The Perfect Venue for Taking the Plunge

Photography provided by Newport Aquarium

When planning a wedding, each and every detail feels significant – but when the day arrives, it’s the big picture that couples and their guests will remember the most. The frame for that big picture comes down to one very important and crucial detail – the venue. 

The location can truly set the scene for a couple’s special day whether a wedding is held outdoors or indoors. While Cincinnati is rife with interesting and beautiful wedding venues, there are few as awe-inspiring and unique as the Newport Aquarium. From a dive-show proposal to a magical wedding ceremony in front of the shark theater, the Newport Aquarium has no shortage of ways to add magic to a special day. “We are the only aquarium in the area, so weddings here are very unique,” says Pamela Frech, general sales manager for Newport Aquarium. “We offer rehearsal dinner packages and bridal shower packages too.” 

The customization options are endless as well; from where in the aquarium couples celebrate their special day to how the event flows. Guests can enjoy a cocktail hour before the reception begins, with drinks and hors d’oeuvres under the aquarium tunnels while the couple mingles or poses for their photos. 

“We also find that many of our couples save money on the wedding overall because they don’t need to put as much into decorations,” says Kayleigh Sand, social events sales manager for Newport Aquarium. “Décor, flowers and everything can be simpler, and the couple can put more of their energy into what aspect of the celebration means the most to them.” In addition, to help take stress off the couple and help them focus on the excitement surrounding their wedding, the aquarium provides a private event coordinator to handle all the on-site details. The coordinator works with the couple to plan and handle each detail, from table settings to ceremony décor. 

For couples that want a classic atmosphere for the ceremony itself, Newport Aquarium has a large banquet room that marries the uniqueness of the aquarium with the traditional charm of a ballroom space. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Ohio River and small fish tanks built into the walls, it’s a great option for couples looking to embody a romantic, yet unique atmosphere. “We can host either ceremonies or receptions in our Riverside room,” says Sand. “It’s ideal for larger ceremonies, and then the party can move out into other areas of the aquarium for the reception or a cocktail party. Basically everything that’s open in the aquarium to our guests during the day is available to rent for weddings. We’ll have the touch pools open, we can bring a penguin or other animals up for guests to see, and we can set up a bar or cocktail tables just about anywhere.”

She says the jellyfish gallery, with its low, colorful lights and its serene occupants, is perfect for a small bar, because the area is very relaxing and comfortable. 

For ceremonies held in front of the shark tank, small and intimate weddings of 100 or fewer works best, but Newport Aquarium can accommodate anywhere from 250 guests in the Riverside Room to nearly 1,000 in the main aquarium space. So no matter what the RSVP numbers may be, there’s a way to customize the space to fit. 

The Newport Aquarium is located at One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071. You can reach them at 859.815.1453 or visit their website at