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Gainesville Wedding

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you want your day to be perfect, and that means asking some questions! We have answers to our most commonly asked questions below.
I picked my date! How do I book? What is the deposit?
Please fill out the inquiry form or contact us to see if your date is available. We can set up a meeting in person or over video chat to discuss your details. The deposit amount varies depending on the day of week and other details.
How far in advance should I book my venue?
If you want a popular time of the year or a Saturday wedding, we recommend booking at least 12 months in advance. For off season and flexible dates, at least 9 months is recommended. If you have missed the recommended time, we’re still happy to accommodate you as long as we have availability.
I'm on a budget. Can I still have a wedding at Sweetwater?
Absolutely! We are able to accommodate most budgets. We have many options available, including buffet stations, discounted Friday and Sunday weddings, and a smaller venue for weddings of up to 65 guests.
What happens in the case of inclement weather?
Our beautiful McKenzie Hall becomes the ceremony location with the McKenzie Gardens as the backdrop. Your guests then enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres on our covered patio while the room is reset. For McKenzie House weddings, your ceremony will be hosted in the gazebo area of the wraparound porch.
Where do event guests park?
Event guests park for free at the Alachua County Public Schools District Office across University Avenue. There are also two accessible spaces in the private lot across from the gardens.
Can my guests book rooms at Sweetwater Branch Inn?
Absolutely! One of the many benefits of a Sweetwater wedding and reception is the guest rooms, suites, and cottages available on-site. Accommodations are first come first serve, except for the Honeymoon Cottage, which we hold to give couples priority. For more information on booking rooms please contact [email protected].
What does Sweetwater provide?
Sweetwater provides all venue and catering services, including serving staff, and a limited selection of linens, tables, and chairs. Select decorative items are available for rental including vintage furniture and garden games. You will need to provide your own wedding coordinator, officiant, florist, designer, photographer, videographer, wedding cake, alcohol, and DJ or band.
Can I bring my own decorations?
Yes, each wedding reception we host is unique to your preferences. We recommend working with a decorator to create your vision. McKenzie Hall is surrounded by lush gardens with string lights, and boasts a high ceiling with trusses for a neutral yet intricate backdrop.
Can we bring our own alcohol?
Yes! We require all alcoholic beverages to be brought in. Sweetwater can provide bar service, ice, basic mixers, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Can we bring our own catering?
Sweetwater is famous for great food! We provide all catering services, and require these services for events. We can also accommodate most dietary needs, including kosher and halal. You can be confident your food will be delicious and these details will be taken care of for you on your big day!
Does Sweetwater provide tables, chairs, and linens?
Sweetwater provides all of your tables, basic linens and white garden chairs for the ceremony and reception. Sweetwater owns 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.

If you choose, you may rent additional linens, chairs, and other accessories to match your theme from another vendor. However, the tables, chairs, and linens for a successful and beautiful event are included.

Will there be a Sweetwater coordinator on-site the day of my wedding?
Your 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.

Still looking for answers? Give us a call at 352.373.6760

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