An Interview with Robin Gregorius

I had the opportunity to sit down with Robin, the owner of Bella Sera Gardens at her gorgeous venue for weddings and events located in Loxley, Alabama. On the 15 acres sits a picturesque courtyard featuring fountains, hanging day beds, a fire bar and a large pavilion perfect for any occasion. Robin has spent countless hours perfecting every detail and ensuring that rentals will go smoothly. I was able to photograph just a small part of the venue and cannot wait to see the final renovations.

Ashley: Why an Event Venue?
Robin: Bella Sera Gardens has come to fruition due to countless numbers of people have commented on the beauty of this secluded property. Whether they were a personal friend, a UPS delivery person, a repairman or someone looking at the site for landscaping ideas. Everyone has stated that this acreage, with its rolling hills and hidden forest ambiance, is a distinct setting. Of course, all of the female comments included that this would be a perfect place for weddings. 10 years of this repeated conversation finally convinced me to begin researching venues in the surrounding areas. I concluded that we are in need of more choices for weddings and other celebratory events and that I was going to deliver exactly that!

Ashley: With a nursing background, what made you decide that this was the next step for you?
My professional career has been that of a Registered Nurse with 26 years of caring for patients of all ages and in many fields, such as surgery, oncology, geriatric care and organ transplant. In 2008, I designed, built and opened Country Gables Assisted Living; a unique 20-room New Orleans style home with verandas, fountains and a waterfall in the garden areas. In 2012, I was chosen as the Alabama Business Person of the Year and spent a week in Washington D.C. representing my state. While there, I met other women business owners that were able to achieve more than one of their dreams. I made a decision that I would design and build a venue that would enhance the setting of the property and allow me to begin Phase 2 of my life. Having personally witnessed births, disease, illness and the ending of life at all ages, I realized the pendulum swings both ways. With that in mind, I decided what better way to celebrate life as when two people exchange vows and enter a lifetime together.

Ashley: What is the meaning of Bella Sera Gardens literally or to you?
Robin: Bella Sera means "Beautiful Evening" in Italian. I added Gardens because my goal is to turn the entire 15 acres into a garden setting complete with rental home. I have been working on this concept for the past 4 years and in 2015, we finally built a bridge between two ponds to access the hilltop for construction.

Ashley: What is your favorite feature of the property?
My favorite feature is the view standing at the bottom of the tower looking up with the antique gate spread open, past the metal arched windows, iron and beaded chandelier, through the brick archway overlooking the courtyard, the four-seasons center fountain and pavilion looming in the background.

Ashley: When do you plan to open the property to rentals?
Robin: We anticipate opening Bella Sera Gardens sometime towards the end of January. A large Grand Opening Party with invites to surrounding Chamber Of Commerce members and vendors will ensue. Press releases with a ribbon cutting will be at an alternate time.

Ashley: What services and accommodations will be offered by Bella Sera Gardens?
Robin: Bella Sera Gardens provides guests a hilltop venue with a tower entrance, spacious courtyard with fountains, a fire bar & waterfalls. There are New Orleans style features such as two queen-sized antique shutter beds hanging under palm trees, two full service bars and a pavilion with antique doors and windows. The pavilion can be heated or cooled and seats up to 280 guests. The zoning approval allows for music, and parking is available on the hilltop to the left of the venue, with handicap parking accessible. With venue rental you will be able to take advantage of on-site photo shoot space reservation (for bridal or engagement portraits), a full chef's menu with tiered menu options - from basic southern comfort food to the most discriminating palate requests, as well as full service bars with adult beverages to meet all tastes. There will be professional staff and servers on hand to provide a superior service experience and designated staff to coordinate traffic flow and monitor property for safety of all guests. The adjacent building to the pavilion has a themed groom's lounge with sofa, bar, TV and full-length mirror. A fully equipped chef's kitchen and restrooms comprise the remainder. The bride and bridal party are welcome to utilize the private residence for wedding day preparations.

We are currently conducting tours upon request via our website contact page, bellasergardens@gmail.com or 251-327-7571. Social Media will include Facebook, Instagram and a brand new website.

Photography - Ash Simmons
Venue - Bella Sera Gardens (Loxley, AL)
Cake - Couture Cakes (Daphne, AL)
Florals - Southern Veranda Flower & Gift Gallery (Fairhope, AL)