Planning Your Event
WHEN CAN I VISIT THE GARDEN TO VIEW THE EVENT SPACES?
- The Garden invites you for a complimentary site visit to explore our many venue options.
- Self-guided visits of the venues are available during non-special event, general Garden hours. No appointment is needed; simply let Admissions know you are interested in holding an event here and would like to view the spaces.
- We offer guided site visits of our venues Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Please contact us to set up an appointment in advance and to check for venue availability.
WHAT DOES THE RENTAL FEE INCLUDE?
- Usage of the venue for the contracted time
- Additional hours for set-up and tear-down of the event
- Admission for all guests into Garden any time the day of the event
- One dressing room per wedding couple (if applicable)
- Wedding rehearsal the week of the wedding (if applicable)
- On-site venue coordination
- On-site parking for all guests
- Trail maps for your guests (if applicable)
- Directional signage from admissions to event venue
- Garden Rangers on-site 24 hours a day
AT WHAT TIMES MAY EVENTS BE HELD?
HOW DO GUESTS ARRIVE?
- You do not need to provide us with a guest list nor do guests need to show an event invitation.
- Please advise all guests to check in at Admissions. Complimentary directional signage is custom created for your event to direct your guests once they are in the Garden.
- The Garden can provide docent led tours, where the docents greet your attendees upon arrival and escort them to the event venue for an additional cost.
- The Garden has complimentary on-site parking with over 600 individual spaces, bus parking and a route 56 Valley Metro bus stop.
IS THE GARDEN ADA ACCESSIBLE?
Yes. The Garden offers complimentary wheelchair and discounted scooter rentals for all private event guests. All rentals are on a first come, first serve basis.
ARE GOLF CARTS AVAILABLE FOR MYSELF AND/OR MY GUESTS?
IS SMOKING ALLOWED AT THE GARDEN?
MAY WE TENT? WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS?
- Rain is very infrequent, with only 7 inches received annually.
- The Garden does not allow tenting, except in the case of rain. In the case of rain, the tenting would need to be coordinated by you through Classic Party Rentals, Event Rents or Pro Em only.
- Every Garden venue has a rain plan: Please contact your Venue Planner for these options.
- If we have an alternate indoor space available, we can offer to relocate your event, but this cannot be guaranteed.
- There are no refunds due to weather.
WHAT CAN THE GARDEN PROVIDE TO ENHANCE MY EVENT?
- Southwestern Luminarias placed around your event venue: $200 per set of 50 Luminarias
- Propane heaters: $80 each
- Docent-led private tour during your event: $100 per docent per hour (we recommended 20 guests per docent)
DOES THE VENUE FEE INCLUDE RENTALS OF TABLES AND CHAIRS?
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE FOR SET-UP AND TEAR DOWN?
- The caterer and outside vendors are responsible for setting up all items 2 hours prior to the event, and removing all items directly following the event. The caterer and outside vendors are also responsible for cleaning up all items that were brought in.
- Please contact your Venue Planner if additional time is requested.
DO YOU HAVE A GARDEN MAP OF VENUE LOCATIONS AND FLOOR-PLANS OF THE VENUES?
- Please contact your Venue Planner for a venue floor-plan.
- Please download our Venue Map.
ARE ANY VENUES CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION?
ARE CANDLES ALLOWED?
DO I NEED TO RENT A DANCE FLOOR?
WHAT DÉCOR IS NOT ALLOWED?
- Confetti, rice, and balloons are not allowed at the Garden. Bubbles are acceptable.
- No items can be hung from trees.
Catering, Alcohol and Vendor Requirements
MAY I BRING IN MY OWN CATERING?
MAY I BRING IN MY OWN ALCOHOL?
The Garden has a liquor license. All alcohol must be coordinated through the Garden’s Beverage Manager, Marianne Donnan. Billing is based on consumption, and examples of billing design include:
- Fully hosted bar
- Hosted bar for only certain types of drinks such as beer, wine, and soda
- Hosted bar that converts to a cash bar when a certain dollar amount has been consumed
- Hosted bar that goes to a cash bar after a certain amount of time
- Cash bar with champagne toast only
Outside alcohol is not permitted. However, the Garden can special order alcohol products that you would like to have behind the bar to personalize your event.
- $5 – $8 per person, per hour
- Bar Set-Up Fee: $150 per bar (1 bar per 75 people)
- Bartender Fee ($25 per bartender, per hour, minimum of 4 hours)
- Plasticware is included in the bar fee. Glassware is coordinated through your caterer.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REQUIREMENTS FOR EVENT FLOWERS, POTTED PLANTS, OR CENTERPIECES?
- Any fresh cut flowers and flower petals are allowed. Flower petals are also allowed.
- We have a list of approved nurseries for potted plants (in addition to the Garden Shop), to ensure only healthy plants are brought into the Garden.
- Licensed florists are also welcome to create live centerpieces of succulents and other living plants.
DO YOU ALLOW AMPLIFIED MUSIC AND HAVE ANY MUSIC RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS?
The Garden allows DJs, bands, and live musicians in all event venues, with the exception of Webster Auditorium. We provide the power for the musicians, but ask that they provide their own sound equipment. The Garden does not have a noise ordinance. We do request that the music remain at a reasonable level as not to impede on other areas of the Garden.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER VENDOR REQUIREMENTS?
DO YOU NEED TO SEE OUR INVITATION PRIOR TO ITS BEING MAILED?
The Garden must approve all printed material that includes the Garden name and your event date. This is not for aesthetics, but to act as a second set of eyes to ensure all names, dates and addresses are spelled correctly. Please email or fax a copy of your invitation prior to printing, and we will approve it at our earliest convenience.
WHEN WILL THE FINAL WALK-THROUGH OCCUR?
- The Garden requests that a final walk-through take place with you, your Garden Venue Planner, and your caterer no less than 10 days before your event date. We collect all vendor and set-up information at this time, to ensure efficiency the day of the event. These meetings are typically held the Wednesday the week prior to the Monday-Sunday date of your event. Please contact your caterer and Venue Planner to schedule the specific time of this appointment. If needed, these meetings can also take place over the phone.
- Remaining payment for the rental fee and add-ons are due at this time, as is the liability insurance and security deposit.
WILL THE GARDEN LEAD MY WEDDING REHEARSAL? WHEN WILL IT BE HELD?
- Rehearsals are provided complimentary and can be directed by your Garden Venue Planner.
- Rehearsals are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis, based on availability. Rehearsals are allowed up to 1 hour in the designated event venue. Typical rehearsal time-slots are Thursdays and Fridays at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m., but this can vary based on availability. Alternative days and morning rehearsals available upon request
DO YOU OFFER DRESSING ROOMS FOR THE WEDDING COUPLE?
WHAT WILL THE GARDEN DO TO HELP PLAN OUR EVENT?
- The Garden facilitates the site visit, contract and venue payment for your event. We are available for any questions relating to caterers and vendors throughout the entire planning process.
- Attend the final walk through direct the wedding rehearsal (if applicable).
Oversee all vendor set up the day of the event.
- Help send the wedding party down the aisle at the time of the ceremony (if applicable).
- Oversee the transition between ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Once all guests are into the reception and everything is running smoothly, we step out.
AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE A WEDDING PLANNER? WHAT WILL THE WEDDING PLANNER COORDINATE?
- We encourage you to have a wedding planner and/or day-of coordinator for your event. While wedding planners are not required, a day-of contact is required, in case the Garden needs to contact someone regarding your event.
- The wedding planner or day-of contact will be responsible for all of the small details on your special day.
- A wedding planner is highly recommended to alleviate stress by helping to plan all the details, saving you money through vendor connections, setting your mind at ease on the wedding day knowing that you are in good hands, and coordinating every aspect of your event from your rehearsal dinner to the last dance.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CAKE OR BAKED DESSERTS?
DO YOU HAVE ANY PHOTOGRAPHY REQUIREMENTS?
- You are welcome to take pictures anywhere in the Garden the day of your event. We do request that you stay on the trails at all times and respect other Garden guests.
- We love photos! Please feel free to share your photos with us after your event.
MAY I TAKE ENGAGEMENT OR WEDDING PHOTOS HERE EVEN IF I AM NOT GETTING MARRIED AT THE GARDEN?
- If you are holding an event at the Garden, you are welcome to take complimentary engagement photographs at the Garden prior to your event during general admission hours.
- If you are not holding an event at the Garden but would like to take engagement photographs here, you can visit the Garden during general admission hours and pay the Admission fee for everyone in your party. No advanced reservation is necessary. We do request that you stay on the trails at all times and respect other Garden guests.
DO YOU REQUIRE RESERVATIONS FOR TRAILSIDE WEDDINGS SMALLER THAN 10 PEOPLE?
Reservations and Payment
MAY I HOLD A VENUE WHILE I MAKE A DECISION?
- Once you have viewed the Desert Botanical Garden in person, you may place a seven day hold on any available date and venue without a deposit.
- Please let us know if you wish to reserve the date or release the hold within the allotted time period.
- If there is already a hold on the date you are interested in, you may place a second hold. In the case that the first hold is released, you will be contacted and have 48 hours to move forward with a reservation or to release the hold.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL TAXES OR FEES IN ADDITION TO THE RENTAL COSTS?
- The Garden is a non-profit organization and does not tax or add service charges to rental costs. A 20% service charge is added to the billing of hosted beverage service.
- We do not require any food or beverage minimums, which helps keep per person costs down.
DO YOU OFFER ANY DISCOUNTS?
- Our prices are non-negotiable and do not change based on the day of the week or time of the day.
- The rental fee is not tax-deductible.
- We do not offer member discounts.
- We offer summer discounts for venues that rent for more than $1,000. Discounts offered are $500 off June rentals and 50% off July and August rentals.
- We offer discounts to other non-profit organizations. Please inquire.
WHEN ARE THE CONTRACT, DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT DUE?
- When you are ready to reserve a date and venue, we will send your contract via email. We require the signed contract and 50% of the rental fee within seven days. The contract and payment can returned via email, fax, mail or in person.
- We accept payment by check or credit card. We will include a credit card authorization form you can fill out when we send you your contract. Checks should be made payable to “Desert Botanical Garden.”
- We collect the remaining 50% of the rental fee two weeks before the event. We also collect payment for event add-ons at that time (i.e. luminarias, heaters and docents).
DO YOU REQUIRE A SECURITY DEPOSIT?
DO YOU REQUIRE INSURANCE?
- A certificate of insurance naming Desert Botanical Garden as an additional insured party must be provided to the Garden at least two weeks prior to the event.
- The User must demonstrate public liability coverage of at least $1,000,000 for the day of the event. Such a certificate must be issued at no additional cost to the Garden.
- The letter agreement executed by the User must contain a provision to indemnify the Garden. The User’s insurance company shall state the Garden will be held harmless with respect to any liability arising out of or relating from use of the Garden facilities.
- To obtain the insurance listed above, we recommend contacting your homeowner’s insurance, as they typically do not charge additional. If you do not have homeowner’s insurance, we recommend obtaining the insurance through a company called WedSafe.
WHAT ARE YOUR POLICIES FOR CANCELLATION OR CHANGING A DATE?
- If a reservation is cancelled prior to six months of the event, the Garden withholds 50% of the deposit.
- If a reservation is cancelled within six months of the event, the Garden withholds the entire deposit.
- A date transfer (from one date to another) is considered a cancellation and all policies listed above apply. The new date selected would be considered a new contract and full rental fees would apply.
HOW DO I CHECK AVAILABILITY AND CONTRACT MY EVENT?
- Please contact the Garden’s Venue Planner via email, phone or the availability request form to see if your preferred date/venue is available.
- The Venue Planner will assist you through the contracting process.
IS THERE A DIFFERENT COST FOR CEREMONIES OR RECEPTIONS?
CAN I HAVE A FUNDRAISER, PROM, RELIGIOUS, OR POLITICAL EVENT AT THE GARDEN?
- Since the Garden is a non-profit organization, we do not allow fundraisers, silent auctions, raffles, or events with exchange of money that support other causes.
- The Garden does not allow proms.
- The Garden does not allow religious functions (excluding wedding ceremonies).
- The Garden does not allow political events.