When people think of outdoor weddings at the Jersey Shore, beach ceremonies are the first that come to mind but some of the best outdoor wedding locations in Monmouth County happen to be in the park. Don’t get me wrong, beach locations are magnificent for the right couple but not every couple (or their guests) want their toes in the sand. Use your imagination with me and picture green grass, flowers, gardens, and trees gently swaying in the breeze.
With so many stunning parks in the area you have many choices but be careful when planning as not all of them are wedding friendly.
I am especially fond of The Monmouth County Park System. They provide some of the most beautiful landscapes for an outdoor wedding. From perfectly manicured gardens to lush natural fields and woods, to rustic old gristmills and barns, it’s pretty hard to beat.
Having grown up in Monmouth County I have been to these parks more times than I can possible count. They are all lovely, parking is plentiful and they are reasonably affordable. These are their most wedding friendly locations.
Deep Cut Park, Middletown – features stunning maze-like gardens and a large stone column gazebo. There are also some incredible thick, twisty branched trees that make the most unbelievable backdrop for photos.
Holmdel Park, Holmdel – The arboretum is beautiful and offers an outstanding venue 3 seasons a year. There is also the lake and Longstreet Farm area.
Historic Walnford – The bright blue gristmill building and the main house with its front porch are great for pictures. Any spot in the park would be lovely for setting up a ceremony but the corn crib creates a fantastic arch.
Thompson Park, Lincroft – Their rose garden and trellis are beautiful in the height of the season but it is ever lovely in early spring.
Their price list is reasonable but the nicer the park, the higher the price. Some other very minor cons include:
1. All you get is the right to use the space. All chairs, tables and decorations must, etc. be provided by the couple.
2. Guests eager for cocktail hour, may be disappointed that no alcohol is allowed in any of the parks.
3. Music and loud speakers require special permission. This is not a problem if it is kept to a reasonable volume.
4. If you can’t afford the ceremony fees you can still have your pictures takes there for a much lower cost. There is a small fee for reserved space. I know that you can take your chances and just show up but rather than cause any embarrassing problems, it’s best to play by the rules so your ceremony and pictures go off without a hitch.
And with New Jersey’s beautiful change of seasons you can enjoy an outdoor wedding reasonable from April through October (with the proper clothing). The images in the gallery above show you a sample of spring, summer and fall
These are but a handful of suggestions to check out. Once you find a place, you’ll need an officiant. Contact Weddings by Lara. You’ll get a beautifully performed ceremony to match the surroundings.