A Castle Wedding

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I work in a castle in the US. It is a grand home with sweeping vistas of a great city and a public park. The house is made of pink sandstone with granite accents, so it is very picturesque. We often have weddings, but there are some issues I would like to bring up:

If you decide to be wed in a castle, mansion, or museum, please be aware of the fragility of the objects around you, and be certain to warn or have someone designated to warn the guests to not sit on historic chairs or lean on the statues. Most museums post warning statements like the following, but be sure to have them read aloud.
* No food or drink
* No smoking
* No sitting on furniture
* No crossing boundaries, such as ropes and stanchions
* No entry into staff areas
* No pets

At a wedding yesterday, I had to run around the building to stop the bride and maids from leaving dewey bouquets on the century-old velvet cusions and silk table covers. The minister and the justice hung their coats on the chairs in the dining room, and other guests carried drinks through the period rooms, disregarding the signs that read "Please No Food Or Drink In This Room". I even caught some of the kiddies climbing on a sofa trying to pull a bronze figure off the wall. If some piece of furniture needs to be moved to make space or for a photograph, ask a museum employee to do so for you.

It's not that we don't like weddings, it's just that all we want to do at the end of the affair it pick up the chairs and sweep up the rose petals. Most places will need the wedding party to sign an insurance permit like this:
Permit holders are liable for any loss or damage that may occur to _______ Castle or its contents during the event.

Also, if you plan on having the cerimony at a place of worship and then taking the photos elsewhere, it is a good idea to call ahead and be certain that the exterior of a building is not also booked. Yesterday, while the cerimony was going on inside, four other wedding parties arrived just for photos and brides had to take turns standing in the entryways or on the balcony. There were enough bride's maids on the terrace to form two soccer teams.

And another thing: the cerimony will probably take place in the great hall of the castle/house/museum, so if guests arrive late, don't pout if an usher directs them to the back door/service entrance. It's best to arrive early and enjoy some of the open exhibits while you're there.

For brides or wedding directors: ask if a the establishment assigns or could assign a staff member especially for the bride; someone who knows where the bathrooms and supply closets are and can quickly fetch things it might take a bride's maid a half an hour to locate.

For photographers and photograper-wranglers: Find out ahead of time what the museum photography policy is. Yesterday I was nervously pushing a camera man whom, after walking though the garden, walked his muddy shoes across a 160 year old carpet to get a better shot of the couple in front of a fireplace. There were also some issues concerning flash photography in one of the period rooms. Policies should be similar to this:

Outdoor / Exterior Photographs
__________ is a public park, owned and operated by the County of ________. As such, no permit or fee is required to take outdoor photographs when the Park is open to the public.

Interior Photographs / Inside _______ Castle
A permit is required to take photographs inside _______ Castle. Permits are issued on a first-come first-serve basis and are limited to a one hour period. During this hour, the bridal party will have exclusive use of the interior of the Castle and a Castle staff member will be present. The permit fee is $100.00, payable at the time of applying for the permit. Applications may be made by simply writing a letter of request that specifies date, time, number in bridal party and daytime telephone number. Payment may be made only by check or money order, payable to the (organization) and mailed along with letter of request to the above address. After the application for the permit and payment are received and processed, a written confirmation will be mailed to the applicant. If a scheduling conflict exists, the check will be returned or someone from the Castle will contact the applicant to discuss alternate times. Once a permit is issued, the permit fee becomes non-refundable.

Permits are issued for times when _______ Castle is not open to the public. In other words, permits may not be issued Wednesday through Sunday from 1-4 PM, the Castle’s regular public visiting times. Permits may be issued Monday and Tuesday when the Castle is closed to the public, and before 1 PM and after 4 PM on Wednesday through Sunday. Permits are not issued on the following holidays: New Years Eve/Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve/Day.

Wedding photographs are limited to the members of the bridal party only. Wedding guests and family members who are not part of the bridal party will not be admitted. No dressing room facilities are available inside the Castle, and the exhibitions will not be available for viewing during the photograph session.

Three areas inside _______ Castle have been designated for wedding photographs: 1) Main Entrance Hall and Grand Staircase; 2) Atrium; and 3) Second Floor Gallery (balcony area surrounding the Atrium)
Photographs are not allowed in the Drawing room, Music Room, Breakfast Room, or Dining Room.

Permit applicants are allowed one free complimentary admission to _______ Castle, made only by prior arrangement, in order to view ahead of time the areas where photographs may be taken. Contact the Castle office at (phone number) to arrange a time to do this. This may also be an opportunity to check availability of dates and times.

Permit holders are asked to observe the following rules while inside ______ Castle:
* No food or drink
* No smoking
* No sitting on furniture
* No crossing boundaries, such as ropes and stanchions
* No entry into staff areas
* No pets

Permit holders are liable for any loss or damage that may occur to _______ Castle or its contents during the photograph session.

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