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Great for the price, perfect location on the Waikiki Strip.
We just had our wedding at the aquarium last weekend - hurricane and all. We loved the idea of having our wedding at the aquarium because it was close to Waikiki (for our out of town guests), it made for a perfect family venue (we have a lot of kids between our friends' kids and our own nieces and nephews), and it's just such a charming place! It was just the place we were looking for - laid back but elegant at the same time. The lawn is surprisingly big and is like a blank canvas for you to design your own event. Our original plans did not involve a tent because we liked the idea of an open air wedding with cafe lights but because of the impending hurricane, we ended up getting one 2 days before our wedding.
The day of our wedding was quite hectic as the rain did not let up, so we had to change the whole layout to fit everything under the tent. Jacy, the event contact at the aquarium, was so great to work with! She's thorough and totally on top of her duties! Often times, she would be the first one to call me to update me on things and really took the lead the last few days when we realized the hurricane wasn't going away. I don't know what I would've done without her.
Our wedding turned out to be even better than we had imagined. The rain did not kill our vibe! It actually created a more intimate and romantic setting... I will never forget the feeling of saying our vows with the sound of the rain in the background. =)
One piece of advice for those considering this venue - make sure your vendors have done events here! There isn't much time for set-up as they aren't allowed into the aquarium until after closing time which is 5pm.
We held our wedding reception (not our ceremony) at the Waikiki Aquarium on August 9, 2014. This was the day after a major hurricane was supposed to hit Honolulu. We had had a week of not knowing whether the reception could be held, especially since it was outside and with a tent! Jacey, our contact person with the Aquarium, was very helpful with this uncertainly as well as throughout the whole process. She assured me that, if there was any way they could hold the event, they would. Fortunately, the brunt of the hurricane missed us and they were able to proceed, tent and all.
The venue itself is almost magical. Our guests could enjoy the indoor exhibits and have a visit to the aquarium while we were finishing our photos at Unity Church, just up the street. They exited to a beautiful green lawn with tall palm trees next to the beach and right at the base of Diamond Head. Jacey had arranged for a lovely tent with pretty lighting.
There is a stage for musicians (they hold outdoor concerts there in the summer) and there is space to the side near a gate where the caterers can set up the food equipment needed, since there are no kitchen facilities at the Aquarium.
(I would say that, given the time challenges of needing to set up in the short time after the Aquarium closes before the reception started and there being no facilities there, it is very important to choose a caterer that has been there many times and knows the drill. We used the Catering Connection and could not have been happier.)
I think that the Aquarium is a bargain. The fee is reasonable and less than some other venues that are not as nice, and it feels good to know that the money went to help the Aquarium -- a win/win!
We had many compliments from our guests who loved the venue. We were thrilled with it. We even got to see the full moon break through the clouds and rise over Diamond Head! A perfect, lovely evening -- simply elegant and lovely.
Jaycee, the events coordinator is so pleasant to work with. they were welcoming and accommodating. The venue itself is a fantastic place to have a sunset party. Your guests are allowed to view all the exhibits during your event - great for kids and adults!
One of the most unique, child-friendly, beautiful venues that I have ever seen! It was a no-brainer for my husband and I to select this place as our wedding venue!
Jacy was the events representative for the aquarium: She was very informative and prompt in her services! Not to mention she was very easy to talk to!
Not only was the lawn area itself very beautiful -- especially with the beach right behind it -- but it is also very large, and can host several hundred guests if needed to. It provides an area to decorate pretty much however you want it... we personally brought in a clear tent with round lanterns hanging, and that added a touch of elegance to it!
The great news is that the exhibit is open while your event is going on! Very great feature for young children!
The aquarium pretty much accommodated everything we had wished for! Unfortunately, I had to dock off a couple stars on flexibility because, one, they were pretty strict on timing. They will not allow any vendors to come in and set up till after the aquarium closes to the public, which is after 5:15pm. And, they need you to completely clear the area no later than 10:30pm, otherwise, they will charge a late fee by the minute(s). Besides the timing, you also have to do your own research on vendors and such, as the aquarium is not allowed to recommend anything due to being part of the state.
So, long as you are willing to work with the timing and know the vendors you want to hire, the Waikiki Aquarium is a highly recommendable place for any events venue!!
Jacy was a life saver! Everyone said we had the best wedding ever.
I am a wedding planner and have done quite a few events at the aquarium. The event coordinator at the aquarium, Jaycee is so sweet and very efficient. She is knowledgeable and always guides me in the right direction. This venue is very reasonable for everything that you get. You receive the venue for 5 hours plus chairs, tables, and parking. The only challenge is the set up time for vendors, we basically have an hour set up time since we cannot enter the aquarium until 5pm, but some how we have been successful every time. I recommend Waikiki Aqaurium for it's beautiful outdoor scenery, the amazing exhibits, and great staff. This is the perfect way to get married with the organic elements of the ocean...
Beautiful venue! My guests loved the fish tanks and the kids loved playing in the lawn area. I had a very simple wedding and the Aquarium was perfect for that. My husbands family is all from the mainland, so they enjoyed being near the water and out in the fresh air. They all wore slippers and loved it! The staff was very friendly and helpful. I looked at other venues but some of them had limits on the amount of guests or required me to use their caterer, so the aquarium as good in those two aspects. There was a lot of parking around the park(we got married on a weekday), the weather was great (July) and the gallery exhibits made for great photos!