Wedding FAQs


Your Destination Wedding - in Richmond, VA!

What is the deposit to reserve a date and the payment schedule?

The location fee needs to be paid to reserve a date. We do not ask for a minimum guest count or a guaranteed menu to reserve an event date and time. Additional deposits are due at six months and ninety days prior to the event date. The final payment, final menu decisions, and the guaranteed guest count are due 14 days prior to the event.

What is the cancellation policy?

In the unlikely event you should decide to cancel your event at any time after payment of deposit, liquidation damages on estimated revenue will apply. Damages are based on a sliding scale and listed on the contract. All deposits are nonrefundable.

Can I add extra time to my event?

Yes, additional time may be added to any private events based on availability, and arranged in advance with the Event Coordinator. An additional fee of $500 per hour will apply. 

Do you have dressing rooms?

The Boathouse at Sunday Park has a private room adjacent to the ladies rest room for makeup and hair touchups, before the ceremony begins.  The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing has a waiting area for the wedding party. We recommend doing hair and make-up off premise and using the space at Rocketts Landing as an area to put on your wedding attire while out of view of the guests.

What does the Staff Event Coordinator do?

Our Staff Event Coordinators meet with the wedding couples during the planning period, and are available via phone and email to answer questions you may have about your event at the Boathouse. The Event Coordinator assists your officiant at the event, acts as a liaison with the vendors, and guides your attendees to the correct location. Due to the Staff Event Coordinators' duties, they cannot act as a wedding planner or decorator. All couples are welcome to hire a personal wedding planner for additional assistance preparing for, or on the day of, their wedding. All decorating beyond placement of items on tables should be done by a professional decorator, florist, or personal wedding planner.

What is discussed at the planning meetings?

The first planning meeting, which usually takes place three months prior to the event date, focuses on the event details: menu, room arrangement, linen color, timeline, and outside vendors. The final meeting, about 2 weeks prior to the event date, finalizes the event and dinner details. The final guest count, final menu decisions, and final payment are due at this time.

What time can I come in to decorate?

Your event includes a one-hour delivery and setup time. Additional time for deliveries or setup needs to be arranged in advance with the Event Coordinator. An additional fee of $500 per hour will apply. There is no guarantee that additional setup time will be available.

What type of decorations do you not allow?

Open flames are not allowed. We welcome our clients bringing in centerpieces and other decor items that are able to be placed throughout the event spaces without harming the integrity of our finishes and structures.  You may secure items using zip ties as long as they do not damage the surface of our walls, etc.  Any installation requiring the use of a step stool, ladder, suspending overhead, or plugging into our electricity must be done by a licensed and liability-insured event professional.

Do you allow sparklers?

Due to the potential danger to you and your guests,  sparklers are not allowed. Sparklers are illegal per local ordinance.

Do you provide candles or allow the use of candles?

We do not provide candles. Candles are allowed on seating tables if the flame is enclosed. Please use unscented candles.  You may want to consider battery operated LED candles for your tables.

Do you provide any centerpieces?

The Boathouse has a limited supply of lantern centerpieces with battery operated candles. Check with your Event Coordinator on what may be available for your event.

What color will the linens be?

For weddings, we include floor-length  linens in your choice of color. Our standard event linens include a choice from over 50 stock colors. Specialty linens and colors are available at an additional cost per table.

Are plates and glasses included?

We provide all necessary plates, glasses, cutlery and napkins for your event.

Why did the menu change after I reserved my event?

The Boathouse is committed to providing you and your guests a truly excellent dining experience. At times we must change the items on the menus or their recipes due to seasonality or unavailability of ingredients. We also remove and add items based on guest feedback.

Can I taste the reception food?

We offer special tasting events four times each year. At the tasting events, you will have the opportunity to sample a variety of appetizers, entrees, small plates, food stations, and signature drinks. Each wedding contract will receive two complimentary tickets to a tasting event, and the opportunity to purchase tickets for additional guests. Details about and dates for  the upcoming tasting events will be shared by the Event Team when an event is contracted.

What reception dining styles do you offer?

We offer the following three styles of dining for our wedding reception:

  • Heavy Hors d'Oeuvres

    Also called a “cocktail” reception, this style is usually used for more informal receptions.
    A cocktail-style reception does not have a seat at a table for everyone. This style package includes seating for up to 50% of your guests; in addition to several stand-up cocktail tables. The food displays are arranged around the room, so guests may easily access the food options. By limiting the seating, you are encouraging your guests to mix and mingle.
    At The Boathouse, we have two cocktail style wedding reception packages. The Boathouse Reception and the Diamond Reception feature a combination of food items. We begin with passed hors d'oeuvres and your signature drink during the cocktail hour.  The main food service features a display of vegetables, fruit, cheese and crab dip, accompanied by crackers and toasted baguette. Another display will showcase small plates: three-bite hors d'oeuvres items served on miniature plates or in small china crocks. Your guests will also enjoy the create-your-own food station, with your choice of Pasta Station, Mashed Potato Bar, Mac & Cheese Bar, Carving Station or Tacos
  • Dinner Buffet

    A more structured reception that requires table seating for all of the guests. Our dinner buffet menu is designed to offer your guests a variety of foods. The appetizers are available butler style (hand passed) for cocktail hour, and then as the buffet opens, the guests can visit the buffets and be seated for dinner. The bridal party might have a table or two reserved for them, but the hosts do not have to assign seating for the guests at this style of reception.
  • Plated Dinner

    Our most formal style of reception. With our two course plated dinner, the host may choose to serve the same entrée to all of the guests, or offer the guests a choice of up to 2 entrees. When the guests are offered a choice of entrée, the bride needs to include the dinner choices on the invitation response cards. An entrée pre-order is required 2 weeks in advance of the event date. The guests are usually assigned seating, and the host provides place cards, which also indicate for the serving staff the guest's dinner entrée pre-order.

How many staff members will I have on site during my event?

To provide excellent service for your catered affair, we have the following server to guest ratios:

  • 1 server for every 25 guests at a stand-up reception.
  • 1 server for every 16 guests at a seated reception (buffet or plated menu).
  • 1 bartender for every 75 guests.

What do the banquet servers wear?

Our banquet staff wears black dress pants and black collared shirts.

Is a tip for the staff included in the cost of the event?

Your total event cost includes a fair wage for your event staff; additional gratuity as a token of appreciation for outstanding service is always welcome, but never expected.