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Memory Garden

Monterey Wedding Venue
20 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, California 93940
Contact: Catering
Phone: 831/648-7240

Why We Like This Place

Stroll through Monterey's downtown historic district, and you'll find it studded with secret gardens. Each of them is private and within walking distance of hotels ranging from bed & breakfast to 4-star. Memory Garden, in the Monterey State Historic Park is perhaps the most intriguing of them all.

Framed on three sides by tall adobe walls with graceful arched cutouts and on the fourth by the Pacific House, an elegant 1847 Spanish-Colonial style building, it's a grand plaza suitable for all kinds of events. Four 75-year-old magnolias shade the plaza, their branches casting an intricate web of shadows on the ground. In spring and summer the trees also provide a gorgeous floral display, along with the other flowers planted along the perimeter. A fountain burbling in the courtyard's center soothes the ear, while sea breezes supply natural air-conditioning.

Corporate picnics, luncheons and dinners are popular here, but the Garden is especially lovely for weddings. The site can accommodate a formal dinner for 300 guests, yet it's warm and intimate enough for a casual gathering of 50.

If you're getting married in the Garden, you may choose as your backdrop the massive arched wooden gate at the entrance, the wisteria-covered pergola along the southwest wall or the towering cedar opposite the pergola.

Afterwards, the open configuration of the Garden lends itself to lively hors d'oeuvre stations followed by either a seated dinner or a buffet beneath the trees. And you don't need a lot of decorations—a simple thread of color can pull together the surrounding foliage and architecture, creating a beautiful setting with little effort. Floral arrangements on the tables can be as elaborate as exotic blooms in a wrought-iron centerpiece or as understated as a terracotta pot with greenery. For evening events, permanent subtle lighting in the trees makes it easy to create a fairy-tale or Old California atmosphere.

To get just the right food for your celebration, turn to Grapes of Wrath Events. They have lots of experience orchestrating events in the Garden, and will cook up a California Cuisine-style feast to satisfy your taste (and that of all your guests!). You might want to start off with an hors d'oeuvre griddle, featuring crab cakes, towers of layered polenta, and pesto risotto cakes, or indulge in the ultimate California treat—a sushi boat filled with assorted maki! Bright, fresh flavors are the hallmark of their main dishes, too. Choices from Monterey Bay include grilled salmon with a Mediterranean tapenade, fresh albacore with a mango salsa or maybe braised halibut in ginger and orange. These are often paired with a medium rare sirloin with rich Cabernet mushrooms, or perhaps Castroville chicken, perfectly seasoned with artichokes, wine and herbs.

After checking out the local seasonal produce, Grapes of Wrath might serve up grilled vegetables, a crunchy sugar snap pea salad, or heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil … all colorful reminders that Monterey is in California's premium growing region.

Two more elements for a successful event are great music and good wine, and Grapes of Wrath staff can help you with both. As full-service caterers, they'll match you up with musicians and other vendors that best fit your vision, provide excellent (and affordable) wines, and coordinate the day of your event.

We don't know how this garden got its name, but it was an inspired choice—when your party is over, you'll walk away with a wedding's worth of wonderful memories.



  • Max. Seated Indoors: 0
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 275

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 0
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 275
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 0
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 400


  • Max. Seated: 275

CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The garden holds 275 seated or 400 standing guests for a cocktail reception.

Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.

A nonrefundable $150 processing fee and a refundable $500 damage deposit are required to obtain your permit. Rental fees range from $1,150 for a ceremony to $3,150 for a weekend ceremony and reception that includes 7 hours of event time and 3 hours of setup and breakdown.

Grapes of Wrath Catering by Central Coast Events has been hosting events at the Memory Garden for years, however, you may bring in the caterer of your choice. All menus created by Grapes of Wrath Events are custom-designed; for menus and pricing go to There is no cake-cutting fee and beverages are provided at retail cost.

Location Uses

Wedding Receptions
Special Events, Parties
Business Functions/Meetings
Rehearsal Dinners


Catering: Grapes of Wrath or BYO

Kitchen Facilities: no

Tables & Chairs: through caterer

Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer

Restrooms: wheelchair accessible

Dance Floor: through caterer

Bride's Dressing Area: nearby hotels, none

on site

AV/Meeting Equipment: through caterer

Parking: covered garage within 2 blocks

Accommodations: nearby hotels

Outdoor Night Lighting: yes

Outdoor Cooking Facilities: yes

Cleanup: caterer

View: garden

Other: walking distance to Wharf, downtown and hotels; event coordination available through caterer

Venue Views

Fountain/Water Feature
Garden Patio/Courtyard
Landscaped Grounds

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Historic/Landmark Building


Alcohol: provided, or BYO

Smoking: designated areas only

Music: amplified OK with limits

Wheelchair Access: yes

Insurance: required, CBA through caterer or arrange your own

Other: no rice, picking flowers, etc.

Wondering what CBA or BYO means?
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Wedding Venues > Northern California Wedding Venues > Monterey and Carmel Wedding Venues

Alternate Info: Memory Gardens "Central Coast Events"