The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens Wedding Venue: Ultimate Guide

If you’re looking for a unique and enchanting experience for your big day, look no further than The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, affectionately known as the Sanford Zoo. Nestled in the heart of Sanford, Florida, this hidden gem offers a truly extraordinary backdrop for your wedding celebration. As you step into the zoo, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, exotic flora, the soothing rustle of trees, and the unforgettable sounds of the animal kingdom. This is a one-of-a-kind setting that’s perfect for couples who are seeking an unconventional yet memorable wedding experience and for us as Central Florida wedding photographers!


An amazing perk of holding your wedding at the zoo? Couples are providing mission-driven support to the zoo’s organization. By hosting your wedding here, you’re contributing to the community engagement efforts and will inspire your guests to take action for wildlife and promote a deeper connection with the natural world. It’s a beautiful way to give back while celebrating your love.  

bride and groom with giraffe in the background at central florida zoo in sanford

Wedding Sites Available at the Sanford Zoo

Another great advantage of hosting your wedding at the Sanford Zoo is the variety of venue options available to suit your preferences and guest size. 

ultimate wedding guide for the central florida zoo

Safari Hall

Safari Hall is a 3,400 square foot banquet hall perfect for any wedding. Located in the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center, this space is ideal for a stunning reception whether you are expecting 25 or 150 guests. The dimming lights, tables, and linens are all prepared by the event staff, leaving you with one less thing to worry about on your special day. 

reception set up at the central florida zoo
parent dances on the dance floor
bride and her girls in photobooth

Insect Zoo

Inside the lobby of the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center, you’ll find the Insect Zoo, this space is bound to make for an unforgettable cocktail hour for your guests. Attached to the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center is the Gazebo Courtyard. This stunning covered porch area is an open-air venue that brings the enchantment of the jungle to your wedding ceremony. This space is perfect for a wedding ceremony and provides a natural, romantic ambiance. 


ceremony at in the zoo surrounded by friends and family

Gazebo Courtyard

Attached to the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center is the pretty covered porch, perfect for a cocktail hour, buffet during cooler months or a bar. A couple step over you will find yourself at the Gazebo Courtyard. This space is surrounded by tropical greenery, framed by trees, flowers and a raised wooden stage with long wooden benches stationed in front of it which naturally makes it perfect for wedding ceremonies!


Our Favorite Wedding Photography Locations at the Sanford Zoo

One of the standout features of the Sanford Zoo is the opportunity to capture unforgettable photographs with some of the world’s most incredible creatures. You can add private animal encounters to your special day with Giraffes, Rhinos and more! The most popular encounter is that of the Giraffes! Get up close and personal with the zoo’s giraffes as they gracefully stretch their long necks over the fence to grab a snack. You and your partner can share an intimate moment while these majestic animals provide a whimsical and unforgettable backdrop. To include private animal encounters, be sure to plan ahead and determine your preferences at least one month before your wedding day. 

The luscious greenery surrounding the zoo itself makes for a stunning backdrop for your celebration. Take a leisurely stroll through the guided nature trail and discover beautiful hidden spots full of Florida’s natural charm. The serene settings provide the perfect backdrop for capturing candid and romantic moments. 


bride and groom kissing in front of the otters in the zoo
bride and groom with kid with their faces put in silly characters

Our Favorite Things About Weddings at the Sanford Zoo

  • Located in the heart of Sanford, Florida, the Sanford Zoo is easily accessible for both local + out-of-town guests + right off of I-4.
  • Proximity to the Airport – For guests traveling from out of state, the Sanford Zoo is conveniently located near the Sanford/Orlando Airport. Ensuring your wedding is accessible to friends and family from all over.  
  • Unique botanical garden! In addition to the wildlife exhibits, the Sanford Zoo boasts a stunning botanical garden. With a wide variety of flora growing throughout the zoo, be sure to keep your eyes open for butterflies! 
  • The animals, of course! – Last but not least, the animals themselves are the stars of the show! {Aside from the couple themselves, of course!}


married couple at zoo during animal petting time

adorable bride and groom portrait at the central florida zoo

Sanford Zoo Wedding Venue Cost 

The Sanford Zoo can accommodate up to 150 guests and generally costs anywhere from $3,800 to $4,500 for a wedding. This includes the ceremony and reception site and offers the convenience of 2 separate dressing rooms on your wedding day. It’s important to note that these prices may vary, so be sure to contact the event staff for the most up-to-date details. 


For more information about wedding photography by Live Happy Studio

See our brochure – Click to open the brochure! 

Email – [email protected]

Text or Call – 407-221-4379

For more information about The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Lindsay Odom | Event Coordinator

[email protected]

407-323-4450 x136

The Sanford Zoo Wedding Venue At A Glance

  • How many people can the venue hold? 150
  • General Rate Range? $3,800-$4,500
  • Basics included in any venue rental? 
    • Entire Event Space – Safari Hall, Insect Zoo, and Gazebo Courtyard
    • Event Furnishings
      • (15) 72” round reception tables
      • (300) black resin chairs for ceremony and reception
      • (15) 6’ tables
      • (15) cocktail tables
      • Ivory and Black Linens
    • Dedicated parking spot for the happy couple
    • One hour wedding rehearsal as available
    • Additional event staff dedicated to setting up and breaking down your wedding tables and chairs, directing your guests, security, and custodial care. 
    • Access to room layout software that clients and the caterer can use to view diagrams created by Event Staff. 
    • Access to the zoo for Wedding Party photos. 

Restrictions in Place at The Sanford Zoo

  • No helium balloons
  • No glitter or confetti
  • No release of lanterns
  • No open flame candles or sparklers 
  • No cold sparks
  • No loose moss
  • Fog or smoke-producing machines are strictly prohibited

The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, or the Sanford Zoo, is an exceptional wedding venue that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, mission-driven support for wildlife conservation, and a variety of venue options to suit your preferences. From intimate ceremonies to grand celebrations, the zoo provides an unforgettable backdrop for your special day. With the added option of private animal encounters and stunning photography locations, your wedding at the Sanford Zoo will be a one of a kind experience that you and your guests will cherish forever. So, if you’re dreaming of a wedding that’s both enchanting and meaningful, consider saying “I do” at the Sanford Zoo. 

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