ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington is one of my most visited locations when it comes to weddings. The RBG hosts hundreds of weddings each season. They truly are the perfect venue since they are able to host your ceremony & reception in a paradise setting. So, rain or shine, winter or summer, they have you covered. Here’s a peek at a few of their gorgeous features from a wedding photography perspective.
One of the best additions to the RBG is the Camilla & Peter Dalglish Atrium. It offers gorgeous natural light throughout the day and is a photographer’s dream. Here, they’ve brought the garden inside. Complete with two living walls that serve as a natural backdrop to your head table. Additionally, the courtyard off of the Atrium has its own private waterfall. It’s a wonderful area that guests are able to use when you book this reception hall.
AUDITORIUM AND ROYAL COURT
The Auditorium is the main ballroom. It is adjacent to a beautiful foyer, available for your cocktail service. Once inside the ballroom, you also have exclusive access to the Royal Court.
ROSE GARDEN & HENDRIE PARK
Alternatively, The Rose Garden Tent in Hendrie Park Gardens can seat up to 300 of your wedding guests. Immediately following the ceremony, you can disappear into the scented gardens of Hendrie Park for family portraits.
Hendrie Park has also gone through some renovations over the last few years. One of its most recent additions include two iron dome gazebos in the Rose Gardens.
Another area you may wish to check out is the Rock Garden. However, it is a couple of minutes drive west of the main RBG Centre. Inside the Rock Garden’s Visitor Centre is The Great Room. This floor to ceiling glass wall venue is amazing for wedding receptions. Additionally, it offers tons of natural light and a beautiful picturesque view of the Rock Gardens at sunset. The Rock Garden offers winding water features, perennial plants, and rustic pathways. Descend into the lower bowl of this garden for a truly unforgettable landscape. There are some beautiful trails and pathways available. The Rock Gardens are not physically connected to Hendrie Park. So they do offer a quieter more private setting for your wedding photos.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES AT THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
If having your wedding photos taken in a more private setting sounds appealing to you, check out the Arboretum or Laking Gardens. The Arboretum offers a more English style landscape than actual gardens. While the Laking Gardens features the Royal Botanical Garden’s perennials collection and the Hilda E. Marrs Gazebo.
WHAT NOT TO DO AT THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
As with any wedding venues, there are rules and restrictions when it comes to photography/videography while on the premises.
- group photos in the gardens are limited to 20 people
- no drones
- many of the garden areas are closed from November-April
- no smoke bombs, emulators, or dry ice machines
HOW TO BOOK THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
There are so many wonderful locations for wedding portraits at this venue. For more information about wedding photography at the Royal Botanical Gardens, send an inquiry. More information about the venue’s wedding packages is available on their website. If you’re interested in using the gardens strictly for portraits, fill out their photo permit and email it to their office.
GETTING TO THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
RBG consists of four formal gardens within a natural reserve:
- RBG Centre and Hendrie Park: 680 Plains Road West
- The Arboretum and Nature Interpretive Centre
- David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden
- Laking Garden: 1221 Spring Garden Road
- TrailHeads: multiple addresses. See trail maps for details.
Ideally, you want to drive between the garden areas, or you can catch the Royal Botanical Garden’s shuttle bus on select weekends.
Monday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Paid parking is not required at the RBG Centre or Rock Garden. However, Pay and Display parking is in effect at all the other Royal Botanical Garden sites. The parking rate is $3/hour to a maximum of $15 at all sites. If you’re looking for a nearby hotel to spend the night, here are the closest ones. There are also more higher-end hotels once you get into the Downtown Hamilton area.
City View Inn – 1400 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 1H6
Royal Inn – 99 Plains Rd E, Burlington, ON L7T 2C2 Admiral Inn – 149 Dundurn St N, Hamilton, ON L8R 3M1 Visitors Inn – 649 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 1A2