Whether you're planning a wedding or planning your holiday festivities, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has just the right venue to fit your needs. From mid-size rooms, to larger halls, to a chickee that provides a unique outdoor setting with a Southwest Florida-feel, our waterfront location showcases everything that is special about Sarasota and her islands.

Each year, millions of visitors travel to Sarasota to enjoy its beautiful beaches and exotic and fascinating marine life. At Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, we 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. Our venues offer you and your guests a departure from the ordinary with spectacular animal exhibits and breathtaking views.

Read our brochure.
Click here to see some reviews from brides.

Did you know that zoos and aquariums are becoming the most popular places for unique wedding experiences? Click here to learn more. 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 a.m. to midnight each day of the week, including weekends. Prices are reasonable, and — best of all — proceeds generated from rentals support Mote research and public education efforts.


Allison Whitten
(941) 388-4441 ext 139


New Pass Room

The New Pass Room, in the Keating Marine Education Center, is a 4,300 square-foot room featuring a 1,300 square foot balcony that provides spectacular views of Sarasota Bay, New Pass and the Gulf of Mexico. New Pass Room is also perfect for hosting seminars and includes complete A/V capabilities for an extra charge.

New Pass Room Capacity: 200 for cocktail receptions; 150 for sit-down dinner, with tables and chairs provided.

Hours Available: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Price: $2,100* (*Includes tables & chairs for up to 150 guests).

View from the Balcony of the New Pass Room:


The Chickee

Built by members of the Seminole Indian tribe, the Chickee picnic area is an outside covered pavilion next to beautiful Sarasota Bay. It’s one sure way to give your event an authentic Old Florida feel and is a wonderful place to hold birthday parties, company picnics or casual wedding rehearsal dinners. Picnic area includes electricity, water, grill, wooden picnic tables and chairs.

Chickee Capacity: 56

Hours Available: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Price: $500/4 hours.
1-60 people.


Aquarium & Courtyard

Mote Aquarium is perfect for an evening reception and rental includes access to all Mote Aquarium exhibits, such as the 135,000-gallon shark tank and reef fish exhibit. It’s a beautiful way to enjoy a get-together — watching the sunset and beautiful undersea creatures.

Hours Available: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.


1-75 people ... $1,900
76-150 people ... $2,300
151-250 people ... $3,100
251-350 people ... $3,300
351-400 people ... $4,200
>400 people: Please call for a quote.


WAVE Center

Our newest venue is a large, multi-purpose location ideal for both conferences and special events. Located adjacent to our main laboratory building, the WAVE Center has value added enhancements that can transform your function into an event to remember. From full audio-visual capabilities and WiFi, we can accommodate your day or evening event.

Hours Available: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Price: $2,500

WAVE Center Capacity: 200 seated, 250 reception


Some of Mote's Preferred Professionals:

Wedding resource

Audio Visual

CCAV – Audio Visual Services
(941) 954-5000

Cakes & Desserts

Sarasota Catering Company
(941) 927-7675


Deep Sea Diner
(941) 388-4441 ext. 511

(941) 921-3400

Michael's On East
(941) 366-0007

Nellie’s Catering
941) 924-2705

Innovative Dining
(941) 373-5678

Sarasota Catering Company
(941) 927-7675

Simply Gourmet
(941) 929-0066

Event Planning

LH Weddings and Special Events
(941) 356-8048

Nellie’s Catering
(941) 924-2705

Guest Accommodations

Sandcastle Lido Beach
(941) 388-2181

Lido Beach Resort
(800) 441-2113

The Resort at Longboat Key Club
(941) 387-1605


CCAV – Audio Visual Services
(941) 954-5000

Rehearsal Dinner/Bridal Showers

Michael's On East
(941) 366-0007

Nellie's Catering
(941) 924-2705


Nellie’s Catering
(941) 924-2705