THE LIVING DESERT offers many unique garden areas to host ceremonies and receptions! We are not only a zoo but also a botanical garden! Check us out!
Amenities + Details
Indoor Event Space
Outdoor Event Space
Outdoor - Covered
Commitment Ceremony, Interfaith Ceremony, Non-Religious Ceremony, Religious Ceremony, Same Sex Ceremony, Second Wedding
Desert, Garden, Park
Venue Service Offerings
Bar & Drinks, Destination Weddings, Destination Wedding Planning, Food & Catering, Planning, Rentals & Equipment, Service Staff
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens Reviews
Share your thoughts with other couples
Reviewed On 10/22/2019 by Amanda M
This place was definitely affordable! Sheree was a delight to work with and such a sweet person. She always made us feel like VIP when coming to check things out. The venue has several options for where to have your ceremony, cocktail hour, and...
reception as well as the fact that literally anywhere in the place is the perfect place for a photo op. Our guests haven't stopped talking about what a beautiful and unique venue this was.
A few things that were tough were that we were unable to set up for our wedding until 1 PM the day of the wedding and since we did not go with the venue's catering, I was left responsible to find people to set up my tables, making things a bit chaotic the day of the wedding (if you book an outside caterer and this venue make sure your caterer will set up your table settings). Also, all events must end by 10 PM and guests cannot arrive any earlier than 5 PM when the zoo closes so you are limited to a strict 5 hours.
The venue catered our cocktail hour and their chicken fingers were exceptional. The other food we tried was pretty good but the catering team was not the most responsive. I had a destination wedding here and trying to setup a tasting was extremely difficult (especially since I only had one chance to fly across the country and meet with them and I reached out months in advance) but it got accomplished at the very last minute on a day we weren't planning for. The lack of responsiveness is what made us decide to go with outside catering. They have been working to improve this, so things may be better now. I didn't have any issues the day of the wedding with them helping with catering or alcohol.
Reviewed On 4/26/2019 by Shannon D
Breathtakingly beautiful outdoor desert venue. Highly Recommended
(Check out wedding wire for photos!)
We loved every minute of planning and hosting our wedding here! The staff were amazing. They care so much about the amnimals, the venue, an...
d about our event! They had many many reccomendations, which we greatly appriciated. The prices was reasonable and lower than almost any venue we found in the area, but no a thing about the evening felt cheap. I read in someone else's review 'the venue was so beautiful, all we had to do was bring chairs'. That was SO TRUE. Don't waste your time, energy, and money trying to beautify the venue, it's already AMAZING!!
We used Savannah's landing for the ceremony, the cactus garden for the happy hour, and the Palm Garden for the reception. Our guests had so much fun traveling around the zoo for different events all night.
1) Do the animal encounter. We almost cut it because we didn't think our guests would care or like it, but they LOVED it!!
2) Give yourself more time than you think to do photos, there are photo opts EVERYWHERE!!!
3) The house caterer was great and really easy to coordinate with - no need to pay to bring someone else in.
4) We rented a bus to get guests to and from Palm Springs. The drive is further than it seems.
5) Really, don't worry too much about the decorations, they will get lost in the beauty of the zoo & desert.
I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS VENUE TO ANYONE LOOKING FOR A FUN FILLED, BEAUTIFUL, OUTDOOR WEDDING!!
Reviewed On 4/25/2019 by Cristina L
Our wedding was so beautiful, the palm trees made the most amazing backdrop for photos. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves getting to see the zoo, feed giraffes, high five the porcupine Mr. Prickles, and eat some great food! We used their...
on site caterer Taste and it was DELICIOUS! They give you a list of vendors they recommend, but you do have to figure out all of the pieces yourself a la carte. This was what I wanted because I wanted to pick and choose everything myself, but I know this isn't for everyone, so just be aware :) The on site caterer will order all of the rentals for you if you wish though! We had them do that with dinnerware, and we used the Living Desert's benches for the ceremony and chairs for the reception, and then I figured out the other rentals elsewhere. We worked with Ali the entire year who was awesome, but unfortunately she got a new job a few weeks before our wedding. Thankfully, Jared took over and even last minute did such a great job! It was the perfect day! We love that over the year that we planned our wedding, we made the Living Desert our new favorite spot to go visit, and we will continue to visit throughout our lives. It will have such special memories :)
Reviewed On 4/06/2019 by Jordan F
I highly recommend The Living Desert for a wedding venue. First, venue itself is SO unique. There are so many areas to choose from. We had our ceremony at Chase, cocktail hour at the Giraffe Landing and our reception was at Palm. Each area was ...
lush and large. Plenty of room for our guests. Second, the staff is INCREDIBLE. Every single one of them. Sheree and Ali were perfect venue coordinators. There to answer every question and assist with every need. Paul and Kathryn in the catering area were fabulous. They were on top of anything and everything food and beverage related. They along with our awesome chef, worked with me on the menu and made sure we were happy. Jerrod and his event staff were great too. Every person at the zoo was so helpful and sincere. It made our wedding go smoothly. I would recommend the zoo to anyone who is interested in the Palm Desert area for their big day. My guests still can’t stop talking about how fun and unique their experience was. I truly do not have any negative critiques for the zoo or the staff.
Reviewed On 5/04/2016 by Hannah S
I recently had my wedding at the Living Desert Zoo and I cannot say enough how much I loved the whole experience. Stacey Watson, the special event coordinator, worked with us every step of the way. Though she was often hard to get a hold of, sh...
e really delivered during all aspects of the wedding. You can really customize your day, be it by the areas you choose or the animal encounters you have! We had our wedding ceremony in the Chase area off the Chase Administration Building and our wedding reception in the Irvine Patio area just a short walk away. The price was very very reasonable and many things come with the reserving the space, like the chairs and tables.
I'll post plenty of pictures, but really I can't express how amazing it was to have our wedding here! Thank you all!
Reviewed On 11/16/2014 by Sarah B
Wow. The Living Desert was such a perfect place for our outdoor wedding! My goal was to find somewhere relatively local with a cactus garden and was having little luck. By chance, TLD crossed my mind and I decided to check out the website and f...
ind out if they offered weddings. Turns out, THEY DO! Tom, the special events manager told us that while they haven't done many weddings in the past, they do host them and they have a variety of options available (Tom was so helpful with everything and so was his assistant Stacy! Such great people to work with). We opted to have our ceremony on the Chase Administration Patio which held 150 people comfortably. Its a small intimate area with pretty lights strung across the patio. The backdrop is a gorgeous desertscaped hill with a small waterfall in the center (the waterfall is a bit noisy, so we opted to off center our alter a bit so we could hear better- they did offer to turn the waterfall off, but we liked the ambiance of it on). In late October everything was blooming so there was lots of color surrounding us.
The walk to the reception is a short 2 minute walk from the ceremony spot. We took advantage of their offerings of "animal encounters" for our guests to check out along the way. While my husband and I didn't get a chance to see any of them due to us having pictures taken, our guests LOVED it. According to the pictures I've seen so far there were 2 or 3 owls, a hedgehog, an iguana, an opossum, and an armadillo. Definitely a must do for a wedding held at a zoo.
The reception was at the Palm Garden. This place is huge. I believe they said it can host up to 400 people- don't quote me on that though. We sat 8 to a table and spread out our 19 tables (which they provided at no cost- they also had chairs available but we chose to rent fancier ones) so that this huge area was perfectly filled in. Its all paved so there was no need to rent a dance floor (unless you want to be fancy of course). At night it was lit up with twinkle lights strung between the palm trees and across the open space above. Just gorgeous. If you like a bit more light, I'd suggest renting some, but we certainly don't regret not having extra.
It was pretty warm that day, but I refuse to hold TLD accountable for that (after all, they can't control the weather). Its what we get for taking the chance on getting married in the desert. :)
I cannot say enough good things about TLD. The staff was great. The onsite Catering was delicious. Everyone was just an email away throughout the planning process. Its a non-profit organization and the money you spend on their services goes right back into the park and the wellbeing of the animals, which we love. If you're looking for an offbeat place, maybe something along the lines of the cactus/succulent themed like ours was, THIS is your place. I'll wrap this up with the line I used SO many times that night. Our guests kept saying what a neat place to get married and that it was so beautiful. To which my reply was, "Yes, its gorgeous all on its own, all we did was dress up and bring the chairs!" :)
Contact Info for The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens