With their plummeting drops and crashing waves, from the lazy flow of tubing rivers to the twists and turns of whole-family slides, water parks have a different type of fun for everyone. Where better to entertain a group of guests that includes people from all areas of your life? Water parks are great for little ones, grandparents, best friends, coworkers, and everyone in between. Hold your wedding reception at a water park for a celebration you'll never forget.

Do water parks seem too informal for a wedding reception? Think of a water park wedding as a cruise wedding where you're not all stuck on the same boat. Leave the formalities and ritual for the wedding ceremony itself and head to the water park afterward to celebrate your new marriage in style.

If you and your newlywed spouse want to make a splash, but you don't think your great-aunt is ready to join you for a full underwater wedding, a water park is a good way to include everyone at a level where they're comfortable. Folks who want to stay dry can relax in deck chairs and at the poolside tiki bar while your adventurous friends can join you on the tallest slide in the park.

Photographic Opportunities

Water parks offer fun photo opportunities that most reception locations can't match. Invest in a sparkling white bikini and (securely-pinned) tiara for a bridal look that shows off your pre-wedding exercise routine. Or, stay fully clothed and combine your wedding reception and "trash the dress" session in one spectacular, splash-filled occasion.

Visit the park ahead of time with your photographer in order to note the best photo opportunities. Capture forever the looks on your faces as you slide down the biggest water slide together. Stand side by side behind a waterfall and peek through together. Mount your entire wedding party on inner tubes and form a chain as you float down the river. From elaborate poses on multi-person slides to the simple luxury of a deck chair and two tropical drinks, water parks offer enough mini-environments to satisfy even the most ambitious wedding album.

Renting Space at Water Parks

Not all water parks are available for private rentals, but some are. The best way to check is to visit their websites or call the water parks in your area. County-operated water parks are usually more amenable to rentals than privately-owned parks, so be sure to include neighboring counties in your water park search.

Inquire about renting the entire park versus renting a section of the park. If you're not expecting a large number of guests, you can save money by renting a smaller area. Ask about whether there are minimum requirements for number of guests, guests' ages, minimum number of hours for rental times, or restrictions on time of day and year. You can usually get a deal on rental fees if you offer to rent the park during off-hours or non-peak season.

Ask about limitations on alcoholic beverages. Even parks that sell beer usually have strict rules about where in the park the drinks can be carried. The park may be willing to relax the rules if you are renting the entire space.

If you don't mind sharing the public space with a lot of other people, go ahead and have your wedding reception without reserving the area at all. You'll still have to stand on lines with people who aren't in your wedding celebration, but you'll also be the absolute center of attention.

Piece of Cake

Ask the water park management whether there is a refrigerated space where you can store the wedding cake before you bring it out for the cutting. If there isn't, you'll need to have your bakery (or a good friend) deliver it at the appointed time. When rituals like cake-cutting, bouquet-tossing, and speech-giving are involved, the advantages of renting private space at the park become clear.

The cake itself should fully embrace your theme. Talk with your baker about incorporating some water park details in the cake decoration. For example, you could have a traditional tiered cake with an icing water slide cascading down the side and the couple figurines rocketing down with their arms in the air. Explore the possibilities of blue icing "waves" and edible candy "pearls."

Wet and Wild

Using such an informal reception venue opens your wedding to a wealth of creative possibilities. Include your guests ahead of time by encouraging imaginative takes on the "wet and wild" wedding theme. Your groomsmen can wear black and white board shorts with bow ties. Your bridesmaids can wear matching-colored sarongs over their swimsuits. However you choose to embrace your theme, do it with enthusiasm. After all, you're one newly-married couple who isn't afraid to get your feet wet!

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