Ohio Life

Have a Pop-Up Wedding in Our National Park

The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Haus of Cool have teamed to offer small-scale ceremonies for an intimate wedding.

Note: Pop-Up Park Weddings are back for 2021! Whether your original wedding plans have changed in the past year or you’re just a fan of small weddings, this is a beautiful opportunity to tie the knot in Ohio’s national park. Read on to learn more, and visit the website for this year's available dates.

Weddings create memories that last a lifetime, but the planning to get there isn’t always a piece of tiered cake. With stay-at-home orders loosening yet social distancing still necessary, many couples are faced with how to best proceed with their big day. 

Haus of Cool, Ohio’s first pop-up wedding company, recently teamed with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park to create an opportunity for couples to celebrate their wedding in a meaningful way.

After seeing numerous weddings scheduled at venues within Cuyahoga Valley National Park get postponed, Lindsay Regan, senior business development director at the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, sought fresh options to keep the park’s milestone moments on track. Regan contacted Haus of Cool founder Kattie Cool to create a plan that would allow couples to get married without putting their health at risk.

“She really has the perfect business model for what’s going on right now,” Regan says of Cool, who had already been in contact with couples who were looking for pop-up style weddings but didn’t have a venue. “We want to meet people where they are and provide them with options as everything changes and continues to be uncertain.”

Together, the conservancy and Cool created a Pop-Up Park Wedding Package. Couples exchange vows during an intimate, 45-minute ceremony. Cool and her team take charge of everything else, allowing the focus of the day to fall solely on the couple.

“Our pop-ups give you the option of just getting married,” adds Cool, noting the difficulties people have faced in recent months with rescheduling and losing deposits on venues or wedding services. Each wedding can host 10 guests, including the officiant, photographer and the couple.

Two locations are designated for Pop-Up Park Weddings, which offers six time slots available on dates throughout the summer. Those on June 20, July 18 and August 29 take place at Happy Days Lodge. The former youth camp turned special events venue features a rustic great hall surrounded by a rolling meadow. On June 27, July 4 and August 22, weddings will be held at the Hines Hill Campus. This 60-acre property in the national park offers a quaint, historic home nestled in the woods.

The Pop-Up Park Wedding Package is $1,800 and includes the venue (completely styled and decorated for a beautiful 45-minute ceremony), a photographer and 50 edited photos in a digital album, the officiant fee, a bridal bouquet and boutonniere, seating (6 feet apart to accommodate social distancing), champagne and a wedding cake to take home, plus all logistics and planning.

Alexis Korczynski, marketing director at the Conservancy for Cuyahoga National Park, knows the park holds a special meaning for many of the couples who seek weddings there.

“A lot of them went on their first dates there or maybe proposed in the park, so when COVID-19 hit and people weren’t able to have their ceremonies, we were just devastated for them,” Korczynski says. “This partnership with [Haus of Cool] is bringing that back. They can still have that connection to the national park, but they can still be safe.”

Couples can opt for a temperature screening on the big day. Portable hand-sanitizing stations are available, and staff has implemented safety policies and sanitary guidelines to make the event worry free.

For Cool, these pop-up style weddings help put into perspective what matters most to many couples right now.

“Is it really important that you have this massive wedding reception?” she says. “Or is it important that you marry your best friend.”

For more information, visit conservancyforcvnp.org/pop-up-park-weddings or hausofcool.us/pop-up-in-the-park.