Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some answers to commonly asked questions. You can view them all or filter general or event specific questions. Feel free to give us a call if your question isn’t answered here.

Please contact our Event Directors for more information or to schedule a tour of our property. Just fill out the form to the right under the Cost Estimate Form tab.

Contact Information

Lauren and Sarah
Event Directors
Phone: 352-373-6760

We have a great back-up plan. The gorgeous McKenzie Hall becomes the ceremony location with the McKenzie Gardens as the back drop. Your guests then enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres on our covered patio while the room is reset.

Sweetwater provides all of your tables, basic linens and white garden chairs for the ceremony and reception. We have many different table sizes including: 48″ round, 60″ round, 4′ banquet, 6′ banquet, 8′ banquet, bar height and serpentine shapes. Your event director will help you create the perfect floor plan according to your guest count and event details.

Of course! We are able to accommodate most budgets. We have many budget-friendly options available, including open buffet stations, discounted Friday and Sunday weddings and a smaller venue for weddings up to 65 guests.

Yes! An event director will be on-site the day of the wedding to facilitate your reception details and ensure our venue and catering services are exactly the way you imagined. Sweetwater does not coordinate ceremonies and suggests hiring a wedding coordinator for this. Your event director is focused on your reception food and bar details during the ceremony.

Sweetwater is famous for great food! For this reason, we provide all catering services and require these services for receptions. You can be confident your menu will be delicious and custom to your wishes. We do allow outside alcoholic beverages to be brought in, and we’ll provide the bar service.

Sweetwater provides all venue and catering services, but you are welcome to bring in your own wedding coordinator, photographer, videographer, florist, event designer, cake baker, DJ or band, officiate and alcohol.

Yes! Each wedding reception is unique to your preferences. Our beautiful McKenzie Banquet Hall is surrounded by lush gardens and twinkling string lights, and it boasts a grand high ceiling with trusses to create a neutral but intricate backdrop for your unique style.

Absolutely! One of the many benefits of a Sweetwater wedding and reception are the 20 guest rooms, suites and cottages available on-site. Upon booking, you will receive a promo code that will give your guests a discount on rooms.

Please call or email us and we can set up a meeting time to talk about your details. Most contracts can also be done through the mail! The deposit amount varies on the day of the week and ranges from $500-$1000.

Sweetwater Inn has free parking for all guests! We have full access to the Kirby Smith Center across University Avenue, which has a lot with over 150 parking spots. There is also a private parking lot behind the gardens with 35 parking spots.

Sweetwater is an event venue specializing in <a href=””>wedding ceremonies and receptions</a>, <a href=””>business meetings</a>, banquets, luncheons, and <a href=””>conferences</a>. We host bridal and baby showers, graduation parties, rehearsal dinners, brunches, silent auctions and pretty much <a href=””>any event</a> you can dream up!

We are equipped with multiple commercial sized kitchens, and are proud to cater all on-site events and off-site events, too.

Our Overnight Guests are allotted one parking space per room. We are lucky enough to be able to provide full event guest parking directly across the street at the Kirby Smith Education Center – no passes or stickers are needed, and no tickets or fines are incurred in their spacious parking lots.

We love our <a href=””>University of Florida</a> families! We offer special discounts for parents of both, UF and Santa Fe students – just ask. We are located 10-15 minutes away from UF’s Main Gainesville campus, and we do offer pre-arranged shuttle services to and from UF.

Psst…we recommend <a href=”;ID=1168″>reserving your rooms for Graduation</a> as far ahead of time as you can…we book up for Spring Graduation months in advance.

oolWe are proud to feature an eco-friendly salt pool and spa (rather than solely chlorine). Salt is a more natural approach and is safer on skin and hair than the harsh chlorine chemical tablets. Also, a saltwater pool will not fade or damage your swimsuit as much as a chlorinated pool. A saltwater pool will not leave you feeling as though you just got out of the ocean, and the water will not taste salty like the ocean. Instead, this system is meant to provide you with the same benefits as a chlorine-based system pool, without the large amounts of harmful chemicals.

Sweetwater also politely asks guests to consider their water usage levels in their rooms, and we ask guests to consider using their bathroom towels for 2-3 days instead of requesting fresh towels daily to drastically reduce laundry water usage. We use eco-friendly laundry chemicals to wash all items.
We have signs placed throughout the property to alert guests to turn off unnecessary lights.

We maintain a compost for excess unused food products. We also buy many food ingredients locally at our Farmer’s Market and work with local North Florida vendors to provide fresh meals for our guests. If you have a great idea to help us further our environmental efforts, please, let us know.

We are located 5 blocks from 1st Avenue and everything Downtown Gainesville has to offer.
There are many local dining options within walking distance for many different cuisines and budgets. We consistently recommend Harry Seafood Bar and Grille, Dragonfly Sushi, Emiliano’s Cafe, Manuel’s Vintage Room, Amelia’s Italian Restaurant, Leonardo’s, and many more.

At check-in, ask the front desk staff for a Downtown Dining Guide. There are many bars and clubs in downtown Gainesville with exciting nightlife to suit your entertainment needs.

The Hippodrome Theatre provides cinematic and theatrical entertainment year-round for guests, and Bo Diddley Community Plaza is just down the street, hosting free concerts and events throughout the year, as well as Wednesday Farmer’s Markets.

If you’re open to driving around a bit, Gainesville is host to many remarkable hotspots. The Florida Museum of Natural History with the Butterfly Rainforest is definitely worth the trip, as well as the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

Outdoorsy folks will love Payne’s Prairie and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, and hikers will love to visit Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park.
We have bike rentals on the property for guests to ride around the local trails, too. You’re sure to find something fun to do.

We are a quick 10 minutes drive from the Gainesville Regional airport. However, for a $25 fee, Sweetwater Inn offers pre-arranged, round-trip shuttle services for all guests who wish to travel either to and from the airport or to and from the University of Florida.

We ask that you schedule your shuttle at least 24 hours before your arrival time. Then all you need to do is give us a call at (352) 373-6760 when you have your bags and we’ll send the shuttle right over!

We also offer one-way shuttles each direction for a $15 fee. Please keep in mind that our shuttles only operate from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, unless otherwise arranged by a University of Florida department.

We are happy to accommodate most dietary restrictions. We just ask that you inquire about available options at least 48 hours before you check-in.

Our hot plates are always stocked with fresh baked delicacies, including decadent French toast casseroles, vegetable frittatas, sweet berry or pumpkin crepes, sausage and bacon, buttery biscuits, savory onion Foccacia French toast, puff pancakes, egg scrambles, cheesy grits, and savory roasted potatoes are just some of the breakfast items we offer.

We also have a consistent cold breakfast bar, with homemade granola, yogurt, whole milk, and fresh local fruit, as well as English muffins and toast with preserves. We always include orange juice (fresh squeezed when in season.) and our special Sweetwater blend of organic coffee.

All of our guests are welcome to a delicious full breakfast spread in the morning, as well as a complimentary wine and cheese hour in the evening. All reservations include access to our relaxing pool and spa. Each of our rooms feature a private bathroom along with a King or Queen size pillow-top bed in central air conditioning. Our guests enjoy free wireless internet, free parking, and concierge services at the front desk. All rooms include TVs, phones, bathrobes, iron and ironing boards, hair dryers, coffee makers, and writing desks with sitting chairs. Some suites and cottages feature additional beds, Jacuzzi s, fireplaces, and extra sitting rooms. You can find a Photo Gallery with descriptions of all Rooms here