Back to information on renting the garden for your event.
Renting the Garden at the Ships of the Sea Museum
A Brief Summary
The garden of the Ships of the Sea Museum is available for rental for wedding/receptions and dinners on a first-come-first-served basis. While the Museum may be opened for a renter's guests a short while before an event, it is not available for inside events, and consequently the rental of a tent is strongly recommended if you are considering the Scarbrough Garden. The North Garden Assembly Area is covered by a permanent roof structure. The renter arranges for any caterers, bartenders, rental of tent, tables, chairs or any other vendors.
We were named #1 in a list of Savannah's Top Ten "Historic Wedding Sites" by Savannah Magazine in January 2008, and have been featured in a number of local wedding publications.
Season: from the last weekend in February through the second weekend of November.
Full night rental - from 5:30 until 11 PM, with an extra hour (until midnight) allowed for cleanup (6:15 hours total). Only full night bookings are available in April, May and October.
Scarbrough Garden (smaller space for up to 150 seated at a reception) 2012: Wedding and Reception $5,000, Reception only, $4,250
North Garden (larger space with roofed assembly room pavilion) 2012: Wedding and Reception: $6,750, Reception only, $6,000
Both Gardens 2012: $7,500
Note: There will be a $750.00 surcharge (payable before wedding ceremony) in the garden, rented for a reception only, needs to be used as a rain-location for a wedding.
Note: We are limited to fourteen full-night and two half-night rentals per season, so early planning is very important in order to reserve your date. We do not take reservations for St. Patrick's, Easter or July Fourth weekends. Memorial and Labor Day weekends are not ordinarily blocked out, but are subject to approval in advance.
A non-refundable down payment of half the fee reserves the date. Balance of payment and a certificate of insurance are due two weeks before the event. We can only accept checks (and not credit cards) as payment. The down payment is considered a good faith deposit on a definite date and not merely a "holding fee". There will be a $500. surcharge to change a reserved date. The renter must take out a one-night insurance policy for the event, costing about $200.00.
Services included with fee: Use of the largest private garden in the Historic District and its pavilion, along with use of facilities in the Museum basement, including restrooms. One staff member will be on site from before the event until closing, and one docent will be on site for the first half of the event; use of the well-lit Museum parking lot (72 spaces), a uniformed off-duty Savannah police officer for security during the entire event until closing, pre- and post-cleaning of the Museum and garden by the Museum maintenance staff and touch-up maintenance of the garden prior to the event by the gardening staff. Live and recorded music is permitted in the garden during an event. The parking lot may be used as a staging area for trolleys if your wedding will be held off-site, enabling your guests to park in our lot prior to the ceremony. Arrangements can be made for early drop-off and storage of some event materials at the Museum.
Capacity of garden:
(Please call Savannah Special Events with questions regarding the most efficient use of Scarbrough garden space.)
- Dinner seating for all, comfortable dance area, space for dj and bar under tent: 130
- Dinner seating for all, small(10 x 30) dance area, dj or band not under tent: 150
- Dinner seating for all, no dance floor, no space for dj under tent: 180
- Cocktails and passed hors d'ouvres, some tables, but not enough for all: 200
It typically takes 30-40 minutes to change ceremony seating to reception seating, depending on complexity of layout. During this time, a cocktail hour and Museum visitation can occupy your guests while photos are taken.
The central terrace of the Scarbrough garden is 40 'x 60' and can accommodate a 30'x 60' tent. There are paths with benches flanking the courtyard. The pavilion, which can accommodate the caterer (and sometimes the bar and dj,) measures 40' x 14'.
The assembly hall of the North Garden is 90' x 60' and inlcudes built in ambient and stage lighting as well as a state of the art sound system. The pergola, the vine covered walkway, is 100' long and 22' feet wide and would.
The garden has eleven electrical outlets scattered throughout the garden comprising seven separate circuits, as well as pathway lighting and up-lighting in trees (for safety and atmosphere only.) The pavilion is well-lit, but the renter is responsible for illuminating the central terrace area for an event, as well as any serving stations or bars in the pathways (as appropriate). (See our nighttime tour of the garden in our virtual tour section of the website.)
The Museum has a list of approved caterers and bar services which is part of our information package. Savannah Special Events serves as the exclusive rental agency for events at the Museum (see "News Regarding Rental Agencies" elsewhere in this package.) Tents may be set up the day before an event, and removed on the Monday following an event, but more time can be arranged if scheduling permits, and this is usually the case.
To make an appointment for a tour of our facilities, or to ask questions or discuss scheduling, please call Michelle Riley at 912 232 1511 Monday-Friday from 9 until 4 (preferably Mondays from 9-4). If you are only able to visit on the weekends, please ask for Christopher. As the tour takes about 1:15 we urge you to call ahead to make an appointment so that Michelle or Christopher can schedule for your visit.
You may find our website (www.shipsofthesea.org) helpful. It has some photos of the garden in the garden section, as well as a virtual tour of the Museum ond garden and our complete garden rental information packet with directions for use.
Other helpful websites:
www.savannahspecialevents.com Ideas from our rental partner
www.savannahvisit.com The Savannah CVB site. Look under "Planning a Wedding"
www.savannahnow.com The Savannah Morning News site. Look under "Celebrations/Weddings/Bridal Directory." Much useful info about Savannah.
www.wedsafe.com Wedding and event insurance
www.weddingswithstyle.net Look under Savannah listings
aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.html Sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times for one year. Can also be used to calculate beginning and end of twilight for given dates.
- Please note: There is an underscore between RS and OneYear in the web address above.
www.besthotels.com Look under Savannah listings
www.savannahweddingprofessionals.com a network of experienced local wedding professionals