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Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium 5 of 5 1 25

3 featured reviews

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Wedding: 6/8/2013
Member Since: 6/27/2011
Wedding at the Garden Tent Venue    posted 6/25/2013 (modified 2/11/2014)

I had my wedding reception at the Pittsburgh Zoo in their Garden tent area, it was absolutely fabulous! The staff was incredible with my millions of emails before the wedding, and the day of the wedding they were just as incredible. I received many many compliments from all of my guests about how friendly and nice the staff was an I felt the same way. Planning a wedding reception there was honestly fun and easy. I highly recommend this venue if your looking for something different than a typically banquet hall or country club! I absolutely loved it !

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Wedding: 4/13/2013
Member Since: 9/13/2011
April 13 - Pittsburgh Zoo    posted 6/12/2013

I had my wedding reception in the PPG Aquarium building, and it was absolutely perfect! The space is great for a relatively large number of people. Guests can be seated on the balcony as well as the lower level, and appetizers can be served in the aquarium hallways near the entrance. We had access to the entire building, which was great for exploring the exhibits and for entertaining the kids. All of my guests loved the unique atmosphere and the opportunity to experience something other than dancing. All zoo staff were as nice and helpful as can be - I was told by multiple guests and vendors how nice every zoo employee was! The staff sets up and cleans up, so you don't have to worry about any details on your wedding day. The food was also fantastic. I was a little worried, because Taste of the Wild does not do tastings prior to the event, but everything was delicious. My guests all loved the prime rib and the Parmesan chicken. The zoo provides a shuttle for guests from the entrance to the aquarium building, so nobody had to worry about walking too far. The per-person price for this venue may seem high, but it is actually very reasonable when you consider that it is truly all-inclusive and includes facility, set-up and break-down, service, furniture and dinnerware rentals, and more. You only need to provide your own alcohol, but that's less expensive and more flexible than places that provide it for you. I had so much fun at my reception, and I know my guests did as well. I am so glad I decided to hold it at the zoo! Thanks to all who made my reception so wonderful!

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Wedding: 8/18/2012
Member Since: 5/23/2011
Beautiful and Fun Space... a Few Hiccups    posted 9/4/2012 (modified 12/16/2012)

Things that I heard from my guests:
-The people around the zoo were really nice
-The hors d'oeuvres were very good and they were very actively served (everyone had a chance to get quite a few)
-The food was good
-The animals and exhibits were really cool- especially at night
-The reception was beautiful
-The bathrooms were not cleaned and WERE DISGUSTING
-The had to wait for quite a bit of time on a hot shuttle while the driver was missing

Things I appreciated about the zoo:
-The time they took to give us tours and meet with us --they even gave our parents a tour and run-through of the reception
-We were able to stock our own bar, and we had plenty of wine and beer left over
-The zoo was flexible with our smaller-size group (even though we wanted the Aquarium space) and their ability to help us cut out specific costs helped make it manageable within a reasonable budget.
-They did a ton of really special things for us on our wedding day- they had trams waiting for our guests right when we requested them to be there, they shuttled us around to take pictures around the zoo before the reception, and they did all the set-up and clean-up... really wonderful.

My suggestion for brides that book the zoo in the future:
- Hire a coordinator to oversee details the day of the event. There was a bit of confusion between the band and the zoo and the schedule of things, but it was really mostly confusion on the part of our band... I guess I hoped that the zoo would act as our day-of coordinator and tell the band what to do (even though they really should have already known -from the details I sent the band- what to do), but that was a little bit silly to expect.
-Overall, I'd have to recommend the zoo. We loved the venue and all of the people we worked with there- just make sure that you write all of your expectations into the contract you sign, and be extremely mindful of the details of how you want things to run. The zoo runs part of the show for you, but not all of it. Also- be aware that they don't always follow your seating chart: my Aunts and Uncles were served last- behind 3 tables of college friends (that really did not make them happy), and some immediate family members were seated a little bit away from the bridal party table even though the seating chart was laid out differently.


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More impressive than your typical hall

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is one of the most unique settings for a Wedding Reception in Western Pennsylvania. You can astonish your guests with a backdrop of tropical fish in the elegant PPG Aquarium, or perhaps you would prefer to delight your guests in our romantically lit Garden Tent.


  • Price Range: $$
  • Outdoor Ceremony Area: No
  • Indoor Ceremony Area: No
  • Outdoor Reception Area: Yes
  • On the Water: No
  • Tented Area: Yes
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Onsite Catering: Yes
  • Outside Caterers Allowed: No
  • Kosher Available: No
  • Liquor License: Yes
  • Onsite Overnight Accommodations: No
  • Onsite Parking: Yes
  • Valet Parking: No
  • Onsite Wedding Consultant: No
  • Liability Insurance: No
  • Site Fee: No
  • Capacity: Up to 250
  • Style: Unusual/Alternative

awards and affiliations

  • The Knot Best of Weddings 2011The Knot Best Of Weddings 2011