Weddings & Receptions

​​Congratulations on Your Engagement! 

Create the wedding of your dreams at the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens! Experience gorgeous gardens, breathtaking views, and a choice of memorable venues as the backdrop for your wedding related events — including wedding ceremonies, receptions and rehearsal dinners. There's an added bonus — staging your event at the Indianapolis Zoo helps support our animal conservation mission.

The Indianapolis Zoo is honored to receive the 2016 WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award.


 

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Photo credits: Gia Canali, Kishel Photography, Kortni Marie Photography, Erin Hession, Christie Hampton, Vow and Forever Photography, Jenna Davis, Astra Creative, Amanda Fales, inbloom photography, Bello RomancePhotography, Mike Stutler, Square Mouth Studios, Larry Gindhart, DeFabis Photography, Brightside Photography, Morgan Matters and Innovatory Photography.

Wedding Locations

Each Zoo location offers unique atmospheres that can be tailored to your wedding vision.

  • Efroymson Wedding Garden: Ceremony location within 3.3 acres of the outdoor White River Gardens. Available April through mid-October.

  • Hulman Riverhouse: Showcases one of the best views of the downtown skyline with a wall of windows. Located within White River Gardens. Seats up to 160 guests.

  • Dolphin Gallery: Celebrate with the dolphins! After Zoo hours, your group receives private access to the world's only underwater dolphin viewing dome. Seats up to 250 guests.

  • Party Pavilion: Spacious open-air outdoor tent located toward the front of the Zoo. Available May through the first weekend in October. Seats up to 350 guests.

Green Wedding

Weddings at the Zoo allow you to host an environmentally friendly event that utilizes green practices and supports broader conservation efforts in an elegant atmosphere with memorable photo opportunities. Learn more about the Zoo's ongoing conservation efforts.

Catering

Centerplate is the Zoo's exclusive caterer. Please contact the Centerplate Sales Manager at 317-488-5555 for all food, beverage and room set-up questions.

Audiovisual

Markey's Rental & Staging is our recommended comprehensive audiovisual provider. Familiar with the Zoo, they offer a full line of audio, video, lighting, and technical support for indoor and outdoor events. Please contact your Zoo representative for additional details.

Questions and Comments

Have a question? You're not alone! That's why we've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Plus, read what other happy couples are saying about the Zoo and Gardens on Wedding Wire, where we're a top-rated venue!

Zoo Contacts

Thinking about hosting your big day at the Zoo and Gardens? For package options, facility pricing and catering minimums or to book a site tour, contact the Zoo's Wedding Manager at weddings@indyzoo.com or 317-630-2008.

Hosting your wedding and/or reception at the Indianapolis Zoo helps support our animal conservation mission!

Wedding and Reception Frequently Asked Questions​

1. Are we allowed to bring in our own caterer?

The Indianapolis Zoo works exclusively with Centerplate for all its catering services (food, beverage and room setup). Cakes, however, are allowed from the bakery of your choice.

2. Are we allowed to have alcohol at our event?

Alcohol is permitted but managed entirely through Centerplate.

3. What time can our event begin?

Daytime rentals are available from 10am to 1pm. Evening rentals begin after operating hours, which vary depending on the facility you choose and the time of year, and are available until midnight.

4. Do you require a minimum amount of guests?

The only requirements are the facility rental plus tax and the catering minimum plus basic fees (9 percent sales tax, 22 percent service fee and $150 setup fee).

5. What all does the $150 setup fee include?

The $150 set up fee payable to Centerplate includes all tables and chairs (tables and chairs for dinner, ceremony chairs, guest book table, gift table, a/v table, unity table, cake table, DJ table, escort card table, buffet tables), the setup and tear down of all tables and chairs, all standard linens and napkins (black, white or ivory), all silverware and plateware for your dinner tables (china and glass) and a round glass mirror and three votive candles per table.

6. Do we and/or our guests have to pay to park?

Parking is free for all wedding-related events.

7. Can we reserve/block off parking?

Guests are welcome to park anywhere in the Zoo parking lot. However parking is only offered on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be blocked off or reserved.

8. Do we and/or our guests have to pay admission?

Admission is only required for daytime events (10am to 1pm) in the Party Pavilion and Dolphin Gallery. For all other wedding-related events, admission is not required.

9. Why is admission required for daytime events in the Dolphin Gallery and Party Pavilion?

The Dolphin Gallery and Party Pavilion are located on Zoo grounds, so guests must pay admission to get to those locations. However, guests are then free to enjoy the Zoo grounds during regular hours.

10. Are discounted admission tickets available?

Discounted admission tickets are available for groups of 25 or more.

11. How early can we arrive to begin pictures, access the dressing rooms and/or set up?

You may arrive as early as two hours prior to begin setup, access the dressing rooms and/or begin pictures.

12. What time will Centerplate staff arrive to begin setup?

Centerplate staff will begin setup two hours prior to your event.

13. Are we allowed to take pictures on Zoo grounds?

The bride, groom and bridal party are welcome to use the Zoo grounds during operating hours on the day of the event to take pictures. Please make your sales manager aware as he/she will provide your photographer with admission tickets to cover the bride, groom and bridal party. We simply ask that you do not block pathways or exhibits and that you are considerate of other Zoo guests.

14. Who gets to access the dressing rooms and how long are we able to access them?

Dressing rooms are guaranteed for an evening wedding and reception package at no extra cost. We offer two classroom-style rooms with tables, chairs, tall standing mirrors and coat racks. You may access the rooms beginning two hours prior to your event. Your personal items need to be removed prior to the ceremony as the dressing rooms are not accessible after the ceremony. However, as those rooms are often in use during regular hours for Zoo-related events, dressing rooms are not guaranteed for daytime weddings. If they are not in use by the Zoo, rooms will be made available at no extra cost and notification of room availability will be provided 30 days to two weeks prior. Dressing rooms are not offered for evening-only receptions. If you would like to access the dressing rooms earlier than two hours prior, please ask your sales manager 30 days to two weeks prior to your event.

15. Can we host our rehearsal at your location?

A rehearsal will be held the day prior for an hour during operating hours. It will be scheduled 30 days prior to your event.

16. Do you charge for the rehearsal?

The rehearsal is included in your wedding package and there is no additional fee for a facility rental, admission, parking or a catering minimum.

17. Are there sound restrictions?

Most facilities do not have sound restrictions. However, the Oceans Building and the Dolphin Gallery do have some limitations. Amplified sound is not permitted in the Oceans Building. In the Dolphin Gallery, there is a sound limit of 90 decibels (very loud!) and amplified sound is not permitted in the underwater viewing dome.

18. Are there décor restrictions?

The Zoo allows types of décor to celebrate your special day. We do ask that you not use birdseed, rice, glitter, confetti, balloons or sparklers, as these items can be harmful to our animals. Specifically for the Efroymson Wedding Garden, we do allow temporary decorations but we ask that items not be staked into the ground.

19. Can I get additional information about hosting my wedding/reception at the Zoo and Gardens?

For more information or to book a site tour, contact the Zoo's Wedding Manager at weddings@indyzoo.com or 317-630-2008.

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