It’s Spotlight Day, where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding venues and share the stories behind these companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
Hiring the right wedding venue is so important on your wedding day. The venue is the backdrop of every moment, every picture, and every memory.
It gives us great pleasure to introduce this week’s vendor spotlight, Liz Lark-Riley of Rockledge Gardens.
What did you do before you did this?
I’m actually a theater person! I have a BA in Drama and an MA in Performing Arts Administration. I’ve lived and worked in Dallas, New Orleans, Chicago, New York, China, and Taiwan as a theater-maker and educator. Currently, I keep the theater in my life by helping my husband (a scenic designer) produce his original fringe theater and I moonlight for Brain Arts Productions, an organization that teaches financial literacy through the creative arts.
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
I got married at Rockledge Gardens in 2011. At the time, Rockledge Gardens was not a wedding venue but I was marrying the owners’ son so they made an exception. Our wedding was featured on Offbeat Bride and then we started getting more and more inquiries about a wedding. I was already managing Rockledge Gardens’ workshops, seminars, and festivals and so we decided to renovate a portion of the property to accommodate weddings!
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
I love being part of this important milestone in people’s lives. Events excite and invigorate me and when the event is a wedding, it is going to live in the participant’s memories forever. I love helping to create lasting magical memories.
What fun fact would people be surprised to learn about you?
I go to bed at 9 pm every night! You’d think that someone working on events that go well into the evening would be a night owl. But I trust my team to handle the nighttime part once the ceremony is over and I get home to my husband and kiddo. I wake up every morning at 5 am (before my son wakes up) to meditate, exercise, and read. Then my head hits the pillow shortly after I put my little guy to bed.
What is the best compliment you’ve received from your clients?
I was on the phone with one of our destination brides and she was feeling overwhelmed with the planning but we talked it through and she felt calmer. She said, “Liz, you have been a gift.” Wow! I was blushing from ear to ear!
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
We are an all outdoor facility (with covered pavilion). I definitely recommend reading our blog on Tips for Your Outdoor Wedding.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
The garden is unlike anything I’ve seen in this area. Our venue is teeming with life and color.
Use THREE words to describe your business.
Tropical. Colorful. Magical.
Why do couples hire you?
The space is beautiful and we care deeply about our couples and creating a stress-free, fun, memorable experience.
What some of their previous couples had to say….
“From our first tour, into our planning, and throughout our wedding – our experience with Rockledge Gardens, Liz, and her staff were pleasant, professional, and straightforward! I would recommend this venue to anyone and everyone! Liz has outstanding communication, organization skills, and planning techniques that gave us much-needed comfort as we planned our special day. In many ways, she went above and beyond to make sure our wedding day was everything we hoped it would be – and it truly was! The venue itself is AMAZING! The venue is well-kept, GORGEOUS, and extremely functional and convenient! There honestly is not one thing I would have changed with our Rockledge Garden experience!” – Brooke & Justin
“My husband and I got married at Rockledge Gardens in February and we had the best time! The venue is absolutely beautiful. I love how everything is all right next to each other (ceremony space and reception/cocktail space). I highly recommend getting a food truck for cocktail hour and dinner, people LOVED it. The lights at night make this place truly magical and we are so thrilled we chose this place. Planning with Liz and Jessica was a breeze, highly recommend for your wedding!” – Shelly & Rob
“My husband and I tied the knot at Rockledge Gardens in November and it was a genuine dream come true! The space is absolutely divine and the staff is incredible. We found out about this wonderfully vibrant and inviting venue at a bridal show after speaking with Liz. From that moment forward, she was instrumental in helping us achieve our perfect day. Through her partnership with Rent Your Events we were able to secure tables, seating, and linens which made planning tremendously easier. She also helped us find affordable special event insurance which gave us peace of mind so that we could relax and enjoy our celebration. Her support and involvement throughout the whole process was superb. With respect to the space, in a word, the grounds were enchanting. Our wedding felt truly surreal and our guests were in awe of the striking beauty at every turn. For our intimate gathering of about 40 guests, the layout of the grounds played a huge role in the success of our evening. After having our ceremony under the archway on the lawn, our guests were able to be seated immediately for the reception in the pavilion. Having the kitchen and bar space made things seamless for our caterers. One of my favorite things, though, was having the fire pit. Before our wedding, I had admired pictures of other couples’ at the Gardens and was always impressed to see how different each appeared. The space is so well designed; it truly becomes the canvas for any couple’s theme.” – Julie & Mike