About Abbotsbury Weddings

Ceremonies at the Pavilion can host up to 300 guests. Photograph by One Thousand Words.
Party getting ready for a ceremony at the Pavilion. Photograph by Naomi Goggin
Lush surroundings of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens make the perfect location for wedding photographs

Let us help to make your wedding the most memorable and special day ever. 

We have an amazing setting for you to celebrate with family and friends.  The “gardens” offer amazing backgrounds for gorgeous photographs and videos. 

Hold your ceremony in an elevated position in our garden pavilion which overlooks the Southern Hemisphere area of the garden.  

Take a magical tour through the plants and colour of the garden on your way to the pavilion. 

Choose one of the other licensed structures for a smaller more intimate ceremony.  

The perfect reception can be held on our sunken lawn, surrounded by tropical ferns and giant chusan palm trees.  

The croquet lawn can be your venue for the day with a bespoke marquee.

However you choose to spend your day with us you can be assured that our team of attentive staff will deliver on our promise, to make your day perfect.  

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The gardens offer a unique and stunning setting for your special day with a spectacular backdrop for photographs.

Our Subtropical Gardens was established in 1765 by the first countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. The gardens cover 30 acres and are filled with exotic and spectacular plants from all over the world. 

The garden has achieved many accolades. Alan Titchmarsh said we are “one of the finest gardens I have ever visited” and HAA/Christie’s voted us garden of the year in 2012. 

In 2015 we celebrated our 250th anniversary.  

From a small and intimate service and reception to a large event – all can be arranged to the highest standard. 

If you wish to stay in the area for longer, Luxury Dorset Cottages have five beautiful 5 star cottages, four within a stone’s throw of the Subtropical Gardens. 

Situated on the south coast approximately 8 miles from the coastal towns of Weymouth and Bridport, our Subtropical Gardens is situated in the quaint historic village of Abbotsbury. With its charming homes to guest houses and village shops it also boasts the Swannery for a wildlife adventure with over 600 swans and a Children’s Farm for the under 8’s.  

“Lovely day, really well organised! Staff were great. Best day ever.”
Lee & Sally, 28th March 2015


We can accommodate civil ceremonies from an intimate number of 20 to as many as 300 with wedding receptions catered for in an attractive marquee. 

The oak pavilion with its elevated position and aisle-like access walkway is the perfect place for a larger ceremony. There are other unusual buildings within the gardens, such as the summer house and bothy for the more intimate ceremonies, that are also licensed.

Civil ceremony & Partnership ceremony applications 

Once you have arranged to have your ceremony at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, you will need to apply to the registrar as follows: 

Superintendent Registrar
Dorset Registration Service
Dorset History Centre
Bridport Road
DT1 1RP 

01305 225153 



After your ceremony why not enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling wine on one of our lawns accompanied by hand made canapes of your choice. 

Your guests can then wander the extensive grounds enjoying the varied sections of the garden whilst you are whisked off to have your magical photographs and memories captured on film. Either the Croquet Lawn or sunken garden will be your location to gather after exploring the garden.  

A marquee reception is a wonderful way to follow on from your ceremony. We can provide you a dream marquee to make your day and evening entertainment perfect.  

We work in partnership with chefs using local ingredients and suppliers serving delicious food, from simple but elegant menu options, to lavish affairs. 

We can cater for just a welcome reception with canapes to a multiple choice menu, or why not be more relaxed with a BBQ theme or go the full “hog” with a roast. 

Marquees can be furnished to your specification for up to 300 people.


We work closely with award winning caterer Nick Holt to provide you with the highest quality of food and service possible.  

Please contact direct 

Nick Holt
Dorset Fine Dining



“Amazing day, venue, photographer and wedding staff, FAB. Day was perfect, thank you.”
Lee & Natalie, 25th July 2015