Saying “I Do” at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo
Whether you’re planning an intimate celebration or a big party, we know how to make your wedding day unique. With venues perfect for 15 people or 350 (and more), we can bring your dreams to life. Ample parking, LRT access, and a central location make the zoo the perfect setting for your special day.
Having your wedding at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo not only makes an unforgettable experience for your guests, but it also supports wildlife conservation. Revenue generated by weddings and other events helps us to care for animals at the zoo and in our conservation projects around the world.
Best Unique Wedding Venue in Calgary
The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is proud to have been named Avenue Magazine’s 2023 winner for “Best Unique Wedding Venue in Calgary”. We’re honoured to have been part of so many love stories.
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Discover the perfect setting for your love story.
A taste for the extraordinary
Your special day should be commemorated with a special meal. Discover inspired creations that will delight you and your guests, curated by our chefs and our talented catering team.
Full Catering Menu
Frequently Asked Questions
Planning for your big day is a big deal. Here are our most frequently asked questions.
Can we come to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo to do a site tour of wedding venues?
Yes, wedding venue tours are welcomed and encouraged. We offer private tours of our facilities at no cost. These tours take you through both ceremony and reception venues for any of the locations you are interested in. Contact us at (403) 232-7770 or at SalesInfo@CalgaryZoo.com to book your tour.
Do I have to book a ceremony and reception, or can I just book a reception?
You may book a reception, or a ceremony and reception together.
What is your cancellation policy?
You have the right to cancel your wedding and terminate your Contract Agreement by giving the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo written notice. Cancellation will result in the forfeiture of your deposit(s). Please note that there are no refunds for weddings regardless of the amount of written notice provided. Weddings cancelled within two months of the wedding date will result in the full anticipated charges being invoiced.
How does wedding pricing work?
Our wedding pricing has three essential components:
- Venue rental fee (varies depending on the venue selected)
- Venue food & beverage minimum spend (varies depending on the venue selected)
- Ceremony fee ($3 per guest if you choose to hold your ceremony at the zoo)
What does the wedding payment schedule look like?
In order to guarantee your wedding date and venue selection, you must provide your initial deposit along with the signed Contract Agreement. This deposit includes the venue rental fee for your selected venue. 50% of the remaining anticipated charges are due 60 days prior to the wedding date, with the remaining balance due 10 days prior to the wedding date.
Do you have an in-house caterer? Can we bring our own food and beverages?
We have one of the largest catering teams in Calgary, which are led by our talented Chef Kenneth Titcomb. Our team delivers exceptional dining experiences to you and your guests that suit your tastes. No outside food or drink is permitted with the exception of a wedding cake.
Are we allowed to decorate our wedding venue?
Personalized decorations are very welcome. Please consult with your Event Sales Coordinator to see the full list of items that are prohibited to protect the safety and wellbeing of our animals. This list includes but is not limited to balloons, rice, confetti, piñatas, sparklers, fireworks, and all open flames. All décor must be free standing. You will have three hours allocated for setup (which includes time for Catering to set up the venue). Upon request, your Event Sales Coordinator can check on the availability of your venue for earlier setup.
Can we hire vendors or is there a list of preferred vendors that we need to stick to?
You are welcome to hire wedding vendors of your choosing. If you have not already selected vendors, we are happy to provide you with a list of preferred (independent) partners that are familiar with the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. Please note that vendors are required to carry their own WCB Insurance and should provide proof of insurance when asked. Uninsured vendors will be required to sign a waiver before being permitted on grounds.
What time can vendors begin setting up on the day of the wedding?
Generally, we allow setup to begin three hours prior to the agreed upon ceremony or reception time. Upon request, your Event Sales Coordinator can check on the availability of your venue for earlier setup. It is not uncommon to be granted access to your venue the day before the wedding for setup purposes only, but we cannot guarantee this.
Where do guests park?
Guest parking will be determined by your venue selection. Weddings taking place in the ENMAX Conservatory on Saturdays and Sundays will be permitted to have their guests park in the Administration lot. Weddings taking place in Safari Lodge and Grazers Restaurant will have guests park and enter through the North Lot on St. George’s Drive. Please note that the cost of parking is not included in the cost of your wedding. Parking costs $13 daily per vehicle. Any attendees with a membership can have free parking if they are successfully registered with ParkPlus. All vehicles must be used by 11:00am by the following day or they will be towed at the owner’s expense.
I have another question. Who can I contact?
For all wedding questions, please contact us at SalesInfo@CalgaryZoo.com.