Here is a collection of Problems found at The Wedding Bowl and the Solutions we have gathered over the years regarding booking and using the Wedding Bowl. A few tips come from the San Diego Wedding vendors themselves which may help you in your planning, save time, reduce stress & hassles for you and your guests and…. save you MONEY!
Do It Yourself… Until the day of: Of course you can Do It Yourself when planning your Wedding Bowl celebration but, only until the day of your wedding. Everything you planned goes into remote control and all of your planning takes off. The problem is; you can’t Do It Yourself on your wedding day. You need someone to be the “Day Of” to make it all work. Remember, you’re getting ready for the ceremony and you can’t be on site to receive the flowers, the chairs, the altar and set them up. You can’t greet guests as they arrive and then handle your own wedding ceremony processional and recessional.
- TIP: Hire a professional “Day Of” coordinator or have an “Aunt Mary” to handle your “to-do” list to make sure everyone you have delegated specific tasks too actually do them! Plus, they can also handle to Processional working with your Officiant needs.
Remember, This is a public park!: This is clearly mentioned a few times in your park permit. You’re actually requesting the right to assemble at a public place but, it does not give you any right to ask anyone to leave the park, or even move over… Although 99.9% of the time, people are very gracious and move when the rental truck with the chairs and altar and florists arrive to start setting up but, as this is a public park, people may be all set up with BBQ’s, tables, blankets, toys and games.
- TIP: Take a moment early in the day to post a little sign at the bottom of the stairs and the ramp (staked in the ground?) informing them that there is going to be a wedding from (time – time). Again, you can’t ask them to leave but, if they see this, it may discourage them from setting up for the day!
The Wedding Ceremony Entrance: We tell our couples to NEVER use the staircase… ever! Especially for the Processional into the park for the wedding ceremony. This will make things so much easier for your guests escorting young children (with strollers) and more importantly, older guests with walking issues. here is just a small list of the problems with the staircase at The Wedding Bowl in Cuvier Park.
- It narrows as it makes it’s way down into the park.
- It makes a turn that causes an issue for the escort.
- By the time the two of you reach about 3/4 down, there is only room for one person.
- To add to the difficulty, the cement platform leads to uneven dirt/grass which has led to many trips, unsteadiness and twisted ankles.
- Photos! The photos of the bride’s entrance walking down the staircase into the park will have the public (some in bathing suits) looking down at the camera. In some cases, there’s an ice cream truck as your backdrop. Using the walkway on the opposite side of the park provides a smoother entrance and a lovely ocean backdrop for your photos.
- TIP: Simply rope it off at the top and direct guests to the ramp located on the opposite side of the park. Dress the staircase as an entrance for your guests or rope it off completely (safety for your older guests).
Don’t Do “In The Round”: This may make for a pretty picture in your photo album but, this will be one of your biggest complaints from family and guests. Why? A portion of your family and friends won’t see anything but the backside of the Officiant or the backside of the wedding couple or the backsides of the wedding party. In addition, OVER HALF your family and guests will miss out on the beautiful ocean view backdrop, the ring exchange, the smiles, the tears or even the kiss! What we see happen most often is; half way through the ceremony those guests seated on the backside will leave their seats, move around to the front, and stand for the rest of the ceremony so they can see it.
- TIP: In the case of the Wedding Bowl, simple is best! Traditional side by side with the center aisle. Even use a beautiful curve. Remember, seating should be all about the comfort of your family, friends and their guests to watch your ceremony unfolds before them.
Watch out for “The Hole”: Smack dab in the middle of the park is a HIDDEN water sprinkler that in some cases will trip people up, including the bridal party! This happens often as it’s covered by the grass itself and when it’s covered by an aisle runner or flower petals.
- TIP: Place one of your chairs over that sprinkler and decide from that point on which side of that chair to make your aisle… Problem solved!
Parking, Parking, Parking: One of the most beautiful locations for your wedding ceremony is unfortunately one of the worst for guest parking! There is street parking that until 6pm is limited to a 2-hour time limit. (Except Sundays). In La Jolla this (and making sure you cramp your wheels to the curb) is STRICTLY enforced everyday but Sunday. Trust us, it’s enforced!
- TIP: Consider having people meet at your reception site and carpool to the park or provide a shuttle bus for your bridal party and guests
Some simple comforts for your guests as they wait: While couple’s are getting ready and guests begin to arrive keep in mind there is NO SHADE and no water fountains in the park.
- TIP: Consider renting market umbrellas and/or wedding parasols. Also consider providing a iced bucket of chilled bottled water. These simple and low cost investments can help keep your guests very happy, especially during the hot spring, summer and fall days!
No Public Restrooms: One would think this is not a problem for just the ceremony but, some of your guests will be on location for a an hour or longer, some with children.
- TIP: Take a moment to to add a separate note to your invitation that the closest public restroom within walking distance is at the Children’s Pool area. About a 5 minute walk north. Please note: The local hotel, the museum and the private homes do not offer their restrooms, in some cases, not even in an emergency!