||Small Garden Wedding Ceremonies
Whether you are taking your vows for the first time, or renewing them again, Sonnenberg provides a picturesque area, located between the Rose and Old-Fashioned Gardens, where friends and family can celebrate the moment with you. Our traditional ceremony site features manicured lawn, overhanging trees on three sides, and our Wedding Pergola -- a structure of six, white columns -- that creates a classical background for your ceremony. Stone and metal urns at the site are filled with white annual flowers by Sonnenberg’s gardeners after the threat of frost has passed. Behind the Pergola lies a neatly-kept bed of greenery, creating a neutral backdrop for you to enjoy in classic simplicity or accent with the colors of your wedding party. While this site can accommodate up to 250 guests for larger ceremonies, some couples choose it for small ceremonies too.
Wedding guests are encouraged to park in our main lot approximately 30 minutes before your ceremony. This allows a comfortable amount of time to be greeted at our designated wedding check-in area, then board our multi-passenger trams for the short ride to your select ceremony site.
Small Wedding Ceremony Site Options:
When you book a wedding ceremony with fewer than 40 guests attending, you may request one of the following alternate locations to the Pergola site: our Sub-Rosa Garden, the Rock Garden, or for very small ceremonies of 25 or less, the Japanese Garden. However, Sonnenberg reserves the right to relocate your ceremony if weather or estate conditions require.
|The Sub-Rosa Garden:
With an elegant white marble platform, with upper- and lower-fountain features, inside of a sunken garden lawn surrounded by nearly 6-foot tall hedges, the Sub-Rosa Garden provides an intimate, yet elegant setting for your small ceremony for 40 or fewer guests.
|The Japanese Garden:
For very small ceremonies, the Japanese Garden can provide a unique backdrop of landscaped lawn amidst bonsai trees, small bridges, water bodies, and our historic Tea House. Due to the unique, hilly landscaping and architectural features, Sonnenberg does not recommend attempting to seat more than 20 guests in this garden.
|The Rock Garden:
For intimate, naturalistic ceremonies in an alpine garden with a waterfall in the background. Can accommodate 70-170 guests.
Wedding Contracts and Fees:
A Sonnenberg ceremony for less than 40 people attending may be reserved for $550 for a two-hour time block. Each small wedding ceremony includes two hours use of the grounds, admission for your wedding party and guests, guest transport to and from ceremony site by tram shuttles, use of the Mansion Bridal Salon for the bride and bridesmaids to dress, access to all gardens for photographs after your ceremony, and staff to coordinate your rehearsal and wedding day. Download a Small Ceremony Contract HERE.
Booking Your Wedding Date and Time:
Check availability of your preferred date on our online calendar, then contact our Wedding/Events Manager to tour the estate, or book. Please note tentative booking requests can only be held for 5 business days (one week) without your signed contract and half-down, non-refundable deposit. Should you postpone your ceremony and reception to a different day or year after booking, your deposit will transfer to the new date with payment of a $75 administrative fee for re-booking. If less than two weeks have passed since your original booking, the re-booking fee will be waived. Any request for multiple/partial payments will be subject to a $20 service charge per separate payment.
What About Weather?
When threatening rain is forecasted, a rain tent to shield your guests attending weddings at the Primary Pergola site will be set up. The decision to tent the site is made by Sonnenberg, approximately 48 hours before the first scheduled ceremony of that weekend. If the tent is needed at the primary (Pergola) site, each bridal party utilizing that site that weekend will pay $100 towards the setup cost. If yours is the only ceremony/reception booking that weekend, you will bear the total cost for the rain tent. Unfortunately, there is no way to tent the alternate Sub-Rosa, Rock or Japanese Garden sites. Often, smaller weddings can be comfortably seated under cover at our Mansion Veranda, which provides garden views on two sides, while shielding your bridal party and guests. This option is the simplest and most economical way to relocate smaller ceremonies in case of inclement weather conditions. Sonnenberg reserves the right to designate the rain location.
Sonnenberg will arrange rental of your white, classic outdoor ceremony chairs through our vendor-partner, Tailored Events of Canandaigua. If applicable, your chair rental fee should be paid to Sonnenberg before, or at, your rehearsal. Electricity is available at the wedding site, but we presently do not have a sound system or microphone. Check with our Wedding/Events Manager about whether amplification is recommended for your number of guests. You are responsible for hiring vendors to provide your music, flowers, photography, and transportation. Please see the main wedding page for recommended vendor-partners or local officiants.