Weddings are allowed in the State Park. If you are planning a simple event for a small group, you may conduct the wedding just about any public place in the park. If you require equipment, shelter, have a large event or reception, or have any other special needs, please consider the following guidelines before you commit to certain plans.
Five shelters are rentable and reservable at Devil’s Lake State Park. There are 4 reservable/2 non-reservable shelters at the South Shore area and 1 reservable/1 non-reservable shelter at the North Shore area. Each reservable shelter has electricity and picnic tables; the shelter capacities vary from 40-200. Reservations are taken up to 11 months in advance. More detailed shelter information is available here.
You may bring chairs, small portable archways, backdrops, a roll of carpet, or other small temporary equipment. Any large equipment (tent or shelter, stage, trailer-sized grill, catering van etc.) must have approval from the superintendent before you finalize your plans. No amplified music is allowed; acoustical music is allowed. Equipment or food may be delivered that day only. Keys for locked shelters may be picked up on the day of your event at the North Shore Visitor Center. A drop box is available at each of the shelters for key return at the end of your event. Dressing rooms are not available, other than public restrooms. Alcohol is allowed per the usual state laws on age, distribution, and behavior. However, alcoholic beverages are not allowed in any Wisconsin State Parks between March 31 and the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day.
Parking and Vehicles
A valid vehicle admission sticker is required on any parked vehicle. With advance arrangements, you may purchase a quantity (minimum of 20) of daily passes for only $5.00 each, instead of the usual daily rate of $5 or $10 each. No special priority will be given to wedding/event vehicles. On very busy summer days, it is common for parking to fill up or be very scarce. Adequate parking is not guaranteed. Commercial delivery vehicles such as a caterer may get a free courtesy pass at the gate. All vehicles must be legally parked, and may not drive on the grass. If you make arrangements ahead of time, a Ranger or maintenance person may unlock a gate to allow more convenient delivery of equipment to a shelter.
A Public Place
Keep in mind that Devil’s Lake State Park is a public park. Any group is expected to follow the same rules on noise, trash cleanup, pets, parking, and behavior as any other park visitor. Unless you have reserved and rented a specific shelter, you are conducting your ceremony in a public place. The wedding party would have no right to restrict someone’s use of any part of the public park, though social courtesy would probably keep most onlookers at some distance. Keep in mind that holding your event in a heavily used area may not turn out to be the setting you desire, and it may inconveniently restrict other public park users. You must clean up and remove all trash generated by your event. Park hours are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If you have any special needs, have questions, are planning an exceptionally large or elaborate event, or you are requesting an unusual location or activity, be sure to contact the park far in advance to be certain that you will be allowed to do what you are planning.