Town won't approve cemetery as wedding venue

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) –  A Lawrence couple who sought permission to get married in a local cemetery will have to find another venue to proclaim their undying love.

Abbie Stutzer told The Lawrence Journal-World in an email that she thought Oak Hill Cemetery would provide a "nice, memorable" venue for a Halloween evening wedding this fall.

The request, however, "ruffled a few feathers" at City Hall, Stutzer said, even though she was willing to cut the wedding party from about 80 to around 30 and said there would be no music or decorations.

"My fiance and I just really dig them," Stutzer said of cemeteries. "They are beautiful, in general, and in the fall, Oak Hill is gorgeous. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time."

The Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department denied the request about a week after she submitted her proposal. Mark Hecker, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, said the cemetery wedding just wasn't a good idea.

"If there's a funeral that day, it creates a whole other thing ... it's one of those not-a-good-idea things," he said.

Hecker said getting married on land owned by Parks and Recreation actually doesn't take a special permit, though reservations are required for certain facilities.

When asked if Stutzer could have simply held the ceremony without asking, Hecker said it "just wasn't a good thing to give permission for."