A truly one-of-a-kind wedding venue, the National Aquarium in Baltimore gives couples the chance to wow their guests with a magical backdrop of both the Inner Harbor and the aquarium’s indoor exhibits that are filled with their amazing animals.
“The National Aquarium is not only architecturally unique, but there is magic in the views and the beautiful animals,” said Paula Katz, Director of Tourism and Event Sales at the National Aquarium. “The site is unique, marvelously situated in the Inner Harbor and beautiful.”
Katz said couples often inquire to the aquarium for their event because the spot has been a favorite for a first date or the perfect spot for a proposal and that often brings the venue to mind when a couple is searching for a wedding venue. The aquarium has been serving as a venue for several years, but Katz said they have most certainly seen an increase in the number of weddings and rehearsal dinners they have held in the past couple of years.
It’s all about the setting …
One of the benefits of hosting a wedding or ceremony at the National Aquarium is that it’s one of the few around that has several different room options to choose from.
- Pier 3 Pavilion: The Pier 3 Pavilion (main aquarium) can hold up to 120 guests for a reception and is a place where guests can enjoy touring the exhibits during the evening, as well as a spectacular site for dinner and dancing and taking in the views of the Inner Harbor.
- Pier 4 Pavilion: The Pier 4 Marine Mammal Pavilion can nicely accommodate up to 240 for dinner and dancing. If this building is rented, the guests may tour the Main Aquarium exhibits with the public for an hour prior to the private event.
- Knott Harbor View Room: The Knott Harbor View Room, located on the fourth floor of the main aquarium building, works well for small weddings or events and can accommodate up to 60 guests.
- Underwater Viewing Area: The Underwater Viewing Area, which offers a view of the Aquarium’s dolphins, is a wonderful space for a small dinner. However, because the space is so close to the dolphins, dance music is not permitted in this area.
- Harborside Outdoor Tent: The Harborside Tent can accommodate approximately 175 guests in the tent that the venue can lease, however, additional tenting can be added at cost by the client to accommodate 250-300 guests, if desired.
It’s all about the cost …
Prices and packages vary at the National Aquarium based on the couple’s needs, but Katz said that the Wedding Package is a viable option for up to 150 guests, and was also developed to give a bride some idea of the costs involved in a wedding at the National Aquarium. The Wedding Package offers an evening from start to finish and includes the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner & dancing. Additional fees for the rental of a room at the National Aquarium and other items needed may also apply.
Currently, Classic Catering People is the exclusive caterer to the National Aquarium and they can cook up a variety of yummy stationary displays, appetizers, entrees and desserts to please your guests. Classic Catering People also has alcohol packages available.
The National Aquarium requires that 50% of the base rental is due upon signing the rental contract, with the balance due five business days prior to the event.
A truly unique venue, Katz recommends brides contact her to set up a consultation so they know exactly what they are getting into.
“Make sure the venue will fit the ‘dream’ and the budget,” Katz said.
The details …
Company: National Aquarium
Type of wedding vendor: Reception and Ceremony venue
Reviews: Wedding Wire
Contact: 410-576-3869 or e-mail Paula Katz at [email protected] to set up a consultation
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