How to Get City Permits for an Outdoor Wedding
City parks are beautiful wedding-ceremony settings but come with restrictions
By MiShaun Taylor
Some of the most beautiful and romantic weddings are those which are set outdoors. Whether you decide to get married on the beach or among fountains in a park, an outdoor wedding can be gorgeous. Just make sure you do your homework and get the proper permits from the parks department or other manager of your favorite public spot.
- What You Need to Know
- Permits for public spaces come with a lot of restrictions, but nothing that should discourage you from checking with the authorities to see if your wedding needs can be met.
- Since the laws protect free assembly in public spaces, permits typically apply to gatherings of more than a few dozen people; check your local requirements for an exact number. You should be able to hold a small, simple, quiet wedding ceremony on any public land without permission.
Find out who controls the public space you're interested in. The folks who control the permit may be at a government agency or a private institution. And it's possible that multiple agencies have jurisdiction: The parks department may permit for the land but the police department for use of loudspeakers and the fire department for erecting a large tent. Your professional wedding photographer might have to get a media permit to shoot in some locations.
Check permit requirements. Rules and application forms are generally online. Check the restrictions carefully to see if they fit your plans. Parks may prohibit alcohol, cooking, tents or loud music, require you to bring in your own power generator and, for large enough groups, make sure you rent portable toilets. Some parks department will only let you use their approved caterers. Permits will typically have a time limit in hours.
Check the fees. They may be minimal or range into the thousands for a large wedding. You may be required to post a refundable security deposit and pay an insurance fee or pay an hourly rate for a police officer to provide security.
Apply for your permit online or by fax or mail. Hand in the paperwork long before your wedding date to guarantee you can secure your place and time.
Bring the permit to the wedding. Forgetting it could have disastrous results, so make sure to either bring the permit with you or put someone in charge of doing it for you.
About the Author
With more than 15 years of writing experience, MiShaun Taylor specializes in wedding-related articles.
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