Years of effort go into creating the perfect wedding day. Dozens of vendors from all specialties, from fashion to food, coordinate their efforts under one creative director: you. You're creating the event of a lifetime. With all of the thought and energy that goes into bringing a priceless masterpiece to life, why not showcase it in a venue that's meant for presenting priceless works of art? A museum or art gallery will hold your wedding celebration in a setting where it can be surrounded by its masterpiece peers.
Choose Your Museum Type
From modern art galleries to natural history museums, your choices for a wedding venue are nearly limitless. Try to match your personality and relationship style, as well as your chosen wedding theme, with a museum that showcases the same type of treasures you love.
Considering photo opportunities is a fun way to begin your search. Do you want to be pictured posing under a giant stegosaurus skeleton? Perhaps you like the idea of matching your wedding gown to the gown pictured in a famous painting. Are you and your partner science enthusiasts who love geeking out about interactive solar system exhibits? Do you want to rent an antique car museum for the evening so you can be photographed reclining against the hood of a Model T? No matter what hobbies you enjoy, finding a museum that matches your style is a fun excuse to tour your town's attractions.
Choose an Event Space
Most large museums have one or more special event spaces already set up for weddings. Depending on the size of your wedding, you can rent large banquet halls, intimate sun rooms, or rotundas of varying sizes. Some event spaces are themed and decorated, which can add personality to your reception. For large art museums, consider which wing of the venue holds the most appropriate exhibit for your wedding theme.
Plan early to book the space you want. Ask the museum event coordinators what spaces will be available for the dates of your wedding. For small, privately-owned museums, a general rental of the entire space is the best approach (although this can be very expensive). Evening events will be more convenient for smaller buildings so the wedding does not interfere with normal museum hours. Most museums have very strict regulations around load-in and load-out during business hours. Discuss what options are best suited to the size of your wedding.
Rental fees usually vary by the size and popularity of the specific event space you are renting. Weddings held outside of museum hours and weekday weddings usually have a better chance of securing a rental on a popular event space.
Learn the Restrictions
When you use a museum as a wedding venue, it's important to keep in mind that the location's first priority is displaying and preserving works of art. Therefore, many museums and galleries impose strict restrictions on the activities that can take place inside. You may face limitations on certain electrical equipment, amplified music, lighting, unsupervised children, flash photography, and open flame, as well as food and drink. If you intend to bring your own decorations, ask ahead of time what is allowed. Many decorations that require affixing objects to walls, doorways, or ceilings are prohibited.
Most museum and gallery venues have strict event hours. Your wedding will need to comply with the start and end times of your rental agreement. Using any vendors that are not already in-house event staff may incur fines, or be prohibited entirely.
This is not to say that event restrictions are a reason to avoid museum and gallery venues. To the contrary, the restrictions ensure that the space will be kept beautiful for your wedding. In-house event specialists are usually happy to attract weddings to their space, and will do what they can to ensure your wishes are met.
Plan your wedding at a museum and you'll treat your guests to an experience far beyond the usual wedding venue. The museum's exhibits will add visual interest beyond mere decorations. Your wedding theme can be fully brought to life, whether it involves marble sculpture, colorful pop art, or sculptures composed of moving water. Rent a venue that is unique to your interests and you will create a wedding celebration that's a genuine masterpiece.