How to keep public out of beach/park ceremony?

posted 1 month ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

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
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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
2411 posts
Buzzing bee

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
8769 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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
2706 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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
351 posts
Helper bee

These are questions you should be asking the city.  We don’t know your city’s rules.

Post # 8
3746 posts
Sugar bee

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
192 posts
Blushing bee

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
2163 posts
Buzzing bee

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
459 posts
Helper bee

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
11771 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

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
4387 posts
Honey bee

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
6306 posts
Bee Keeper

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. 

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