Weddings

Break out of the ballroom and experience the freshwater elegance of hosting after-hours celebration at Great Lakes Aquarium!

We offer space for indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies, room for seated receptions for up to 160 guests, and a sparkling 24-foot water wall as a backdrop for your first dance.

Great Lakes Aquarium’s rental options are organized as packages, providing you with the right space and furnishings to match your ideal wedding.

Questions? Contact our Events Manager at events@glaquarium.org.

Full Facility Package

Circular dinner tables decorated for a wedding reception among aquarium exhibits

Dine alongside a splashing river, witness stunning panoramic harbor views, carry cocktails through a shipwreck, and dance below a 24-foot lighted water wall. The full facility package provides flexibility, immersion and entertainment as the only package to allow exclusive access to the full Aquarium exhibit floor.

Featuring:

  • Stunning views of the Duluth Harbor
  • A dance floor in front of the 24-foot lighted water wall
  • Open exploration through the exhibit galleries
  • Divers & animal encounters (upon request)
  • Hands-on experiences at the 9,000 gallon sturgeon touchpool
  • Seating for 160 guests among the exhibits
  • Minimal decorations required; just add your personal touch with centerpieces or table favors!

Rental Includes:

  • 20 5-foot round tables (seat 6 – 8 each)
  • 120 basic black chairs (additional chairs available)
  • 6-foot rectangular tables for DJ, gifts, cake, catering and head table
  • Self-serve coat room
  • Private rooms for bridesmaid and groomsmen prep pre-ceremony
  • Private ceremony space at any time of day in our outdoor beer garden, 2nd floor Discovery Center (max capacity of 100 guests) or after-hours in the lobby or on the exhibit floor.

Pricing: $3,500

Discovery Center Package

With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Harbor and Bayfront Park, the Discovery Center Banquet Hall is a stunning setting for intimate wedding celebrations.

Capacity: Up to 100 guests

Timing: Available for daytime and evening rentals! This space can be kept private at any time of day.

Also Included:

  • 5-foot round or 6-foot rectangular tables (seat 6 – 8 each)
  • 100 basic black chairs (additional chairs available)
  • 6-foot rectangular tables for DJ, gifts, cake, catering and head table
  • Separate space for out-of-sight catering setup and staging
  • Optional: Add on lobby or outdoor beer garden set up for $250

Pricing:

 Daytime Rental Evening Rental
(at or after 5 pm)
1 - 40 guests$300$600
41 - 80 guests$600$1,100
81 - 100 guests$900$1,700

Ceremony-Only Packages

Enjoy one of a variety of locations, and treat your guests to free exploration throughout the Aquarium after your ceremony! Ceremony-only rentals include 6 hours of flexible ceremony time, plus unlimited exhibit exploration time following the main event.

Or, select any of these ceremony options as an addition to any Full Facility reception package (details above) at no extra cost. Ceremony options are not included in Discovery Center packages (ceremony options may be added for $250).

Outdoor Harborside Ceremony

An outdoor ceremony with peace of mind! Don’t worry about the weather. A backup indoor setup is available onsite at the Aquarium.

Capacity: Up to 160 guests.

Timing: Six-hour rentals available during Aquarium business hours*

Price: $750

Discovery Center Ceremony

With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Harbor and Bayfront Festival Park, the Discovery Center is a lovely setting for intimate wedding celebrations.

Capacity: Up to 100 guests

Timing: Six-hour rentals available during Aquarium business hours*

Price: $750

Water Wall Lobby Ceremony

Take your vows in front of Great Lakes Aquarium’s stunning 24-foot glass water wall

Capacity: Up to 120 guests

Timing: Six-hour rentals available after daily business hours*

Price: $750

* Aquarium business hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily.

Add-On Services

Catering

Great Lakes Aquarium offers you choices when it comes to catering.  Our preferred caterer is Black Woods Banquet and Catering. However, additional licensed caterers are welcome with approval!

Bar Service

Great Lakes Aquarium provides exclusive bar service for all on-site events serving alcoholic beverages.

  • Standard bar service: $200 (beverages not included)
  • Champagne Toast: $22 – $95 / bottle
  • Security (required with bar): $150

SCUBA Diving

Looking to add a stunning surprise to your evening event? Schedule SCUBA divers to wow your guests in the Isle Royale exhibit. Ask about the divers feeding fish, wearing otter onesies, or hosting rock-paper-scissors contests and more!

Price: $150

Animal Encounters

Get up close and personal with the Aquarium’s animal collections! Touch a skunk, take your picture with a baby alligator or meet a moon jelly.

  • Roaming animal encounters: $50/half hour

Touchpools

Sign up to safely touch a moon jelly at one of our after-hours touchpools! Touchpool options include Ancient Seas (featuring sea stars, anemones, abalones and prawns), Moon Jellies, and Sturgeon.

Price: $100 (includes 30 minutes at Ancient Seas, 30 minutes at Moon Jellies, and 1 full hour at the Sturgeon touchpool)