Frequently Asked Questions

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Our wedding specialists have years of experience planning weddings and receptions at The Abbey for hundreds of couples. They have hand chosen the most popular questions below:

Start Planning
or call us at 619.686.8700
for more information

How do I reserve the Abbey?
What is the deposit and payment procedure?
When is guaranteed count due?
What is the parking like?
Will we have a Rehearsal?
Can we pick out our Cake?
Will there be time to set up?
How does the DJ work?
Can we burn our own CDs?
Can we have live music?
Can we provide our own catering? Do we have to use your packages?
What about children’s meals?
Additional services
Decor information
Favor information
What, if any, tips are expected or required?
Are we required to purchase additional insurance?
What is the smoking policy?
Are vegetarian substitutions for a seated dinner selection available with advance notice?
Can we provide our own alcohol?
Is the Abbey wheelchair accessible?

How do I reserve the Abbey?
Reserving The Abbey requires a non refundable deposit of $3,000.00. Placing your deposit and signing the contract will secure your date and time. All additional details are flexible and may be changed up to 30 days prior to your event.
Deposits may be made by Credit Card or by check, payable to Hornblower Cruises and Events. Feel free to fax or mail your deposit in.
Fax: 619.686.8733
Mailing address: 2825 5th Ave SD CA 92103

What is the deposit and payment procedure?
Wedding Deposits are non-refundable, and they do come out of your final balance. The deposit may be placed on a credit card, and this is the only time we can take payment by credit card. Your final balance will be based on your guarantee guest count. Final Balance is due 5 business days before your event, in the form of Cashier’s Check or Money Order Only. Please make check payable to Hornblower Cruises and Events, and please include your booking number on the check.

When is guarantee count due?
We will need a guarantee guest count 14 business days before your event, this count cannot decrease however, you may add guests up until the event. Your final count is due 10 business days before you sail. When you give the count we will need to know how many of each menu item, if there are vegetarians, and children. If you are feeding your vendors, please include them in the count as well. Don't forget to count yourself and your fiancé!

What is the parking like?
Parking for The Abbey is on the street. Some of the spaces are metered. Meters are free after 6pm, and all day on Sundays and certain Holidays. Balboa Park has a free to the general public parking lot across the lawn, on 6th Ave. The lot entrance is located at the intersection of Upas and 6th Ave. Please allow time to locate parking. Click here for map & directions.

Will we have a Rehearsal?
If you are having your ceremony at The Abbey, the rehearsal is included in your ceremony package. It will be added to your contract and a tentative time will be scheduled, however, the rehearsal day/time is not guaranteed and is subject to change due to Abbey event bookings.

Can we pick out our Cake?
Once you book, you can pick out your cake. We will provide you with a few bakers’ names and number. Hornblower does not provide cake toppers so, feel free to bring your own. If you do not wish to use one of our contracted bakers, you may provide your own cake. A $3.00 per person cake service fee will apply.

Will there be time to set up?
If you wish to do your own set-up, there is a 2 hour window of time for you to do so. Your Wedding Specialist will consult with you and put together a timeline for the event with all the details for a successful wedding, from set up to the last dance!

How does the DJ work?
Hornblower uses local, working, professional DJ’s to insure a successful event -from the ceremony music to the last dance. A few weeks before your event, your DJ will contact you to discuss the music and details of your wedding.

Can we burn our own CDs?
The Abbey as well as all of our yachts have CD players for background music. You may bring your own cd’s. Background music will not be loud enough to dance to.

Can we have live music?
The Abbey is located in a semi-residential neighborhood, so entertainment sound is restricted to reasonable levels. A complimentary 17x18’ dance floor is provided.

Can we provide our own catering? Do we have to use your packages?
Hornblower is one of the top 3 caterers in San Diego and does not allow any outside food or beverage. If you would like to change the packages, we would be happy to customize a menu for you.

What about children’s meals?
The Abbey does have a children’s menu. It is Chicken Fingers, French Fries, Fresh Fruit and a Brownie. Vegetarian children may substitute Macaroni and Cheese.
The children’s rate is $30.00

Additional Services
Hornblower is a full service event planning company. Flowers, photography and entertainment are just a few of the things we can assist with. Once you book your wedding with us we will provide you a list of our Contracted and Recommended Wedding Professionals. You will have all of the names and numbers you need for a beautiful event. You can set up meetings at your convenience to choose the things you like. The Abbey, a division of Hornblower Cruises & Events, is well known for its award-winning, high quality service. We take great pride in our outstanding reputation, one that guarantees your wedding will be a successful event.

Decor Information
Candles with open flame are not allowed at The Abbey as it presents a fire hazard. If you wish to bring candles for centerpieces, please adhere to the following guidelines. The flame needs to be covered by 1½ inches of tempered glass, or some other kind of hurricane container.

Bubbles may not be blown at The Abbey as the soap stains the Carpet (not to mention satin or silk wedding dresses) and makes the dance floor slippery and therefore unsafe. Bubbles may be blown outside and that makes a nice grand exit. Confetti, rice, or birdseed is not allowed.

Rose Petals sprinkled lightly on tables, or ceremony aisle runner is okay, anywhere else is not allowed.

Favor Information
Our Crew will be happy to put out wedding favors, cameras for your tables and place cards on a place cards table for you. Please bring them (in a box clearly labeled with your name, wedding date, and yacht) to your final appointment. Please put place cards in alphabetical order so guests may find their cards easily.

What, if any, tips are expected or required?
There will be an 18% service charge taxes and included in your proposal. That service charge will cover your gratuities. Tipping for over and above service is at your discretion.

Are we required to purchase additional insurance?
At this time, Hornblower does not require additional insurance. Please make sure you are hiring vendors that are professional and have their own insurance.

What is the smoking policy?
Guests may smoke outside.

Are vegetarian substitutions for a seated dinner selection available with advance notice?
Yes, there will always be accommodations for your vegetarian guests.

Can we provide our own alcohol?
You may not bring in your own alcohol. You may bring wine or champagne if it is something that we cannot attain. There is a $15.00 per bottle corkage fee.

Is the Abbey wheelchair accessible?
The Abbey is wheelchair accessible on the main level of the building. There is not an elevator to accommodate the upper level. The Abbey is a registered historic building and therefore cannot be changed structurally to add elevators. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs in this area. The restrooms are on the main level.