49 User photos
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
Julie · Married on 03/28/2015
The entire crew at Mote Marine was amazing to work with! Allison was so understanding and accommodating to the last minute changes due to weather. I would highly recommend them and the views and scenery are perfect! We would definitely use them again!Sent on 11/05/2019
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Thanks for the review and I love that photo of the two of you! Julie, it was such a pleasure to work with you both. Hope to see you at Mote again sometime in the near future!
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
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.Sent on 12/23/2014
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.Sent on 02/22/2014
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.Sent on 08/21/2011
Lisa · Married on 02/02/2019
We had our wedding at Mote on 2/2/19Sent on 02/05/2019
It was a wonderful experience and everyone loved it and thought it was amazing! Thanks to Allison and Christina the events coordinators who were awesome to work with. The volunteers that were there to explain things to everyone. Kenny the security guard that helped us get in every where and even helped me with carry my boxes to my car.
We also used John Mancini to cater. He owns Deep Sea Diner there at Mote. He’s there on site which makes it great. He will make any kind of menu you want. A fancy sit down or buffet or stations. Very easy to work with and very reasonable! The food was delicious his help was wonderful and he has a liquor license! Use John you will not be disappointed! Mancini Catering!
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium's reply:Thank you, Lisa!!!! What a gorgeous event. You all pulled out all the stops and it certainly paid off. Everyone seemed to have a great time and it was fun to host you! Best of luck to the bride and groom :)
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!Sent on 06/08/2012
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!Sent on 07/28/2007
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.Sent on 04/14/2010
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.Sent on 05/17/2014