Royal Botanical Gardens

Wedding Photography at 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.

Atrium

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.

The Royal Court is a private outdoor ceremony location that can seat up to 120 guests.  The completely covered area protects your guests from rain & provides shade on bright sunny days.  Furthermore, around the perimeter, you’ll find colorful plants and an ornamental pond that all help to create a quaint garden setting.

Rose Garden and 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.

In fact, Hendrie Park is the largest garden area at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is home to a wide array of blooms and architectural features. Highlightable photo features include double reflecting ponds, iron gates, fountains, bridges, and of course the Rose Garden.
Booking a wedding at Hendrie Park also includes access to their Mediterranean Garden. This indoor greenhouse includes two levels of exotic plants, along with the koi pond, stairs, benches, cacti/succulent collection, and more. If your guest count is under 20 people, this location is also a great option for your ceremony. Indeed, the Mediterranean Gardens is one of the RBG’s biggest assets. When it’s -15 or pouring rain, you can still have stunning wedding photos.

Rock Garden

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

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.

INQUIRE FOR MORE INFO

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Getting to 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.

Office Hours

Monday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Parking

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

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