Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008
480-941-1225

View their website

Average Base Cost: $24,000

Our average base cost for a Desert Botanical Garden wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list for a Saturday ceremony/reception using the Webster Center and a food/beverage cost of $125/pp plus associated fees. Entertainment, flowers, furniture, additional decorations and rentals, transportation, and photography are NOT included. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand. Gratuity and sales tax (where applicable) is included.

*Prices subject to change

Center map

 

How it breaks down:

Facility Rental Fee: 

  • Dorrance Center (Dorrance Hall, Boppart Courtyard, Kitchell Patio): $3,800
  • Webster Center (Ullman Terrace, Webster Auditorium, Eliot Patio): $3,500
  • Steele Herb Garden: $2,200
  • Binns Wildflower Pavilion: $2,000
  • Amphitheater (ceremony only): $1,000
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Photo by Cristi Owen Photography

What’s Included: 

  • All venues include usage for up to 5 hours. To extend the event for an additional hour, a pro-rated fee will apply.
  • Additional hours for set-up and tear-down of the event
  • Admission for your guests into the Garden anytime the day of the event
  • A dressing room (if applicable)
  • A rehearsal the week of your wedding (if applicable)
  • A final walk through (typically held two weeks prior to your event)
  • On site venue coordination
  • Signage from admissions to your venue
  • Trail maps for your guests
  • Complimentary parking for your guests
  • Complimentary wheelchairs and discounted scooter rentals for your guests (coordinated through the DBG visitor center)
  • Rangers/Security staff on grounds 24/7

Note that all tables, chairs, etc. must be rented through your caterers. They are not included.

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Photo by Laura Segall Photography

Extras:

  • Luminarias can be set around your venue for $200 per set of 50 hand lit luminarias.
  • Rustic rebar candle trees with 150 individually lit LED candles and glass votive holders can be rented at $200 per tree.
  • Black leather lounge furniture can be rented for $150 per sofa, $50 per chair and $25 per side table.
  • Heaters can be rented for at $80.00 per heater.
  • A private guided tour of the Desert Discovery Trail or, guests may choose to explore the Garden at their own pace with a Garden map. Other tours, such as the Spring Wildflower Tour and Bird Watching Tour, are available during select seasons. Please ask the Event Coordinator for details. Tour guide for events: $100.00 per guide, per hour 1 guide per 20 people.
  • Touch Cart: These carts feature a docent who will discuss a specific plant (saguaro, prickly pear, mesquite, ect.) that your guests can see and touch. The docent will also be available to answer any questions about the Garden in general. Cost: $100 per touch cart, per hour.

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Food and Beverage: You must use one of their approved caterers and their in-house beverage service (there are no minimums). Approved caterers include Arizona Taste Catering and M Culinary Concepts. Beverage prices are based on consumption and range from $6-$9 per drink (from house/well to premium liquors). Other bar fees include:

  • Bar Rental & Supply Fee: $150.00 per Bar
  • Bartender Fee is $25.00 per bartender per hour, with a minimum of four hours. (We recommend 1 bartender for every 75 people) To include bartender set-up and breakdown time.
  • 20% service charge based on beverage sales (except for cash bars). There is no tax as the venue is a non-profit.

Note: Assume 5-6 drinks per person for a 5 hour wedding.

Other Vendors: Aside from the approved list of caterers and the Garden’s beverage service, you are welcome to use any licensed and insured vendor you would like (i.e. musician, photographer, florist, etc.).

More Stats:

Space Type: Inside/Outside. Note that all venues are outdoor with the exceptions of Dorrance Hall within the Dorrance Center, and Webster Auditorium within the Webster Center.

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Photo by Lexy Popa

About the venue spaces:

Dorrance Hall (included in Dorrance Center):

This 4,600-square-foot reception hall has neutral décor featuring garden-inspired tapestries and full-length windows. Ideal for an indoor reception, ceremony, memorial service or meeting.

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Boppart Courtyard (included in Dorrance Center):

This outdoor courtyard, surrounded by desert landscape, is located on the south side of Dorrance Hall. Overlooking the Sybil B. Harrington Succulent Gallery, this Courtyard features a water feature, ambient lighting strung overhead and a built-in stage. This space is ideal for an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour or dining.

Kitchell Patio (included in Dorrance Center):

Situated on the north side of Dorrance Hall, this patio is ideal for after-dinner drinks and dessert. Kitchell Patio includes water features and built-in benches for additional seating and acts as an extension to your indoor event.

Ullman Terrace (included in Webster Center):

Featuring the Garden’s butte as a backdrop for your event, this outdoor tiered patio is surrounded by soft petal reflective lights and up-lit saguaros. This venue also features areas for dancing and a stage for entertainment.

Eliot Patio (included in Webster Center):

Serving as the entrance to Ullman Terrace, this patio features Portofino lights and up-lit plants and cacti for a cocktail hour or guest greeting area.

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Webster Auditorium (included in Webster Center for evening events or rented separately for daytime events):

This 1,500-square-foot adobe building with French doors and antique chandeliers is on the National Register of Historic Places. For evening events, Webster Auditorium serves as an additional indoor space for your event.

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Steele Herb Garden:

This location is amongst the Garden’s desert landscaping and features views of the Arizona sunset and mountains and is ideal for an outdoor wedding, cocktail hour or dinner reception.

Binns Wildflower Pavilion:

Located off of the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Trail, this circular open-air pavilion is surrounded by desert plants and views of the Papago Buttes and Camelback Mountain. This venue is an ideal location for ceremonies, receptions, non-profit or corporate events and provides an intimate space with illuminated rustic stars and twinkle-lit pillar, as well as a view to the stars under the Pavilion’s center sky light.

Amphitheater (ceremony only):

Overlooking the Garden’s Sybil B. Harrington Cactus Gallery, this tiered theater features built-in benches for guest seating.

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Size: From 10-300 people. Their various venues can accommodate the following number of guests:

  • Dorrance Center: 250 sit down/400 lecture max. capacity
  • Webster Center: 150 max. capacity
  • Steele Herb Garden: 75 max. capacity
  • Binns Wildflower Pavilion: 100 max. capacity
  • Amphitheater: 100 max. capacity

Bridal Suite: Yes. The venue provides one dressing room per wedding event.

Parking: Yes, complimentary.  The Garden has complimentary parking with over 600 individual spaces, bus parking and a route 56 Valley Metro bus stop.

How Will Grandma Get There? The Phoenix Airport is only 12 minutes away and offers several chain hotels nearby (such as the Radisson and Hilton Courtyard). However, out of town guests looking to grab a bit of vacation time would most likely want to stay in Scottsdale at a hotel such as Hotel Valley Ho, which is also extremely close (8 minutes away)

Party On! Events can go until 11 p.m.

The Report: 

The Desert Botanical Garden opened in 1939 as a non-profit museum dedicated to research, education, conservation and display of desert plants. As 1 of only 24 botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the museum has over 140 acres with 50,000 plant displays and 821 volunteers. Typical wedding setups at the Desert Botanical Garden include:

  • Dorrance Center : A ceremony on Boppart Courtyard, reception in Dorrance Hall, (or vice versa) and cocktail hour on Kitchell Patio
  • Webster Center : Ceremony and reception on Ullman Terrace, cocktail hour on Eliot Patio, and an indoor ceremony alternative or extra dressing room in Webster Auditorium
  • Steele Herb Garden: Typically ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception
  • Binns Wildflower Pavilion: Typically ceremony OR reception
  • Amphitheater: Ceremony only

Woman Getting Married Says:

I love how many different venue options the Desert Botanical Garden has, and the venue rental fees are all pretty reasonable (bonus that you don’t have to pay taxes on their fees since they are a non-profit!). Another huge plus is that since it’s a botanical garden you are already surrounded by so much foliage, meaning less decor (and less $$) for you. You do have to use their preferred caterers and in-house beverage service, but they have a long list of quality caterers to choose from and their own beverage pricing is not crazy. However, I always try to ask the venue (especially if you have a crowd of big drinkers) if they can negotiate a flat rate per person vs. a per drink (consumption) bar. The location is also great for out-of-town guests who want to take advantage of Scottsdale’s luxe hotels. Definitely add this to your list, Arizona brides!

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7 Amenities/What’s Included

9 Convenient for Grandma

9 Layout

9 Location

9 Overall Charm

8 Venue Value

WGM Rating

8.5

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