Monterey is where you can experience California’s rich history and its amazing natural sights, all in the same place. The city holds a special place in literary history as well—over the years the area has been home to Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Miller, and John Steinbeck (whose novel Cannery Row is set in Monterey). These things (plus its world-class aquarium) make Monterey one of the top travel destinations on the West Coast. It’s only natural, then, that Monterey is also a popular destination for weddings. Luckily, the area is home to some truly exceptional places to tie the knot. Here are our favorite wedding venues in Monterey!
The Perry House is an excellent choice for a classic Monterey wedding. This Queen Anne Victorian home was built in 1860 by Captain Manuel Perry, and it provides lots of space while still maintaining an intimate and casual atmosphere. You can have your ceremony in the garden or at one of the nearby beaches and your reception inside where there’s plenty of places for guest to mix and mingle. From the cozy fire pit, to the carriage house with its gorgeous stained-glass skylight, to the second-floor balcony with views of Monterey Bay, there’s so much to love about the Perry House!
Typical cost: $15,000–$18,000 (all-inclusive)
Bonus: The Perry House is also known for its fantastic catering and exceptional service.
If you desire a beautiful beach ceremony with room for dinner and dancing indoors, look no further than Monterey Beach House. The venue provides you with all you need for the outdoor portions of your event, including beach chairs and a fire pit. And for indoor fun, the beach house itself provides plenty of room for dining and dancing. On top of all that, the food is delicious!
Capacity: 200 (indoors) – 400 (outdoors)
Typical cost: $7,500–$10,000 event minimum (all-inclusive)
Bonus: Couples give the venue’s in-house DJ Beachcomber Kelley high marks for his MC skills.
Monterey’s Old Whaling Station Adobe is a beautiful piece of California history. Built in 1847 as a private home, it was purchased by a whaling company a few years later (hence the name). And though it’s right in the heart of downtown, it’s tucked away from the main thoroughfares. Its brick courtyard has the feel of a secret garden, making it perfect for an intimate ceremony.
Typical cost: $1,500–$2,500 rental fee
Bonus: Receptions are catered by Grapes of Wrath, one of Monterey’s most highly rated catering services.
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For a wedding in a more modern setting that still has an intimate feel, Wave Street Studios is an excellent choice. Located near historic Cannery Row, much of the building was actually constructed from recycled material from the area, making it eco-friendly while still maintaining the distinctive local atmosphere. “Fun” is the word that comes up again and again from couples who have married here—it’s a casual setting where you and your guests can dance late into the evening.
Typical cost: $500 ceremony site fee, $4,000 reception site fee
Bonus: Wave Street doesn’t limit you to preferred vendors, so it’s great if you already have your heart set on a particular caterer, DJ, planner, etc.
Centrally located in the Cannery Row district, the Monterey Plaza Hotel has several amazing locations available for your ceremony and reception. The hotel has two beautiful terraces: the Lower Terrace (pictured above) gives the feel of having your ceremony right on the ocean, while Upper Plaza also features stunning views and is perfect for both ceremonies and cocktail receptions. As for indoor options, there are several rooms with ocean views and beautifully designed interiors available for receptions, including the Cypress Room, which features Brazilian teakwood furnishings and handpainted murals.
Typical cost: Ceremony site fee starting at $2,500, reception site fee starting at $850
Bonus: Many couples choose to stay in one of Monterey Plaza’s luxury suites, which feature opulent furnishings and private outdoor decks.