Listed below are some of the most common questions asked about events at The Surrey House and Gardens and their answers.
RECOMMENDED WEDDING MINISTERS
We highly recommend the following wedding ministers:
We have worked with several bartenders to offer a three hour service at our recommended rate of $150 - $200. No hard liquor anywhere on premises. The Surrey House staff does not pass or serve alcohol. Please call any of these bartenders for reservations and information:
We highly recommend the following DJs:
We highly recommend the following Photographerss:
WHERE DOES THE BRIDE GET DRESSED?
The Surrey House has a small house in the back yard which we refer to as the "bridal cottage". The living room, front bedroom and bathroom are available to the bride and her attendants. There is also a separate room which can be entered from the back of the house for the groom to get ready if necessary.
HOW DO THE BRIDE AND HER ATTENDANTS GET FROM THE BRIDAL COTTAGE TO THE MAIN HOUSE?
About 30 minutes before start time, the bride, surrounded by her attendants "sneak" up into the Surrey House. Usually, most of the guests are out at the gazebo and involved in their own conversations. If this is uncomfortable, everyone can go out the front door of the bridal cottage, through the parking lot and around to the front door of the main house.
WHERE DOES THE BRIDAL PARTY LINE UP?
The wedding party usually leaves the Surrey House by the front door. They line up on the grass by the north side of the house, and walk under the archway, out to the gazebo. If, for some reason, the grass is wet, they may line up in the hallway at the back door of the Surrey House, walk down the deck stairs, and out through the arch to the gazebo.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS AND THE WEDDING IS PLANNED OUTSIDE?
With a beautiful gazebo outside, it is understandable that most brides prefer to have their wedding ceremony there. If that is the case, we make every effort to make that happen. The bride may tell us a day or two before her event if she prefers to move it indoors because of possible inclement weather. If the ground is too soggy from previous rains, the wedding will have to be moved inside. If, on the day of the wedding the ground is not soggy, and there is some doubt as to whether or not we will get rain, and yet, there are clouds hovering overhead, we let the bride make the call. Because it will most likely be a last minute decision (meaning the day of the event or shortly before the event is scheduled to start), the bride may need to provide helpers to move the chairs, if they need to be moved either to the outside or the inside, whichever is appropriate.
AN INDOOR WEDDING
The bride walks down the carpeted aisle runner to the front of the room, facing the latticework. After the ceremony, there is a ten-minute turn around time while the family pictures are taken and the tables and chairs are rearranged for the reception time. Then, the guests may begin the buffet line.
WHAT IS PROVIDED BY THE SURREY HOUSE FOR A GAZEBO WEDDING?
The Surrey House provides the lighted gazebo, a carpeted aisle runner (a light camel color, or green if it has been muddy or soggy), two pedestals to place floral arrangements or plants on each side of the gazebo, and chairs for the guests (of which l00 are the white padded folding chairs and up to 75 of the white, stackable outdoor chairs). Some of these chairs are moved after the wedding ceremony to place around the guest seating tables in the reception areas. The ceremony takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. While the family is taking pictures, the guests may begin to eat and drink.
WHAT ABOUT PARKING?
There are always plenty of parking spaces for weddings and receptions. The Surrey House has a private paved parking lot as well as an empty field area in which to park. Guests may also park across the street if the wedding is after normal business hours or on a weekend. For weddings over 50, it is especially helpful for the bride to assign someone to direct the traffic at the beginning when the immediate parking lot becomes full. It prevents guests from having to pull in, find the parking lot full, and back out while other cars are trying to come in. Please don't drive on the Surrey House lawn.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO PUT THE GUEST SIGN-IN BOOK?
For an indoor wedding, the best place is in the front parlor of the Surrey House on the antique buffet. For an outdoor wedding, the best place is along the sidewalk leading to the backyard and gazebo area. In warmer weather, many brides find it helpful to place a large container of choice filled with ice and small water bottles near the sign-in area. Some even like to provide fans for their guests at the sign-in table. Another nice consideration is to have a young usher or young lady taking the gifts as the guests sign in and placing them inside the Surrey House. This also gives the bride more privacy inside the Surrey House as she is waiting to make her grand entrance.
CAN I PROVIDE MY OWN BEER, WINE, AND CHAMPAGNE?
Yes, the bridal party may bring in their own beer, wine, and champagne. No hard liquor or mixed drinks are allowed. All drinks must be poured into cups or glasses provided by the bride. A TABC certified bartender is required. The Surrey House will provide a list of these. They generally cost $150 for the evening and the bride pays them directly. The bartender will come wearing a uniform. We provide the table and table cloth. The bridal party is responsible for beer, wine & champagne cups, napkins, and the drinks already iced down in coolers. Kegs are only allowed outside.
WHAT IF I WANT A TENT OUTSIDE?
The bridal party may have a tent rented and brought to the Surrey House. It must be put up and decorated during the bride's own Surrey House time unless other arrangements are made and must be considerate of the other weddings going on that weekend.
WHAT IF I WANT OR NEED EXTRA TIME?
Please review contract for actual house time. Evening parties usually end at 11:00 p.m., allowing the wedding party or the Surrey House crew to clean and secure the premises by midnight. An extra hour may be purchased for the rate of $160.00, providing that the party ends at midnight and clean up is completed by 1:00 a.m. Under either circumstance the bar must be closed at fifteen minutes prior to the end of the party time.
The Surrey House does have a set of cake cutters that may be used, or the bride may bring her own. The bride will provide her own set of toaster goblets if desired.
The bride, or someone appointed by the bride, is responsible (unless rented from the Surrey House or Surrey House florist) for placement of her centerpieces on the guest tables.
CANDLES, HURRICANE LAMPS AND LUMINARIES?
Votives are allowed at the Surrey House as long as they are in a dish or container that doesn't allow wax to spill. Candles are allowed if they are covered with hurricane lamps and placed in a dish or container that doesn't allow wax to spill. When using candleabra, dripless candles must be provided. Luminary sacks are not allowed due to fire concerns. IF A BRIDE RENTS THE SURREY HOUSE'S OUTDOOR LANTERNS, SHE MUST PROVIDE THE TEALIGHT CANDLES. SHE MUST ALSO PROVIDE VOTIVE, TEALIGHT, OR FLOATING CANDLES FOR THE GLASS BOWLS OR GOLD TABLE LANTERNS IF RENTED.
DOES THE FEE INCLUDE TIPS?
The owners and workers at the the Surrey House do their utmost to ensure that your special event is the best it can be. We do not automatically include a percentage for tip. We believe a tip is earned and not part of the bill. If we have earned your thanks and you desire to express your gratitude, a tip is appropriate and appreciated by workers and staff.
ONLY SILK ROSE PETALS PLEASE
Over the years, we have discovered that real rose petals (which are often used during the wedding processional) stain the floors and the light beige carpet runners at the Surrey House. Please be considerate and use silk rose petals. They are much easier to handle and they always look fresh. Thank you.
No sparklers anywhere on the premises please.
WHAT DOES THE FLOOR PLAN LOOK LIKE?