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Weddings

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

Columbia, SC View map Visit website
Rating 4.8 out of 5
25 reviews
$9k - $11k For 100 Guests

About

$9k - $11k For 100 Guests

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is a wildlife park wedding venue located in Columbia, South Carolina. Home to more than 2,000 magnificent animals, the zoo offers indoor and outdoor event facilities that exhibit elegance, class, and an extraordinary experience for couples and their guests to enjoy. An exotic alternative to the traditional wedding venues, the zoo facilities provide weddings with a nature-inspired setting, as well as great backdrops for photo opportunities.

Facilities and Capacity
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces that can accommodate both intimate celebrations and festive galas. Ceremonies are held after hours in the property's Magnolia's Garden Terrace, Ndoki's patio, or Riverbanks' Entry Plaza. Receptions, cocktail hours, and rehearsal dinners can be held in venue's five event facility options:

  • Ndoki Lodge is a safari-themed space featuring high beam ceilings, panoramic views of forest foliage, and at certain times, the opportunity for an elephant or meerkat sighting. The lodge can accommodate up to 500 guests with use of indoor and outdoor space.
  • Magnolia Room is one of the most breathtaking and unique spaces in the zoo, accommodating up to 350 guests using indoors and patio space. It features French doors that open out onto a bricked terrace, boasting views of stately fountains, cascading waters, seasonal flowers, and Riverbanks’ beautiful gardens.
  • Tuskers is an ideal space for cocktail parties and can accommodate up to 250 guests. At night, the venue transforms into a chic event facility, featuring bamboo cloud lighting, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, a dance floor area, and a viewing deck overlooking zebras, ostriches, giraffes, and a ten-foot alligator.
  • The ARC or Aquarium Reptile Complex, is perfect for a smaller wedding or any other evening celebration. It showcases a 55,000-gallon coral reef tank with sharks, moon jellyfishes, and gharial crocodiles perfect for a strolling cocktail hour or reception.
  • The Birdhouse can accommodate up to 175 guests. It is a sky-lit atrium where guests can have the opportunity to be accompanied by penguins, hornbills, and other exotic birds.


Services Offered
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden provides event rentals for wedding ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners, engagement parties, and bridal showers. The venue also accepts appointments for bridal portrait shoots, held after park hours at the Botanical Garden or zoo. Other services offered by the venue include:

  • Bridal suites (dependent on wedding space and date)
  • Lighting and sound system rentals
  • In-house bar and catering
  • Set up and clean up


Cuisines
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is a proud partner of SSA Group, LLC. the event caterer based in the zoo premises. SSA's executive head chef, Andrew Humphreys, customizes menus and create new dishes exclusively for the event. SSA supports sustainability, helps local farmers, and showcases a variety of different cuisine options. The caterer offers couples the following serving-style options:

  • Buffet
  • Hors-d'oeuvres
  • Plated dinners
  • Stations
  • Cocktail receptions
  • Family-style

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?

$8,000

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

$6,500

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?

$500

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

$500

Which of the following are included in starting site fee?

Chairs
Clean Up
Linens
Parking
Set Up
Tables

Which of the following are included in the cost of wedding catering?

Cake Cutting
Dessert
Server(s)

What is the starting price per person for bar service?

$8.95

Which of the following are included in the starting price for bar service?

Bartender(s)
House Beer
House Wine
Limited Bar
Open Bar

How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?

7

Describe your venue:

Garden
Park
Zoo

What kind of settings are available?

Indoor
Covered Outdoor
Uncovered Outdoor
Scenic Views

Which of the following wedding events does your venue service?

Ceremony
Reception
Bridal Shower
Engagement Party
Rehearsal Dinner

What event services do you offer?

Bar Services
Catering Services
Clean Up
Event Planner
Event Rentals
Get Ready Rooms
Liability Insurance
Lighting / Sound
Set Up
Wifi

What catering services do you offer?

Buffet
Cocktail Reception
Dessert
Family Style
Hors d'oeuvres
Outside Cake
Plated
Server(s)
Stations
Tastings

What bar services do you provide?

Bartender(s)
Cash Bar
Champagne Toast
House Beer
House Liquor
House Wine
Liquor License
Open Bar
Premium Liquor
Signature Drink
Specialty Beer
Specialty Wine

What event items are available?

Audio Equipment
Centerpieces
Chairs
Dance Floor
Decor
Furniture
Lighting
Tables

What food and beverage items are available?

Barware
China
Flatware
Glassware
Linens

What transportation and access is available?

Parking
Wheelchair Access

What months are included in your peak season?

March
April
May
September
October
December

What months are included in your off-peak season?

January
February
June
July
August
November

25 Reviews

Write a review
Rated
4.8
out of 5.0
Recommended by 97% of couples
  • Quality of service
    Rating 4.9 out of 5
  • Average response time
    Rating 5 out of 5
  • Professionalism
    Rating 4.8 out of 5
  • Value
    Rating 4.8 out of 5
  • Flexibility
    Rating 4.8 out of 5

26 User photos

  • W
    Whitney M. Married on 09/04/2021
    Rating 5 out of 5
    • Quality of service
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Responsiveness
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Professionalism
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Value
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Flexibility
      Rating 5.0 out of 5

    Beautiful event!

    We are so happy we picked Riverbanks Zoo for our wedding! We picked Ndoki lodge for our reception and it was beautiful! I wanted a more formal event but in an outdoor/casual place and we got exactly what I had hoped for. We had some particular requests that I felt like the Zoo was very flexible in managing. Guests loved that we had our wedding at the zoo also. The food was excellent and the animal encounters made for a unique experience too! The only two things I felt were more difficult to navigate were this - nowhere to store things overnight prior to the wedding (like a cooler/freezer for desserts brought in from off site, so they had to be brought in by family on the day of the wedding), and we got lucky I think in where we got ready for the wedding, but I'm not sure about the usual site. That's about it though, we didn't really have any issues and would totally pick the zoo again!

    Riverbanks Zoo & Garden's reply:

    Hello Whitney! We loved working with you to create a magical day for you two! We are so glad that you chose us and Ndoki Lodge to bring your perfect day to life. Thank you for the lovely feedback!
  • Melissa
    Melissa M. Married on 10/03/2020
    Rating 5 out of 5
    • Quality of service
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Responsiveness
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Professionalism
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Value
      Rating 5.0 out of 5
    • Flexibility
      Rating 5.0 out of 5

    Kayleen Peretto at Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens is AMAZING...Highly Recommend for any Bride!!

    I had the best experience working with Kayleen Peretto at the Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens. I had so many requests and she was so flexible, reassuring and she allowed me to have the most beautiful wedding in the Magnolia Room in the Gardens. The gardens are absolutely stunning at night and again, I could not have done it without Kayleen. Thank you Kayleen and the rest of the amazing staff for making my wedding night so beautiful and unforgettable!

    Riverbanks Zoo & Garden's reply:

    Melissa, I absolutely enjoyed working with you and your mom to watch your magical day come to life! Your wedding was truly stunning, and matched you and your husband's personality perfectly. Thank you so much for the kind words and feedback!

Awards

  • 25
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2015 Winner

Pricing

Team

Kayleen Peretto
Kayleen Peretto
Social Sales and Venue Coordinator

Hey there! I'm Kayleen, Wedding Sales & Venue Coordinator here at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. I just relocated from Colorado to Columbia, SC in 2020. Prior to my role here, I worked in events and catering in various industries from hotels and hospitality, to the radio industry.

I would be your point of contact for your facility, catering, bar, and rental needs for your wedding at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. I hope to hear from you soon and can't wait to see your special day come to life!

Professional Network & Endorsements

3 Endorsements
Bonnie Brunt Cakes Bonnie Brunt Cakes Wedding Cakes

Love working with the professional team at Riverbanks Zoo! Courteous, organized and always pros! Beautiful venue and FANTASTIC food. Exciting, appealing displays and again...just a terrific staff.

American Floral American Floral Wedding Florists

SUCH a pretty place and great food !!

Vintage Bakery, LLC Vintage Bakery, LLC Wedding Cakes

Lovely venue and facilities! Know that your wedding arrangements are in the hands of friendly and helpful experts! The ambiance here is that you are in a magical place! Great background for your memories and photos as well.

Preferred Vendors

Map

500 Wildlife Parkway Columbia, SC, 29210
803.602.0900

9:00-5:00pm Mon-Fri (Event Sales Office), 9:00-4:00pm Mon-Fri (Site Tours, by appointment)
Location of (Riverbanks Zoo & Garden)

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden frequently asked questions

What items and services are included in the starting site fee at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden includes the following items and services for wedding events in its starting site fee:
  • Chairs
  • Clean Up
  • Linens
  • Parking
  • Set Up
  • Tables

At Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, what items and services related to wedding catering are included in the cost?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden includes the following items and services in its wedding catering costs:
  • Cake Cutting
  • Dessert
  • Server(s)

At Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, what does the bar service starting price include?

The bar service starting price at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden includes:
  • Bartender(s)
  • House Beer
  • House Wine
  • Limited Bar
  • Open Bar

What are the most important characteristics of Riverbanks Zoo & Garden in terms of venue type, style and location?

The space offered by Riverbanks Zoo & Garden for wedding events is known for:
  • Garden
  • Park
  • Zoo

What kind of indoor/outdoor options are available at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden for wedding events?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers the following indoor/outdoor options for weddings:
  • Indoor
  • Covered Outdoor
  • Uncovered Outdoor
  • Scenic Views

What kind of wedding events does Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offer?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers the following types of wedding events:
  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Bridal Shower
  • Engagement Party
  • Rehearsal Dinner

What services does Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offer for wedding events?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers the following services for wedding events:
  • Bar Services
  • Catering Services
  • Clean Up
  • Event Planner
  • Event Rentals
  • Get Ready Rooms
  • Liability Insurance
  • Lighting / Sound
  • Set Up
  • Wifi

What furniture and decorations does Riverbanks Zoo & Garden have available for wedding events?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden offers the following furniture and decor items for weddings:
  • Audio Equipment
  • Centerpieces
  • Chairs
  • Dance Floor
  • Decor
  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Tables

What percentage of users recommend Riverbanks Zoo & Garden and which are the most valued aspects of their wedding services?

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is recommended by 100% of couples who have used their services. Their overall rating is 4.8 out of 5 with the following breakdown: 5 in average response time, 4.9 in quality of service, 4.8 in flexibility, 4.8 in professionalism and 4.8 in value.

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