Toledo Zoo Wedding Guide

When choosing a wedding venue in Toledo, consider bringing out your inner child at the Toledo Zoo!

As a Toledo wedding photographer with over 10 years of experience, I’ve put together a list of my favorite things about one of my absolute favorite Toledo wedding venues, the Toledo Zoo. I also included blog posts from past zoo weddings for you to enjoy as well! Get ready and let’s dive in!

night photo at toledo zoo wedding

Why the Toledo Zoo is one of my favorite wedding venues:

Here are some top reasons the Toledo Zoo should be considered for your wedding:

  • Multiple ceremony and reception spaces for you to choose from
  • Ceremony sound equipment is included if you don’t want to have a DJ for that portion and save some cash!
  • The Gardens is a hidden gem for outdoor ceremonies! It’s stunning!
  • No charges for setup and tear down
  • Venue includes a wedding coordinator with you all day and a venue coordinator to help the event process go smoothly from booking until wedding day
  • The zoo is always landscaped and well-maintained!
  • The staff is awesome (I might be biased since I worked here for 6 years, but the staff is awesome)

Be sure to check out the Toledo Zoo website for some 3D views of all of the gorgeous reception spaces. 

toledo zoo conservatory wedding photo

Who the Toledo Zoo is perfect for:

COUPLES THAT:

  • love this wonderful Toledo landmark and think of it as a sentimental childhood spot
  • are into the idea of a unique and historic venue.
  •  are okay with sharing their venue (the Toledo Zoo is very popular and has multiple weddings a day!)
  • are okay doing some walking on their day (and having their guests do a little walking too – FYI there are golf carts for elderly guests!)

Can I see animals during my Toledo Zoo wedding?

You bet you can! Get married inside the Aquarium and utilize the touch tank for your reception, enjoy cocktail hour at the Overlook where you can see the giraffes and other African wildlife, or invite a sloth to chill with your guests during cocktail hour. You can even opt to do your cocktail over by the elephants! The zoo has lots of options for you and your guests to have a unique experience.

What do the venue spaces look like at the Toledo Zoo?

The venue spaces at the zoo range from outdoor to indoor and anywhere up to 700 guests! You’re definitely find a spot that will suit your guest count here!

For ceremonies, my favorite spot is definitely the Formal Gardens. Located on the Broadway side of the zoo, this space is tucked away and you’ll be surrounded by all kinds of beautiful plants and flowers. It’s elegant and one-of-a-kind. Holds up to 200 seated guests.

wedding ceremony at toledo zoo gardens

A close runner up for ceremonies is the Aquarium. Located on the Broadway side of the zoo, you can get married inside this historic building that is filled with fish tanks and an array of fish, jellyfish, sharks, and other amazing animals. 

Keep in mind, every year the zoo holds a winter event called the Lights Before Christmas and events cannot be held in this building from mid November until early January. You can opt to have a smaller reception inside this space as well for up to 80 guests!

For receptions, the zoo has updated spaces ranging from modern to a more rustic/castle vibe with exposed wooden beams.

Malawi Event Center holds up to 700 of your wedding guests and can also be split into designated ceremony/cocktail hour/reception places so your guests can be in one spot the entire evening. Located close to the main entrance of the zoo, the Malawi Event Center is located close to the carousel, Overlook by the giraffes, and the polar bears at the Arctic exhibit. The space has an absolutely breathtaking 73 foot aquarium and is a beautiful wedding venue.

The Great Hall, located inside the Museum of Science, has been completely transformed and is now a gorgeous reception space. This spot used to just be an overflow ceremony spot or backup rain plan and has been completely changed. I love the castle look of this space, with exposed beams and unique chandeliers and woodwork. You’re also close to the Aquarium, Amphitheatre, and could even do a cocktail hour over by the elephants. FYI, these amazing lights come complimentary with the space! You can choose from 6 colors or pay a little extra to work with a tech and get a custom color! Holds between 150-180 guests.

Does a Toledo Zoo wedding come with a coordinator?

As mentioned above, the Toledo Zoo includes both a wedding coordinator and a venue coordinator. A wedding coordinator will be there to assist you on your wedding day and a venue coordinator will be there as your main point of contact throughout the wedding process. Both of these wonderful people will help keep things moving and on track from the venue’s standpoint, but you really should think of a day of coordinator to assist you and your wedding party. Day of coordinators are there for you and only you and will work together with the wedding and venue coordinator to make sure EVERYTHING comes together!

toledo zoo wedding

Does the Toledo Zoo allow outside catering?

The zoo does not allow outside catering and is all-inclusive for food and beverage (although there are upgrades available). They do allow desserts, cakes, and other items from a licensed baker.

Do you want to get married at the Toledo Zoo?

If you’re ready to celebrate your wedding at the Toledo Zoo, I would love to help you capture the big day. You’ll love it here and I have the skinny on all the best location spots from when I worked here! Get in touch and let’s make it happen.