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Seattle Parks and Recreation

Weddings & Ceremonies
Rules, Regulations & Policies

 
Schedule a Ceremony: (206) 684-4081

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RULES & REGULATIONS

For more information, see Schedule a Ceremony in a Park You will need adobe acrobat reader to view this document.

Permit
You need a use permit to reserve a site. The permit enables us to schedule your ceremony without conflict with other activities or events. We issue ceremony permits first-come, first served.

Access
The park remains open to the public at all times during a ceremony.

Services
We can schedule a site for you, but we cannot provide wedding planning services.

Timing
We schedule Kubota and Parsons Gardens 12 months in advance. For all other parks, scheduling begins the first business day of January of that year.

Alcohol
The Park Code (Seattle Municipal Code chapter 18.12.257) prohibits alcohol in Seattle parks. Some indoor facilities may allow alcohol permits during non-operating hours. For more information, check with individual facilities.
> View Guidelines for Service Alcohol in Parks

Food Service
Your ceremony permit allows you to provide your own food or have a simple delivery to the site. If you plan to have a caterer or to cook outdoors, we will determine if other fees apply. All outdoor ceremony sites are alcohol-free.

Setup
We do not provide setup. You must arrange through a private vendor for equipment such as chairs, canopies, or catering gear. You must finish all delivery, setup, and cleanup during the time included in your ceremony permit. We will work with you to review your plans for rental company deliveries, tent setup, chemical toilets, dumpsters, and other special requests. We may require that you hire a Parks attendant to monitor the park from start to finish.

Parking
We cannot guarantee that parking will be available for your ceremony, though parking lots and on-street parking are available at some sites.

Decorations
When staging your decorations, please keep the environment in mind. Do not put nails into trees, or stake anything into the ground. Apparatus such as canopies must be free weighted. We don't allow confetti, seeds, or rice; try flower petals! Remove all decorations at the end of your event.

Trash
Leave your area clean; gather and remove your trash and decorations so that others will find the area ready to use.

Sound
Amplified sound is not allowed without a permit, and then only at selected sites. Non-amplified music is allowed at any park. Electrical services are available at some sites, and we will determine if other fees apply.

Photos
Your ceremony permit allows you to have photographs taken at the park you have reserved. If you want to take photos at another park, we determine if other fees apply.

Garden Site Ceremonies

These rules apply to our three lovely special gardens: Kubota Garden, Parsons Garden, or the Washington Park ArboretumThis link will take you off the City of Seattle web site.

  1. An attendant must be on site.
  2. Only one event per day can be scheduled, although we may consider exceptions to this rule.
  3. No amplified music.
  4. No rice, confetti, or birdseed can be scattered; flower petals are fine.
  5. All participants must be out of park by sundown, including vendors.
  6. Rehearsals are held on Thursday for no longer than 45 minutes:
    • For a Friday ceremony, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
    • For a Saturday ceremony, Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
    • For a Sunday ceremony, Thursday at 7 p.m.

Kubota Garden Guidelines

  • Site capacity is 150 persons.
  • No electricity or water is available.
  • A small generator (under 5 k) is allowed.
  • If you scatter rose petals, pick them up after your ceremony.
  • Kubota Terrace is not wheelchair-accessible.
  • Kubota Terrace is the only area in the park where chairs or tents may be set up.
  • Rented equipment delivery and pickup (i.e., chairs and tents) occurs only during the reserved hours.
  • Vehicle access is limited to the terrace area (for loading/unloading only).
  • To arrange a site visit with staff, call the garden directly at (206) 684-4584.

Parsons Garden Guidelines

  • Site capacity is 75 persons.
  • No electricity or water is available.
  • A small generator (under 5 k) is allowed.
  • We will provide one chemical toilet to the site Thursdays through Sundays between June 2 and September 25.
  • One 20-foot-square canopy is allowed.

Washington Park Arboretum Guidelines

  • Site capacities vary from 30 to 100 persons, depending on the area of the park.
  • Permanent restrooms are available at the Graham Visitor Center.
  • Catering is allowed, but no cooking is allowed.
  • We allow no for chairs, tents, or decorations, but will consdier special requests on a case-by-case basis.

Catering and Special Equipment

For use of a caterer, special equipment, or amplified music, park use permit and other fees apply. We define a caterer as a paid person or company that prepares and/or serves food or sets up equipment for food. Special equipment includes a bouncer/air jumper or a canopy larger than 400 square feet. We allow amplified music in very few parks in order to be a good neighbor; ask your scheduler for details.

  • If your caterer or other vendor needs vehicle access to the site, note that in your application, since access is not available at all sites.
  • The City requires a copy of the service provider's liability insurance naming the City of Seattle as additional insured for a minimum of $1 million to $2million in general liability insurance.
  • An attendant my need to be present at your event.

If You Need Vehicle Access

Not all parks are accessible for load/unload purposes. If you have special requirements that make it necessary for you to have vehicle access, ask about that when you make your reservation. All park users must park in public parking spaces. A load/unload pass for use in designated areas authorizes you to deliver equipment and people who need help getting to the site: cost is $10 plus a $50 refundable key deposit fee. Only one vehicle is permitted at a time, you must provide proof of insurance, and you must display the load/unload pass on your dashboard. Immediately after unloading, you must remove your vehicle from the load area and park it in a public parking space. Lock the bollard behind you.

The day before your event, or on Friday if your event is on a weekend, please pick up the vehicle access key from the Event Scheduling Office. You can pay the $50 refundable key deposit with credit card, cash, or a check. To retrieve your refund, just return the key to the Scheduling Office the next working day. If you pay with cash or check it may take three or more weeks to process your refund.


ANTI-DISCRIMINATION

Seattle Parks and Recreation does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, political ideology, age, religion, ancestry, national origin, or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability. Discrimination complaints can be filed with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent's Office or the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.

ADA COMPLIANCE

Within the limitations of each site, the Seattle Parks and Recreation will, on request, make accommodations for persons with disabilities. Some social rooms, meeting rooms and gymnasiums are barrier-free. To find out about the status of a particular site, contact facility staff directly. For further assistance, call (206) 684-4081. For information concerning "Americans with Disabilities Act", call the Department's ADA Coordinator at (206) 684-4950.
 
Updated September 13, 2012

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