Rentals at The Arboretum FAQ

Table of Contents


What is included in The Arboretum Wedding Day Rental?

Exclusive use of the Auditorium, Boardroom, Sunroom, and West Lawn from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m., round & rectangular tables and chairs, large screen and sound system with a podium, microphone, and auxiliary input jack, free parking (including accessible parking), outside patio (not licensed), and stage.

What are the capacity limits and restrictions (in-covid and non-covid circumstances)?

Non-covid maximum capacities consist of 120 banquet style and 150 reception style. These capacities may change slightly depending on your set-up configuration. In-covid, we cannot guarantee how the capacities may change in the future. We will be following the provincial and public health guidelines as well as the University's policies which to this point have been stricter than the province. Mandatory protocol measures, rental time restrictions, and extra charges may apply to comply with COVID-19 health & safety regulations.

Can we hire an outside catering services vendor?

The Arboretum offers a selection of preferred and approved caterers that meet our high culinary standards to ensure you and your guests enjoy exceptional dining and outstanding service.

What are the options to host a ceremony only at The Arboretum?

The Arboretum offers two designated ceremony sites for rental: The West Lawn/Auditorium (8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and the Conifer Outdoor Ceremony Site (dawn until dusk). The rental of outdoor chairs, delivery and pick-up is coordinated by the rental client. All ceremonies, no matter how small, must rent one of the two designated wedding ceremony sites. Rental fees help to support year-round maintenance of Arboretum grounds, gardens, plant collections and trails.

Can our guests smoke outside?

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the grounds. The University of Guelph is a tobacco and smoke-free facility: Smoke-Free U of G | (

Can I take prom photos at The Arboretum?

We love having community members enjoy the Arboretum grounds and are grateful that families celebrating prom think of the Arboretum as a place to take photos on their special days.

As proms typically take place within a condensed period of time and have overlapping dates, we ask prom groups to coordinate with us in advance of taking photos to see if there are areas available and, if so, pay a $100/hour fee. This fee includes designated access to space in the Arboretum, washrooms in the Arboretum Centre and free parking. This fee is a flat rate that can be shared among multiple families or a large prom group. If you would like to coordinate a time to take prom photos at the Arboretum, please reach out to Dawn Ann Webster, Booking Coordinator, at

Why do we need to pay a SOCAN and Re:Sound fee?

SOCAN and Re:Sound music licenses grant businesses permission to play music. The nominal fees collected from the rental client are paid directly to SOCAN and Re:Sound through our quarterly reporting process. For more information, visit the SOCAN AND Re:Sound websites.

We are planning to do most of the decorating ourselves. Can we get in the day before to decorate?

The Auditorium can be rented the evening before your wedding day (5pm on) to decorate and/or host your rehearsal. Please contact the Bookings Coordinator at 519-824-4120 ext. 54110 or for rates and availability.

We are coming to The Arboretum to have our engagement/wedding photos taken. Is a photography permit required?

The Arboretum strongly encourages and kindly requests you consider a $100 photography donation when taking professional photos on our grounds. This donation helps supports year-round maintenance of the Arboretum grounds, gardens, plant collections and trails and qualifies for a charitable tax receipt Donations can be made through our secure online donations page. Photography donations are not requested if hosting your wedding ceremony or reception at The Arboretum.  

Can we hold a small wedding ceremony at one of the gardens on the grounds?

The gardens are beautiful but off-limits for ceremonies. The Arboretum offers two designated ceremony sites for rental: The West Lawn/Auditorium (8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.) and Conifer Outdoor Ceremony Site (dawn until dusk).

Do you offer discounts for the University of Guelph Alumni?

We are truly honoured when UoG Alumni choose to host their weddings at The Arboretum; however, we do not offer Alumni discounts.

Can we put a tent on the West Lawn or Conifer Ceremony Site?

Yes. Any structure (including tents) to be installed on The Arboretum grounds must receive initial approval from The Arboretum. A building permit is required for tents 20' X 40' and larger. This process takes a minimum of six weeks. Please contact the Booking Coordinator at 519-824-4120 ext. 54110 or for more details.