Wedding at the Museum & Aquarium

Make your wedding a day to remember.

The Museum & Aquarium can help you create all the details for the perfect event, from beautiful tables to a delicious menu served by our exclusive caterer. The Museum & Aquarium includes ideal settings for indoor or outdoor ceremonies, mingling over cocktails, banquets, or dancing the night away.

Located on the Mississippi River in charming Dubuque, Iowa, the Museum & Aquarium is also ideal for wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, anniversary parties, and corporate events.

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  • Outdoor WeddingA beautiful open air ceremony on our harbor-side plaza followed by dinner and dancing in our boatyard greenspace,

  • Wedding Reception at the Museum & AquariumA Distinctive ceremony featuring exhibits and open architecture followed by an intimate reception in our charming, historic Depot,

  • Wedding by the Gulf of Mexico Aquarium

    An Impromptu ceremony at our expansive Gulf aquarium for a memorable pop-up wedding,

  • Wedding Reception

    a traditional ceremony in our historic Depot followed by a formal reception in the gallery spaces and exhibits,

    or envision a dream wedding all your own.

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  • Mississippi River Center
    Discovery Center

    Open gallery and exhibit space ideal for larger events

    Accommodates up to 240 guests

  • Boatyard

    Open-air greenspace with waterfront views, ideal for tented events

    Accommodates up to 240 guests

  • Train Depot

    Charming, historic space perfect for ceremonies and intimate receptions

    Accommodates up to 150 guests

  • Mississippi River Plaza Pavilion

    Harborside open-air space, ideal for larger outdoor ceremonies

    Accommodates up to 200 guests

Alternative spaces available based on event


The Museum & Aquarium offers clients the use of our exclusive caterer – J&D Catering – who can provide a range of menu options including special dietary needs. All food service, as well as event setup and cleanup, is provided.

  • Cocktail Reception
  • Buffet
  • Stations
  • Plated, sit-down dinner

Download our 2017 Catering Menu

Wedding Reception

Wedding Reception

Bar Service

The Museum & Aquarium handles all beverage service for any event, along with bartender staffing

  • Hosted Bars
  • Cash Bars
  • Hosted Keg Beer Service
  • Signature Cocktail Menus
  • Drink Tickets


  • Imported, Premium, & Domestic Beers
    Seasonal & Specialty Beers

  • Wines
    Deluxe & Premium Liquors

  • Soft Drinks
    Bottled Water


  • “We had such a great experience at this venue. The staff are super knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Teri, the banquet coordinator, is a fantastic resource and is super organized – absolutely every last detail was taken care of. Nate is the events coordinator, and he was also very easy to work with. The caterer, Diane, was just wonderful to work with, and the catering team and bartending staff were great. There’s plenty of stuff for guests to visit and look at, nearby hotels and restaurants, and lots and lots of free parking. We had a guest count of 115, and the final bill was very reasonable…(includes the space fee, food, and a beer/wine hosted bar). The museum has event staff that do all the setup and tear down. We did heavy appetizer stations in lieu of dinner, which isn’t their usual setup but worked well in the space. We got married in the depot room and had our reception in the exhibit space. One thing about the depot room that you might want to know if you are considering this venue is that it is only a few feet away from an active train track. The trains do slow down, but they’re not silent. Just in case that’s a dealbreaker! We didn’t mind. Nothing but happy thoughts about this whole place.”
    – Meredith, Wedding 9/10/2016

    courtesy of

  • “EVERYONE SHOULD GET MARRIED HERE! Note my all caps. I want to do all I can to express my enthusiasm for the National Mississippi River Museum as a venue. They were incredible. We worked with Nate in the early planning stage. He was unbelievably responsive. If he couldn’t answer a question right away, he would respond to the email and let us know when he would get back to us. He accommodated literally every request. My now husband asked for a layout of the space and he sent an attachment of a photo where the tables would go. As we got closer to the date, we worked with Terri who was on site during the ceremony and reception. She worked so hard all evening. We didn’t worry about anything. They handled set up, they handled tear down. Our only job was to have fun. We loved that they had an exclusive caterer! One less decision to make, and as an added bonus, their caterer is awesome! Diane is a funny and kind person and we received many compliments regarding the food. Finally, the value. Everything was reasonably priced. I’ll conclude with some compliments we received the night of the wedding: “this is the coolest place I’ve ever seen a wedding be” “when we get married, we are going to copy everything you did” “I had no idea something this cool is so close to where we live” “Beautiful place for a wedding” The list goes on and on….”

    – Megan, Wedding 5/14/2016

    courtesy of

Contact banner

We are delighted to make your day perfect.
Please contact our team for further information and pricing.

563.557.9545  |  800.226.3369

350 E. 3rd Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001

Download our 2016 Wedding BookletWedding Booklet Cover

Photography Credit