Member Since: 12/2/2007
Sunken gardens had always been where I wanted to get married. The gardens themselves are beautiful, and the banquet room is unique with partial hardwood ceilings and a slight industrial feel.
I was devastated when I saw the gardens just a day before my ceremony- the contractor that they had hired to re-vamp the drainage system had not kept his word of having the gardens "wedding ready." Parts of the lawn were torn up with substantial mud, patchwork sod in other parts. . . generally terrible looking. We had a few options, but I had my heart set on the wedding lawn. The ladies at Sunken Gardens worked with my mom to make the lawn as beautiful as possible, and re-routed guest traffic; no one even KNEW that the lawn had issues!
My guests had a wonderful time, and I received several compliments on the venue itself. When booking your venue, remember that things *do* happen, and when they do, the people at the venue are going to be the ones who either fix it or make it worse. So glad for our decision to have it at Sunken Gardens!
Member Since: 6/2/2011
We had our wedding in early March at Sunken Gardens, and were so happy we did. Everything was perfect - the venue, the staff, the weather. The staff at Sunken Gardens was wonderful - Sarah patiently answered all of my questions and offered up vendors when I needed help. Barbara was there the day of the wedding (in addition to another staff member) and was so friendly and pleasant that she put me and our families at ease. If I needed anything, she and the rest of the staff there was happy to help.
The venue was so beautiful - we had rented out the entire Gardens and were happy we did. The flowers were beautiful and it was so peaceful. Our guests couldn't stop talking about how beautiful it was. We had our reception upstairs in the Garden Room and were happy we did. Our guests didn't have to go anywhere after the ceremony and could walk around and enjoy the Gardens. The view from the Garden Room was incredible - it overlooked the area where we had the ceremony.
We would highly recommend Sunken Gardens to anyone. The only other thing I'd mention is that if you're a warm body, like me, you might want to consider having your wedding before April, as it does start to get warm outside....
Member Since: 4/3/2004
I LOVED using Sunken Gardens! They have three outdoor venues to choose from ranging in price and feel. They also have an indoor area to use for the entire wedding or for just the reception if you prefer. My husband and I chose the Oak Pavilion. It's a beautiful old brick area that is covered by the incredible canopy of a 200 year old oak tree. We were married in the morning and the sunlight through the canopy was beautiful and the breeze was cooling. We got married in October, so it was fairly perfect. At no additional cost, a wedding coordinator is provided for you. He or she handles your wedding from start to finish, helping you on your big day. Please don't think that this is a wedding *planner*. The coordinator is someone who will help you keep people going in the right order and make sure things go smoothly on the day of. The ONLY downside was the decorating. Because they do not supply a clean up crew, you have to figure out how you're going to clean up any decorations that you bring in. That may be difficult to do when you're the one getting married. They have a sound system in place that you can use as well. Since I got married in the morning, lighting was a non issue so I'm not very sure about how that goes. It's a DEFINITE option if you want an outdoor venue. I saw it and from the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew that it was the place I wanted to be married.
Member Since: 10/6/2010
The staff that helped us for the rehearsal and the day of the wedding was absolutely amazing and so helpful, we could not have asked for better service to make our wedding day run smoother!!!
Member Since: 7/3/2010
Sunken Gardens was an absolutely beautiful venue to get married at. If you want something that is “Florida” but isn’t the beach, than this is the place for you. That and you won’t have the random dude in the Speedo watching your ceremony!
The staff at Sunken Gardens was extremely easy to work with. We initially worked with Sarah C. to get our date and contract in order. She was very helpful and always quick to respond. The day of our wedding, Barbara and Stephanie were on site. They worked seamlessly with my day-of coordinator, and everything went off without a hitch! Well, there was one hitch, but I’ll get to that.
Sunken Gardens did all of the set up and tear down for the chairs at the ceremony, the tables at the cocktail hour (Oak Pavilion), and the tables and chairs at the reception (Garden Room). They also provided a sound system for the ceremony and offered us speakers to use during the cocktail hour.
The one drawback was that we had to go through the City for our alcohol (which is why I gave slightly lower marks in Service). We paid the gratuity up front and requested no tip jars on the bar. There was also an option to pay for the alcohol without gratuity and allow the bartenders to have a tip jar, but we didn’t want our guests to feel obligated to pay for anything. It turns out that while everyone was getting their pictures taken, the bartenders put out a big ole fishbowl for tips. When my day-of coordinator asked them to take it down, the bartenders gave her pushback. It would be one thing if only the bartenders were there, but the person we signed the alcohol contract with was present as well. Just keep an eye out if you decide to pay the gratuity in advance!
But overall, our experience at Sunken Gardens was very positive. The gardens are such a unique place to get married. In addition, the Garden Room was a beautiful place for the reception. The windows are a real plus, particularly if you set up the wedding party table right in from of them; then all of your guests are looking at you and the garden outside. When we initially looked at the Garden Room, I thought the dance floor was in an odd place, but once you see the room set up, it will make perfect sense.
Member Since: 12/19/2009
Married: Sun April 10, 2011. http://stephanieasmithblog.com/?p=2553 I went with my fiance in DEC2009 on a "Garden road trip" around Florida-about 8 gardens from Tampa to Miami. Although there were lots of beautiful gardens, this felt the most "tropical" to us-and it had everything we wanted. I had the ceremony in North Pavilion, Cocktail hour on the wedding lawn, and reception on the Oak Pavilion. Everything was outside and our backup in case of rain was an inside location they had with a dance floor (which wasn't needed, yay!). It was pricey but to me it was worth it and I saved money on flowers (b/c the garden came with it!) and the chairs and tables didn't need that much decorations (again, the flowers were pretty enough and were covered with the venue). Sarah C. was great from beginning to end. I havent been to that many weddings (umm...2 my whole life) and didn't really know anything about weddings before I got engaged, but Sarah answered a TON of questions (even really minute) with a very quick response time. She doesn't answer her phone that much because she is a busy person, but it's better to email when asking questions when planning a wedding (then on the wedding day you can print all the Q's & A's just in case-you can't make assumptions on what is authorized and what isn't). On the wedding day the Vendor staff (Barbara and ?) were great. I barely noticed they were there but everything ran smoothly. I DID notice Barbara there during the ceremony because she did a great job at cue'ing everyone properly with the music (when we are all the most nervous). The only thing I would've changed was to have a day of wedding planner/family member not in party come early to double check that chairs/tables/ect were put out properly for peace of mind(my bridesmaids had to run around for tiny last minute stuff). But the venue puts out any chairs, tables, microphone & Speaker set-up, spray bug spray (there ARE mosquitoes when you're in a garden-even in April) that you request. Another thing, I was allowed in the Garden for free whenever I wanted. I came with the photographer one day and visited with my fiance a couple times. To me this was really cool, because the venue so peaceful-it was always a nice experience. The only other thing I didn't care for was I didn't get to chose my own bar service-I HAD to go with the city of St pete's bartender. I would prefer more options because it was sort of difficult talking to Richard when writing the contract up. But in the end on the wedding night the bar staff was professional and did a great job. This Venue was wonderful, I give it 5 stars because 1) I was extremely comfortable with them BEFORE the wedding while planning because they responded to emails and were professional and worked with me, and most importantly 2)they did a great job on the WEDDING DAY and did everything they said they would.
Member Since: 1/14/2011
We had our wedding in April of 2011 at Sunken Gardens.
We had our ceremony on the wedding lawn and had our cocktail hour in the Oak Pavilion. Our reception was upstairs overlooking the gardens. The staff was excellent and we also had a open bar for 5 hours that was fantastic.
Sarah made sure that everything was just the way we wanted. Thank you to all of the staff that made our wedding event a 10!
Member Since: 6/24/2010
The Sunken Gardens was absolutely phenomenal for our wedding. Not only did our ceremony look absolutely breathtaking on the North Lawn, but the staff went above and beyond in giving us what we needed.
Sarah allowed us to work in the Garden House setting up for hours the day before the wedding. Also, the coordinators on site were kind and helpful. They sprayed for gnats and mosquitoes 30 minutes before our ceremony to ensure our guests would be comfortable. They were kind, professional and very helpful.
Member Since: 10/18/2009
Can not say enough great things about Sunken Gardens. Everyone who helped us with our wedding was very nice. Sarah C. originally showed us Sunken Gardens was very helpful, she was always quick to answer back emails and friendly too. Barbara and Stephanie (coordinators Sunken Gardens provides) were wonderful, friendly, and most helpful. I can't imagine our wedding going any smoother and a lot has to do with having the help of Barbara and Stephanie. Highly recommend.
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Everything was perfect for our ceremony. It was perfect. The pictures turned out great. We just used them for our cememony.
Member Since: 2/22/2010
My small wedding at Sunken Gardens was nothing short of beautiful. Such a pretty venue at an affordable price! Barbara, the coordinator, was wonderful to work with. Everything was set up as it was supposed to be on the big day. I would recommend this to any bride that wanted an outdoor wedding at someplace other than the beach.
Member Since: 7/11/2007
The scenery here is just made for weddings and photo opportunities! The wedding coordinators are just amazing! They supply all tables and chairs (no added expense!) for both the ceremony in the park and the reception in the Garden Room. They are extremely helpful and accomodating. The Bar Manager, Dick, is just great! They also give you a day of wedding coordinator (Sweet!). They wil get all of your other vendor info and call them if their late so that the bride & groom don't have to worry about it (Woo-Hoo!). We rented the whole Gardens from 5PM-midnight for our wedding & reception and couldn't be happier with the whol experience. Awesome venue for a surprisingly reasonable price. This will pull on every romantic hearstring you have without completely killing your budget. $3250 for the whole gardens and garden room, 5PM-midnight. WOW!
Member Since: 8/16/2009
This venue was everything I was looking for. It is an excellent place to take garden pictures. My photos were taken in the Japanese Garden portion and they turned out beautiful. The staff is very helpful and accomodating. They do require approvals for caterers that are not already approved on their list. Their list, however, included a good variety of caterers in every price range. They also have some decorating safety rules. My overall experience was great. I lived out of state and they were very easy to work with and well prepared.
Member Since: 3/2/2004
We held our reception at Sunken Gardens. When guests arrived, they were able to walk all throughout the gardens. The bridal party and family were able to take pictures with a gorgeous back drop right at the front of the park. We were able to see and talk to our guests as they came in. The actual dinner and dancing was held upstairs in a loft-like room with a great view of the garden. It was a really beautiful place to have a reception. And the price was extremely reasonable. I would highly recommend.
Member Since: 6/22/2008
I loved the wall that faced the gardens - It was the length of the entire room and featured huge windows that overlooked the greenery and tropical foliage outside. Since our wedding took place in the morning it was breathtaking and made for such a picturesque reception with the sun shining in! I also loved the lofty wooden ceilings - it gave the room a great presence.;As with many venues be aware that some of your back tables may seem like they're placed into a corner. Also the first entrance to the venue isn't visible by all of the tables so when doing your 'Grand Entrance' remember not to dance or do anything too memorable until you round the corner :)
Member Since: 9/16/2005
The gardens and surroundings;If it thunders or rains heavliy the cermony would have to be done inside in reception area.
Member Since: 6/18/2007
I used the Oak Garden for my ceremony and it had an intimate and elegant feel. After the ceremony we had run of the whole garden and use of the indoor loft for our reception. The flowers and landscaping were picturesque! There was such a warm romantic glow throughout the Garden.;Make sure you realize that there is a city tax on your catering and that you have to use a city approved caterer since the Sunken Gardens are a city owned property.
Member Since: 4/29/2008
Perfect size room for our small wedding party. Ambience was wonderful the food AMAZING and the staff was very friendly and accomodating.
Member Since: 6/15/2006
I loved that the bathrooms were large enough to accomidate all of our guests, and that they were located directly off of the reception room. More so, the absolute beautiful backdrops the gardens provided!;You are required to use a caterer from their approved list.
Member Since: 12/22/2006
The site was unbelievable. Because it was so picturesque, decorations were unecessary (saved alot of money). I also loved that the Gardens has many options for the wedding packages, as well as the wonderful reception location on site. Everything couldn't have been better. Perfect location for a garden wedding (I suggest an evening/dusk wedding with lots of candles and twinkle lights - it was truly magical!);Make sure to have your photos done in enough daylight in the Gardens (before evening hits). Otherwise you'll end up with photos taken in a room with vinyl floor and green walls , like I ended up having to do (blah!).
A Memorable Wedding with Splendor and Romance
Meandering walkways invite you to surround yourself with lush tropical displays, vibrant flowering plants, and cascading waterfalls. The beauty and tranquility of this timeless sanctuary add an air of romance and magic to your day. The Garden Room, with its loft-like atmosphere and view of the exquisite gardens, plays host to perfect receptions. Its uniqueness makes it unlike any other wedding experience. Let us help you create a wedding filled with splendor and magic.
- Price Range: $$
- Outdoor Ceremony Area: No
- Indoor Ceremony Area: Yes
- Outdoor Reception Area: Yes
- On the Water: No
- Tented Area: No
- Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
- Onsite Catering: No
- Outside Caterers Allowed: Yes
- Kosher Available: Yes
- Liquor License: Yes
- Onsite Overnight Accommodations: No
- Onsite Parking: Yes
- Valet Parking: Yes
- Onsite Wedding Consultant: No
- Liability Insurance: No
- Site Fee: No
- Capacity: Up to 200
- Style: Banquet/Reception Hall, Mansion/Historic Site, Unusual/Alternative
awards and affiliations
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2012
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2011