Wedding Guide

30 The Best of Monterey Bay ® Wedding Guide 2024-2025 Evynn LeValley Photography Parks Once the very big decision is made of whether to get married, there come a number of other decisions, albeit not as big. One of the most important is: Where are we going to tie the knot? Of course, those who don’t want to make those decisions can always get married unceremoniously at a local city hall or perhaps a Las Vegas drive-thru, but most couples opt for at least a modicum of pomp and circumstance— something special, maybe small and intimate, but reflective of the love the couple shares. For those who don’t want to go big with expenses, and maybe the number of invitees, public parks are a great option. They’re in beautiful places, usually surrounded by nature, showcasing some of Monterey County’s highlights. They are extraordinary, and also more affordable than many alternatives. (One thing to be aware of is that these are public spaces. Depending on the park and the specifics of the venue, there may be other people walking by.) Monterey County has no shortage of such places, from South County’s San Lorenzo Park, a tree-filled gem along the Salinas River, and all the way north to Moss Landing State Beach, backed by rolling dunes. State Parks properties in historic downtown Monterey are an ever-popular option, thanks to elegant gardens and their proximity to hotels and restaurants, but so too is Monastery Beach, just north of Point Lobos and west of Highway 1. To each their own. The first thing a couple needs to figure out if they want to go that route is who has jurisdiction over the location of choice: a city, or a park district? From there, it’s just logistics, but timing is also important—if the ceremony is outside, there is weather to consider, of course. (Summer is often cold and foggy; some of the best weather is in Love Publicly Public parks in Monterey County can be a beautiful—and perhaps more affordable—option for a wedding day. By David Schmalz