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Wedding & Reception Policies and Guidelines

  • New Policy: Wedding Coordinator
    Garvan Woodland Gardens requires a “professional” coordinator for the “day of” your event.
    To ensure your event’s success, we recommend that clients use an experienced coordinator from the Garvan Woodland Gardens vendor list. You are welcome to plan your entire event on your own. However, on your wedding day, we require that you have a coordinator to facilitate the day’s events.
    Your coordinator will be responsible for keeping the wedding on schedule and ensuring that all of your wedding day details go as planned. Your coordinator is required to be onsite and available for your entire booked block of time. All wedding coordinators must provide a copy of the final event timeline 14 days prior to the event. Wedding coordinators are NOT allowed to drink any alcoholic beverages while working an event at Garvan Woodland Gardens. The Gardens’ wedding staff are employees of Garvan Woodland Gardens and should not, and will not, take the place of a wedding coordinator. There will be a Garvan Woodland Gardens Property Manager on site for your event. The wedding coordinator must check in and check out with the on-site Property Manager. Contracting with a wedding coordinator is the responsibility of the bride and groom or contacted event hosts. It is the responsibility of the client to communicate who they have chosen as their “day of” coordinator prior to 30 days before the event.
    No Fuss, No Frills wedding packages do not require a wedding coordinator.
  • Final Payment Policy: Final payment for the venue rental is due 30 days prior to each event unless other arrangements have been made in advance with Garden staff. After thirty (30) days, unpaid balances will be turned over to the University of Arkansas Cash Management Office and/or the Garland County Prosecutor’s Office for collection. Final invoices paid by check MUST be accompanied by the writer’s valid driver’s license number.
  • Security Deposit Policy: The Security Deposit is a separate, refundable, fee that is required 30 days prior to the event. The Security Deposit will be refunded ONLY if no damages are incurred at the scheduled event. Violation of the “No Smoking” and/or “Alcohol” policy is subject to forfeiture of the Security Deposit.
  • The preferred dates and venue(s) can be reserved with a deposit equal to 50% of the rental fee and Weddings at Garvan Gardenssigned wedding event agreement.  If unforeseen circumstances result in a cancellation of the event, the full deposit will be refunded if the GWG wedding supervisor is notified with at least 120 days notice.  One-half (1/2) of the deposit will be refunded if cancelled within 90 to 120 days.  Inside the 90 day window, the deposit is non-refundable.
  • When visiting the Gardens FOR THE FIRST TIME with an appointment with a Garvan Wedding/Event Specialist, the party is admitted free of charge for the appointment only. On any other visits up to the day of the event, each visitor will be required to pay Gardens admission. 
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens is a tobacco/nicotine free environment, including electronic cigarettes. Due to the danger of fire, absolutely NO smoking - including the use of electronic cigarettes - is allowed anywhere on Garden property, including the parking lot. This policy is strictly enforced.
  • Designated times for rehearsals, ceremonies and receptions will be strictly enforced.
  • Garvan Woodland Gardens is open to the public year-round, meaning visitors will have access to areas of the Gardens where ceremonies and receptions are scheduled.  (The Gardens are closed the month of January.)
  • Acoustical music is always welcome at Garvan Woodland Gardens.  Strings and wind instruments can add to the enjoyment of the day.  Taped and amplified music must not distract or be offensive to the Gardens’ non-wedding visitors or be unreasonably loud.
  • Due to heavy visitation at the Gardens during certain seasons, parking may be an issue.  Wedding participants and guests are encouraged to car pool.
  • All details relating to the wedding ceremony and/or reception must be conveyed to the Gardens’ wedding supervisor at least thirty days prior to the scheduled event.  This includes names of florists, caterers, the wedding planner and the officiant.
  • Absolutely NO glitter, confetti, sparklers, or balloons are allowed in any Garden venue.
  • If flower attendants drop petals preceding the bride’s walk down the aisle, no matter which venue is being used for the ceremony, it is the responsibility of the wedding party to remove the petals at the conclusion of the ceremony or before departing the Gardens.
  • The only celebratory item that can be thrown during the ceremonial departure of the bride and groom are bubbles or lavender.  No sparklers allowed.
  • A $500 refundable damage deposit is required thirty (30) days prior to the event.  If the rented venue(s) are free of damage and litter after the event, and the "No Smoking" policy has been not been violated, the deposit will be refunded by the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville within four to six weeks after the event.
  • Food service must be provided by a preferred Garvan Woodland Gardens caterer that is licensed by the State of Arkansas and holds required tax permits and liability insurance coverage.  Wedding cakes and punch are the only exceptions.  Glassware and china are NOT allowed in the Gardens or its structures, excluding glass flutes (one each) for the traditional wedding party toast at the reception and glass containers provided by the caterer for serving food.
  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages must be approved by the Gardens*.  An extra security guard is required at the expense of the wedding hosts.  Alcohol may be served but not sold on the premises.  Garvan Woodland Gardens accepts no liability for the actions of the group or its guests at alcohol related events.
  • Please be aware that the Evans Groom's Quarters house public restrooms on either end of the building. Garden visitors may use these restrooms at any time and wedding guests are sent to these restrooms as well, since there are no restroom facilities in Anthony Chapel.
*The Gardens’ wedding staff are employees of Garvan Woodland Gardens and should not take the place of a wedding planner. Staff responsibilities include event set up and tear down, coordination among florists, caterers, and other vendors.  Contracting with a wedding coordinator is the responsibility of the bride and groom or contacted event hosts.