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The Florida Aquarium

Tampa , FL
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

701 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL US 33602 (map)

PHONE

813-273-4000

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

On behalf of The Florida Aquarium, we would like to congratulate you on your engagement! Imagine exchanging your vows in front of your family, closest friends and over 2,000 Coral Reef... Read more
On behalf of The Florida Aquarium, we would like to congratulate you on your engagement! Imagine exchanging your vows in front of your family, closest friends and over 2,000 Coral Reef fish and sea life in our breathtaking 500,000 gallon floor to ceiling tank. Or make your reception an experience to remember among our 30,000 aquatic plants and animals from Florida and beyond. Our galleries will provide an exquisite backdrop to your special day and create a lasting impression. We also have a brand new Catamaran called The Bay Spirit II that hold up to 130 guests and can be used for sunset cruises, receptions, cocktail hours, or smaller ceremonies. I hope that you will consider The Florida Aquarium as the beautiful setting to your unique wedding.
Both our indoor dinner location in the lower lobby or the outdoor Explore A Shore pavilion will seat well over 100 guests comfortably with plenty of space for dancing the night away. Each space is available for a four-hour event. If you plan to hold your ceremony in front of our Coral Reef tank in combination with the outdoor Explore A Shore, it is a five hour event. If you hold the ceremony, the rehearsal and dressing rooms are included. You will have a greeter to direct your guests at our entrance and our Events Coordinator to oversee the entire event. Our Events Coordinator will also help you to plan the entire event and logistics and we have a Catering Manager to plan all the food and beverage with you. The Florida Aquarium is committed to bringing you and your guests the highest standards of quality in food, beverage and service. We are proud to offer a wide selection of delectable cuisine and are happy to create a customized menu to fit your needs. Our menus have been created to capture Florida ’s many tropical flavors and local specialties as well as highlight treasures from around the world. Clock HERE to create your own quick quote! Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

When was your venue built?
1995
When was your venue last renovated?
2014
Describe your venue:
Banquet Hall, Boat / Yacht, Museum
Describe the style of your venue
City, Modern, Waterfront
What wedding services does your venue provide?
Bridal Shower, Ceremony, Engagement Party, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
350
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
7
Does your venue offer an indoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer a covered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer an uncovered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue have on-site accommodations?
No
What is the minimum rental fee for your venue?
950
Bar Service
Offered in-house
Is bar service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Beverage Service
Offered in-house
Is beverage service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Catering
Offered in-house
Is catering included in the minimum rental fee?
No
What is the average catering price per person at your venue?
60
Event Coordination
Offered in-house
Is event coordination included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Event Rentals
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are event rentals included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Lighting and Sound
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are lighting and sound included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Linens
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are linens included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Seating
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is seating included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Shuttle / Transportation
Outside vendors welcome
Wedding Cake
Outside vendors welcome

REVIEWS

4.7
out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
4.5/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.7/5.0
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Yolanda
Wedding:
6/21/2014
5.0/5.0
Ashley Valentine is a superb event planner. She is a shining star. She made everything so easy to plan and was with us every step of the way. My daughter said her wedding day was the best day of her life. Ashley played a huge part in making it a perfect event. Mary Patterson was equally helpful and the food and beverages were a delight.
Services Used: Catering, Lighting & Decor, Wedding Venue
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Rosalyn
Wedding:
6/6/2014
5.0/5.0
I am so happy about having my wedding at the Florida Aquarium. Staff was so helpful through the planning process. It was unique and beautiful ceremony. Loved every aspect of this venue and it was worth every penny we invested. The pictures are so beautiful. I love Florida Aquarium!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Katie
Wedding:
5/25/2014
5.0/5.0
Very unique venue! My guests were all raving about the fact that the coral reef room at the Florida Aquarium was one of the coolest venues they'd ever seen for a wedding!

Pictures were amazing (if you can find the right photographer)! Wouldn't recommend their preferred vendors list for photography...we used Life's Highlights instead! Lighting in the room is really tricky because of all the aquarium glass!

Food was fantastic! We received so many compliments from our guests about the food and fast service!

Our day-of coordinator, Ashley, was included in the price (which was very affordable btw) was great! I felt at ease the entire night thanks to the aquarium team!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Beth
Wedding:
3/15/2014
5.0/5.0
My daughter's wedding was held at The Florida Aquarium. The venue is so unique and a wonderful place to host an event. Ashley Valentine was our coordinator and she was a pleasure to work with. She was very responsive to all of our questions and changes/additions made along the way. I never doubted that everything would be taken care of. The day of the event there was not a single detail that was not attended to and if we were to do it all over again, there is not a single thing we would change. In addition, we worked with Mary Patterson in catering and the food was delicious. We have received many positive remarks on both the venue and the food. Many compliments have been received on the servers and all event staff. Thank you for making my daughter's wedding day exactly as she had envisioned it.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Shelby
Wedding:
3/8/2014
5.0/5.0
Having our wedding here was magical! We had the ceremony in front of their huge tank, capturing great photos of fish, sharks and turtles. Amazing place for ceremony. Reception was outside on their deck, having a beautiful view of The bay. Ashley was our coordinator and was so sweet and amazing, very helpful and always there for any questions along the way. I would not have changed a thing about our wedding. It was breathtaking! I would recommend this for everyone's wedding!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Susan
Wedding:
2/15/2014
5.0/5.0
Ashley is amazing. She was there for us from day 1 answering all my questions, big and small, and then answering them again when I was going crazy and forgot I asked. The aquarium is such a beautiful venue and they really make it easy planning a wedding. I am from Tampa but live in Wisconsin so I knew I needed a venue that I could trust would deliver on my needs without having to hand hold them. Because it is public facility, the aquarium was able to cater to my guests wide range of needs. If you have a large family, friends relatives with food allergies, specials needs, or children, this venue is PERFECT. (It's perfect anyway, but that stuff is a bonus). All my quests complimented the venue, service, and food. Ashley was there to help along the way and really helped out on the day of! I had no worries because I knew any issue was being addressed by her team. I had one issue with the food vendor, but we were able to quickly and professionally resolve it. Thank you supporting us on our big day and making our dream wedding a reality! - By the way, LOVE THE MERMAIDS!!!!!! XO, Darren and Susan
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Michael
Wedding:
1/19/2014
5.0/5.0
More than a month after our wedding, our guests can't stop gushing about how our wedding was the best, most original wedding they've ever been to. This was in large part to the amazing venue of The Florida Aquarium, which is easily one of the most unique places to get married in Tampa Bay. Where else can you get married in front a giant shark tank, and have penguins walk down the aisle? Your guests will love it.

The best part about the Aquarium is how affordable it was. For a 5 hour rental that included a ceremony in the Coral Reef Room and reception in the Main Lobby, the rental fee was $2300 (we didn't have to pay sales tax, since the Aquarium is a non-profit). That included our own personal venue coordinator (Natalie, who was amazing and helped us make our wedding absolutely perfect), as well as including the reception tables, chairs, and place settings. That's a price you absolutely cannot beat, and it allowed us to add on extras (such as the penguins, draping, fog screens, gel lighting, etc), that we wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise.

You do have to use their caterer if you get married there, but that wasn't a problem at all, as Aramark Catering provided great food at a very affordable price. Having an in house caterer actually made planning easier, as our catering manager Mary worked closely together with Natalie to make sure everything was right for our wedding. Catering also does a great job of setting up center pieces for a nominal fee, and made our fairly complex centerpiece setup look even more beautiful than we imagined.

If you do book the Aquarium, make sure that you find a photographer on their recommended list (we used the absolutely amazing Wes and Liz Weber at "Your Story By Us"). Done right, your photos will look phenomenal, but it can be a tricky venue to photograph, so experience is a must.

We loved our aquarium wedding, and highly recommend it to couples looking for a truly unique venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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loren
Wedding:
12/6/2013
5.0/5.0
I highly recommend this venue. They were very friendly and accomadating. We had ashley as our coordinator and she was beyond helpful and sweet. The venue and staff were helpful to all of our wedding party and guest guest and went above and beyond to help us out. Nothing went wrong, everything was pefect!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Heather
Wedding:
10/19/2013
5.0/5.0
Ashley Valentine and the entire team at The Florida Aquarium made my wedding dreams come true. From the event planners to catering to set-up, this venue knows exactly what they're doing to ensure you have the party of your dreams! Having met with several people at other venues, I cannot say enough about The Aquarium staff's expertise and professionalism, they made everything so easy for us and went out of their way on our actual wedding day to ensure we had the BEST time possible...thank you from the bottom of my heart for the best day of my life!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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loudfrizzy
Wedding:
10/13/2013
5.0/5.0
Looking for a truly amazing venue, some place that is exotic, unique and you wouldn't think would make sense for a venue for a wedding????? This is it! The staff was all so friendly and truly made my event wonderful. From Ashley who was the event coordinator and kept my wedding party on track, to Mikayla the catering manager who put me at ease when I came in super stressed the day of my wedding! We did our event in the coral reef room and it was simply breathtaking, we even got to have a live penguin walk down the aisle and then after the ceremony take pictures with him! My guests were impressed, I was impressed, this is definitely an A+++ venue and all in all it cost a little less then having my event at a hotel on a beach! So worth it! Oh and the food was to die for! My guests were super impressed with how fresh and flavorful it was.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jody
Wedding:
8/24/2013
5.0/5.0
Working with Natalie at the Florida Aquarium was a great experience, she was professional and friendly. She was available the entire time and any little thing we needed she got for us. The place looked wonderful and the night was magical thanks in part to Natalie's help. I would suggest this venue to anyone who is looking for a different kind of wedding venue. It was beautiful and peaceful, it also allows your guests a different experience.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Tracy
Wedding:
5/17/2013
5.0/5.0
We had the most beautiful backdrop for our ceremony and reception in front of the coral reef tank. Our wedding at the Florida Aquarium was amazing, wonderful, beautiful,,,it was perfect. We worked with Ashley Valentine and she was fantastic. She followed every detail that we wanted. She worked with us from start to finish and guided us through the entire process as well as through the entire evening. We had the penguins walk down the aisle and that was a highlight for us and we also added the fog screens which added a special extra touch. Our guests had a great time and are still telling us what a beautiful and different wedding it was because of our venue. I cannot imagine having had the wedding anywhere else. Our Catering manager Mikayla was also wonderful, every detail was perfect and the food was excellent. The catering staff were professional, friendly and very accomodating to us and our guests. If you truly want to get married in a beautiful place this is it!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Autumn
Wedding:
2/16/2013
5.0/5.0
Ashley Valentine was such a pleasure to work with. She was helpful from the very first time I inquired about having our wedding at the Florida Aquarium to the day of our wedding. She answered all my questions promptly and everything went perfectly at our wedding. I would and already have recommended the Florida Aquarium to anyone getting married as a great venue and also a wonderful staff to work with! :)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jin
Wedding:
2/2/2013
5.0/5.0
A beautiful and unique setting for an amazing wedding night. The aquarium staff was amazing in every stage of planning and execution with clear communication the entire time. Truly watching our guests enjoy the scenery and ambiance of the aquarium made us truly proud of the evening we put together.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Melodi
Wedding:
1/19/2013
5.0/5.0
Ashley Valentine is absolutely incredible! She was so very helpful in the planning of our dream wedding. The Florida Aquarium was an extremely unique setting and we couldn't have asked for a better venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Heather
Wedding:
10/20/2012
5.0/5.0
The first time we walked into the Florida Aquarium we knew it was the perfect wedding venue for us. We choose to have our ceremony at the Panoramic Window and our reception in the Explorashore area outside. We worked with Ashley Valentine (she is awesome); she walked me through all the planning and answered every question throughly. I have to say, I knew my wedding would be great but the Florida Aquarium made it better than I expected. The food was delicious and there was plenty of food for all my guests. The reception was excellent, everything went as planned and the staff was very attentive and helpful. Even weeks later, all my guests keep telling us how much fun they had at our wedding. I highly recommend the Florida Aquarium for your wedding!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
We chose to get married at the Aquarium because we wanted a different venue and wanted an experience for our guests. We were absolutely thrilled with how everything turned out. Our guests loved our special guests, penguins!!!! They walked down the aisle and everyone was so surprised!!!! The staff was great!! We had such a good time from the beginning of the planning through the night of our wedding. We were really happy with everything. Would 100% recommend this as a venue for anyone looking for a unique place to be married or hold an event!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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JoAnne
Wedding:
7/7/2012
5.0/5.0
I loved loved loved my venue!! All of my guests were so amazed with it and thought it was so unique to have a wedding here. All of my event coordinators did a great job and were able to ease my nervousness. I could not have asked for a better venue to celebrate my big day!! I would recommend this venue to anyone. Hopefully in 10 years, I can throw a reunion wedding there!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anne
Wedding:
6/24/2012
5.0/5.0
My husband and I were married at the Florida Aquarium on June 24th, 2012. Our guest could not stop talking about how unique and how beautiful the coral reef room was! We decided to add the pasta bar to our choice of buffet and could not have been happier with our decision. The food was amazing! We also added the penguin promenade and our guests were thrilled to have a little entertainment durning cocktail hour! Every little detail made our night special! We worked with Ashley in the beginning of our planning process and she made everything seem so simple. She was always very responsive to all of our questions and changes durning our planning process. Due to a family reunion Ashley was no longer able to continue working with us so Natalie finished planning with us for the last 6 months. She was a huge help the day of the wedding and we could not have asked for someone better! We definitely think we had the wedding of our dreams without any hassle and we can honestly say it was worth every penny! Thank you so much Florida Aquarium Team! You made our wedding day perfect <3 Sean and Anne Borgo
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Shelly
Wedding:
6/14/2012
5.0/5.0
THE most amazing venue I have ever seen (even if I am a bit biased!) Ashley was beyond fantastic as our coordinator and made sure everything was perfect. Our servers and bartenders were phenomenal! I couldn't have asked for anything better. This is a must-do
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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apatino
Wedding:
3/10/2012
5.0/5.0
The Florida Aquarium was the most BEAUTIFUL place I could have picked to get married. My husband and I are both tied to the ocean and it was so symbolic of our relationship. Many of our guests told us this was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to, and while I wasn't striving to make that goal- it sure was nice to hear. Along with this venue, I was assigned a wedding coordinator, Natalie Melillo, who was so helpful and answered all my questions thoroughly- which made planning a wedding so much easier. She was there on my wedding night to make sure everything fell into place and pieced together perfectly. I did not have to worry about a thing all night! I had the most amazing experience ever!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Laquia
Wedding:
2/4/2012
5.0/5.0
I want to say thank you to the entire staff for making my wedding soooo wonderful. A special thanks to Ashley and Ms. Pat for their timely responses and helping hand. It's truely appreciated and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! The Randolph family
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Mrs. Clark aka Mrs Awesomepants
Wedding:
11/13/2011
5.0/5.0
We had such a great wedding thanks to the staff at the Florida Aquarium. The set up was beautiful. Ashley was our event coordinator and she was AMAZING! She made every wish I had come true and took care of it all. She was so easy to work with and so professional, not to mention sweet as can be! She was there for me to answer any question I had no matter how silly it was. Without her, our wedding would not have gone over so smooth and I cannot thank her enough for that. Their prices are quite affordable compared to other local venues and this one sure is unique! I recommend all bay area brides at least check it out!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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jenhooker10143
Wedding:
11/6/2011
5.0/5.0
I can't say enough good things about The Florida Aquarium. Our wedding was beautiful and they made it so easy. Ashley Valentine was THE BEST coordinator I could ask for. When I began planning my wedding, I was a little nervous on how it would all come together since I didn't have a wedding planner. The aquarium staff are so hands on, it felt like I did! Any time I had a question or needed a vendor recommendation, they were there for me. I thought since I didn't have a planner, I'd have to run around organzing things during my wedding, but they took care of EVERYTHING and executed my vision perfectly! My family is a little flighty/erratic but Ashley managed to wrangle them and made sure everything went smoothly. So many of our guests are still raving about the wedding! We had our ceremony and reception in front of the coral reef and everyone said it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to. Pick the aquarium and you won't be sorry! They are THE BEST!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Pamela
Wedding:
10/21/2011
5.0/5.0
The most incredible wedding ever!! The venue, decor, food, wait staff, chef, catering manager (Pat Discianno) and our wedding planner, Natalie Melillo were the absolute best. As our ceremony was being performed, a sea turtle came gliding across the reef almost like it was planned. Everyone was so kind and helpful, the wedding went off without a hitch. All the guests were blown away and marveled at the entire event. If you are looking for something unique and memorable, please consider making this your choice, you will not regret it. Thank you Florida Aquarium and staff for helping us create a wedding that will never be forgotten.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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nikmck22
Wedding:
10/15/2011
5.0/5.0
I had my ceremony and reception at The Florida Aquarium. It was the absolute best time I have ever had. My coordinator was Natalie Melillo and she was such a joy to work with. Very diligent and made me feel so comfortable and confident that everything would be perfect. And it was! I don't have ONE horror story about my wedding day, everything was wonderful! I had guests come up to me after my wedding and tell me how nice the staff was and what a great time they had. The venue is so unique; it provides so many different options for ceremony and reception space. The scenery is beautiful, inside and outside, serene, calm and gorgeous. Not only does it create a beautiful backdrop for the wedding party, but the guests really enjoy themselves at well. The Florida Aquarium will turn your wedding into an event; one unforgettable event :-)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Samantha
Wedding:
8/20/2011
5.0/5.0
My sister got married at the FL Aquarium in Ausgust 2011 and I had the pleasure of planning it for her. If anyone is looing for an amazing place to have a wedding then look no further than the FL Aquarium!! It was the MOST amazing wedding EVER. The staff there is amazing and my sister couldnt be happier. The whole place was beautiful and they went above and beyond to make her day special. Ashley Valentine was our even coordinator and she is FABULOUS and Susan Clay was our Catering manager and she was AMAZING as well. It definitely was a night none of us will forget!!! We love you guys!!! Thanks so much!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kelpel
Wedding:
8/6/2011
5.0/5.0
We had the most spectacular and impressive wedding at the Aquarium, with a huge help from Ashley (our coordinator) and Pat (our caterer). Our expectations were far surpassed with the amazing water effects lighting (you have have have to get this), organization and planning, incredible food (I received more compliments on this), and INCREDIBLE background. There's no way I could have imagined how amazingly cool it would be to say our vows in front of a shark and moray eel. The staff were fantastic and I'd highly recommend them for anyone to work with. Unless you're a pain. Then you should leave them alone. :) We had the best time ever! -The Peloquins
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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jonesha
Wedding:
7/26/2011
5.0/5.0
Want something that you have to do little to no decorating this is the place. Let the aquarium scenery work its magic. At first no one could believe we chose the aquarium out of all places but when the day came they could not believe how beautiful it turned out and to believe that it was at the aquarium lol.
We worked with Ashley Valentine she is soo soo soo awesome just pure greatness she makes sure everything is running smoothly and made sure everyone (groomsmen) knew what they needed to do.. I dI'd not have to worry about anything and I owe that all to her.. we got married july 26 2013
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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kwidell
Wedding:
7/16/2011
5.0/5.0
I cannot say enough good things about the Florida Aquarium and their staff. My wedding was an absolute dream and could not have been ANY better. Ashley was my coordinator, and is now one of my favorite people on earth. She was fantastic throughout the entire process and offered great suggestions along the way. My guests are still talking about the cupcakes at my wedding, which were a suggestion of Ashley's. She was even there to wipe icing out of my hair when my new husband got a little crazy during the cake cutting! On the day of my wedding, everyone kept asking me how I was so calm. I know it was because I knew that everything was going to be just right because Ashley would make sure of it. She was there every step of the way on our whole wedding day, making sure that everyone knew exactly what to do. I can honestly say that my wedding could not have been any better. I've had several people tell me that it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to. If you are looking for a unique venue that is flexible and a great value the Aquarium is the place. I will forever be grateful to Ashley and the entire Aquarium staff for making my special day so perfect!
Kristen Widell
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Ashleigh
Wedding:
6/25/2011
5.0/5.0
The staff at the Florida Aquarium gave us our dream wedding. Ashley Valentine was our coordinator and Pat Discianno was our catering manager. Both of these ladies are angels on Earth! With such a popular venue for all sorts of events, I can only imagine how busy they are - but we ALWAYS felt like a priority. They were always there to answer any questions - and responded back via email/phone within minutes! Ashley took complete command of all the planning aspects - from decor to leading our rehearsal. Thanks to her, everyone and everything was always where it needed to be. She was there to offer suggestions and was 100% committed to helping us achieve our visions. She suggested the "water effect lighting" in the ceremony space and color coordinating "gel lights" in the reception area - both were just beautiful! Guests were awed at the beauty and smoothness of the entire event. Pat was amazing at planning and setting up our meals/beverages. She truly wanted to give us the best options within our means - her suggestions and guidance were just priceless. I had so many guests claim that it was the best wedding food they have ever eaten. Throughout the planning process, I had so many people comment about how calm and relaxed I was. This was only because I had complete faith in Ashley and Pat - and they didn't let me down! I can only say that these ladies, along with the fun and friendly serving staff made our wedding a precious memory. Everyone commented on how unique, beautiful, and memorable the evening was. We will never forget you guys :-)

Ashleigh and Andre'
6-25-11
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Angela and Joshua
Wedding:
6/22/2011
5.0/5.0
If ypu are looking for a WOW wedding, this is the place. Ask for Natalie. She was our wedding planner there. We just got married 6/22/11. Natalie was amazing. We are so grateful of how she took care of us. She’s been a joy to work with over this past year. She’s friendly, fun and goes above and beyond. The only thing is that we wish there was a way water could have been provided at a lower cost. The price of water is ridiculous. But other than that, the crew was friendly, welcoming, and I’d refer anyone to the aquarium. It was truly a one of a kind experience.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Mrs. Vamdgrift
Wedding:
6/18/2011
5.0/5.0
Our wedding & reception at the Fl. Aquarium was the best wedding ever!!! I may be a little biased but all of our guests have made comments on how amazing the everything was. The whole staff made the evening flow so well and everyone had such a memorable experience. You can not pick a more beautiful or fun setting for the kick off to your new life. Plus, you will have the most amazing pictures!! The setting alone is breathtaking, not to mention unique. If your looking for a venue that will give you amazing service, 100% satisfaction and absolutely zero worries, then look no further. The Aquarium gives you all that and more. Trust me!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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KimChastain
Wedding:
5/28/2011
5.0/5.0
Our wedding was May 28, 2011. Our coordinator was Natalie and our caterer was Susan. I can not say enough about how fabulous our day was!! Natalie was the best, She's so professional, friendly and you can tell she loves what she does. She's such a wonderful person! I loved working with her. And on the day of the wedding she made me feel comfortable and stress free. Susan was also great, the day of the wedding the food was so good, wonderful presentation and the staff were absolutely great! We had such a great wedding! Friends and family give us so many compliments of our choice of a wonderful venue!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kathy
Wedding:
5/13/2011
5.0/5.0
Natalie, our wedding planner, and Pat, our caterer, were AMAZING!! Both went above and beyond our expectations of providing ideas, advice, responsiveness and flexibility throughout the 9 month planning process and "day of" wedding reception. Comments from friends and family echoed the common thread of: "Best Wedding we've ever attended", "I want my daughter's wedding to be JUST like this", "The most fun we've ever had at a reception", "The waiters were even extra friendly, fun, and festive". Most importantly, the bride and groom felt their wedding was MORE PERFECT than they could even have imagined!! The Florida Aquarium was truly an ideal setting for a magical wedding!! Signed, Father & Mother of the Bride
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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PenginBride
Wedding:
3/13/2011
5.0/5.0
My wedding ceremony and reception took place at the Florida Aquarium this past March. I was never one of those little girls that dreamed of what my wedding would look like, yet somehow the wedding I had was the one of my unrealized dreams! I worked with Natalie Melillo and she was by my side every step of the way. She was in constant contact with me through the whole planning process and she was able to give this not so girly, non-wedding knowledgable bride helpful opinions and advice on what selections would be best for me. Natalie truly went above and beyond the call of duty and I am sure her job description. She did not just help me with aquarium related things but also with some more practical wedding advice like how to handle bridesmaid dress selections and drama filled relatives. She made an effort to get to know me and my now husband as people and not just clients, and the end result was a wedding that was such an extension of us as a couple that people are still talking about how perfect our wedding was for the two most marine concious people they know. Our photographer snapped a picture of Natalie and us on the wedding day and she signed our guest book surfboard....she was not just a wedding planner but an important and integral part of our big day. She is the sweetest person and we were so lucky to have her with us!
Everything about this venue was perfect for us and all the staff members made an effort to ensure our day turned out perfectly. They helped with my husband's rushed DJ efforts and treated our guests and vendors like gold. The food was superb, the drinks were yummy and the catering staff members made sure everything was presented perfectly. One of the most important part of my wedding were the animal encounters we selected; I am obsessed with penguins I made sure Natalie knew this from the start. She made sure they brought them out to me and my husband for pictures. The trainers made sure I got the time I wanted with the animals I loved and it was one of the most special memories I have of that day.
To make a long story short, my husband and I are full time students who did not approach wedding planning with a ton of cash in our pockets. I can say that the money we spent on this venue was worth every penny and cannot imagine having my wedding anywhere else.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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allisonb
Wedding:
3/5/2011
5.0/5.0
The Florida Aquarium was an amazing place to get married! Not only did we have a gorgeous back drop of the coral reef tank for our ceremony, we also were able to relax and have a great time at our reception on the tiki deck! Besides having such a great venue, I could not have imagined my wedding day without the help of the amazing staff at the Florida Aquarium. Natalie was so much fun to work with and helped us navigate our way through the craziness of planning a wedding! I could not have done it without her! She made my wedding day perfect and stress free! It was a wonderful day and I would recommend this venue to anyone!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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jsnay
Wedding:
10/23/2010
5.0/5.0
The Florida Aquarium was great. Natalie was our coordinator and was so professional and on top of things. Her response back to my needs and questions was phenominal. It was such a beautiful and great setting for marrying my true love.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Erica
Wedding:
9/26/2010
5.0/5.0
I was SOOOOOOOOOO impressed by how flexible the Florida Aquarium was with everything from my food choices to wedding timeline. Natalie was the Wedding Coordinator and Pat was the Catering Manager. Natalie was literally with me every step of the way! She suggested vendors who turned out to be AMAZING and even helped me with unique centerpiece ideas on a budget! I was sure there was going to be disasters throughout the big day, but to my extreme pleasure...it was perfect! I can't express how much I recommend this venue to anyone who is looking for a gorgeous venue and unique experience. All of our guests couldn't stop saying how fabulous the aquarium was! Pat was soo helpful, particularly in the last days. Kenny supervised the cooking of the wonderful meals--we had dill salmon and margarita chicken that were divine. If by chance anyone reads this from the Aquarium I'd like to thank you again for EVERYTHING!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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toopurdygator
Wedding:
8/28/2010
5.0/5.0
Natalie was our coordiantor and she was fantastic throughtout the entire process!!! She recommended exeptional vendors and took care of many of the details for me!!The day went off without a hitch and evrything went PERFECT!!! We received so many compliments on how beautifula nd unique the ceremony and reception was! We had the pasta bar as food and people went crazy over it! The Aquarium made my dream wedding a reality!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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grace
Wedding:
8/14/2010
5.0/5.0
My wedding reception took place on August 14th, 2010 at the Florida Aquarium. Ashley Valentine was my coordinator and Susan Clay, the caterer. First of all I can't stop telling people how FABULOUS the whole experience was, and it was utterly and totally due to Ashley and Susan's fantastic work! They went above and beyond to ensure the guests were comfortable and more importantly that I was stress free that day!

The challenge with my wedding is that I live in NY and my husband is in Tampa, so you can imagine coordinating this type of event is no easy task! I met them both twice before the big day and they were very patient while I hit them with lists of questions and follow ups. Always with a smile and always with a professional attitude. The day of the wedding was a blur for me but it went smoothly! The food, the beautiful and breathtaking fish tank, the PENGUINS (Yes my darling hubby wanted the penguins as the animal exhibit for both the guests during the cocktail hour and then for us when we arrived) .. everything was beyond perfect. Ashley was sheer perfection at ensuring that everything ran on time and flowed smoothly from one event to the other. Susan made it a point to come out and check up on me as well... I really can not stop saying enough good things about the staff at the Aquarium.

They truly go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best day ever! And so you don't think it is just me, my husband also had a fantastic time as well! From the beginning he said he did not want the traditional cookie cutter reception that everyone has in a hall.. he wanted something different, something that had a Florida theme to it. He got exactly what he wanted and his face lights up like a Christmas tree whenever we talk about that day to our friends!

Simply put, you can not go wrong with the Florida Aquarium - outstanding service from the staff, excellent food and the most unique experience you will ever have - I guarantee it!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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min42
Wedding:
7/24/2010
5.0/5.0
For those Brides who are looking for a unique yet elegant location for a wedding, look no further....the Florida Aquarium was the perfect location for our wedding...it provided the perfect solution for entertaining our guests with children if they couldn't find a babysitter and for our guests to take in the sights of the different animal exhibits....Also, the staff was incredibly professional and exceptional thanks to Ashley, our Wedding Events Planner and Susan,our Food Coordinator.
We were re-assured that every aspect of our wedding would be properly attended to and thanks to Ashley's guidance, my bridal party was able to follow her step by step instructions without any problems as we danced the night away........In all, my husband and I had an EXCELLENT time and their food by the way was GREAT. :)
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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Kristine
Wedding:
4/9/2010
5.0/5.0
Everyone was very helpful and made the expierence just the way we wanted!!!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Birde12212009
Wedding:
12/21/2009
5.0/5.0
Great Place! Great price/value! Provided a beautiful back drop for the wedding photos! Natalie the wedding coordinator and Pat the food coordinator made my life about 100% less stressful. They did an amazing job and they allowed us to make payments.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Blobublz
Wedding:
11/7/2009
5.0/5.0
The aquarium was wonderful! Jason and his staff were very professional and catered to our every need. I would highly recommend it.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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laurenh1
Wedding:
9/19/2009
5.0/5.0
I am so thankful to have found the Florida Aquarium for my special day. The staff is friendly and professional. I had the wedding of my dreams all thanks to the Florida Aquarium. You cannot ask for a more beautiful or unique backdrop. Natalie was our coordinator and she is great at what she does and really truly cares. We went with the stations for our food and it tasted good and the presentation was exceptional. They brought the black footed penguins out for the guests to look at along with a baby alligator. our wedding was a night that we will not soon forget and the Florida Aquarium and its staff was a huge part of that. I would definitely recommend the aquarium whenever given the chance. Lauren and James Holland
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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diveboy
Wedding:
8/15/2009
5.0/5.0
We had our ceremony on the boat & it was a fantastic venue for it! Staff and crew did a great job and it really made the expereince memorable!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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TheLaurens
Wedding:
8/1/2009
5.0/5.0
The Florida Aquarium is THE BEST place to have a wedding, commitment ceremony, or any other gathering of friends and family to come together and share in the joy of you and your partner! We had THE best experience from start to finish and the wedding was right out of the movies....IT WAS PERFECT! I couldn't have asked for anything more. Our events coordinator was awesome as well as the catering service and not to mention the food was exeptional. All of our friends and family are STILL raving about the food, and what a great time they had, and how professional the staff was! It was so great our friends are now getting married there next year! I can't wait to see everyone at The Florida Aquarium for another awesome venue!!!
~The Lauren's
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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jessica
Wedding:
6/27/2009
5.0/5.0
We chose the Florida Aquarium for our reception site because were married on the beach at sunset. We really felt that continuing the evening in the Coral Reef Panoramic Window would be so cool. We didn't realize how amazing it looked until we were actually taking the tour. The room is huge- as is the window, which is beautifully lit so you can see all the fish and turtles. Luckily for us, the same day we toured they were having an event that same evening where we could sample the cuisine as well as meet additional vendors. Im so very glad we came backfor the event because the aquarium looks completely different in the evening with all of the possible decorations available to view. Talk about ambiance... wow! We were sold the minute we saw it. Our catering director, Rhea Yanni, was very flexible with our menu decisions, she gave us her opinion and helped us make our vision a reality. Our event planner was Ashley Valentine, who was absolutely amazing. She answered every question I had.. and I had alot. She was very prompt in returning my calls and emails and she obviously enjoys what she does and does it very well !!!! I could not have asked for a more professional, personable, competent person to help me on one of the most important days of my life. After I told her what I wanted I knew I could relax and let her run with it. The result was perfection, in my eyes at least...and thats what mattered most - a very happy bride and groom.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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jen
Wedding:
6/22/2009
5.0/5.0
Natalie and Rhea absolutely made my reception the success that it was. So much fun, people didn't want to leave. Similar to other reviews, my initial contact was lacking, but once Natalie and Rhea were on board, everything was perfect and in my budget. I am a little high maintenance and very detailed, Natalie and Rhea were responsive, attentive, and followed through on their promises. For a perfectly planned and detailed event - call Natalie.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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tampawed
Wedding:
5/16/2009
5.0/5.0
We loved our wedding at the Florida Aquarium! A hotel hall just wouldn't work for our big day. We decided that we wanted something downtown since we live down here and wanted to support the growing area. The Aquarium had everything we wanted, great location, great food, an awesome setting for pictures!
We're still getting comments about the food, which is normally average at weddings. The option of having many different manned stations was the way we went and it was great for all my picky eaters.
Natalie was my contact at the Aquarium and I can't say enough great things about her. When there were issues they were taken care of right away, and to my liking.
If you want to have a memorable wedding at a great location, ask for Natalie. She was not only my savior during the crazy planning time, I felt like she became a friend!
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Planning, Rentals & Photobooths
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Meghan
Wedding:
6/28/2008
5.0/5.0
We had to plan our wedding at the very last minute, and Linda Farina helped give us the best reception anyone could have imagined! We had our party outside under the Tiki hut, the bar was great, food was awesome, and staff were excellent! Unique place to have a wedding that is different from the traditional reception!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Rhea
Wedding:
4/5/2014
4.9/5.0
My husband and I just got married April 5th at the Florida Aquarium, we chose the coral reef ceremony and Explore-A-Shore pavilion reception, and we were very happy with our decision. We initially went with the Aquarium after looking at several beach venues because we wanted a venue that would help us with a lot of the details since we were planning a wedding in my hometown but we live in California, and the Aquarium takes care of a lot of stuff so you don't have to worry about it (catering, bar, setup, breakdown, linens tables, etc). We also wanted a more intimate ceremony than the beach and a place that would still be beautiful even in bad weather. They also have tons of fun extras you can add like the penguin encounter (totally worth it!!!!) and the fog screens, slideshows, and lots of other things that make the day more fun. We also wanted a venue on the water and not only does the Aquarium have the waterfront overlook deck for cocktail hour available, but your ceremony takes place in front of the water if you choose the coral reef ceremony. Our guests have given us so many compliments on how beautiful the ceremony and reception were, it was better than I had imagined. Also, the Aquarium includes a coordinator for your wedding, which is awesome especially if you have a large wedding party, because you don't realize how much you really do need someone there to help corral everyone and keep things on time. Our coordinator, Natalie, was incredible. She always went above and beyond to make sure we were happy, and she was incredibly patient with us, while still keeping everything running smoothly. Natalie made sure our guests with kids had high chairs, and she helped us organize a room to use for childcare for the night, she wrangled our unwieldy bridal party, communicated with all our vendors, made sure the bride had a special vegetarian meal, got all our last minute details in order, and always had a positive attitude. Thank you Florida Aquarium and Natalie!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Cara
Wedding:
3/1/2014
4.9/5.0
I am happier every day that I made the decision to get married at the Florida Aquarium. My guests tell me it was the neatest and most unique wedding they've seen. I am in love with the color and just beautiful scenery the Aquarium provided. I was looking for something different than the average church, farm, garden, or beach wedding..all which are very popular in Florida. Here, you get the oceany, beachy feel without being out in the sand and heat!!

Natalie Melillo was our coordinator, and if there is any way you can, request her! She was amazing and made the day go by so smoothly and was very prompt with her responses. Mary was our Catering Manager and was also very accommodating and concerned for our requests. I don't think I have seen a more beautiful wedding (of course I am biased) than the ones I have seen here. We had the reception in the Explore a Shore Pavilion outside and it was so elegant and provided such a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

Thank you, Florida Aquarium for a beautiful facility and an incredible wedding venue. It was the best day of our life and we will cherish our memories made there forever! :)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jessica
Wedding:
11/12/2013
4.9/5.0
Natalie and Rebecca took care of me on 11-12-13. They were wonderful! I felt like the most important person in the world. I planned my wedding for almost two years and got to know Natalie, and she is such a sweet, funny young woman! Rebecca had a great attitude from the start, even with our mix up on Halloween! Please remember that they are dealing with tons of brides so it may take a couple of days for them to respond, but they will just be patient!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Desmond
Wedding:
11/1/2013
4.9/5.0
What an absolutely wonderful and unique venue for a wedding! My wife and I have gotten nothing but compliments about the venue and everyone loved the backdrop of a floor to ceiling shark tank during the ceremony/reception. Our coordinator, Ashley, was a joy to work with and almost everyone involved was very professional and courteous.

My only complaint is that the wait staff were a little too eager to clear off plates from the tables. My bride and I literally did not get a chance to eat anything because every time we stepped away from our table for photos, greetings, etc., our plates would be gone. Believe me when I say we were not happy campers when whole slices of our cake were taken away when we were gone for less than five minutes. I get that the staff wants to maintain an air of diligence, but good grief, some common sense goes a long way!
Services Used: Catering, Lighting & Decor, Wedding Venue
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Anne
Wedding:
1/27/2012
4.9/5.0
I am so happy with my reception at the Florida Aquarium, it was everything I wanted it to be. My guests loved it for many reasons. We had the penguins, which were a big hit with the adults and kids. People wandered and took in the entire Aquarium. The older guests that typically would have left when dancing started were quite entertained with the fish. The bartenders, I'm told were awesome. He remembered guest's drinks and had them waiting at the bar as he saw the guest approach. The food was more than adequate, I was a bit nervous with only one choice for food. But, they have an in house chef, and let's face it, you're paying for the experience more so than the food.

I loved the way my husband and I were treated. My husband and I were from out of town, and called to arrange a meeting as we were driving to the Aquarium. Natalie was able to schedule time with us after we had gone through the Aquarium. Natalie (venue) and Pat (catering) were extremely responsive via email and even met with us one last time before the wedding when we dropped our things for the tables off before the wedding. My husband and I had our own servers to go through the buffet so we didn't have to serve ourselves and our own server to get us drinks. Every employee of the Aquarium wished us congrats, every one. I wasn't looking to feel like a princess, but the Aquarium certainly treated me like one.

My only quibble is that my MIL's vegan meal never made it to her, but that is as much her fault for not asking for it since she knew it was coming. But she certainly didn't go hungry.

I feel that the Aquarium could charge twice what they do and still be booked months out. What my husband and I got for our money was amazing. If we had to do our wedding over, we would pick the Aquarium 100 times over. It was a huge hit with our guests and my husband and I had an amazing time.

Thanks!!

Anne Saladyga & John Caruso
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Marjorie
Wedding:
11/8/2008
4.9/5.0
Great location. I do reccomend photos before the ceremony. Depending on the time of year the tanks are naturally lighted and the photos at the coral reef are from natural light. They do provide alot of vendors and there are local vendors that can help you find the best price. They are a great group and are very flexible with accomadations. We had a fabulous time and if you are looking for a unique location and want to spend that wedding money on a good cause, this is a highly recommended facility. Your guests will have so much to see and get the true Florida theme for the out of town visitors.
Services Used: Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue, Unique Services
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Jessica
Wedding:
6/22/2013
4.8/5.0
Natalie was phenomenal! And our experience was stupendous! The venue speaks for itself, but her level of service and professionalism helped create a fabulous day for us that we and our guests will never forget! Everything was perfect, and she was so incredible! I truly can't say enough great things about how she stayed in touch making sure everything was how we wanted it!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Dayna
Wedding:
3/9/2013
4.8/5.0
Natalie was my wedding planner and i can't say enough great things about her. She meet my every need and or concerned through out my whole wedding planning process. She made her everything was perfect! But unfortunately, she could not attend the wedding it self cause of some personal business and left me with a different coordinator day of. I did have some complaints that i wish i would of caught in time to be fixed. I wish the sign in book and my finger canvas was set up during the cocktail hour on the second floor, instead of by the main door. Most people came in a different way and did not go either. Which I'm pretty bummed about.

But overall, it was great! I couldn't have asked for more!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kerry
Wedding:
11/2/2012
4.8/5.0
The Aquarium is a beautiful and unique place to get married. We had our ceremony and service in the Coral Reef room and it was perfect for our smaller party. We had a small dance area and plenty of room to move around and talk to all of our family and friends. There are plenty of add-ons that we didn't find out about until too late in our planning to fit into our budget, so make sure you ask about those early! All in all the location (and Ashley in particular) were wonderful.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Acie
Wedding:
5/25/2008
4.8/5.0
We absolutely loved this venue and enjoyed working with the staff at the Aquarium. The unique services offered by them included the option of having a penguin promenade for our guests. That was very memorable. The one downside we experienced is that we were required to use the third party caterer that the Aquarium uses, which left us no wiggle room for budget when it came to the catering. However, the catering staff was very professional and able to work with you and the Aquarium staff to make the night wonderful. And if you don't mind the price, the food was the best food we've ever had at a wedding!
Services Used: Wedding Venue, Unique Services
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Dyan
Wedding:
3/23/2013
4.7/5.0
I just had my wedding at the Florida Aquarium and it was amazing! Our ceremony was in the coral reef room and the reception was in the main lobby. Natalie was our event coordinator and she was awesome too! Natalie never got annoyed at all my emails or questions and was always willing to meet with me. I had a day of coordinator too and i was so happy that everyone worked so well together. All of our vendors loved working at the Aquarium as well. I was happy that they also run such a tight ship. Natalie and her staff kept us on schedule the whole time but i never felt rushed through anything. She was in contact with my vendors and made sure they all knew the timeline and what was my vision was.
I've seen comments on here before of people saying not to waste your money on draping but they are wrong! If you have the money spend it. The drapes are worth it. The fog screen is a big recommendation too. It only cost $100 and our guests said it was the coolest thing they had ever seen.

The only complaint i have is that when we did the tour with Jason when trying to decide on a venue, he did not mention that they double book weddings each weekend. So it came as a big suprise when i learned that there was another wedding an hour before mine in the same space (thier reception was outside though). Also, because the draping had to be put up the night before, they asked if the other bride would split the cost of drapes with me. Of course she said she didnt have the money, Since we wanted them, we paid the full fee and she pretty much got to use our drapes for free.
With that said, Natalie did not lie when she said i would never even know there was another wedding there. She was right....if no one told me, I never would have known. I have to say that is very impressive.

All in all it was my perfect wedding. The staff is wonderful, professional, and kind. I would recommed this venue to anyone.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
4.6/5.0
Overall, we had a wonderful event. In reflecting back, the only detail I would liked to have known more about would be if the event were to start late how would that affect the timeline of events. Since we started 15-30mins late, I would have thought the 3hr open bar would start when the guests arrive for the cocktail hour. I understand we would pay for the bartender service since he was there for the full time, but the open bar hour was technically only 21/2 hrs since the guests didn't start getting drinks until 30mins after planned. It really wasn't a big deal, and I would highly recommend this venue. They set-up the space exactly as I envisioned it, and the food was AMAZING! We have had many guests tell us that this was the best wedding they have attended. If you are a fan of the beach and/or scuba diving, but don't want a beach wedding then this space is for you! So fun!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lauren
Wedding:
6/2/2013
4.6/5.0
My husband and I got married at the aquarium on a Sunday. It was truly the best time of our lives. The Staff was amazing from providing excellent service and food the entire night!

We were surprised with mermaids and penguins after our ceremony from my father. My husband and I were truly surprised as well as our guests. We received continuous feedback from our guests saying how it was the best wedding they have ever been too!

Could not have asked for better staff and venue to have my wedding at. Best day of our lives. :)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Donna
Wedding:
2/23/2013
4.6/5.0
The Florida Aquarium was the perfect venue for my daughter's wedding. Not only was the venue beautiful, our guests commented that it was the best wedding they ever attended. Our planner, Natalie, went the extra mile to assure that everything went smoothly for the special day. She is always sweet and caring, a real joy to work with. In the midst of major wedding stress, she was always reassuring and calm. Our wedding was a bit over the top with details, but Natalie handled everything for us and did it with ease. You can tell that she is very comfortable in her position, and has alot of experience dealing with many, many weddings. You know you are in good hands when she is your planner. Because the Aquarium is one-stop shopping (rehearsal, ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception), it makes it easy and minimizes planning time. You can't go wrong with a Florida Aquarium wedding. It will definitely be one to remember!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Juliana
Wedding:
4/8/2011
4.6/5.0
Great Venue!! Great Pictures! Organization was good, but they take some time to respond.
Food was excellent, however I felt that they don't calculate portion/people to good. If you do your wedding here, but extra 20 guest to make sure there will be plenty of food.

Overall, excellent venue! I definitely recommend!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jessica
Wedding:
3/28/2009
4.6/5.0
We knew we wanted something different for our wedding. Compared to other marine centers around Florida and Georgia, The Florida Aquarium was by far the best for the money! Our wedding was beautiful with the ceremony in the coral reef exhibit and the reception was perfect on a mild Florida night outside in the pavillion. The whole place is so gorgeous we spent next to nothing on decor...which is a big savings. The event planners were easy to communicate with, catering was a bit harder to get ahold of. However, day of, everything was perfect. They know what they are doing. My guests had a blast and we had nothing to worry about. The penguin cart was the biggest attraction. :-) Thanks for a perfect wedding!!!!!!!
Services Used: Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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Kristin
Wedding:
4/6/2008
4.6/5.0
The staff went above and beyond to help me. I could always count on my event planner to be there when I needed her. She was very quick to respond to questions and concerns. And she was a huge help the day of the wedding. I didn't worry about anything with her there.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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Jessica
Wedding:
9/24/2011
4.5/5.0
The Aquarium was a great place to have both my ceremony and reception. The catering and wait staff was wonderful the day of making us feel like royalty. The food was excellent. You have to use their caterer but I was alright with that cause that was less work for me to actually have to go out and find someone else. Plus, they have a wide variety of options for the food and you are able to switch out anything you might not like. The only downside was the rush at the end of the night to clean up everything. I know some stuff did get left behind that I wanted to keep, so I would recommend letting them and anyone helping you about exactly what you want and don't want. It was a little hard to get a hold of anyone both by phone or email, but they are very busy. The price is not as much as you would think it would be, and actually a lot less expensive than other places that aren't as beautiful and have less options as far as catering. All in all I had a very beautiful wedding and everyone had a great time!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
4/6/2013
4.4/5.0
Getting married at the Florida Aquarium was an amazing experience. Overall I was very pleased with how everything went. It is very nice to work with people who really love their jobs and genuinely care how your day turns out. My one complaint is that we did have stuff stolen from our dressing room and never once even received an apology after it was brought to their attention. They are a very very busy venue so sometimes you do have to contact them several times to get a response.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kristin
Wedding:
8/5/2012
4.4/5.0
The aquarium was a wonderful venue, our coordinator was fantastic and we couldn't have asked for anything more on our special day.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Lampiedampie
Wedding:
2/24/2008
4.4/5.0
Every single person went above and beyond.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Msilva18
Wedding:
6/13/2010
4.3/5.0
Beautiful venue! My only problem was having to chase the coordinator around for prices etc.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Maria
Wedding:
10/19/2012
4.1/5.0
Let me say, I love having my wedding at the Florida Aquarium! I cannot wait to see the pictures of how things looked with the tank full of fishes and creatures. Many guests fell in love with it. Only what disappointed me was that the miscommunication between me and the coordinators that we thought we would decorate some stuff such as backdrop and pop pop on the walls as in DO IT YOURSELF projects but we could not do anything to cover the posters and ADs on the wall. It was not my ideal for my wedding. Secondly, on my big day, I understand the coordinators were trying to help but what they didnt realize that all those are MY PROJECTS that I worked on all years, and I had discussed with my family/friends what they were supposed to decorate my projects and where to set them. However the coordinators took out all my projects without asking me if it was okay to touch them or to move them around. When they asked me where the cards were, or where was it, or that. I was like "well you moved it around and I dont know!" I was supposed to relax since it was my big day, but my family/friends took care of it and had to deal with the confusions they made. At the end, I was still the happiest bride ever to have everyone being there, and made my day really special. Wish we stayed 2 hours longer. The tank of fishes and creatures made it all beautiful. Just dont take me wrong that this place is bad. It was the miscommunication and confusions. Unless you order through vendors for flowers, cake, decors... then you had nothing to worry about it, but I made all my projects to save money, and it cracked my nerves worrying if the setting and decorations did not go well, but it did. :)
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
4.0/5.0
I had some issues with my wedding. But nothing to major. Make sure you get Ashley! She is amazing.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Mary
Wedding:
11/10/2007
4.0/5.0
The Florida Aquarium was a beautiful and unique setting for our wedding. They have a large panoramic tank where our ceremony and first dance were performed. Our guests were allowed to walk around the aquarium during the cocktail hour. The only problem I had was that we had to use their caterers, which I found a little pricey. But overall it was a spectacular wedding, one that my friends still compliment us on.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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MariaSmith
Wedding:
9/6/2008
3.9/5.0
Beautiful venue, great food. Just keep on top of them re: responding to email, consistency of details (cost, venue date and location, etc) and we had some mix ups that they overlooked which created some inconveniences.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Planning, Rentals & Photobooths
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Robin
Wedding:
11/14/2009
3.6/5.0
The site is a beautiful place to have a wedding and reception. I will start off by saying that Ashley Valentine with the Florida Aquarium is wonderful and helped coodinate the wedding and reception. She is extremely responsive and professional. She made recommendations when we had centerpiece drama and helped to assure me that our day would go great! She worked with us on several different areas and helped out tremendously the day of the wedding!

Now the downfalls...the catering services are limited to the Aquariums contractor of which I will not disclose their name. I hounded for OVER A MONTH the catering manager to get a contract. When I finally did get a contract the wedding was less than 30 days away and it was completely wrong! I think we finally got a signed contract 2 weeks before the wedding. In addition, they wanted all of the money up front...yeh right. The floor plan that was sent to me was horrible and she didn't get back with me until Thursday night before the wedding with a revised floorplan and contract which again was wrong! How can you do placecards when you are waiting on the catering staff to give you table info? To top it all off, the sides that were with the main course were wrong. They flip flopped the sides, so the menus on the table were incorrect. WOW did I look like an idoit! When making the menus, I took the menu directly from the contract. When we mentioned it to the caterer during the reception, she insisted I was wrong, went back and pulled the contract, realized I was right, brought it out to show me I was right (in front of all of the guests during the sit down dinner), and then had the chef come out and apologize to us for the mistake. Isn't that her job to make sure it is done correctly??? We insisted that we not pay the final amount due until after the reception was over since we had so many problems prior to the wedding with her.

The Florida Aquarium Staff was excellent, the catering staff was excellent, but the catering manager was horrible! All in all, the food was good, even with the screw up, and the wedding and reception were beautiful!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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mnswedding09
Wedding:
9/5/2009
3.3/5.0
Beautiful Venue, if you can stick to their schedule and be flexible even if they are not.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Christina
Wedding:
4/19/2008
3.0/5.0
The only issue we had was a few surprise charges and issues with what we wanted. Also planning the menu seemed minor to them and was not finalized until the last mintue... 1 week before the wedding. Overall a beuatiful and memorable wedding though. I won't change it for anything.
Services Used: Catering, Flowers, Wedding Venue
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Rebecca
Wedding:
2/15/2009
2.5/5.0
If you want a beautiful and unique location and aren't too worried about everything going perfectly, then the aquarium is amazing. If you want every detail to go off without a hitch, go somewhere else.

I should have known there would be problems from the start when my event coordinator left the job and her replacement didn't contact me at all. I had to hunt her down. When I was able to work with them, they were incredibly friendly and accomodating, but once the contract was signed, we felt like we weren't important. My guests were left outside until literally 10 minutes before the ceremony started, the lighting in the reception area was much brighter than requested, there were lights on in the main ceremony location that reflected on the glass. The biggest problem was about 45 minutes before the end of the wedding we were told we had to be out at 10, or pay extra. We were told initially that we had 30 minutes after the event ended, but we missed where that wasn't included in the contract. So my parents and family had to tear down the wedding while I was throwing the bouquet and cutting the cake. I was not impressed with that treatment.

The other disappointment was the catering. We were locked into using the aquarium provided caterer for the safety of the animals. I get that, but what I didn't like was how incredibly unhelpful they were. My mother had to take over and grill them on every detail. Even then they didn't provide what was promised. They wouldn't let any kid who looked older than 8 near the children's buffet and they took down the buffet without asking us if we wanted any to take home - we had specified before hand that since we had paid for it, we wanted that courtesy.

My advice, get a wedding planner who is independent and likes to review contracts and get it in writing.
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Venue
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simone
Wedding:
8/8/2008
2.4/5.0
I want to start with saying; overall the wedding was beautiful.

The problem I had was a lack of communication with the vendor. They promised me one thing and then changed it with out my knowledge. I was to be in one room to get ready for the wedding ( I wanted to take pictures of the process, original room would have been great) I was changed last minute to a classroom! It was terrible !!! tables, chairs, posters... all the schoolhouse things not needed for a wedding.

The catering staff did not at all carry out want we had agreed to as far as the open bar. When you are in the middle of the wedding you are at the catering staffs' mercy. I spoke with them about it and nothing was done to correct the problem. On one cake there was a rotten strawberry.

If you do go with the aquarium make sure every thing is communicated in writing!
Services Used: Catering, Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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Rachel
Wedding:
4/7/2007
2.3/5.0
This was a picture perfect venue which our guests loved!!! However... we were denied access to areas we were told we would be allowed to use for photos because another event had been booked for that evening. My husband and his groomsmen had to seek out the wedding coordinator because nothing had been set up 10-15 minutes prior to our start time. The aisle was not set up as planned and was off center because of fast set-up.That then hampered the rest of the timing preventing photos with the photographer, and the reception intros, it was all VERY rushed. When it was time to cut the cake, neither the caterer or the aquarium event staff thought it was their job to assist/cut the cake, and yes someone was paid to do so. Other than that I thought the event went well... there was even a playground for kids to use while the adults danced and partied.
Services Used: Wedding Planning, Rentals & Photobooths, Wedding Venue

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701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602 See On Map
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