It’s Spotlight day, where we introduce you to Michael Thomas of Celebration Gardens and learn more about the stories behind the company.
When people ask “what do you do?” how do you answer?
I am part of a great event and wedding planning team.
What did you do before you did this?
I was in college and worked in catering/banquets at a Hilton and in 1995 I started John Michael Catering.
How long would you say you have been doing what you do today?
In 2015, John Michael Events acquired the beautiful Celebration Gardens, completely renovated it and transformed it into the gorgeous garden venue it is today!
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
I love doing weddings. Being a part of someone’s very special day and helping them achieve their dream wedding is very rewarding.
How did you decide on the name of your venue?
The facility was English Gardens for 20 years and we wanted to keep it similar, so we came upon Celebration Gardens.
What fun-fact would people be surprised to learn about you?
Celebration Gardens was once known as English Gardens prior to the renovation! Many couples love the old-school English phone booth in the front which pays homage to the old venue title! We loved it too much to get rid of.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
I often get told that it is evident I truly care about what I do.
What was your most memorable event so far and why?
We did a wedding in-kind for a couple that couldn’t afford it on their own. She was a counselor for the Pulse Tragedy and it felt amazing to reward her with the wedding.
What is important for clients to know about your venue before they book you?
We are primarily an outdoor facility with indoor space for up to 75. We specialize in weddings, social events (baby showers, bridal showers, rehearsal dinner, birthday parties), and holiday parties.
What motivates you to do this every day?
We love working with our clients to help plan their special day! Whether it is their wedding, baby shower, birthday or a dinner party, our gorgeous garden venue provides a relaxing atmosphere with its natural beauty that makes it the perfect setting for any occasion.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working with our amazing team of staff and vendors.
Tell us about your ideal client?
Our ideal client would be someone who appreciates the natural beauty that our venue has to offer by incorporating it within their décor.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
We have an open-door vendor policy including food – we even allow clients to bring in their own food if they choose.
What makes your business stand out from others in your category?
Unlike most venues, we offer packages to include other vendors with our services! Some packages include the venue, catering, floral, photography, DJ and more! We love offering the “one stop shop” package to help our clients any way we can!
Why do you think your business is successful?
Our caring spirit.
What does your most popular package include? Tell us briefly about some of your package options. What is the price range for these packages?
Our Wild Orchid package includes: venue, minister, live ceremony music, DJ, lighting package, floral package, photographer, catering/bar, cake, tables, and chairs. All of our packages are customizable. We have a “ceremony only” package for $795 and an all-inclusive ceremony and reception package for $9995.
What are the most common questions you get asked by brides and/or grooms?
(1) Do you include tables and chairs? – No, as we keep our pricing low to allow the flexibility of clients providing their own if they have their own resources. Of course, we can always provide tables and chairs if needed.
(2) What happens with bad weather? – We have an indoor space as well as a covered pavilion. We also have a tenting option with a 72-hour notice.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about wedding venues?
Availability – a venue can only host 1-2 events per day, whereas other vendors can do multiple events per day.
What is your best piece of advice for someone that just got engaged?
Take time to view your options when it comes to deciding on a venue and go with your gut!
What some of their previous couples had to say….
“Michael has been so wonderful to work with. We spoke mostly via email and he was insanely wonderful at replying to any email I sent in a very timely manner! Any time I changed something in the contract, Michael was immediate in sending an updated contract. I toured the venue at the beginning of 2019 and then had another tour for last-minute details right before the wedding. This is also when I met with Michael to go over the set up of the tables and vendors and any last-minute changes to the contact.
Christian, the attendant scheduled for my wedding, was there as well which was fantastic. He was very knowledgeable and helpful on both the final tour and on my wedding day as well. I highly highly recommend Celebration Gardens as a wedding venue. You will get a gorgeous venue, friendly and stress-free professionals, and an excellent price well worth your money.” – Lily T.
“Working with Celebration Gardens was a dream! The event coordinator, Michael, was attentive to detail and accommodating. I planned my wedding from out of state and being able to work with a venue that has a great relationship with other local vendors made the process easy and perfect! I would recommend this facility to everyone!” – Bobbie Z.
“Goodness, I can not say enough wonderful things about your staff and the accommodations they made with the rain and changing weather. I am pretty sure they dried the seats 2-3 times. Edward was amazing. He had to change his clothes several times. He walked all of the girls to the covered area…getting soaked through the process.
The food was beyond amazing.
The cake was a little later than the flowers and Mitzi with atmospheres came back to put the flowers on the cake. Atmosphere’s flowers were EVERYTHING! like…legit amazing!!!
Ivy with photography was a dream! she went above and beyond for us and stayed later than she had to.
The weekend was amazing and the absolute most magical time of our lives!!! Thank you!”- Jennifer D.
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