Nice park for a white wedding?
April 24, 2008 12:18 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know a good park in the south bay (California) in which to get married?

My partner and I want to get married this fall. We want to do it in a public park within about 20 miles of San Jose. (We want this because we want a nice outdoor area, and a fairly low price tag.) We want about 75 guests, a pretty outdoor area, and preferably an indoor/covered area to retreat for food and music. We're fairly recent arrivals and don't know all the parks in the area that well. The parks website basically says "we won't help you on the web, call us so we can make it special." We're hoping to have an idea of what park we want to reserve before we go to them, and rather than drive to every park we can find on google maps, checking them all out in person, I thought I'd ask if anyone has any suggestions for parks that we might want to look at.

Oh, and on a related note, anyone know a jeweler willing to do a little custom work in the same area?
posted by agentofselection to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What about the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden? (Yahoo, Wikipedia). I don't know what the rose situation will be like in the fall, but there's a nice fountain and a large grassy area that could be nice.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 12:24 PM on April 24, 2008

It's about 40 miles away, so maybe a bit far, but I know someone who got married at the Berkeley Faculty Club. No, music by Peter Yarrow isn't included.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:27 PM on April 24, 2008

The Pulgas Water Temple.
posted by ShooBoo at 1:08 PM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Rengstorff House at Shoreline Park in Mountain View might meet your needs.

Or how about the Gamble Garden Center in Palo Alto?
posted by at 1:20 PM on April 24, 2008

Some of San Jose's parks are administered by Santa Clara County and thus will not be found on the City of San Jose's Park & Rec website listings. SC County parks tend more toward preserving the natural/historic vs. carefully groomed green grass but there's a few which have more manicured sections.

Alum Rock Park has some big grassy picnic areas with bbq pits and picnic tables which could easily accomodate 75 guests. They have one picnic area which also has a pavilion (roof, no walls) over tables. Amplified music is not allowed. I don't believe they have indoor facilities to rent but it's worth checking into. They charge ~$6/car for entry, there's ample parking near the picnic sites. Alum Rock is nestled in the canyons of the east foothills, the park is lovely but despite the shade of many giant oak trees, it gets very hot in the summer and is subject to closure due to fire hazards without much advance notice during the late summer. Outside of the picnic areas, the park is wild and undeveloped.

Vasona Park is more extensively developed than Alum Rock. It's on the other side of the valley, in Los Gatos. There's a lake (watch out for the ever-present goose poo near the water), paddleboat rentals, a miniature train, a full-sized lovingly restored carousel, and a couple of picnic pavilions surrounded by a lot of lawn. The downsides of Vasona include inadequate parking and the festival events which are scheduled for just about every summer weekend, which might make your reception a little on the noisy side.

If I wanted to stay close to central San Jose, I'd pick Kelley Park. Acres of lawn, shady picnic groves encircled by trees, photo ops galore with the Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park. However, you should check with park staff about this one because the zoo (which is also in the park) is being extensively renovated and expanded over the summer, and thus I don't know hohw this will affect the rest of the park.

You might also want to check out my personal favorite (because it's where I got married), the Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto. It's got a nice mix of indoor facilities and outdoor gardens.
posted by jamaro at 2:05 PM on April 24, 2008

My wife and I got married at Mount Madonna County Park, just south of San Jose near Gilroy. It is a beautiful setting (a small stage in a redwood grove) and dirt cheap. The site would handle 75 people (including less mobile guests) without a problem, and has a large covered picnic area where we held an informal reception. The only negative is that it is a bit of a drive (30 min) from where your guests probably live or would stay in a hotel if they are traveling from out of town. Here's the info on weddings at Santa Clara County Parks.

As for the jeweler, we got a custom-designed ring at Diamonds of Palo Alto and found the service and the price to be good.
posted by cholstro at 4:37 PM on April 24, 2008

I attended my friend's wedding at Hakone Japanese Gardens in Saratoga just a few weeks ago, and it was really beautiful. It's a mini-botanical garden and you can reserve the time before the public is allowed in so you have the place all to yourself. It's got nice flowers, a creek, a bridge, etc. Plenty of places to take photos, and they had around 100 seats and an "entryway" for the bride.

Here's the website
posted by tasty at 6:44 PM on April 24, 2008

I don't know if you can get married at Rosicrucian Park, but if I were getting married it's something I'd look into. I love the gardens there.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:53 AM on April 26, 2008

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