Frequently Asked Questions About Event Rentals in the UT Gardens, Knoxville

All event scheduling must be booked through and approved by UT Gardens, Knoxville, rental staff Holly Jones at hjones3@tennessee.edu or 865-974-9266, or James Newburn at jnewburn@tennessee.edu or 865-974-7256. Site tours are encouraged prior to booking and may be arranged with rental staff. A nonrefundable deposit of half the total rental fees (cash, checks, Mastercard, Visa, or Discover accepted) and a signed Event Rental Agreement must be received to secure and hold the date. Final balance is due no later than four weeks prior to the event. For events booked thirty days or less before an event, the full fee must be paid and is nonrefundable.

A date may be held for ten full days with no money exchange. An Event Rental Agreement will be sent for review during that time. After ten days, if there no Event Rental Agreement is signed and deposit received, the hold will be released. Only one date can be held at a time, and each date can only have one hold at a time.

If cancellations occur at least thirty days prior to an event, fees paid beyond the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. No refunds are given for cancellations fewer than thirty days prior to the event. No refunds are given for inclement weather.

The McIlwaine Friendship Pavilion (covered with open sides), if available, is an option for reserving if inclement weather is expected. Additional fees may apply. Tents are allowed from outside vendors with prior approval.

Any licensed and insured caterer may provide services. All vendors (e.g., florists, caterers, musical groups, etc.) must contact the Gardens’ staff two weeks prior to the event to arrange delivery, set up, and parking. It is the lessee’s responsibility to inform vendors of this policy.

The dispensing and consumption of alcohol must be in accordance with the UTIA alcohol policy. Alcoholic beverages may only be served by vendors that are properly licensed and possess all the required state and local permits. Currently enrolled students may not be served or be in possession of alcoholic beverages on UT property.

Tents, tables, chairs, and decor are not provided. The exception is the Children’s Garden Pavilion, which includes rectangular tables and chairs for up to thirty guests, if requested. We recommend coordinating equipment through your selected vendor.

No environmentally harmful, unsightly, or potentially dangerous materials may be used. Examples include rice, glitter, confetti, birdseed, artificial flower petals, or fireworks (including sparklers). Butterflies and bubbles are permissible outdoors. Limited decorations including candles, garlands, and fabric, aw well as signs directing guests to the event venue may be permissible with prior approval.

When hosting a wedding reception and ceremony at the UT Gardens, Knoxville, a professional photography permit fee is included. Any area of the Gardens may be used for photographs on the day of the event but cannot be reserved. Photographers and guests must not stand in the planting beds or damage or remove vegetation or garden structures in any way.

Yes. The UT Gardens, Knoxville, is open to the public and other events may be happening on the same day. Visitors from the public will be notified by signage that your event space has been reserved.

There are plenty of parking spaces available for weekend events (excluding UT Knoxville special events). Please park in designated areas only. During business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) parking is very limited and confined to ten spaces reserved for Gardens parking. Special arrangements for parking are available with advance notice. Parking outside of the designated areas may result in lessee being ticketed, fined, or towed.

We are unable to book any events on Fridays or Saturdays of UT Knoxville home football games.


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