Wedding and Reception Frequently Asked Questions
Are we allowed to bring in our own caterer?
The Indianapolis Zoo works exclusively with Centerplate for all its catering
services (food, beverage and room setup). Cakes, however, are allowed from
the bakery of your choice.
2. Are we allowed to have alcohol at
Alcohol is permitted but managed entirely through Centerplate.
3. What time can our event begin?
Daytime rentals are available from 10am to 2pm. Evening rentals begin after
operating hours, which vary depending on the facility you choose and the
time of year, and are available until midnight.
4. Do you require a minimum amount
The only requirements are the facility rental plus tax and the catering
minimum plus basic fees (9 percent sales tax, 22 percent service fee and $150 setup fee).
What all does the $150 setup fee include?
The $150 set up fee payable to Centerplate includes all tables and chairs
(tables and chairs for dinner, ceremony chairs, guest book table, gift
table, a/v table, unity table, cake table, DJ table, escort card table,
buffet tables), the setup and tear down of all tables and chairs, all
standard linens and napkins (black, white or ivory), all silverware and
plateware for your dinner tables (china and glass) and a round glass mirror
and three votive candles per table.
6. Do we and/or our guests have to
pay to park?
Parking is free for all wedding-related events.
7. Can we reserve/block off parking?
Guests are welcome to park anywhere in the Zoo parking lot. However parking
is only offered on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be blocked
off or reserved.
8. Do we and/or our guests have to
Admission is only required for daytime events (10am to 2pm) in the Party
Pavilion and Dolphin Gallery. For all other wedding-related events,
admission is not required.
9. Why is admission required for
daytime events in the Dolphin Gallery and Party Pavilion?
The Dolphin Gallery and Party Pavilion are located on Zoo grounds, so guests
must pay admission to get to those locations. However, guests are then free
to enjoy the Zoo grounds during regular hours.
10. Are discounted admission tickets
Discounted admission tickets are available for groups of 25 or more.
11. How early can we arrive to begin
pictures, access the dressing rooms and/or set up?
You may arrive as early as two hours prior to begin setup, access the
dressing rooms and/or begin pictures.
12. What time will Centerplate staff
arrive to begin setup?
Centerplate staff will begin setup two hours prior to your event.
13. Are we allowed to take pictures
on Zoo grounds?
The bride, groom and bridal party are welcome to use the Zoo grounds during
operating hours on the day of the event to take pictures. Please make your
sales manager aware as he/she will provide your photographer with admission
tickets to cover the bride, groom and bridal party. We simply ask that you
do not block pathways or exhibits and that you are considerate of other Zoo
14. Who gets to access the dressing
rooms and how long are we able to access them?
Dressing rooms are guaranteed for an evening wedding and reception package
at no extra cost. We offer two classroom-style rooms with tables, chairs,
tall standing mirrors and coat racks. You may access the rooms beginning two
hours prior to your event. Your personal items need to be removed prior to
the ceremony as the dressing rooms are not accessible after the ceremony.
However, as those rooms are often in use during regular hours for
Zoo-related events, dressing rooms are not guaranteed for daytime weddings.
If they are not in use by the Zoo, rooms will be made available at no extra
cost and notification of room availability will be provided 30 days to two
weeks prior. Dressing rooms are not offered for evening-only receptions. If
you would like to access the dressing rooms earlier than two hours prior,
please ask your sales manager 30 days to two weeks prior to your event.
15. Can we host our rehearsal
at your location?
A rehearsal will be held the day prior for an hour during operating hours.
It will be scheduled 30 days prior to your event.
16. Do you charge for the rehearsal?
The rehearsal is included in your wedding package and there is no additional
fee for a facility rental, admission, parking or a catering minimum.
17. Are there sound restrictions?
Most facilities do not have sound restrictions. However, the Oceans Building
and the Dolphin Gallery do have some limitations. Amplified sound is not
permitted in the Oceans Building. In the Dolphin Gallery, there is a sound
limit of 90 decibels (very loud!) and amplified sound is not permitted in
the underwater viewing dome.
18. Are there décor restrictions?
The Zoo allows types of décor to celebrate your special day. We do ask that
you not use birdseed, rice, glitter, confetti, balloons or sparklers, as
these items can be harmful to our animals. Specifically for the Efroymson
Wedding Garden, we do allow temporary decorations but we ask that items not
be staked into the ground.
19. Can I get
about hosting my wedding/reception at the Zoo and Gardens?
For more information or to book a site tour, contact the Zoo’s
Wedding Manager at
email@example.com or 317-630-2008
Or fill out our
online event form to request more
information about our venues.
Staging your wedding and/or reception at the
Indianapolis Zoo helps support our animal conservation mission!