Monthly Archives: December 2013

No new updates :(

Sorry for the delays!  We haven’t had any new decisions to write about but we will soon!


The Catering Decision

So using the resources, John and I narrowed down our search.

We used the daily emails to find the meetups that had the most trucks we wanted to sample.  These were:



Mad Mantis


We also used Google and Yelp to find tacos shops that offered catering. This included:

Puesto in La Jolla


Del Mar Taco Company in North Park

CalbiBBQ was terrific as far as taste and uniqueness coupled with the familiar taco.  We didn’t see too much customization in the menu offerings with catering, so we moved on.

MadMantis didn’t get back to us in time before we made our decision, so I have no opinion on their food or offerings.

Puesto was good but for us, it lacked a ‘wow’ factor.  Their menu was limited and expensive for our needs, so we moved on.

Del Mar Taco Company we found solely on Yelp.  It’s farm-to-plate.  They have no formal site, but the reviews were good and we liked the idea that this was a new business with a new dad at the helm.  It felt right to us.  So we called and spoke to Oscar, the head of Del Mar Taco, who was helpful and kind and willing to work with us.  He offered a huge variety of foods and amenities (like guacamole, beans, rice, chips), a choice of three meats, and even flavored fruit waters.

delmar2 delmar

Oscar immediately sent over a summary of our talk and a quote, around $720.  Amazing!  All you can eat.

We only hoped that his food would taste as good as the reviews and we would have our caterer.

We went to meet Oscar at the Coronado Brewing Company (an awesome place to bring out of towners to show off SD).

He was on the ball, kind, eager and energetic, and thee food was incredible!  Even with the limited choices for that night (steak and chicken), we loved it.  John and I retreated inside for a drink and to talk about it with our visiting guests (and guests tasters) and agreed that Oscar and Del Mar Taco Company would be our choice.

In the next few days, we made some changes to the original quote — we added a 4th meat selection (in this case, fish, meaning we’d offer Carnitas, Chicken, Steak, and Fish tacos), as well as our favorite street food, bacon wrapped hot dogs!  Oscar was open to everything.

We liked all of the choices very much, the foods were all great.  We moved forward with CalbiBBQ.  Mangia Mangia was fantastic tasting and a helpful staff serving impressively flavorful foods, but their prices would unfortunately not fit in with our $10k budget.  CalbiBBQ was very good, but didn’t offer too much customization to the menu, something we really wanted.

The quote came in for under $1000 (but we have some adjustments to make so I don’t have a confirmed total).  We’re happy with it, we have confidence in this new business, it’s farm-to-plate, local, flexible, and affordable.  We’re in!

Caterer:  DONE!


The Decor — the centerpieces

So as we work on finding our caterer, I wanted to sidetrack a bit and talk about the decoration of our reception.  In order to stick to a budget, I’m going to introduce you to our secret weapons.

#1:  Craigslist


Specifically, their ‘Free’ and ‘Garage Sales’ section under ‘For Sale’.

You’ve hopefully got some time, so with Craigslist, it’s about patience and luck and knowing what you’re looking for.  It’s also about setting up an RSS feed to alert you when things you’re looking for are posted.

Although John and I weren’t 100% sure exactly how our decor would look, we knew we liked the go-to decor for weddings…


Of course!  Who doesn’t love mason jars.  There are blogs dedicated to crafting these things.  We knew we’d want to use these in centerpieces, like this…


or this

mason jar table numbers (we love this idea and will probably do it)

Mason jars on Amazon are $10 for 12

which is out of our range for decor.  So off to the garage sales and free sections!

Within a few weeks, we had some wonderful strokes of luck.  The first…

A local church tag sale running for the weekend.  I happened upon this on a walk around town and it was meant to be.   End of the day, they were ready to make a deal.  And what a deal I got!

20131122_162734 20131122_162744

Cobwebby, dusty, and dirty mason jars (these pictures are after they soaked in a bit of bleach and hot soapy water AND a dishwasher run before storing in old towels in crates in the basement)… but 84 of them for $5!  Five bucks!  What a great day this was, and it basically committed us to the mason jar idea.

The second was this.


Free 1 QT mason jars, larger than the smaller pint or quart (can’t remember what the others are).  And that’s 18 more right there.

18 + 84…  12 of them are very large and we have 12 tables, so…

12 large ones for centerpieces, and that leaves 90 smaller ones for…you guessed it.

indttex  drinking glasses!  These would serve as glasses for John’s ‘signature drink’, which we agreed would be sangria.  Why?  Because you can use Trader Joe’s cheap red wine for it, and it’s a Spanish venue.

So yea!  We had the luck and patience to grab these things when we could and we’ll continue to look and collect more.  I’d rather have more than less and when we’re done, we’re going to give these away as it is.  So yea!  Mason Jars!

The Caterer

So our next step is the caterer. 

The fact that this is a wedding with a budget under $10,000, we are realistic to know that we don’t have the options of the typical wedding.


John and I thought about how we could do this.  We’d like to put our money towards a photographer


since that is what we’ll truly have the rest of our lives.  The meal is a meal. 


The cake is a cake. 


So we brainstormed and came up with what worked: 


Food Trucks.  Perfect!

John and I love food trucks.  But there were tens of tens to choose from.  We thought harder.  How would we narrow this down?

We went to and signed up for their daily email.  This let us know where each truck would be each day.  So helpful!

We reviewed their Twitter feeds and checked out the Yelps on each place. 

We live in San Diego.  Our venue, the Spanish Village Arts Center, screams Fiesta! 


We wanted to give our guests more than the typical choices.


So the answer?


Street Tacos!  Mexican.  Unique. Flavorful.  Affordable.  Done!

With that decision made, we set out to find our Taco Caterer!



The Final Decision for our Party Rentals

So here’s the update.

I’m sorry to say that Emily from K&J Party Rentals didn’t step up from the Yelp reviews and warnings.  We never did receive a quote (or a response), despite calling her and leaving a voicemail and emailing her (even though she was supposed to emailing me with the address we left her).  So she’s out of the running, and unfortunately, I can’t recommend her — if we couldn’t even get a quote from her the next day, let alone a week, then forget it.

We’ve decided to happily proceed with Patty’s Linen Rentals over San Diego Party Rentals.


Although SD Party Rentals was less expensive and the woman there was sweet and helpful, the fact that they didn’t set up the tables fully was a deciding factor.

Also, Patty’s was familiar with the location already and we had a great feeling that they would be going above and beyond to make sure it all went well.

th1 th

So with that, we are confirmed with Patty’s.  We’ve made some adjustments to the original quote, so although the total is $1240, this will probably adjust a few times.

Expenses so far:




Total:  $4413.00

Left:  $5587.00

Almost halfway through our budget but a big part of the planning is knocked out!

Very glad we found Patty’s Linens Rentals in National City, CA.  Ask for Patricia!