Rentals & Permits

Recommended Wedding Locations

Whether your celebration is formal or informal, an intimate gathering or grand affair, there's a MetroPark location for your special occasion.

simple wedding at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark

Five Rivers MetroParks offer picturesque backdrops for your special celebration. Tranquil gardens, pond or lake overlooks, sweeping vistas, breathtaking views of the Dayton skyline, and nature-filled alcoves are just some of the unique settings available for your wedding ceremony. To help you narrow your search for the perfect spot, we've selected a few of our best locations for your special day.

Reception and/or Ceremony

Any reservable shelter or campsite may be used for a wedding, so long as the capacity meets the expected attendance for your ceremony or reception.  Most shelters are furnished with picnic table seating to accommodate the shelter capacity.  Locations favored for small gatherings are highlighted.  Choose from a range of beautiful settings, each providing natural backdrops for photography as well as shelter from the elements. Standard shelter rentals include a six-hour reservation. Additional hours may be purchased, subject to availability. Reservations must be made a minimum of four days in advance with future bookings up to one year in advance.  Alcohol Permit required for alcohol consumption at shelters, available with reservation for $25 fee.

Locations for a Small Wedding (Fewer than 30 people)
View from Thompson Shelter-view Thompson Shelter, Englewood MetroPark
Beautifully positioned for views of pond or prairie, this quiet north park location offers privacy and ample parking. Capacity: 50
sunfish pond Sunfish Shelter, Germantown MetroPark
Walk to the Valley Overlook or scenic Sunfish Pond to exchange vows, followed by a picture-perfect reception picnic at this well-located shelter near parking and restrooms. Capacity: 24
dogwood pavilion Dogwood Pavilion, Hills & Dales MetroPark
Surrounded by woodlands and native plant life, this Adirondack-style Garden Pavilion at Dogwood Pond is ADA accessible. Capacity: 15, fixed bench seating
hickory shelter Hickory Shelter, Possum Creek MetroPark
Enjoy open views of Argonne Lake with dock, and nearby prairie from this popular south bank shelter area. Capacity: 20
Canal Cove Shelter Canal Cove Shelter, Taylorsville MetroPark
This scenic bayou setting is reminiscent of a fairy tale picture book and just steps away from the Great Miami River south of Taylorsville Dam. Capacity: 30
High View shelter High View Shelter, Twin Creek MetroPark
Enjoy outstanding views from this remarkable vantage point where the tree-covered Twin Valley can be seen for miles.  Capacity: 16
Locations for 30 to 100 People
Cedar lake shelter Cedar Lake Shelter, Carriage Hill MetroPark
This serene setting boasts expansive views across Cedar Lake with nearby fishing dock. A perfect lakeside backdrop for photos complete with a resident duck or two! Capacity: 30
Bluegrass shelter Bluegrass Shelter, Eastwood MetroPark
Approach this idyllic location via pedestrian bridge from Eastwood’s Springfield Street entrance. This stream-side shelter sits at the south end of the Lagoon nestled in between one-hundred-year-old trees. Capacity: 30
deer trace shelter Deer Trace Shelter, Taylorsville MetroPark
The backyard you wish you had; this relaxing setting features views of prairies and grasslands. Nearby shelters can be added for additional capacity. Capacity: 30
patterson shelter Patterson Shelter, Hills & Dales MetroPark
Enjoy something for everyone here in this comfortable, accessible, neighborhood setting, with perimeter views of Community Golf Course, adjacent. Park amenities here include restrooms, children’s play area and large open green space. Capacity: 40
lawwill shelter Lawwill Shelter, Englewood MetroPark
Tucked into the edge of the woods near the Stillwater River in West Park, this shelter is surrounded by woodlands, native plant life and open lawn. Capacity: 50
CCC shelter CCC Shelter, Taylorsville MetroPark
This historic stone shelter, circa 1930, was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Picture an open-air Adirondack cabin, hidden away in a cozy wooded ravine. This multi-room structure features a large interior fireplace with stone veranda extensions in a rustic, nature-filled setting. Capacity: 50
pavilion shelter Pavilion, Wesleyan MetroPark
In the heart of the neighborhood, a beautiful Wolf Creek setting with space to set up ceremony and reception. Nature trails and creek are just a stone’s throw away. Children’s play area adjacent. Capacity: 60
sycamore shelter Sycamore Shelter, Possum Creek MetroPark
Room to move! A large open lawn area surrounds this shelter with views of the Jean V. Woodhull Prairie and beyond. Capacity: 100
paw paw shelter Paw Paw Shelter, Hills & Dales MetroPark
Location, location, location; the most sought-after shelter in the park district. Stylish Adirondack design and wooded location. Rustic chic at its finest! Capacity: 100
Locations for more than 100 People
Red fox run shelter Red Fox Run Shelter, Taylorsville MetroPark
Enjoy secluded green space, surrounded by woodlands and native plant life at this northernmost MetroPark location. Additional nearby shelters may also be secured to accommodate increased capacity. Capacity: 125 Guests
reservable area germantown Reservable Area, Germantown MetroPark
The reservable area at the Twin Valley Welcome Center park entrance features three separate shelter alcoves, each offering a 35-person capacity. By securing all three shelters (Cottonwood, Goldfinch, and Morning Glory) your guests will enjoy exclusive use of this area of the park. Capacity: 125 Guests
possum creek prairie view Reservable Area, Possum Creek MetroPark
Two shelters each with a 100-person capacity. By reserving both shelters (Prairie Dock and Sycamore), your guests will enjoy exclusive use of the area including a separate park entrance. Capacity: 200 Guests

Ceremony Only

These additional Five Rivers MetroParks locations may be reserved for ceremonies with a special use permit for private events. Permit applications must be submitted a minimum of 60 days in advance with future bookings up to one year in advance.

English Garden Wedding The English Garden, Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
Typical of classic English garden architecture, beauty in all seasons is found here. Capacity: 40 Guests, standing ceremonies only. Chairs and tents are not permitted at this location. Please inquire for guests with special needs.
Arbor-Lawn The Arbor Lawn, Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
Located at the north end of the formal gardens, this setting is defined by a stately arbor entrance and bordered by garden beds and a woodland backdrop. Capacity: 100, standing ceremonies only. Chairs and tents are not permitted at this location. Please inquire for guests with special needs.
Deeds Point City View Lawn, Deeds Point MetroPark
Striking views of the downtown Dayton skyline seasonally graced by water spires from the Fountain of Lights. Capacity: 50. The use of temporary seating may be requested at this location. Toilet facilities are not available at this location. Portable toilet and electrical connection available upon request.
Diehl band shell Diehl Band Shell, Island MetroPark
Erected in 1939, this art deco performance space was dedicated to the people of Dayton “for their enjoyment of music and other wholesome forms of entertainment.” Today this historic structure is also a unique backdrop for a wedding ceremony. Capacity 200. The use of temporary seating may be requested at this location. Electrical connection available.

Cox Arboretum MetroPark Rentals

Cox Arboretum MetroPark is an ideal location for both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions. Facility rentals at Cox Arboretum are a benefit of James M. Cox, Jr. Arboretum Foundation membership at the $100-Lilac level. Foundation membership is required for rentals.

  • Cox Arboretum Outdoor Rentals
    • Capacity: 200
  • Cox Arboretum Indoor Rentals
    • Capacity: 25-150

To start planning your special event, call 937-278-2657.

Permit Requirements

To reserve a shelter for a wedding ceremony and/or reception, a reservation can be made by obtaining a shelter permit.  Reservations are not required for shelter use; however, only permit holders have exclusive use of a shelter.  Shelter reservations must be made a minimum of four days in advance with future bookings up to one year in advance.  Please view the Shelter Policy for conditions of use.

Private event permits are required for weddings when special exceptions are desired including set up of a tent larger than 10 x 10, amplified sound, or personal cooking equipment, or if requesting use of a park area that is not routinely reservable. Permit applications must be submitted a minimum of 60 days in advance with future bookings up to one year in advance.

Commercial photographers — whether hired to capture your engagement, wedding, or reception — are required to have a valid photography permit if taking photographs in a MetroPark.

Wedding rentals at Cox Arboretum MetroPark are handled by The James M. Cox, Jr. Arboretum Foundation.

FAQs when planning a wedding in MetroPark

MetroParks are public spaces, designed to foster personal connections with nature. While hundreds of people host or participate in private celebrations in MetroParks locations every year, these parks are public resources. Routine permits for shelters and campsites apply only for use of these public facilities for the purposes for which they were designed. Before choosing a park for your private celebration, here are a few frequently asked questions to consider.

Help us keep MetroParks clean, safe, and accessible for years to come by adhering to all MetroParks guidelines.

Will a MetroPark shelter be large enough to host invited guests?

MetroParks has established capacities for each event space, shelter and campsite based on the physical space and parking available to accommodate a given number of people while maintaining public access. In keeping with MetroParks commitment to the general public’s continued use of our resources, it is important that your activity stay within the bounds of this capacity.

Will a MetroPark setting be private enough?

While a shelter reservation provides exclusive use of a shelter, the surrounding areas of the park will still be open and accessed by the general public. If the physical or audible presence of passing hikers, cyclists, or family outings in the vicinity is problematic, a MetroPark setting may not be the right choice.

Can shelters be decorated?

In keeping with the MetroParks mission to protect and conserve, decorations are limited to non-attached items. Decorations cannot be affixed to any structure with tape, glue, staples, nails, screws, adhesive, or other fasteners. Moreover, no substance with a potential for damaging the surfaces or the environment may be used. For example, artificial flowers, confetti, rice, and birdseed are prohibited. Any plans for decorating will need prior approval at least 14 days ahead of your event.

Is it okay to have some music?

Acoustic music is welcome with no additional permitting. If a DJ, emcee, or loud music is imperative, please consider a non-MetroPark location. The use of amplified sound within a shelter requires a Special Use Permit, in addition to a shelter rental, and volume levels which allow sound to be heard beyond the shelter area are prohibited. Check with our Permit Coordinator before making plans for amplified sound.

Can alcohol be served?

Alcohol permits are available as an add-on with a shelter rental, at the time of purchase. Alcohol must be served and consumed within the immediate area of the shelter. Glass bottles, kegs, and/or hard liquor (80-proof or higher) are not permitted.

Are food trucks allowed to serve guests?

Food trucks and other 3rd party vendors require a Special Use Permit, in addition to a shelter rental, and are permitted in a limited number of MetroPark locations. Please check with our Permit Coordinator before making your reservation.

What if it rains on the day of a scheduled wedding?

Outdoor events are susceptible to all types of weather. Five Rivers MetroParks is not able to offer “back-up” plans in case the weather becomes prohibitive. Likewise, permit fees are non-refundable due to weather.

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