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Luthy Botanical Gardens Reviews

Luthy Botanical Gardens

Luthy Botanical Gardens

Peoria, IL
4.6 out of 5 rating, 39 Reviews
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39 Reviews

Rated
4.6
out of 5.0
Recommended by 92% of couples
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Awards

39

11 User photos

  • A
    Amanda Married on 07/01/2017
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    Luthy was the perfect backdrop for our laid-back ceremony.

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you Amanda! We loved having your wedding here at Luthy!
    Best Wishes!
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    Cheryl Married on 05/28/2017
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    Realize that if it rains there is a backup greenhouse that can be used but only up to 150 guests. Otherwise, the garden is beautiful.

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you Cheryl!
    We loved having you here.
    Best Wishes!
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    Amanda Married on 08/13/2016
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    Leading up to the day we were able to get in and look at the area free of charge, our photographer was able to see exactly what she needed as well. It poured during our rehearsal so we used the indoor space to practice and it worked out great. The day of there is a small cubby in the main lobby that the bride and bridesmaids can stay in to "hide" while guests and groom go into the gardens. They were very helpful getting things set up and letting us use their tables and lacy tablecloths the day of!

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you Amanda! We loved having your wedding here at Luthy!
    Best wishes!
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  • JackieDewitt16
    Jackie Married on 07/01/2016
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    Such a Beautiful venue and the staff is beyond helpful and attentive. They are quick in responding to calls/emails as well.

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you Jackie. We loved working with you! You were a beautiful bride!
    Best wishes for your future!
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    Samantha Married on 05/06/2016
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    Luthy botanical garden was perfect place for our wedding ceremony. The weather was amazing, and everyone matched the scenery especially the wedding party. Connie went above and beyond her job description of helping us out with payment arrangements and organizing our special day. I couldn't have thanked her enough.. I recommend this place to anyone who is looking to have fabulous wedding.
    Thank you Luthy botanical??????????
    Samantha & Jimmie James

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you Samantha! We loved being a part of your beautiful wedding. Best wishes!
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    Shannon Married on 10/17/2015
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    Our wedding was an absolute amazing evening! Yvonne and her team did more than expected.
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    Amanda Married on 06/14/2014
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    I had my wedding reception at the Peoria Zoo in June, 2014. Overall, it was great! Below are some things you should know:

    *The majority, if not all, of the reviews below concern Preston. However, Preston left the zoo at the end of 2013 and there is a new coordinator in place. Carol was great at responding to emails, helping us finish things up the last few months, and keeping things going the day-of.

    *I found the rental price for the lodge to be very fair. If you want to have the animals left out for guests to view, it is $400 an hour.

    *The zoo is very much a do-it-yourself sort of venue. You will need to rent your own linens (we bought them online) and find your own caterer, etc. We used Hickory River and they were amazing--tons and tons of food for everyone, and they even packed up the leftovers. We did appetizers through them and rented the china from them as well. Super responsive and easy to work with.

    *There is no sales tax on the rental, drinks, alcohol, etc., which helped save a good amount of money.

    *One important thing to be aware of involves set-up. The lodge is a concession stand by day and doesn't close down until 3:00. There is no where to store all the linens, decorations, etc, so you either need to bring them that morning (which wouldn't work, because all the family and friends were at the wedding ceremony) or have a van or suv loaded with them and park it at the zoo overnight. We ended up renting a small moving truck, parking it at the zoo friday night, and leaving the keys with them. The zoo has a staff to help set up, but it is probably a good idea to have a wedding coordinator or hire a few people (as we did) especially if you are doing anything more elaborate, like a candy table, etc.

    Overall, it's a really unique venue and we absolutely loved it!
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    Michelle Married on 05/18/2013
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    Luthy Botanical Gardens is one of the most beautiful outdoor locations to be married in Central Illinois. The people there were great to work with and tried their best to help with everything I needed. Everything was set up perfectly when we arrived the day of the wedding. Ann is very flexible and a pleasure to work with as well. She went above and beyond to help me out with all of my concerns. If you are wanting an outdoor ceremony I highly recommend Luthy Botanical Gardens, and Lodge at The Peoria Zoo is right next door and makes a GREAT reception site!
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    Retha Married on 04/07/2013
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    Our daughter and son-in-law's wedding at the Peoria Zoo/Zambezi River Lodge was a wonderful experience all the way through from start to finish. We are from out of town and are not familiar with vendors in the area or companies to rent items from for the wedding. Preston Waters (guest services manager) with the Peoria Zoo was wonderful! He went above and beyond to make the event an evening the couple will always remember. Preston asked what kind of budget we had and the kind of evening the couple wanted. He gave suggestions on caterers, rental vendors and even linens for the night to keep us on budget. The event went off like clockwork. Everyone was friendly and knew exactly what to do and when. Preston was even on site for the entire event in case anything had to be addressed. We had numerous compliments from family members for the great staff.






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    Jaime Married on 10/11/2012
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    The Peoria Zoo is the best place to have a wedding ceremony and reception!!! Preston Waters was a fabulous person to work with. He was very quick to respond to my calls and emails.....even when I had crazy bride freak out moments. He made sure our day was perfect!!! I have already recommended the zoo to other brides.

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you, Jaime. I could not wish for a better job than the one I have. I get to be a part of your biggest day, and this brings great pride.

    Good Luck,

    Preston
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    Kodi Married on 09/29/2012
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    I loved our wedding at the zoo!!!! Everyone had an amazing time and having the animals out for our guests to enjoy while we took pictures was fantastic!!!! Thanks so much to Preston and all the staff at Peoria Zoo. You've made our special day one that we'll remember FOREVER!!!
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    Virginia Married on 09/22/2012
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    The Peoria Zoo was an awesome venue to hold our wedding reception! The Peoria Zoo is very unique and not just your traditional banquet hall. The Peoria Zoo staff was wonderful to work with and very accommodating to our wishes and large 300+ guests. The Peoria Zoo offers both indoor and outdoor facilities with the option to have the animals stay out in their habitats for guest to walk around and enjoy. I am very pleased with the entire staff and could not have asked for a better, more unique location to hold our wedding reception. I would recommend the Peoria Zoo to any bride and groom planning their big day.

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you for the kind words. We are very proud of our facility and of our staff. It is a privilege to be a part of your special day, and we wish you the best of luck in the future.
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    Camiella Married on 06/23/2012
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    Preston at the Zoo was amazing. Everything turned out really beautiful and they were really accommodating. I loved everything about the night and the pricing was great for everything we got. It was tons of fun and we've received so many compliments.
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    Rachel Married on 06/16/2012
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    Preston is amazing to work with! He will make your day all about you & make sure that everything goes perfectly! His staff is phenomenal & so friendly! It's also just a beautiful venue, we hardly decorated because the inside & out is so beautiful! I'd recommend this venue & Preston Waters to anyone looking for a place to have their wedding!
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    Gene Married on 06/09/2012
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    Preston Waters was extremely helpful and assisted me in coordinating various vendors for catering, music, etc. The Zambezi Lodge at the Peoria Zoo is both beautiful and unique, a memorable setting. Having the animals out in the early evening was like built-in entertainment, enjoyed by our guests of all ages.
  • Whitney
    Whitney Married on 03/31/2012
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    The Zambezi Lodge is a fantastic reception venue. Preston, the coordinator for the venue is absolutely fantastic. He offered his wisdom and knowledge throughout the planning process that helped to make our day special and save us money while still having the wedding that we dreamed of. He was incredibly helpful and made the process go very smoothly. The space itself is wonderful, and able to fit any bride's needs. It is a beautiful room, spacious, but still intimate. I would recommend the Peoria Zoo over any other venue in the area!!
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    Trevor Married on 10/01/2011
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    We selected the Peoria Zoo after our first choice fell through. After the first visit, we knew it was perfect. From the moment we booked the venue, Preston was there to help us in every way. He answered every one of our questions and made the whole planning of our wedding much easier and less stressful. He made our experience perfect. All of our guests loved the venue and even months later we are still getting compliments on what an amazing experience our guests had. We are extremely happy with the Peoria Zoo and highly recommend this venue to anyone looking for a unique and beautiful wedding.
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    Tammy Married on 07/30/2011
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    We worked with Cyndi Kosinski from beggining to end at the Zambezi River Lodge, and she is wonderful. She had lots of information, lists of pricing, ideas, caterers that they had used in the past, who she recommended. Every phone call, every e-mail Cyndi was very helpful. We could not have had such a beautiful wonderful ceremony and reception without all her help detail and the staff was wonderful. We have had many comments on how great it all was and how beautiful and different our day was. The rehersal Cyndi was there and helped us to plan and know what was needed. The day of the wedding from beggining to end of reception she was there for us. I can not say in words how great everything was, and how helpful Cyndi and her staff were to make it that way. We chose the recommended caterer that Cyndi spoke highly of and that was all wonderful too. The food and set up was better than we expected and the cake and cupcakes were beautifuly done. All around great staff and the place was clean and did not smell like a zoo. Was Amazing!
    When you say your getting married and having a reception at the zoo everyone wonders how this can be. We can tell you from experience our family, friends and us loved it, and it was beautiful!

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Tammy, you and your family were so wonderful to work with! Your wedding was beautiful and I am proud that my staff and I could be a part of your special day! I hope we can work together again in the near future! Thank you! Cyndi Kosinski
  • Sharon
    Sharon Married on 09/26/2009
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    Everything about Luthy was wonderful. We loved being outside for our ceremony, and luckily the weather cooperated! Make sure you have a rain plan if you have more than 75 guests, because that is the maximum that Luthy's Conservatory can hold. The wedding coordinator (Ann Kizer) was excellent to work with. We were very happy with the costs and the set-up, and the beauty of the gardens.
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    Mary Married on 08/05/2009
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    Preston was fabulous to work with. The space was perfect for our venue.

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you. I am still talking about August 8th.........your decorations were hard to beat. Thank you for the review, also.

    Preston
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    Michelle Married on 09/08/2018
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    We had our wedding reception at the Luthy Gardens Sept of 2018 and it was absolutely beautiful! Connie worked with us to plan the details the entire year leading up to the event and she was very responsive and personable. We secured the Orangery for a rain back-up plan and had our rehearsal in there the day before, since it was pouring rain that day. But fortunately the weather worked out for the wedding day and we had the ceremony in the Rose Garden. All site options were beautiful! Only recommendation if you are having a wedding there is to be very clear of directions for your guests, as we had many guests arrive accidentally at the Peoria Zoo next door, where a different wedding was taking place

    Luthy Botanical Gardens's reply:

    Thank you Michelle! We loved having your ceremony here at Luthy. We were happy the weather cleared up for you as well.
    Best Wishes
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    Bethany Married on 07/20/2013
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    We initially toured the Peoria zoo wihile looking for a venue, although we were not seriously considering it. My fiancee and I quickly chose the Peoria Zoo for our ceremony and reception after meeting Preston Waters. As soon as we walked in the door, Preston provided us with a list of caterers, DJs, cake designers, and flower shops that he has worked with in the past along with his opinions. Throughout the planning process, Preston was available almost immediately by phone or email for anything at all that we needed. It was like having a wedding planner, and made our planning so much easier! The ceremony site was gorgeous, and Preston worked with our DJ to arrange the sound system outside. You can see several of the animals from the site, and the lion roared at the end of our ceremony which made a very unique experience! Our only somewhat negative comment was that it was difficult to set up our decorations, etc in the amount of time we had between the time the concession stand closed in our reception area and the time our ceremony began. However, if my family had been better organized, this would have been much easier so plan accordingly. Preston's staff did a wonderful job setting up, and pitching in to help anywhere they were needed. My only other note is to make sure you rent the shuttle to the parking lot, as it is difficult for older guests to find close parking, and make sure that you ask the DJ to make several announcements about the times for the shuttle. We didn't do this, and had guests confused about parking- which was completely our fault and not the Peoria Zoo's! When we told people we wree getting married at the zoo, they barely managed to hide their surprise or skepticism. After attending the wedding, we got so many compliments about what a wonderful venue it was. We would recommend the Peoria Zoo to anyone looking for a ceremony or reception venue.
    Matt and Bethany
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    Crystal Married on 10/03/2009
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    The Peoria Zoo was a very unique location and gave us an automatic theme for our wedding. It was a very fun, yet classy place, and they provided all of the chairs and tables. Preston is wonderful to work with! Extremely flexible and available whenever you need him. He knows his stuff and anticipates issues before you even realize you have an issue. I could not have been happier :) The zoo was awesome, and the staff was great to work with.
  • Jacquelyn
    Jacquelyn Married on 10/12/2019
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    The perfect wedding

    Married in the Rose Garden on 10-12-19. I liked that they limit 1 bride at a time on site. However that ended up not being an issue for timing my arrival or departure there because out of dumb luck, there was no wedding before ours. The one after ours moved to the zoo just a couple weeks before our day. Yay! That allowed us time to get photos before and afterwards. The garden is always open to the public, but if there were “public” people there during our ceremony, I didn’t notice. We had the Orangery reserved also. We didn’t need it, but when considering a tent and chair rental cost, it was worth the peace of mind, because we weren’t sure if we’d need it due to the first freeze warning and gusts in the forecast. The staff was excellent each and every time I made contact via phone or in person. We signed about 14 months in advance for a fall wedding. Event coordinator changed during that time, and everything was still in order with no hiccups along the way. The only thing I’d suggest is if at all possible, try to add a room where at least the bride can simply put the dress on?
  • Rebecca
    Rebecca Married on 09/11/2010
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    My wedding turned out great. When I would email the event planner, it would take a few days to get a response back. The garden is strict on the event times. They provided the chairs and tables that we needed. I would recommend this place to anyone.
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