Recommended by 98%
17 User photos
Megan · Married on 02/02/2018
Mote Marine was an absolute dream. Allison and her volunteers were so great to work with. It was exactly what I was looking for in a venue. Great price, and has everything you need. Total “wow” factor. All I can say is all of our guests had a great time, and they always mention how awesome Mote is as a venue. I would 100% do it all over again!
Paul · Married on 10/13/2018
Such a great spot for our Friday welcome dinner
We used Mote's Chickee Hut for our Friday welcome dinner and it was absolutely perfect. Allison was a joy to work with and even kept in touch with us when some weather threatened our event. Would highly recommend this unique but magical spot for your event as well.
stephanie · Married on 04/07/2018
Allison is a joy to work with. She was on top of everything from day one and made my job as the bride easy. Any question any accommodation was easily handled. We choose to have the ceremony at the shark tank and a cocktail reception in the aquarium. We headed over to the New Pass room for the dinner reception. The New Pass room had just been renovated and completed the week before our wedding. The room was even more then I could have hoped for. All of our guests commented on choosing this venue. We wanted something different but elegant. Mote pulled it off easily. The view is spectacular. Sadly it was raining at the time the reception started so we did not get those spectacular sunset pictures on the balcony. The view was still breathtaking especially with the city lit up at night. I would highly recommend this venue to anyone!
Jennifer · Married on 03/31/2018
I absolutely loved having my wedding reception at Mote. My guests were constantly talking about it saying how good of a venue it was. Allison at Mote was awesome to work with, communicating and doing site visits were super easy to plan with her. Allison was present through the reception and even helped out a few times. The professional photos we had taken at Mote exceeded our expectations, I would recommend this venue to anyone considering it!
Becky · Married on 02/09/2018
We had our son's welcome party for 90 guests at the Chickee Hut and can't say enough about how special this venue is. I was worried about making all the arrangements long distance, but Allison handled everything beautifully from day 1. Once I saw the Chickee and worked with one of their preferred catering vendors, I knew all would be fine. It's a beautiful place and all the out-of-town guests were so amazed that "I" found this place! Keep up the great work Allison and thanks for making our night so special!
Carli · Married on 11/18/2017
We had our wedding on November 18th at the Chickee Hut at Mote. MANY of our guests termed the Chickee Hut, “a hidden gem.” My husband and I fell in love with the spot the very first time we saw it. Even still, we were in awe at the transformation that day. It was BEAUTIFUL. We knew we wanted a tropical, very intimate wedding and the Chickee was perfect for us. Everything turned out absolutely perfect; I would not have changed a thing.
Allison Whitten was wonderful throughout the entire process! We booked almost exactly a year out, and she was there to answer my many questions along the way. She was absolutely wonderful!
Rob · Married on 10/22/2017
We had our wedding and reception at Mote recently. We were already interested because of the unique setting and the excellent price for what you get, and the fact that your costs go to help the organization!Sent on 10/27/2017
Our night went very well, with only a few minor hiccups anyone would expect of an event with 150 people at it. Guests were blown away by the ability to check out the aquarium, the fact that we got married in front of a display, and the amount of space for people to dance and move around (we had everything in the Courtyard). We were able to take photos elsewhere on the property since there were no other events that evening, and everyone had a marvelous time.
If you'd like your wedding to happen in a unique, unforgettable location that you and your guests will be raving about- if you want true professionals to make sure your day runs smoothly- and if you want it at a price you won't find anywhere else in the area, I can't recommend Mote highly enough!
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:
Whitney · Married on 10/21/2017
My husband and I are annual pass holders to Mote, and when I found out you could get married here I cancelled my reservations at our other venue and booked ASAP. The price was so affordable, especially for the fact that you and your guests get to enjoy the aquarium and use the touch tank! Allison was a wonderful event coordinator; she was easy to reach, easy to schedule time with, and was always helpful with our many questions. She did a wonderful job of helping everything pull together! We had our ceremony at the Chickee Hut, which is absolutely beautiful with it’s lush scenery and it’s right by the water so you have aquatic ambiance to set the mood. Our reception was in the courtyard and it couldn’t have turned out more beautiful. We also had our sweetheart table in front of the shark zone; I highly recommend that! The money goes to a great cause, and if you want a fun wedding Mote is the place to go. I wam ups give them 10 stars if I could.Sent on 10/28/2017
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:
Janet · Married on 05/13/2017
My husband and I hosted a rehearsal dinner for our son's wedding in the Courtyard of the Mote Aquarium. The staff was friendly, accessible, and extremely helpful throughout the process of planning our evening. Our guests of all ages from the very young to the elderly, and everyone in between, loved the unique setting. Not only was the setting comfortable, spacious, and beautiful, our guests enjoyed the ability to be able to walk around while visiting. They enjoyed mingling with the sea life in the exhibits and were impressed with the friendly and knowable staff. All of our requests and needs were met. They even offered a secure overnight parking option for guests, if they preferred not to drive at the end of the evening. I would highly recommend this venue for this type of event.
Kate · Married on 01/06/2017
We booked Mote Marine for our wedding venue this past January the 6th, 2017. My wife and I grew up on the water when we were kids and getting married at a location/venue that reflected our up bringings was something we both had dreamed about for our special day. We spent countless hours exploring all the possible venues from as far north as Tampa, Fl to as far south as Boca Grande. We visited multiple locations and explored possibility after possibility but the more locations we saw the more it became obvious that Mote Marine was the best venue available and there really wasn't a close second. The staff at Mote Marine were incredibly helpful and easy to work with from the very first time we were in contact with them. As we got to know more about the venue and all the added benefits that were available to us due to their venues uniqueness, the more it became apparent we had made the right decision. Allison Whitten was our main contact (Facility Rental and Service Coordinator- official title) at Mote Marine and she was incredible to work with. She told us that on our special day they would leave the areas of the aquarium open to all our guests so they could walk among the fish tanks and shark tanks; she even went to extra mile to volunteer her time to keep the touch tanks open during our entire reception so our guests could entertain themselves in whatever fashion they desired. The touch tanks ended up being a major hit for families with kids and even for the adults! We had our tables set up in the courtyard and it was the perfect space for partying and dancing well into the night. We had 110 guests at our wedding but the courtyard could easily fit more for larger weddings. We had modern/tropical/pineapple themed wedding that fit the venue flawlessly. I can still remember my wife leaning to me during our reception saying how "perfect" Mote Marine had become for our wedding day. I would without reservation recommend their venue to anyone! - The Consuls
Lynne · Married on 11/05/2016
My husband and I just got married here on November 5th. Part of the reason we booked this venue is because we're both super passionate about the ocean and protecting it. We were delighted to hear that our fees go towards education & conservation instead of some CEO's 3rd vacation home. The location is absolutely beautiful and they're incredibly eco-conscious and we loved that. We initially started working with Paula Clarke who was such a wonderful woman to work with. She decided to retire and we were nervous about who would be her replacement. Once we met Allison and found out she had previously worked for our caterer, all the nerves were calmed. Allison was awesome to work with and super helpful. I definitely recommend using Mote Marine as your wedding locale! Thank you Mote for all that you do for the ocean and everything you did for us on our wedding day! <3Sent on 11/09/2016
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:
Elizabeth · Married on 10/22/2016
I got married at the Shark Tank at Mote last month and I could not have asked for a more perfect night. The tanks were lit up and created the perfect ambience for our wedding. We also loved that the extremely reasonable cost of the venue rental went directly to supporting Mote. Staff was amazing and our guests had a wonderful time exploring the aquarium. Thank you, Mote, for making my night so incredible!Sent on 11/05/2016
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:
Mandy · Married on 09/24/2016
I enjoyed a beautiful rehearsal dinner in the New Pass room overlooking Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The setting was beautiful, the food from the Deep Sea Dinner was delicious, and Mote's staff (Allison especially) were helpful, reliable, and enthusiastic for the event. I highly recommend this venue for enjoying your event and for supporting a facility with such an important mission.
Joshua · Married on 09/03/2016
We would absolutely recommend Mote! We were unfortunately hit by Hurricane Hermine during the 2 days prior to our wedding. Allison and her team did an absolutely incredible job helping us make arrangements and backup plans that still fit our beach theme. We are still so incredibly grateful that we were able to work with Allison during our wedding day. Fortunately, the beach dried out in time and we were able to be married on the beach! Our reception was moved to the New Pass Room which turned out even better than we could have imagined. The team at Mote did their best to alleviate our stress and make our day special. We cannot say enough about how incredible our experience was with Allison and Mote. We would highly recommend going with More Marine.
Michelle · Married on 04/09/2016
We wanted something unique to help entertain our guests at our cocktail hour at our wedding reception, and are big lovers of the great research Mote does, so we reached out to Mote. In the end, we had the Mote Mobile unit (a big, 18-wheel tractor trailer fish tank that comes with touch tanks and other hands-on displays) pull up on the lawn at our reception venue (the Harbourside Room at Resort at Longboat Key) and provide some educational entertainment for our guests! What a hit it was!!! Our guests absolutely loved it, especially the ones with kids of all ages, and it was perfect for the 90 minute cocktail hour on the lawn on a gorgeous day. The Mote Mobile volunteers and staff were wonderful, and were so happy to share all kinds of knowledge with us and our guests, and the kids really got a kick out of the touch tank and the other hands-on items. We were the first wedding attended by the Mote Mobile unit, and we are hoping we won't be their last! It really encouraged our guests to visit the Mote Aquarium during their stay too, and we highly recommend the Mote Mobile team for all kinds of parties and events (birthdays, anniversaries, school field days, etc.) as something fun and educational that supports a wonderful cause! PS They also have a few great venues at the Aquarium you can rent for parties, weddings, etc. too. I can't say enough good things about this great organization!!
Debbie · Married on 03/07/2015
Paula Clark is the director for ceremonies at Mote!! She is so sweet and helpful!!! She was amazing! I can't tell you how easy going and wonderful she was to work with. The venue was all we could have hoped for and more. The cocktail hour was in the aquarium and it kept everyone busy while our caterer set up the tables after the ceremony was held near the pond. We had so many compliments on the Venue, the food, the decorations. It was great!! Highly recommend having your wedding here. Also the money you pay goes for the research for marine life.!!
Darlene · Married on 12/13/2014
I loved our selection of Mote Aquarium as our wedding ceremony venue and the Keating Center across the street for our waterfront reception venue. Paula Clark, Mote's event coordinator was a dream to work with. She was so accommodating to all of my requests to come in to meet with my various vendors during the planning process. She was very quick to reply to the questions that I had along the way and was happy to offer suggestions and advice. Our ceremony took place in front of the shark tank, which was really pretty lit up at night. The venue was set up for 150 guests (I don't think it could have accommodated any more in the space we chose) and it was beautiful. After the ceremony our guests were free to wander through the marine exhibits in the aquarium while the bridal party and families had their portraits taken. Our guests loved it! Our cocktail hour and reception were held across the street at Mote's Keating Center on the 3rd floor overlooking New Pass. The room has floor to ceiling windows on three sides and the views, even at night, were absolutely stunning. For a unique, nontraditional wedding ceremony I highly recommend Mote Marine Aquarium.
Brittany · Married on 02/01/2014
We had our wedding ceremony and cocktail hr on the aquarium side. This allowed our guests to actually enjoy the aquarium. We then had our reception across the street at the keating center. It was beautiful.
Lisa · Married on 08/13/2011
Mote is apparently a little known gem in Sarasota as a wedding venue. We had the whole aquarium space for our ceremony and reception. Our guests loved the unique atmosphere. Paula was fantastic.
Kelly · Married on 05/27/2012
I knew I wanted a wedding in Sarasota, and I also knew that I didn't want to have a wedding on the beach. However, it's Sarasota! I needed to be near the water somehow, just not with tourists and other beachgoers oogling my ceremony on the public beaches. I found out that I could rent the large courtyard area at the Mote Marine Aquarium, what a great find! I have a soft spot in my heart for the Mote having grown up in Sarasota and spending many school field trips and summers at the aquarium. My fiance and I were excited to learn that the guests would have full access to the aquarium, so during cocktail hour and the reception they could carry their drinks around and look at all the beautiful fish! We were sold. The Mote rents for a great price for the amount of space your getting, you don't need any additional decorations (all I had were flowers) and proceeds go toward the marine research going on there!
Paula Clark, the rental coordinator there was a delight to work with. She was easy to talk to and get a hold of and was ready with suggestions and advice. The day of the wedding, she was so helpful she let my bridesmaids store their purses and bags in her office, and we actually used her desk to sign the marriage license! The only hang up I can think of was a miscommunication in the rehearsal time, they didn't expect us coming, but it worked out fine.
All of our guests loved our venue. Many of them expressed how grateful they were that we didn't "lock them in a box" for four hours (i.e. hotel ballrooms) The Mote is great if you're looking for a non traditional venue that will entertain your guests! We loved it so that we bought a commemorative brick that will be a part of the courtyard floor.
Meredith · Married on 03/18/2005
Very unique venue. It was beautiful!
Amanda · Married on 04/03/2010
The Keating Room was amazing. Sunset along the water is a beautiful thing and with the wrap around balcony my wedding pictures came out breathe taking. It was the perfect complement to my beach ceremony.
User4108331 · 2+ years ago
Not a fancy spot from the outside, but the New Pass room itself and the balcony is a great spot for a reception for 100-120 people. Everything went very smoothly with a big exception of a fire alarm going off during our speech to our wedding guests and wasn't shut off for about 10-15 minutes. Obviously things happen, but there wasn't a fire and it would have been nice to get the alarm shut down more quickly. The elevator stopped working during this time as well so the caterers had to bring the food up the stairs so dinner took longer than expected so the dancing started a bit later than planned. Flexibility on the end of the night is a bit iffy as you have to have all vendors out by midnight. We expected this so not a problem, but with the delays from the fire alarm it seemed to have cut our dancing portion of the reception by a half hour or so. With all that being said, we'd still recommend this place for a reception. Nice spot, nice staff, and very affordable.