Beautiful Autumn Wedding Reception At Dayton’s Most Popular Park

My 231st wedding as a Dayton and Cincinnati wedding photographer took place in September 2023 at Cox Arboretum MetroPark. This quirky and fun couple wanted to have their ceremony at St. Henry (across 741 from the Arboretum) and have their wedding reception at Dayton’s most popular park, Cox Arboretum.  It was a gorgeous 80 degree early Autumn Saturday, and the wedding day was fantastic.

Photographing A Wedding Reception At Dayton’s Most Popular Park

Our day together started at Cox with a series of family formal photos using the main building as our backdrop.  It was a homecoming for many schools, so the park was overrun with high school students and parents.  Photographing the building gave me a nice backdrop without having to work around hundreds of people.  Once we were done, the bride, groom, and I spent 30 minutes creating beautiful fall-themed wedding photos.  The bride wore an off-white dress while the groom wore a burnt orange suit.  These were perfect colors to match the browning grass and falling leaves of Dayton’s most popular park.  I could have spent hours photographing this couple.  They were up for anything and were full of laughter. This fits in well with my approach to wedding photography.

At 1:30 we drove to the church to prepare for the wedding ceremony.  The wedding ceremony was a traditional Catholic ceremony followed by several beautiful family formal photos in front of the altar.  Lastly, we wrapped up everything at St. Henry and made our way to an even more crowded Cox Arboretum.

The Large Fall Crowds

The MetroParks rangers were ready for the large crowds including designated wedding parking and officers turning away non-wedding park guests.  I have been to this park dozens of times including on school dance weekends, and I’ve never before seen such a coordinated effort from the Rangers.  Great job everyone!

The wedding reception and cocktail hour were delightful and were in separate spaces.  The conference center is decent for cocktail hour while the boomerang-shaped lobby is perfect for a well-lit reception and dinner. The large floor-to-ceiling windows that line the front and back of the building provide ever-changing, beautiful light throughout the evening.

Having A Permit And Being Good To The Park

As a professional photographer in Dayton, I have a weekly or yearly permit to shoot in any of the Montgomery Country MetroParks. While I am also willing to buy permits and remain in good standing with venues, it is somewhat annoying to do for the park system.  I don’t mind requiring a permit, but it is frustrating when there are hundreds of people per weekend who take photos there without a permit.  As a professional, I know where to go, and where not to go.  I know how to treat the venue and to leave it the way I found it.  It is often the unpermitted park guests that I see abusing the flower beds, going to areas they shouldn’t, and not being considerate of others.  Anyway, rest assured that I have a yearly permit here for 2023.

Other Cox Arboretum Blog Posts

Cloudy Fall Wedding And Reception At The Busiest Park In The Dayton Area

An Early Morning Engagement Session At Dayton’s Most Diverse Park

Outdoor Wedding Photography Ideas Dayton’s Most Hecticc Park