Policies and Procedures (Revised: August 9, 2018)
Weddings may be held in Prescott Park subject to the following terms and conditions and through the procedures outlined below:
- Couples interested in conducting weddings in Prescott Park must secure written approval at least 30 calendar days in advance of the wedding. The process of registering a wedding is described in section C. below.
- Prescott Park, owned and operated by the City of Portsmouth, is offered as a location for Weddings. No services associated with holding your wedding or hosting guests or other accommodations are provided by the City (with the exception of public restrooms). Weddings are scheduled in two-hour increments; all set-up and take down of personal property associated with your wedding must be erected and taken down within the two-hour time period.
- Please follow these steps in the order shown below:
- Is Prescott Park the right location for your wedding? Read through the entire “Wedding Policy and Procedures” information on this web page.
- Choose a location in the Park for your wedding using this Wedding Location Map,
- Check the Wedding Calendar to confirm your preferred date, time and location are available. See section E. below for scheduling considerations.
- Complete the fillable Wedding Registration form below and submit to the City Clerk’s office as directed on the form.
- Following a review of your Registration, you will be contacted by the City Clerk’s office with an e-mail communication concerning your application, and if appropriate, payment instructions. Please note, no reservation will be confirmed prior to the receipt of the payment due (information about fees, subject to change annually, are found in the section “Wedding Reservation Fee” below). Online payment is available (as well as mail by check and cash delivery to City Clerk).
- No wedding may be held in Prescott Park unless a reservation to conduct a wedding has been approved by the City Clerk’s Office. No wedding may include more than 75 persons in total unless the time, date and location of has also been approved in advance the City Manager's Office.
Notes on scheduling*: Prescott Park is a vibrant and active public space, with many informal and formal events, both large and small. Wedding couples are advised to be mindful of sounds, crowds, and other park related activities that may take place before, after or during scheduled weddings. In particular, couples may wish to consult the local events calendar, including the Prescott Park Arts Festival season schedule (www.prescottpark.org) to learn more about events going on in the Park. Other examples of events to be aware of might be Market Square Day (typically, second Saturday in June); the Chowder Festival (typically, first Saturday in June), and sound checks and other preparations for Arts Festival program such as concerts and plays. A Community Events Calendar can be found on the City’s website under “Residents”.
*Scheduling Weddings and Master Plan Improvements - Please note: the City of Portsmouth is preparing for the implementation of the Prescott Park Master Plan, which calls for a series of large scale public works improvements to be constructed in phases over a number of years. No definitive schedule for the improvements is available at this time. Phased construction will mean a number of Park areas will remain available for wedding ceremonies. If a wedding location becomes unavailable due to planned construction, another site in the Park will be offered. All couples scheduling weddings should be mindful that portions of the Park will be under construction, which will impact Park aesthetics, circulation and other construction related inconveniences. The City of Portsmouth appreciates you patience and understanding as the City pursues Plan implementation. for updates on construction schedule, please revisit this site or contact the City Clerk's Office.
- The following restrictions apply to every wedding, in the Park:
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all times in Prescott Park.
- Throwing rice or other materials is prohibited.
- Weddings are not permitted on the stage or in the lawn areas surrounding the stage. See Wedding Location Map for eligible locations.
- No signs, banners or electrical sound amplification are allowed. However, on a case-by-case basis, amplification for wedding parties of 75 or more may be permitted (on the Players' Ring Lawn only, site 4 on wedding map) via separate approval of the City Manager's Office at time of registration. Approval will only be granted for dates and times which do not conflict with other programming in the Park.
- Chairs for guests may be set up behind the Player's Ring Only.
- No tents, chairs, furniture or other items of personal property are permitted in the formal garden area and/or trial garden area (exception for ADA accommodations and for elderly guests).
Wedding Reservation Fee
The wedding reservation fee shall be as follows:
$150.00 – 1-10 participants
$375.00 – 11-49 participants
$750.00 = 50-75+ participants
The wedding reservation fee shall be waived when either one of the persons being married is a current Portsmouth resident.
The wedding reservation fee shall be refunded in the event that the wedding cannot be held in Prescott Park due to inclement weather.
Following a receipt and review of your Registration, you will be contacted by the City Clerk’s office with an e-mail communication concerning your application, and if appropriate, payment instructions. Please note, no reservation will be confirmed prior to the receipt of the payment due (information about fees, subject to change annually, are below). Online payment is available (as well as mail by check and cash delivery to City Clerk).
Prescott Park Wedding Registration Form
Please fill out all of the below wedding form fields and we will contact you within 10 business days. To view a map of all the wedding locations in Prescott Park please click here.
Wedding Location Map