Wedding FAQs

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Two Unique Venues // one Divine Experience

The Boathouse promises a truly one-of-a-kind, waterside special occasion - the first venue of its kind in Richmond, VA. The Boathouse is the perfect venue providing exceptional food and service for your special occasion.

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. Half of the remaining estimated balance is due sixty days prior to the event. 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 does not provide a dressing room, although there is a private space 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 2 to 3 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 $150 per hour will apply. There is no guarantee that additional setup time will be available.

What type of decorations do you not allow?

Due to the potential danger to you and your guests, we do not allow decorations to be hung from the ceiling of the Pavilion at Sunday Park. Open flames, confetti and glitter are also not allowed.

Do you allow sparklers?

No. Due to the potential danger to you and your guests we do not allow sparklers to be used.

Do you provide candles or allow the use of candles?

We do not provide candles or centerpieces for any tables. Candles are allowed on seating tables if the flame is enclosed. Please use unscented candles. We do not allow the use of confetti or glitter. For events in the Tent Pavilion, you may want to consider battery operated LED candles for your tables.

Are any flowers included?

We provide professional landscaping at both locations. We do not include any flowers or table centerpieces.

What flowers or decorations do you recommend?

A Buffet Centerpiece is recommended for all buffet events. Please ask your florist for a buffet centerpiece that can be viewed from all sides. You may want to request that your florist provide loose greenery for use on the buffet displays. Other popular floral pieces include an arrangement for the mantle (there is a hook), vase arrangements for beverage stations, and fresh floral for the cake table. Only fresh flower petals (no artificial) may be used at outside events.

What color will the linens be?

For special events, we use floor-length white base linens with your choice of color for the linen overlay. Our standard event linens include a choice from over 50 stock colors for the overlays. 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 Restaurant is committed to providing you and your guests a truly excellent dining experience. We use the finest ingredients in all of our house-made sauces, soups, dressings and dough. At times we must remove items from the menus due to unavailability of ingredients. Our chef will also remove items from the menus if they were not well received by the guests.

Can I taste the reception food?

Instead of inconveniencing our wedding couples by having one or two tasting events per year, we invite you to dine at the Boathouse Restaurant at your convenience. We offer the same high quality food preparation and plate presentation in the Boathouse Restaurant as we do for our catered events. Our Executive Chef oversees both venues. Most of the food items featured on our Banquet menus also appear on the Boathouse Restaurant menu. Contracted wedding couples are encouraged to contact the banquet office for dinner reservations, and to receive a gift certificate towards their tasting dinner at the Boathouse Restaurant.

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 "stand-up" reception, this style is usually used for more casual receptions. This cocktail style reception does not have a seat at a table for everyone. Most of the time, the hosts choose to have table seating for only 50% of the guests; with several stand-up cocktail tables. The food displays are spread out around the room, so guests in each area have easy access to food. By limiting the seating for your guests, you are creating a mix and mingle atmosphere.
  • 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 20 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 polo shirts with The Boathouse logo, April-October. In the off-season, our banquet staff wears long-sleeved, black bistro shirts with black dress pants.

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.