For couples who love the great outdoors, getting married in a gorgeous scenery like a national park is a fresh approach to a uniquely meaningful ceremony or reception idea. However, even with the natural setting and the sunshine, your dream day could turn into an outward bound adventure if you do not plan well and are not prepared for the possible pitfalls such as annoying insects and bad weather. Listed below are a few tips to deal with the few logistical barriers and pull off your dream wedding in a national park.
Lay the format
Figure out how you want to do things. Decide if you want to have both the ceremony and reception at the national park, or just one there and the other elsewhere. If you want to have it all done in one place, look for a national park that has private hotels and resorts on the park grounds. These hotels offer event services like wedding coordination, equipment rentals, and on-site catering. You also need to look into regulations for hours and sound amplifications, décor restrictions, and limitations for bar hours. If the park doesn’t have any resort or hotel on site, you might want to look into another option.
Be prepared for any weather
If Mother Nature is having a bad day, your wedding may translate into a rain-soaked ceremony. So it is wise always to have a plan B. Securing a permit to use a band shell, or an existing gazebo is the safest strategy. If there isn’t one, you might consider renting a tent or two for the day and check with the park officials beforehand for any regulations.
Tell your guests about terrain and weather
When having a national park wedding, communication is essential. Update your guests with a few must-have pieces of information such as checking in at the gates (if they are driving themselves or paying any admission fee), any shoe recommendations (especially if the park has uneven terrain), and the backup plan (in case of any hiccups with the weather)
Access the bathroom situation
Find out if the park has a spot with easy access restrooms or if you’ll have to rent them. If the entire wedding will be in the park and there won’t be easy access bathrooms, you will need to rent them. If you’re having just the ceremony, you need to inform your guests that there won’t be bathroom access ahead of time, then keep the ceremony short.
When it comes to a national park wedding, you can never be too prepared. Following these few tips will, however, safeguard you against any barriers that might occur during your big day.
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