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Who says you can’t have a beach wedding in Nebraska?
Couples have found Lake McConaughy north of Ogallala a great place to go if they want to get married at the beach.
The lake issues about a dozen special occasion permits a year for weddings, and most of them are held at the water’s edge, says superintendent Colby Johnson.
Lake McConaughy, at 22 miles long and 4 miles wide, is the largest lake in Nebraska. Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area surrounds the lake. Kingsley Dam, 9 miles north of Ogallala, is the second largest hydraulic fill dam in the world at over 162 feet high and 3.1 miles long. The dam holds Lake McConaughy. There are 35,000 surface acres and 105 miles of shoreline.
Lake workers say they believe people choose the lake for their wedding because it is such a beautiful natural resource with white sandy beaches.
A special occasion permit needs to be requested at least 30 days prior to the wedding but it doesn’t cost anything, so the opportunity to have a free wedding venue is appealing to some outdoor lovers. On caveat to that, however, is that couples getting married can’t designate an area as exclusive to them. That means the general public is free to use the area as well, but it’s unlikely that anyone is going to disturb a wedding in progress.
Most couples choosing to get married at the lake choose another area for their reception, usually a venue in Ogallala, as the recreation area does have a ban on alcohol.
Those loving to camp will find plenty of recreational vehicle parking options around the recreation area.