Weddings and Receptions
Say "I do" at the Zoo!

Weddings & Receptions

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Create the wedding of your dreams at the Indianapolis Zoo!

Experience breathtaking views, gorgeous gardens 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, you can incorporate an animal encounter and staging your event at the Indianapolis Zoo helps support our animal conservation mission.

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

Ascension St. Vincent Dolphin Gallery

Celebrate with the dolphins! After Zoo hours, your group receives private access to the entire first floor including the world’s only underwater dolphin viewing dome. Seats up to 250 guests.

Bicentennial Pavilion

This open-air facility features beautiful natural elements that are the perfect accent to any event.

Efroymson Wedding Garden

Ceremony location within 3.3 acres of the outdoor White River Gardens.

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 120 guests.

Green Wedding

Imagine an Environmentally Friendly 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.

Wedding and Reception Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are we allowed to bring in our own caterer?

    The Indianapolis Zoo works exclusively with Sodexo Live! for all its catering services. Contact the Sodexo Sales Manager at 317-275-5606 for all food, beverage and room set-up questions.

    Cakes, however, are allowed from the professional bakery of your choice.

  • Are we allowed to have alcohol at our event?

    Alcohol is permitted but managed entirely through Sodexo Live!.

  • What time can our event begin?

    Evening rentals begin after operating hours, which vary depending on the facility you choose and the time of year, and are available until midnight. A day ceremony is available from 9am to 1pm and a day ceremony/reception package is available from 9am to 3pm.

  • 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 $200 setup fee).

  • What all does the setup fee include?

    The $200 setup fee payable to Sodexo Live! 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 dinnerware for your dinner tables (china and glass) and a round tile mirror and three votive candles per table.

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

    Parking is free for all wedding-related events.

  • 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.

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

    Admission is only required for daytime events (9am-3pm). For all other wedding-related events, admission is not required.

  • Why is admission required for daytime events?

    These events are located within Zoo grounds, so guests pay admission to get to those locations. As admission is required, guests are then free to enjoy the Zoo grounds during regular hours.

  • Are discounted admission tickets available?

    Discounted admission tickets are available for groups of 10 or more.

  • How early can we arrive to begin pictures, access the dressing rooms and/or setup?

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

  • What time will Sodexo Live! staff arrive to begin setup?

    Sodexo Live! staff will begin setup two hours prior to your event.

  • Are we allowed to take pictures on Zoo grounds?

    The bridal couple 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 representative aware as he/she will provide your photographer with admission tickets to cover the bridal couple and bridal party. We simply ask that you do not block pathways or exhibits and that you are considerate of other Zoo guests.

  • 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 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 representative two weeks prior to your event.

  • 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.

  • 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 catering minimum.

  • Are there sound restrictions?

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

  • Are there decor restrictions?

    The Zoo allows types of decor to celebrate your special day. We do ask that you do not use birdseed, rice, glitter, confetti, balloons, sparklers, sky lanterns or poppers, 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.

  • 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 Sales Coordinator at 317-630-2051 or fill out the form below.

Special thanks to these photographers for use of their beautiful images:

Meghan Harrison Photography, Jamie Vester Photography, Morgan Matters Photography, Emily Taddeo, Erin Hession Photography, Jenna Davis Photography, Anne Buskirk Photography, Ian Borgerhoff Photography, Brittany Erwin Photography, Lemongrass Photography, Blissful Kiss Photography, Photos by Mare, Cybil and Brandon Studios