About this Vendor

Toledo's destination wedding location...

Your guests can travel to faraway places, without ever leaving Toledo. Cocktails & hors d'oeuvres overlooking Africa, dinner in the Arctic, mingling near a Caribbean reef, dancing in Nairobi, the zoo is your wedding getaway. With our all-inclusive packages & event staff, your wedding will be amazing

Amenities + Details

  • Handicap Accessible

  • Liability Insurance

  • Indoor

  • Reception Area

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$$ – Moderate

Venue Capacity



Ballroom, Museum, Park

Wedding Categories

Food + Catering, Planning

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Contact Info

2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH (419) 385-5721

Reviewed on 12/19/2017 Laura D

The Zoo was amazing to work with and helped us have the wedding of our dreams. Jenn Carson (Maher), is an asset to the Zoo’s wedding department, and was my saving grace during the planning process. On our first meeting with Jenn/the Zoo, we fell in love with her personality and... Read More the gardens/aquarium. Jenn answered every call and email promptly, recommended vendors when asked (but never pushed them on us), and was very accommodating – like when we needed a special tasting because I was out of town for work over the main one, or when my dad flew in from South FL and wanted to see the venue at 10am on a Sunday. Despite the fact that it was the 2nd day of the fall lantern event, and two other weddings were taking place at the zoo on our day, it seemed like every time I needed or wanted something, Jenn or Lexi was there to make sure it happened. Even my three (married) bridesmaids commented on how amazing Jenn was and wished they had someone like her on their day. A few notes about the venue itself. We did our ceremony in the gardens, which produced some amazing photos as it was Sept. 30th, and everything was in full color bloom. We got lucky and had great weather - 66 and sunny. Our reception was in the Aquarium – which everyone is still commenting on how awesome the venue was. Our guests loved getting a private look at all of the animals in the aquarium and use of the touch tank. It also allowed us to have fun with our decor. The Zoo’s food is amazing, and you can’t beat the price of it, or the premium bar. You also get amazing photos with animals around the zoo – I am obsessed with Flamingos, so Lexis got us and our photographer private use of the Flamingo deck for some photos. We also have a photo with us and the bridal party feeding giraffes, which is probably one of my favorite. Overall, I cannot say enough good things about Jenn, Lexi, and the Zoo. But I will end with this (for those tracking the budget): We ended up under budget and had the best wedding ever.

Reviewed on 11/06/2017 Robin M

Ohhh my goodness, where do I even start??? From the first moment we toured the zoo as a prospective wedding location, Jenn made us feel so welcome and really showed us the possibilities of the zoo! She was so enthusiastic about all of our offbeat ideas (read: bouncy castle) and... Read More helped us make the whole thing a reality! It felt like she was just as excited about my wedding as I was! I'm a huge planner, but by the time the wedding rolled around, I was able to let go and enjoy with total confidence, knowing that Jenn and Lexie were there to keep everything going smoothly! We were in the new Malawi center (opened this year) and the guests could not have been more impressed with the space! The food was delicious and came out promptly, and they scheduled all the deliveries (cake, flowers, and bouncy castle) so I didn't have to be the middle man! I grew up in Toledo going to the zoo and my husband is a biologist, so the zoo made perfect sense, but it was made even more perfect by all the hard work, kindness, and enthusiasm of their staff. Thank you!!

Reviewed on 7/02/2017 Brandy M

I can not say how much I enjoyed my wedding at the zoo. It was everything I wanted for my wedding. I had my ceremony in the gardens with the simply package and everything was beautiful. Then had the reception in the aquarium. I used very little decoration. We had lights for the... Read More ceiling and flowers in mason jars on a wood slab with votive around them. The zoo also does the catering, which you will not be disappointed with the food. The food is amazing. Plus Jen is absolute fantastic to work with at the zoo. She will answer your questions even how many times you ask the same question. I would say getting married at the zoo was a dream come true.

Reviewed on 10/31/2017 Shawna C

I cannot say enough great things about the Toledo Zoo. We had our reception at the Malawi event center and it was beyond perfect. The cocktail hour on the African overlook was amazing. Pictures of our guest on the train and with the sunsetting over the African overlook were... Read More some of my favorite. But most importantly EVERYONE commented on how great the food was !!! Also planning our wedding at the zoo was such a wonderful experience. Jenn was the best!! She was so friendly professional and helpful. She never let me stress about anything. She is genuinely so much fun and easy to work with. I could not dream of a better wedding coordinator. The zoo staff set up the all of the reception decor and I could not believe how amazing it looked. So much better then I even imagined. The Malawi Event Center is amazing and the huge fish tank in the center makes for amazing backdrop for the head table and guest. I really can't thank all of the staff involved enough they were the best!

Reviewed on 10/27/2017 Patti S

This venue was amazing! We had great weather (70 and sunny) so appetizers and drinks on the outlook was just perfect. Our guests loved feeding the giraffes! Definitely a highlight and worth the extra charge. Would not reserve the merry go round again as our guests didn't know... Read More they could go on it. We had 375 people so we couldn't personally tell our guests and truly unless we had made a sign I don't know how our guests would know about it. We heard over and over how great the venue was for cocktail hour. The Malawi Center was great as well. Jenni is so easy to work with and the food was fabulous!We chose steak and crab cakes and we received rave reviews from our guests.So happy we chose this venue! Would use it again with no hesitation. Word of advice -reserve the golf carts for guests. This was an invaluable necessity especially for older guests or women in heels!

Reviewed on 8/10/2017 Katherine K

I recently got married and had my reception at the Toledo Zoo, June 17th 2017. To say that I received the best service throughout the entire process is an understatement. I could have never imagined the day being more perfect and beautiful and well put together than it truly... Read More was. Everything went without any issues. The food was amazing, all my guests couldn't say enough about it. Everything was organized and well thought out and there were really no issues. The coordinators that I worked with throughout the process was truly amazing and if I lived in Toledo, I would honestly want to be friends and hang out with them all the time. They were WONDERFUL and made everything so easy! They took care of everything and when it came to clean up and packed up the decorations that I brought, they made sure to tell my mom, who tried to help, that it was not her job and to enjoy the rest of the night and they would take care of everything. The Zoo staff decorated the room perfectly and seriously, everything was exactly how I imagined it. The only problem the entire day, was there was an issue with the parking attendant at the Broadway lot. We had been told that a majority of our close family and friends that could park there because it was closer to the ceremony space and better for clean up later on that night. However, the parking attendant apparently didn't get the message and was rather rude to some of my family about parking and said some untrue things. I heard about this about 40 minutes before the ceremony and called my coordinator immediately and let them know of the issue, which they promptly took care of. I truly had the best day and night of my life and would plan to have any and all events at the Toledo Zoo, they were so wonderful to not just me and my husband, but my guests as well. From having my ceremony in the Formal Gardens, to cocktail hour in the Aquarium, and the reception in the Museum of Science, it was certainly the talk of all my family and friends who had the absolute best time. I want to thank Jenn and Lexie from the bottom of my heart, you are both truly amazing and wonderful people!

Reviewed on 8/08/2017 Sharon M

My daughter was married in the aquarium in April. The reception was held in the Great Hall. The venue was wonderful, the food was very good (including the adorable zoo animal cookies!), and Jenn Maher Carson was incredibly helpful. My questions were always answered promptly,... Read More and Jenn was unfailingly calm and supportive. I would highly recommend this venue!

Reviewed on 8/08/2017 Prentice M

If I could get married over and over again (to the same person, of course), I would choose the Toledo Zoo every single time. The whole day of my wedding, from ceremony to reception, was absolute perfection. Leading up to the big day, working with Jen was a complete dream; She... Read More is detailed, on top of everything, warm, sincere, pretty close to perfect:) My husband and our families were blown away by our amazing experience and think that everyone getting married in the Toledo area should choose the Zoo. HUGE thanks to everyone who kicked off the "rest of our lives together" in such style. Xoxoxo!

Reviewed on 7/10/2017 Morgan C

I cannot say enough great things about this venue. From start to finish the entire planning process was a breeze! The final walk through was great for tying up loose ends and putting us at ease! The zoo staff was great during the rehearsal in Friday night, making sure that... Read More everyone knew what to do and where to go! On the day of the event everything went flawlessly. The catering staff was excellent and made sure we had everything we needed! The event staff set up and tore down all of our decorations and everything was perfectly placed! Guests raved about the great service, food, and beautiful ceremony and reception spaces! The new Malawi event center is absolutely amazing! Staff at the cocktail hour in the African pavilion were so friendly and helpful and we got many comments on how all of the staff looked like they genuinely enjoyed their jobs and wanted to be there. If I had to do it again, I would not look at any other venues than the Toledo zoo!

Reviewed on 5/02/2017 Nicole F

We did not book the Toledo Zoo as our venue, however we did book them for our cake, and they did an amazing job! I had no idea that the Toledo Zoo, would do cakes and deliver them to your venue, but they do! The flavor selection is a very wide range, and also allows you to pick... Read More out cake design. We ended up picking out a walking animal print around our cake, and all of our guest loved the cake and cupcakes! If you have your venue, but need a cake, check out the Toledo Zoo, you will not be disappointed!

Reviewed on 10/07/2016 Kerry J

We had our wedding reception in the African Lodge. Jen and her assistant Mic did such a nice job. The catering staff at the Zoo also were wonderful. We got so many positive reviews from our guests on how good the food was. Having our wedding at the zoo was worth every penny. We... Read More had a stress free day and it's all thanks to the staff at the zoo!

Reviewed on 9/06/2016 Terri S

There aren't enough stars for the Toledo Zoo. Jenni Maher and Lexi made me feel like a queen all day long. We booked this venue in May 2015 and our wedding was September 2016. Jenni answered all of my questions via email within hours. They set up all of our props for the... Read More reception, they helped with family members with special diets, they were at my side the entire day.

Reviewed on 7/07/2015 Caitlin R

My husband and I were married there on 5/8/15, and everything was simply amazing. We were the first couple to do so in the newly renovated aquarium. The details were all taken care of marvelously by Bailey Streib. She was the best. From making sure everyone was where they needed... Read More to be on time, to catering, to making sure the fussy flower girls stayed happy and scream-free through the ceremony; she handled it all with ease. There is a sound system available in the aquarium, which helped our officiant out. We only had 100 guests, but the main area could have easily sat 50 more. The grounds were kept pristine and the staff was extremely accommodating. The transition from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception runs smoothly, and is expedited at an appropriate pace to make sure guests have enough time to mingle, but don't get bored. The reception, which was in the Great Hall inside the Museum of Science, was flawless. You bring your decorations for everything the day before at the rehearsal (included in the cost of the event), specify how everything is to be set up, and the staff takes care of everything for you. It was especially wonderful for me. I walked into the reception hall and was just as stunned at the beauty of it all. The food was delicious, and the chefs had no problem catering to the guests with very specific dietary restrictions, from allergies, vegetarians, to a family with lactose-gluten-egg intolerance. Bailey and her assistant were also there to ensure my husband and I were on time for the major events in the reception (cake cutting, first dance, bouquet toss, etc). The entire staff was extremely efficient at clearing tables of unwanted (and sometimes wanted) plates and glasses. The whole event was well worth all of the money. My only recommendation would be to extend the bar time & have specific glasses for the wedding party that won't be taken away whilst you're out dancing.

Reviewed on 6/10/2015

I’m the mother of the groom, and my husband and I hosted the wedding and reception for our son and wonderful, new daughter-in-law at The Toledo Zoo. The ceremony was held in the formal gardens and the reception was the first to be held in the newly-renovated aquarium. The... Read More gardens are gorgeous throughout the growing season and the aquarium…the new aquarium is so stunning and it was such a unique and spectacular backdrop for our event. I was involved with the bride in all of the planning, and the Zoo’s wedding consultant helped to make such a daunting task much, much easier. The Zoo has held wedding receptions and similar events for many, many years and that experience shows. They provided us a general template, which we were able to personalize to make the event our own. Plus, unlike other outdoor wedding venues that we looked at, the Zoo does offer a rain contingency plan…their indoor theater. While not as scenic as the gardens, it does have some nice architectural features, but fortunately for us, the weather was beautiful for our event. During all the planning, our consultant, Bailey, was available via email and phone for all of our questions. Also, as part of the process, the Zoo hosts tasting events for upcoming weddings, and it’s another well-orchestrated event in itself. The Zoo’s chef is outstanding and every dish we sampled was superb. During the event, Bailey and her assistant worked diligently, checking on a multitude of items throughout the afternoon and evening to ensure that all went well, and we cannot thank them enough. Indeed, all of the staff that evening were professional, and accommodating, and achieve a perfect blend of being unobtrusive yet available when needed. The tables were elegantly set, the presentation of the food was top notch and every bit of it was delicious. Many, many thanks to Bailey and the rest of the Zoo staff, we couldn’t be more pleased with both the ceremony and reception!!!

The best day of my life!

Reviewed on 11/09/2014 Tracy R

I have so may good things to say about the Toledo Zoo and our wedding experience! My brief overview is: great customer service, great organizational skills, amazing food, delicious cake and desserts, unique venue, great staff that go above and beyond to make sure that your day... Read More is special, everything located in one place makes it easy for you and your guests. When my husband proposed to me, it was quite a shock to be honest. I didn't really know where to start. We decided to get married relatively quickly (7 months between proposal and wedding) as the timing was just right. The only thing that I knew was that we would have a large wedding and outdoors would be ideal. I called one other outdoor venue first, but really wasn't that impressed. So, I decided to call the zoo. Bailey was the person that I first spoke to in group sales. She is very good at what she does; she is able to direct couples well, but still gives you the freedom to make it your day and unique to what you want. After talking with her once and meeting with her, I knew that the Toledo Zoo was the perfect venue for us! We chose to have our rehearsal dinner inside the Arctic Encounter building (where the Polar Bears and Seals are), we had our wedding ceremony at the zoo, and we had our reception there. The Arctic Encounter is such a unique space to have any smaller event, such as a rehearsal dinner. Our wedding party had a great time and there are so many unique memories from being there that night. And it was nice to have a rehearsal dinner that was intimate with only the wedding party and other loved ones for the day before the wedding. We had our wedding ceremony inside the Nairobi Pavilion; One section of the room was set up with chairs, an isle, and an arch at the front of the ceremony. The ceremony was absolutely perfect! We then took golf carts over to the main side of the zoo and took wedding party photos while our guests enjoyed cocktails for an hour on the scenic overlook in the Africa area. Our guests were also able to ride the carousel and the train (the zoo is closed at this time so it is only your guests) while enjoying their cocktails and appetizers. I received SO many compliments about how fun this was and how unique an experience this was! The wedding party even was able to make it back in time to have a ride on the train before the reception began:) The reception was beautiful! The food was amazing and we also received SO many compliments on how good the food was (as often wedding food is mediocre at best usually). The cake was beautiful and delicious and we also received many compliments on this. The staff was very attentive to my husband and I and always made sure that we were taken care of; They even went up to the buffet for me to get me. My family members and myself have a food allergy and they were sensitive and accommodating of this. I say this with all sincerity: Our wedding day was truly the best day of my life. Firstly because I was marrying the love of my life, but secondly because the Toledo Zoo staff made our day so very special and were so attentive to us and our needs. If we had to do it all over again, we wouldn't change a thing! We had the time of our lives! Other vendors used: Candlelight Occasions (recommend), The Flower Market (recommend), Nancy Sloan wedding officiant (recommend), DJ Orlando with Toledo DJs (recommend), Millenius Strings (recommend), and our amazing photographer John David Williamson (recommend).

I love my zoo

Reviewed on 10/16/2014 Alison Q

Bailey and Colleen were wonderful to work with throughout the whole process. I had my reception at the Nairobi Pavilion and despite the cold, it was beautiful and the guests loved the location. We rented the carousel and the guests had a blast!

Rehearsal Dinner was awesome!

Reviewed on 10/14/2014 Sara H

We had our rehearsal in the Arctic Encounter at the Toledo Zoo. Everyone had a blast! The polar bears were out playing and the seals kept swimming past us! The food was amazing, and there was plenty of room for around 50 people. The staff was great and very accommodating.... Read More Bailey and Colleen were AMAZING, and made sure everything was perfect! I would definintely recommend the Toledo Zoo for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception! You won't be disappointed!


Reviewed on 10/02/2014 Emily O

I am sooo happy with my decision to have my reception at the Toledo Zoo. The Lodge was the perfect size for ~100 guests, and cocktail hour in the Primate Forest was so fun! The zoo makes everything super easy - they provide all the food, drinks, tablecloths, chair sashes and... Read More napkins in your wedding colors, and they even did my cake (which was delicious!). One thing I really liked was they called all my outside vendors (DJ, florist, etc) the week before to confirm what time they could set up. Basically all I had to do was show up and enjoy myself, I didn't have to worry about anything else. Also, the wedding coordinator Bailey is awesome and made sure everything was running smoothly.Thanks Toledo Zoo!

word of mouth about the Toledo Zoo is so true!

Reviewed on 9/29/2014

I've been a huge fan and supporter of the Toledo Zoo my whole life and what better way to go even further than to get married there! I heard from word of mouth how wonderful the staff was and how the food was amazing. The only bad thing I had heard was getting married in July in... Read More the African Pavilion without air conditioning was not a good thing. We got married on Sept 13th 2014 and everything I heard was very true! We got married in the Gardens and the flowers were in full bloom still and were absolutely gorgeous! Luckily we had no problems with bees. It was magical because we saw hummingbirds,butterflies,and rabbits during the ceremony. The only downfall,and it wasn't the Zoo's fault, was that it had rained the previous two nights before the wedding,so the grass was still a little smushy which made it challenging to walk in the grass with high heels! I was at the front of the ceremony trying to not look like I was drunk with my heels sinking into the ground. It made me laugh,so it wasn't horrible. Our reception was at the Lodge and the staff there were beyond friendly and catered to our every need and questions. The food was to die for and the Chef was on hand to answer any questions and also to serve us at the carving station. The wedding coordinators were very friendly and was always on hand to answer any questions we had. We went through three coordinators because our first one had to go on maternity leave,the second one dealt mostly with questions and billing, and the third helped us out with the main day. Even though they were three different people they all had excellent communication with each other and with us. We also chose to have our cake done with the Zoo's bakery,which was not only convenient,but also delicious. I had many guests tell me how good the food and cake was and I even had my old boss tell me that my wedding was the best wedding he ever went to. I highly recommend the zoo because even though it seems expensive it's worth the cost. You not only get a stress free day, but you also get friendly service and everything is in one location.

Excellent Venue!

Reviewed on 9/24/2014 Allison B

I had my wedding at the Toledo Zoo in the gardens, reception in the Lodge, and it was absolutely perfect! They provided a staff of coordinators who went above and beyond. They coordinated with all of my other vendors to ensure everything went perfectly. Honestly, I did not worry... Read More about a thing the day of my wedding. The food was delicious and the venue was beautiful (I have wedding photos to prove it!) I had several guests tell me that my wedding was the best they've been to. If the Toledo Zoo is somewhere on your list of considerations, I urge you to move it to the top and do it! You will not regret it!

Wedding at the Zoo

Reviewed on 9/09/2014 Caitlyn B

I was recently married and used the Toledo Zoo as my venue for the the ceremony and the reception. The staff was extremely helpful and even helped me have my ceremony in front of the Elephant Exhibit. As an employee at the zoo I was very excited that this did come through. The... Read More wedding coordinators worked very hard to accomplish this dream for me. The wedding went on with out a hitch and couldn't have been better. I was so happy with the set up and how helpful staff were. Catering was amazing and the food excellent. The reception was also perfect. We had a few hiccups but it was nothing that the staff were no willing to work with us on. All in all I was very pleased with the staff and what we got for the price and would recommend the zoo to anyone who wants a beautiful out door wedding and an excellent staff this is the place!

The Zoo Made Our Wedding Day Perfect!

Reviewed on 8/12/2014 Kerri G

When we first started researching wedding reception venues in the Toledo area, we immediately fell in love with the idea of having it at the Toledo Zoo. We have always loved going to zoos together, especially lights before Christmas. We made our way through the major zoos in... Read More Ohio and even one in Germany! Zoos were kind of our thing. But we didn't know what to expect as far as planning a wedding there. From the first contact with the wedding coordinators at the Toledo Zoo, we knew we made the right choice. They were so fun and easy to work with. They were passionate, experienced, and extremely helpful. We were living in Columbus at the time and they were very flexible with helping us with the planning process. We didn't get a chance to see our venue, the Nairobi Pavilion, decorated for a wedding before our big day, so we put a lot of trust in the pictures they provided and what we were told from other vendors who have worked closely with them. (All the vendors I worked with loved working with the Toledo Zoo which I think says a lot as well.) The zoo still proceeded to exceed all expectations. The atmosphere it provided was the perfect mix of fun and elegance. The food was delicious. The service was fantastic. There was a carousel and train running during the cocktail hour. The African Safari animals were out. The dance floor was perfect and the ceiling was decorated beautifully by Candlelight Occasions to give it a sophisticated and elegant feeling even though it was an open air pavilion at the zoo. The entire day and even the weeks leading up to the wedding could not have gone more smoothly. I still have wedding guests telling me it was the best reception they have been to. If you are looking for a fun and unique place to host a great party for your wedding reception that will have your guests talking for months, I cannot imagine a better place. Oh, and the price isn't bad either! Especially considering all that they provide and how much FUN this venue is!

Eric and Katie's Wedding Reception, June 21, 14

Reviewed on 8/10/2014 Katie F

I'm the Mother of the Bride and pretty much did most of the planning. I'd like to commend Colleen, Bailey, Sidney, Nancy and all the Zoo's staff for all the hard work they do! First of all the weather was absolutely beautiful; 78, sunny and very low humidity. We had cocktails... Read More & hors d'oeuvres on The Overlook! Awesome! We paid the zoo to keep the animals out for an hour. Everyone loved it! Just so unique and fun! We then went in to the Nairobi Pavilion which I had Chris Magers decorate with mini white lites, organza and blue and lime green Chinese lanterns above the dance floor. Between the flowers, décor, linens, great ,music and not to forget awesome food which the zoo does all their own catering! The wedding cake and cupcakes were made by Timberline Bakery which is the zoo's bakery.....yum!!!!!!! The entire evening went off without anything going wrong. Everyone had a great time and we're still getting compliments on what a fun reception it was! I have always loved the zoo and just thought it would be a different venue to have Katie & Eric's reception at! They do a great job and highly recommend them for weddings, showers, rehearsal dinners, corporate meetings, etc.... Thank you for a wonderful evening! One that I will never forget! Kathy Feher

We do at the zoo

Reviewed on 8/06/2014 Rachel H

The day of the wedding went very smoothly, Bailey was very helpful on getting us to where we need to be on time, and getting photos that we wanted done. The food was amazing and the staff was very professional. The rehearsal however was VERY unorganized no one knew, where to... Read More go, what to do, or what was going on. Sydney our assistant that was assigned to us for the rehearsal and the coordinator for the day of, didn't know what was going on, and was not flexible, thankfully Bailey was there to help as well.

Great Venue!

Reviewed on 5/28/2014 Mandy C

Everything was above and beyond what I expected. Staff friendly and helpful.