not included on the Balboa Park Website is the Spanish Village Arts Center.  It’s the most colorful place we’ve seen here — it was made for a fiesta.



Balboa-Park-Colorful-Engagement-ShootThis is not us, but there are cute spots for photos!

We loved it!  We always had.  How happy we were to find out that it was available for weddings!  We called, we met, we toured, and we signed.  $2900 for 7 hours, we get to bring in absolutely everything.  We pick the food, the tables, the music, the bar…  we wouldn’t be forced into anything.  Just how we wanted it.

Locations for ceremony and reception — DONE!

Expenses so far:



Total:  $3173.00

Left:  $6827.00

Whew!  A third of our budget gone, but on two big ticket items that we love!

What’s next?  Music? Food? What we’ll wear?  Yup, all of it.  Stay tuned!

Colin and John

Location, Location, Location!

We jumped right into locations.  We wanted to provide a destination wedding for our guests.

John wanted to explore full weekend events, like renting out a summer camp so it’d really be a Friday to Sunday event.  We met with the owner of Hidden Valley Retreat and Spa.

Morgan + Kerri 47dfd1f480a87893c42e61c504770063 78342b1bbb5eef18b11dedfe75f5a82a

This place was pretty cool, it was $7,000 for the weekend and included tables and chairs and a lot of amenities, including beds for like 40 people.

But at almost an hour from San Diego airport and not really anything nearby for guests to do during their San Diego visit, we decided against it.

Next we checked out a spot in Julian, CA.


John and I visited Julian a few years back and fell in love with it.  It’s a small town


who’s main attraction is apple pies.


What’s not to love?

We visited Pine Hills Lodge.

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It was a lovely spot, it was closer to what we were looking for, and was closer to $6,000 with many amenities included.  But the rooms lacked air conditioning – necessary for an August wedding — and was an hour of a more boring drive from the airport.

There were no more weekend options closer to San Diego, so we moved on from that idea.



Our Mission: An Awesome San Diego Wedding for $10,000

Hi there!

I’m Colin –> IMG_7979<– and he’s John.

We’re a couple who met  Croppe1d here

(this is actually our first conversation)

And got engaged Hawaii here on April 27, 2012.

(Mount Haleakala in Maui at sunrise, where I proposed on one knee).

and when John said yes, we were both Wheee!

We moved to SanDiegoCA1940HMG

and settled inHillcrest,_San_Diego_Sign

(which is awesome and gay and has things like these bike racks)


and began to plan our wedding.

I knew John wanted this 4650875008_585f54c528_b

and 67

(he really likes ‘The Sound of Music’ and will be definitely watching Carrie-Underwood-Sound-Of-Music-Cover-Art-09162013-01)

but we couldn’t afford it.  So we have set out to have as awesome of a celebration as we can and stay within our set budget: tek

It seems like a lot of people on other blogs are trying to stay within this magic budget number, so we thought we’d share our journey and ideas and inspirations for planning our awesome San Diego wedding for $10,000.