We had a beach wedding ($250 for the permit) and then a sunset/evening reception on the roof of la jolla cove suites! Amazing view! Instead of dinner do a cocktail and appetizers or desserts reception and use their tables and chairs. They're 4-tops but 250 at 10k will take some compromises and creativity. If you don't think that works for you, find an everything-priced venue (rentals cost us about $2500 for 120 people). We did a Mexican dinner and LJCS let us bring in any of their previously-used vendors. We had enxhiladas, tamales, apps, Caesar salad stuffed in a tomato and brought in our own kegs. The food was by El Tapatio in imperial beach. Everyone complimented the food (glad to have something different than chicken at a wedding) and it was under $2000 if I remember correctly. Funny thing? The catering is part of the little food shack - no one was the wiser. We got our cake for under $300 and it had a specialty design from edelweiss bakery - SO good and good even on our anniversary! Your budget can actually be done but do one or two impact flu details instead of a bunch. Our budget was the same as yours and we ended up at about double. Figure out what's the most important to you both and stick to it! Flowers from the farmers market was under $250.
If that is your budget for food and venue only, it will be hard finding a place here in San Diego that is not the military base. I had 65 people at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and my food and venue ONLY was $10k. It seems alot, but RBI gives you ALOT for your money and this was a great deal with everything I got and compared to other venues that offered less and they were not as nearly as nice as RBI. If you know someone with nice property that would be tour best bet. My wedding planner did that for her wedding and it was GORGEOUS! Plan on going over budget. Im very frugal and even though I didn't pay full price for anything related to my wedding (i negotiated every cost) i still went double over my budget. My wedding cost me $30k but it was everything I wanted and i dont regret it. Like she said, choose what is important to you. I wanted a beautiful wedding an only invited close friends and family. That meant i could spend more $$ on the things that were important to me (photographer, floral's, quality food)
Admiral Baker Clubhouse would be my favorite. Its inland and has pretty grounds. Im not into beach weddings and the majority of the military base facilities are on the water. Our friends had their wedding there and it was nice, except I didn't like the ceremony area. If you dress it up some, i think it can be saved. The food was good and they allow some outside vendors. But with 250 guests, you are going to have a challenge of finding a place to hold that many guest and if they do, they are probably out of your budget. Plus with that many your guest are going to be crammed like tuna :(
Our wedding was held in Carlsbad and we found the place to be very helpful and affordable when compared to other venues and most importantly conveniently located (hotel rooms onsite, short drive to the beach, outlet shopping across the street, close to the freeway, allows outside vendors, you can bring in your own wine for a cork fee):