Post # 1
Is anyone planning or have attended a wedding at a open-to-public spot, whether it be a public (local, state, or national) park, public gardens, historical buildings, scenic streets, public viewpoints, etc when the place is OPEN to the public?
(aka, having your ceremony at the park during visiting hours, NOT after the opening hours where you can have the park to yourself)
If so, were the other guests of the location distracting, such as when you had your ceremony and/or taking wedding pictures? How did you deal with it? What was your experience and opinions about it, what are the pros and cons?
Any other tips or opinions?
Post # 3
I am having my ceremony in a public garden.
I am a little concerned about this also; however, we do think people will be generally respectful! But just in case we are giving my brother the job of “spectator control” if little crowds form behind us (bride and groom) on our bridge backdrop he will ask them kindly to move. If people watch from the side of the gardens we won’t say anything and just let them be!
Post # 4
I am having my wedding in a public state park. I plan to have a DOC on site to scout the location (we plan to equip her with 2-way radios) and make sure we can have our spot. I’ve scouted the area a couple of times and have seen other weddings going on. People are generally very kind and accomodating. The one thing we made sure to do was to reserve the “group area” so that our guests are sure to be able to get in. We watched a couple’s wedding that almost wasn’t because they didn’t have the group area and the parking lot for the park was closed because it was full. The wedding party had to wait to get in to the park!
Post # 5
Our wedding was at a historic mansion in a state park, and while they do put up signs inside the mansion itself saying private event — invited guests only, the grounds are still open to everyone at all times. Honestly, it wasn’t a problem at all. People were very respectful and I can’t say that I noticed anyone else around, except one guy who found a camera nearby and figured it belonged to someone at the wedding, so he brought it over and gave it to one of my bridesmaids. The park where we held our wedding is extremely popular among adults, kids, dogs…but I think that the vast majority of people will keep their distance when they see that a wedding is going on.
The potential con, of course, is you could have crashers/interlopers/loud or just plain rude people. I think you kind of have to take your cues from the venue, though. DH and I go to “our” park pretty often and we’ve been there many times when weddings were going on, so we could observe the behavior of park guests and get a feel for what’s normal there. If we’d seen lots of hikers and dog-walkers behaving badly, we might have had second thoughts, but as it was, it made us pretty confident that things would be okay. So I definitely recommend that you visit while a wedding is happening, if you can. It will either ease your mind or let you know that it’s not the venue for you.
Post # 6
I think people will be respectful, but I am reminded me of a photo I saw on a Seattle photographer’s blog. LOL!!! Check out the unexpected guests walking by this couple’s ceremony.
Post # 7
I would expect that if I was getting married on a public beach. At least they are somewhat attractive and have suits on!
Post # 8
Yeah I would expect that at a beach too…I actually think it makes for a hilariously awesome photo.
Post # 9
We’re getting married in a public park (one of the place in Balboa Park in San Diego), but it’s one of the more secluded ones, so I’m not worried about unexpected guests. I think *most* people are sensible enough to stay away from what looks like a wedding ceremony, otherwise it’s just rude IMO.
Post # 10
We were married at a historic house. The staff put up “Private Event” signs for the house itself, but the ground, the beach, the dock, etc… were still open to the public during our wedding. We didn’t really have any problems; most people were pretty respectful. We did kick some drunk teenagers off the dock, but they were understanding as to why we asked them to leave. They even offered us some forties of coors light as they walked on down the beach! Lol! Most people just said congratulations, and kinda cleared out, though, once they saw that a wedding was taking place.
It would be a good idea to have someone appointed to “crowd control,” just in case. If your photographer has an assistant, or if you are having a DOC, that would be a good job for them. That way, you have someone to run interference in case people are in your shots or being a little too nosy.
Post # 11
My brother and SIL got married in a Botanical garden that is always open. It was on a Thursday (everyone had to travel there from another state so day didnt matter)
I was a BM. I didnt notice any of the other people in the garden even though there were a few. You will focus on the bride and groom, the surrounding and the setting not the people not involved.
During photos we walked all around and it was fun to get a congratulations thrown there way, and a you all look stunning 🙂 We had to wait a couple of time for people to pass for photos but didnt bother us and we got a few great ones of the B&G leaning against a wall and complete stranges walking past and the stranges were blurry 🙂 look cool!
Post # 12
I went to one and everyone in the park gathered around the outside of the seating area and watched. It was like 100 strangers. The reception was inside so that was private but I felt awkward that so many people watched the ceremony.