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Weddings

Seattle Aquarium Reviews

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Reviews

4.6 out of 5 rating
4.6 out of 5 rating
22 Reviews
92% recommend it
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Awards

22
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    Amanda K. Sent on 07/08/2022
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    Amazing Experience

    The aquarium made for a gorgeous and fun venue- our guests couldn't stop raving about it! Philadelphia was extremely helpful and responsive through the entire process. Now I just want people I know to get married there so I can experience it as a guest!
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    Garett Sent on 11/08/2022
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    Best Wedding Venue Experience

    WOW! We can’t say enough about the Seattle Aquarium for a wedding or special event venue! We had our wedding there this past June 2022 and from start to finish the entire process and experience was flawless. Chelsea and Philadelphia our wedding coordinators with the Seattle Aquarium team were a pleasure to work with and went above and beyond to make our dream a reality. It was so easy and fun to collaborate with them and The Seattle Aquarium venue offers it all. They have in-house catering, all the seating and linens, lighting, music plug ins and multimedia screens and endless possibilities to use the aquarium venue space. We had our ceremony right on the beautiful waterfront back pier, cocktail hour in the touch tank area and our dinner reception in the main hall with the enormous fish tank behind our wedding party main table. The dinner food was absolutely fantastic with amazing presentation. We truly can’t recommend the Seattle Aquarium enough for any special event or wedding!
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    Madeline P. Sent on 10/18/2021
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    Amazing Wedding Experience at the Seattle Aquarium

    My husband and I were married at the Seattle Aquarium on 9/25/2021. We had a fantastic experience and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this venue to anyone. From start to finish our experience with the venue was great. As a full service venue they took care of not only basic venue details but also all food and beverage except our dessert options. Due to COVID we worked with quite a few different people, Angie, Chelsea and Philadelphia but all were fantastic, responsive and up-to-date on what we needed. The planning process went great and all details were finalized multiple times and we were provided multiple options and advice for things like set-up, timeline and what not. The food tasting was great and the food was excellent both during the tasting and day of (lots of compliments on how good the food was especially the pass appetizers).
    Day of things went perfectly. We had a coordinator who worked with Philadelphia to help things run smoothly. The catering staff was great and efficient and the venue worked out, and looked, fantastic. The otter feeding and happy hour were highlights.

    All in all we had a fantastic experience and would highly recommend this venue to other couples!
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  • T
    Tania P. Sent on 08/15/2019
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    Professional and accomodating

    I had the good fortune of having my wedding at the Seattle Aquarium. It's one of a kind that truly offered a unique experience. We had our ceremony at the pier overlooking the water and had the reception at the spectacular Puget Sound Hall where we had a gigantic fish tank with hundreds of fish as a focal point. Our guests enjoyed watching the otter feeding along with their hors d'oeuvres and they were free to roam around and explore the entire aquarium. We had a number of children at our wedding and we heared that the "touch tanks" were a hit. Philadelphia (the aquarium's event manager) and her staff were amazing partners/collaborators. They were professional and accommodating. They even allowed us to bring our 14 year old dog Ebby to attend the ceremony. We received tons of compliments about this venue. It was simply stunning and we highly recommend it.
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    Aidan Sent on 08/05/2018
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    The Seattle Aquarium was perfect for our wedding. We got married on the back pier with Puget Sound behind us, and then had the reception in the grand lobby with the fishtank as our backdrop. Beautiful. The kids loved exploring the aquarium (they give you the whole place!) and everyone enjoyed the otter feeding. The food was amazing, too. One of my guests said "You don't get food of this quality at weddings this large. You just don't. This is the food you get at nice restaurants. This was fantastic." Chelsea (events coordinator) was fantastic from start to finish. We were doing the planning ourselves, so we had a million rookie questions (some of which we had to ask multiple times) but Chelsea was patient and responsive and everything went off perfectly. Shannon was the day-of coordinator who was also super helpful both on the day and afterwards when we returned to retrieve some things we'd left behind.

    Anyone who is thinking about getting married in Seattle should definitely consider the aquarium. It's a truly unique location your guests will never forget, and the staff made everything run so smoothly. Plus... otters!
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    Julie Sent on 01/23/2017
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    This review is specifically for Chelsea Gillis (Catering Director for Seattle Aquarium) and Mohamed Kari (Operations Manager). My fiance and I are getting married in August 2017- We currently live in Los Angeles, but my fiance is originally from Seattle. When we were researching possible venues in Seattle for our upcoming wedding, we were so excited to come across Seattle Aquarium as an option. Chelsea impressed us from the beginning. She responded right away to our initial inquiry, and was so friendly and easy to communicate with answering all of our questions as we were planning a wedding out of state. She is very accommodating to our requests and sustained communication with us even when we were not e-mailing as frequent as the beginning.

    When it came time for us to tour the Aquarium, which was Christmas weekend, Chelsea was off on holiday but arranged for us to tour the space with Mohamed. Mohamed was so friendly as well, and gave us a full tour of the space. When planning with Chelsea and Mohamed, we never felt pressured to book by a certain time. They were both super patient and very understanding about the challenges of planning an out of state wedding. Even during a time when we weren't sure what our plan was, they never pressured us into booking, and even kept a soft hold on a wedding date for us. It never felt like were were working with sales staff, but more like talking to old friends.

    After careful consideration, and due to family circumstances, we ended up deciding to have our wedding in Los Angeles. We have full confidence that had we chosen to hold our wedding at the Aquarium, the team would have put together the perfect day for us.
    Thank you Chelsea and Mohamed!!
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    David Sent on 12/24/2017
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    We hosted our wedding ceremony and reception at the aquarium and it was perfect!

    Chelsea was our amazing aquarium wedding coordinator / sales director. She took care of us from start to finish and found solutions to some of our special requests (e.g. large paella pans for the paella station). She was super easy to work with and made us feel like everything was under control the entire time even though there were many moving parts. The aquarium itself was beautiful. We had our ceremony outside in the back pier with perfect views of the sound and olympic mountains. The cocktail hour was in the touch tank area and the reception was in the main hall with the huge sound tank as the backdrop. The entire aquarium was open for our guests.

    The food, especially the tenderloin and summer corn puree, were delicious. Compliments to the chef.

    The day can be best summed up by one of our little nephews that declared "Today was the BEST DAY EVER!"

    We would gladly recommend other couples check out the aquarium for their special day!
  • User2075216 Sent on 03/23/2015
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    The staff and people feom thw Aquarium went above and beyond to make my wedding perfect. I still a month later have people coming to me raving about how wonderful the wedding was.I would choose the Aquarium for any event. They were amazing.
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    Sxc Sent on 01/19/2014
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    An absolute dream. So many of my guests commented on what an amazing wedding/venue this was and many were surprised that they hosted weddings. Tyler was wonderful to work with, laid back but completely on top of things. The day of the wedding, everything ran smoothly and was completely stress free. If there were any issues, my husband and I were none the wiser. If I ever had another life event to plan, I'd use this space again.
  • User1555672 Sent on 03/11/2014
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    Tyler U. (Events coordinator) is absolutely fantastic! He will work with you to make your dream wedding come true! He helped us get a customized band, assisted with lighting and table linen rentals through the Aquarium so we didn't have to worry about it. He was so organized that you really didn't need to get a wedding coordinator. My biggest worry was the time crunch since the aquarium is open to the public, but everything ran smoothly!
  • Melanie
    Melanie Sent on 09/19/2012
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    I came across the Aquarium on a google search. I knew that I wanted to get married at a unique location, but one that was also beautiful and elegant at the same time. And we loved that you rent out the whole Aquarium... If you got tired from dancing, you could walk around with a glass of wine (my groom and I did that for a bit). Right after we got engaged, we booked the venue...

    From my initial inquiry to the wedding day, the Aquarium staff was amazing. Tyler and Chelsea are awesome. I had Tyler as my main contact during the 12 months of planning. He was super chill and his laid back demeanor actually helped calm my nerves during the stressful parts of planning (and the actual wedding day). The food at the wedding was 5 star. The wait staff was so nice and the exhibitors were so energetic and fun.

    Here I am, only two and a half weeks after the wedding, and all I have heard from people is that it was the most unique, elegant and fun wedding that they have ever been to (that's quite a feat). People have also said that it was the "best wedding food I have ever had." Everything about the wedding was perfect. The ceremony (nothing cooler than getting married in front of a wall of fish), the reception (total party atmosphere), the food. It was all just perfect.
  • User863817 Sent on 07/14/2012
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    The seattle aquarium was beautiful and more amazing that I had imagined. The staff was friendly and did great! Chelsea, our wedding coordinator, was beyond amazing. She was flexible and did everything she could to make us happy!
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    Andrea Sent on 07/24/2019
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    Amazing Venue

    The Seattle Aquarium is not only one of the more unique venues in Seattle, it is also beautiful. You have access to the entire Aquarium for your event and it makes for an amazing backdrop. Not much is needed in terms of décor as it is practically provided, however guests have the opportunity to explore and enjoy while having a drink or a bite. The food was outstanding and personalized for our event. Shannon, our Event Manager, was easy to work with, had great ideas and made us feel like were guests at our own event. We loved the space and could not be happier with how the evening turned out. Everyone had so much fun and was able to enjoy this amazing venue for our celebration.
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    Ashley Sent on 07/29/2018
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    Love love love! We just got married 6 days ago at the Seattle Aquarium and multiple guests have said it was the "best wedding they've ever been to!"
    We had the ceremony out on the pier (which was gorgeous) , cocktail hour allowed full aquarium access to guests, then an otter feed, and then dinner/dancing was held in the room with the huge fish tank wall! SO much fun. The staff was very attentive and professional. We got multiple compliments on how quickly staff would refill their water glasses/refill the buffet food. The food was sooo good!!
    Chelsea, the event coordinator, worked with us and she is incredible! And there was an awesome lady named Shannon Hunter who helped the evening run so smoothly.
    It did take awhile initially for my emails to get responses, but as it got closer to the wedding Chelsea was quick to respond (also, calling is totally an option, but I just prefer email).
    Overall, my husband and I totally recommend this venue. If you are looking for a fun/unique/awesome wedding, the Seattle Aquarium is where it's at! I wish I could relive the night over and over again!
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    Angeline Sent on 12/04/2015
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    I had both my ceremony and reception at the Seattle Aquarium and it was nothing short of magical. The venue was very beautiful and their event team were on top of everything. They were very quick to flip the ceremony room to reception and my guests could wander the entire aquarium during cocktail hour and into the night. They even made an event out of feeding the sea otters (my favorite animal) for my guests. The food was wonderful and I heard nothing but compliments about it. Every guest told me it was the best wedding they had been to.
  • User1537339 Sent on 02/17/2014
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    This was a great place for my wedding. The venue was beautiful. If you are looking for something unique but not too crazy then I would highly recommend this. With all the tables, candles, and decorations out the backdrop of all the fish was awesome. I wouldn't have had it any other way!
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    Ashley Sent on 07/24/2014
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    We had our wedding at the Aquarium and it was absolutely fabulous. Everyone we worked with was so helpful and responsive to all of our questions and requests. We heard from so many guests that it was the best wedding venue they had experienced. We are so completely happy with our decision to celebrate our big day there!
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    Thuy-Kim Sent on 02/03/2015
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    The Seattle Aquarium is an incredible experience on any regular day, but the day we got married there was so special and beautiful. We had the massive, gorgeous aquarium as the backdrop for our ceremony and our guests enjoyed playing in the Tide Pool room as well as an otter feeding.

    An. Otter. Feeding.

    We're still getting compliments about this! Our guests loved...playing, learning and seeing what the place had to offer.

    Besides being a unique venue, the aquarium satisfied a lot of practical requirements: close to many hotels, in-house catering services, and incredible event and support staff.

    We worked with Chelsea who provided us with ample materials to organize our own vendors, including our wedding coordinator, JBK Weddings. Despite our out-of-state location, it was remarkably easy to coordinate with Chelsea over phone and email. We also met with her in-person once for a tasting—which was great! She helped us work out the logistics with our guest count and gave us a lot of creative options for the day. Also, she gave us some great deadlines for getting information and vendors to, since we were determined to manage our vendors.

    For the week and day leading up to the event, we worked with Tyler to finalize the details. He was there on the ground, helping us through the day and working with the vendors. We barely had to do anything once we were there.

    The whole staff was professional and organized. They really know their stuff, since I'm sure they handle much larger parties than 100.

    If I have any regrets, it's that we didn't book a few more hours there. I wished the night kept going and going.
  • User974246 Sent on 10/15/2012
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    We loved our unique aquarium wedding and both the outdoor pier and indoor reception areas. Our guests enjoyed the exhibits and sea otter feeding! The event coordinator was wonderful and easy to work with, super responsive to questions, concerns, etc. and helped everything run very smoothly on the big day. The venue does have a few limitations in terms of decor and requires the use of their catering/beverages, etc. The fees cover only the basics and any additional requests often have a fee associated (champagne for the toast and customized signage, for example).
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    Jessica Sent on 02/04/2017
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    The day of the event was incredibly smooth, and was such a beautiful background for our big day! We had the whole venue for our exclusive 100 person guest list, providing a really special, intimate event. My guests were also raving about the otter feeding for weeks after.

    They do all the bar and food service (including accommodating our picky signature cocktail tastes, and allowing a second food tasting when we weren't able to try the lamb osso bucco in the initial tasting). They also worked great with our Day of Coordinator so I didn't stress about ANYTHING on the big day!!

    We spent $18.8K for the whole venue (ceremony+reception), 5-hour full open bar, 2-entree option buffet dinner, passed hors d'oeuvres for 100 people, all chairs/tables/place settings/tableclothes.

    Chelsea ended up being great to work with, but we were bounced from her, to Jessie (for our food tasting), back to Chelsea. Overall, though, Chelsea was great to work with, though she seemed a bit overworked so there were pockets of time where the venue was not very responsive.

    The aquarium was central to creating the best day ever!!
  • Lifeng
    Lifeng W. Sent on 08/28/2019
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    Extremely inflexible

    We just got married 8/24 at Seattle Aquarium. Seattle Aquarium is our dream venue at first because of its uniqueness, but become a nightmare in the end.

    Before we sign the contract , everything we ask they said no problem! We asked can we bring our dog to ceremony, they said no problem . And didn’t mentioned anything about any rule. We asked is that possible to have some Chinese dim sum for cocktails hours. They said they can either allow other vendor to provide cocktail hour food for their catering service can try. However once we signed contact and their event manager Shannon took over. Everything is different. Everything we asked is no.
    First , tasting date has to be during weekday 1pm. But we both work cannot make it . It took us 4/5 rounds negotiating, finally we got to taste during weekend 3 months after we booked venue. second, they only allow to try 2 entrees during tasting! But how am I going to choose which one I like. What if I don’t like either of them. We asked can we try 3, so we can choose 2 out of 3. They said they need to charge extra $55 to try one more entree! What?!!! I spent over 20,000 on this venue , they charge us extra just to try one more entree ? They did wave this fee after we argued. Third , one week before the wedding , they expressed they don’t actually allow dogs but since they agreed at first place, they will bend the rule. But they make extremely uncomfortable rule , and we originally planned to let it dog walk out by himself. But they require dig in leash all her time , otherwise will be removed immediately!!!! Forth, what sell the aquarium is the waterfront back pier. We asked can guest hang out on pier during cocktail hours, they said no. What ?!!! Why!!! Fifth. Since we did buffe, I ask if there is leftover, can we pack. They said no for safety purpose! In addition, there is no parking , guest has to pay for parking. And food at wedding is not great. Guests complain Salmon is too plain . And you only have 4.5 hours total.

    Overall, the whole process when working with Shannon, I feel she doesn’t want our wedding to be good. She tried everything she can to make our wedding more stressful ! It’s really a nightmare to work with Shannon!
    Seattle Aquarium claimed they are non profit, but the price they charge is not cheaper than any other venue! And the value definitely doesn’t worth it!
  • K
    Katie Sent on 12/26/2017
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    This review really pains me and I've waited a few months to see if my feelings softened or changed. They haven't and because I know how much I relied on vendor reviews during the wedding planning process, I want to provide an honest review of our experience.

    An important distinction: the Seattle Aquarium outsources their catering and event management to a third-party (Sodexo) so this is a review of Sodexo only. The Aquarium itself is wonderful and I fully support their mission.

    PROS: the venue is gorgeous and provided the most magical backdrop for our wedding. My husband and I had our third date there so it was the obvious choice when we got engaged! Plus, it doesn't get cooler than a touch tank cocktail hour.

    CONS: Again, this is for Sodexo only. Things were mostly great right up until the week before the wedding so what happened day-of (and after) was a total shock.

    Highlights: they lost our sparklers and ruined our grand exit (despite me labeling everything meticulously), the coordinator disappeared right as things started to go south (I was, literally, in the staff staging area in my giant dress asking someone for a radio so they could find her...she had my phone and I had to quickly re-coordinate and contact vendors due to Sodexo's error), nearly every invoice they gave us was wrong (the final one was $3k more than it should have been), and the post-event communication was awful (a rush-order partial refund took over a month).

    It felt like it was the first event they'd ever put on. I understand that things go wrong but you're in the wrong business if you can't think on your feet and come up with alternatives. Our wedding was beautiful and our guests had a wonderful time but, sadly, my husband and I also remember how intensely stressful and disappointed we were during the event itself.

    I can't recommend that Aquarium as an event venue. Which makes me really sad because it's gorgeous.
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