Members of Alexandria's Parker Park Board of Trustees hope that a recent garden wedding is not only the beginning of a successful union for one local couple, but the start of future celebrations at the park.

Members of Alexandria's Parker Park Board of Trustees hope that a recent garden wedding is not only the beginning of a successful union for one local couple, but the start of future celebrations at the park.

The full-scale traditional garden wedding of Sarah Kean and Jeff Larrison took place May 17 under a flower-bedecked white archway and blue skies at Parkers Park.

The bride is the daughter of Bruce and Syd Kean of Alexandria. Larrison is the son of Jeff Larrison Sr. of the Pataskala area.

Alexandria's Mayor Carol Jasper and former Mayor Jim Jasper jointly performed the personalized wedding ceremony, bringing applause from the crowd upon announcing the newlyweds as husband and wife.

The bride is a 2001 Northridge graduate, while the groom graduated from Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County in 2005.

Syd Kean, mother of the bride, described the park wedding as "gorgeous."

"Sarah wanted an outdoor wedding, and we did all of our own decorating," she said.

Naomi Compton, who chairs Parker Park's board of trustees, said she hopes the wedding leads to increased use of the park in the future for weddings, receptions, graduation parties, company events and class or family reunions.

She said the park provides a beautiful setting for family events and fulfills the purpose park founders had in mind by providing a place not only for sports, but for socialization and family-oriented activities.

Park trustees attending the wedding were amazed at how well the park converted into a beautiful backdrop for the wedding, Compton said.

A reception tent provided the setting for 200-plus guests to enjoy food, music and dancing.

Compton said she and fellow park board members are very excited about the successful event and feel revitalization efforts are bringing renewed life to the park.

"No one we've talked to has memory of a wedding ever occurring at Parker Park," she added.

She called the Parkers Park wedding a "historic first in its 50-year history."

"We hope to see more of this type of event at the park in the future," she said. "What a great place to have this style wedding, or even a smaller, casual-style wedding."

Park board trustees' proposed Parker Park Community Center is also being touted as a future site for casual weddings, wedding receptions, private parties and local organizational meetings.

Compton said proposed plans for Parker Park Community Center are moving ahead, with an initial meeting of the citizen-based Community Center Development Committee tentatively scheduled for some time this month.

"With tremendous public interest in this project, and valuable input already coming in, we are excited about how this project is coming together," she said.

In addition, Compton said some good professional suggestions have park trustees considering a different Community Center placement within the park than initially visualized in the Park Master Plan.

The newly proposed location would provide easier handicapped-accessible parking and entrance to the center, while disturbing less of the natural landscape and using currently overgrown areas for expanded parking. Park trustees hope to have an overall placement, layout and design display ready for public viewing and input during a fundraising dinner scheduled in late autumn.

Parker Community Park, a nonprofit municipal park, is operated in conjunction with the village of Alexandria.

Anyone interested in reserving either the entire park for large events or shelter houses for small events can do so by calling (740) 924-ALEX (2539).