Outdoor Weddings: Don't Forget

Martha Stewart Weddings, Volume 25 2003

Here are a few more crucial details: Whether the site owner is the local parks department or your Uncle Bob, you'll need to ask about the location's facilities as well as any applicable restrictions. For example, is electricity available? If not, you'll need a lighting company to provide generators. The tent company can arrange for portable restrooms if the site lacks indoor plumbing or if the existing facilities aren't adequate. If the location isn't set up to handle a lot of trash, you may need to rent a Dumpster.

Site managers handle the parking at many public and private venues; for a wedding in a residential neighborhood, ask about your options at the town hall. If the nearest parking area is more than a short walk away, you may want to arrange for shuttle buses or valet parking. Valets are also helpful for handling the logistics if cars will be parked on the street.

Once the festivities have begun, the last thing you want is a visit from local authorities, so find out well in advance if inspections or permits are required (for example, a mass-gathering permit or a permit for street parking). You may also need to notify police about the increased traffic, and you should ask about local laws regarding recycling, smoking, alcohol, and noise. When hiring a wedding planner or tent company, ask if they handle these details. Many good ones will, leaving you with a shorter to-do list.

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