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7 Tips for Planning the Perfect Public Park Wedding

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Have you ever dreamed of getting married outdoors, but think you can’t do so on a budget? Think again! A public park wedding just might be the answer to your savvy wedding venue dilemma.

New York headshot photographer Sofia Negron

Having your wedding in a public park is a budget-friendly way to have an outdoor wedding without the hefty price tag associated with traditional wedding venues, outdoor resorts, estates, or gardens.

You’ll also save money in other ways: there’s no need to spend money purchasing decorations (Mother Nature provides all the beautiful scenery you’ll need) or extend the shoot hours for your photographer (great photo opportunities are available in one convenient location!)

How to Plan a Public Park Wedding

Whether you want to exchange your vows in New York’s Central Park or the park in your hometown, it will be beautiful and budget-friendly! Here are seven helpful tips to keep in mind as you plan your public park wedding.

Do your research.

Where can you get married in a public park? You’d be surprised! All it takes is a bit of research online to see where you could potentially hold your wedding. Perhaps you’d like to get married in your local hometown park. Or maybe you have a beautiful park in another city, state, or even a different country in mind. No matter the location, be sure to do your research. Be sure to look into the park’s opening and closing hours and average seasonal weather. You should also check whether there are any large concerts, events, performances, or celebrations scheduled in the park on your proposed wedding dates.

Scout out wedding locations.

Now that you’ve done your research, are there different areas of the park where you can get married? Do you want to be married in a cozy, shady cove or on a bright, open hillside? Is the location easily accessible by car or foot? Are there public restrooms nearby? Will the temperature or lighting be drastically different during the various seasons of the year? If you are able, plan a trip to visit potential locations ahead of time so you know what to expect.

Know the rules of the park.

Familiarizing yourself with the official rules and regulations of the public park is your best bet to ensure your wedding goes on without a hitch. What are the park’s rules when it comes to decorations, music and sound, photography and setting up tables, chairs, food and beverages, etc.? Are there a certain number of guests permitted to attend your wedding?

Secure a permit.

In order to secure your wedding location, you’ll likely need some paperwork. To allow you and your guests to legally gather in the park, file for a space permit with the local parks department or authorities. Be sure to pay attention to any permit time restrictions (how many hours and/or days is the permit valid?) as well as numbers of guests allowed (what’s the maximum amount of guests allowed for a particular location in the park?). Request your permit sooner than later to ensure that your desired date and time is available. Most importantly, don’t forget to bring the permit with you on your wedding day!

Have a backup plan. 

It’s a good idea to have a backup plan for your wedding in case of inclement weather. Rain, snow, or extreme temperatures can put a real damper on your outdoor celebration! Consider selecting a secondary park location that offers adequate shelter for you and your guests. Note: be sure to get a permit for this location as well if necessary. Alternatively, you could choose a nearby venue outside of the park as your backup location. You may want to choose an indoor location for your backup plan such as your reception venue or hotel. You could also look into alternative locations such as art galleries and chapels, which may be reserved in advance for a nominal fee.

A public park is open to the public.

Keep in mind that a public park is truly public: there will be others enjoying the park during your wedding. Having a wedding in a public park does not guarantee control over things like sound and privacy as you would in a private venue. Parkgoers will be curious about what is taking place and may want to stand by quietly to watch or perhaps take a few photos. The best thing to do is to take on a friendly and open attitude. What’s not to love about people cheering and applauding when you and your fiancé are pronounced married? If you’re up for a unique outdoor experience, a public park wedding could be just the thing for you!

Planning a public park wedding is super savvy!

So if you’re looking for an option to exchange your wedding vows that’s budget-friendly, convenient, and beautiful, we think having your wedding in a public park is a very savvy choice!

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7 Tips for planning a public park wedding
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New York headshot photographer Sofia Negron

is the founder of A Central Park Wedding, a planning company that specializes in planning and coordinating beautiful wedding ceremonies in New York City’s Central Park. They offer full-service ceremony packages and take care of everything from permits to photography to floral arrangements and more!