We have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you.
From your first step, through to your big day, our events team are on hand to assist you.
We have been lucky to work with some fantastic wedding suppliers - see our list of recommended suppliers.
Download our wedding brochure and handbook as a pdf.
Our kitchen regularly handles an array of ingredients so it is important to capture information about your guests and their allergies. We will ask you to provide the names of guests with each allergy, a guide to their severity, as well as identifying them on the table plan which you provide. Once we have this information, our team will be able to provide assistance with what dishes to serve to your guests with special dietaries.
You are welcome to be used the balcony in the daytime and it has a great view of the Zoo grounds! Once the sun has set and the party starts, we then close the balcony.
Our bar is stocked with a selection of beer, cider, wine, spirits and soft drinks. The bar can be open on an account set up by the couple as well as cash/card payments. Last orders are called at 23.45, and the bar will close at midnight.
Wedding cakes can be delivered by your supplier on the morning of your wedding. To comply with our food regulations and to assist with providing information to guests with allergies on the evening, we do ask that whoever is supplying the cake send through a full list of ingredients approximately 2 weeks out from the day along with an appropriate food waiver to be signed.
Candles are permitted within the building during the wedding breakfast only; however, we ask that they are displayed within a hurricane vase or lantern making the flame encased. More and more couples are opting for the inexpensive and effective LED candles.
We are able to offer 20% of guests free car parking, further car parking will be charged at £4.00 per car subject to availability. Spaces can be allocated by providing a list or simply on a first come first serve basis.
If you are getting married in the lead up to or just after Christmas, please be aware there may be Christmas decorations up during your wedding. Enquire with our team for more information.
You are welcome to use confetti, it is a wedding after all! We only ask that it is kept within the Clifton Pavilion and that only biodegradable paper is thrown, please no real or fake rose petals as they stain the floor, linen and wedding dresses.
We will arrange a time with you in the days leading up to your Wedding day to deliver items for the day. We ask that all suppliers of fresh or perishable items including cake, flowers and balloons, deliver on the morning of the wedding between 10am-11am.
We have 2 cake stands that you are welcome to use (14 inch, one square and one round) along with a cake knife, please indicate to your co-ordinator if you wish to use them. As each wedding couple/day/theme is different we are able to recommend suitable decoration suppliers for you. As we are entrusted by Bristol Zoo Gardens to care for the Clifton Pavilion we do have guidelines to adhere regarding decorations ~ please contact your co-ordinator to discuss any ideas you may have before you book any suppliers.
We have seen everything from personalised chocolates to Bristol Zoo key rings and donations. However, to comply with our licence, we do ask that no alcohol is given.
We will set up a present and card table which is usually best located in the Garden Room. Our team will direct any guests with gifts to the table on arrival.
Due to the Clifton Pavilion being a listed building, we are unfortunately unable to hang or attach anything to our walls or ceilings.
You are welcome to nominate an MC for your wedding. Our Event Manager will support them with when to make announcements on the day. Alternatively, our Event Manager can also act as your MC on the day for announcements.
If you are looking for something different from our standard menus, our chefs are more than happy to discuss a bespoke wedding menu with you; the prices will be dependent on the menu chosen. Please click here for further information.
You are more than welcome to play music during the ceremony, the registrar will give you a guide of what is legally allowed to be played and when. We can arrange for a CD player/IPod dock to be placed in the room during your ceremony, we just ask to select a member of your wedding party to press play. If the music is burned onto a CD, we would recommend that you arrange to come and test the CD on our equipment before the wedding date.
You are welcome to organise a band or disco to play during your evening reception ~ please let us know if you require any recommendations. All we ask for is a copy of their current public liability insurance (cover must be no less than £5,000,000) and PAT certificate before the wedding date and due to space and noise levels we ask the band to only consist of 5 members or less. Please note we do not allow Karaoke or smoke machines at the Clifton Pavilion. All music must end by midnight.
If you are having your ceremony at the Clifton Pavilion, you will need to book the registrar directly with the Bristol Register Office on 0117 922 2800. There allocated times for ceremonies which are released two years in advance.
Smoking is permitted outside of the Clifton Pavilion, however not within the Zoo grounds.
We ask all couples to provide two table plans. The first is a table plan to display to your guests on the day. We have an easel to display your table plan along with table numbers and stands that can sit on each table.
The second table plan is a working copy for our team to set and serve your tables annotating any guests with special dietaries. See the Wedding Breakfast Layout section of this handbook for additional information on how to layout your room.
Although we do not provide name cards, we are more than happy to place them on the tables for you.
All guests are welcome to explore the Zoo gardens throughout your wedding day alongside the public until 5pm. During the months of April – September, this may be extended to 7.30pm, however, as the Zoo hosts a number of after hour’s events to the public throughout the year this would be subject to availability and confirmed to you as soon as the dates have been released. The Animal houses such as the reptile house and aquarium close at 4:30pm year round.
If there is anything we have missed, just ask! The Clifton Pavilion is a unique venue with extra special four legged neighbours so if you are thinking of something not covered here, please check with our team and we would be happy to provide the answers and guidance you need.
We help you with everything from choosing your menu, wine and flowers to your entertainment and table plan. Our functions team are professional, helpful and on hand to ensure your perfect day is delivered, meaning you can relax and enjoy your wedding day. We have a dedicated wedding co-ordinator who will be there to help you with the planning process and make your wedding unqiue to you.
Please note we ask for all wedding suppliers to arrange delivery of items – flowers, cake, chair covers etc on the day of the wedding between 10.00am and 11.00am to ensure we have staff available to assist in guiding the suppliers to the correct room.
Download our wedding brochure as a pdf