Proposal: $1 fee for Minneapolis park weddings in early August

With same-sex marriage becoming law on Aug. 1, one Park Board commissioner has proposed lowering the fee for weddings in Minneapolis parks from $500 to $1 in early August.

Commissioner Brad Bourn (Sixth District), a supporter of same-sex marriage, stopped short of saying the proposal is in response to the recent legalization of gay marriage.

“I just want to increase interest in parks as a venue for weddings in general,” Bourn said. “It’s a really good income opportunity for the Park Board.”

Bourn said the proposal is very preliminary, so details such as what exact day or days in August the fee would be reduced are still up for debate.

While same-sex marriage becomes legal Aug. 1, there are some questions about a five-day waiting period required to get a license. Some of Bourn’s Facebook friends have suggested a window of days in early August.

The Park Board charges $500 for wedding permits, but they increase to $800 for a bandstand wedding and $1,000 for the Cowles Conservatory. Bourn said he’s only interested in altering the $500 permits.

“It would also be good to create an opportunity a day a year where people have an opportunity to be married in a park, regardless of their ability to pay,” he said.

Last year, the Park Board permitted 132 wedding in parks, bringing in $78,000 in revenue.

Bourn said he expects the Park Board to discuss the fee reduction at its May 22 meeting and hopes something could be ready for a vote in June.