The Botanic Garden
 of  Smith College

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The Botanic Garden of Smith College
Wedding and Wedding Photo Policy

Effective January 1, 2001
Updated April 12, 2010

About the Botanic Garden of Smith College:

The campus of Smith College was originally planned and planted over one hundred years ago as a botanic garden and arboretum, designed by the landscape architecture firm of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Today, the Botanic Garden has a mission to be of scientific as well as aesthetic value. It encompasses the entire 125-acre campus, including the Lyman Conservatory and a variety of specialty gardens. The plant collections are used as a resource for teaching and research by students and faculty in the Biological Sciences and other disciplines.

Availability of the Facilities:

Although the outdoor facilities have been used for small weddings and wedding photos, it is imperative that these activities are consistent with the purpose of the gardens.

Gardens available for weddings and photos include: Capen Garden; the pond and garden area adjacent to the Lyman Plant House & Conservatory; and Trudy's Garden behind Alumnae House.

Easily damaged areas NOT available for ceremonies or photos include the Botanic Garden greenhouses and the Rock Garden next to the Lyman Conservatory.

The following policies and fees have been established to assure proper use of the gardens, to avoid scheduling conflicts, and to protect the grounds and gardens from unnecessary damage and/or abuse.


While there is no fee for use of the gardens, donations are always appreciated.


Reservations must be made at least one month in advance for ceremonies or photos. Please call the Events Management Office at 413-585-2179 to request a reservation. When arrangements are complete, you will receive a confirmation letter which you must bring to your event. Smith reserves the right to turn away those without reservations.

Policies for Outdoor Weddings and Wedding Photos:

  • Weddings or photo sessions are limited to a maximum of ten people, including the wedding party, and may not exceed one hour.
  • Please stay on the paths and grassy areas, and keep all tripods out of the garden beds.
  • NO tables, chairs or tents may be set up in any of the garden areas, with the exception of a few folding chairs for elderly or handicapped guests who are unable to stand.
  • NO food or drink may be served in the gardens with the exception of items used for religious purposes.
  • NO dogs are permitted in any of the garden areas, with the exception of service animals such as guide dogs.
  • Absolutely NO rice, confetti, or similar material is to be thrown.
  • Please refrain from littering. Please take with you whatever you bring to the gardens.
  • Flowers may not be picked from plants growing on campus.
  • Please take care with our campus plantings and avoid causing any damage to plants while on campus. You will be held responsible for any costs incurred to repair garden areas as a result of your wedding or photo session.
  • Please remember this is a college campus and a public space. We are unable to restrict access to classes, groups of students, and the general public, who may be passing through the gardens.

Other Information:

Students and alumnae of Smith College may obtain information about holding wedding receptions at the Smith College Alumnae House by calling 413-585-2020.

For information about using the Smith College Conference Center for wedding receptions, please call 413-585-6977.

For information about using the Helen Hills Hills Chapel for weddings call 413-585-2753 or click HERE to visit their website.

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Smith College
Last updated on Monday, April 12, 2010 .