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National Aquarium

Baltimore , MD
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

501 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202 US (map)

PHONE

410-576-3869

WEBSITE

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ABOUT US

The National Aquarium, with its breathtaking views of the Baltimore Inner Harbor and five levels of award-winning exhibits, provides a magical and memorable setting for your special... Read more
The National Aquarium, with its breathtaking views of the Baltimore Inner Harbor and five levels of award-winning exhibits, provides a magical and memorable setting for your special occasion.

Whether outside or in, spacious locations are available for as few as five guests or as many as 3,000, making the Aquarium the ideal place for corporate events, banquets, holiday celebrations, weddings, and more.

Unique options, like a private film screening in the 4-D Immersion Theater, provide an experience guests won't soon forget. Our professional staff is ready to assist you in planning your event.
View our Wedding Package! Read less

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

What is the minimum number of guests required to book your venue?
1
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
4
Describe your venue:
Museum
Describe the style of your venue
City, Modern, Waterfront
What kind of settings are available?
Covered Outdoor, Indoor, Uncovered Outdoor
Which of the following wedding events does your venue service?
Ceremony, Engagement Party, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
230
What event services do you offer?
Catering / Bar, Clean Up, Set Up
What transportation and access is available?
Wheelchair Access

INFO FOR REHEARSAL DINNER

What is the minimum number of guests required to book your venue?
1
What kind of settings are available?
Covered Outdoor, Indoor
What types of spaces are available for a rehearsal dinner?
Exclusive Venue Use, Private Room
What transportation and access is available?
Wheelchair Access

REVIEWS

4.2
out of 5.0
4.3/5.0
4.1/5.0
4.2/5.0
4.5/5.0
3.8/5.0
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Caitlin
Wedding:
6/27/2015
0.6/5.0
I cannot express how rude all of the staff were that we worked with at the National Aquarium. Actually, they were very pleasant people, until they found out that I wanted a small wedding. Then they pulled out all of the stops to try to get us to not sign the contact to have our wedding there. Their website claims that they work with weddings of any size, but this is clearly not the case. They were very rude and wasted our time, and money (initially, before they found out I was planning a small wedding, it all seemed good and we were just waiting on them to send us the contract to sign, so I went ahead and purchased Save the Dates, which are now useless). It seems they make a portion of the catering costs, and since I wanted a small wedding, they deduced they would get less money. If they would have simply expressed this concern to me I would have offered to make an additional donation to the Aquarium, money is not an issue, and I have no budget for my wedding. Instead, they were just extremely rude and tried to come up with excuses that made no sense. I have never worked with an organization like this before and am just baffled at their behavior. They eventually just refused to send us a contact to sign after two months of wasting our time. If you are planning a small wedding and want to have it at the National Aquarium, beware.
I cannot express how rude all of the staff were that we worked with at the National Aquarium. Actually, they were very Read more...
I cannot express how rude all of the staff were that we worked with at the National Aquarium. Actually, they were very pleasant people, until they found out that I wanted a small wedding. Then they pulled out all of the stops to try to get us to not sign the contact to have our wedding there. Their website claims that they work with weddings of any size, but this is clearly not the case. They were very rude and wasted our time, and money (initially, before they found out I was planning a small wedding, it all seemed good and we were just waiting on them to send us the contract to sign, so I went ahead and purchased Save the Dates, which are now useless). It seems they make a portion of the catering costs, and since I wanted a small wedding, they deduced they would get less money. If they would have simply expressed this concern to me I would have offered to make an additional donation to the Aquarium, money is not an issue, and I have no budget for my wedding. Instead, they were just extremely rude and tried to come up with excuses that made no sense. I have never worked with an organization like this before and am just baffled at their behavior. They eventually just refused to send us a contact to sign after two months of wasting our time. If you are planning a small wedding and want to have it at the National Aquarium, beware. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Janeen
Wedding:
1/17/2015
4.6/5.0
The National Aquarium is an absolutely beautiful place to hold a wedding. It's right on the inner harbor. It's cheaper than most other venues on the inner harbor. And guests can roam the exhibits during the cocktail hour/reception. The only downside is that there are very limited hours to use the aquarium (our ceremony started at 7pm and the reception went until midnight) due to it being a public exhibit.

I booked the aquarium 18 months out from our date and the responsiveness was always within 48 hours. Victoria gave us a tour of the available spaces and was available for our three pre-wedding meetings at the aquarium (design meeting to figure out how to design the space, final walk through, and rehearsal). Victoria was not at the wedding, but quite a few of her staff members were and they were absolutely professional and easy to work with. Everyone coordinated very well.

We originally booked the overlook as both our ceremony and reception space, but the dolphin viewing area had a cancellation a couple of weeks before (note, unless you rent out all the spaces, there's the possibility you will not be the only event in the aquarium at the time) so we rented out the dolphin viewing area for the ceremony and the overlook for the reception. The ceremony was an absolute dream. How many people can say that they had dolphins swimming around behind them as they exchanged vows? We also had access to the entire aquarium (except the rain forest) during cocktail hour, finishing in the Knott Harbor Room (another beautiful space that looks over the harbor with floor to ceiling windows). After cocktail hour, the guests made their way down to the Overlook room (overlooks the dragon boats and the harbor, again, absolutely beautiful) to an amazing night of dinner and dancing on the inner harbor. It was an amazing experience and you cannot go wrong with the aquarium!
The National Aquarium is an absolutely beautiful place to hold a wedding. It's right on the inner harbor. It's cheaper Read more...
The National Aquarium is an absolutely beautiful place to hold a wedding. It's right on the inner harbor. It's cheaper than most other venues on the inner harbor. And guests can roam the exhibits during the cocktail hour/reception. The only downside is that there are very limited hours to use the aquarium (our ceremony started at 7pm and the reception went until midnight) due to it being a public exhibit.

I booked the aquarium 18 months out from our date and the responsiveness was always within 48 hours. Victoria gave us a tour of the available spaces and was available for our three pre-wedding meetings at the aquarium (design meeting to figure out how to design the space, final walk through, and rehearsal). Victoria was not at the wedding, but quite a few of her staff members were and they were absolutely professional and easy to work with. Everyone coordinated very well.

We originally booked the overlook as both our ceremony and reception space, but the dolphin viewing area had a cancellation a couple of weeks before (note, unless you rent out all the spaces, there's the possibility you will not be the only event in the aquarium at the time) so we rented out the dolphin viewing area for the ceremony and the overlook for the reception. The ceremony was an absolute dream. How many people can say that they had dolphins swimming around behind them as they exchanged vows? We also had access to the entire aquarium (except the rain forest) during cocktail hour, finishing in the Knott Harbor Room (another beautiful space that looks over the harbor with floor to ceiling windows). After cocktail hour, the guests made their way down to the Overlook room (overlooks the dragon boats and the harbor, again, absolutely beautiful) to an amazing night of dinner and dancing on the inner harbor. It was an amazing experience and you cannot go wrong with the aquarium! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Emily
Wedding:
10/18/2014
5.0/5.0
We had an incredible time at our wedding here! The staff were very accommodating the night of and kept everything flowing smoothly. We rented both interior sections of the aquarium so our guests were free to roam most exhibits during the cocktail hour. Our ceremony had a late start time, 7:30pm, but we were able to stay at the reception until midnight. I would absolutely recommend this venue to anyone looking for a "wow" factor. Our guests really enjoyed the atmosphere!
We had an incredible time at our wedding here! The staff were very accommodating the night of and kept everything flowing Read more...
We had an incredible time at our wedding here! The staff were very accommodating the night of and kept everything flowing smoothly. We rented both interior sections of the aquarium so our guests were free to roam most exhibits during the cocktail hour. Our ceremony had a late start time, 7:30pm, but we were able to stay at the reception until midnight. I would absolutely recommend this venue to anyone looking for a "wow" factor. Our guests really enjoyed the atmosphere! Read less
Services Used: Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Venue
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Kelly
Wedding:
10/11/2014
4.1/5.0
We got married at the aquarium last Saturday and all of our guests were blown away. They loved the unique venue and being able to see some of the exhibits before the ceremony started. I really liked the fact that everything from the ceremony to cocktail hour and reception was all in one location. I've only seen pictures from our guests so far but even those were stunning so I know our professional pictures will be outstanding thanks to having an amazing location!
We got married at the aquarium last Saturday and all of our guests were blown away. They loved the unique venue and being Read more...
We got married at the aquarium last Saturday and all of our guests were blown away. They loved the unique venue and being able to see some of the exhibits before the ceremony started. I really liked the fact that everything from the ceremony to cocktail hour and reception was all in one location. I've only seen pictures from our guests so far but even those were stunning so I know our professional pictures will be outstanding thanks to having an amazing location! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default vendor profile pic
Katie
Wedding:
10/4/2014
5.0/5.0
We used the Blue Wonders Harbor Overlook for our ceremony, then had a cocktail hour that was officially in the Knott Harbor View Room (but was really spread out through the entire building), then a reception inside the Pier 4 Pavilion. We loved every aspect of holding our wedding at the Aquarium. The whole night went off without any issues. I will mention that we used Classic Catering, not the in-house Sodexo caterers, and we think we made the right choice there. Classic Catering blew us away (I left them a very positive review here), while when we were supposed to visit the in-house folks they forgot we were coming...

While planning we originally worked with some aquarium employees that no longer appear to work there. With those original people we had some issues with communication, but after that passed we had nothing but good responsiveness. Closer to the wedding we primarily worked with Victoria Payerle, and she was very helpful and professional.

Overall, we had a blast the night of our wedding, and we received a million compliments about the venue. I would recommend the Aquarium as a venue to anyone and everyone.
We used the Blue Wonders Harbor Overlook for our ceremony, then had a cocktail hour that was officially in the Knott Read more...
We used the Blue Wonders Harbor Overlook for our ceremony, then had a cocktail hour that was officially in the Knott Harbor View Room (but was really spread out through the entire building), then a reception inside the Pier 4 Pavilion. We loved every aspect of holding our wedding at the Aquarium. The whole night went off without any issues. I will mention that we used Classic Catering, not the in-house Sodexo caterers, and we think we made the right choice there. Classic Catering blew us away (I left them a very positive review here), while when we were supposed to visit the in-house folks they forgot we were coming...

While planning we originally worked with some aquarium employees that no longer appear to work there. With those original people we had some issues with communication, but after that passed we had nothing but good responsiveness. Closer to the wedding we primarily worked with Victoria Payerle, and she was very helpful and professional.

Overall, we had a blast the night of our wedding, and we received a million compliments about the venue. I would recommend the Aquarium as a venue to anyone and everyone. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default vendor profile pic
Linus
Wedding:
11/16/2013
4.9/5.0
We had our ceremony and reception in the Harbor View Room. The room was turned over during cocktails in the gallery, so guests could enjoy the fish on that floor with drinks. The venue was great for a small wedding (about 50 people), and fit our personality (and my love of fish- I have 3 tanks).

The Aquarium was also nice in letting people come early, and long with the wedding couple for pictures at the site at various exhibits. Even more accommodating was that the Aquarium allowed the photographer to enter (for free) much earlier so he could scout out possible locations for our photos.

My only "criticism" would be it would be great to have the venue for longer, so the reception could be longer. The earliest start time is 6:30 pm, as the building is still open to the public at 6 pm, and everyone has to leave by 11:30 pm. It may be possible to have an early start time in the Dolphin area for the ceremony and dinner, and then move the dancing to another area (no loud music allowed in the Dolphin area); the Dolphin area was unavailable for our wedding date.
We had our ceremony and reception in the Harbor View Room. The room was turned over during cocktails in the gallery, so Read more...
We had our ceremony and reception in the Harbor View Room. The room was turned over during cocktails in the gallery, so guests could enjoy the fish on that floor with drinks. The venue was great for a small wedding (about 50 people), and fit our personality (and my love of fish- I have 3 tanks).

The Aquarium was also nice in letting people come early, and long with the wedding couple for pictures at the site at various exhibits. Even more accommodating was that the Aquarium allowed the photographer to enter (for free) much earlier so he could scout out possible locations for our photos.

My only "criticism" would be it would be great to have the venue for longer, so the reception could be longer. The earliest start time is 6:30 pm, as the building is still open to the public at 6 pm, and everyone has to leave by 11:30 pm. It may be possible to have an early start time in the Dolphin area for the ceremony and dinner, and then move the dancing to another area (no loud music allowed in the Dolphin area); the Dolphin area was unavailable for our wedding date. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Maretta
Wedding:
10/6/2013
5.0/5.0
This was the most amazing place to have a wedding. Not only was it unique and beautiful at night but the staff and event coordinators were impeccable. They were so helpful, accommodating and made my wedding something that I will never forget. My husband and I are beyond thrilled and couldn't have asked for anything more.
This was the most amazing place to have a wedding. Not only was it unique and beautiful at night but the staff and event Read more...
This was the most amazing place to have a wedding. Not only was it unique and beautiful at night but the staff and event coordinators were impeccable. They were so helpful, accommodating and made my wedding something that I will never forget. My husband and I are beyond thrilled and couldn't have asked for anything more. Read less
Services Used: Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Venue
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Greggory
Wedding:
8/9/2013
5.0/5.0
The staff at the Aquarium were wonderful. They were very flexible and worked with us...and our budget. Ryan B. was there on the day of our wedding. Don't let his age fool you...he was amazing! He was so professional and so organized. We don't know what we would have done without him!
The staff at the Aquarium were wonderful. They were very flexible and worked with us...and our budget. Ryan B. was there Read more...
The staff at the Aquarium were wonderful. They were very flexible and worked with us...and our budget. Ryan B. was there on the day of our wedding. Don't let his age fool you...he was amazing! He was so professional and so organized. We don't know what we would have done without him! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Alexandra
Wedding:
6/8/2013
2.8/5.0
The aquarium was a fun, unique and affordable space to host our wedding reception in and we had a fantastic evening, dancing the night away. However, trying to work out the logistics of the aquarium ended up being a recurring set of headaches and the greatest amount of stress leading up to the wedding.
1) We had disscussed June 15 as our wedding date and were told that the date was being held for us. We lined up all the other vendors, sent in our contract to confirm and were then told "oops".
2) Our contract was for 7pm. Several weeks after we sent the final contract in we were told "oops", we can't actually hold indoor receptions until 8pm. Back to changing all the contracts...
3) We went though 3 contact individuals from start to the day of. While the woman who coordinated with us on the actual day of the wedding was very nice, we had never met her before and didn't even know about the change of contact persons until a couple days out.
4) Trying to coordinate getting centerpieces and such to the aquarium was a huge headache. We weren't told until a few weeks before the wedding that there were time restrictions on when things could be dropped off at the aquarium. Once we thought we had it all figured out to drop things off on Friday evening, we get a phone call telling us that our contact person was planning on checking out of work on Friday early.
Again, we had a lovely experiance at the aquarium on the day of the event (which I attribute mainly to the assistance of our amazing caterer) but I'd attribute 70% of the stress I had leading up to the day to inadequate/insufficient communication on the part of the aquarium.
The aquarium was a fun, unique and affordable space to host our wedding reception in and we had a fantastic evening, Read more...
The aquarium was a fun, unique and affordable space to host our wedding reception in and we had a fantastic evening, dancing the night away. However, trying to work out the logistics of the aquarium ended up being a recurring set of headaches and the greatest amount of stress leading up to the wedding.
1) We had disscussed June 15 as our wedding date and were told that the date was being held for us. We lined up all the other vendors, sent in our contract to confirm and were then told "oops".
2) Our contract was for 7pm. Several weeks after we sent the final contract in we were told "oops", we can't actually hold indoor receptions until 8pm. Back to changing all the contracts...
3) We went though 3 contact individuals from start to the day of. While the woman who coordinated with us on the actual day of the wedding was very nice, we had never met her before and didn't even know about the change of contact persons until a couple days out.
4) Trying to coordinate getting centerpieces and such to the aquarium was a huge headache. We weren't told until a few weeks before the wedding that there were time restrictions on when things could be dropped off at the aquarium. Once we thought we had it all figured out to drop things off on Friday evening, we get a phone call telling us that our contact person was planning on checking out of work on Friday early.
Again, we had a lovely experiance at the aquarium on the day of the event (which I attribute mainly to the assistance of our amazing caterer) but I'd attribute 70% of the stress I had leading up to the day to inadequate/insufficient communication on the part of the aquarium. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default vendor profile pic
Angela
Wedding:
9/22/2012
4.9/5.0
I couldn't have asked for a better experience from a venue. While getting in touch at the pre-planning stages was tricky, once we had a signed contract they were responsive and available.

The aquarium has 3 options for rentals: the main aquarium building, the dolphin building, or an outside tent. All seemed lovely, and varied in price (but not by much). I thought the pricing was fair and not much more than other inner harbor venues. The only downside was only having 2 caterers to choose from, and both were quite expensive.

The night of the wedding we were surprised to find that there were aquarium staff there to help things run smoothly (we thought it would just be the caterers there). They were so professional, and so incredibly helpful. Everyone had a great time. I wholeheartedly recommend this venue.
I couldn't have asked for a better experience from a venue. While getting in touch at the pre-planning stages was tricky, Read more...
I couldn't have asked for a better experience from a venue. While getting in touch at the pre-planning stages was tricky, once we had a signed contract they were responsive and available.

The aquarium has 3 options for rentals: the main aquarium building, the dolphin building, or an outside tent. All seemed lovely, and varied in price (but not by much). I thought the pricing was fair and not much more than other inner harbor venues. The only downside was only having 2 caterers to choose from, and both were quite expensive.

The night of the wedding we were surprised to find that there were aquarium staff there to help things run smoothly (we thought it would just be the caterers there). They were so professional, and so incredibly helpful. Everyone had a great time. I wholeheartedly recommend this venue. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue

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501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 See On Map
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