First of all, congratulations on your engagement! You must be very excited and we thank you for considering us as the venue for such a special day. Edinburgh Zoo is probably the wildest place in Edinburgh to get married but our elegant wedding venue is renowned for impeccable service and delicious catering which ensures that you, your partner and your guests will have a truly memorable experience.
Please be assured that throughout the entire process from initial booking and organisation through to the big day itself, our team will ensure that this process is as enjoyable and easy for you as possible. Your dedicated wedding coordinator will be on hand to discuss any questions or queries that you may have at any time in the run up to the day, and will be in touch with you at the following key planning stages;
Menu Tasting Event
The perfect opportunity to come along to the Mansion House and sample the food for your day. An invitation will be sent to you by your coordinator all in due course (usually around 4-6 months prior).
8 weeks to go…
Initial final details meeting – at this stage we will begin to gather the finer details of your wedding, so your coordinator will be in touch to arrange a suitable time for you to come in to the Mansion House to discuss. If there are any details that cannot be confirmed at this stage, they will be left TBC at the next meeting.
5-6 weeks to go…
Secondary final details meeting (if required) – during this meeting we will look for all details to be finalised.
4 weeks to go…
Your coordinator will send you the event sheet (running order) detailing all the information that was discussed at the most recent final details meeting. Any changes thereafter will result in an updated sheet being sent out to you to confirm. A pro-forma invoice will be created and issued to you at this stage.
2 weeks to go…
At this point we require full final balance to be paid and a signed copy of the finalised event sheet returned to us. This will act as confirmation that all details we have are correct. We will also require your finalised table (service) plan.
We are often asked for a rough idea of a timeline that our brides and grooms should work to on their big day. First and foremost we feel it is important to note that we are happy to be flexible to provide you with the perfect day to suit your preferences, however below we have put together a rough guideline for the various elements of the day.
Your Wedding Ceremony
Wedding Ceremonies are most commonly held between 1 and 3pm
A civil ceremony will take approximately 25-30 minutes depending on how many readings you have planned. Both the bride and groom will need to meet with the registrar prior to the ceremony. This happens approximately 30 minutes before for the groom and 15 minutes before for the bride.
A humanist ceremony can be more personal and tailored around each individual couple. As an estimate they tend to last around 30-45 minutes, though this is something that your celebrant would be happy to discuss with you.
A religious ceremony tends to last on average around 30 minutes dependent on the number of readings included. Conversely, a couple could decide to say quick vows lasting around 15 minutes if they prefer.
Post Ceremony Drinks Reception
Depending on your ideal plan for your day, we would recommend allowing at least 1.5 – 2 hours for the drinks reception and formal photographs after the ceremony. Guests are more than welcome to wander around the zoo gardens during public opening hours, in the summer the park is open until 6pm so this is the perfect opportunity for guests to enjoy their surroundings. The wedding party is also welcome to venture out into the park to take photos!
This is the formal greeting line that takes place before the guests enter the wedding breakfast. Many couples opt not to have a receiving line at all, but those who do can include the whole wedding party or alternatively just the bride and groom. This can take around 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the wedding.
A typical wedding breakfast will tend to take around 2 – 2.5 hours inclusive of service, speeches, cutting of the wedding cake and of course lots of happy moments! Alternatively, you could choose to cut the wedding cake later once your evening guests have arrived.
Your evening reception can begin at any time, however we would suggest that evening guests should arrive around 30 minutes after the breakfast is scheduled to end. The evening must end at 12:30am with all guests exiting the park by 12:45am as per our licensing terms.