History of Gardens By Pat at Serenity Cove

When she turned the first spade full of soil on a raw piece of land in Western Goochland County some 15 years ago, Pat Carrier had no idea that on that boggy land with the small stream running through it, she would, or even could, create what has become, Serenity Cove, the uniquely special outdoor wedding venue for the Richmond – Charlottesville-Central Virginia area.With dirt in her genetic makeup, over the years Pat progressed from remedial landscaping around the homes she owned, to putting in an award-winning garden in her lakefront South Carolina home, to earning her Master Gardener’s diploma from Clemson University, to confronting the land reclamation project that would become the garden wedding venues at Serenity Cove. Recognizing the uniqueness and potential of her new property, but with absolutely no plans for a garden-wedding site, she set out to put in her dream gardens. Blending her talents as a landscaper with her recognition of the value of the natural landscape being presented to her, she carefully introduced native plants; Rhododendron Azalea and Primrose into the forest, where Laurel, High Bush Blueberry and Fern were already established. Over the next five years she fine tuned the Woodland Gardens, with husband Richard adding simple bridges and incorporating a natural appearing waterfall into the stream; their efforts always in concert with what Nature offered and blending with the peace and tranquility of the small lake on the property. With their new home also built on the property, Pat next addressed landscaping around the home, concentrating on the one area that was in full sun. Taking full advantage, she blended a striking combination and variety of blossoms, shrubs and specimen trees, creating a year-round pallet of color and texture. Through extensive study and experimentation, she was successful in establishing a lush grass lawn framing what would later be titled the Formal Garden-Lawns. Over the next few years the Gardens received considerable media coverage, but it was not until Pat neared her retirement from the working world that the idea of offering her creation as a outdoor – garden wedding venue surfaced.

Company Philosophy

Now entering its fifth season as an outdoor – garden wedding venue and special event site, Gardens by Pat at Serenity Cove has emerged as one of the most unique and sought after outdoor event sites in the Commonwealth. But this success is not based solely on the attractiveness of the site, but more importantly on a business philosophy that the Carriers have discovered is unique to the current market. Prior to his retirement, Richard spent almost 45 years as an independent businessman and combining his experience with his wife’s talents has proven to be another successful marriage for the Carriers. “We went into it not knowing anything about the market, but knowing that Pat had created something truly lovely,” Richard said. “We also had no idea of just how unique and outdoor wedding venue like hers was. ”With a limited knowledge of how the market worked and what it offered, the Carriers decided to let the market tell them what it wanted. ”Right away we knew we wanted to avoid the restrictions and pitfalls involved in offering ‘package pricing,’” Richard said“In addition, while we felt pretty confident that the venue’s uniqueness and beauty would speak for itself, we were going to have to offer great value in order to attract prospective couples. ”The Carrier’s eagerness to customize each event, assemble a full – service staff; including a chef, a florist and a wedding coordinator, and working within almost any budget proved to be what the market lacked. “We went into the outdoor-garden wedding market not knowing what that market was and by keeping an open mind we discovered the things that the market lacked; flexibility, good communication, reliability, legitimate customer service, prompt customer service, professionalism and reasonable pricing,” Richard said. “We are in a position to offer our couples as much or as little as they want, at an incredibly lovely outdoor-garden wedding venue and at a price that won’t break the bank; just old fashioned value. We are absolutely unashamed to admit that what we do and how we do it is Old School. ”Serenity Cove has also been blessed with a like-minded staff; geared to making the bride’s experience stress-free. “All we ask of our brides,” Pat said. “Is to show up, be beautiful, get married and have fun.”

Weddings at Serenity Cove

The first ceremony held at the Gardens was the Carrier’s vow renewal; making certain that love and romance would be gently stirred into the landscape of the Gardens from the very beginning. In the past five seasons dozens of couples have chosen to exchange vows in the idyllic settings offered in the three garden wedding venues; further adding to the romance inherent in the naturally beautiful site.Whether your desire is for a bare foot ceremony by the waterfall, an opulent extravaganza at lakeside or any thing in between, the Gardens at Serenity Cove and its caring staff are committed to making it happen, just as you envision it. Let us help you create the experience.


Serenity Cove is conveniently located almost exactly halfway between Richmond and Charlottesville; a thirty minute drive from either. The three garden-wedding venues are tucked away in a private country neighborhood about two miles off of I-64 at the Hadensville exit. For the convenience of out of town guests, major hotel chains are within easy driving distance. The Gardens are available for scheduled tours during daylight hours, seven days a week. In keeping with their avoidance of “cookie-cutter” weddings and receptions, Serenity Cove schedules only one event per week and a limited number through out the seasons. “This allows us to concentrate solely on one bride at a time, and to have the luxury of being able to customize that bride’s wedding and reception,” Pat said. Please contact us at 804-457-8697 or by email at pat@gardensatserenitycove.com to arrange a visit or to have your questions answered.