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We recently had our wedding ceremony and reception at The Maryland Zoo, and it was a perfect venue! Jane and Jackie were helpful and responsive, making the planning process as easy as possible. The venue itself is beautiful. First, we got great pictures in a variety of settings around the zoo, which I can't wait to see. We then had an indoor ceremony on the Mansion House Porch, though the windows still made the ceremony feel summery and light. Our cocktail hour and reception were also on the Porch. I wasn't sure how the transition between events would go, but it was seamless. During cocktail hour, we had 2 penguin ambassadors, which was a huge hit among guests! I really appreciated that Jackie coordinated the penguins' arrival with a few minutes my husband and I had planned to have outside by ourselves after the ceremony. That allowed us to have some time with the penguins, taking pictures and talking to the handlers, so that when we went in to the cocktail hour both we - and perhaps more importantly, the penguins - were free to interact with guests.
Overall, we were really pleased with how well everything went on the part of the venue - thanks in no small part to Jane, Jackie, and Jenn - and what a beautiful, functional backdrop it provided for our wedding. We also felt that it was a great value!
After searching through what felt like a million venue reviews, we found the Maryland Zoo. My husband and I joked at first when I clicked on the link, him laughing at me because I loved the zoo and very skeptical that we would ever get married there. But as soon as we saw the pictures of the lovely mansion house, we started to seriously reconsider! We met with Jane at the zoo and immediately fell in love with the venue. After seeing at least five other spaces, we knew that we would have to do little decorating to make the beautiful space exactly what we wanted for our special day. Jane was very helpful in working for us and we walked out feeling like we had finally found the place to get married. They had a comprehensive list of vendors they liked to work with and we found soo many other vendors that we also fell in love with. When Jen took over our event, we war equally pleased with how responsive to our questions the zoo was. AND we had a penguin, who can beat that! My brother in law even sent a copy of If I Ran the Zoo and staff members at the zoo signed the pages to make it the most memorable gift we have received. We highly recommend the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore if you want a truly unique and romantic setting for your wedding!
If you want to have a simple, low key ceremony plan for the elopement package at the Maryland zoo! My now husband and I did not want the traditional church wedding. We really would have rather eloped but our families would not have appreciated that!! The elopement package is the best of both worlds!! You are there for an hour, you can add a photographer and PENGUIN to the package as well!!! Winnie the penguin made the experience so amazing and we have some of the most fun and unique photos with her in them!!!! Jane is so awesome to work with and she responded to ALL of my MANY emails promptly. I couldn't be happier with our zoo wedding experience and it will be a day I will never forget!
The Zoo is a wonderful and beautiful place to have a wedding ceremony and reception.
The staff members are extremely responsive, organized, experienced and kind. They will make sure you have thought of everything as they help you set up your event. I would give them over a 5 star rating if I could.
A lot of people were shocked when I said I was getting married at the Zoo, people don't realize what the site really looks like. The Lakeside Pavillon and Mansion House are behind the Zoo, closer to Druid Hill Lake. This makes it peaceful, quiet, serene and beautiful.
The Mansion House being surrounded by windows really makes you feel like you're outside. The lighting inside is gorgeous and your photos will turn out lovely. The room is a square, so 1 side of the room cannot see the other. This is actually great if you have family that doesn't get along. The dance floor is in the middle though, so have no fear, everyone can see you.
The Lakeside Pavillon is quiet and quant. You may see some random animals around!
The option to have an animal ambassador (or 2 or 3...) is the most fun. Guests can enjoy taking selfies with the animals and as the couple, you may get to touch! You definitely get private photos and the trainers teach you a little about the animal too. Super cool experience for both you and your guests.
The best part for me was taking a golf cart tour around the back of the Zoo that loops around to the front carousel. This allows for some awesome fun photos!
You will not be disappointed with a wedding at the Zoo!
What a beautiful place to celebrate a wedding! My husband and I wanted a venue that offered both historic charm and natural Springtime beauty. The Mansion House is the perfect marriage of both. Jane was a pleasure to work with- very professional, responsive, warm, and helpful. She was respectful of our budget and guided us to several of our other vendors (whom we loved!). We wanted to layout the space differently and were accommodated per our very specific request. We arrived at the zoo during a rainy downpour. The attendants remained outside (while getting soaked) and were quick to help us into the building. The penguin, Hope, was adorable and loved by all our guests. Her keeper was also fantastic and surprisingly helpful in assisting in our photos with her. The Mansion House is a great place for anyone who wants an outdoor venue but is afraid the weather will not cooperate. It has private parking, lots of space, great photo ops, and a wonderful staff. The best part is knowing your money helps a very worthy cause. We would highly recommend!!
When you say the zoo you do not think of the perfect place to get married, but that is exactly what the mansion house was for my wife and I. Everything was exceptional from the mansion house itself, to the staff that supported us. They couldn't have been more friendly or flexible, making sure that our special day was truly perfect. Thank you so much for everything!
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Mansion House was a beautiful historic and unique venue for our wedding. Their staff was professional and willing to work with us to replan our wedding in only a month due to our previous venue being auctioned. Jane was able to help us find vendors and complete everything we needed to in such an abbreviated amount of time. Jackie was so much fun driving us around in the golf cart for pictures and at the reception! Winnie the Penguin was present at our cocktail hour and stole the show! All of the guests loved her, plus my husband and I were able to pet her! We had a truly magical night and the perfect wedding! I would definitely recommend The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore Mansion House for an amazing and once in a life time event!
Our wedding was beautiful and full of charm. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. We could not have asked for more.
The Maryland Zoo is a fantastic place to get married! When I was first getting started – I found it very frustrating when venues would give me the run around regarding prices/availability/etc – Not here. Jane always responded quickly – and from the first email I was impressed with her professionalism.
Due to the month – my wedding ceremony and reception were both held in the Mansion House. The transition from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception went very smoothly. The DOC that was provided by the Zoo was also very nice to work with (Thanks Jackie!) The house is absolutely beautiful – and gave all my pictures a lot of grandeur
My husband (!) and I went on a golf cart tour of some picture sites around the Zoo prior to the ceremony and got some amazing photos at the 1st cage, lions and an old tree – which was a ton of fun!
And the icing on the cake? My cocktail hour was visited by Winnie the penguin and a giant Flemish rabbit! My guests and family had a fantastic time with the animals.
Elizabeth and John are a delightful couple and we were thrilled to be part of their special day!
The Mansion House at the Maryland Zoo is a spectacular venue in the heart of Baltimore City. Our guests were amazed by its beauty and elegance. In the daytime, sunlight floods through the windows, and at night, the (electric) candles on your tables are reflected in 1000 panes of glass. It's stunning. The price is reasonable, the staff is friendly, and they provide a handy list of recommended caterers, photographers, etc. P.S. The penguin was also a big hit!
The staff walks you through ever step, is there when you call, and simply helps make your big day the best day ever!
Very affordable and truly offers you a blank slate to work with. You can turn your event into whatever you want it to be.
We just had our wedding at the Maryland Zoo and it was amazing! It truly was exactly what we were hoping for when looking for a unique wedding in Baltimore. Jane and Jackie were extremely helpful and attentive throughout the planning process. They took us through all of the details, gave us complimentary tickets for an engagement shoot and coordinated all of the vendors the day of. There was nothing for us to worry about! The venue itself is beautiful. We got married at the Lakeside Pavilion and experienced perfect fall weather. We then had our reception in the Mansion House. It's a beautiful historic building with such character. The glass windows framing the porch allowed our guests to look out at the scenery in Druid Hill Park. It didn't even feel like a zoo, but a classy, sophisticated wedding with personality. At first, I was concerned that reception would take place on the porch which surrounds the offices on the first floor of the building making it not a perfect square, however there were no issues whatsoever! The flow worked out perfectly because we had different areas for each event, cocktail hour, dancing, dinner etc. They also just remodeled the bathrooms which look great. The best part of the night was the ability to have animal ambassadors at the cocktail hour! We had Winnie the Penguin, a Flemish Giant Rabbit and the Eastern Screech Owl. It was a great treat for our guests and made for fabulous pictures! Overall, it's also a great venue for wedding photography. We did all of our photos before the ceremony so we could spend as much time as possible at our reception with our guests. We had a private couples shoot with the penguin and owl. We were also carted throughout the older part of the zoo in their golf carts to take photos with some really historic exhibits that had been at the zoo since the 1800s. All in all it was an amazing experience, the best day of my life and I couldn't have picked a better venue.
This couple really enjoyed their experience with us and we really enjoyed working with them towards a wonderful wedding day! Thanks Giovanna for choosing The Maryland Zoo as your wedding venue!!!
This was a fantastic wedding venue. The location is beautiful -- both the indoor and outdoor settings -- and the staff are competent, friendly, and refreshingly sane. The planning was painless from our perspective, and our guests had an awesome time!
A few tips:
1) The Mansion House is a historic building, so they're a little particular about what you can do there: no lit candles, no confetti, and they have a lot of hoops to jump through if you want to use a caterer that they don't usually work with. However, they are very upfront about all of this -- no hidden clauses. They also have something like 11 approved caterers they work with all the time, across a range of prices, so we absolutely had no trouble finding one that we liked. (We didn't want to look at more than 11 different caterers anyway!)
2) The animal ambassadors were a huge hit. Definitely worth it!
The Zoo was the absolute best place to have our wedding reception! Most of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted to give them a true "Baltimore" experience at a place that was easily found. The Zoo was the most affordable place we looked at, easy to get to, and set in a gorgeous historic house with a unique layout. It is not your cookie-cutter wedding venue! Additionally, we had Tails the penguin at our cocktail hour -- within a week, everyone's profile pictures on facebook were of them and Tails (and even some holiday cards we recently received)! Tails' handler was great to work with as well - he knew the best poses for couples, and gently explained to us how to handle the bird without upsetting it, in addition to making our photo session fun! He also knew so many facts about penguins that we learned while taking our photos. My bridal party had fantastic photos and we were able to do so many different poses at the steps to the house, and the pictures that my husband and I got to take with our photographer around the Zoo's property (the lion cages, lion statues, hundred-year-old tree) are amazing and unique!
The staff at the Zoo were wonderful to work with, knowledgeable, and offer so much advice and information on how to best lay out and plan your day. I could not have asked for more!
I had my wedding reception here and everything was PERFECT! Jane was absolutely wonderful to work with! She was respectful, very kind, and extremely helpful in everything. The Baltimore Zoo Mansion House was a perfect venue as well! The inside of the Mansion House is gorgeous, with tons of windows overlooking the beautiful nature. We had our reception at 5pm, so we were able to watch the sun set, which was just phenomenal. The price is affordable for the size of the venue, and I felt good knowing it went to helping maintain and fund the Baltimore Zoo.
Two extras you won't find at any other venue are that firstly, you can have an animal ambassador! We had an African Penguin come and everyone had a great time taking pictures with her. Secondly, we got to go around the closed off (older and original) part of the zoo with our photographer to take pictures. Though we opted out of it, we could have taken pictures inside the first cage (a lion cage, I think?).
All in all, the venue was beautiful, everyone had an amazing time, and the staff was absolutely wonderful to work with!