The Garden Room
We visited Fayetteville this past weekend for the Bikes, Blues & BBQ Rally. This place made me speechless and frankly, that is hard to do.
Cindy rang us up (2 beers, 1 sausage plate & 1 turkey leg) and she was very sweet, she should quit her job, she clearly does not belong here.
Apparently this is a wedding type venue that only opened up for the weekend to the public to get in on some of the cash flow coming through town. They were NOT biker friendly. Heck for that matter, they were not PEOPLE friendly.
They had bathrooms but refused to let the public use them...... again, NOT PEOPLE FRIENDLY. The portalets were out the back door, up steep concrete steps that had no hand rail and completely disgusting . Oh but they were labeled male and female - like that makes a difference. Wonder how those smell during weddings or if they remove them for such occasions.
There was no public sink for use.... I asked if I could use the sink behind the counter in the kitchen and was told no, that if I did it everyone would want to. Um yea all 3 people in here are going to swarm over!!! They did have hand wet napkins that are about useless when trying to remove turkey leg remnants from your hands.
The other lady behind the counter, I didn't catch her name but I'm still floored by what she said to me-----
I asked, "How long have you guys been here?"
Her reply, "If you lived here, you would know, now wouldn't you?"
Hey lady - if I lived here you wouldn't be open & trying to make a buck off of me, now would you?
Seems you "Garden Room" are in the wrong business to open up for 400,000 bikers to come in town to treat them like 2nd class citizens that don't belong in your town.
The Garden Room was beautiful. It was everything my daughter wanted. Julie was a very professional and sweet lady. Others have said she is hard to reach during the months before and maybe by email but if you just call the cell number she provides you with, she never ONCE failed to answer. I could be so nervous about something and after talking to her, i always felt so at ease. she calms you so quickly with her experience and knowledge which for me not having a coordinator was a huge plus. Julie directed us the day of, she directed us as to who needs to do what and go where. Her timeline for the wedding was amazing. who needs a coordinator when you have julie if you use the garden room? She also offers anything they have to use. Was a wonderful experience
The Garden Room staff and venue is absolutely amazing. We had such a wonderful experience working with Julie and the staff there. It was absolutely perfect and everyone had such a wonderful time. We used their catering and the food was delicious! I highly recommend this venue!
I was very pleased with everything that the Garden Room did for us. I will recommend them to everyone. I greatly appreciate the hard work that they did to help us have an amazing night.
Beautiful venue with excellent service. Very helpful. They made my wedding a perfect experience.
The Garden Room was absolutly wonderful in every way. I would recommend them to anyone that asked. Julie is fantastic at what she does. She was so quick to help me with whatever I came up with. The food was beyond wonderful. I can not say enough nice things about this venue.
For being so crazy busy with weddings they did a great job of giving me their full attention during our meetings, making it all the more fun! I loved Shelia and Julie, both were very helpful!
The venue is absolutely beautiful! There is quite a bit of both, indoor and outdoor space, a wonderful bridal suite, with a door hiding the entrance to the ladies room, so no one can see the bride prior to the wedding. My event directors Julie and Sheila, were very willing to answer my questions and get me the information I needed. There were a few times throughout the process that I had a lapse in communication, but never for very long and the response I received always included everything I needed. The staff members present the night of our wedding, were polite, and were there to tend to our guests as needed, set the buffet table up beautifully, however, they were not dressed appropriately for a wedding, (jeans, t-shirts..) and they were not perticularly communicative, but did a good job and were overall, professional. Julie and Sheila were as accomodating and flexible as possible, Julie helped my bridesmaids and I set up and decorate the venue, and basically cooridinated the ceremony, since we did not have time for a rehersal. I think most brides are nervous that something terrible is going to happen and that no one but her knows what they are doing, but throughout the day, it was great to have Julie there to fix and do and help with all the things I was unsure of, she was calm and professional and left me feeling very confident that it would all work out fine... and it did. It is a great venue, good staff, the food was AMAZING! As far as value, there wasnt another venue that offered the services and inclusions for the price.
The Garden room was the perfect place to be married. From the staff all the way to the venue, it was stress free and I could not have dreamed of any better hospitality. I loved planning every minute of my wedding with Sheila. She is gracious and kind. My husband and I had a wonderful experience with her and would recommend her for any event!
Julie and Shelia were amazing! They both made me feel like our wedding was their top priority. Everything went as planned and the food was amazing! My guests are still talking about how good the food was at the wedding!
Let’s be honest, the Garden Room is a beautiful venue, but the staff—particularly the main event coordinators—are nonresponsive, unprofessional and inconsiderate, and petty and childish; and while it seems affordable, there are dozens of hidden fees that hike up the price of the venue, little by little, that you won’t know about any of them until they give you an invoice—which we only received three days before our event, even though we had been asking for a long time. It is a beautiful place, but our experience working with them was so awful that I wish I’d had my wedding anywhere else!
Our experience with the Garden Room was terrible. Once we signed a contract with the Garden Room and gave them our down payment, everything went to hell. Julie, the main event coordinator there, disappeared to have a baby, leaving her untrained and unprofessional sister-in-law to do her job—which meant that every time we had a question, she had to “ask Julie,” and since Julie had just had a new baby, it often took weeks to get a reply—but that was the least of our troubles.
We were originally planning to use their in-house catering since it’s a $150 fee to use an outside caterer. After reviewing their menu options, we decided we wanted a more personalized menu, not one of their pre-set, wedding-factory options. We let them know our menu selections and that most importantly, we did not want to have a buffet, but that we wanted servers to butler or pass the hors d’oeuvres on platters.
Even so, the Garden Room insisted that they would not organize a complete tasting for us—despite the fact that we’d be spending hundreds of dollars on their food if we did go through them—but that we should come in here and there, when other couples had requested an hors d’oeuvre or two we might want at our wedding, to try them one by one (and even after agreeing to this, we were never actually called about actually coming in to taste any hors d’oeuvres at any point; when we asked, occasionally we’d be given distant dates, mostly with menus that did not correspond to our own selections from their set menu, so we never got to go).
Moreover, because the Garden Room charges a total price per person for hors d’oeuvres—not by the hors d’oeuvre itself, like most caterers—we also asked how many hors d’oeuvres total there would be for each guest, and how many of each kind of hors d’oeuvre there would be for each guest. The Garden Room blatantly ignored these questions, making me very suspicious that you might get charged $15/person for six kinds of hors d’oeuvres—and there would be twice as many of the cheap ones as there were of the more expensive ones, and not enough total for each guest to have their fill. The Garden Room was purposefully evasive on this point, which would seem to confirm my suspicions.
Regardless, months went by without any word from the Garden Room. Eventually, the Garden Room did organize a large-scale tasting for a dozen or so couples, and there, I was told that some of our menu selections could not be passed on platters. I asked that they get back to me with alternate menu selections that could be passed—and then, as usual, we waited for months with no information.
We periodically asked about different menu selections and pricing, but the Garden Room representatives were consistently impatient and rude, saying that they would get it to us as soon as they knew. Finally, one month before my wedding, I asked—again—what menu selections could be offered, and what a rough price per person might be. Again, the Garden Room representative was brisk and rude, saying that I would know as soon as she did. I pointed out that it was a only month until the wedding, and said I would need to know by the end of the week. In the meantime, I was panicking, so I contacted an outside caterer. They were in touch with me every day that week, and we settled easily on a menu and a price. Finally, my mother had to call the Garden Room to ask where the menu and pricing were, and after she hinted that we might be considering an outside caterer, within the hour, we had a menu and a price per person—but it included all of our original menu selections, insisting that we would have to have more than half of them offered buffet-style, when the whole point of waiting for months for her reply was to not have to have a buffet!
We decided to book the outside caterer, and that’s when things really became terrible. The Garden Room did everything they could to screw over our caterer, and to salvage any part of the catering bill they lost to the outside caterer. First, they charged us $150 for having an outside caterer—then they charged our caterer $200 for using their kitchen. Even though our caterer could serve alcohol under their own license, the Garden Room insisted that no one could serve alcohol in their venue except for them—legally speaking, of course. However, my fiancé’s family is chock full of lawyers, and the Garden Room could never adequately explain why our caterer couldn’t serve alcohol. It was like talking to a petulant child, so eventually, we just got exasperated and gave up.
Once we surrendered on that point, the Garden Room insisted that our caterers not use their own servers—which would be a complimentary part of their service for the wedding—but that we use the Garden Room servers, whom we would have to pay $20 an hour each while they were working, and $20 per hour for one hour before and after they quit working. When I got upset, Julie said that we could use our caterer’s servers, but that we would have to use the Garden Room’s bartender and dishwasher. I agreed, only to find out on the day of the wedding that we would be forced to pay for the Garden Room’s servers after all.
More importantly than all of this, though, on the day of my wedding, I came in from taking pictures to see that there were not any servers from the Garden Room—none—offering hors d’oeuvres to my guests! Only the representative from our caterer was working the floor, all by himself! My mother told me that Julie had said that they had already served all the food our caterer had made. When I asked to speak to Julie, the servers—who I was paying $20 an hour, remember—were consistently rude and nonresponsive to me. Hard to mistake the bride on her wedding day, you’d think—but they just rolled their eyes when I asked to speak to their boss and acted like annoyed teenagers.
Ultimately, I had to leave my own wedding in the middle of our events to find Julie so we could “discuss” the situation. When I found her, and had her follow me to a discreet location, she told me that the problem wasn’t that the caterer ran out of food; it was that the caterer hadn’t brought enough platters. When I pointed out that she had said she would provide platters, since she provided the servers, she changed her story—again—to say that, really, the caterer wasn’t plating the food fast enough. After giving her an earful, I went back to my wedding, and within moments, there were three servers with full platters offering hors d’oeuvres to my guests! Coincidence?
I should not have had to leave my own wedding to listen to Julie’s lies. I think she told her servers not do their jobs so she could try to make our caterer look bad—which is petty, inconsiderate, and unprofessional. After all, if any one of her stories were true, you’d think she’d stick to it—and you certainly wouldn’t think that giving her an earful would fix the problem if she really had no control over it!
It was awful to have to leave my own wedding to make Julie and her servers do their jobs, for which they were being bountifully paid—and then, as soon as I got back to the wedding, when it was time to cut our cake, there were no cake plates to be found! We had to improvise, and take bites from the cake server. It was so embarrassing!
Finally, when we got the bill, we discovered we had been charged all kinds of hidden fees that were not mentioned before. For example, even though we had paid hundreds of dollars to rent the room for the whole day, we were charged $30 per hour for every hour we spent decorating before the beginning of the wedding. We were charged $50 for having them set up the chairs for the ceremony. We were even charged an “energy surcharge” for keeping flowers in their refrigerator, like they’d turned it on just for us! It just went on and on.
Dozens of hidden fees hike up the price of renting the Garden Room exponentially, and the first rate they quote you is deceptive. More importantly, if you want anything special for your event—if you don’t just want to be cycled through their wedding factory—they will be sure to make it incredibly difficult for you. Even though the Garden Room is a beautiful place, without question, this venue is in desperate need of new management. While your pictures will have a pretty backdrop, planning your event will be twice as hard as it should be, and there’s no guarantee—at all—that the Garden Room’s staff will even follow through on the day of the event. Be warned that the staff there is nonresponsive, unprofessional and inconsiderate; petty and childish.
If I had it to do over again, I definitely would have had my wedding somewhere else—but the Garden Room put everything off until the last minute, so it was impossible to relocate. Terrible. I would never...
The planning leading to the wedding was great. Sheila was great. Sometimes she was a little unsure, but if she didn't know the answer she found out and got back to us in a timely manner. She helped us prepare for the event well beforehand and on the day of the event, ultimately leading to a beautiful ceremony and reception that went flawlessly. The staff during the event was very respectful and flexible with us. The food was phenomenal. We still hear compliments of "That was the best wedding food I've ever had!" Thanks again for a great event. We will definitely recommend the venue to others.
Julie and Sheila were wonderful to work with. I love the Garden Room!
Julie did an excellent job with every stage of the planning process as well as the event itself. Julie was enthusiastic about our event, about making sure that we got everything we were looking for, and she did a superb job of organizing the food and drinks with the caterer. Julie was aware of every detail and was on top of everything we requested. Thus the whole evening went exactly as planned. We were very happy with the services provided us.
Everything was so wonderful and I would highly recommend! The Garden Room is such a beautiful venue!
I was just married at the garden room and I must say it was perfect! If your looking for an outdoorsy, comfortable and beautiful place, this is it. The food was fabulous, the staff was awesome and Julie the owner is a saint. She helped me with a dress malfunction mid-reception. They helped me to make it exactly what I wanted. When I started wedding planning it was very hard to get ahold of them but as my event got closer they were great and very easy to get ahold of. This venue stays very busy and they are very popular. They give each event all of their attention so you may have to wait until closer to your event to start with the major communication. They gave me the perfect wedding!
Very pretty atmosphere and outdoor decor for a wedding. The food was excellent. There was not good flow between courses....long waits. Charges that seemed agreed upon earlier...in writing...got changed at the last minute. So paid a couple of hundred more than expected but when it is the day of the wedding it is too late to change location.
We had our reception at the Garden Room and everything was wonderful. As far as setting goes, the indoor area was nice, but the courtyard was gorgeous, with simple white candles and white lanterns – I just wish it had been a little cooler earlier so we could have enjoyed it longer. We ordered food for 100, which was about our turnout, and had much (much!) more than enough. All the food was very good, but I would mention in particular the salmon, which everyone, absolutely everyone, said was the best they’d ever had. The cheese torte too was fabulous, and the cucumber finger sandwiches were also a big hit. I would also mention the staff who worked that night: they did everything smoothly without anyone really being aware that they were doing anything. We had some trouble with equalizing the sound system between indoor and outdoor, but I am told that that might have been fixed if we'd had a moment to spare to ask about it that night. Still, it was a beautiful night, and if we were to do it over again, we wouldn’t change a thing!
I got just about everything I wanted! The catering was delicious--none of it was left after the reception! Julie did a wonderful job of doing what I wanted for food and services and arrangements, and I didn't have to worry about any of it the day off.
The Garden Room was the PERFECT place for the price and to still have a beautiful wedding. My husband and I have lived here for over 10 years and never knew this perfect location was nestled right in the middle of Fayetteville. We got married on a Saturday night and this location was peaceful and serene, despite being in the center of activity for weekend nightlife. The staff was great and really helped us with the planning on the front end to ensure everything went smoothly. The had many items on hand that we were able to borrow for our event to help with the decorations. They also had many pictures of events there that we were able to browse through to help with ideas for our wedding. They were great to work with and extremely flexible with everything that we asked. I wouldn't have changed a thing about our wedding!
Our wedding went very well and we thoroughly enjoyed the facilities. The staff was very friendly and helpful but the billing process was a little bit of a nightmare because we received an invoice just shy of our three year wedding anniversary.
I believe our success with this venue came from utilizing outside services whenever it was allowed. To reiterate this is a good venue that requires some organizational improvements.
I love the setting of the Garden Room, very comfortable and relaxed, pretty outside garden area. The food is good and the staff is very friendly and accomodating. Their sound system is not that good; we had issues with it and we did not use a DJ, so perhaps we should have? In any case, the only big disappointment was that when we walked in - the fire had not been kept up, the music requested to be played was not playing for "atmosphere", and the champagne was not served in plastic champagne glasses- it was poured in little dinky plastic cups which looked a bit declasse. But if you want a great atmosphere where kids can run and play while the adults mingle and dance- it's a great venue.
The Garden Room was the last detail I need to get into place. It was the prefect reception site. It has a nature beauty outside with the grapevine and greenery. Everyone was very professional and detailed. I set up the day before and had friend there the morning of the wedding to make sure everything was running smoothly; and it was. The food was divine, everyone raved.
The location was beautiful and just what I wanted. Communication could be improved but otherwise I was very happy with everything.
The entire staff at the Garden Room was great. We had a little trouble setting up tasting times, because of scheduling, but other than that everything went great. We used The Garden Room for our ceremony, reception, and catering. All three were amazing. They provided everything we needed, we didn't have to worry about a thing. After a couple of meetings we had everything ironed out, including our dinner menu. They even took care of servers and bar tenders. I couldn't have asked for a more stress free day. Considering all the services provided, including a full dinner and bar for 200 people, the price was very reasonable.
This was a really nice place to have a comfortable and beautiful reception. My family and friends enjoyed it. The garden room let us use decorations that they already have left over from other receptions. I suggest using their catering services because it makes it so easy! You will have very little to worry about and the food was really good!!!
I would not suggest it for a HUGE wedding but 100-180 would work.
Absolutely perfect! I couldn't have asked for a better staff, location or venue!
Landers Green Photography
This is a gorgeous venue for a reception. One of my favorites in Fayetteville.
An unbelievably intimate and beautiful venue nestled in the heart of Dickson Street! The layout and amenities are wonderfully accommodating and the owner/staff is always willing to do what they can. Just a Fayetteville gem!
-- Alison Hobson, FLAIR floral design...