Has anyone had their wedding at a park or planning to?

posted 3 years ago in Houston
Post # 3
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I recently went to a wedding that was held in the park.

My advice as a guest, is to think about the logistics carefully before planning….

The wedding I attended was two hours away from my home, and there was no bathroom at the park. (There was at the reception venue.) This town was so small, there was not even a hotel for 50 miles….so, 99% of the guests were travelling to be there. Luckily I know the bride and her mother very well, so I popped over to their house to pee before the ceremony, but I would have been DYING otherwise. I should add that there is one gas station in down but it was closed, and no other public restrooms. Other than the biker bar.

Think about the comfort of your guests due to the heat, too….I would’ve killed for a tent or something. An hour and a half in the baking midday sun, and this was not even in Houston!! Everyone sweated through their clothes by the time the ceremony was over and the reception hall open.

Now, I believe it can be done…but think about this stuff, because man, that was a terrible experience. Lovely wedding, but you know.

Post # 5
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We’re having ours at a park, and the reception will be at a big pavillion also at the park. One thing to consider: is it a public park? If so, you might want to invest in security (just for an hour) to stand at the entrance to keep public out of your ceremony.

Post # 6
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@Miss_Words:  +1. That’s a really good idea. 

@solsticedark:  It sounds really lovely! 🙂 Only because I’m thinking worst case scenario…any problems with birds in those trees? Not the birds specifically, but….their poop? That would be hilarious after the fact….but terrible, if your guests got pooped on 🙂 

Post # 7
1242 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

@solsticedark:  My friend did hers in a park with about 20 guests or so. It was really beautiful. It was done in a state park in PA. I’ll ask her who she contacted.

They used an area that had an over hang (in case of bad weather). They did a quaker style ceremony, so they didn’t need anyone to marry them (you can only do this in PA).

The reception was right there. They had a local Italian restaurant cater it. The bride went to the salvation army and vintage shops in her area and collect vintage plate and tea cups – I think that was their biggest expensem, other then the food.

Keep in mind if it’s a state park, they might not allow alcohol. Local parks you would probably have to check with the city.

I think it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have been to!

Post # 8
1148 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I have attended a handful of outdoor ceremonies, and am participating in one this coming weekend! The most recent one I attended was last August, so I’ll share what I remember from that.

The ceremony was held at a state park under a little picnic shelter area, so direct sunlight was not a problem, but it was still quite warm out. The area the couple had for their cake and such (very simple reception of just desserts and punch) was out in the open, a lot not covered, so insects were a bit of an issue. The area they chose, while very pretty, was also right next to a designated swimming area, so it was kind of distracting with small children running screaming past at random intervals. I don’t know if this could have been prevented by choosing another spot, or if this will be an issue at the place you plan on holding your ceremony.

The wedding I’m in this weekend will also be in a state park, but this one is used more for camping, so the bride is hoping no one is camping in the area the ceremony is going to take place. Guests have been asked to provide their own chairs, which not a big deal, but then she may run into the problem of people kind of plopping down wherever. Parking is also going to be a bit of an issue, so I’d make sure to let your guests know ahead of time, or encourage them to carpool if they can. For this wedding, some guests are going to park at a local convience store, then ride the last few miles together.

I’d also make sure you have a back-up location, in case of bad weather! I’d hate to see anyone plan an beautiful outdoor ceremony, only to get it rained out and nowhere else to go!

Post # 10
1290 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My fiance and I have changed our plans a million times and moved dates and it’s crazy. we’re now on a state park wedding idea, and I have all kinds of logistics questions.


1. Where am I supposed to get ready? where does he get ready?

2. We have to leave at dark, really? 

3. what about all these leaves and duck feces?

4. That’s the bathroom? Im going in the lake, thanks.

5. How loud can my music be? Can I have music?

I just want to seriously know and discuss step by step how to pull something like this off. I don’t see many talking about it.

Our park is a nature park. They said they don’t allow alcohol, but…I don’t know how they know what is in the punch. Seriously, I don’t think I’ll have a lot of drinkers, but I’d like the option. 

dealing with your food outside could be easy. Do those nonflammable “off” bug things, and you can put mosquito netting around the pavillion or area where the food is. Maybe see if you can make it hang down like those people put this netting drapings over their beds when they stay in tropical places? Know what I mean? People can part the netting, get food, close it back. I saw a pic of that somewhere and I could post it if I find it.

I’m concerned about park visitors, too. I don’t think you can hire security to tell the public they can’t go to a public part of the park.  I asked my park about it, and the lady said, “Hopefully, they’ll just stay away.” For the parking area, they’ll try to park there, for sure, but I think once they realize a wedding is in the area, they’ll probably leave to another park of the park on their own. 

My main concern is where do I get ready and how do I use the bathroom in my dress because I doubt the park bathroom is big enough or clean enough for my dress. I’m thinking we’d have to clean the bathrooms before the ceremony. I wonder if I can get a discount for cleaning their public restrooms for them?

Most of this is tongue-in-cheek, but I’m seriously trying to figure out or find a complete checklist and how-to for this. So I am willing to brainstorm with other brides.



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