6 TIPS FOR GETTING MARRIED IN A PUBLIC PLACE
At some point many brides and grooms planning a wedding will have considered getting married in a public place, but most people will get stumped when it comes to finding a suitable location and understanding all the rules and regulations. That is why most couples will end up dismissing the idea and opting for an easier more traditional venue instead. Though planning a wedding in public will take a little more planning and research, the benefits of choosing to marry in a public place will usually far outweigh the effort. It is often thought of as more budget friendly option as venues will often charge a much smaller fee, decor is unlikely to be needed as the location will already offer amazing natural beauty and the experience will be second to none. With this in mind, we have listed our top tips for planning a wedding in a public place, as a quick guide to getting your started…
1. Know the Law?
The law on getting married in public places differs depending on the location. For example here in the UK, venues need to be licensed for the marriage to be considered legally binding. This doesn’t rule out getting married in a public place if it doesn’t hold a license completely, it just means a legal civil ceremony will need to be performed elsewhere to formalize the marriage. Many will opt for a humanist ceremony in their preferred location instead, this can be a lot more flexible and highly personalised to suit your beliefs and is something a celebrant will be able to help you with.
2. Find out all the Rules & Regulations
Once you have found your perfect venue, first contact the venues administrative office or your local council to find out if the venue is licensed to host weddings and if not, find out if they are happy for you to perform a humanist ceremony there instead. You will also need to find out whether you need a permit and more about time restrictions, parking, public amenities, cleanup stipulations, noise levels, decorations and whether or not you will need a temporary events notice. Most importantly make sure the venue is up to date with healthy and safety regulations and ask how many guests it can safely allow.
3. Don’t Forget the Hidden Fee’s
You will obviously want to know how much getting married in a public place will cost you and for many places, it might even cost you nothing however, there will more than likely be associated costs in the form of temporary events notices, permits that allow you play music, use microphones, bring along your own toilets etc. Make sure you have considered every aspect of your wedding so as not to encounter any late fees or fines once the wedding is over.
4. Do Your Research
The clue should probably be in the title, but public places are exactly that – PUBLIC! Which means their is a huge possibility that you could be joined by lots of onlookers on your wedding day. First assess how comfortable you would be with that and find out if the venue would allow you take steps to make it more private, i.e. cordoning off certain areas where only invited guests are allowed to enter?
Secondly, visit your venue on the same day of the week and at the same time that you will be getting married to assess pedestrian traffic, this will help you decide on suitability for a wedding ceremony or reception i.e. restrooms, parking and where you will want to position the celebrant, bridal party and guests. Don’t forget to research any events that might also be happening on the same day.
5. Have a Plan B!
Many public places are outdoors! So don’t forget to have a plan B should the heavens decided to open on your wedding day. Check with the venue to ensure they will be happy with you having a marquee as a back up plan before you book your wedding and whether you will need a permit.
6. Inform your Guests
If you have decided to get married in a public place, there is a good chance the venue is very large. Help guests find exactly where they need to go by providing specific information on the invites i.e ‘The bandstand at Lydney Park’, rather than Lydney Park. It might also be helpful to use signs to point guests in the right direction if allowed.
Do you have any questions about getting married in a public place that we haven’t covered. Let us know if the comments below.
Photographer & Event Planner: Willmus Weddings | Dress Designer: BHLDN | Lighting: Brilliant Event Lighting | Calligrapher: Everthine Designs | Event Venue: Horton Plaza Park | Floral Designer: Huntress Florals |Other: Stecklair Event Company | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: The Black Tux | Hair Stylist: The Hair & Make-up Box | Bakery: Three 50 Bakes | Design and Decor: To Be Designed |