Ceremony Packages

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is the perfect garden venue location for your outdoor ceremony, with a variety of locations and price points, our facilities can accommodate large groups and intimate ceremonies alike. 

See below for pricing of our ceremony packages for 2024 and general information:

Wedding Event Inquiry
Event Information:
  • Deposit Requirement: 20% of overall venue cost
  • Please review our Wedding Reservation and Use Policies, which include:
    • All catering (excluding wedding cake) and bartending must be provided by JMU Special Event Catering and is handled through that office. 
    • The Lawn, Ernst Tree Terrace, and Jurney Stage Garden can not accommodate groups in severe inclement weather. Having a contingency location is strongly advised. 
Check our calendar for general availability and then submit a private event inquiry using the button below. Once we receive your inquiry, we will call or email you to answer your questions or schedule a time to book your reservation.  

Wedding Event Inquiry Form

The Lawn

The Lawn Package Includes:

  • Chair set up for up to 120 guests
  • Site reservation for up to 3 hours (includes decoration set up and breakdown)
  • (3) 10 x 10 pop up tents
  • White Vinyl Arbor
  • Photography permit fee waiver

Cost: $1,400


Ernst Tree Terrace

Ernst Tree Terrace Package Includes: 

  • Site reservation for a total of 3 hours (includes decoration set up and breakdown)
  • Chair set up for up to 100 seated guests (75 dining guests)
  • White Vinyl Arbor 
  • Photography permit fee waiver


  • Seasonal Fountain
  • Pergola
  • Overlook pond and lower gardens
  • "Tucked away" privacy from busy areas

Cost: $650 




Jurney Stage Garden

Jurney Stage Garden Package Includes:

  • Site reservation for up to 3 hours (includes decoration set up and breakdown)
  • Chair set up for up to 30 guests
  • White Vinyl Arbor
  • Photography permit

Cost: $450



  • Intimate Seating
  • Pond + lawn and garden views
Ceremony and Reception

Ceremony and Reception Package Includes:

  • Site reservation for up to 8 hours total (includes decoration set up and breakdown)
  • Ceremony site of your choice
  • Reception site of your choice
  • Chair set up for up to 60 guests at each site
  • Table set up for reception
  • 30 x 30 tent (w/optional side walls)
  • White Vinyl Arbor 
  • (3) 10 x 10 tents 
  • Photography permit

Cost: $2,695


Walk on Weddings

Package Includes 

  • 20 Guests or under
  • No setup included

Cost: $50

Professional photography fee is not waived. Day-of-the-week and seasonal discounts are excluded as well. Please fill out the Wedding Inquiry Form.

Photo Credit: Kyra Allen Photography


Package Add-Ons:

Frances Plecker Education Center (pre-wedding dressing area): Cost $275 for 3 hours as an add-on to another package

Additional Chairs: $1.50 each

Additional Tables: $7.50 each

Additional Facility Charge per Hour: $125 per hour as an add-on to the package

Staff Charge per hour: $25 per hour with additional facility rental

30 x 30 Tent Rental: $350 tent


A discount to the total reservation cost may be applied to the following; multiple discounts can be used:

  • 10% JMU Faculty, Staff, and Alumni
  • 10% Friday and Sunday weddings (Walk-on weddings excluded)
  • 10% Off-season weddings held in December, January, or February (Walk-on weddings excluded)
Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Since our venue is outdoors and we do not have the capacity to house more than 40 guests inside the Frances Plecker Education Center, for groups larger than 40, we always recommend a good rain backup, due to unpredictable weather.


Recommended Back-up Locations

All food and drink must go through JMU Special Events & CateringNO outside vendors are permitted. 

Click here to review our Facility Calendar for general availability. It is possible that a particular date is not available even if the calendar is showing open due to future planned but unpublished events or staff availability. We will confirm date availability with you once you submit your inquiry form. 

Yes! Any chairs or tables will be set up by arboretum staff ahead of time. Your reservation time includes your personal decorating and removal of personal items at the end of the event.

Yes! Personally prepared potluck food is permitted. Any catered food (excluding wedding cake) must be contracted through JMU Catering

Generally, we do not reserve the Frances Plecker Education Center during the week because it serves as office space, an information center, and a gift shop, and is open to the public. However, in winter months we can sometimes accommodate reservation requests. Give us a call. 

Parking in JMU Lot R5 is strongly encouraged. Click here for directions 

We have limited parking in two small parking lots, one lot at the Frances Plecker Education Center, 780 University Blvd, and another close to our Pavilion. 

Wheelchair and ADA-accessible parking with access to the lawn, the Frances Plecker Education Center, the Ernst Tree Terrace, and the Jurney Stage Garden is in the Frances Plecker Education Center lot, 780 University Blvd. 

The Arboretum, including the Frances Plecker Education Center parking lot and pond parking lot close at dusk daily.

  • With 10-day weather forecast and 10-day final guest count, final payment is due 7 calendar days before event. Discount(s) given at final payment.
  • Users are advised for best event planning practice for outdoor events to secure alternative, back-up, inclement-weather facility. The Arboretum is not responsible for damage to personal property or event preparedness expenses or loss due to severe inclement weather.
  • Reimbursement (minus 20% administrative cancellation fee for all cancellations) is payable with social security number of contract signer with cancellation notices (if paid with cash or check).
  • Cancellations are accepted at 48-hours from event date only for severe inclement weather, when percentage predicted is not in event’s favor 50% or greater, or with 90 days’ notice from event date for non-weather cancellations. Notice in person or by e-mail is accepted. Or by US Mail, if reserving party selects to cancel 90 days or more in advance. Notice is not accepted on postmark date but is accepted on Arboretum in-office receipt date stamp. NO US MAIL CANCELLATIONS for 48-hour extreme inclement weather cancellations. Only contract signer may cancel by email, phone or in person at 48 hours cancellation
  • Non-reserved parking is allowed in designated spaces in R-5 parking lot, north lot within grounds, and south lot within grounds. Parking outside of designated area may result in citation. Availability varying depending on public visitor use and JMU classes in session. Arboretum not responsible for JMU major events such as football games impact to parking availability. Contractee responsible to read parking policy on the Directions page found at the Arboretum website. Users are responsible to check JMU website event calendar to monitor JMU events before signing contract and throughout planning period.
  • Food and Beverage consumption policy on grounds, in buildings, within Arboretum facilities, for individuals or groups:
    • No walk-on canned, bottled, kegged, or otherwise contained alcohol or intoxicant may be carried onto premises
    • No outside agency catering: all food and beverage catering and bartending service is required to be provided by JMU Special Events Catering 540-568-6637. As of March 18th, JMU Special Events Catering requires a minimum of $150 per order to delivered to locations on JMU’s campus.
    • Brown Bag lunches, pot-luck style meals, and beverages or snack-type, picnic carry-on foods and nonalcoholic drinks exclusively are permitted
    • No hot or cold made to order meals exceeding $149 in value
  • Responsible Individual, and/or Group, either is or both together are, liable for any damage to Arboretum property
  • Liability Release (found on website) is required for corporate and business events. Weddings are exempted from submitting Liability Release
  • No physical alteration, amendment, or adjustment to property is allowed (I.e., no marking of trees, cutting botanicals, set-up of personal tents, no nailing/tacking signs,leaving tied ribbons on trees, etc. is allowed)
  • No fires of any sort, including smoking, lit candles, fires within portable grills, no fires are allowed on premises and grounds whatsoever. Extinguished cigarette butts may not be discarded on wood chip trails, on the forest floor, in trash receptacles or on lawns or in beds anywhere within grounds: Extinguish cigarettes before leaving cars and use car ash trays
  • Visitors must remain on wood-chip trail and, lawns. Traversing garden beds, forest floor, ponds and waterways, drain basins, is prohibited
  • Grounds including parking lots remain open to the public during reserved event times with signage posted at event site advising public of private restricted site use
  • Sporting activities such as football, soccer, Frisbee inevitably cause flower bed damage and are prohibited at the arboretum
  • Users must leave no evidence of event decorations, debris, and trash at use site, and use waste receptacles provided or bear a $50/hour trash pickup fee per staff per each hour needed if arboretum staff must clean following the event
  • Dogs may be at weddings and must be under control, kept on trails, out of gardens, forests floor and out of waterways, and all leavings must be removed by owner/handler.
  • Users and guests must vacate premises and parking areas by dusk unless otherwise negotiated by contract for events

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