Frequently asked questions
Use our comprehensive list of frequently asked questions and answers to assist you with your venue search and help you plan your wedding and private events.
- What do the venue hire fees include?
- Who will be there from Kew on the day and what will they do?
- Does Kew offer a half-day or ceremony only rate?
- What is the booking procedure?
- Does Kew offer a discount on their venue hire fees?
- Can we bring our own suppliers to Kew?
- What about access and set-up for caterers and suppliers?
- Can we outsource a DJ/Band?
- Do you have any music restrictions within your venues?
- Can we deliver or set-up the day before an event?
- Can we arrange to leave items in the venue overnight?
- Can my event go on later than 11pm?
- Can we provide our own alcohol?
- Are there any restrictions regarding decorations?
- Can we use our own electrical equipment in the venue?
- Can our guests use the Kew car park?
- Can we have fireworks?
- Can we have outdoor furniture in the Gardens?
- Can we have outdoor games in the Gardens?
- Can we have a barbecue in the Gardens?
- Do you have an outdoor space that is available for hire?
- For what time should I book a registrar for my civil ceremony?
- Can I get married outside?
- Is confetti allowed?
- Are there any changing/dressing rooms available at Kew?
- Is Kew Palace available for private hire?
- Exclusive use of the venue on your chosen day for the agreed venue hire period.
- Event support from the Kew Gardens Operations Team, which would consist of a venue manager on the day of your event. Our role is to manage your onsite logistics on the day of your event and act in an advisory capacity in the run up to your event.
- Security staffing.
- 30 minute event buggy use with driver for bride and groom photograph.
- Cleaning of the venue, before and after your event.
- Access to the greater gardens for your guests throughout their opening hours, on the day of your event.
- Cambridge Cottage hire fee includes use of the venues stock furniture.
- Orangery hire fees include night time lighting of the pathways.
- The Temperate House hire fee includes toilet hire with encasing Marquee and connection to the glass house with an awning.
- Nash Conservatory hire fee includes use of the bathroom facilities in a neighbouring building and the use of the private lawn area between Kew Palace and the Joseph Banks Building upon request.
- The Sir Joseph Banks Building hire fee includes the use of the venues stock furniture and the use of the private lawn area between Kew Palace and the Joseph Banks Building upon request.
A member of the Kew Operations team will be present on the day of your event to help co-ordinate proceedings. They will also plan and oversee access for caterers, AV, florists, musicians and all other suppliers. Your venue manager will also brief your stewards and will be onsite for the major part of your event.
All our venues are hired out to one client exclusively each day. Therefore whether you choose to utilise a venue for a couple of hours or up to the full hire period, you will still incur the same venue hire fees.
- Provisional bookings can be held for up to 14 days without commitment.
- Confirmation of a Wedding or Private Event requires a signed copy of our terms and conditions together with a 60% deposit of your venue hire fees. The final 40% payment is required no later than two months before your chosen date.
Payments can be made via cheque, bank transfer or credit/debit card (unfortunately we cannot accept American Express).
The funds generated from venue hire are a vital source of income for Kew, a registered charity. Kew Events is part of RBG Kew Enterprises Ltd, a registered, non-profit company that contributes to the funding of Kew's plant conservation and research work. Therefore, we do not offer discounts on our venue hire fees.
Kew's venues are all either Grade I or II, Heritage-Listed buildings and the greatest of care must be taken to prevent damage. Only our approved suppliers for catering, entertainment, production and AV are allowed to provide a service for any event at Kew.
Suppliers that provide a service which is not intrusive by its nature, does not require power from the venue and is not logistically crucial to your event may be sourced outside of our approved list. Florists and photographers fall under the latter category and are therefore not limited to our approved suppliers list, although we have a selection of recommended florists and photographers that we regard highly.
Having an approved supplier list allows us to restrict the range of suppliers to those that provide a proven service to the high standards of delivery that we expect for our clients.
Supplier setup takes place before your hire time starts so that your chosen venue will be ready to receive you and your guests at your venue hire start time. Caterer and supplier access to the building for set-up is pre-arranged directly between your suppliers and the Kew Events Team.
Only accredited suppliers of entertainment are allowed to provide a service for any event at Kew. Occasionally non-approved entertainment acts can be accommodated but only with prior written permission from our Event Operations Team.
If you choose an entertainment act that is not directly booked through one of our four approved entertainment suppliers they must adhere to the following essential prerequisites;
- All acts must work within the venue and garden regulations, Kew's Premises Licence and Kew’s health & safety protocol.
- All equipment must be PAT test certified.
- The act must be covered by Public Liability Insurance for £5 million.
- The act must operate at less than 85 decibels.
- The client is responsible for hiring a sound technician from one of our approved suppliers (entertainment or production) to conduct pre-event checks and oversee the set-up, performance and de-rig on the day of your event to ensure that your chosen act are aware of the specifications of Kew Gardens.
Due to the regulations of Kew’s Premises Licence and the necessity to maintain goodwill between Kew and our surrounding neighbours, all amplified evening music must be performed inside your chosen venue.
All amplified music must go through our sound limiter systems in either the Drawing Room or Gallery. The sound limiters are set at a specified decibel level, above which the music will cut out. A maximum 4 piece band including vocals is recommended in order to stay within decibel limits and they must play within the Gallery. A DJ can set up within the Gallery or the Drawing Room. Musicians (acoustic or amplified) may only play inside the venue. However, the windows and doors of your chosen venue may be kept open so your guests may enjoy the music whilst they are outside.
The Nash Conservatory
Amplified music cannot be accommodated in this venue after 6pm. For all other Kew Venues - Sound readings are taken and recorded at regular intervals to ensure adherence to our Premises Licence. Acoustic musicians can be accommodated outdoors on the Orangery Terrace or on the Lawn area that is used for Nash Conservatory and Sir Joseph Banks Building Events.
All set-up, breakdown and deliveries must be on the day of your event with prior consent and agreed times with the Kew Events Operations Team. The Operations Team will liaise directly with our approved suppliers to arrange suitable delivery times.
Items cannot be left in the venue overnight. Everything must be collected immediately after the event. Kew cannot except any responsibility for items left at any of our venues.
Due to Kew being situated in a residential area and out of courtesy to our neighbours, all standard hire times across all venues elapse at 11pm.
A one hour extension to midnight is available and chargeable upon request.
For all other Kew venues, additional hourly extensions, to 1am at the very latest, are available and chargeable upon request (subject to availability).
Please liaise directly with Kew’s approved caterers to discuss your event beverage options. All Kew caterers allow guests to provide their own alcohol and they will charge accordingly. Alternatively they can also offer per person drinks packages and/or cash bars.
Due to the Heritage Listing of all of our venues, nothing may be affixed to any surface, either internally or externally. Freestanding decorations or stands are advised but please consult with our Operations Team to discuss your requirements or request. You may have candles as long as they are encased in a glass container that is taller than the flame when lit.
All electrical equipment must be provided by Kew approved suppliers. This is due to the site sensitive nature of Kew's venues.
The Kew Gardens public car park is not ideal for events. The car park closes after the Gardens close and is therefore unsuitable for evening events. The car park is situated outside Brentford Gate and is poorly located for the venues that are available for hire.
We have a private car park situated on Kew Green which can be hired in addition to the venue hire fee, subject to availability.
There is complimentary parking around Kew Green, however we do encourage the use of public transport whenever possible for environmental and conservation reasons and we are ideally located for several public transport services. Use our map for directions on how to find us.
Fireworks are not permitted at any private events at Kew.
In order to preserve the Gardens, any outdoor furniture and its proposed location must be approved by the Operations Team before your event date. Additional furniture can only be positioned on concrete areas of the Garden; it cannot be placed on the lawns. Picnic blankets can be used on the lawn areas as an alternative.
In order to preserve the Gardens, any outdoor games must be approved by the Operations Team before your event date. Failure to do this before your event may result in unapproved items being refused entry to the site or in their confiscation during your event. We cannot permit the use of any ball games or any games that may involve items being staked into the lawn.
Barbecues are permitted within Cambridge Cottage Garden, on the Orangery Terrace or on the Lawn area that is used for Nash Conservatory and Sir Joseph Banks building Events. Please contact our Kew approved caterers to discuss catering options and menus.
Our venues come with varying degrees of outdoor space that is included in your exclusive hire space and may be utilised for your event. An indoor option must always be hired alongside an outdoor space in case of wet weather.
The Gardens are a public attraction and although you have access to the Gardens whilst they are open to the public, we must ensure that the outdoor area that you use for your event will not impact on the experience of our day visitors.
Please allow half an hour from the start of your hire period to the start of your ceremony. The registrars will require time to meet the couple before the ceremony either separately or together. It is also our experience that wedding guests always arrive sporadically and a 30 minute allocation also allows for this.
Cambridge Cottage wedding
We recommend that your civil ceremony is booked for 2:30pm for a 2pm-11pm event.
Nash Conservatory and Orangery wedding
We recommend that your civil ceremony is booked for 4:30pm for a 4pm-midnight event.
The Richmond Registry Office provides the registrars for your ceremony at Kew and must be booked directly by clients.
Please contact the Richmond Registry Office on 020 8940 2853 to enquire about the legal necessities required and registrar fees for a civil ceremony or civil partnership to take place at Kew. Please also call this number to provisionally book a registrar if you are holding a date for Cambridge Cottage or the Nash Conservatory.
Confetti is not allowed either inside or outside our venues. We cannot permit rice, petals or the use of biodegradable confetti. However, we do recommend bubbles as a suitable alternative.
There are no dressing rooms available within our venues. Therefore, we recommend that all participants arrive ready for the event. There are small meeting rooms within Cambridge Cottage and close to the Nash Conservatory that can be used to freshen up before the ceremony, once both bride and groom have met the registrars.
Kew Palace belongs to the Historic Royal Palaces and is available for hire outside its public function. Please visit www.hrp.org.uk for further details.
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