44 total reviews
The Aquarium offers not only a beautiful and unique setting for a downtown Boston wedding, but a great team. Emily in sales and Abigail the event coordinator were both accessible and easy to work with. From the initial venue tour to planning the details as the day approached, everything was transparent, organized and professional. We really appreciated how proactive Abigail was in finalizing details and timelines, and she was an excellent resource. When my husband and I arrived at the Aquarium for our reception, we could fully relax and enjoy the party, knowing that we and our guests were in such good hands.
And it's a great place for a party! Our cocktail hour was outdoors on the harbor and the dinner/dancing was in the tent. The setting on the water is beautiful, and guests could explore the aquarium throughout the night. If the weather hadn't cooperated or if we had preferred, we could have had cocktail hour in the aquarium itself, which is a great option. The food was excellent and everything ran seamlessly. We heard so many complements about the venue from guests.
The setting is beautiful on its own and there are less expensive food and beverage options available, but it would also be possible to go all out with food, beverages and decor. There's a lot of flexibility, and we felt it was a good value relative to other Boston venues we considered. We would absolutely recommend the Aquarium to other couples and would do it all over again if we could!
I can't express enough how impressed I am with the experience I had with the New England Aquarium. From the time I contacted them in regards to planning my wedding to the end of wedding, the staff provided support that was above and beyond. They helped us with all the planning (food, linens, chairs, a place for the ceremony, coordinating with our cake vendor and DJ - everything), were there for day of the wedding support, and made sure that our wedding was perfect. Throughout the night, a staff member was checking in with my husband and I to make sure we had everything that we needed (including multiple champagne refills!). The food was absolutely amazing (guests are still commenting about it to me), and having our pictures taken in the Aquarium provides us with memories we will always look back on and treasure. I cannot recommend the Aquarium more - if you have your wedding here, you will not be disappointed.
We got married in front of penguins with an amazing backdrop of the main tank. The entire main building of the aquarium was ours for the night for both us and our guests to enjoy! The food was excellent and the staff really kept on top of everything and made different transitions as seamless as possible.;Since it was the Aquarium there were of course some lighting issues. A lot of our family members had issues with their cameras trying to get the right setting to capture us and the penguins at the same time. Our professional pictures came out great but some of our family members were disappointed in the quality of their personal photos. This venue is also better for smaller weddings. We had about 150 guests and we wanted to keep everyone on the same floor which was kind of pushing it with the space limitations. This venue offers the option of seating some of your guests on the higher levels to alleviate the space issues but if you really want to make everyone a part of your wedding it's best to try to keep all of your guests on the first level. So if you want a large wedding you might want to opt for the Aquarium's tent facilities on the wharf and you can always opt to rent out the Main Exhibit Hall as an additional site that your guests can visit.
I cannot say enough amazing thing about the New England Aquarium!! From the beginning, Abigail (our catering manager) did an INCREDIBLE job assisting us with any questions or special requests we have. I would email her various ideas and pictures and she would always respond promptly and professionally. In addition, she worked with us on dropping off our centerpieces/decorations/etc early in order to avoid stress the weekend of. As far as the venue itself, it is so unique and lends itself perfectly to a wedding cocktail hour and reception. We held our cocktail hour at the West Wing Gallery and our reception at the Harbor View Cafe. Our guests kept coming up to us and telling us how much fun they were having and what a good idea it was to have it there! The Harbor View Cafe, while it looks somewhat like a cafeteria during normal aquarium hours, was transformed into an elegant reception venue. In fact my family couldn't believe it was the same space as when they first looked at it.
Overall I would HIGHLY recommend the New England Aquarium, based off of both the service as well as the venue itself.
I can't say enough good things about the process and our actual wedding at the NE Aquarium! From the planning process with emily to the planning and day of events with Abigail, these ladies are calm, collected, and are top notch! The venue is a dream and the ceremony was beautiful. Guests are still calling me a month after to tell me how much fun they had at the wedding and how great the venue is! FYI the food is also killer here! If I were to do it again I would absolutely chose the team at the NE Aquarium! (seals and penguins included)
We absolutely loved having our wedding at the New England Aquarium! We were looking for a very Boston location that was not a hotel, and we could not have been happier. The staff were wonderful to work with, Abigail (the event coordinator) especially. She was organized, energetic, positive, and a pleasure to work with so closely! On the day of everything went off without a hitch. The flow from the ceremony on the back terrace (they block off the walkway so strangers aren't watching or in your pictures) to the cocktail hour was seamless. So many people commented how amazing it was to be in the NEAQ for a formal event and how much they loved the venue. The reception was just as seamless. The timeline we planned worked beautifully, the food was delicious (as we were told by all our guests - we loved it at our tasting), and everyone danced till the night ended. If you have the opportunity to hold your wedding at the NEAQ, we highly suggest you grab it!
I can't say enough good things about Abigail and the event team at the NEA. We planned our wedding from over 400 miles away, which could have complicated matters significantly, but the team at NEA did everything they could to make us feel confident and happy about our choices. Every step of the planning process, from the tasting, to the drop-off of our wedding accessories the day before, and all of the last-minute decisions in between, were handled with grace and efficiency.
The day itself was a joy- our guests are still raving about our unique cocktail hour in the Exhibit Hall (where else can you party with penguins!?) and the seated dinner we planned was wonderful. Abigail worked with us throughout the planning process to recommend vendors who were familiar with the venue and to help coordinate plans with those who were not. The result was a beautiful evening that ran smoothly, leaving us free to enjoy ourselves.
We highly recommend the NEA if you are looking for a beautiful venue- and a significant reduction in stress during the planning process!
Our wedding was July 5, 2014 at the Aquarium and I cannot say enough about the venue, staff and incredible location. Abigail was our main contact and she handled every single thing from A to Z. Her attention to detail is incredible. The catering staff was amazing from the first tasting to the actual day of and the food was beyond expectations. The Ben & Jerry's ice cream bar was one of the most talked about parts of our whole wedding. We got married at the aquarium as well and had the reception and cocktail hour there. They closed the sidewalk off around the ceremony site so it was still private and the views out to the harbor were incredible. It's kind of like you're on a boat. Having the aquarium to your self during the cocktail hour with the cool lighting, passed apps and the bars set up is an unreal experience. I would get married here again in a heartbeat.
I was so incredibly happy with my experience at the Aquarium. Abigail, our event planner, was so efficient and professional and made everything from the tasting to rehearsal to the actual day so incredibly easy. I was so impressed with her and her team's efficiency. My guests loved it and enjoyed our venue very very much.
Our wedding at the NEAQ far exceeded our (high!) expectations as well as those of our guests. Every aspect of the planning process as well as the event execution itself was flawless. "Catering manager" does not adequately describe the efforts put forth by Abigail Stephens who assisted us throughout the process. Every time we contacted her, she treated our small event as if it was the single most important thing she was working on. The result was a perfect wedding. We honestly cannot think of a single complaint. We would not hesitate to host another event there and would wholeheartedly recommend it to others.
The New England Aquarium was the perfect place for our wedding... we were able to get married outside right by the harbor; the food was amazing; and it was a unique experience for all of our guests.
The staff made the whole experience easy and stress-free... especially Abigail. She quickly responded to our numerous calls and e-mails leading up to the big day. And did her very best to accommodate any of our special requests. My outside vendors also told me it was a pleasure working with the aquarium staff.
I've had numerous guests tell me this was the best wedding they've ever been too. And also say that the food was excellent and memorable.
I strongly recommend the New England Aquarium to couples looking for a fun and creative wedding. I found it affordable compared to other seaside venues in Boston. The location is amazing... with fantastic views of the city. And nothing beats having the aquarium all to yourself for a night!
The Aquarium is an amazing place to have a wedding. Not only is the location absolutely perfect but the staff (Emily and Abigail) there to help you are extremely organized, friendly and ready to answer any questions.
The only downfall to this venue is the floral restrictions and start time (you have to wait until it is closed to the public), however for me they were outweighed by the fact that the guest pretty much had free reign of the entire Aquarium during the wedding.
My wedding was amazing and I have them to thank for all of their help. I would absolutely recommend the Aquarium to anyone!
From start to finish the service was fantastic. The entire planning process was so organized and Abigail, the coordinator, was a pleasure to work with.
It's such a fun and convenient location. All of the guests were so impressed with the cocktail hour around the tanks inside.
The event tent felt much larger than others (we had 165 guests, plus a band, plus a candy station table, gift table, etc.). It was so nice to be able to open the sides of the tent and let the breeze through and allow guests to enjoy the city skyline throughout the reception.
Finally - let's face it, wedding food usually sucks. To be honesty, I wasn't overly impressed with the food at our tasting. The actual wedding night, however, the food was very good. We had the diver scallops as one option, the prosciutto wrapped chicken and the stuffed mushroom as the two others. No complaints!
We looked at what felt like TONS of venues within the city of Boston before seeing the aquarium and most felt like prom reception halls or else they cost more than tuition to a four year private college! The aquarium was the perfect combination of unique venue for the right price.
This was the most beautiful and wonderful place to hold our wedding! Our guests found the venue so unique, and at night the tank really glows and looks amazing. We worked with Emily and Abigail, and we quickly found that they are seasoned professionals who really helped us create the perfect event. You won't have anything to worry about anything, and they are full of great ideas! The food was excellent, and all my vendors raved about their experiences working with the Aquarium in the past. Beyond Emily and Abigail, we had a server dedicated to myself and the groom for the entire evening. She kept an eye on us all evening, and at the end of the night had all our things packed and ready to go. I would highly recommend this venue - the space has a lot of flexibility and the harbor is so romantic at night with the city lit up in the background!
We recently held our wedding reception at the New England Aquarium. We were so impressed with the Aquarium throughout the entire planning process and the day of the wedding. I initially contacted the Aquarium through email and Emily responded quickly with the catering information and prices. After a few emails back and forth I was so excited to tour the space that I booked a meeting the next morning! Emily showed us around the aquarium, answered all of our questions and even gave some great recommendations for vendors. After booking we moved on to work with Abigail. She was friendly, creative and very responsive (which is most important!). She worked so well with all of our vendors and took a huge load off our shoulders. The reception itself could not have been any better. The staff continually checked in with my husband and I to see if we needed anything (and even to make sure we were eating enough). Throughout the night our guests toured the aquarium, enjoyed the beautiful ocean views and raved about the food!! We could not have picked a better spot to celebrate with our friends and family. The Aquarium and their staff truly made it a special day for us and for that we are forever grateful!!
This was the most amazing venue for a wedding and I am so pleased and satisfied by our choice to have our wedding here.
The people (Abigail and Emily in particular) are so fabulous and our wedding wouldn't have been as awesome as it was without them. The food was delicious, the views were breathtaking and the actual venue itself was a perfect backdrop, didn't require a lot of "dressing up".
I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
The New England Aquarium was an amazing place to get married. The day was absolutely perfect. Every little detail was better than I could have imagined. The venue is fun, different, yet classy and beautiful. The guests loved interacting with the animals, and having the opportunity the wander around the aquarium during cocktail hour, and the tent outside provides a beautiful view of Boston Harbor which was magnificent at sunset.
My husband and I literally could not be happier with our entire wedding planning experience at the Aquarium. The Aquarium staff never failed to impress us with their helpfulness, flexibility, and professionalism through every step of the planning process. The day went off without a hitch and it was a day we will always remember with nothing but happy memories.
The in-house catering was fantastic and accommodating (we had several guests with various food allergies) and many of our guests commented on how delicious everything was. Our guests with food allergies all showed up at brunch the next morning ready to eat again.
We opted not to hire a wedding planner, which ended up being a good move given how on top of things the staff were - they even rose to the occasion several times after we dropped the ball with this or that detail during the bustle of the last stages of planning.
As for the actual wedding itself, we could not be happier with how it went, and if we had to plan 10 more weddings we'd have them all at the Aquarium. Several of our vendors have also made a point of telling us how easy and great the Aquarium staff were to work with; we really can't thank them enough for playing such a huge part in our perfect day.
As a bonus, and feel even better (if it's even possible) knowing the money we saved for our wedding went to such a great and uniquely valuable public resource.
I warned my wife that a number of people would come up to us during/after the reception and tell us it was the best they'd ever been to, and to take that with a grain of salt as it's a gracious thing for a guest to do whether they mean it or not. And while several people did, indeed, come up to us and say it was the best reception they'd ever been to, in our case I believe most of them were actually telling the truth.
Every aspect of our reception—from the aquarium team greeting us as we walked up to the aquarium, to shuttling us up to our private prep room and making sure all our needs were met (Reese's Pieces? Really?), to staging our introduction, to the cocktails, dinner, and entertainment—was handled seamlessly by the event staff, allowing us to have fun, and enjoy the best night of our lives.
I owe Abigail a special thanks for cheerfully (and skillfully) getting my wife bustled up before our entrance, as her bridesmaids were flummoxed and I was close to running down to the 7-11 for some duct tape and baling wire.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people that checked out the exhibits during the reception, as I had assumed that maybe a handful of guests would just poke their noses in, or maybe go no further than the penguins. But it seems as if almost everyone there did in fact take advantage of our private access to tour the exhibits and take a stroll up and around the main tank, confirming for us what a perfect choice the aquarium was for a special, memorable reception. My wife and I even ended up spending more time in there than we had planned---when I checked my messages the next day there was one from the DJ, who had been trying to find us to come out for our first dance!
The site is also incredibly photogenic, and we have several hundred gorgeous photos from inside the aquarium, on the boardwalk, and in the tent to prove it. And then there's the fireworks—another event somewhere on the harbor had fireworks, but they may as well have been for us and our guests, as they were right in front of us.
And on top of all that, Abigail sent us a rebate of several hundred dollars a few days later, as we had, unbeknownst to us, overpaid for some line item or another, which we never would have noticed.
I would highly recommend having your wedding at the New England Aquarium if you are looking for a unique venue on the water. Our guests raved about the food and the views and loved having the Aquarium exhibits to themselves. They have some restrictions on sound and flowers, but didn't find it to be a major drawback. The sales people, wedding coordinators, and chef were all very helpful and great to work with, and we were really happy with the way the wedding turned out. Everyone had a great time!
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Plan a wedding or rehearsal dinner at Boston’s most unique venue, the New England Aquarium. Customizable location, entertainment and catering options set against an awe-inspiring backdrop create a completely unforgettable event.
- Price Range: $$$
- Amenities: Indoor Ceremony Area, Kosher Available, Liquor License, On the Water, Onsite Catering, Onsite Parking, Onsite Wedding Consultant, Outdoor Ceremony Area, Outdoor Reception Area, Tented Area, Wheelchair Accessible
- Capacity: Up to 250
- Style: Museum/Gallery, Unusual/Alternative
awards and affiliations
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2013
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2010