Looking for a breathtaking site for your wedding reception? If you have a large guest list and a budget to match, consider renting out a grand museum to host your event. Museum wedding receptions are swanky, unique, and of course full of art and culture.
Most cities have at least one spectacular art museum. They are often designed to be very grand and impressive, with marble lined entrance halls, a stunning atrium, and incredible works of art everywhere you look. What better place to hold a formal wedding? Museum weddings are almost always held in the evening, since they are restricted to hours when the galleries are closed to the public. That gives you the perfect excuse to have a black tie affair. Just picture yourself dressed in a couture gown and custom bridal jewelry, sipping Champagne with your new husband while admiring a Monet or a Renoir – life doesn’t get any sweeter than that!
The one thing you will not need a lot of for a reception in a museum is decorations. When the space is full of original paintings and sculptures, not much else is called for. Pretty centerpieces and table linens will just about do it. That said, there are many special considerations to hosting a wedding in such a large space. For one thing, you may need to hire a lighting specialist to get the lighting just right for a museum after dark. Something else that may be necessary is a sound engineer, because the acoustics in a vast marble-clad room will be very challenging for the band to get right. And of course, you will need an insurance policy in case Uncle Fred has one too many and tips over a Ming vase or something.
When planning a museum wedding, you will probably need to bring in your own caterer. The events coordinator at the site will give you a list of pre-approved vendors, because not just anyone is going to be allowed to work there. The nice thing about working with someone who has prior experience at the museum is that they will know how to work around the venue’s strict rules about things like no beer bottles, no red beverages, and a ban on open flames. While a bit of a pain, the reason behind all of the restrictions is to protect the priceless artwork, so it is actually rather reasonable. The formal setting would make a very elegant dinner appropriate. It is hard to imagine eating sliders and mac and cheese shooters under the gaze of an Old Masters oil painting.
If you are thinking about having your wedding in a museum, remember that there are all kind of interesting ones beyond traditional art museums. You could have your reception under a giant fossil in the American Museum of National History in New York or the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Or if you are a kid at heart, why not have your event at the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh? That would be a really fun site for a wedding with a lot of kids in attendance. Choose a whimsical wedding gown with colorful custom bridal jewelry to set a playful tone.
Because traditional museums can be extremely expensive to rent (we’re talking up to $25,000!), couples may also wish to look into similar venues like smaller art galleries, college museums, and historical societies. They will have a great ambiance and are a good choice for a smaller wedding or a tighter budget. Whichever site suits your fancy, when your wedding is surrounded by one-of-a-kind works of art, it is sure to be spectacular!