The Bride’s Survival Guide: Park Wedding Considerations
Are you and your fiancé at all into picnics, hiking, and spending most of your time outdoors? If that is the case, then going for a park wedding could be ideal for you. Apart from having a natural landscape where you will take your pictures, choosing your wedding venue to be a park might help you in saving money on decorations, event place, and much more.
Planning such a wedding might also come with its challenges like the need to obtain permits and chances that the day your wedding will be held, the weather won’t be as fair as you expect. If you have decided that the park is your spot for hosting the wedding, then consider the following before you make your final decision:
- Accessibility of the location: Whether you are contemplating having your wedding in a small park or a large public one in your state, you will realize that most great spots are not found on the outskirts, but in the interior. Because it might be hard to access remote areas by car, some of the guests, especially seniors, could have trouble accessing the venue.
And even if you can access the venue via a car, you have to consider whether it is feasible for the vendor to the parking spot where they will unload and whether it will be easy to set up chairs and tables for your ceremony.
- Access fees: Some public parks require that you pay a certain entry fee. Get to know if there will be a need for your guests to pay the entry fee when they arrive and ensure that you pay it up front. You can decide to arrange transportation such as buses or shuttles to the park as a good gesture to your guests.
- Several permits required: Because most parks are considered as public spaces, it might be easy to get permission to use it, but you will need to get a license to carry out your wedding ceremony in the place.
While most of the available permits tend to be free, an application fee could be required. Ensure that all the necessary permits have been applied. Permits for amplified sound, reception, and the wedding ceremony itself are likely going to be required.
- Are their regulations which you are supposed to adhere to?: Most parks have regulations about noise and restrictions on time, number of guests, the use of alcohol, and the rental. You have to talk to the authorities about any rules before the wedding starts, and know the consequences should you break any of the rules and regulations. If it is not possible to have live music in the park of your choice, then get a different venue altogether.
- What happens in case the weather is bad: Check out if there is a lodge, gazebo or covered patio in your park of choice. These are options that will come in handy in case the weather becomes unexpectedly bad during the wedding ceremony. Will you be allowed to put up a rented tent in case of bad weather?
Ensure you know what your backup plan will be before you make a booking. Do you also need to know what happens if the park becomes hard to access on your booked day due to bad weather? In most instances, such places close during snow, heavy rains, or extreme cold or heat. If that is the case, then you need a backup location.
- Are other people going to be around: Because public places are open to everyone, it is hard for you to restrict other park users during your wedding? During your cocktail hour, there could be kids enjoying a football game and they could take a few photos of your reception. If you are not ready for intruders who might want to have a glimpse of your wedding, then you will need to get a more secluded area to carry out your wedding ceremony.
- Check your dress code and your preferred venue: In most instances, outdoor weddings are low key. This means that, if you go for an elegant ball gown, it might be out of place in the park setting. If your dream wedding has been a black-tie celebration, with women wearing gowns and men wearing tuxedos, then you should avoid a park wedding.
- Are public restrooms available?: Most public parks have portable bathrooms or restrooms available throughout the grounds. You need to plan your wedding as well as your reception around a place which is convenient and near a restroom. In case your ideal spot is not near such facilities, then ask the park to allow you to use portable toilets.
- Food serving: Just like décor and rentals, the park might have restrictions concerning outside beverages, food, and equipment for cooking. This might be because they don’t want litters of food containers that could harm wildlife. Ask the management and plan your meals accordingly.