Theme park weddings offer thrills


Hanna Johansen/Iowa State Daily

The new Manta roller coaster thrills park patrons at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.

Hanna Johansen

Interested in having a wedding your guests are sure to remember? Trying to find a venue that is outside the box? Why not have your wedding at one of the many theme parks located throughout the United States?

No matter what type of atmosphere you are looking for, there may be a theme park that will accommodate your needs. Here are a few popular locations that offer a wide range of amenities and diversions:

Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Disney’s theme parks are a very popular choices for destination weddings. Disney provides different packages to accommodate different sizes and budgets. Disney offers on-site florists, photographers, caterers and makeup artists who can leave the bride with a much shorter to-do list.

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive resort park that offers unique animal interactions, gives guests the experience of touring an exotic island without the long voyage often required to get to one. With its white, sandy beaches and crystal waters full of dolphins and tropical fish, Discovery Cove is a great choice for couples seeking an intimate waterfront wedding.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Another great location to tie the knot is Knott’s Berry Farm. Notable for offering modern, adrenaline-pumping roller coasters in an Old West atmosphere, Knott’s is sure to make a lasting impression on guests. With an on-site chapel and a variety of ballrooms and courtyards, Knott’s provides a wide range of location options for couples.

After you have chosen your location, contact the park’s event specialist or wedding coordinator. Contact information for event-planning specialists like these can often be found on park websites.

Making it Happen

Be sure to make reservations well in advance, and try to avoid the park’s peak season. “Couples need to plan ahead and should call about one year in advance,” advised Debbie Farmer, wedding consultant and catering sales manager.

Don’t forget to keep your guests in mind. “Unique venues often come with higher expenses for not only the couple, but family and friends as well,” Farmer warned.

Make guest planning easy by reserving a block of rooms in a hotel close to your location. This will not only lower room rates, but will also decrease the number of extra steps guests have to go through to attend the wedding.

Remember minor details such as laws regarding marriage in the state, documentation needed to make the wedding official and ways to find an officiate or minister to perform the ceremony — especially if the wedding coordinator doesn’t provide this service.