Unconventional weddings are the best, as the couple's creativity and personality shine. When you think about it, nothing is more unconventional than a zoo wedding. So, when I had the opportunity to capture the Aldridge wedding at Dartmoor Zoo in May 2022, I just knew I had to share it.
Dartmoor Zoo is a beautiful wedding venue in Devon and offers couples and their guest a unique opportunity. Celebrate your entire wedding in the zoo, complete with meet-the-animal experiences. Think of how fun this would be for couples having a child-friendly wedding.
A zoo wedding is also a great idea if it's the first place you met or where you had your first date. Let's get into the details!
Brief History of Dartmoor Zoo
The Zoo dates back to 1968 but was most recently purchased by its current owners in 2006. This gorgeous zoological park has had multiple books written about it and has even been featured in a film. You'll love the beauty and character of this zoo.
Dartmoor Zoo has over 70 animal species and was awarded the 'Eden Top Wildlife Attraction of the Year' in 2011. You'll find some endangered species and a wide array of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Now, to the main business.
Your Wedding at Dartmoor Zoo
Couples who marry at Dartmoor Zoo have rated it 5 stars and have great things to say about the experience. You'll feel at one with nature, surrounded by your guests and of course the animals. You'll also get impeccable service from the staff. Here are some of the things you can expect on the day.
Dartmoor Zoo Wedding Ceremony
Dartmoor Zoo ceremonies are held in Goodamoor House, where Mr and Mrs Aldridge had their celebration. Goodamoor House is a beautiful historic manor from the 17th century. It even hosted royalty during the Victorian era! You'll love this venue's gorgeous historical setting, which includes an original wooden floor and a romantic fireplace.
Goodamoor House can host up to 50 seated guests and has double doors with views of the hills and the zoo. It is perfect for an intimate celebration with loved ones and has recently undergone a renovation for a fresh look. But have no worries, the beautiful details mentioned earlier still remain.
Dartmoor Zoo Wedding Reception
Dartmoor Zoo offers two incredible options for your wedding reception: the Jaguar Restaurant and The Marquee. Winter wedding receptions are held in the Jaguar Restaurant, while your summer wedding reception will happen at the Marquee.
Jaguar Restaurant Wedding Reception
Couples love to use the Jaguar Restaurant as a reception space because of how light, airy and spacious it is. Add your personal decorations to this and enjoy an unforgettable venue. The Jaguar Restaurant can host up to 120 guests and has mesmerizing views of Dartmoor and the African paddock at the zoo.
The Wedding Marquee Wedding Reception
Planning a beautiful summer wedding? How about giving your guests a taste of the outdoors while protecting them from the elements? The Marquee set in the centre of Dartmoor Zoo provides you with just that and more. This lovely space can host up to 120 guests and is surrounded by greenery and exciting animal enclosures.
Dartmoor Zoo has a dedicated events team committed to helping you throw an unforgettable celebration. It includes a wedding coordinator and dedicated team that will be with you from your consultation right through to your special day. They'll help you turn your wedding vision into a reality.
Dartmoor Zoo offers numerous catering packages ranging from barbecues and buffets to elaborate three-course meals. They can even create alternative dishes to accommodate allergies and guests preferences. The zoo handles catering and offers themed dishes to fit your wedding dream.
Dartmoor Zoo offers two parking areas to accommodate you and your guests for your wedding. One at the top of the drive can accommodate 15 cars. This is best used for the couple, bridal party and guests with limited mobility. The ample parking area at the bottom of the drive can accommodate everyone else.
When you get married at Dartmoor Zoo, you and your guests get all-day access to the zoo. That is not all; choosing from one of their wedding packages also gives you a one-year couples membership. You get a meet-the-tiger experience on your wedding day too. How cool is that?!
Other animal experiences guests can enjoy include meeting, feeding the meerkats and taking photos with them. You and guests can also enjoy the falconry flying display and even get an opportunity to hold one.
Dartmoor Zoo Pricing
Depending on your needs and wedding date, you can pick from 3 packages for weddings at Dartmoor Zoo. For the first two premium packages, couples get a one-year couples' membership to the zoo and a meet-the-tiger experience. For more info, please check out the wedding brochure.
The Snowdrop Package
This wedding package is available from Mid-September to March. It starts from £4795 for a minimum of 40-day guests and about 100 evening guests. This package includes a delicious sit-down wedding breakfast, wine, an evening buffet, tables, chairs, plates, decor and even biodegradable confetti.
The Blue Bell Package
This wedding package is for peak season and is available from April to Early September. It starts at £6995 for a minimum of 40 days guests and 100 evening guests too. Couples who choose this package enjoy a sit-down wedding breakfast, wine, an evening buffet, décor, plates, chairs and more.
The Bespoke Package
Couples planning their wedding can also choose from a versatile bespoke package. With this package, venue hire goes for £1755 during off-peak season and £3555 during peak season. Then you can choose flexible catering, drinks, entertainment and animal experiences as add-ons.
Dartmoor Zoo is a fabulous wedding venue, and I had a wonderful time documenting this wedding there. Everything from the beautiful atmosphere to the accommodating staff and the animals help to make the experience magical. So, what do you say, will you be booking this lovely venue for your wedding?
Do you need an experienced Cornish wedding photographer to capture your wedding at Dartmoor Zoo?
I'd love to help you document your special memories at this venue and other locations in and around Cornwall and Devon. Want to know more? Contact me today!
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Professional, Fun and Relaxed Wedding Photography
My name is Steven! I'm a full-time documentary wedding photographer from Cornwall. I specialise in relaxed and unposed photography, capturing the moments of your day as they happen.
I love what I do, and I always have fun doing it. If you are looking for someone to capture every moment, create beautiful lasting memories, someone who will laugh with your guests, talk to the kids, pet all the dogs and get stuck into almost any task on the day, then I am the person for you!