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Weddings

Pricing information

Reception
$1,500 starting price
Ceremony
$1,500 starting price
Reception
$1,500 starting price
Ceremony
$1,500 starting price

About

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a unique wedding venue located in Sarasota, Florida. You and your guests can experience cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the aquarium, dinner among the sharks, and rehearsal dinners at the Chickee Hut that provides a Southwest Florida-feel. The spectacular animal exhibits and breathtaking views provide a one of a kind setting for your most special occasion, and its waterfront location showcases everything that is special about Sarasota and her islands. Mote is proud to offer our services to ALL loving couples.

Facilities and Capacity

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium offers both indoor and outdoor unique venue options to host an unforgettable ceremony and reception. Their venue spaces include:

  • The New Pass Room - a 4,300 square-foot room featuring a 1,300 square foot balcony that provides spectacular views of Sarasota Bay, New Pass and the Gulf of Mexico, accommodating 150 guests (with a dance floor).
  • The Chickee - an outside covered pavilion with waterfront views for 56 to 100 guests built by members of the Seminole Indian tribe, giving your event an authentic Old Florida feel.
  • Indoor Aquarium Gallery - an intimate and immersive space where your guests will be surrounded by the beauty of the ocean while enjoying a formal dinner for 50 or a cocktail reception for up to 200.
  • Aquarium Courtyard - spacious venue for 50 to 400 guests, includes access to all Mote Aquarium exhibits, such as the 135,000-gallon shark tank and reef fish exhibit.
  • WAVE Center - a large, multi-purpose location complete with full audio-visual capabilities and WiFi, accommodating 150-250 guests.

About Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to excellence in marine, estuarine and environmental research and education. It is one of the few remaining independent marine research facilities in the United States. Founded in 1955 in Placida, Florida, it was originally known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory. The name was changed to Mote Marine Laboratory in 1967 in honor of the family of a major benefactor, William R. Mote.

The Aquarium — open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. — is a major attraction hosting visitors from throughout the United States and abroad, providing guests with a fascinating look at the local marine life and the work of Mote scientists, which now includes more than 20 different research programs.

Pricing & Additional Information

Please visit mote.org/venuerental

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Frequently asked questions

Do you have a site fee for wedding receptions at your venue?

Yes

What is the starting site fee for wedding receptions during peak season?

$1,500

What is the starting site fee for wedding receptions during off-peak season?

$1,500

Do you have a site fee for wedding ceremonies at your venue?

Yes

What is the starting site fee for wedding ceremonies during peak season?

$1,500

What is the starting site fee for wedding ceremonies during off-peak season?

$1,500

Which of the following are included in starting site fee?

Bridal Suite
Parking

What is the minimum number of guests required to book your venue?

1

How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?

5

Describe your venue:

Banquet Hall
Beach
Marina
Park
Waterfront
Zoo

What kind of settings are available?

Indoor
Covered Outdoor
Uncovered Outdoor

Which of the following wedding events does your venue service?

Ceremony
Reception
Bridal Shower
Engagement Party
Elopements
Rehearsal Dinner

What event services do you offer?

Event Rentals
Get Ready Rooms
Outside Vendors
Wifi

What catering services do you offer?

Buffet
Cocktail Reception
Dessert
Hors d'oeuvres
Server(s)
Stations

What bar services do you provide?

Bartender(s)
Cash Bar
Open Bar

What transportation and access is available?

Parking
Shuttle
Valet
Wheelchair Access

What months are included in your peak season?

January
February
March
April
October
November
December

What months are included in your off-peak season?

May
June
July
August
September
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Reviews of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

5.0 out of 5 rating
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2024 Winner
5.0 out of 5 rating
68 Reviews
99% recommend it
  • Quality of service
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Average response time
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Value
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    4.9 out of 5 rating
This AI-generated summary gives you a snapshot of the overall ratings and feedback from the reviews this vendor has received.

Review summary

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Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a highly recommended wedding venue with exceptional service and a unique setting. The staff, including Veronica and Annabel, were praised for their helpfulness, attentiveness, and professionalism throughout the planning process and on the day of the event. Multiple reviewers mentioned the beautiful and picturesque locations, such as the Chickee Hut, courtyard, and New Pass Room, which added to the overall experience. The venue's recommended vendors and budget-friendly options were also appreciated by reviewers. Overall, customers highly recommended Mote Marine as a wedding venue.

Review summary

Powered by AI
This AI-generated summary gives you a snapshot of the overall ratings and feedback from the reviews this vendor has received.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a highly recommended wedding venue with exceptional service and a unique setting. The staff, including Veronica and Annabel, were praised for their helpfulness, attentiveness, and professionalism throughout the planning process and on the day of the event. Multiple reviewers mentioned the beautiful and picturesque locations, such as the Chickee Hut, courtyard, and New Pass Room, which added to the overall experience. The venue's recommended vendors and budget-friendly options were also appreciated by reviewers. Overall, customers highly recommended Mote Marine as a wedding venue.

Weddingwire
5.0/5 68 reviews
Google
4.7/5 8866 reviews
Hillary
Hillary C. Sent on 04/27/2024
5 out of 5 rating

Aquarium wedding!

Our guests were so excited to go to an aquarium wedding. We ended up doing our ceremony on the beach because we wanted it outdoors and we were not crazy about the Chickee Hut area. (Mote is in the process of building a new aquarium, so not sure where future weddings will be held.) The outdoor courtyard was perfect for the reception! It was covered, so we knew we could be outdoors rain or shine, and there was tons of space. We opened the indoor gallery for cocktail hour and our guests loved the exhibits. The rental rate is very fair and with a few restrictions on caterers, you can hire whatever vendors you want. We did rent a dance floor to make dancing easier. The volunteers staffing the exhibits were wonderful. Annabel was great to work with. I'm not sure what the future of weddings at Mote will look like given the new building, but we are so glad we chose Mote.
Casey
Casey L. Sent on 01/13/2024
5 out of 5 rating

Best place to have a beach wedding with a nautical theme!!

I have been visiting Mote since I was a little kid and my husband I recently got married at Mote. I had always wanted a beach wedding and the Chickee Hut was such a beautiful and perfect spot for our ceremony. It was also very accessible for our guest, some of who are handicapable. Both Veronica and Annabelle were super friendly and very easy to work with! The entire process working with them and our other vendors was seamless! If we were to ever renew our vows, I would come back to Mote in a heartbeat!!!
Paige
Paige D. Sent on 01/30/2024
5 out of 5 rating

Beautiful and Unique

Veronica and Annabel were beyond helpful on helping us plan the perfect Florida wedding! We were able to showcase the beautiful venue and have it match my dreams- with so many of our guests commenting on how much fun they had interacting with the aquarium and city. Planning a destination wedding (I'm local to Seattle) is hard, and the team here made it easy to accomplish. Veronica allowed us to tour multiple times as I came up with our vision and even helped recommend vendors that could pull off everything we wanted!
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Awards

68
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2024 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2023 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2020 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2019 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2018 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2017 Winner

Deals

Team

Veronica Perrelli
Veronica Perrelli
Events Manager

Veronica joined the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium team in 2021, serving as Events Manager. Veronica is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all internal events as well as venue rentals.

As a Florida native (originally from the Jupiter area) Veronica was raised to love the ocean and to deeply appreciate the coastal lifestyle we are fortunate to experience as Floridians. After college, she began her career as Development Manager for Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, FL where she was able to combine her passion for ocean conservation with her professional goals. After moving to Sarasota, Veronica worked for a local organization responsible for hosting several large-scale community events, including the Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival.

Veronica is thrilled to be the newest member of Mote’s events team. Mote’s venues offer you and your guests a departure from the ordinary with spectacular exhibits and breathtaking, waterfront views

Sam Douglass
Sam Douglass
Events Coordinator

After graduating from the University of Florida with her bachelors degree in the Spring of 2022, Sam joined us at Mote as Events Coordinator. Throughout her college career, she pursued her interests in non-profit leadership via her coursework and internship at a land trust in Gainesville, Florida. There, she assisted with running fundraising and outreach events and researching conservation legislation.

Annabel Russo
Annabel Russo
Events Venue Coordinator

As a Florida native, Annabel grew up on the Manatee River and has always loved marine life, specifically manatees. After receiving her degree in Telecommunication from the University of Florida in the Fall of 2022, Annabel joined us as the Events Venue Coordinator. Annabel has worked in the customer service industry for over 7 years and is passionate about working with others and bringing people together. She looks forward to helping people from all over find the perfect venue at Mote Marine Laboratory for their events and celebrations.

Professional Network & Endorsements

1 Endorsement
A Wedding with Grace A Wedding with Grace Wedding Officiants

If you are looking for a unique venue to host your wedding or reception, be sure to consider Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. The Aquarium offers several distinctive locations to choose from, breathtaking views of Sarasota Bay, and the ability to get up close and personal with a myriad of marine life. These wonderful features, along with the courteous staff of wedding professionals led by the wonderfully talented Allison Whitten, will ensure an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.

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