Frequently asked questions for weddings and private events
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.
Wedding reception in the Gallery of the Mansion at Wakehurst
What do the venue hire fees include?
Exclusive use of the venue on your chosen day for the full hire period.
Event support from our Event Operations Team in the run up to your event.
One of our Venue Managers to co-ordinate and deliver your event on the day and ensure that all runs smoothly
Banqueting chairs and tables.
- Car parking facilities (cars can be left overnight if pre-arranged)
- Cleaning of the venue, before and after your event
- Access to the Gardens during garden opening hours for you and your guests
What is the booking procedure?
- Provisional bookings can be held for up to 14 days without commitment.
- Confirmation of a Private Event requires a signed copy of our terms and conditions, together with a cheque for our venue hire fees + VAT in full. Please make cheques payable to RBG Kew Enterprises Ltd. Please write the event reference number, booking name and event date on the reverse.
- Confirmation of a Corporate Event requires a signed copy of our terms and conditions together with a purchase order number for your venue hire fees. The Kew Finance Department will invoice clients after the event and payment is required within 14 days after the event.
How will you ensure that the Public do not enter the venue hire space and that it will be private?
We will place Private Event signage around the venue and external lawn area. A steward will also be on duty to help direct the Public around the venue and ensure that it is exclusively for you and your party.
Who will be there from Wakehurst on the day and what will they do?
You will have a member of the Events team present on the day of your wedding to help co-ordinate your day. If you are having a ceremony and/or reception they will oversee the caterers, florist, musicians' access and direct guests for the ceremony. They will also help co-ordinate the running of the ceremony with the Registrars. They will brief the stewarding team and ensure you are happy with everything.
Can we hire the venue for a half day or a couple of hours?
The Mansion is hired out to only one client each day to ensure that they receive the full attention of the events team. We do offer a reduced 3-hour venue hire rate for couples who want to hire the mansion for their ceremony only. Please contact the Wakehurst events team for more information.
Can we supply our own alcohol (BYO) or provide a cash bar for evening guests?
Our onsite caterers offer the option of client self-supply of alcohol with a corkage fee, drinks packages on a per head basis, beverages on a sale or return basis, and evening cash bars. Please speak directly to our onsite caterers for a quote.
Can we bring our own caterer, entertainment or production company?
Due to our venue being a Grade I Heritage-Listed building, the greatest care must be taken to prevent damage. Only our approved suppliers are allowed to provide catering, entertainment and production services for any event taking place in the Mansion. This also allows us to restrict the range of suppliers to those that provide services to the very high standards of delivery that we expect for our clients.
Are we able to use a friend/s as the DJ/Band?
Only accredited suppliers are allowed to provide entertainment services for any event at Wakehurst Place. Occasionally non-approved entertainment can be accommodated but only with prior consent from our Event Operations Team, which will require full adherence to our venue and garden regulations, Wakehurst Place's Premises Licence and health & safety protocols. Please see our approved suppliers list for accredited entertainment suppliers.
Can we use our own florist or photographer?
We have a list of recommended florists and photographers which we highly recommend. However you are permitted to use your own choice of florist and photographer.
Is there accommodation on site?
Although there is no accommodation on site, we are located within a short distance of many hotels and bed and breakfast providers. Please speak with the wedding and events co-ordinator for a guide and any preferential rates on local hotels.
Is there car parking available on site?
As part of your venue hire you will receive access to either the staff car park (weekday evenings and weekends only) or parking in the Visitor Centre car park. Guests may leave cars overnight if pre-arranged with the wedding and event co-ordinator.
What about access and setup for caterers and suppliers?
The start of your hire period marks the point at which your chosen venue will be ready to receive you and your guests. Caterer and supplier access to the building for setup is pre-arranged directly between your suppliers and the Events Team.
Can my event go on later than 11pm?
A one hour extension to midnight is available and chargeable upon request. Due to nearby residences and out of courtesy to our neighbours, all standard evening hire times elapse at 23:00 hours.
Is Confetti Allowed?
The use of confetti is not permitted within or outside the venue. This also includes rice, petals and the use of biodegradable confetti. The use of bubbles is permitted.
What are the restrictions on theming?
Due to the Mansion being a Grade 1 Heritage-Listed building, no decorations may be affixed to the walls or any fittings, either internally or externally. No decorations may be placed on the existing National Trust furniture in the Hallway area. We do allow the window sills and bay area in the Dining Room to be used for arrangements but a protective base must be used underneath, and items should rest on cork or felt bases. Balloons are permitted within the venue.
Are there any restrictions on floral displays?
Flower displays may not include berries, grapes or soft fruit as they can stain the surfaces in the venue. Lilies and other flowers with staining pollen must have their stamens removed off-site. Pedestals with flowers are permitted in the venue in pre-agreed positions so as not to touch any wall or surface area.
Can we have candles and if so, what are the restrictions?
You may have battery powered candles only. As the Mansion is a Grade 1 Heritage-Listed, National Trust building, we do not allow any naked flames.
Can we smoke inside the venue?
The Mansion is strictly non-smoking in line with the Smoke-free England Legislation.
Can we have outdoor furniture or games on the Mansion Lawn?
We have outdoor benches in place already and allow some occasional tables. Picnic rugs are also permitted. Only non obtrusive games are permitted on the lawn, such as 'Giant Jenga' . We do not allow croquet or any other ball games as the area is a formal lawn that must not be damaged.
Can we have an outdoor event/barbecue on the Mansion Lawn?
The Mansion is sold and hired as an indoor venue with an accompanying garden. In cases where clients are looking for an outdoor hire space with a wet weather option, please be advised that the Mansion will probably not be the correct venue for you. Although guests are free to utilize the garden area and benches already in situ, the focus of your event - such as dining and dancing - will be inside.
Outdoor barbeque cooking is not permitted, nor are hog roasts, due to the venue's situation within a public access area and the difficulty of getting equipment brought on site for setup and breakdown.
Our caterers are able to provide creative catering solutions if you would like to have a BBQ theme meal.
Can we have a marquee on the lawn?
We do not allow any marquees to be put on the Lawn as it is a formal lawn which must not be damaged.
Its summer and we're having drinks in the garden - can our musicians play outside?
Only un-amplified musicians are permitted to play externally. They must remain on the lawn area immediately outside the Mansion Gallery and time restrictions will apply.
Can guests get access to the Gardens before the ceremony?
Please liaise directly with the Events Team for further arrangements.
Can we have fireworks?
Due to the fallout of debris from fireworks and out of consideration to our neighbours, fireworks are not permitted at any private events at Wakehurst.
Can the photographer use the upstairs of the Mansion for a group photo?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer this as the offices are for a different department of Wakehurst and are alarmed.
Do we have an extra room for bags/changing/band etc?
You will have full use of the Library for band equipment storage, luggage, etc. However, this room is not locked and items are left at the owner's risk. An additional storage cupboard is also available in the ladies cloakroom for any luggage.
Can we arrange to leave items in the venue overnight?
Everything must be collected immediately after the event. Wakehurst cannot except any responsibility for items left overnight.
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