For the longest time, I thought this museum was sort of a dumpy, fifth grade field trip kind of museum. Not one that you would have a wedding at, and certainly not one that was fabulous and chic. And that was true, up until a few years ago when the museum was completely gutted and remodeled. The museum was perfect for us. The Skylight Gallery, where we had our ceremony, was airy and full of natural light from all of the windows. The rest of the museum has interesting galleries, which was perfect for mingling during the cocktail hour, with lots of nooks and crannies, which were great for setting up bars and stations. And the Exhibit Hall was just the space we were looking for -- we wanted a raw, modern space with nothing on the walls. Really, a blank slate. It was a little hard to imagine what it would look like without an exhibit in there (we got married on one of the only weekends this year that the Exhibit Hall was empty), but once I saw it, I knew we had picked the perfect venue. Because it is a blank slate, you can do whatever you want -- any decor, any theme, any colors, it all works in there. It's really the perfect event space. It's just a shame that it's available so infrequently! (Most weddings they have are tent weddings in the back of the museum.)
The first venue coordinator we were working with was a little flakey, but he left mid-way through the planning process. His replacement, Dawn Swartout, was phenomenal. She was quick to answer all of my questions and so helpful in providing assistance. She was very willing to meet with Erica Razze of Toscana Catering and spoke frequently with Christina Hill of cHill Weddings.
One of the biggest perks of this venue is that they offered 3 babysitters for $180 for the entire night. They were Education staffmembers at the museum, and they really helped the kids have a ton of fun and the parents enjoy themselves. This was a great price and the fact that I didn't have to bring in yet another vendor was a huge load off my mind.
The only downside, and this wasn't a huge downside but still one that I think I should mention, was that the museum was hypervigilant about getting us out of the museum by 11:30 because they had a museum event in the Exhibit Hall the following day. As such, they cut off the bar at 10:45 without telling my parents or I. I had clearly specified to the caterer that I wanted the bar to close at 11, but they had to listen to what the museum said. It was just a little strange that they made this decision without telling us. Like I said though, it wasn't a huge deal.
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