FAQs for hiring a venue at Kew Gardens
Use our comprehensive list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you plan your wedding and private events.
What does my venue hire fee include?
All of your venue hire fee goes straight back into the Gardens to help fund all of the vital work that the Kew carries out. Here is what that fee covers for your event at Kew Gardens:
- Exclusive use of the venue or venue package on your chosen date
- Your own assigned Operations Manager who is your point of contact throughout all your event planning and is also present on the day of your event to manage your onsite logistics
- Stewarding and security staffing
- 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
- Set up of the venue pre guest arrival
For Cambridge Cottage
- Full use of the venue's stock furniture, which includes 6-foot-round tables and chairs
For the Orangery
- Night time lighting of the pathways to and from the venue to Elizabeth Gate
For the Nash Conservatory
- Use of the bathroom facilities in a neighbouring building and exclusive use of the private lawn area between Kew Palace and the Joseph Banks Building
For the Sir Joseph Banks Building
- Use of the venue's stock furniture and exclusive use of the private lawn area between Kew Palace and the Joseph Banks Building upon request.
And for weddings
- For the wedding couple, free access to the whole of Kew Gardens for half an hour during your drinks reception for the couple’s photographs, for which we provide you with a buggy and a driver.
Can we bring our own suppliers to Kew?
Your catering, production and audiovisual (AV) requirements are all provided by companies listed on Kew’s approved list. As Kew's venues are all either Grade I or II Heritage-listed buildings and the greatest care must be taken to prevent damage, only the approved suppliers are allowed to provide a service for any event at Kew.
If the required service is not intrusive by its nature, or does not require power from the venue, you are welcome to source your own suppliers outside of our approved list. Florists and photographers fall under this category and are therefore not limited to our approved suppliers list, although we have a selection of highly recommended florists and photographers that have worked at Kew on many occasions.
Having an approved supplier list allows us to use suppliers who we know provide service to the high standards of delivery that we expect for all of our clients.
Can I get married outside?
We have an outdoor wedding package available to add on to your Cambridge Cottage venue hire, where your 80 guests are seated in the Cottage's private gardens facing the Drawing Rooms French doors. Your ceremony will be performed with the wedding couple, witnesses and registrars within the threshold of the Drawing Room, giving you a beautiful view of the Gardens and your guests seated upon manicured lawns. There is an additional fee for the outdoor package, which covers hire and setup of speciality outdoor chairs, a PA system (microphones and speakers) and an additional steward to ensure the privacy of your day.
Do you have an outdoor space that is available for hire?
Our venues come with varying degrees of outdoor space which is included in your exclusive hire space and may be utilised for your event. As a backup however, an indoor option must always be hired alongside an outdoor space as unfortunately we cannot guarantee the weather forecast!
The Gardens are a public attraction and although you have access to them while 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.
Can I come and look at the venues?
We would be more than happy to arrange a private viewing for you to come into the Gardens with a member of our Sales Team. We will take you around the venues, go through our supplier lists in a bit more detail and answer any questions you may have, to give you a better idea of how your wedding at Kew will go. We do show-rounds from Monday to Saturday, so all you’ll need to do is give us a call and we will book you in.
I have seen the venues and decided on my date - what are my next steps?
You can hold a date provisionally with us for 14 days for no extra fee, while you contact our various suppliers to get a better idea of how much your event at Kew will cost. 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 six weeks before your chosen date.
Payments can be made via cheque, bank transfer or credit/debit card (unfortunately, we cannot accept American Express).
How do I book my civil ceremony?
Please contact the Richmond Registry Office on 020 8891 7188 to ask about the legal necessities required and registrar fees for a civil ceremony or civil partnership to take place at Kew. We recommend contacting the Registry Office if you are holding a date for Cambridge Cottage or the Nash Conservatory to check their availability. Please note that you are unable to book a registrar more than one year in advance.
Can we outsource our own DJ or Band?
We have a great range of music and entertainment suppliers on our approved list, which represent thousands of acts from DJs, to string quartets, to jazz trios. If, however, you already have a music act in mind then special arrangements can be made to allow them to play at Kew, which include the following:
- All acts must work within the venue and garden regulations, Kew's Premises Licence and Kew’s health and 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 setup, performance and de-rig on the day of your event to ensure that your chosen act is aware of the specifications of Kew Gardens.
- The act must have pre-approved permission from your Operations Manager.
Do you have any music restrictions within your venues?
Due to the regulations of Kew’s Premises Licence and the necessity of maintaining goodwill between Kew and our surrounding neighbours, we do have a few restrictions music-wise for your event at Kew. Across all our venues, all music must be performed inside your chosen venue apart from on the lawn area that is used for Nash Conservatory and Sir Joseph Banks Building events. Sound readings are taken and recorded at regular intervals to ensure adherence to our Premises Licence.
For Cambridge Cottage, although your musicians may only play inside the venue, the windows and doors of the Drawing Room and Gallery may be kept open before 6pm so your guests may enjoy the music while they are outside. 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 four-piece band including vocals is recommended in order to stay within decibel limits and they must play inside the Gallery. However, a DJ may set up in the Gallery or the Drawing Room.
We are unable to have amplified music in the Nash Conservatory after 6pm.
Can we decorate the venues?
Due to the Heritage Listing of all of our venues, nothing may be fixed to any surface, either internally or externally. Freestanding decorations or stands are recommended 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.
Can our guests use the Kew car park?
The Kew Gardens public car park is not ideal for events, as the car park closes an hour after the Gardens shut and is therefore unsuitable for evening events. Also, the car park is a located outside Brentford Gate which is a very long walk to our venues available for hire.
We do, however, have a private car park situated on Kew Green which can be hired in addition to the venue hire fee, on weekends, subject to availability. In addition, there is free parking around Kew Green, although we cannot reserve any of these spaces. In line with Kew’s green ethos, however, we encourage the use of public transport whenever possible for environmental and conservation reasons, and we are ideally located for several public transport services.
Can we have fireworks or confetti?
Unfortunately, fireworks and confetti are not permitted at any private events at Kew: this also includes rice, petals or biodegradable confetti inside or outside out venues. We have found bubbles to be a good alternative!
Is Kew Palace available for private hire?
Kew Palace belongs to the Historic Royal Palaces and is available for hire outside its public function. Please visit the Historic Royal Palaces website, below, for details.
Do you have any packages for corporate events?
We have a selection of different package available for corporate clients, which include both catering and venue hire as a price-per-head fee. Please find more details on the corporate packages and team building page on our website.
Do you have any team-building activities at Kew Gardens?
We do have a wide range of team-building activities available at the Gardens, which range from private walking tours around the gardens or iPad treasure hunts, to Thai Chi lessons and trips up the Pagoda. Please see our package and team-building page for more information, as some of these activities do vary from season to season.
Is there a dressing room available at Kew?
We do not have a dedicated dressing room on site, we advise all couples get ready elsewhere and come to the Gardens dressed for their event. There is a range of local accommodation nearby if you would like to arrange for a changing room to be available throughout the day.