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Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum Reviews

Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum

Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum

Knoxville, TN
4.0 out of 5 rating, 11 Reviews
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11 Reviews

Rated
4.0
out of 5.0
Recommended by 80% of couples
  • Quality of service
    3.5 out of 5 rating
  • Average response time
    3.8 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    3.9 out of 5 rating
  • Value
    4.3 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    4.4 out of 5 rating

Awards

11
  • Jessica
    Jessica F. Married on 10/16/2021
    5 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
    • Value
      5.0 out of 5 rating
    • Flexibility
      5.0 out of 5 rating

    Beautiful location, flexible and friendly staff

    We immediately fell in love with this venue from the first time we toured it and knew we wanted to have our wedding reception at KGBA. Staff members were friendly and got back to us in a timely manner re:deadlines, room dimensions, etc and were very helpful as we planned most of the reception remotely. They were flexible and accommodating when we had special requests. The Dogwood Center was a nice, open, versatile space to have a reception and the gardens surrounding it are very beautiful. It was perfect- thanks for your help!
  • J
    Jessica Married on 05/28/2016
    5 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
    The Botanical Garden is the perfect venue for a Knoxville wedding! It's close to downtown, the facilities are amazing and the staff are incredibly kind and helpful. I couldn't have asked for more!
  • A
    Am Married on 05/25/2013
    5 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
    The staff is excellent and easy to work with. Plus, the site is beautiful and well maintained.
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  • L
    Laura Married on 06/23/2008
    5 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
    Beautiful location
  • S
    Sumaiya Married on 01/14/2017
    4.2 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      3.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      4.0 out of 5 rating
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      4.0 out of 5 rating
    The arboretum was beautiful and the woman helping us was super sweet and accommodating! She showed us lots of photos to help give us ideas and met with us multiple times to view the venue. My only concern with them is that the chairs they said we could use were all dirty and sticky... all 200 of them. And since they don't have a staff that comes and sets up, we had to clean and wipe them all off. The closest dumpster was at the end of the road and at the end of the night, we had to drive all the trash down there and all our cars were full. The staff wouldn't allow us to leave and unload the cars to throw the trash out and it felt a little ridiculous.
    Other than that, it worked out nicely! It was well lit and beautiful.
  • Stephani
    Stephani Married on 06/07/2008
    4 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      4.5 out of 5 rating
    • Responsiveness
      4.5 out of 5 rating
    • Professionalism
      5.0 out of 5 rating
    • Value
      2.0 out of 5 rating
    • Flexibility
      4.0 out of 5 rating
    The only problem I have with the Gardens is the cost. It is very expensive for only getting the use of the grounds. They do not provide any other services, which others may really need or want.
  • B
    Brooke B. Married on 04/23/2022
    3.8 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      3.0 out of 5 rating
    • Responsiveness
      4.0 out of 5 rating
    • Professionalism
      4.0 out of 5 rating
    • Value
      3.0 out of 5 rating
    • Flexibility
      5.0 out of 5 rating

    Mixed Feelings

    The site of the Botanical Gardens is absolutely gorgeous. I have fond memories of visiting and working in the area, so, I had my mind set on getting married there. Overall, the place is gorgeous, especially in the spring. The Dogwood center is perfect for a wedding- the patio with string lights is magical. I had my ceremony in the Azalea Garden and it was like a scene out of a movie with all the blooms and birds singing.

    In saying that, the planning and execution of my event was CHAOTIC. I booked about a year in advance and about midway through, the main site coordinator retired. No one reached out to tell me that there was a change of coordinators and I ended up with radio silence for about 3 months during my planning. While this was frustrating, it gets worse. The day before my rehearsal, I got a call from the "head gardener" saying they were "scrambling" for my wedding because the head coordinator (Stephen) had a medical emergency. Apparently, they had no back up plan to be able to let us in the Dogwood center to have the rehearsal and drop items off for the wedding on Saturday. The head gardener did end up letting us in and mowed the site for the ceremony. Poor guy!

    Unfortunately, I had to communicate to several other people about the timeline for my event including the head gardener and the "attendant" that would be on site for my wedding day. Something that had been communicated to Stephen way ahead of time. This was hard to do while trying to enjoy and relax before my big day.

    Lastly, the day of my wedding was absolutely gorgeous. However, there were dozens of prom high school couples taking pictures. They were all over my ceremony site and reception site. This was quite frustrating as I had paid a lot of money to rent the "whole" gardens as specified in the contract. Yet, there were only two signs saying reserved for private event on the property. The on 'site' coordinator did help clear out the reception site after I had to ask. Another annoyance on wedding day.

    One last thing to note if you are considering renting the botanical gardens. The visitor center where they say you can get ready is not heated and cooled well at all. So, if you want to have a summer/spring wedding, you may want to consider planning to hang out or get ready somewhere else. My bridal party was very hot day of!

    Overall, the grounds are breathtaking and I didn't let little things ruin my day. However, you should be communicative and clear about your expectations BEFORE booking the Botanical Gardens for you wedding.
  • Erika
    Erika Married on 05/28/2022
    3.6 out of 5 rating
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      3.0 out of 5 rating
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      3.0 out of 5 rating
    • Professionalism
      3.0 out of 5 rating
    • Value
      5.0 out of 5 rating
    • Flexibility
      4.0 out of 5 rating

    Beautiful Venue with Some Service Setbacks

    The Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum was a gorgeous venue, and we don't regret selecting it for our wedding. We loved how beautiful the gardens and event center looked during our ceremony and reception; however, there were some setbacks with the services provided by the staff. There was a change in staff members, which led to some complications in receiving information and support while planning our wedding. We found it very hard to communicate with the necessary staff up until the last couple of weeks before our wedding when we were eventually given a personal cell phone number to use. Overall, the day went smoothly and was lovely. We would recommend this venue to a friend - but get your planning and contact information early on in the process!
  • A
    Abby Married on 04/06/2019
    3.2 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      2.0 out of 5 rating
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      2.0 out of 5 rating
    • Professionalism
      2.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating
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      5.0 out of 5 rating

    Mixed Emotions

    The Knoxville Botanical Gardens are perfect as a beautiful wedding venue, and one of the most affordable places in town. While the gardens are beautiful, and have wonderful photo op hidden gems, the downside is the event coordinator, Larissa.

    After multiple email and phone call attempts, we made an appointment to talk with Larissa about hosting our wedding at the gardens. On our arrival, we heard her complaining to another employee (or possibly her boss) about how he knew she had been looking for other jobs. Obviously, she is not the most invested employee. After booking our date, it would take time to get email responses back, there were multiple claims of forgetting to hit send on phone calls (to which she never did send the emails), and there were other emails left completely unanswered. On the date our final payment was due, we were frantically emailing, calling, and leaving voicemails to pay while worrying that they'd cancel because of lack of payment.

    Three days before the rehearsal, we were informed our rehearsal time needed to be changed because of another wedding on Friday night. News to us! At no point had we ever been informed that there was to be a wedding on Friday. We had even confirmed rehearsal day and time with Larissa when our final payment was due two weeks before our wedding. We ended up moving our rehearsal to the rehearsal dinner location because we were not going to change times on everyone three days before.

    The day of the wedding, another staff member, Ariel, was working. She was extremely helpful and polite. She pointed family members in the necessary directions and helped set up the tables and chairs as we would like. Since it is a free area to the public, there were many people on the grounds for a nice spring Saturday, and Ariel made sure that the signs were placed notifying others of the wedding and not to disrupt us. This included other families, couples, and photographers that were on the property. Everyone was happy to move to another location to not be in the way of the wedding.

    While the gardens are truly a beautiful location, I do not think I would try to host an event there again because of the lack of service. A wedding consists of multiple vendors coming together at a central location - and the local vendors know the venues well. Multiple vendors that I used agreed and added remarks that Larissa is difficult to work with. I guess I should be grateful that it wasn't just me, but I felt the need to warn others looking to use the gardens as a possible venue.

    Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum's reply:

    Hello Abigail,

    We are very sorry you have mixed emotions regarding having your wedding here at KBGA. As for the lack of response during your planning process, we have a 48-72 hour response policy depending on the circumstances or situation. During our busy season, this may be slightly longer due to our small staff wearing multiple hats. After our investigation into your complaint, we do not show anything amiss other than one email in October on our end regarding communication. However, we have addressed this issue with our staff.

    As for the rehearsal, the ceremony scheduled the day before was not originally planned for the same location as your ceremony. Unfortunately, our staff was not notified until three days before that the ceremony location would indeed take place in the same garden. Upon learning this, our staff tried to offer multiple alternate solutions for your rehearsal. This was not an ideal situation, and we profusely apologized for the mishap prior to your complaint.

    If we had been made aware of your displeasure prior to your wedding, we could have corrected any issues you may have had with service or communication. We would like to further investigate your claim by following up with the vendors who stated our staff is difficult to work with. At your convenience, please forward their names and contacts.

    We wish you all the best
  • L
    Lindsay Married on 10/08/2017
    2.8 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      2.0 out of 5 rating
    • Responsiveness
      2.5 out of 5 rating
    • Professionalism
      1.5 out of 5 rating
    • Value
      4.5 out of 5 rating
    • Flexibility
      3.5 out of 5 rating
    The gardens were absolutely beautiful, but Larissa was difficult to work with at times. Communication was spotty. Most attempts at communication and clarification on my end seemed bothersome. Setting up the rehearsal was difficult, and many factors popped up on the day of the wedding that we were unaware of. Larissa was flexible when rain was forecasted and allowed us to move the ceremony into the indoor greenhouse. Overall, the day was wonderful because of the beauty of the gardens and the help of my family and my outside vendor team. I would not discourage from having a wedding at the gardens... I would just advise to carefully read the contract and know all of the work that is expected of you.

    Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum's reply:

    Hi Lindsay,

    We are sorry you feel that your responsibilities were not clearly communicated. We try to be very straight forward in all of our expectations. We also always encourage everyone to read over the entire rental agreement before signing anything.

    We are also very sorry you feel Larissa was not easily reachable. With a small staff, sometimes it is hard to keep up with all of the incoming volume as promptly as we would like.

    We wish you all the best!
  • M
    Madison K. Married on 04/13/2019
    2.2 out of 5 rating
    • Quality of service
      1.0 out of 5 rating
    • Responsiveness
      1.0 out of 5 rating
    • Professionalism
      2.0 out of 5 rating
    • Value
      4.0 out of 5 rating
    • Flexibility
      3.0 out of 5 rating

    Beautiful Spot, Poor Staff

    I decided to have my ceremony at the Botanical Gardens as it was a pretty spot close to my reception venue (Mill & Mine) and I thought it was a good value for the money. However, I quickly discovered that you "get what you pay for".

    While my ceremony was beautiful, I was really disappointed with the staff in several ways.

    1) Poor communication: They were EXTREMELY difficult to get in touch with from day 1. I think it took me several days just to get someone on the phone so that I could pay my deposit! A couple weeks after the wedding, I got a call asking me for my balance (which had already been paid). The person speaking to me didn't realize my wedding had already taken place, and apparently called to ask for money without bothering to check if the balance was paid first.

    2) Rude Behavior: While I did not personally witness this, several of my friends and family members made a point to tell me that during / after my rehearsal, the coordinator was extremely rude (particularly to my wedding planner).

    3) Lack of Security at Event: Right after my ceremony (while my guests were still present and my husband and I were having our pictures made), a group of teenagers proceeded to start taking pictures for a prom or something in the middle of my ceremony location! Our photographer had to intervene so that my husband and I could get our pictures made without prom kids in the background. I paid for a private event and was shocked that there were no staff members or even a simple "reserved" sign or two to let people know that they couldn't be in the middle of my event.

    Ultimately, this is a decent option for an outdoor ceremony near downtown - the level of professionalism you'd expect from a wedding venue just isn't there.

    Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum's reply:

    Madison,

    We are very sorry you did not have a good experience here at the Gardens. This is upsetting to hear, as it is extremely important to us to provide our brides with wonderful memories on their wedding day.

    Unfortunately, due to our small staff, we are sometimes not easily reached by phone. However, we try to response to all emails and calls withing 48-72 hours depending on the time of year and circumstances.

    We are very sorry a staff person reached out after your wedding regarding the balance for your ceremony. This is not something that typically happens. Please provide us with the name of the staff person, and we will address the issue immediately. Please also provide details as to how our staff person was rude to your wedding planner, friends and family. We will address that immediately as well.

    As for the lack of security, this is unacceptable. We do have reserved for private event signs for ceremonies, and our site coordinators are instructed to "police" the entrance to the reserved areas during and after the ceremony to ensure visitors do not enter the reserved gardens. This will be addressed with the site coordinator working that day immediately as well.

    Sincerely,

    Garden Staff