The Conservatory Garden Wedding Venue, St. Louis, MO
Site photos courtesy of MemoriesAreForever.com

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - AND SPECIAL EVENT INFO

 
What is needed to reserve a wedding session at The Conservatory?

A Reservation Fee and wedding contract will reserve a session; Ceremony Package fees are not due until 30 days before the wedding. See Fee Page for fees and session types. To reserve, fill out the form on the Reservation Page. Questions: ido@gardenwedding.com

How many does The Conservatory accommodate for a wedding ceremony?

The Conservatory bench seating accommodates up to 100 guests. A small amount of stand-up space is available. Rule of thumb is 25% of invited guests will not attend the ceremony. If the guest list is many more than 100, one solution is to send two invitations: one to invite a guest to both wedding and reception, the second inviting the guest to the reception following a 'private ceremony'.

We recommend a maximum of 7 bridesmaids. Space for musicians is impacted by the size of the wedding party.

 
Are wedding rehearsals provided?

Yes. Advance rehearsals are available at no charge on Wednesdays, 11am thru 8pm.

It is generally preferable to do a Wednesday rehearsal, especially if you have a large wedding party, but about half of our couples do wedding day rehearsals... and all goes well. A wedding workbook provides all the answers needed for organizing. We escort everyone to the door as it is their turn... the wedding party primarily needs to know where to stand... so a wedding day walk-through is quick. The bride does not rehearse with the wedding party for a wedding day rehearsal... so she is not seen by the groom.

It is also ok to do both a Wednesday rehearsal for those who can come and a wedding day rehearsal for those who could not attend on Wednesday.

Wednesday rehearsal reservations are confirmed in writing. Check with us for available rehearsal hours.

 
Organization

Conservatory staff is on hand to organize according to the details of your wedding workbook.

If the bride and groom will not see each other prior to the ceremony, the bride's room offers hidden space. Family and guests mingle in the gardenhouse. All who are formally entering from the front entrance will begin in the gallery; staff will collect participants in the gallery about 15 minutes prior to the ceremony. As it is each person or couple's turn to make an entrance, staff will escort them to the door. Easy.

Are dressing rooms available for the bride and groom?

Yes. Bride and groom rooms are provided with access to restrooms for guests.

The Bride's room is divided into two spaces separated by a door. An interior space has access to the gallery and ensures that the bride is hidden until time to go!

If the number of bridesmaids is more than 3, it is recommended that bridesmaids arrive dressed in order to reduce chaos for the bride.

As guests are on the property only a short time, their use of the restroom is minimal. An outside door into the bride's room gives access to the restroom.

 
How does the scheduling work?

All occurs within the time you reserve; see schedules below. Cushion time is built into our schedule to avoid any overlap, and to allow us time to reset for the next wedding.

What is the schedule for a 1-Hour Session or Petite Session?

Access to The Conservatory, bride/groom rooms and garden is available at the beginning of the session hour for wedding party, guests, photographers, florists, etc. The ceremony occurs 30 minutes after access. It is recommended that the wedding party be small (i.e. 2 bridesmaids/2 groomsmen) in order to accommodate all within the one hour. The typical short ceremony including procession and recession is about 15-20 minutes, decided between the couple and the officiate. Photos may take place anytime during the session hour. A 1-Hour Session is a choice for couples who want a very simple, short wedding in a beautiful setting.

 
What is the schedule for a 2-Hour Session?

Access to The Conservatory, bride/groom rooms and garden is available at the beginning of the session for wedding party, guests, photographers, florists, etc. The ceremony occurs 1 hour after access. Photos may take place anytime during the session hours.

The first hour includes some or all of the following: arrival of family & wedding party, flower delivery and pinning, short rehearsal if no advance rehearsal was scheduled, dressing, pre-ceremony photos, arrival of guests, pre-entry organization. The typical ceremony including formal seating of family, wedding party procession and recession is about 30 minutes, decided between the couple and the officiate.

 
What is the schedule for a 3-Hour Session?
Access to The Conservatory, bride/groom rooms and garden is available at the beginning of the session for wedding party, guests, photographers, florists, etc. The ceremony occurs anytime between the beginning of the 2nd hour and the beginning of the 3rd hour. The typical ceremony including formal seating of family, wedding party procession and recession is 30-40 minutes, decided between the couple and the officiate. Photos may take place anytime during the session hours.
 
What is a Petite Session?
A Petite Session is a wonderful alternative to a courthouse wedding... last minute, very small, very beautiful. Petites Sessions are 1 hour, may only be reserved 2 weeks in advance, may only include 25 guests or less. The fee is also small.
 
May I reserve more time?

Maybe. We include cushion time before and after each session, so it may appear on our availability calendars that time is not available, but depending on surrounding scheduling, there may be time to add to your session. Check with us.

 
May I book late hours?
The calendars on the website list 7pm as the last hour... but yes, we will reserve later hours. Just ask.
 
Is parking available?

Yes. Reserved parking for the wedding party is available on our private lot. Plenty of public parking for guests is available in lots surrounding The Conservatory. Valet parking is also an option.

Is music provided?

Yes. Recorded music of your choice is provided. Staff manages the sound system. Specify choices in the wedding workbook.

You may also choose to provide live music. Musicians should bring their own instruments and amplification. See musician/vocalist suggestions on our vendor site>>.

Microphones are provided for officiates, speakers, vocalists.

Flowers & decorations... may I bring my own decorations?

All decorations are rented from The Conservatory. All personal flowers i.e. corsages, bouquets are provided by your florist.

Seasonal 'Feature Bouquet' decorations may include subdued color... want to add more color? Embellishment options may be added.

Decorations are silk; these change periodically/seasonally and may not match those pictured on the website. All decorations are rented, not purchased.

 
Is The Conservatory air conditioned?

Yes, it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The heat and A/C systems also keep the humidity levels comfortable.

Is an officiate provided?

Any officiate you choose is welcome. The officiate is not provided. You will find a list of officiates on our vendor site at: WeddingStCharles.com

 
Must I use a vendor from The Conservatory vendor list?
No, any florist, photographer, officiate, musician, etc. you choose is fine. For the convenience of our couples, we provide a list of vendors who are nearby and/or come often to The Conservatory... but you are not required to choose vendors from our list. You will find our vendor referral lists here: WeddingStCharles.com
 
May The Conservatory be reserved for photo-only sessions?

Yes. The pricing for a photo session is the same as for Petite Weddings.

Does The Conservatory accept credit cards?

Yes. The Conservatory accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express. Use this link: 'Make Payment'

 
Is The Conservatory handicapped accessible?

We have portable ramps for both entrances to The Conservatory. There is one step at the front entrance to The Conservatory; the side entrance has two steps. The curb space at the front of The Conservatory is always available for drop-off as it is designated as a permanent carriage stand and parking is prohibited. Therefore, those in wheelchairs may be dropped off and picked up at the front entrance. The restrooms are located in the main building. The ladies room has doors wide enough for wheelchairs and this restroom is used for anyone in a wheelchair, no handrails.

 
What if I cancel my reservation?

The Reservation Fee is non-refundable. The Ceremony Package Fee and Embellishment fees are fully refundable.


 
Special events in the Historic District?

Special Event Parking: The Conservatory is located on the far south end of the Historic District with a large amount of public parking surrounding (500-car lot to east). When nearby events increase traffic and parking concerns, our private lot can be double parked to accommodate about 20 cars. Festival of the Little Hills, Riverfest, Saturday night during Oktoberfest, and Christmas Traditions are the events that create the most traffic/parking surrounding The Conservatory. Weather is always a factor; nice weather brings more volume to the area. Be sure to inform your guests and officiate. See maps showing parking on our contact/visit page.

Disclaimer: Special event dates listed below are to the best of our knowledge.

Call Pam at the Tourism Center for special event details: 800-366-2427. Or go to the Tourism website here: historicstcharles.com

 

Moolah Shrine Parade is follows a route along Riverside Dr. from the Foundry Art Centre to Bishop's Landing beginning at noon. Impact on traffic & parking: low.
2017: 3/25

2018: 3/10
2019: TBD

 

Missouri River Irishfest is held in nearby Frontier Park, usually on Memorial Day weekend. In past years, this event has drawn a small crowd. Impact on traffic & parking: low to medium.
2017: 5/26-5/28

2018: 5/25-5/27
2019: 5/24-5/26

 

Riverfest is a Fourth of July multi-day event held in Frontier Park. Traffic & parking are heaviest on fireworks nights. During fireworks evenings, we recommend only weddings small enough to fit all cars on our private lot; wedding parties may want to reserve nearby hotel or B&B rooms for easy access. Impact on traffic & parking: high on fireworks evenings.
2017: 7/1-7/4, parade 10-12pm on 7/4
, fireworks 9:20pm on 3rd & 4th
2018: TBD
2019: TBD

 
Festival of the Little Hills is held on the third full weekend of August each year. South Main from Boone's Lick to First Capitol Dr. is closed for this event. This is a large event with lots of day and evening parking issues. During this event, we recommend only weddings small enough to fit all cars on our private lot. Impact on traffic & parking: high. Wedding parties may want to reserve nearby rooms at one of our hotels or B&Bs for easy access.
2017: 8/18-8/20

2018: 8/17-8/19
2019: 8/16-8/18
 
Oktoberfest is held in nearby Frontier Park on the last full weekend of September, increasing traffic & parking in the area. Friday and Saturday evening beer gardens attract the most traffic. On Sunday afternoon during Oktoberfest, an antique car show is held on South Main; traffic and parking are mild on Sunday. Streets surrounding The Conservatory are open throughout Oktoberfest. Impact on traffic & parking: Saturday medium to high; Sunday medium to low.
2017: 9/22-9/24
2018: 9/28-9/30
2019: 9/27-9/29
 
MO' Cowbell Marathon occurs on the first Sunday in October. Beginning at 7:30am, the route follows the Katy Trail. Impact on traffic & parking: low.
2017: 10/1
, 7:30am
2018: 10/7, 7:30am
2019: 10/6, 7:30am
 

Legends & Lanterns features scarecrows, hayrides, costumed Victorian characters. Impact on traffic & parking: medium.
2017: 10/21-10/22; 10/27-10/29...Fri 5-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 12-5pm
2018: 10/20-10/21; 10/26-10/28...Fri 5-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 12-5pm
2019: 10/19-10/20; 10/25-10/27...Fri 5-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 12-5pm

 
Halloween is celebrated on Main Street with trick or treat from 3-5pm... but not always held on the 31st. The majority of the activity is in the center of the District. Main Street is closed from Boone's Lick to Clark during those hours. Impact on traffic & parking during trick or treat hours: medium.
2017: 10/31, 3-5pm

2018: 10/31, 3-5pm
2019: 10/31, 3-5pm

 
Las Posadas is held on the first Saturday evening of December at 6:30pm. A Christmas procession begins at the intersection of South Main & Boone's Lick and moves north. Bystanders begin lining South Main within the hour prior and disperse quickly as everyone follows the procession. This event does not pose significant obstacles to our wedding schedule. Impact on traffic & parking: highest just before event begins.
2017: 12/2
, 6:30pm
2018: 12/1, 6:30pm
2019: 12/7, 6:30pm
 
Santa's North Pole Dash occurs on first Saturday morning in December. The run begins at 8:30am from Frontier Park to Main Street. Impact on traffic & parking: low to medium
2017: 12/2, 8:30am
2018: 12/1, 8:30am

2019: 12/7, 8:30am
 
Christmas Traditions provides holiday activities throughout the season. Most of the activities and crowds are in the center of the Historic District and have minimal impact on The Conservatory, though traffic/parking is increased throughout the area. On the Friday following Thanksgiving, a large opening day parade adds to parking/traffic; small Saturday and Sunday Santa processions occur at 1:30pm until Christmas and usually take about 10 minutes to pass The Conservatory.
Opening Day Parade:
2017: 11/24/17, 1:30pm
2018: 11/23/18, 1:30pm
2019:
11/29/19, 1:30pm