Recommended by 90%
Leslie · Married on 06/27/2015
The staff at Reid Park Zoo were amazing!Sent on 07/20/2015
We felt like they really cared personally for my Kids! We recommend them for all your special events!
Danielle · Married on 11/11/2011
Karen was perfect in every way. She unfailingly responded immediately to every email I sent, and helped make the entire wedding day stress-free and beautiful. Her entire staff was friendly and easy-going, and the catering was over-the-top delicious.Sent on 01/10/2012
Jillianne · Married on 10/08/2011
Our Reid Park Zoo wedding was a dream come true! Every zoo employee went out of their way to make our wedding exactly what we asked for. My husband and I are so happy we chose the zoo for our wedding venue and we couldn’t imagine a more special location to have gotten married!Sent on 05/02/2012
Thanks to this unique & beautiful venue, our wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty, one of the most popular and respected wedding sites! View the feature here: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2012/02/22/reid-park-zoo-wedding-by-brushfire-photography/
The zoo had many options to help us create whatever kind of wedding we wanted. At first we met with an event coordinator to help us know our available options (of which there are many - thanks Karen!). We were relieved to have the extra assistance and felt no need to hire a wedding planner because of it. Of all the venues we visited, this was the only one where we felt we had the freedom to do exactly what we wanted to do. It was also the most affordable venue we found.
The zoo offers many menu options for hors d’oeuvres, meals, and drinks. Though they have a buffet option, we chose a plated South of the Border dinner with Mexican-style hors d’oeuvres and a beer/wine bar. We later had a tasting where we tried our food selections, which was a lot of fun! The food was delicious and the zoo staff treated us like VIPs. They even prepared a personalized recipe belonging to my husband’s mother, which Don (the chef) cooked perfectly. And they also created a vegetarian meal for me. They were more than willing to customize anything to fit our needs. The zoo will also allow you to bring in your own wedding cake (Don offered to create a cake for us but we had already purchased one through another vendor).
I feel I should mention that we had some hiccups in the beginning as the zoo was still new to weddings and there were some mix-ups with our paperwork when we switched coordinators. But once they got back on track all of the details were planned to a T and the wedding ran exactly as expected (better actually). In the end the only surprises were good ones. Our final coordinator was Karen T. Wylie who was great about organizing all the proper contracts, meetings, cost estimates, event timeline, insurance, and floor plans. She even ordered from outside her usual venders to get me the exact table runners I wanted. She was a delight to work with and we highly recommend her help.
Our wedding was beautiful. The central location was easy to find for our out of town guests and there were front and back options for parking. The guests especially liked the freedom to walk around the zoo before hand to enjoy the animals. The entire zoo was basically ours for the night! Because there was a bit of walking, I was happy there weren’t any issues with my long train and bugs on the ground. My train did get a little dirty but it’s nothing a dry cleaner couldn’t fix… hey you only wear it once, right? The zoo was also very flexible on ceremony locations, which was great because there were endless possibilities… every bit of the zoo is a beautiful photo opp. so we couldn’t go wrong. Ultimately we decided to get married under the large tree near the entrance. They provided garden chairs for our guests and allowed us to hang origami cranes in the tree. The ceremony was out of a fairytale as the weather was perfect (married Oct. 8th) and the scenery gorgeous. Even as we said our I Do’s, birds sang and peacocks roamed around guests. And there were no issues with noise as the bigger animals were pleasantly quiet. I was particularly ecstatic when a single white peacock walked up to me. I took it as a sign of good luck. It couldn’t have been planned better. (Though I have a feeling the staff sprinkled some food on the ground to coax the peacocks out. Again, they pulled out all the stops for us).
After the ceremony the wedding party had a giraffe feeding on the giraffe platform. If you’ve never fed the giraffes at the zoo I highly recommend you try it. It’s hilarious fun and this moment at our wedding made for some amazing photos. After this, my husband and I journeyed over to the pond where we had some beautiful newlywed pics of us taken. We had to chase the flamingos around the pond to keep them in the background so this was one of many happy, spontaneous moments… we couldn’t stop laughing. Again, the scenery made for incredible photos. Meanwhile, the guests were able to feed the giraffes in the barn. We had photos taken of each guest feeding a giraffe and later sent the photos to them along with thank you cards as a fun keepsake.
We had our reception at the Conservation Learning Center upstairs deck with a beautiful view overlooking the zoo. This complimented our eco-chic style décor perfectly (you’ll have to take down all your own décor after the wedding, but we found this wasn’t an issue since everyone was happy to help). The CLC is a new area with plenty of room for all the guests to dine and dance. The zoo set everything up for us including the tables, bar, rented décor, and outdoor lighting among many other things. We had scheduled an “animal encounter” for the reception with a Tamandua, which our guests loved. And after, we were pleasantly surprised how the staff continued to bring out animals including a skink, a snake, and a hedge hog! Much more than expected! Btw if you’re having children at your wedding, this in an ideal venue. All of the kids at our wedding were kept busy the entire night and never bored. The zoo even offers other options we didn’t purchase like face painting. The dinner was great and all of the food was just as delicious as it was at our tasting. No surprises. The churros were an absolute hit and everyone adored the children’s meals complete with toys and animal masks. We also had animal crackers for the guests to take as favors. And if you want to help out the animals, we found the zoo’s “adopt an animal” program was a great alternative to run-of-the-mill wedding gifts.
Overall we were astonished at out how smoothly the wedding ran with all the details we had scheduled at various locations within the zoo. The staff did an incredible job accommodating our guest’s needs and making sure the group was always where they needed to be. We love this zoo and are so proud to have gotten married there. It sounds cliché’ but it was truly the happiest day of my life and my husband and I agree it’s because we chose Reid Park as our venue.
rachel · Married on 04/17/2011
overal wonderfull service happy setting and wounderfull value.Sent on 10/20/2011
Nicole · Married on 05/01/2010
As a wedding coordinator, when it was my turn I wanted something different for my wedding and was looking for something outside the typical ballroom reception. One morning at 3:00am or so, a light bulb came on and I thought of the zoo.Sent on 07/01/2010
From my initial tour with Alison, I knew this was what I was going to do. The event garden was perfect and I could imagine it come to life with globe lights and bright festive flowers. Alison, the event coordinator, was very helpful. She worked with me to make sure that my vision was as I expected. She even worked with me to allow the Sonoran Snowballs to get their trailer inside the zoo as a special surprise for my guests.
We used the on site catering and the food was quite good. The bar was a fantastic deal and offered a wide variety that all my guests appreciated.
My only comment would be that it is absolutely 100% necessary to hire a day of wedding coordinator when you have a reception at the Zoo because someone needs to set up and you will most likely be at the ceremony when the set up needs to start.
User2712687 · 2+ years ago
Getting married at the zoo was wonderful - our guests loved it and being around there made for great memories and pictures. I recommend it - just don't work with Alison. She's very unprofessional - she bad mouthed prior events (referred to one bride as a "pain in the ass"), would forget to send paperwork, take forever to get back to us... For catering, the food was good for the value, but it pissed me off that no matter how many times we emphasized we wanted a dry wedding they still brought out champaign. I found that to be extremely disrespectful.Sent on 10/14/2012