Recommended by 95%
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Ceara · Married on 04/06/2018
Our wedding and reception here were PERFECT! The zoo has a handful of venues that were all reasonable and beautiful. The staff were also so amazingly helpful and responsive throughout the entire process - they made me feel so much at ease and would definitely recommend to a friend.
Kolby · Married on 04/29/2017
April 29, 2017: Phoenix Zoo Neely Center + Lancer Catering, Reception-Only
When my now-husband and I began looking for reception venues, we were so happy to find the Phoenix Zoo. It was everything we were looking for; it was different and fun! First and foremost, the Zoo is a non-profit venue so money goes directly to helping the animals. Secondly, they had a wide variety of sites so we were able to customize the wedding to fit our taste and budget. We held our reception of 100 guests at the Neely Center: the Zoo's largest banquet hall that includes a balcony/patio, which was absolutely perfect. We were able to keep the doors open, which really elevated the space. Guests could easily flow from eating/dancing inside to grabbing a drink at the bar, looking out over the lake or utilizing the photobooth outside. We also rented the Zoo's carousel during our cocktail hour, which gave guests another fun activity while they awaited our arrival and the beginning of the reception (it also made for some really cute pictures). In addition, the Zoo handled the bar as well as all event rentals: tables, chairs and linens. Together with their onsite caterer, it was really a one-stop shop.
Speaking of food, I really can't say enough good things about Lancer Catering. Heather Dobler, the catering sales manager, was amazing to work with. She allowed us to customize our appetizers and buffet to our exact tastes, and was super accommodating even when we had to change our salad last minute. Most importantly, everything was delicious, all of our family members continued to rave about the food for days after the wedding.
Finally, none of this would have been possible without Amy Howard, our Zoo event coordinator who essentially functioned as my wedding planner. She went above and beyond to help me prepare and made sure we had a stress free day. I really could not have planned the wedding without her.
Raquel · Married on 03/11/2017
We had our ceremony at Ruby's House and our reception at Desert Tents. The night was INCREDIBLE! We were looking for a venue that was unique, affordable, and wasn't a stale ballroom that required a lot of decoration. After visiting a lot of venues, our last stop was the zoo and we were sold! The Desert Tents are 5 permanent tents with a bonfire in the middle, with everything covered in twinkle lights. It's a really out of the box location that will take your breath away at night and truly wow your guests! Everything went smoothly from start to finish, from the start of planning until night of, everything was taken care of for us. We can't thank AMY HOWARD enough, she is truly amazing. You can tell she loves her job and that makes working with her a breeze. You won't regret choosing the Phoenix Zoo as the wedding venue of your dreams!
User5068189 · 2+ years ago
The ceremony and reception were held at Ruby’s House on an evening weekday. The photographer session was around the zoo and the pictures turned out fantastic.
We reserved the date about a year in advance and the zoo event coordinator was phenomenal every step of the way. I had zero stress and worries dealing with my vendors and the Phoenix Zoo was no exception. I lived a good distance from the zoo and communication by phone and email sufficed quite well. My husband and I did not always know what to choose, but the coordinator would always provide excellent suggestions. My husband has a favorite beer that is brewed in Sedona and the zoo ordered a few cases for us with ease.
The zoo provided a rehearsal time the evening prior to the wedding and both the zoo coordinator and my officiant worked efficiently together to execute a great rehearsal. The zoo cleaned the patio stones from debris and setup all of the included tables and chairs the day of. The zoo coordinated flawlessly with all of the other vendors for directions, setup, and breakdown. The zoo coordinator took the photographer, my husband, and I all around the zoo for breathtaking photographs.
The ceremony and reception went absolutely impeccably with zero complaints or hitches. Our package included the animal discovery, which I highly recommend. The guests were thoroughly surprised at the animals brought out by the zoo staff. We chose two animals ahead of time (tentatively based on animal health and availability) and they brought out additional animals not included. A zoo coordinator stayed through the entire event.
Since the zoo is non-profit, the charges were extremely affordable considering the amount of service and rentals included. I would recommend this beautiful location to any couple looking for something different than a hotel venue.
chantal · Married on 03/19/2015
I cannot say enough good things about The Phoenix Zoo. My husband and I worked with innumerous vendors while planning our wedding and no one treated us as amazing as the Zoo. Working with Teale was the best thing that could have happened to us. We chose Ruby's house for our venue, absolutely gorgeous! All of our guests were gushing over how beautiful it was. Before our reception began, Teale drove us around on a golf cart with our Photographer. She went out of her way to find the most scenic and romantic spots for us to take pictures.
I have to admit, our wedding was hectic! The most enjoyable and relaxing moments of the entire day happened while looking at the animals. The Zoo was closed so it felt like a private tour. The animals looked so comfortable and were roaming beautifully in their enclosures! The Lion was by far my favorite experience. He was incredibly close to the gate and let out a giant roar! We felt like it was just for us! We got amazing pictures with the lion, elephant and flamingos! The monkeys were a bit trickier but we still snapped great shots of the animals we couldn’t be in photos with. The weather was breathtaking with a light breeze and smelled like flowers in the air. We took our tour at sunset and found so many amazing photo opportunities. Teale opened up areas that were closed to the public for us. We went out on a dock where the vultures are and stared out into what looked like a beautiful savannah plain. Incredible!
We couldn’t have hoped for more out of our wedding! We had so many things go wrong and unfortunately, a lot of people made us upset throughout the process. The Zoo was NOT one of them!! We are so lucky to have had them in our corner! Thank you Phoenix Zoo! You made our day!!
Krista · Married on 01/17/2015
We had our wedding reception at the Neely Center of the Phoenix Zoo. The venue was both beautiful and affordable. Our event coordinator, Teale, was very helpful and flexible, always working to answer all of our questions as quickly and accurately as possible. She was careful to communicate with us about all of our needs for the day, making sure everything went smoothly.
The Zoo has so many scenic locations to take pictures, and we were able to travel around the entire campus before our grand entrance. The Neely center has a spacious indoor with enough room for 200 guests and a dance floor, and our favorite part was the big doors that opened into an outdoor terrace with room for guests to get some air and enjoy the view out over monkey island and the zoo lights that were still up. For a little more money we were able to rent the carousel for our guests to ride and to take pictures.
We are extremely happy with our choice of The Phoenix Zoo, and highly recommend it.
Bridget · Married on 03/15/2014
The zoo was perfect for our wedding. Katie was amazing! She walked me through every detail of the ceremony and reception and answered every question I had.
User2563871 · 2+ years ago
I had my dream wedding at the Phoenix Zoo, I am very grateful to Kelly Meyers and Katie Griffith. They helped me through every step, they responded to all my e-mails within minutes and met face to face with me whenever possible! The day of the wedding ran so smoothly thanks to them. I held my ceremony and reception at Ruby's House, it was decorated beautifully with lights and animal print table clothes. I would suggest getting married at the Phoenix Zoo to anyone, it was a great experience and a very unique venue.
User3175910 · 2+ years ago
The Phoenix Zoo is a beautiful place for a wedding. Ours was at the Podd Ramada, which is lakeside and surrounded by trees and plants. Because it was spring, everything was in bloom, and the breeze off of the lake was really nice in the evening. They have a lot of different areas and each has a different feel, but this was perfect for our small ceremony.
We worked with Kelly and Maria at the zoo. Even though our event was small, they treated us like the most important people in the world. Because we were planning the event from a distance, it was really important to know that we could trust the team at the venue to communicate with us and follow through on their promises. From our first tour of the zoo with Kelly, she made it clear that she loves what she does and we could trust her to be there for us from start to finish. She always responded quickly, even in the days leading up to the wedding when I was emailing her almost every day. She had some great suggestions for us and really felt like part of the team. After the event, almost all of our guests had a nice comment at the end of the evening about 'the girls from the zoo' who helped them in some way. For example, we asked Kelly to give a camera to one of our guests who had left it in the preparation room, but the ceremony had already started. Instead of interrupting or just giving up, Kelly stood in the back and took pictures with the camera - and they came out great!
On a purely practical level, it costs much less for the venue than similar spots, and since we contracted separately for the catering, there were no minimum fees for food and beverage. The zoo does require that you use them for the bar, but their prices were much lower than other venues (by at least 50%) and the service was still fantastic. We also felt good knowing that the money we were spending was going to the Phoenix Zoo in support of their conservation programs.
You can't go wrong having your wedding at the Phoenix Zoo!
Megan · Married on 03/15/2012
The PHX Zoo was a beautiful venue! I have gotten many complements about the location. They offer a few interesting services including a private tour of the zoo for guests. It worked great for that time needed for the bridal party pictures and everyone loved it! They also offered a caricaturist... I thought it was a creative alternative to the photo booth and all the guests participated. The drawings were such a cute keepsake! If you book both the ceremony and the reception at the zoo they offer a free "animal discovery" where the staff brings out animals that your guests can pet. It was a great way for people to mingle. I would recommend the zoo for any event, it was fantastic!
Danielle · Married on 03/03/2012
Everything was perfect! We couldn't of asked for better service from begging to end. Easy to work with and flexible. Great value and a non-profit. I recommend the Phoenix Zoo 100%
Jennifer · Married on 03/05/2010
We had our ceremony on the savannah and our reception at the Stonehouse. It was beautiful! The staff at the zoo is very helpful and enjoyable to work with :-)
Veronica · Married on 10/10/2009
We had our reception at the Zoo and it was absolutely perfect. The event staff was on-the-ball and were very helpful. However, the greatest part of this experience was working with Kelly, one of the Zoo's Social Event Sales Representatives. Kelly was helpful, a saint when it came to patience, and made the whole experience less stressful for us. It was a joy working with her. My guests loved the whole experience, from the animal encounters at our cocktail hour to the venue sites. They loved the whole thing. I highly recommend the Phoenix Zoo for your event and would absolutely work with Kelly again. Great job!
Rhonda · Married on 02/17/2007
Beautiful and FUN place to have a wedding. They include a train ride for your guests around the zoo- gives you time to take pics.
Melissa · Married on 04/13/2018
The Zoo offers MULTIPLE spots for both your ceremony and your reception. The price is more affordable than anything else in town and includes tables, chairs, set up and clean up. If you are looking for a unique venue at a great price, this is it!
CONS: You must use one of their six preferred caterers, the bar service is through them and it is NOT cheap, and dates book up over a year in advance!
Patricia · Married on 10/31/2015
Amy was amazing. She was the force behind my wedding working out so beautifully. I was planning my wedding from 1400 miles away and I put a lot of trust in her and she came through like a champ! Our ceremony was in the Desert Grove area which was amazing. Our reception was in the Desert Tents area, and I cannot even say enough about it. It was absolutely beautiful. It blew me away. Our only decorations were candles and flowers. It really didn't need anything else. Twinkle lights everywhere, a fire pit, the Arizona night sky. It was super unique and everything I could have hoped for. Totally recommend the Zoo, especially if you can work with Amy!
Sally · Married on 06/05/2008
The Phoenix Zoo was the best place to be married everyone of the staff helped us out a lot and it was just plain fantastic. We could not have had a better place. It was perfect !!
cass · Married on 06/03/2006
The zoo was a great place to have our wedding. Even in June when it was so hot, the staff was willing and ready to help. We rented two trains that took our guests around the zoo while we took pictures after the ceremony. We also had two trainers come with animals for our guests while we were taking pictures. It was very fun. The only negative thing was that we had to use their catering companies, we liked the caterers but they were very expensive for that many people.
Brooke · Married on 04/07/2007
The Phoenix Zoo is an excellent place to have a special day. There are many different environments to choose from, small or large, casual or formal. We were at the Savannah and had live animals attend our reception. It was a relaxed yet elegant (and certainly fun) event. The staff at the Zoo was wonderfully accomodating and kept everything going smooth.
Amanda · Married on 07/15/2005
What a wonderful and beautiful place for a reception. Took wonderful pictures
Jill · Married on 03/25/2012
We worked with Kelly at the phx zoo and could not have been more happy with her skill and service. The venue was a little more expensive then we initially expected but it was perfect for us with a lovely and fun setting for all. It is important to remember that when having a wedding at the zoo not only will you pay for the venue cost but also for the zoo entrance for each guest. However, we highly recommended this venue for a unique wedding, beautiful setting and quality service from Kelly!!!
Melissa · Married on 10/12/2008
Becky · Married on 03/22/2014
Everyone was so excited to attend our wedding at the zoo! It was a fun event to plan. Our wedding day went perfect!
Brenda · Married on 01/16/2016
We had our ceremony and reception at the zoo this past weekend. The staff was very nice and professional! We had our ceremony set for 4:30 and ended up starting at 4:50...this is the BEST time because the zoo closes at 5 and you feel like you have the entire grounds to yourself! When we arrived at 3p.m. to set up reception (zoo doesn't allow you to set up very far in advance!) the zoo was still packed and having to meander through so many guests would not be fun during the ceremony itself -so for privacy --a later ceremony time is a must! We did it at the end of ZooLights -so the place was practically decorated for us -sooo gorgeous! We had an outdoor ceremony at The Grove -which was gorgeous! The trees had no greenery on them due to it being winter -but still pretty! We were supposed have outdoor reception at The Zebra Overlook but it was unseasonably cold so we moved it into the Orangatun Hut --which was a little smelly like manure when we arrived -but I put out several cinnamon scented pine cones in the decor and the guests said it didn't smell at all like an animal exhibit which I was thankful for! Cons are -not enough time allowed for you to arrive early at zoo to set up for ceremony and reception and still have time to do makeup/get dressed if you as the bride are in charge and overseeing setup -if you have a wedding planner you trust to do all of this for you and you will truly not worry about it -then you will be fine. Another thing to consider -if you choose an outdoor location for either event --you have to pay the difference for the indoor location you want if it gets too cold or it's just wet outside; they will only move you indoors if they feel the inclement weather will risk the safety of the guests --freezing temps for our reception wasn't considered a safety issue so we decided 2 days before the wedding to move it indoors and had to pay to be moved indoors; I know many other venues would have done this as a courtesy without additional charge.
jessica · Married on 02/10/2007
Such a fun and unique decision to have our wedding and reception here. Everyone was very easy to work with and had many choices to find vendors for our wedding.