Wedding FAQ

Wedding FAQ

What are the SFG staff responsibilities?

SFG staff responsibilities include coordinating with vendors to assure their needs are met (i.e. power, water, location of set up, etc.), setting up ceremony chairs, setting up lawn games, setting up bistro tables/chairs/umbrellas, helping with parking and providing rides as needed for guests (via golf cart), ensuring bathrooms are operational and stocked with supplies, igniting the fire and setting up s’mores. Staff are available for troubleshooting throughout the event. Staff are always available to help when needed.

SFG staff do not typically set up the tent floor plan, set up table arrangements and decor, manage timeline schedules, line up the wedding party for the ceremony/ introductions, or clean up after the wedding.

Should we hire a “wedding planner” or “day of coordinator?”
All our preferred caterers (with the exception of food trucks) offer a day of coordinating services as a package option. If your caterer does not provide this service, hiring a wedding planner or day of coordinator is highly recommended to help ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible.
Can a rehearsal walkthrough be held on site?
We are always happy to allow a walk through at no charge as long as the property is available. This may not always be possible if an event is booked the day before your wedding but we can typically accommodate a rehearsal earlier in the week. There is also the option to perform a rehearsal run through the morning of your wedding.
If we are hosting a rehearsal dinner are rentals accessible?
The farm tables and reception chairs are available for your rehearsal dinner at no extra charge. Couples are responsible for setting up and returning furniture under the tent at the end of the event. All other rentals such as bars, garden cart, umbrellas, fire pit, s’mores are not included for your rehearsal dinner but can be rented.
When do outside rentals need to be picked up/ dropped off?
The drop off time is the time of your check in or possibly earlier with prior permission. The pick up time is by 11am the day after your event.
Who sets up our rentals?
All our preferred caterers (with the exception of food trucks) offer floor plan set up as a package option.
How many guests can be seated at the farm tables?

The 10 foot table seats 12. If the ends are not used, the table seats 10. The 8 foot table seats 8/10. The 6 foot table seats 6/8. The 4 foot table seats 2.

Are the grounds and bathrooms handicap accessible?

The grounds are relatively flat and fairly easy to navigate. Our bathrooms are not handicap accessible. It is possible to rent a handicap bathroom for a reasonable cost, which can be placed adjacent to our outdoor bathroom facility. Reach out for more information about handicap bathroom rental options.

Are Ubers available after the wedding?
Ubers will travel to East Haddam but due to the remote location a car may not be available or a long wait may occur. The best practice is to arrange your ride well before the time you plan on leaving.
Can we use the kitchen and what does it contain for supplies?
The kitchen is available for basic cooking and is fully equipped. Supplies on hand are coffee, tea, creamers, salt, pepper, and some spices.
Can the cottage be used as space to get ready during the day?
Yes, if the cottage is rented it can be used during the afternoon to hang out or to get ready. Check in time for the cottage is 1 pm.
Can we check into the farmhouse house early?

The check in time for the farmhouse is 10am on Friday/ Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays/ Weekdays. With prior approval it’s possible to access the bridal suite/ changing rooms 90 minutes earlier. The cleaners will most likely be inside the house during that time finishing their transition tasks.

Are sparklers, candles, confetti, glitter permitted?
  • Sparklers are permitted outside of the tent.
  • Lit candles are not permitted inside the farmhouse unless it is an indoor wedding with our staff monitoring. Lit candles with glass sleeves are allowed in the tent.
  • Only biodegradable, fresh or dried flower petal confetti is permitted. The following types of confetti are not allowed: paper, cannon poppers, streamers, metallic, plastic, etc.
  • We ask that glitter makeup not be used in the house. It easily spreads throughout the house onto furniture and floors and can be difficult to clean up.
Are dogs allowed?
Dogs are not permitted in the farmhouse or cottage but with a dog watcher, dogs are allowed on the grounds.
Can we drop off personal belongings/ decor prior to our wedding date?
With prior permission belongings/decor can be dropped off and stored in one of the garages. These belongings/decor must be removed by check-out time unless prior permission for a later checkout has been approved.
Where do food trucks/ bar trucks park for rehearsal dinner?
Rehearsal dinner food trucks/bar trucks can park in the driveway in front of or beside the 2-car garage. Another option is in the parking area beside the garden shed should the garden be used for the rehearsal dinner.
Can we self serve alcohol to our guests?
No. Alcohol can only be served through an insured caterer/ bar service.
Can we use a caterer not listed on your preferred vendor list?
You may use a caterer of your choosing; however the caterer must provide a certificate of insurance.
How much is the deposit to reserve a date? What is the payment structure?

A 30% deposit is required to hold the date. At 6 months prior to the wedding the next 40% is required. At 30 days prior to the wedding date the remaining balance is due.

Do we need to purchase event insurance?
Yes. For the event date and any additional dates rented (I.e rehearsal dinner). The cost to purchase insurance is typically around $150. This can be purchased online via
Is there a way to heat/ cool the tent?
During the summer months, fans are set up in the tent and included at no extra charge (oftentimes a breeze picks up in the late afternoon). During the cooler months when needed the tent sides may be used. Propane heaters are also available to rent through SFG for an additional charge.
How late can we have our reception?

Outdoor music must end by 10pm on Fridays/ Saturdays and 9pm on Sundays/ Weekdays which typically signifies the end of your reception. The length of a full event can be no longer than 6 hours. (ceremony, cocktail hour and reception). Guests are welcome to stay and hang out as late as your check out time (11:30 pm on weekends when no overnight is booked). If an overnight is booked, an after party is permitted.

Can we have light music played after the wedding reception?
Yes, bluetooth speaker level music is permitted outdoors after 10pm.The firepit is set up with speakers that can be synced to a phone via bluetooth. Overnight guests may use the grounds/firepit with light background music as long as they wish.
What happens if it rains?

Weather conditions are always unpredictable. We have had many beautiful and enjoyable weddings at Smith Farm Gardens regardless of the weather. Should rain be in the forecast we do have some ideas:

  1. First, we do our best to “thread the needle” and perform the ceremony in your desired location either before or after the rain event. We support you in making your best day happen whatever the weather conditions.

One option for rain is, with advance notice, to rent a smaller tent and sister it between the main tent and the split rail fence with a marquee in between. It almost feels as if you are sitting in the meadow which is kind of fun. We know CT Rental is very flexible with reasonable notice. This 2nd tent can be used for the ceremony as well as the cocktail hour. Chairs can be set up in this 2nd tent with some standing room depending on size of group.

2. Another option is to perform the ceremony in the main tent, either on the dance floor (meadow as backdrop) or in the front section of the tent (house as backdrop). We have an attractive movable arch with draping that can also be decorated with real or artificial flowers. We will work with your caterer to move tables and chairs aside with chairs placed in front of the ceremony location with some standing room.

We have marquees that we install between the cook tent and the main tent and between the bathrooms and the main tent to keep guests dry.

Additional things to consider when planning for an outdoor tented wedding at Smith Farm Gardens.

It can be hard to predict when a breeze may spring up at the farm. This is great for keeping hot summer days more comfortable but can cause some challenges with decor.
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind…

  • Tablecloths especially on high tops can blow off unless secured. High top tablecloths can be secured with a napkin or ribbon tied around the center leg.
  • Tall lightweight centerpieces/flower arrangements can easily blow over. It is best to use low table arrangements.
  • Loose seating cards need to be secured.
  • Easels need to be secured (SFG has supplies to stake easels to the ground and will assist with this)

Ceremonies in the sunken garden or in the lower sunken garden can be warm during the mid summer months. Starting later in the afternoon when the temperatures cool and a breeze oftentimes picks up can help make the event more comfortable. (4:00-5:00pm)

Let us exceed your expectations.

Contact Smith Farm Gardens to book your special day.

Wedding FAQ


(860) 575-3119


60 Smith Road
East Haddam, CT 06423


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