Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to many frequently asked questions. Please look there and to our brochure for more information about planning your private event!

Information About Timing of Rental

  • The earliest private event guest entry is 5 pm. 
  • The Garden closes as early as 4:30 pm to the public so that preparations can be made in time for private event guest entry.
  • Private events can go as late as midnight.
  • Clean up must end by 1 am in the Upper Garden and 1:30 am in the Lower Garden.
  • The main set up time can begin as early as 3 pm in the Lower Garden and 3:30 pm in the Upper Garden.
  • Market Lighting can be set up in outdoor areas from 7 am until 10 am, before the garden opens to the public and inside the Inamori Pavilion from noon until 3 pm. This is a free time period for overhanging decor to be set up.
  • All other set up and clean up must occur during rented time frame, other than a free half hour, and in the case of a Lower Garden rental beginning at the earliest rental start time, a free hour. Remember to include the set up and clean up when figuring out approximate rental fees.
  • In the event of rain in the forecast some extra free time for canopies to be set up can be arranged. 
  • For weddings, a free rehearsal is also included with your event rental. A rehearsal is scheduled by appointment with our Event Coordinator for a time during our public hours.

Information About Vendors

  • We do not allow outside catering. You will find a list of our catering partners on the last page of our brochure. They are great to work with so try contacting them to get some information about their services.
  • You may bring in desserts from outside of the catering list. Whether it's from your favorite bakery or a family member made them, desserts are okay!
  • We also allow for you to provide your own alcohol as long as it is served by someone with the license and insurance to do so. Many of our clients just hire one of our caterers to add on a bar service.
  • Attaching any decor to the buildings in the Lower Garden must be done by either San Diego Linens or Kenneth Day Weddings. See the page about the Inamori Pavilion in our brochure.
  • All other vendors just need to be insured professionals.
  • Yes, we do offer table, chair and other rentals as well, but you are not required to rent these from us. We do offer a good deal and there's no delivery fees on our rentals, but you're not restricted to our stock and can rent from an outside vendor if you wish. Check out our brochure to see more about what rentals we offer.

Information About Decor

  • We do allow you to use real candles as long as the abide by the following rules:

    All candles must...
    • be in attended areas only. 
    • be on tables. No candles are allowed on the ground or hanging from anything.
    • be in a container with a couple of inches of glass above the flame.
    • not be to heavy or easily knocked over or next to something flammable that is easily knocked over.
  • If you would like to use candles in a way that does not abide by the above then LED candles should be used.
  • Real white or very light colored petals may be tossed. No rice, seeds, confetti or fake petals are allowed to be tossed as they can create a slipping hazard or harm the environment.
  • Blowing bubbles is allowed, however sparklers, sky lanterns, etc are not allowed.

  • The cocktail hour is the most popular time for photo taking, and if the other of our two venues has not been rented out, then you can schedule with our Event Coordinator to use that time to take pictures in the opposite venue.
  • Even if the other venue has been rented out, you can take photos there still after your event's set up time has begun and before the garden closes to the public. This is perfect for first looks or just getting all the bridesmaids together for some photos.


  • We offer 5% off the hourly rate to clients who are active or retired military.
  • We offer 10% off for company events for 501(c)(3) non-profits.

Information About Discounts


Banner Photo Credit: Acqua Photography