SPRING LAKE, N.J. — A New Jersey shore community banned all weddings and celebrations from its boardwalk and beach, citing congestion and related issues.
The Spring Lake Borough Council recently enacted the ban that takes effect Nov. 1. Weddings planned before then will be allowed to proceed.
The town's previous policy allowed weddings to take place on the beach with no permit, though the wedding party and guests couldn't kick other people out of gazebos or put up decorations. The frequent parties made it harder for other beachgoers to enjoy their visits, town officials said. On hot days in particular, beachgoers were seeking out gazebos for shade at the same time brides were arriving to meet their grooms.
The gazebos, on Washington and Newark avenues, hold about 30 people, and overflow crowds would back up on the boardwalk, clogging the walkway.
"The issue really was the boardwalk is so narrow, and it is so overcrowded when they were having weddings at 12 p.m. or 2 p.m.," Borough Administrator Bryan Dempsey told the Asbury Park Press .
Neighboring beach towns, including Avon, Belmar and Bradley Beach, require everyone in a wedding party to have a beach badge if the ceremony takes place during beach hours.
And while there's no charge to use the beach in Avon, the borough does ask couples to coordinate with the police department over the location they intend to use. Officials note that last weekend, three weddings were hosted on the town's beach the same day.