(Closed) Did anyone have their ceremony in a public park?

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
1639 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We did. But we were allowed to bring in chairs and sort of decorate. There were extremely specific rules about “no rice, no bird seed, no confetti (nothing that can harm the wildlife), no chairs on the grass, nothing to harm the grass, no signs that you can stick IN the grass, take down your decorations IMMEDIATELY” type deal. We had our ceremony inside of a gazebo, so we were allowed to rent chairs and put them in the gazebo. We also put a couple of garlands up the railings and tied a couple pomanders off it. My aunts took the decorations down immediately after, and we hired someone to put up/break down the chairs.

Do you have anything specifically in mind that you want to know about it? There are a couple photos where there are cars behind us, but it’s not a huge deal. People were polite, congratulated me, stopped and got out of the way for pictures, stuff like that. None of the park’s patrons really bothered us or did anything. There were two little girls that saw me in my “princess dress” and kept running away from their dad to peek around the corner at me while I was in the visitor center waiting to do photos with my party (their dad kept having to come get them and apologizing, but it was fine. They said I looked like a princess so I was all for it). A couple random people watched our ceremony from across the sidewalk, but they just clapped afterward and went about their day, it didn’t bother us. It was GORGEOUS. 

Post # 5
1639 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@sheeply:  We dealt with half the people being from across the country. Darling Husband is from California originally, but everyone that was on his side of the family stayed at the same hotel, rode together in big vans, had GPS as well as very detailed directions (we had a wedding website so that the across country folks could access hotel info, airport info, a map of the park, all of that), so everything was totally fine. We gave everyone a map of the park and highlighted their entrance/parking area, and his side of the family all came to the rehearsal/dinner, so they were able to acquaint themselves with the venue before the day of. We had our rehearsal dinner at Outback Steakhouse (lol), and it was totally fine, everyone has GPS and it was the only Outback in the area so nobody got lost. 

From what you’ve described, it doesn’t seem like it would be a problem at all. The only thing I’d worry about was whether or not you had elderly that couldn’t stand for long. My grandfather was there and he is too old to have stood/walked the entire way (my little brother actually escorted me and then my grandpa took me a few steps to my DH), but like I said, we were able to have chairs. I would ask the park of they have any kind of exception for handicapped people if you are going to be having grandparents and so forth. Also definitely make sure it’s somewhere accesible for them if there is a problem with mobility. Luckily for us, our gazebo had a gorgeous bridge and long extensive walkway on one side, but was immediately accesible by the main park road on the other, so my grandfather was dropped off by my aunt on the side with the road and he just walked through to the other side where I was coming across the bridge. It was a little bit of a logistical thing, but it wasn’t a problem.

My biggest challenge is that I got married in Annapolis, which is a very…erm…snob? Area? Lol. It’s hard to describe, but the people down there are well to do and everything has “its way” so they were kind of peculiar with the rules, but it wasn’t anything huge that we couldn’t work around. It was more annoying than anything, but I still wouldn’t trade it for the world. The good thing about Annapolis folk being somewhat snobbish is that they’re big into making sure they’re polite and not a nuisance because that wouldn’t be proper. So no, we didn’t have any problems with patrons at all. Everyone got out of the way for photos, people would stop and congratulate us, those total randos clapped after our ceremony, nobody brought their dogs near us (thank god), everything went fine. Like I said, some of our pro shots have cars in the background of people coming into the park (it IS a public venue, after all), but we also have shots where there are no cars, so it’s not a huge deal.

For reference, here are some of our photos:

Our bridal party/bride&groom pictures were taken in a different area of the park (by the water, as you can see) than the ceremony was held, which actually did require us all to kind of pack into a car and drive down there, but we worked it out such that after the ceremony, we quickly did the parent photos and then our parents went and got the vans, which were handed off to our bridal party, and we all piled in and drove down, followed by the photographer. The bridal party did their pictures and then they drove back up to the reception site, while we stayed for the bride/groom pictures and then the photographer drove us back to the reception hall in HIS car. It all worked out smoothly and there was plenty of scotch/rum/vodka/wine/beer/appetizers/music to keep everyone entertained in the mean time, so it was really very nice.

The difference with us was that our hall was on-site so it just required driving around the various parts of the park as opposed to different locations. But still, I don’t think it should be a problem. 🙂

Post # 6
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

When I was married, over 20 years ago, it was in a public park on Australia Day. We didn’t have chairs, other than two to sit on for signing the marriage certificate.

It was a park, by the harbour, so the views were beautful, and we were married beneath a huge tree. The reception was held in an old house that has been converted into a restaurant / function venue, beside the park. So guests could sit out on the terrace and enjoy the views as part of the reception.

As it was Australia Day, there were a lot of celebratory things going on. During the ceremony, we had the surprise of a marching band parading past us, and there was a helicopter flypass, with a gigantic Australian flag suspended below it. And there were pony rides in another part of the park, so the tiny guests at the wedding were able to go and get pony rides.

It all added to the fun of the day. Really… how could you not laugh, when a band with bagpipes and a huge drum unexpectedly parades past you?

Apart from the celebratory things happening, that were due to the wedding falling on Australia Day, nobody else came near us during the ceremony.

The marriage didn’t turn out to be as fun as the wedding… but it was a great day.

Post # 7
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Parks can sometimes be even more restrictive than indoor venues! We also went through the whole “nothing on the grass / no music / no decorations” talk and realized that just going through the permit hoops would cost several thousand dollars… might as well rent a building and be fine in any weather. Maybe if you live in an area that’s less strict it makes more sense. Wish we could just go to a beach and do it there.

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