Like the garden in the movie that inspired its name, careful tending is helping bring one of New Carlisle’s new businesses, A Secret Garden at Weber Estates LLC., into full bloom. Owned and operated by Bryan Weber, A Secret Garden is a full-service wedding and events venue located on S.R. 40 between Brandt Pike and Scarff Road.
Situated on six beautiful acres, the site was once the historic Baumgardner family farmstead. Built in 1857 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the estate’s main house retains many of its original features such as fireplaces, wood flooring, the original sash windows, and a smoke house. The estate is no longer actively farmed, but is surrounded by farm land and wooded areas.
Weber says the venue’s purpose-built outbuildings form the perfect location for weddings, family reunions, corporate events, anniversary parties, and vow renewals. Outdoor events take place where the estate’s barn and carriage house originally stood. One of the venue’s most popular features is a gazebo situated on the half-acre pond that features a waterfall and a fountain that lights up.
Weber was inspired to open A Secret Garden because he wanted to share the beautiful property with the community. He and his wife, Karen, have made a small portion of main house into their private residence. Other areas of the house have been turned into amenities like a Bridal Suite where a bride and her attendants can prepare for her wedding in elegant style. A separate area is available where a groom and groomsmen can make wedding preparations as well.
Owning such a business near New Carlisle means that local residents do not have to travel very far to find a unique venue for their special event; and its proximity to surrounding communities draws clients in from a wide area. Weber says he knew he was digging into a very competitive industry when he opened A Secret Garden, and has taken pains to offer clients an excellent value when they book the venue:
“We offer package discounts as well as military discounts. The price includes the tent, tables, chairs, portable toilets, access to the grounds including the pond and gazebo etc. (...) We want our couples to be relaxed and have a great day. We provide trashcans and liners and haul the trash ourselves. (There is also) a banquet hall should (someone) want to have their rehearsal dinner here. (...) We have tables and chairs for 250 people, and a nice catering station to set up for dinner.”
A Secret Garden at Weber Estates LLC. does not offer catering or entertainment services on site, but keeps a list of preferred vendors handy for clients’ perusal. Clients are also free to hire other vendors as long as they properly insured.
Weber says watching people celebrate special moments is what he enjoys most about his business. He also explains that a goal of A Secret Garden is to offer patrons “spot-on hospitality” and the many wonderful compliments he receives from guests is proof the goal is regularly being met.
Happily, Weber says his business is growing as he expected, and he plans to keep improving the venue by reinvesting in it. He has been delighted by the number of outstanding clients and guests he has worked with, and seeing the high demand for a venue like A Secret Garden, “The positive feedback (I receive) after each event lets me know I made a good choice in opening this venue...(and) I am thankful for the Bethel Township Zoning and the Miami County Engineers for their help in making this dream happen.”