Download our Wedding Checklist

Snow Building at the Oakland Zoo

Oakland Wedding Venue
9777 Golf Links Road
Oakland, California 94605
Contact: Facilities & Events
Phone: 510/632-9525 x200

Why We Like This Place

The Oakland Zoo is unquestionably one of the Bay Area's most beloved attractions. It's a place where kids get to see wildlife up close for the first time, and grownups get to re-experience a little of that childhood magic. Couples looking for a unique location for their big day are also drawn here … and rewarded with more than warm memories: They discover that the zoo's light-filled Snow Building makes a really great—and very affordable—wedding venue.

Set off by itself on a hilltop perch, the modern, glass-walled building is surrounded by large swaths of grass, mature trees and best of all, sweeping views of the bay area and beyond. It's fronted by The Overlook, an expansive private terrace and lawn that's a favorite for ceremonies and cocktails thanks to mesmerizing panoramas from San Jose to the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate. Here, you can exchange vows beneath an arch with the city, water and mountains as your backdrop. Or, if you prefer more of a hushed, leafy setting, continue around to the Side Lawn and Terrace to say "I do" in front of a towering pine, then pose for portraits beneath a graceful magnolia. Follow with a reception al fresco, or opt to put up a tent aglow with chandeliers. (And you're welcome to mix and match with The Overlook area since you'll have exclusive use of the entire property).

The scenery is no less impressive inside, with great sightlines through windows that extend to the full height of the vaulted ceiling. Plenty of double glass doors allow for a true indoor/outdoor feel. The large space has a clean, neutral palette that works with virtually any style so you can add your own design flourishes. And the well-equipped kitchen gives you and your caterer-of-choice free rein to get creative. You'll also have sole use of the adjacent parking lot for your guests, and you can even arrange to hold your rehearsal up to two weeks in advance of the wedding.

Another special perk: The zoo's entrance is just a short stroll away, so it's easy to capture some one-of-a-kind photos.* How about a few fun shots as a new couple riding an ostrich or elephant (with all your attendants!) on the antique carousel? Or, gather the whole family in front of the bright pink flamingos. That way, when you reminisce, you'll feel even better knowing that events like yours helped raise revenue for animal care, conservation and education.

* Photo ops on the carousel or with live animals are subject to availability and there is an extra fee.



  • Max. Seated Indoors: 175
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 175

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 175
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 175
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 250
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 250


  • Max. Seated: 175

CEREMONY CAPACITY: The site accommodates 175 seated guests indoors or outdoors.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The venue holds 175 seated or 250 standing indoors or outdoors.

MEETING CAPACITY: The venue seats 175 theater-style.

Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.

A deposit of $250 (Monday–Thursday) or $500–750 (Friday–Sunday) is required to reserve your date, and the balance is due 2 months prior to the event. The rental fee for up to 5 hours starts at $660 (Monday–Thursday), $1,320 (Friday and Sunday), $1,680 (Saturday), and $3,250 (New Year's Eve). Additional hours range $90–180 depending on the day of the week. There is a $300 kitchen usage fee. Alcohol is allowed at non-youth events only. When security is required, the cost is $30/hour per guard. Prices are subject to change.

Location Uses

Wedding Receptions
Special Events, Parties
Business Functions/Meetings
Rehearsal Dinners


Catering: BYO
Kitchen Facilities:
fully equipped
Tables & Chairs:
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride's Dressing Area: yes
AV/Meeting Equipment: BYO
Parking: large lot
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: limited
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: none
Cleanup: renter, some provided
View: panorama of the bay area, from San Jose to the Golden Gate Bridge
Other: fireplace available

Venue Views

Forest/Wooded Area
Garden Patio/Courtyard
Landscaped Grounds

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg


Alcohol: BYO
outdoors only
amplified OK indoors
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required
Other: birdseed OK outdoors only; no glitter, confetti, or balloon/bird releases

Wondering what CBA or BYO means?
Want more info on our editorial process?

Download our Wedding Checklist

Wedding Venues > Northern California Wedding Venues > East Bay Wedding Venues