Shedd Aquarium




Nestled beautifully on Chicago’s historic waterfront, Shedd Aquarium provides a magical place to say your vows and celebrate your big day. Completed in 1930, the Beaux-Arts style neoclassical temple of white marble and terracotta celebrates aquatic life, from the marine fossils in its limestone floor to Neptune’s trident capping its glass dome. Say “I do” in the majestic Kovler Hall. The classical Greek architecture is enlivened with superlative sea life ornamentation in marble, bronze and terra cotta, and offers a stunning place for your nuptials. After the vows, cocktail hour begins on the mezzanine level overlooking a stunning re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastline. Guests can stroll down to the water’s edge to visit with dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters, a sea lion and fascinating fishes and sea stars. Later, your dream reception commences in the Soundings room. Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline are the backdrop in this beautiful window-lined room, and offer an unforgettable scene to celebrate your new life.

Venue Style

Museum/Gallery, Ocean/Waterfront View


Indoor/Outdoor Ceremony, Indoor Reception


Max Indoor Ceremony: 1000 guests
Max Outdoor Ceremony: 220 guests
Max Indoor Reception: 680 guests

Time Restrictions

Set up time can start at 6:00PM. Events must end by 1:00AM.

Rental Fees

The rental fee for a Saturday during peak season (April - December) is $7,000 with an additional $10 per person cost after 200 guests. There is a food and beverage minimum applied to all events. The venue allows 4 hours of event time excluding set up and clean up time. The set up fee for a wedding ceremony is $1,500. Additional hours can be arranged for a fee of $1,500/hr.

Wedding Cost

The average wedding cost at Shedd Aquarium is estimated at between $24,483 and $40,868 for a ceremony & reception for 100 guests.





Amenities Included

Outdoor lighting
Venue set up and clean up
Votive candles
Day of onsite manager
Full kitchen facilities
Valet or public parking for a fee
Marble floor for dancing area
Cocktail tables included for outdoor cocktail reception areas

Special Restrictions

All food and beverage handled by venue
Food & beverage minimum
Venue must approve all decorations
General liability insurance required
No rice, birdseed, confetti, etc.
Catering provided by venue
Amplified music OK indoors and outdoors
Smoking in designated areas only
Alcohol must be provided by venue
Music must end by 1:00AM
Ceremony arch rentals are permitted for outdoor ceremonies only
Aisle runner not allowed in Oceanarium Amphitheater, not recommended for outdoor space

Wedding Day Availability (Last updated Jul 10, 2015)

  • Reserved
  • Today