Would you like to get married in an aquarium surrounded by tropical fish? Sarasota boasts an amazing research aquarium on the bay. At Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium whether you're planning a wedding or another type of event, Mote Marine has just the right venue to fit your needs. From mid-size rooms, to larger halls, to a chickee hut that provides a unique outdoor setting with a Southwest Florida-feel, their waterfront location showcases everything that is special about Sarasota and her islands. Located close the amous St. Armand's circle and near the heart of downtown Sarasota. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is close to everything you will need for an amazing event.
Each year, millions of visitors travel to Sarasota to enjoy its beautiful beaches and exotic and fascinating marine life. At Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, they showcase the best that the region has to offer in several unique settings perfect for your wedding or other special event that doesn't require you to get wet to have a great time! Mote Aquarium is one of Sarasota's premier attractions, hosting more than 300,000 visitors each year. Their venues offer you and your guests a departure from the ordinary with spectacular animal exhibits and breathtaking views their unique setting provides built-in entertainment for adults and children.
Did you know that zoos and aquariums are becoming the most popular places for unique wedding experiences? At Mote, you can have cocktails at the reef, dinner among the sharks, luaus at a tiki-hut and rooms with great views. Mote venues are available for private rentals from 8:00 AM to midnight each day of the week, including weekends. Prices are reasonable, and â€” best of all â€” proceeds generated from rentals support Mote research and public education efforts.
Aquarium and Courtyard - Enjoy a private reception or dinner in the evening while mingling amid the region's extraordinary marine life. The outdoor brick Courtyard area showcases several touch pools - letting you get close, but not too close to the locals. The venue also house a 135,000 gallon shark habitat and other exhibits that truly give your guests something to talk about! The majority of this venue is covered, but not enclosed. The indoor aquarium galleries are an ideal setting for intimate receptions or dinners. The Aquarium and Courtyard are open for rental seven days a week (based on availability) between the hours of 5:30 PM and 11:00PM. The dimensions are 75' by 69' or 5,175 square feet and will accommodate a 400 person dinner. The maximum capacity for all public areas is 500 people. All of your event tables and chairs need to be rented for this space and Sarasota Catering Company can handle that for you.
Sea Cinema - The newest venue is a large multi-purpose location ideal for both conferences and special events. Located adjacent to the main laboratory building, the Sea Cinema has value added enhancements that can transform your function into an event to remember. With a giant HD screen and full audiovisual capabilities, they can accommodate a day or evening event. The Sea Cinema is available between 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM.
New Pass Room - Located in the Keating Marine Education Center, the New Pass Room provides a spectacular waterfront setting perfect for a formal dinner reception or a casual cocktail party. The New Pass Room overlooks the Pass and Gulf, with a balcony directly over the water. Enjoy beautiful sunsets from your vantage on the 3rd floor. The room is 119 feet by 29 feet for approximately 3,400 square feet. Twenty 60" (5 ft.) round tables (seat 8-10) and twelve 6 ft banquet style tables (seat 6-8) are provided along with 180 banquet chairs. The room can accommodate 150 for dinner or 200 maximum capacity. This room may require a dance floor to be rented any additional tables depending on your event. Sarasota Catering Company can help you with all your rental needs. The New Pass Room is available between 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM.
The Chickee Hut - This venue is sure to give your event an authentic old Florida feel. Built by members of the Seminole Indian Tribe, the "Chickee" area is an outside covered pavilion which sits on the Sarasota Bay. From Birthday Parties to Rehearsal Dinners, or after-hours business cocktails the atmosphere can be transformed from a casual beach setting to a formal waterside venue. Electricity, water (non-potable), and grill are included along with picnic tables. This venue can accommodate 60 for dinner or 100 maximum. The Chickee is available between 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM.
Loomis and Buchanan Rooms - Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has two meeting rooms available for rental, depending on meeting size. Audio visual capabilities are available for an additional fee. Loomis capacity is 20 peoples and Buchanan capacity is 40 people. The board rooms are available from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Setup for the Courtyard can begin after 1:00PM with permission from the Mote Marine Event planners. Events inside the Aquarium must wait until 4:30PM to begin setup. Events in the Aquarium and Courtyard cannot begin until after Mote closes for the day at 5:00 PM, no earlier than 5:30 PM. All events must end by 11:00PM with cleanup completed by 12:00 AM. All rental items and personal items must be completely removed by midnight. The rental times stated in your contract are the actual event times. Mote allows for 3 hours setup and 1 hour clean up after the event ends.
The Aquarium and Chickee Hut have ample parking for your guests. Parking at the Keating New Pass Room is limited, though guests can park in the Aquarium parking lot. To reduce guest confusion, we recommend you include a copy of the grounds map with your location and parking options noted.
*Depending on the location rented, weather plans may need to be considered and planned for ahead of time. Not all areas are under cover.
Venue Rules or Restrictions: All food and alcohol must be provided by one of Mote Marine's Exclusively Approved Caterers. Sarasota Catering Company has been an approved caterer for over 10 years. Mote Marine prohibits Balloons, Beach Balls, or any Inflatable Items. Glitter, Confetti, Open Flames of any kind (candles in a container are permitted with container above the flame), Plastic Drink Stirrers/Straws and Plastic Toothpicks, and Dry Ice. This is an aquarium and they must protect the animals. No smoking, unless in designated areas. The Mote Marine Aquarium requires a walkthrough with their Event planning team at least one month prior to your event. Attendance at the walkthrough should include the caterer. All deliveries by your vendors and times must be pre-coordinated with the Mote Event planning team. If the location chosen provides tables and chairs, they must be setup and broken down by the catering team at the beginning and end of the event.
Alcohol Policy: All alcohol must be purchased, provided, and served by an Exclusively Approved Caterer holding an off-premise catering liquor license and appropriate liability insurance. Don't worry Sarasota Catering Company has you covered for all your Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Wedding and Event needs.
Does the venue provide rentals? Yes, tables and chairs depending on the location rented. See the notes above for each rental space.
What are the typical things you should consider for rentals? You should consider a dance floor if you are in the New Pass Room, all Linens, all tables and chairs for the Aquarium and Courtyard area, any smaller tables for cakes or auxiliary items, sweetheart table for the wedding couple, high top (bar height) tables for cocktail hour or the dance area, and any additional lighting or decor/props.
Venue Site fee? What is a site fee? Many local venues charge a site fee on top of their venue rental fee. The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium charges all catering companies 10% of their Food, Beverage, and Alcohol sales as an additional site fee on each event. This is not a Sarasota Catering Company fee and will be detailed in your proposal from us, it is a required fee you will see from all the Exclusively Approved Caterers.
Average Catering Cost or Budget Idea: Would you like to get an idea what an average cost would be for a wedding at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium? With Sarasota Catering Company and a typical plated (guest's choice) dinner, full open bar, staff, day of coordination, 100 guests, all the rentals needed for the chosen location: $60 - $100 per person (the large variation is a result of some locations providing tables and chairs).
** All information regarding Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is copyrighted material belonging to them and is subject to change. Please verify all details directly with the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Event Planning team.
Sarasota Catering Company has done many events at the amazing Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Please take a moment to browse a selection of photos from our events. Many of the more beautiful photographs you will see have been taken by professional Mote Marine Photography companies and Photographers. They were kind to share their images with us. Please be sure to let them know you saw their photos here.
"It was truly amazing. Beautiful presentation and delicious. Lots of positive reaction from our guests. Thank you so much!!!"
Corporate Reception at the Sarasota Museum of Art - Artist Series Janet Echelman