One thing Amy and Andy Cain stress about planning and pulling off their July 4, 2012, wedding at The Bernice Garden is the relative ease with which everything came together.
They credit a large part of that ease to Liz Sanders, who manages the garden space and coordinates events.
“I’d known her from when she was a barista in the River Market,” Andy says, so when they honed in on the garden as their top venue choice, they looked up the website and contacted Liz.
“She met us at the garden,” Andy says, and things took off from there.
Amy says Liz was great through the whole process.
“We love Liz – she was so wonderful and helped us as we were planning our wedding,” Amy says.
Among the touches the Cains appreciated were Liz’s recommendation of Rico Novales, who provided the wedding music; how she left the restrooms unlocked for the night, which also gave access to a refrigerator (“The restrooms were a lifesaver,” Amy says); and how she took care of timing the lights for the evening.
“She was very accommodating and helpful” throughout the process, Amy stresses.
Liz felt the same about the Cains.
“Working with the Cains was incredibly easy,” Liz says. “The garden really seems to attract warm, friendly, easy-going people, and the Cains were no exception.
“We exchanged information over email, met to tour the space and talked about how their wedding would take place, went over any questions they had, etc. The day of the event, I simply opened up the bathrooms, cleaned up the space a bit and made sure all the lights and electrical outlets were functioning and accessible. The Cains and their friends and family did the rest !”
It was a perfect first wedding for the garden, Liz says, and, “we are so happy to have such lovely people start their lives together in the garden space!”
The timing was perfect, as well.
“We had for at least a year wanted to promote the garden as private event space, especially for weddings,” Liz says, but hadn’t quite figured out how to proceed.
What she did know is that the garden would naturally lend itself to beautiful outdoor weddings, “but the with the safety of having the roof structure in place in case of rain, with no need to rent a tent.”
The roof connects to a 500-gallon rain barrel, with the water used to irrigate the surrounding native plants in the garden.
“Where the roof meets the rain barrel creates a perfect altar space for the bride and groom to exchange vows,” Liz says, and that’s precisely where Amy and Andy said their “I wills,” at an altar Andy built for the occasion.
“It’s a perfect focal point,” Andy says of the wood-enclosed rain barrel and altar.
The Cains point out that it does take considerable thought and effort to pull things together in an open-to-the-public space, but things went without a hitch.
“I think it’s a really good blank canvas to work on for a wedding,” Andy says. “You could have a horse-drawn carriage pull up; you could decorate it like a disco palace.”
The Cains decided to go with natural beauty and a celebration of nature, and to that end, they kept everything environmentally friendly, using recycled paper plates, potato-starch forks, reusable containers, and urns for water, instead of plastic water bottles.
Although a hot summer night may not be for everyone, for the Cains, it was just right. Sunset added to the beauty of the occasion, and the July 4 fireworks in the distance later in the evening added a festive touch.
It was a night that won’t soon be forgotten.
For information on how to have your own night to remember, contact Liz Sanders at (501) 617-2511 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll be happy to talk to you and send you a 2013 Bernice Garden Wedding Packet with all the details.