Post # 1
We’ve decided we want an outdoor wedding, with both the ceremony and the reception outside in a preferably casual setting. We’ve been looking at various public parks, and a lot of them are very pretty, so that’s not necessarily the issue… What I’m wondering is how the “public” aspect plays in to having a private party. Does anyone have any insightful experiences on this? If your wedding was in a public place, did a lot of people pass by? Did anyone have any strangers coming in to congratulate/ask something? Did anyone have any unpleasant encounters or other issues?
I’ve been looking into private gardens as well, but those are generally really restrictive and I don’t like the “unnatural” look of some cultivated gardens, so I don’t really know. Any help is welcome!
Hints on pretty parks in the San Diego area are also welcomed 😉
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I’ve been to two weddings set in national parks at a public venue area. There were definitely people milling around within view of the wedding, but the ceremony spot they picked was enough off the beaten path that there weren’t people right nearby. You have to be comfortable with strangers seeing you all gussied up and getting married, for sure. But everyone was super respectful and kept their distance, and my friends got some very nice congratulations as we were all walking back to the cars.
I think it’s a great idea – beautiful scenery for free or almost free!
Post # 4
We had our wedding on a beach. While there were a good amount of people on the beach, most of those who stopped did not interfere at all and stayed pretty far away. It was a very large beach though, so there was plenty of room for gawkers to look from afar.
Post # 5
I got married in a public park and got so many compliments on it! The only thing that happened was something I didn’t even know about until after the wedding. Apparently as my bridesmaids were walking down the ‘aisle’ two random little boys walked through them to go to the play ground and one of them was wearing a davy crocket hat. Not very many guests saw it though because they were all looking at the front and the boys walked behind everyone. So funny.
Post # 6
Ive been to 4 out door weddings, 3 of them with recepetions out doors as well. Only ONE of them was a good experience.
The one failed one, was in the summer. NO SHADE, humid and way too hot (even for canada) It was uncomfortable and eating outside was not pleasent. Strangers were always around and ruining pictures and younger kids/teens found it ”funny” and were always yelling into the wedding. During the ceremony, some kid was doing the YMCA in the background. It was horrible.
The other failed one, was also in the summer except this time is was the rain. It was cloudy crappy day all day but wasnt supposed to rain. The ceremony went okay as far as strangers but the vehicles at a near by street made it difficult to hear ANYTHING. They got married, I didnt hear it. Food was served and it started to drizzle. Not good. The bride was horrified and the party never happened.
And finally the last failed wedding. Was in a big local park. Beautiful day, not too hot but warm enough. She provided hand fans. Ceremony was going well even with the voices of people at the park and then all of a sudden, someones DOG ran into the ceremony. So naturally, the owner came in chasing it….awesome. The reception was held near by in the park under a big canopy. It was more private and the shade was nice but strangers were still lurking and then the wedding was shut down at 11 because the park closed at 11…why they thought that was okay I will never know.
I had always thought I wanted an out door wedding but after those horrible experiences and then the chances of weather and guests being cold, hot etc, I decided against it. They are pretty etc but not worth the chances of crap going wrong.
Post # 7
IDK… I think anywhere you go, unless you rent a completely private area, you will have strangers looking. We went to a wedding last March at the Hilton… the ceremony was by the pool, and there were lots of people by and IN the pool during the ceremony… Eeek!
Post # 8
@An-chan: We got married inside a national park in Canada. By day it is a pretty touristy spot (although they don’t venture far from the parking lot), and by night, they all go away so the lake is pretty peaceful.
The place we had the ceremony was outdoors, but only guests of the cabins walking by could see us. I think maybe 5 peple passed by. They were all smiling, no one really stopped to gawk at the ceremony though.
But then we got some photos in the canoe on the lake and we had alot of gawkers taking photos of us! I thought it was fun, we got many congratulations from strangers. I did not mind it. Lots of “brilliant place to go for your wedding, wish we did this!” Another couple was celebrating their 2nd anniversary, so they were like, “Great date you picked!”
For dinner we did have a seculded area of the dining room. So only when we ventured off to get photos did we really start seeing people.
PS – are you in Finland now? I was in Finland for work this past March. I also ran into Eino Kalpala – founder of the first Finnish ski resort and Olympia!
Post # 9
So here is something I would hate!
Then gawkers! (albeit this is a very popular tourist spot)
Banff National Park, Canada
Post # 10
We are having our ceremony in a local state park & this was the one thing I was concerned about. Luckily for us, it’s a day-use area with a keyed gate at the driveway (about a 1/2 mile long driveway) and we will have the only key other than the rangers. So I don’t expect any visitors/gawkers that way. However they also have a seasonal bridge connecting our portion of the park over the river to the other side which is easily accessible & VERY popular with families/rafters/etc. I’m making HUGE ass signs to go both at the driveway & the bridge that there is a private wedding in progress & to <politely> stay out… Here’s hoping it works =)
Post # 11
@sienna76: If you don’t mind me asking – where exactly did you get married? Am also looking at banff/lake louise venues and the teeny tiny picture in your avatar looks beautiful! Is it moraine lake? Or emerald maybe?
Post # 12
@cece_intheuk: It is Emerald Lake, yes! It’s about 1.25 hours from Banff, and 45 minutes from Lake Louise.
Emerald Lake Lodge had a wonderful elopement package where they took care of everything (officiant booking – but she and I wrote the ceremony, bouquet, boutonniere, three course wedding dinner with champagne, ceremony set up, single tiered wedding cake, toasting flutes. Oh, and breakfasts were included.
I looked long and hard for anything in the Canmore/Banff/LL area and Emerald Lake just seemed to fit us perfectly. The package included 2 nights logdging, but we added a third night.
We were able to book our Tuesday elopement with 15 days notice. Just an all around great experience!
Post # 13
I use to live on Hermosa beach in Los Angeles (and I lived in Coronado before that). There were weddings down the beach ALL the time. I admit…my fiance and I snuck a peek during the processional (looking for decor/dress ideas for our wedding, honestly)–but we did so from the privacy of our balcony. We tried to be as respectful as possible and stay FAR away from the beach during the wedding. Not everyone is so courteous.
I can’t tell you how many times we saw looky-loos walk right up to someone’s wedding…or park their beach umbrellas on the beach in front of a wedding ceremony. We even saw a bride set up her entire wedding ceremony IN FRONT OF another wedding ceremony (one bride booked the Chart House in Redondo Beach, the other got a beach permit and set up on the public stretch of beach IN FRONT of the Chart House’s private beach)!
The worst gawker I’ve ever seen at a wedding happened at a friend’s wedding though. Right in the middle of my friend’s ceremony, a very husky, bald European guy in a speedo walked right up to the minister, right between the minister and the bride! Even when they asked him to leave, the guy only took about five steps back. The photographer had to work VERY hard to keep the guy out of the photos. It was really rude. Some people don’t have ANY consideration for others…
However, even hotels aren’t private. My sister booked a small boutique hotel for her wedding…and even though the wedding guests were 90% of the people staying in the hotel, the other 10% of guests were swimming in the pool during her sunset ceremony…and they totally gawked her wedding. We had to take wedding pictures around them.
You really have to book a small, private venue if you don’t want gawkers–and where I live at least, those don’t come cheap.
Post # 14
@sienna76: Oh my gosh, your photos are beautiful! My current front runner is yosemite but your pictures are making me reconsider 🙂 I love the look of the elopement package (do you mind me asking approximately how much it was?), but I think we’re going to end up doing a dw and inviting people. I’ve also looked around the same sort of area and agree with you – Emerald Lake looks perfect. It’s great to hear you didn’t feel too ‘overlooked’ – something I’m a bit nervous about with a public location in yosemite!
Post # 15
Some of these posts made me crack up!
We aren’t getting married in a park, per say, but we are getting married in front of & our cocktail hour will be at a very public historic house :
We will also be getting married on Halloween, so the chance of having a bunch of trick or treaters walk by, is very likely.
This doesn’t bother me though – So what if I have a few gawkers? They are only looking because well.. it’s a wedding! I don’t mind at all!
Post # 16
We got married on a public beach late afternoon. Most of the beach goers had gone for the day… there were a few stragglers… and aways from us some Vendors packing up their wares.
During the Ceremony we were pretty oblivous to the few folks still on the beach. And no one seemed to bothered by us (lol, it is a popular Wedding location, chances are good, that the folks there had seen others marry in the same spot earlier in the day as well)
There were two instances when taking photographs, that our Photographer had to make adjustments… one was to reposition us because there was something going on in the background on the water that she didn’t like (seadoo I think), and the other was when she asked a kid who was lurking (contiually) behind us to move away.
But overall the pics turned out great… and we are very happy. Lol, it does look like we were the only ones there… not the total truth, but not far off the mark.
Hope this helps,