New England Aquarium

Boston, MA

Capacity: 201-250 | WEBSITE | PHONE

Book Your Wedding with New England Aquarium


A BEACH IN BOSTON, MA

About Us

The Main Exhibit Gallery houses the amazing 200,000-gallon Giant Ocean Tank with abundant sea life. Sleek contours and chic lighting enhance the space even more, making it great for a trendy ceremony or a laid-back reception—or both. This venue has enough space for 300 seated guests or 800 for a cocktail-style service—not counting the dozens of penguins of course.

The West Wing Gallery splits up into two separate levels, providing awesome photo opportunities and an air of elegance. Count on a capacity of 75 seated or 100 for a cocktail reception. Kids—and let’s face it, adults, too—are enthralled by the shark and ray touch tank in this location.

The Harbor View Café is an enclosed indoor venue with spectacular vistas of the Boston Harbor thanks to wall to wall windows. The natural lighting also creates an artistic vibe that enhances any wedding reception or ceremony. There is enough room for 100 seated guests.

The Harbor View terrace and tent is a must-have space for an unforgettable wedding celebration. Its magnificent open-air ambiance and spectacular views transport you to another world for the duration of your wedding day. It is unbelievably romantic, offering a great place for a dance. In addition, it has capacity for 300 seated guests or 400 for a cocktail reception.

Simons IMAX Theater takes whatever you imagined as being an audiovisual presentation during a wedding ceremony to a whole new level. Imagine an enormous multilevel screen playing your favorite moments together as a couple or with friends and family. Just make sure you’re having a good hair day first. You can count on space for 120 seated and 150 cocktail style, with a total theater capacity of 398.

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What You Should Know

The five-star reviews from happy newlyweds are so endless that it’s impossible to mention them all. But, suffice it to say that they all agree that the New England Aquarium is a great choice for wedding ceremonies and receptions. There are also a lot of extra options that make your wedding day truly spectacular. The best part is that, since this location is a nonprofit organization, all additional fees you pay are going to a good cause as well.

  • Edge of the Sea tide pool lets you hold marine animals
  • Roving interpretation provides guests with knowledgeable staff and sea life facts
  • Costumed shark, penguin and turtle characters interact with guests
  • Giant ocean tank divers feed the wildlife during your celebration and interact with guests

Your events coordinator can answer any additional questions, and also help you to find florists, DJs and other wedding professionals that are of the highest quality. While bringing your own decorations is permitted, there are a few things that are specifically prohibited.

  • Elastic bands
  • Rubber wristbands
  • Balloons
  • Glowing sticks, bracelets and necklaces
  • Hawaiian leis
  • Toothpicks
  • Skewers
  • Stirrers
  • Cans or bottles
  • Marbles
  • Sand
  • Small toys
  • Ribbon
  • Mylar
  • Confetti
  • Glitter
  • Rice
  • Birdseed
  • Seashells are allowed in vases only
  • Candle flames in hurricane lamps or votive holders only
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Extra Perks

The New England Aquarium provides access to some of the most unique venues imaginable. If you want, you can reserve the entire aquarium. Not only does that give you tons of space—from 1,000 to 2,000 guests for seated and cocktail-style receptions—it also means free access for all of your guests to every exhibit inside during the entirety of your celebration.

Another amazing perk of the New England Aquarium is the staff's experience with strolling receptions. Instead of a normal sit down meal with hundreds of guests, take to the halls of the aquarium to check out the sites while munching on your favorite hors d'oeuvres and dishes of the highest quality. This provides for colorful photographic opportunities like no other for the bride and groom, and also gives them an excuse to sneak away from the crowd from time to time.

In addition to these amenities, there are others provided by the aquarium no matter what venue you choose.

  • Bridal suite
  • Specialty drinks
  • Complimentary tables and chairs
  • Aquarium security guards
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From the Vendor

Congratulations on your engagement!

Capture the romance of Boston's historic harbor with one of the most unique venues in the city. With stunning settings, one-of-a-kind views and a backdrop of awe-inspiring aquatic animals, the New England Aquarium is the perfect Boston location for your upcoming waterfront wedding reception.

Amenities + Details

Amenities
  • Bridal Suite

  • Handicap Accessible

  • Indoor

  • Outdoor - Covered

  • Wireless Internet

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$$ – Moderate

Venue Capacity

201-250

Settings

Waterfront, Museum, Tented

Wedding Categories

Food + Catering, Planning

Awards
Bowhof
Bow2017
Bow2016
Bow2015
Bow2013
Bow2011
Bow2010
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Contact Info

Address
One Central Wharf, Boston, MA (617) 973-5205
WEBSITE FACEBOOK TWITTER

Reviewed on 5/09/2016 Kristin F

The New England Aquarium was a spectacular venue. The Aquarium is an unique and beautiful venue. There were so many guests who loved cocktail hour so they could see all the different exhibits. The venue itself is amazing as well as the food and staff. The food is outstanding and... Read More the people that we worked with went above and beyond. Abigail, the aquarium's coordinator, is amazing to work with. Our wedding was perfect and I would recommend the aquarium as the venue. There are many different options for the reception depending on what you would like as well as your wedding size. My wedding was 4/23/16, it was a beautiful evening and we had the ceremony outside on the terrace in the back of the aquarium. The views are amazing!!! We had cocktail hour in the main hall with the penguins! The guests loved this! The reception was then in the outdoor tent in the back of the aquarium and it was an amazing evening of good food and dancing!

2016-05-09T09:48:54 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much for your kind words about our venue and staff. We were so happy to be a part of your special day! The New England Aquarium


Reviewed on 12/28/2015 Christina W

From the moment we toured the Aquarium, we knew that this is where we wanted to have our wedding. We were looking for a place on Boston's waterfront that was unique but that would host the ceremony, the cocktail hour, & the reception all in one. This was the spot for it all. The... Read More sales manager Emily walked us through everything to help us envision our day. She made us feel so excited to set the date. The catering manager & day of coordinator, Abigail, was the next person we met with. She was FABULOUS from start to finish, efficient in returning emails throughout our planning, wonderful in coordinating with our other vendors, & fantastic at dealing with week of stress that a bride can bring to the plate! She went above and beyond to make everything work.. All more fantastic than I could have ever imagined! We had our ceremony outside overlooking the water. The cocktail hour was hosted inside around the fabulous exhibits all dressed up to host such an event & very interactive for the guests! The reception was in a covered tent behind the aquarium with the water as the backdrop. The waitstaff was prompt, courteous, & very professional. The bartenders were fabulous & even helped "design" one of our specialty drinks. The night was seamless & I wasn't stressed thinking about anything that night, as I was so comfortable in knowing the the AMAZING Abigail was there to help with any last minute issues to put all of us at ease. The food was amazing. Who would think that food prepared in a kitchen at an aquarium would be so fantastic?! We were blown away and still have guests that say to us.. The food at your wedding was incredible! Not many people can say that their food was memorable at a wedding! Overall, The New England Aquarium blew us away with their ability to meet all of our needs of hosting our dream wedding. Thank you for the best night of our lives.. Thanks Abigail! xo, The Genoas


ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!

Reviewed on 9/17/2015 Janet B

We recently got married at the NEAQ and I don't think I can accurately express how happy I am with their service. First of all, we did a tour with Emily who was so responsive and wonderful in getting us started with our contract. Once we picked the place the planning... Read More process began with Abigail who is not only INCREDIBLY professional and amazing at her job but who responded to every concern within a day of my emails. We had such a pleasant experience planning the wedding that we weren't sure it could get any better. However, the day of was incredible. Everything went on without a hitch and Abigail was beside us every step of the way and always made sure we were fed, happy, and stress free. Planning a wedding can be an incredibly stressful experience but having a good time around you is essential to making this process less so. The team at the NEAQ is not only a good team, but an amazing one. Not one detail was overlooked and I have gotten the greatest compliments on how fabulous, unique, and delicious everything was for our wedding day. Do not have doubts about having your wedding here, it is 100% worth it!!!!! You will not be disappointed.


Reviewed on 11/17/2017 Laura S

Picking the New England Aquarium for our wedding was one of the best decisions we made in the whole planning process. I just can't speak highly enough for what an incredible job they do there -- the staff are incredibly helpful, charming, responsive, and easy to work with. They... Read More are a real full-service venue, and they can handle a lot of the wedding details in-house, which is so valuable for busy brides. They made the planning process a breeze!! There are some limitations on what you can bring in to the Aquarium -- understandably, because of the animals! -- but the staff does a great job of explaining those limitations and working with you to make sure the day still goes just as you envisioned it. They even had a special server dedicated to making sure that my groom and I had all the food and drink we wanted during the wedding. On the day of, our guests were just blown away by the space, and couldn't stop talking about how great it was to watch the penguins, see the sea turtles, etc.! The food also really exceeded my expectations. Everything was really delicious!!


Reviewed on 11/14/2017 Chris F

The New England Aquarium is a dream setting to have a wedding. My wife and I could not be happier with our wedding there and services they provided. I mean come on, we got married with the penguins, seals, and all the other amazing "guests" that call the aquarium home. Its a... Read More picturesque setting on the beautiful Boston Harbor located in the heart of the city. Who could ask for more. The Aquarium and their staff run a great operation and do an excellent job to make sure your wedding day is as perfect as you dreamed. Its safe to say the Aquarium will always hold a special place in our hearts.


Reviewed on 11/10/2017 Jeanne R

As event coordinators, we get to work at many venues and have been able to experience the best of what is out there. The New England Aquarium is a fun, unique space with gorgeous views of the harbor. The staff was amazing to work with, through the planning with Renee and... Read More execution Keleigh and the rest of the staff , we created a special and memorable event for our client. We hope to have the opportunity to work there again soon!


Reviewed on 11/02/2017 S S

Amazing venue! We were so happy with everything involving the aquarium, from the planning process to the day of our wedding. They had thought of every little detail and were extremely responsive in all of our questions. We were approached by so many guests afterwards who were... Read More raving about how unique a venue it was, and how much they enjoyed the event. Couldn't be happier with our choice!


Reviewed on 11/01/2017 Danielle B

My husband and I got married at the NEAQ on 9/9/17. We cannot say enough about the Aquarium and the entire staff there. From our booking with Sara to planning with Abigail then Renee to our day of coordinators (Keleigh and Sandy), we had top notch service throughout. The... Read More Aquarium has been planning events for a very long time and it is clear by how smoothly everything unfolded. We loved that they have their own kitchen (where the food is delicious and expertly prepared) and their own tables/chairs/linens/silverware/etc. (which you get to choose the details of). In addition, the NEAQ provides a lot of extras we took advantage of (table numbers, toasting glasses for the bride and groom, display at the bar for signature cocktail). Whatever was not included was clearly communicated in case we wanted to provide these extras for our guests (i.e. guestbook, bathroom amenity baskets, ceremony programs, reception menus, dance floor flip flops). We were able to drop those off the day before the wedding and the staff set up everything! Further, the week of the wedding, our wedding event coordinator at the NEAQ contacted each of our outside vendors (cake, band, tent/table decor) to make sure all deliveries were set for the big day. Which, as we got closer to the wedding, was a huge load off our backs! And last, but certainly not least, I have to mention that we looked at a lot of venues in Boston and Cape Cod and we found the NEAQ to be very reasonably priced for a wedding venue in the heart of Boston. The NEAQ was such a unique wedding venue. Our guests have been raving about our wedding ever since 9/9! Everyone was so impressed with each part of the ceremony and reception! My husband and I highly recommend having your wedding (or any event really) at the NEAQ if you can. From the planning to the celebration, we were beyond impressed. We didn't worry about a thing prior to or the day of because it was all meticulously planned and executed. Thank you to the staff for creating and facilitating the best setting possible for the most memorable day of our lives!!


Reviewed on 10/31/2017 Joey C

Wedding planning can be extremely stressful and we had some doubts initially about the venue itself, especially upon learning that there would only be one hour for set up on the day of the event! And while the hour did fly by, along with the rest of the evening, there was a... Read More literal army of staff on site to help ensure that the evening ran as smoothly as possible. The venue itself, though, is what made the evening so memorable for us. Our event was in the Main Exhibit, with reception held on the 4th floor where the top of the giant tank was, and dinner held on the first floor by the penguins. It was both fun and elegant, which was exactly what we wanted as our guests included families. Everyone in our party, from kids to adults, enjoyed being able to walk around and see the exhibits throughout the evening. We had a bit more than 90 guests and managed to just fit the 10 tables on the first floor for dinner. I think the setting would work even better for a slightly smaller party, as the tables are placed in a row, and some of our guests did have to move up and around a bit for better viewing. Also if you are thinking of coordinating everything yourself, rather than using an event coordinating, we highly recommend communicating your vision for the event early on and with as much detail as possible. As mentioned before, set up time is extremely tight, and you are really dependent on the aquarium (and your DJ if you have one), for making all the necessary announcements for each event of the evening. Also, do bear in mind that for the safety of the animals, there are strict rules for vendors and around décor. Overall, we highly recommend the NEA if you are looking for a highly memorable, unique, and fun venue for a special event!


Reviewed on 10/31/2017 Michael L

The New England Aquarium was beyond what we could have expected. Team: The team was incredible to work with from the first tour through the end of the wedding. Everyone was attentive, they knew all the vendors across Boston, and they were always there to help us brainstorm and... Read More prepare. My wife and I don't live in Boston. However, that didn't matter as everyone was so attentive and detail focused! Food: They designed a custom menu based on our taste (lamb, pasta, tagine). Our guests told us it was the best food they ever had at a wedding (I may be biased, but I agree). Event: We had a cocktail party with penguins and fish. Our guests LOVED it! The tent at the water was perfect. Everyone had access to the water, and if people wanted to they could sneak back at any time and watch the penguins cuddle as they fell asleep. Seriously...if you are even the tiniest bit nerd or love animals, stop your venue hunt and contact the New England Aquarium!


Reviewed on 10/31/2017 Stephanie L

We chose to tour the aquarium as a wedding venue on a whim (and persistence from me) and immediately knew it was where we wanted to get married. From the start, Sara was absolutely phenomenal to work with and answered all of our questions in a timely manner and made sure we were... Read More comfortable with each detail the aquarium had to offer. A few months before our wedding, Abigail had moved on to another job and we were nervous about the transition to a new coordinator but we were blown away again. Renee was fantastic, helping us with every little thing. The day and night of was a bit rocky with how many DIY stuff we brought but we managed. The rain plan was last minute but the staff and Renee were great and made everything go smoothly. The food was absolutely amazing and we keep hearing about it from all of our friends and family. Thank you to everyone at the aquarium who made our day great!


Reviewed on 10/30/2017 Kristen B

If I could give NEAQ more stars I would, what an amazing venue! We had our wedding here on a Friday evening in May and it was beautiful. Our ceremony was outside on the water, it created a gorgeous backdrop! Our guests are still talking about what a fun and unique experience our... Read More wedding was! The staff was phenomenal from booking the date to service throughout the night I have nothing but praise! I also haven’t stopped hearing about how amazing the food was. Our wedding was a dream come true and I would not have had my wedding anywhere else!


Reviewed on 10/30/2017 Amy Dearth C

I am a lucky planner that worked with the NEAQ team for a couple of events. They are surely a world class team that is so incredibly helpful. Not to mention, they have the incredible back tent with wonderful harbor views. I can't wait to come back again!!


Reviewed on 10/30/2017 Renee S

The New England Aquarium is quite simply one of the best venues in Boston!! From their beautiful waterfront backdrop under the tent to the unique spaces inside the Aquarium and delicious and creative menu options, we cannot speak highly enough of the venue and catering team!


Reviewed on 10/30/2017 Sarah N

Working at the New England Aquarium is a breeze! Our team loves working with the team there. They are always working on behalf of the clients and it's a truly special space. Not to be missed!


Reviewed on 9/15/2017 Angelina G

Abigail and then Sara helped us plan and execute our wedding perfectly. We were (obviously) unfamiliar with the process and appreciated the detailed wedding planning that came with the rental space and catering. We didn't even realize how delicious the food would be, but it was... Read More some of the best food we'd had at weddings! We went with the food stations and people loved milling around and picking out what they wanted to eat (the short ribs and waffles station had the longest line). Our outdoor ceremony was beautiful with the Tall Ships in the background. They do a great job of keeping the public back during the ceremony, and the guests had water and lemonade while they were waiting for it to begin. The tent was spacious and beautiful for our 165 guests. The reception was great (or so we heard) - we were taking photos during the whole thing, but had an attendant following us and making sure we had everything we needed. Up until the last couple of weeks we were easily communicating any updates/changes and Sara handled them all effortlessly. We had many people tell us it was their favorite wedding of the summer! As people that really aren't obsessed with the details (we skipped a lot of things, like decorations at the ceremony), we were so happy to have a venue that speaks for itself with staff that executed flawlessly. Another great thing about choosing this venue is that with every visit leading up, you get to be at the aquarium! I know some people asked us if there was any issue with smells from the tank/penguins, and this was not an issue - they actually hose down before the wedding begins so the little guys are...fresh for the occasion. My florist had no trouble putting together beautiful center pieces and bouquets with the restrictions on flowers, either. All and all, everything we hoped the night would be!!

2017-09-15T11:23:12 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 9/09/2017 Jen L

We had the most amazing wedding at the aquarium!!!! The venue is right on the harbor and the backdrop of our ceremony was incredible. We then had the added bonus of having the entire aquarium to ourselves during the cocktail hour! People could not stop talking about it!! To top... Read More it all off, the staff here was beyond helpful and attentive. You can tell they really care about the couples getting married here. As if I didn't have enough good things to say about the aquarium, the food was delicious!!!!!! 10/10! If you want a waterfront wedding in Boston with the added bonus of an entire aquarium, this is the place!! Thank you Renee and team!!!

2017-09-11T15:19:57 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 6/07/2017 J R

We loved our aquarium reception! From the very beginning the staff was warm, friendly, quick to respond to questions and happy to help us make our day what we wanted! They anticipated our questions and needs and definitely made planning less stressful! Our guests had an AMAZING... Read More time, we had an AMAZING time and the New England Aquarium is definitely a venue that can't be beat!

2017-06-08T08:12:11 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 1/03/2017 Laurel V

We were so excited to book NEAq for our wedding reception (July 9, 2016) and even more ecstatic the day of. It was a memorable night for the two of us and our guests to spend the cocktail hour in the exhibit area and then to spend the rest of the evening in the tent by the... Read More water. Thank you to Abigail for working with us from the very beginning to prepare for the day. You are such a patient and wonderful person! And the staff for the evening was great. Everything went smoothly without a hitch. We would highly recommend NEAq to anyone considering this location.


Reviewed on 11/09/2016 Megan D

We had our dream wedding at The New England Aquarium! We got married in the Café - a gorgeous space that looks out onto the harbour and is magical at night. Our cocktail hour was in the West Wing with the Shark and Ray exhibit open which was a lot of fun for our guests.... Read More The food is amazing and service is top notch! Our event coordinator made planning our reception so easy.

2016-11-10T08:19:15 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 10/05/2016 Kristen P

We had an absolutely wonderful experience at the aquarium. The staff was attentive, respectful, and hard working. We heard over and over again from our guests that the venue was incredibly unique and memorable.

2016-10-06T08:08:40 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 10/01/2016 Amanda G

Pat and I had our dream wedding at the Aquarium. It is such a gorgeous and fun venue and the staff is amazing. Abigail is the point person throughout the planning process and she is amazing! I never had to worry about anything and she always kept me on track with helpful... Read More reminders. Thank you!

2016-10-06T08:08:32 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 8/10/2016 Erika B

We had such a positive experience getting married here! From the very beginning when we signed the contract until the end off the evening of the big day Abigail, our wedding coordinator was awesome. She helped us navigate through picking our menu, the layout of the ceremony,... Read More cocktail hour and reception and just making sure all the little details were in place. She also helped us get information about rehearsal dinner venues and chuppahs. On the day off everything went smoothly and looked beautiful. We couldn't have asked for anything better and we really appreciate everything that Abigail and the aquarium did for us.

2016-08-10T13:02:04 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 7/21/2016 Diane C

We had a fairytale wedding at the New England Aquarium! Yes, you wouldn’t believe it because it is a “nontraditional” venue but Abigail made sure everything went smoothly and the evening was perfect. The aquarium is such a cool place filled with beautiful tanks, amazing photo... Read More ops inside and out on the harborwalk as well as at the nearby parks. Your guest will forever remember that you got married in the aquarium and there were penguins there who so happen to be mated for life (with their color coordinated wing bands)! The tent is huge and can accommodate large weddings but can also be made quite intimate for smaller groups. We had 130 guests and it felt like just the right size. The tent can be decorated beautifully and the chairs and linens offered at the aquarium made everything come together beautifully. We had an orchid purple, creamy off white color scheme and they had the perfect linens for us. The food was great and cocktail hour inside the aquarium was so much fun! We got married on Saturday, July 2nd and we even had free fireworks on the Harbor!! There are so many amazing things about working with Abigail, I can barely list all the wonderful things but I will try. She is organized and knows all the vendors and is so pleasant to work with. She makes sure you’re on target with your planning and helps with getting all your vendors together for your big day. It is clear that she loves her job because she does everything so well and everyone (vendors and guests and everyone) loves her! The biggest miracle that she somehow pulled off was this – there was going to be a concert for Boston Harborfest on the pier next to the aquarium that was going to be loud and start at the same time as my quiet wedding ceremony on the harbor! I was so worried that we would be drowned out as we say our vows and our pianist would not be heard at all. SOMEHOW, Abigail worked it out with the Harborfest coordinator to start the concert later! My guests who were all waiting for the ceremony to start were so surprised that the loud music suddenly stopped as the wedding ceremony began! Abigail saved the day and our wedding ceremony! There were many more amazing miracles thereafter and we can’t thank Abigail enough! THANK YOU, New England Aquarium!

2016-07-25T09:25:14 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


Reviewed on 7/19/2016 Allie L

The Aquarium is the perfect unique Boston wedding venue. We loved how the Aquarium was one of the only truly outdoor wedding venues on Boston Harbor and you were able to have a waterfront wedding in a tent combined with the urban feel with the city of Boston in the background.... Read More The entire evening went so smoothly and we credit much of that to the attention to detail and planning that went into every aspect of the day from all the vendors and especially the coordinators the NEAq. The food was delicious and we had many friends tell us it was the best meal they've had at a wedding. The ability for guests to walk around and enjoy the Aquarium all evening was so fun and enjoyed by all. We are so incredibly happy with our decision to have our wedding at the NEAq!!

2016-07-19T12:06:11 Response from the vendor

Thank you for taking the time to write this kind review. We are thrilled you selected us to be a part of your wedding day and we were so happy to hear that your day was amazing. Best wishes, The New England Aquarium Events Team


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