September 19, 2023

How Do Public Park Weddings Work?

Love the idea of getting married at a public park? You might be asking “How do public park weddings work?” Public parks offer picturesque settings for ceremonies. That said, they often come with limitations that may steer you towards hosting your reception elsewhere. In this guide, I’ll delve into essential considerations and alternative options to ensure your wedding celebration is everything you’ve envisioned.

1. How Do Public Park Weddings Work? Start with Permits

Before planning specifics for a park wedding, find out if if permits are required. Often, you’ll need permits for various aspects such as sound, site rental, and even guest entry. The costs associated with these permits can vary, so it’s essential to budget accordingly.

Absolutely keep in mind that obtaining permits doesn’t necessarily make the space private. Park visitors may still roam the area, which could affect the ambiance of your wedding.

Martina Liana 1111 sleeveless dress with long dramatic train. Wedding photos in Balboa Park on film by Cavin Elizabeth

2. Accessibility for All

Consider the accessibility of your chosen site. Will older or mobility-impaired guests be able to reach the ceremony location comfortably? Assess whether the site involves challenging terrain or a long hike, as this could impact your guests’ experience. A difficult journey to the ceremony site may not be ideal for everyone, so ensure that the location suits your guest list.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Park Rules

Each park has its own set of rules and regulations. These rules might cover things like serving welcome drinks, bringing in rentals, maximum guest capacity, and noise levels. Knowing these rules in advance is crucial because they can be deal-breakers. For example, if the park doesn’t permit chairs and you’re planning a lengthy ceremony, standing for an extended period may not be well-received by your guests.

Micro wedding table with lavender purple velvet linen. White bentwood chairs and two plush velvet side chairs. Two peach, yellow, white centerpieces surrounded by ivory and peach taper candles. How do public park weddings work? Cypress trees and a wishing well. Wedding at The Prado in Balboa Park. Film by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

4. Preparing for Inclement Weather

Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to have a rain plan in place. Find out if the park allows for last-minute tent installations or if rain could turn the area into a muddy mess. Some parks might even close down in severe weather conditions, which could disrupt your plans. Always have a backup plan ready to ensure your wedding proceeds smoothly, rain or shine.

5. Bathroom Facilities

Ensure that the park’s bathroom facilities meet the standards of your guests. If the existing bathrooms aren’t desirable, you can rent mobile bathroom trailers. Some are even branded as luxury bathrooms. Clean and comfortable restroom facilities are essential to keep your guests comfortable throughout the celebration.

Epic landscape San Diego engagement, Gorgeous Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Engagement Photos, Cavin Elizabeth

6. Exploring Reception Alternatives

While hosting your reception at the park is an option, you can also consider alternative venues. Many couples opt for a separate venue for the reception, allowing for more flexibility in their wedding plans. This choice can save you money on ceremony site fees, and you can explore various options, such as renting a dedicated event space or choosing a charming restaurant for an intimate gathering.

Arroyo Terrace lawn reception with a mix of wooden round and long farm tables left bare. Brown wooden crossback chairs with ivory cushion. Two lounges with gray sofa and white linen armchairs. Escort card table with a large floral arrangement made from white roses, dahlias, delphinium, and greenery. Cavin Elizabeth Photography.