Featured Unique Wedding Location- Florida Aquarium
If your looking for something “different and unique,” There is The Florida Aquarium! To begin, the Aquarium closes at 5:00 p.m. and can hold a ceremony or reception as early as 6:00 p.m. The events are based on a four hour block of time with the option to purchase additional time. They can hold events to end as late as midnight. They can conduct a ceremony in conjunction with a reception or just a reception alone. They do not hold ceremonies only.They do have separate dressing rooms for the bridal party, one for the bride and bridesmaids and another for the groom and groomsmen. They also conduct a full hour of rehearsal, typically the day before the event, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the assistance of their Events Coordinator.They have a beautiful ceremony area in front of our 500,000 gallon Coral Reef tank which can accommodate up to 150 guests. For the reception, they have the indoors which includes the entire inside of The Aquarium including the galleries and they also have an outdoor tropical Caribbean themed event pavilion. Inside, the cocktail hour typically takes place in the upper lobby with the guests strolling through the Wetlands and Bays and Beaches Exhibits while enjoying cocktails. The dinner then typically is located in the lower lobby where you can have the dinner and dancing portion. The Aquarium can seat 150 guests with a complete view of the dance floor or up to 300 seated both in the upper and lower lobby at banquet rounds of ten. For the outdoors, they have a large thatched roof pavilion with teakwood furniture for guests to seat, and a hand painted mahogany beach style bar. This area is ideal for a beached themed wedding but it can also be dressed up to make it a more formal area for brides that just really are set on having an outdoor reception. In the event pavilion, they can seat 150 fully seated, but have had over 250 for a wedding set up with partial seating and cocktail rounds before also.
They do have in house catering which is a must for all events to order food and beverage. Otherwise, brides may bring in any vendor they wish, including their wedding cake.
Below is some other information that is important when booking the Aquarium to consider:
Event parking is available in The Florida Aquarium’s parking lot for a fee per car. This fee may be paid individually as guests enter the tollbooth or can be billed directly to the master account on a per car basis.
Valet parking is available for events at The Florida Aquarium. Please ask your sales representative or events coordinator for a quote. The event parking fee per car does not apply with valet parking.
Bus parking is available at no additional charge for evening events.
Audio Visual Rental
The Florida Aquarium has extensive audiovisual equipment available for rental during your event. A list of equipment and rental fees are available upon request.
Below are some options you can choose at additional fees to be added to your reception or event to create a wow factor or keep your guests involved.
Animal Encounter Programs (20 minutes)
Select one or several animals to entertain the guests at your next event. Our Aquarium educator will allow you to get an up close look at our amazing animals while strolling through the Aquarium’s exhibits. An events coordinator will be able to give you more information on these programs.
Coral Reef Dive Interpretive Program
An interactive show in the Coral Reef Gallery, featuring a diver who speaks with the audience from the 500,000-gallon exhibit. This special program is offered for evening events only.
SHARKS! Dive Interpretive Program (20 minutes)
An interactive show in the Shark Bay, featuring a diver who speaks with the audience from INSIDE the shark exhibit. Is it Fear or Fascination?? This special program is offered for evening events only.
Dive with Sharks
Put your boss in the Shark tank at your next event! This new experience allows certified divers the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the ocean’s most misunderstood predators. The 90 minute, interactive program includes a T-shirt, a photograph of the diver preparing to enter the water and a 30-minute dive in Shark Bay.
Sea Hunt Touch Tank (2 hours)
This interactive program will not only allow your guests to understand more about sharks and rays, but have a rare opportunity to touch them as well. This special program is offered for evening events only.
NoBoneZone Touch Tank (2 hours)
This interactive program will allow your guests to touch Sea Urchins, Crustaceans, Urchins, and Mollusks from the Pacific Ocean on the aquarium’s second floor lobby. This special program is offered for evening events only.
Behind The Scenes Tour (groups of 20, max. 100 people total)
This 20-minute tour explores the backstage areas of the aquarium. A guide explains where our water comes from, why we quarantine animals, and other topics.
EVENT GUIDELINES( These are important to know when choosing this facility)
The Florida Aquarium offers several options for special events. A Group Sales Representative will assist you in choosing the best scenario for your group.
Your admission fee includes: admission to all aquarium galleries, use of the facility, all event coordination, custodial, and security. An aquarium event host will greet your group and take an accurate count at the entrance. A final guarantee of estimated guests is due 72 hours prior to your event. The aquarium will base its rate according to the final guarantee number, or the actual number in attendance, whichever is greater.
We provide an event coordinator, banquet manager and security staff at all events. Our catering department will coordinate all of your food and beverage needs. Our events coordinator will assist you with details regarding the event space, logistics, guest entry, music and decorations.
Aquarium exhibits are subject to change without notice. An event coordinator will apprise you of any changes in the exhibits prior to your event. The wetlands gallery closes at 8:30 for all events.
Event parking is available in our parking lot for an additional cost. Valet parking is also available for your event; ask your sales representative or events coordinator for a quote.
Food and Beverage
The Florida Aquarium requires that all food and beverage for special events be purchased from our catering department. We are not able to allow groups or individuals to bring food and beverage into the aquarium.
Food and beverage prices include set-up of standard tables, china and linens. Prices are subject to change. We guarantee pricing six months prior to your event.
Menu selection should take place two months prior to your event date. To ensure the best quality, we ask that you choose one menu option for your entire group. However, substitutions due to dietary restrictions can be arranged.
Placement of food and beverage stations in the aquarium is based on lighting availability and fire code requirements. Our catering department will develop a floor plan that fits your needs.
A final guarantee is due by 12 noon, 72 hours prior to the event. We automatically prepare food for 5% over your final guarantee. You will be charged for the food and beverage according to the final guarantee number, or the actual number in attendance, whichever is greater.
Because of the sensitivity of our exhibits and the environment, no confetti, live animals, dried marine life, glitter, rice, birdseed, adhesive tape, monofilament or Mylar ribbon are allowed in the aquarium.
We require that nothing be posted, nailed, screwed, or otherwise attached to the walls, floors, exhibit graphics, or other parts of the building, furniture, or surrounding areas.
Promotional signs and banners can be displayed in limited areas of the aquarium. An event coordinator will assist you in choosing the best location for these displays.
All decoration, promotional materials, supplies, rental equipment, etc. must be removed immediately following your event. The aquarium is not responsible for any materials or equipment left behind.
An events coordinator can arrange for all audio visual needs in the aquarium. There is a charge for the use of aquarium audio visual equipment, based on your needs.
All band and entertainment personnel must meet with an events coordinator to review their electrical, lighting and other requirements at least two weeks prior to the event.
All outside vendors must meet with an events coordinator no later than two weeks prior to your event date to coordinate delivery times, loading areas, set-up locations and pick-up schedule. The aquarium ¬¬cannot provide staff or carts to move equipment.
Aquarium security will be onsite during your event. In case of emergency, please call (813) 273-4077 to access your group the night of your event. The Florida Aquarium does not assume responsibility for the damage or loss of any merchandise or articles brought into the aquarium.
Deposits and Payments
The Florida Aquarium requires an initial deposit based on the number of guests in your group. The balance of all charges is due with the final guarantee 72 hours prior to the event. We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express as forms of payment.
Should a cancellation occur six months prior to your reserved date, 50% of your deposit will be refunded. There is no refund for events canceled within six months of the reserved date.
Due to limited capacity in the facility, ceremonies are available only in conjunction with receptions at The Florida Aquarium. Due to high demand for holiday functions, ceremonies are not available in the month of December.
The following Audio Visual equipment is included in the following rooms at no additional fee, however, you must still order this equipment through your Events Coordinator to ensure availability.
Taylor Great Room
PA system with 2 handheld wireless microphones
Coral Reef Panoramic Window
2 Plasma 42” TV’s
PA system with 1 handheld wireless microphone
DVD / VCR
5 Disk CD Changer
Explore –A- Shore
1 Wireless Handheld Microphone
Do you want your guests to have a truly unique encounter with a live animal?
These animals are not guaranteed and we suggest you choose a 2nd option in case the animal you want is on vacation.
Owls, Snakes, and Gators….OH MY!
• Ball Python
• Gopher Tortoises
• Screech Owls
• Great Horned Owl
From Rats to Turkeys these encounters are sure to impress your guests.
• Harris’ Hawks
• Red Tail Boa
• Barn Owl
Have you ever witnessed a goat in an aquarium? Here’s your chance…..
• Blue and Gold Macaw
• Nigerian Dwarf Goats
For further information you visit the Florida Aquarium Website: www.flaquarium.org
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