Food is Key!

If your like me then when you attend a wedding you are looking forward to the food, aside from seeing your close friend or loved on get married! As a coordinator I tell my clients that food is where you don’t want to cut too much cost. Even though your guest are there to see you get married the experience is what they are going to walk away and talk about.

Things you don’t want is dry bland chicken or an over cooked filet mignon. Ehh! Timing is everything and a great cater will know exactly what they’re doing.

Here are two of my favorite caters here in San Diego!

  • Continental Catering is on the top of this list! Christie and her crew are pros! The menu is fresh and will make you drool. They can customize your food to match your theme or show your guest a peak into your culture. Their Executive chef is a master in the kitchen and they will help express who you are through the senses or taste, texture, sight and smell. Buffet, plated, family style or any new hot trend is a piece of cake (wink wink) for them.


  • Urban Plates. This restaurant will surprise you! The quality of food, the knowledge of their staff and the AFFORABLE pricing will make you want to keep going back. They pride themselves on fresh, organic, seasonal items which you can see and taste in every bite. Did I mention they are affordable? They offer buffet style and full service so they can fit the needs of any event. With three restaurant locations its just a hop, skip and jump to great food.


Food is something we center out lives around. Whether its family dinners, girls night out, reunions and wedding days food is the time that most people sit down and share stores and hopefully many side splitting laughs. Its all about the experience and memories with those you love.


Mad Dash For the Prefect Venue

Finding the prefect venue can be so easy for some couples but for others it seems like an endless cycle of odd colors carpets and awkward small talk about 60” or 70” rounds, linen colors and additional fees. This is normal and it can seem like you may never find that venue that’ll give your guest that WOW! factor and at the same time wont break the bank. I am here to tell you IT WILL HAPPEN!!! You might have to look outside the traditional spaces but I know that there is something out there for each couple.

Best advice I give to my clients before they book a venue is to write down things that really stood out to them at weddings that they have attended and things that they think are important to them. This is help them be able to narrow down their search right away and can help later on if there is a tie.

There are so many amazing venues here in San Diego but make sure that you really see what they offer and how you can maximize the space without going over your budget. Best thing is don’t put it off because the good ones can book fast.

Just know that finding a beautiful location with amazing features can be so helpful in cutting decor cost. On the other hand, for those creative couples that want a blank space and the freedom to make it 100% their own there are so many options for you as well.

I do find that a lot of couples are moving away from the church or hotel spaces and moving into the non-traditional spaces like Museums, Lofts, Breweries and Private Estates. So here is a list of the top venue trends that I am noticing more this year.

Top Venue Trends of 2017

  1. Gardens with Geo shaped glass enclosure.
  2. Industrial with exposed brick
  3. Bohemian chic
  4. City Rooftop
  5. Home-Style Outdoor “Backyard”

Here are some of my personal favorite non-traditional venues in San Diego!

The Brick. Located in Liberty Station. Capacity of 400.

Can accommodate inside ceremony, outside cocktail hour and (once flipped) inside reception. You can be creative with the space.


The Prado. Located in Balboa Park. Capacity of 320.

Can accommodate cocktail and reception. They have several other venues in the park to rent for the ceremony.

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The Darlington House. Located in La Jolla. Capacity 200.

Can accommodate separate ceremony, cocktail and reception.


Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. Located on Harbor Island. Capacity 230.

Can accommodate separate ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.


Also check out:

Martin Johnson house, Scripps Sea Side Forum, La Jolla Women’s Club and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s La Jolla.


  • True Photography
  • Cynthia Zatkins Events
  • Indulge Flowers

What to do before you say I do?

Yay! Congratulations! Now that you and your special someone are engaged, do you know what the next step is?

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, exciting, hair pulling and most all CONFUSING! That’s where the expert comes in aka Sarah Dillenbeck Events.

I already know that you have a Pintrest account filled with your dream wedding ideas but don’t get too hooked on it before you sit down and talk numbers.

What kind of numbers?

First up we have the date. There are only 52 weekends in the year and if you don’t live in beautiful San Diego than your choices of weekends will be limited due to weather. When selecting your date understand that is might change as you begin your search especially if you fall in love with a venue that is already booked.  Also keep in mind that certain times of the year will book fast and that booking during peak or off-peak season will drastically effect the pricing.

Next we have guest counts. The problem with sitting down and making a guest list is that you don’t want to leave anyone out for either side and then once the Mothers get a hold of it you find yourself inviting a great great cousin, twice removed, that you’ve never even heard of or you find that your inviting your grandmothers bingo squad. It can be stressful making a list but a good rule of thumb to follow is, would you spend $100-$150 on this person for dinner on a normal day? Or, have you spent time with them in the last year? The more people you invite the more money you’ll have to spend. Catering will be your most expensive item by far!

Both of these above lead me to the last and MOST IMPORTANT set of numbers you will ever look at during this process…The dreaded budget. The budget should always be your first step in planning and that’s because a wedding can get expensive very quickly if you don’t watch it. This is something I’ve noticed that clients get uncomfortable talking about this but they shouldn’t. You have to decide who’s footing the bill. Mom, Dad, Grandparents or if your paying for it all on your own can make a huge difference. So please if you don’t take anything else away from this make you you stay realistic and keep the money dialogue open. A good coordinator will be able to sit down and help you crunch the numbers.

Hiring a coordinator helps to take some of the stress off of you and will be a great investment in the long run.

Just remember to breathe and don’t forget enjoy this stage in your lives. It’ll be one of the most special days for you two!