For a day as monumental as your wedding day, why not go all out and tie the knot at a grand museum filled with world-renowned artifacts? Just imagine saying “I do” beside a famous painting, or dining and dancing in front of an iconic sculpture. Museums have a long histories and tons of cultural significance, which makes them a special place to host your nuptials.
History buffs and art aficionados will adore swapping vows at a museum wedding. It’s also the perfect spot for couples who love exploring museums during date nights or for those who grew up in the area and want to channel the city’s unique cultural flair.
Celebrating at a museum means your guests will have their own private tour of the building, so they’ll get unique access to priceless pieces of art. Since museums tend to have ample space, they’re an excellent choice for macro weddings with extended guest lists.
When it comes to adorning the venue, museums already house their own exquisite decorations, so you’ll save time and money on filling the space. In fact, we recommend keeping your décor to a minimum because you don’t want to overshadow all that the museum has to offer. Instead of trying to mask the space, build upon the museum’s color scheme or include a nod to your favorite exhibit.
From modern art museums to natural history museums to epic science centers, there are many different options that each have their own aesthetic. Before you start designing your wedding, just remember to double check your contract to make sure you follow all of the rules and regulations.
To help you get started, here are 18 unique ways to host an unforgettable museum wedding.
Set the Tone with a Custom Illustration
Give guests a hint of your wedding location by drawing it on your invitations. A beautiful illustration of the museum where you’ll be throwing down communicates expectations while making a big impression. To make the illustration the star of the show, stick to simple typography and monochromatic hues.
Focus on Delicate Details
Whether it’s a hand-painted masterpiece or a thousand-year-old fossil, museums are brimming with eye-catching intricacies. To match the level of detail surrounding you, get meticulous with your dress design. Delicate pearl buttons and exquisite lace fabric will transform your dress into a buzzing sensation.
Don’t Skimp on Your Gown
There’s no doubt that your venue will turn heads, but it’s your big day. The museum shouldn’t get all of the attention! Serve looks in a bold strapless ballgown with a sweeping train made of airy tulle. As you glide down the aisle, it won’t even be a competition—no one will be able to take their eyes off of you!
Arrange a Sculptural Bouquet
With your bridal bouquet, you can build and carry your very own sculpture. An arrangement of different types of blooms, such as anthuriums and peonies, will give your bouquet texture and shape. Other plants like twigs and berries will also add structure and dimension that will mimic a piece of art.
Use the Architecture as a Photo Backdrop
Looking for the best place to take stunning couple portraits that you’ll cherish forever? Let your venue serve as the backdrop. Museums tend to have elaborate architecture that will make your wedding photos even more picturesque. We suggest holding your photoshoot outside to take advantage of the natural lighting!
Consider an All-White Palette
The bride doesn’t have to be the only one who gets to wear white! Since white is such a versatile hue, having everyone in your bridal party dress in the neutral shade will make a statement while complementing the museum. Not to mention, you’ll have a lot of fun coordinating with your best friends, and you’ll look effortlessly elegant. To really drive the theme home, carry white blooms, too.
Host Your Ceremony Outside the Venue
There’s nothing quite like an outdoor wedding ceremony. Not only will you soak up all of the fresh air and sunshine, but you’ll also enjoy stunning views of the setting. Instead of limiting your guests to the confines of the building, get outside in nature and use the structure of the museum to frame your vows. Since the venue will certainly stand out, all you need is a few simple decorations like lucite chairs and a white floral arch.
Incorporate Acrylic Details
Since you won’t want to detract from the beauty of the museum, opt for lucite details like this transparent seating chart stuffed with lush greenery. With acrylic decorations, you’ll enhance the space rather than clutter it. Lucite is also the perfect addition to any modern or minimalist wedding.
Get Creative with Your Altar
Although museums offer a lot of value, they also have certain rules that couples are expected to follow. Instead of letting the limitations prevent you from having your dream wedding, get creative with your approach (while still being respectful, of course!). This couple couldn’t hang chandeliers at their wedding due to wind concerns, so they decided to design an altar made of black pedestals topped with crystal chandeliers.
Stand in the Center
Switching up your seating arrangements is a surefire way to make your ceremony memorable. With a circular ceremony structure, you’ll literally be surrounded by your circle of friends and family. Stand on an elevated platform in the center of the room to give guests an exceptional view and to create the most intimate setting.
Assemble Ghost Chairs
Ghost chairs are the perfect seating choice for your museum ceremony. They seamlessly blend into the environment without disrupting your theme, allowing the surrounding art and architecture to really shine. Transparent chairs will also give any event a modern flair.
Get Up Close and Personal with the Exhibits
It’s not every day that you have an entire museum at your fingertips to explore. Take advantage of this private access by taking photos with the famous paintings, historical artifacts, or scientific objects. They’ll make one-of-a-kind keepsakes that you’ll want to frame!
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Since the museum itself creates the ambiance, chances are, you won’t want to leave the venue. Instead of departing from the cultural scene, bring the outdoors to you. Lining the grand staircase with vibrant greens and glowing candles will freshen up the space and make for a dramatic entrance.
Select a Statement Piece
When designing your reception, it’s best to have one focal point that makes a splash, so you prevent your decorations from clashing with the space. This statement piece with arches of greenery will grab everyone’s attention while aligning with the museum’s aesthetic. Select a neutral palette and simple décor to supplement the main focus.
Repurpose Your Décor
Instead of wasting a lot of time and money trying to find the perfect ceremony and reception decorations, use the same piece for both events! This couple used an asymmetrical autumnal arch as the backdrop for their ceremony and sweetheart table. A sea of floating candles will also add to the ambiance.
Line Your Table with a Work of Art
A three-dimensional table runner is just about the best addition to an art museum wedding. The wavy design is a captivating way to introduce depth to your tablescape. Your guests will be so enthralled that they’ll think the long line of baby’s breath is part of the exhibit!
Go All Out with Glassware
Yes, crystal glassware is excellent for drinking Champagne, but it also makes a glitzy decoration. Cover your reception tables in glamorous glasses to enhance your table setting and reflect the surrounding elements of culture. Select vintage pieces if you’re hosting at a history museum or luxe glasses for a lavish art museum.
Stick to Simple Place Settings
You can never go wrong with neutrals, especially when it comes to a museum wedding. A black-and-white color palette is chic and timeless, providing ample space for the exhibits to stand out. Decorate your tables with white floral centerpieces, taper candles, and linens plus black chargers, flatware, and menu cards for a swanky setup.