Wedding planning can be tricky, and there are all sorts of details and logistics to think through before it all comes together on that special day. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about hosting a wedding at our venue. For anything not covered below, call our office at (925) 947-1678 to speak to the events staff.
What is included in my wedding rental package?
In addition to the venue space(s), we provide tables and chairs (some restrictions apply) and an event attendant to assist with your facility needs on your wedding day. Catering, bar service, linens, tableware, photography, lighting, flowers, entertainment and officiant services are provided by other vendors.
Can we set up early (before rental time starts)?
No. You may only set up during your designated rental time.
Can we store decorations, supplies, furniture, etc. at the Gardens for our wedding when we are not on site?
You may only store items at the Gardens during your rental time. You may not bring items in prior to your rental, or leave items for pick up after your rental.
Do we get time for the rehearsal?
Yes. A one-hour rehearsal (usually a few days before the event) is included in your rental as a courtesy. However, our staff is not involved in the rehearsal; it is solely managed by the renter and is to be held in the outdoor spaces only (the building is not available for rehearsals).
Do you have rooms for the bride and groom to get ready before the ceremony?
Yes. The Library adjacent to the reception hall can serve as a dressing area for the bride and her attendants before your event. There is an additional classroom-style space on the lower floor called the Rotary Room which can be rented for the groom for an additional $100.
Can we put décor up on the Gazebo for the ceremony?
No. Since it is a local landmark and work of art, it is important to us to preserve the visual and physical integrity of the Gazebo. As such, we prohibit any decorations to be placed on or attached to the Gazebo surface and structures. Decorations are also prohibited on the plant life (trees, rose bushes, hedges, etc.).
Why are we not allowed to throw birdseed, rose petals, glitter, etc. indoors or outdoors?
As a nature-based nonprofit, Certified Green Business and Wildlife Habitat, it’s important to us to protect both our property and the environment. We do not allow throwing of materials such as flower petals (real or synthetic), glitter, potpourri, rice, birdseed, poppers, confetti or loose candy outdoors. We also do not allow these types of materials indoors because they get into tight spaces in our floors and furniture and are difficult to remove.
Is there an indoor option for when it rains?
Yes. In the event of bad weather, ceremonies will be held in the Camellia Room. Guests are seated at the banquet tables and the couple stands in front of the large picture windows overlooking our gardens. Outdoor receptions will also be relocated to the Camellia Room.
Can we put up décor on the walls of the Camellia Room?
Yes, you may hang things up on the wall with ONLY clear packaging tape, painter’s tape, sticky putty, or removable “Command”-style hooks. You may not use staples, tacks, screws or nails.
Can we have our reception outdoors, e.g. on the Meadow Lawn?
Yes, however, tables and chairs for receptions are NOT included in your venue rental. You must provide your own tables and chairs for this area, which you may do through a party equipment vendor (see our list of recommendations). This area is not shaded or sheltered, so you may need to consider renting tents or canapes to provide cover from sun, heat or rain. Outdoor events are not permitted in the garden after dark and amplified music is not permitted outdoors after 8PM.
Can we use the fire access road to drive in by car?
The fire access road may only be used by vehicles driving the bride or anyone who has difficulty walking. Vehicles are permitted down the driveway to the fork in the road or to the paved parking area just beyond the fork. Cars may NOT drive all the way down to the Gazebo.
Do you have Audio/Visual equipment for rentals to use?
No, we do not have AV equipment available for use at your wedding. You must provide your own.
Can we bring in our own alcohol?
Yes, as long as you do not sell alcohol to guests and all alcohol stays within the private rental area. You may not take beverages out to the parking lot or into the garden once it has re-opened to the public (after cocktail hour). All alcohol must be served by a bartender from designated bar areas; alcohol can never be self-serve to the guest.
Can we bring in our own caterer?
Our Approved Caterer List is comprised of excellent, experienced local caterers who work regularly at our facility and who offer a variety of different price ranges and food options, including international cuisine and items for restricted diets. These caterers have been pre-selected and approved to do recurring service at our facility, and we strongly recommend that you choose one of them for your event. However, in certain circumstances, you may have an option to use an off-list caterer with payment of additional fees and through a special approval process. Off-list caterers must meet specific criteria set by our our venue to be approved to work your event. Approval is given on a case-by-case basis and off-list caterers may work only one event at our venue per calendar year.
Can we bring in our own food?
No, you cannot provide your own food for your event. All food service must come from the professional, licensed caterer selected and approved for your event. The only exception to this rule is the wedding cake/dessert.
Can we have amplified music outdoors?
Yes, however, amplified music may not be played outdoors past 8PM and should not be heard more than 50 feet from the venue, as our facilities are adjacent to a residential neighborhood. Most wedding receptions at our venue take place indoors where amplified music is permitted up to one hour before the end of your rental.
Can we pay an additional fee to stay past curfew time of 10 p.m./12 a.m.?
No. The Gardens at Heather Farm is adjacent to a neighborhood and due to noise ordinances, we must close our facility at the designated times.