Read this first if you want to know how to have a wedding in a park. We’ll tackle the checklist and legalities you must accomplish to have a successful park wedding.
And speaking of park weddings, you can also browse our blog for other outdoor weddings you can make. For example, here’s how to plan an outdoor wedding reception.
How To Have A Wedding In A Park: A Step-By-Step Guide
Determine what you’ll do at the park
Parks vary in regulations and restrictions, so you need to figure out if you have your ceremony and reception in one place. You may need a separate venue for the reception as parks might not allow its use for extended periods, or the noise and decors may restrict you.
Otherwise, a pavilion, gazebo, or picnic area might be allowed for louder celebrations like the wedding reception. You can also take the park’s location as a guide in planning your wedding.
For example, are there close hotels, resorts, or halls in the park? This will save you on transportation costs since the guests only need to walk to another site for the reception.
Accomplish the legalities and restrictions for having a wedding in a park
Before getting married at the park, understand that parks have different restrictions, and you must accomplish their requirements. For example, check the park where you’re having a wedding, as you’ll likely need a permit for the event.
You can check the official website of the National Park Service to know what you’ll need for the specific park where you want to get married. It’s possible to schedule your wedding one year in advance, and you’ll need Special Use Authorization Permits if you do not get married by a third party.
According to NPS, completing the basic permit request process takes around four weeks. There are different group size limits per park, and your wedding must comply with the park regulations.
For example, before you plan the vendors and rentals, understand that the use of chairs varies per park. You also need to limit the wedding arch usage to 10 minutes to allow other park visitors to view and photograph the park without obstruction.
You cannot also occupy the entire parking lot and be responsible for the cleanup after the event. After studying the restrictions, you can venture out to book vendors and do wedding rentals.
Plan the wedding setup at the park
After completing the permits and studying the park restrictions for having a wedding, you can plan the event’s setup. Understand the terrains of parks and consider the other park visitors when planning the layout.
Parks may have limitations on the spots you can use for the wedding. Understand that popular attractions are likely to be blocked off for preservation.
Call the park’s office as they might have suggestions on the best park spots for a wedding. The location should not only be the perfect backdrop but also be secluded for a more intimate wedding.
Then, remember that for the ceremony, you want to give 10 square feet per person for comfort. Here’s how to set up chairs for a wedding ceremony for a more in-depth guide.
Communicate what to expect with the park wedding to your guests
The final step to making a wedding in a park successful and smooth is to communicate everything they’ll need to know to the guests. Use your wedding website and invitation suite to inform the guests of the restrictions, dress code, time, and other important information for getting married in the park.
Having a park wedding means telling your guests what to expect with the weather and terrain. Provide comfortable outfit options, the best parking area, and how to get to your venue.
You should also notify them of the off-limits areas. And, of course, let them know about the gates and park closures.
Can You Get Married In A State Park?
You can make a state park your wedding venue, but please check beforehand if park weddings are allowed in your specific state park. For example, you can have a park wedding in Massachusetts and check where it’s allowed on their official website.
They include a list of the state parks where you can get married so that you can contact them for more questions. You can also have a wedding ceremony in state parks in Pennsylvania, which you can view on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.
Do You Need A Permit To Get Married In A Park?
You’ll most likely need a permit to get married in a park in the US. Check your state’s website, or perhaps your state has a department that handles this request.
But besides knowing if weddings are allowed in parks, you should also follow the restrictions when having an event in a public space. For example, are decorations allowed or if reception is possible in the park?
And that’s it! To recap how to have a wedding in a park, determine if you’ll have the ceremony and reception, accomplish the requirements, plan the setup, and inform your guests of the restrictions.
We hope this was helpful, but we encourage you to check your state’s website to ensure the requirements and limitations for a park wedding.