Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you located?
Stonegate Manor is located in the beautiful countryside of Benton Harbor, Michigan. We’re less than 10 minutes from downtown St. Joseph, 25 minutes from South Haven and 90 minutes from Chicago. Southwest Michiganhas become one of the Midwest’s most popular destination wedding locations so be sure to book early, especially if you have a specific date in mind!
How many guests can you accommodate?
The Riverside Room can accommodate up to 160 guests. If the outdoor dance floor and tent option is added, the Riverside Room can then accommodate up to 190.
Is the entire estate included in the rental?
All packages include access to the extensive grounds and use of the Wedding Cottage, Ceremony sites and Riverside Room. The “Total Manor Wedding & Reception” package also includes use of the historic Manor House from noon-8 pm.
Can I see Stonegate Manor in person?
Absolutely! To schedule a visit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a contact form– we’d love to show you around!
When do we have access to the property?
The property is rented from noon until midnight. All decorations must be removed by midnight when the property is vacated. If you’d like to get in earlier, we usually can accommodate early arrivals at $150/hour. If there is no event the night before your wedding, access that day is available at $150/hr.
Where is the wedding ceremony held?
While there are many areas on the property you may exchange your vows, we have three very special sites: The classic Pergola on the lawn, the wooded Fairy Garden and the Bridge to Forever. The Bridge, leading to a mossy, winding brick path, takes you to the beautiful Pergola. The Fairy Garden is nestled in the woods and is bordered by hundreds of hostas and ferns. Our newest addition is the Bridge to Forever, a quaint white bridge spanning the Well-Wishing Pond.
What about catering?
We do have two preferred caterers – CK Catering and Classic Catering.However, any licensed caterer may be used with prior approval of the venue.It is essential they know what our resources are and we know they will treat our property with respect.Self-catering is allowed in the Manor House but not in the Riverside Room.The cost of catering service is not included in your rental contract.
What about bar service?
The only exclusive vendor relationship we have is with Beverage Specialists. Their bartenders must serve all alcoholic beverages. While you may source your alcohol products anywhere you like, most couples find it convenient and economical to get them through Beverage Specialists. They buy back unopened bottles at the end of the evening. They can be reached at www.beveragespecialistsmi.com. The cost of beverage service is not included in your rental contract.
Do we have to use certain vendors?
We maintain a list of vendors who, in our experience, provide excellent product and service. We are happy to provide you with that list upon booking. However, our list is not exhaustive and there are many other excellent vendors in the area from whom you may choose. All vendors must have a vendor agreement on file prior to working at Stonegate Manor. Self-catering is allowed in the Manor House only; not in the Riverside Room. The cost of catering and beverage service is not included in your rental contract.
Do I have to pay for tables and chairs?
Tables and chairs for up to 160 are included in the price. When a tent and outdoor dance floor is added as an option, tables and chairs for 190 are included.
Where does the couple get ready?
We have two options for that! The use of the air-conditioned and renovated 19th Century Wedding Cottage is included in all packages. An additional space, the Manor House, is included in the “Total Manor Wedding & Reception” package. Who gets ready where is completely up to you!!!
What about rehearsals?
If you are getting married on-site, you may have a one hour rehearsal either the morning of the day before or the Thursday before your scheduled event.
Are you Pet-Friendly?
Yes! We welcome pets of all varieties on the property so long as they keep their humans on a leash, in a cage (amphibians) or in a bowl (fish)! And, their human ensure any “accidents” will be cleaned up. Out of respect for future guests with allergies, we do not allow pets inside any of the buildings.
Are children allowed?
Stonegate Manor is located on 27 wooded acres and all sorts of temptations exist for children. We love kids and enjoy seeing them be part of the festivities but we do require all children less than 16 year of age be closely supervised by an adult at all times. Diaper changing areas are available in both the male and female restrooms.
What is the Stonegate Boutique?
The Stonegate Boutique is a large eclectic collection of items…chandeliers, signs, vases, votives, chalkboards, milk glass items, doilies, mirrors, Victorian bird cage, old crates and much more. These are all free for you to borrow.
Are there any limitations on decorations inside the Riverside Room?
We do not allow items to be glued, nailed, tacked or stapled to our facility. We have installed heavy duty decorative hooks along the walls to accommodate anything which you’d like to hang on the walls. All decorations must be entirely removed at the end of your event. We do not allow throwing of rice, glitter, artificial flower petals, etc. outside. Candles must be entirely enclosed. No fireworks or sky lanterns are allowed on the property. Balloons must be tethered, both inside and outside. Sparklers are allowed for a 15 minute “send off” period.
Are you handicap-accessible?
Yes! The Riverside Room and all three ceremony sites are fully handicap accessible, including the bathrooms. We have conveniently located handicap parking. The Manor House and the Wedding Cottage were built in the 1800’s and, unfortunately, are not entirely handicap-accessible.
What about engagement pictures?
Included in all packages is access to the grounds for a one-hour engagement photo shoot. Scheduling of this will be done with our venue manager.
Is there a special area for the caterers to prepare?
Yes. We have a designated caterer’s area with a private entrance, refrigerator and sink.
Your property is beautiful but what about bugs?
We are happy to report that Stonegate Manor is regularly (and professionally) sprayed for mosquitoes so your guests will be comfortable enjoying all your outdoor activities!
How do I secure a date?
A signed contract and 50% rental deposit (non-refundable) are required to secure your event date. Payments may be made by cash, check or credit card. Final payment is due 120 days prior to your event.