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A Wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium Wedding

Did you know you could have a wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga? Our friends recently got married at the River Journey building, and we had a whale of a time!

2020 is the year of weddings in our social circle. We kicked off the first of four weddings this year (including our own) on Leap Day in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We were excited to see what a wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium would be like!

About the Tennessee Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium River Journey

The Tennessee Aquarium is one of Chattanooga’s best attractions. It has two buildings: the River Journey building and the Ocean Journey building.

The River Journey takes you from the mountains to the seas, introducing you to freshwater animals like otters, trout, alligators, catfish, turtles, and more.

The Ocean Journey explores the saltwater habitats of penguins, stingrays, and a spectacular coral reef full of sharks and fish.

A River Journey Wedding

A Wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium

Our friends’ wedding was in the River Journey building, which we got all to ourselves. Usually, the aquarium buildings close at 7:30 p.m., but since our private event started at 7 p.m., it seems they kicked everyone else out early.

The ceremony took place in the building’s lobby. With the building’s walls all being glass, it was ironically like being in a fish bowl.

The reception was held downstairs in the Lupton Room. We got to dine, drink, and dance with a view of moon jellies and colorful fish! They also rented a photobooth where we could pose with squid hats and other fun, fishy props.

To top it all off, everyone had access to explore the exhibits throughout the building! And they even let you walk around with drinks!

The River Journey Exhibit

Tennessee Aquarium River Journey

The River Journey starts in the Appalachian Cove Forest at the top of the building. You’re greeted by birds, river otters, and reptiles.

In the Discovery Hall, you can see brightly colored sunfish, baby alligators, and the nation’s largest salamander. You can also touch a lake sturgeon and learn about how it’s making a comeback in the rivers of Tennessee.

In the Mississippi Delta, you’ll see the final leg of the river’s journey. Here, you can see alligators, an alligator snapping turtle, red-bellied turtles, and ducks.

Tennessee Aquarium River Journey

Next, you’ll gaze upon the River Giants. These powerful Arapaima, bizarre-looking Wallago Catfish, and giant freshwater stingrays once inhabited major river systems throughout the world but are now endangered.

Further along, in the Rivers of the World gallery, you’ll find animals from the Amazon, Congo, Volga, and Fly Rivers as well as from Africa and Eurasia.

Where to Stay For a Wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium

The best place to stay for a wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium is in Downtown Chattanooga. That way, you can walk to the wedding from your hotel and don’t have to worry about parking.

We stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton in Downtown. This was an easy 7 minute walk from the Aquarium. They also have a shuttle service that will drive you anywhere in the area.

Some of our friends stayed at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites right across the street, so that’s another good option. There are also a ton of great restaurants in Chattanooga within walking distance of these hotels. You’ll be right in the center of the Downtown action!

If you want more options of where to stay in Chattanooga, check out the top stays below.

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A Wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium

Have you been to a wedding at the Tennessee Aquarium? Let me know in the comments!

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