Post # 1
Has anyone had their ceremony in a public location such as a park, beach, etc? Obviously we are going to get a permit but how do you keep away the uninvited stragglers, crashers, and photo bombers during the set up and the ceremony itself? How do you close off “your” permit granted section to the public?
If you get a permit from the city, do they section off your area for you? What if there’s another wedding happening at the same time 10 feet away?
FH and I are planning to have a ceremony in a part of the bay that is harder to get to by foot, in the fall when it’s slower in that area. I assume our DOC would help keep out people who are not part of the wedding, but she’s only one person.
For those with experience with getting city permits, do you know how much space they let you book, and if they give out more than one permit per day for a given location? Do they give you a specific time slot?
I’m also worried because we will most likely be offering pre ceremony refreshments in the outdoor area, and that might attract non guests.
Any input appreciated.
Post # 2
BuzzedBumblingBee : I would discuss with your DOC, I feel like there may not be a way to keep people out of the area since it’s a public place. Helping themselves to drinks and sitting down is a different story though.
Post # 3
BuzzedBumblingBee : It might depend on your specific city. Where I am from, a permit to get married in a public space does not mean that the rest of the public is not still allowed to walk through that space during that time.
Post # 4
I’m not sure that you will be able to, to be honest. A friend of mine had her wedding at a city park, and there was no way to keep people out; had to do with the fact it’s still a public space.
Post # 5
BuzzedBumblingBee : I think it might depend on what your permit covers. In my area, if you rent a pavillion in a park, you can have someone kick uninvited people out from under the pavilion, but they could still stand 2 feet away watching. The bathrooms are usually still open to others too. Part of the reason public venues are more affordable is because other people are paying to be there too, either through admission fee, parking, or tax dollars.
Regarding your other questions, the answers will be different for different jurisdictions. We have state, county, and local parks all in the same city, yet they all have different rules and requirements. If you’ve already picked your venue, google their specific rules. If you haven’t picked it yet, I’d look at the rules for the ones you’re considering, and keep them in mind as you’re deciding. If one rental fee gives you exclusive use of bathrooms and picnic tables, and another is just the pavilion, that could factor into your decision.
Post # 6
BuzzedBumblingBee : yeah, you receive a permit to hold an event but that doesn’t mean that area is actually off limits to the general public. You can have someone try to redirect people that may walk through but really it’s up to them if they choose to comply. I would imagine most people would be courteous and go the other way though!
Post # 7
These are questions you should be asking the city. We don’t know your city’s rules.
Post # 8
It’s highly unlikely that you will be able to keep people out, at least legally. Public taxes pay for public spaces and getting a permit allows you to use the space but it does not allow you to prevent other people from being there. Hint: the word public should make it pretty clear.
Post # 9
I will definitely cop to watching weddings in a public place near my home that often has weddings. I don’t get super close, but will totally watch the vows.
Post # 10
Yeah… pretty sure you’ll have to deal with a few onlookers. Your DOC should make sure they don’t sit in your seats/ help themselves to beverages, but unless your city has different rules than most, it’s still a public area. In general though, people are courteous. They want to see the pretty dresses, so they’ll hover near the perimeter, but they’ll move on.
Most likely, your city is not giving out several permits for weddings in the same area; so I wouldn’t expect another wedding a few feet away. However all those details you should be discussing with the city — different places have different rules on these kinds of things.
Post # 11
I live near these beautiful gardens and couples often get married there/ come for pictures and there is no way to keep people away. I mean people try not to be in their way but sometimes depending on where they set they def have foot traffic and people watching
Post # 12
You really can’t keep onlookers away. You might, however, be allowed to use decor as a barrier, for example to temporarily rope or divide off the refreshment, seating or ceremony areas. Check the zoning.
Post # 13
Thems just the breaks of choosing to have your wedding in an open public space.
I think most people are pretty respectful and while they may hang out and watch, most will keep a respectful distance. Maybe you’re from a town exclusively filled with rude assholes but in my experience most people are pretty decent. And yep, there may be one or two who aren’t. And there maybe one or two oblivious to their surroundings because they’re so enthralled in their conversation or looking at nature they completely miss they just walked in front of a photographer. And there may be one or two extroverts who decide to chat up some guests and ask what’s going on because they’re the type to chat up anyone in earshot.
It’s the risk of not renting private space. Deal with it the best you can if it happens and consider it a funny quirky story in the future that adds character to your wedding.
Post # 14
Check with your permit-granter and your DOC. Beaches are notoriously public–if someone is running their dogs down the beach during your ceremony it’s unlikely you’ll be able to do anything about it. If you’re not okay with that you may need to explore other options.
Post # 15
I’m ok with onlookers, I’m worried about people actually being intrusive or disruptive. FH really wants a ceremony on the water, but all the beach/bay areas are public, except maybe the manmade “beaches” on Shelter Island. There are some places that have private lawns or gardens with an ocean view, but that is not quite toes in the sand.
We are interviewing a wedding planner on Friday, and I wanted to get some outside opinions on this before we talk to her.
Looks like we’ll need to look for a DOC/planner who’s handled ceremonies in public spaces before.
If you’ve had or been to or seen a beach wedding, please share your experience. Thanks all!