Recommended by 99%
36 User photos
Christine Mclaughlin · Married on 08/03/2019
Unique and Fun
If you are looking for a fun and unique wedding venue,Mote, is the way to go! We had the wedding and reception in the Aquarium and Courtyard and it was simply AMAZING! The staff went out of their way to make sure we had a perfect wedding! We got married in front of the shark tank and all of our guests LOVED being able to use the touch tanks!Sent on 10/15/2019
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Christine, thank you so much for the lovely review and for sharing photos from your special day. Hearing you had a "perfect wedding" makes my day!
Andi Evers · Married on 05/10/2019
Beautiful, unique, unforgettable
Having our wedding at the Mote was the best decision we could have made! Everything was absolutely perfect. We had our cocktail hour in the aquarium so guests could check out the different exhibits, and the reception was in the courtyard and it looked absolutely stunning! We received so many compliments on our venue and all of our guests raved about how wonderful everything was. There were interactive "touch tanks" open during the whole reception which was really neat for the guests to be able to check out, especially the little ones. We also felt great that we were contributing to a good cause by paying for our reception to be there. The Mote does so many wonderful things for the community, we were more than happy to have it there! Now my husband and I cannot wait to go back to the Mote to go through the aquarium and reminisicne on the best day of our lives!Sent on 10/15/2019
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Andi, what a terrific review!!! Thank you so much for trusting Mote for your very special day and come back to visit us soon!
Ann · Married on 03/23/2019
This venue was a perfect choice! Allison was extremely helpful and provided great guidance for the ceremony/reception. My decorations were minimal because - shark tank. All of the guest enjoyed walking the aquarium and talking to the volunteers at the touch tanks during the cocktail hour. There were excellent photo opportunities by the water and in the hut. I would choose this location all over again!Sent on 04/01/2019
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Thank you so much Ann! Loved what some of your groomsmen did to decorate for the ceremony and had an absolute blast being there night of! I could tell everyone had a great time and it was so much fun escorting everyone on the golf cart :) Congratulations and thanks again for sharing your special day with us!
Sherice Horton · Married on 03/16/2019
Wonderful Wedding Reception site!
Mote was the perfect venue for my daughter’s wedding reception. It is an interesting and large venue. We had the cocktail hour in the indoor display area and the dinner/dancing in the courtyard. The shark tank and sting ray touch tank were big draws for the kids, and the tanks are lighted and looked beautiful at night. They even provide volunteers for the evening to interact and help guests that want to explore the many displays. The courtyard is large and easily accommodated 19 guest tables, a two-station buffet, gift table, cake table and selfie-stand table while still leaving plenty of room for dancing. As a fun detail – the DJ was stationed at the top of the shark tank, overlooking the main floor. It made for an amazing evening!Sent on 03/27/2019
We worked with Christina the night of the event, and Allison to make the reservation and initial plans. Both of them were extremely helpful and I feel they understood what my daughter’s vision was for her wedding reception. As an extra bonus, bridal photographs were taken on site at the Chickee Hut and looked amazing. I highly recommend Mote!
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:It was our pleasure! Thank you so much for allowing us to host your daughter's special day. Best wishes to all of you!
Emily · Married on 03/03/2019
Shkrab Wedding 12.30.18
I honestly do not have enough wonderful things to say about Allison. She is absolutely one of the nicest people I have ever met. I was in no way an easy bride. I had 5 million questions, constantly second guesses every decision I made, and changed decisions a hundred times. Allison never batted an eyelash. She was always ready to answer all my questions to the best of her ability, was patient with my constant changes and always ensured me I was on the right road with my planning which definitely helped my stress level.Sent on 01/17/2019
Beyond Allison's amazing service... the video is just stunning. Our ceremony was in the New Pass Room, Cocktails in the Aquarium, and Reception on the Courtyard. We did family pictures by the water at the New Pass. Immediate family pictures at Chiki Hut and Our First Look as well as Bridal Party Pictutes on the back pier. Having full access to the grounds was amazing. There are so many gorgeous settings in and around Mote Marine that we got to take advantage of.
As for my wedding day Mote staff was unbelievably wonderful. Security guard was at our fingertips. He was incredibly kind. He immediately opened all the doors we needed open and he responded very quickly to our needs (such as extra chairs). Allison's co-worker (I forgot her name, but she was also wonderful. We just only worked with her on our wedding day) was great! Any question or concern I had during the getting ready part she was there and ready to help. Allison on our wedding day again was just beyond wonderful. She carted me around to every location I needed to be at any given time. She was also constantly available to cart of wedding guests who were unable to walk far distances. The volunteers were great as well! I did not personally get to meet any of them, but there were a constant presence ready to help educate people and answer questions. Having 10 plus children at our wedding made that fact perfect.
Not to mention how many people have sharks swimming in a tank behind their wedding cake?!
Amazing Venue. Great price. Phenomenal staff. I had zero issues at any point during my planning process or wedding.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Emily...what an incredibly kind review. THANK YOU!!! I am absolutely thrilled that you were happy with your special day and can't wait to see all of the photos! Christina and I wish you, Nathan, and Jayden nothing but the best. Come back and visit us soon!
Hanne Blank · Married on 01/05/2019
Sea-loped at the Mote!
We “sea-loped” at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, with just two friends (one of whom was our officiant) and my parents. We got married in front of a tank full of happy smiling (really!) bonnethead sharks and it was *perfect*. Afterward we had the whole aquarium to ourselves for a while — what a treat! The Mote was helpful and so easy to work with. We all had a fantastic time, the wedding was so much fun, and I’m so glad we did it exactly the way we did.Sent on 01/09/2019
Gabriela Chichande · Married on 12/21/2018
Great venue and staff!!
Our wedding was wonderful and lovely!! Everything was great !! We enjoyed everything and all our guests had a great time!!Sent on 12/29/2018
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Thank you so much!! We loved having you here. You were a lovely bride and everything turned out amazing! Congratulations and all the best to you both!
Kathleen Schneider · Married on 12/08/2018
Exceptional venue with a spectacular view!
Our wedding day at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in the Keating Building was pure paradise!!!! Not only is the location gorgeous, the staff was exceptional in making sure our day ran smoothly and exceeding our expectations! We also hired the chef from the Deep Sea Diner, which is located in the aquarium, and the food was delicious and beautiful! I can't say enough how happy that our vision for our day was met with professionalism and perfection!Sent on 01/02/2019
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.Sent on 10/17/2018
Yuliza · Married on 09/08/2018
Mr. & Mrs. Kolb Wedding
We had our wedding at the Chikki hut and it was AMAZING!!! The price was super affordable and our family had such a great time! Christina was phenomenal! She took is to the best spots to take beautiful pictures! We also went with John from the Deep Sea Diner for catering services, also amazing! The overall experience was the wedding of our dreams! Definitely recommend!!Sent on 03/22/2019
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:You are a doll!!!! Certainly one of the couples I will never forget! It was a treat to be able to make it extra special for you and I wish you all the best together!!!
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!Sent on 04/17/2018
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!Sent on 04/26/2018
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!Sent on 02/17/2018
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!Sent on 03/02/2018
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.Sent on 11/29/2017
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:Congratulations to you and Robin! May your happiness grow every day!~
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:Whitney, we are so glad you and Jon had a good experience at Mote. Much love to you both!~
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.Sent on 06/02/2017
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 ConsulsSent on 02/21/2017
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:We love your passion for the ocean and our environment and are thrilled that you had a great experience. Thank you so much for the very kind words!~
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:Thank you for allowing Mote to be a part of your very special day! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!~
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.Sent on 10/10/2016
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.Sent on 10/09/2016
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!!Sent on 05/11/2016
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.!!Sent on 03/17/2015