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  • Abby Mitchell

Museum Wedding Do's and Don't's

A museum wedding is absolutely glamorous. However, some of the guidelines (if not known from the start) are not always so glam. I want to shed some light on some typical standards that museums have for events and how that could affect your wedding.

Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas and Hotel 21c in Bentonville, Arkansas. Photos by Addie Gately.

You can't cover any existing installations or pieces. This means draping an area could be off limits. You also should ask about any upcoming exhibits to make sure any large installations still line up with your vision.

You also are not able to add live decor (flowers or flames) to most galleries. Event spaces in a museum - totally different, but bringing in a floating candle lined aisle to a functioning gallery space - not happening. Flowers can usually be used in galleries if they are silk or are not in large water containers. It depends on the particular museum!

Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Photos by Jenny Shipley.

When it comes to food and drink, similar rules apply. It is mostly off-limits to have beverages or bites around any art that could be damaged by it accidentally. Structurally beautiful and artistically styled spaces could accommodate guests for dinner or a cocktail hour, but they usually do not have art pieces in them.

Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Photos by Alec Vanderboom.

A few pros of having a museum wedding (if they even need mentioning!?) are:

  1. The fashion!! Your guests will love a moment to dress up in their most artful or inspired attire.

  2. The timeless and momentous feeling it gives. A wedding is a big deal and a wedding at a museum FEELS like it.

  3. The experience for your guests. What a unique and inspiring evening to be able to celebrate while also taking in what the galleries have to offer!

Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Photos by Jenny Shipley.

A few other factors that might not be well known are that vendors might need to be approved by museum staff (to maker sure they are qualified to work respectfully and carefully around the artwork) and load-in and load-out times will be specified by museum staff. This could possibly incur higher delivery fees with vendors who need to arrive at unique times to accommodate you.

You are also not allowed to take photos with any existing art pieces and then use them for commercial work. For example, you can't take a photo in front of a painting and then sell the picture of yourselves with the art in it to a magazine or for whatever purpose you desire.

Were you surprised by any of these guidelines!? I would love to hear your experiences and opinions.

Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Photos by Addie Gately.

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