The Most Enriching Museum Wedding Venues in All 50 States
Incredible institutions to get married in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
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50 States of Museum Weddings
From art, music, and history to archaeology, space, and science, there’s an institution that conserves artifacts and educates the public on just about every subject imaginable. What better way to highlight your shared passions in a big way than by celebrating your union at an institution of edification? (And let’s be real: the photos are bound to look great!) Here the most dashing museum wedding venues in al 50 states and Washington D.C.
Alabama – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
As the name indicates, this interpretative museum and research center highlights the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. The museum’s sobering exhibits cover segregation, white supremacy by city officials and white vigilantism in the state. Alabama was the center of the fight for equal rights, where Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” This Smithsonian-affiliated institution is one of the city’s greatest treasures, set right in the midst of the Historic Civil Rights District, surrounded by Kelly Ingram Park and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Couples who’d like to join together in this hallowed place can arrange special tours and gallery experiences for their guests, and all special event proceeds help the institute continue its mission of promoting civil and human rights around the planet.
Alaska – Anchorage Museum
Celebrating the land, people, art and history of Alaska, the Anchorage Museum offers a bit of education for every type of wedding guest. The modern, glass-encased building features exhibits on ethnography, ecology and science, such as its permanent First Peoples of Alaska gallery with more than 600 objects from the Smithsonian’s collections that were selected and interpreted with guidance from Alaska Native advisors. Many couples love that their guests can peruse the entire museum after saying “I do” in contemporary spaces like the Brian E. Chugach Gallery, which offers gorgeous views of the Chugach Range’s grand snow-capped peaks.
Arizona – Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
If you’re in a place with perennial sunshine and little rain, why would you want to be indoors? That’s exactly what the folks who opened The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum thought when it debuted back in 1952. About 85 percent of the 98-acre zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, natural history museum and art gallery is in the great outdoors. The natural beauty of the museum and its 21 interpreted acres of Sonoran Desert habitats will surely captivate wedding guests and look great in their Instagram pics. Couples can choose from a selection of indoor and outdoor venues with incredible views of the Tucson Mountains and pristine desert. The event staff is happy to steer the festivities with customized animal experiences and creative menus highlighting regional ingredients.
Arkansas – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Founded by the Walton Family Foundation—yes, that would be the Walmart Waltons—in 2005, Crystal Bridges opened to the public on Nov. 11, 2011 with the goal of celebrating the “American spirit” through a permanent collection featuring five centuries of American masterpieces. The sprawling, woodsy complex features an original Frank Lloyd Wright house that was moved from New Jersey, as well as an original Fly’s Eye Dome by R. Buckminster Fuller. It’s a world-class facility in the middle of the Ozark and is arguably the most gorgeous wedding venue in the entire region. Brides can walk down the aisle in the Great Hall with views overlooking the museum’s ponds, dine next to the trickling creek on Twin Bridges and dance the night away in the North Forest.
California – Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
As the largest natural and historical museum in the West, The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s collection features nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts spanning 4.5 billion years of history. That could certainly put your wedding day stress into perspective. It offers three packages for couples seeking to tie the knot on-site with indoor and outdoor options, one of which can accommodate up to 250 guests in the iconic Mammals Hall (see above) and Grand Foyer.
Colorado – Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest located between Chicago and the West Coast with a collection of more than 7,000 works that range from Pre-Columbian and Native American art to over 12,500 works made since 1900 by luminaries like Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and Georgia O’Keeffe. Couples can pledge their love in a variety of visually stunning spaces, including the indoor/outdoor Duncan Pavilion, Sie Family Terrace with its spectacular views of downtown, and giant Ponti Hall, an airy space with 25-foot ceilings and soaring windows.
Connecticut – Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, one of America’s first major art patrons, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is one of the greatest lesser-known classical art institutions in the United States. Its collection of nearly 50,000 works span 5,000 years from Greek and Roman antiquities through world-renowned baroque and surrealist paintings. Its grand beaux-arts and classic modern galleries are an ideal setting for a sophisticated wedding. Couples can celebrate their union with family and friends in the Avery Court alongside Mannerist sculptor Pietro Francavilla’s fountain sculpture of Venus with Nymph and Satyr, which was carved in year 1600 for a garden in Florence. It’s hard to find a better symbol of timelessness than that!
Delaware – Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Henry Francis du Point’s former 175-room country estate is now known as the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. The Gilded Age home has been transformed into a serious research center for understanding America’s artistic, cultural, social and intellectual history from colonial times to modernity – and it screams fairytale romance. The sprawling property features 1,000 acres of rolling pasture, woodlands and gardens. Couples can take their pick of diverse venues including the Reflecting Pool, an enchanting spot where Pauline Louis du Pont decided to tie-the-knot for the first wedding held at Winterthur. Brides and grooms can descend a stone staircase to the lush poolside while guests enjoy spectacular views all around.
Florida – Perez Art Museum Miami
Relocated to Miami’s new Museum Park and hovering over the azure waters of Biscayne Bay, Perez Art Museum Miami’s setting is just as impressive as its collection of 20th century and contemporary art that highlights Atlantic Rim cultures. Pritzker Prize-winning architect duo Herzog & de Meuron designed this three-story building in response to the city’s climate. It boasts stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway and nearby islands from its soaring glass windows and lushly landscaped, shaded verandas and plazas. Couples can fully customize their big day with ceremonies and receptions in modern, concrete-filled indoor spaces and outdoor plazas.
Georgia – Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
2019 is a big year for the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum and its abode. This year is its 200th anniversary of the William Scarborough House and the Steamship Savannah’s historic trans-Atlantic crossing. If you haven’t guessed, Scarborough was one of the principal owners of the vessel, as well as president of the Savannah Steamship Company. That’s why his stately mansion now holds this long-running maritime museum. It boasts replicas of historic ships, nautical paintings and antiques from the Atlantic trade routes of the 18th and 19th centuries. Surrounded by the largest privately-owned garden in Savannah’s historic district, the elegant museum is one of the top wedding venues in the idyllic port town.
Hawaii – Bishop Museum
It’s hard to find a more romantic place to pledge one’s love than at Honolulu’s Bishop Museum. It was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, as a place to house her extensive collection of Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms. Spouses-to-be can soak in his devotion on their wedding day. The world-renowned museum and research institution boasts more than eight different venues for wedding receptions. The most popular rental facility is the Atherton Hālau & Bowman Hālau Wa’a, a private, landscaped garden.
Idaho – Idaho State Museum
This all-ages museum explores the story of Idaho through fun and interactive exhibits that cover everything from geology and geography to tribal history and a kid-centric Boomtown Gallery. The newly renovated museum can host up to 1,000 guests in a wide array of venues, ranging from The Old Idaho Penitentiary, a somewhat spooky space that is exactly what it claims to be, to the elegant Idaho Room (pictured above) and Gem State Gateway. Guests enter the stark, natural stone and sleek wood gateway on their way into the Idaho Room, which boasts an 1870 wood bar and a fully restored 1878 Weber Grand Piano, all crowned by a 1910 stained glass dome. Depending on the size of the party and the desires of the couple, both rooms can be combined for a sprawling party that combines old Idaho history with the sleek 21st century design.
Illinois – Adler Planetarium
Weddings at Adler Planetarium are out-of-this-world. (Cheesy? Yes. But it had to be done.) The circa-1930 astronomy and astrophysics museum is located on the northeast tip of Northerly Island on Lake Michigan, offering spectacular views of the water and city skyline—as well as of the solar system through the research-quality telescope lens. Couples can choose to rent out various spaces throughout the museum, such as the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Solarium, a rounded indoor venue with floor-to-ceiling windows and an adjacent outdoor terrace. To make the party even more special, the event team can set up a sky show, workshop, astronomy presentation or hands-on science experience for couples and their guests.
Indiana – Conner Prairie
Ring those wedding bells just like they did back in the day at this living history museum. Conner Prairie recreates 19th-century life on Indiana’s White River, so it’s an ideal place for those fascinated by the old-timey agrarian lifestyle to plight one’s troth. The sprawling home and grounds, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venues, such as the Featherstone Barn, a rustic-chic space filled with roughly hewn posts and accessed via oversized doors that spill party goers out onto a grassy knoll where many couples choose to pledge their love before two-stepping the night away.
Iowa – Old Capitol Museum
Iowa’s first state capitol may no longer be its seat of political power, but the Iowa City icon is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Midwest. The stately venue is a fitting place to say “I do” for anyone into law, politics or just honoring one’s self in regal surrounds. Ceremonies are held on the second floor in the Senate chamber, a grand space with 165 chestnut chairs made in the 1920s, an 1878 rosewood Concert Grand Steinway Piano and a gleaming 750-crystal chandelier. After the ceremony, the couple can head to The Governor’s Office to sign their marriage certificate with a feather pen – and get photos of the whole thing, of course.
Kansas – Cosmosphere
In 1962, Cosmosphere founder Patty Carey set up an old Planetarium Project and rented chairs in the Poultry Building of the Kansas State Fair Grounds. It was one of the first public planetariums in the central United States. That grew into a science center on the campus of Hutchinson Community College, eventually transforming into a 105,000-square foot planetarium, exhibit gallery, STEM education center, IMAX Dome Theater and a Grand Lobby with two giant jets and a full-scale replica of the space shuttle Endeavor. That spectacular space can accommodate up to 250 guests who are seated at tables orbiting you and your betrothed during what’s sure to be a big bang of a wedding.
Kentucky – Speed Art Museum
The Speed Art Museum, originally known as the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, is the oldest, largest and most esteemed museum of art in the state. The original building reopened in 2016 after a massive $50 million upgrade. Two modern glass and concrete pavilions were added to the original building, creating a striking balance between old and new. Many couples want to celebrate their union in the Grand Hall, which opens straight onto the piazza through oversized doors.
Louisiana – The National WWII Museum
The National WWII Museum, formerly known as The National D-Day Museum, aims to tell the story of American war experiences that changed the world. The museum explores why the war was fought, how it was won and how that impacts where we are today. Its exhibits highlight leaders who were in power and their role in the years-long battle, as well as the everyday men and women who fought with strength and courage. The one-of-a-kind venue is inspirational and intimate – two feelings many couples seek to bring into their big day. It offers a wide range of vintage-inspired menus, in-house entertainment featuring WWII-era musical classics and on-site catering.
Maine – Maine Maritime Museum
The 20-acre waterfront campus that makes up the Maine Maritime Museum is located in historic Bath, a.k.a. the “City of Ships.” At one point as many as 22 shipyards sat cheek to cheek on the old port town’s eastern bank. One of those emblematic boat building facilities, Percy & Small Shipyard, the only surviving dockyard where large sailing vessels were built, has been integrated into the museum. Couples can exchange vows on the pier before moving into the stunning, timber-frame hall.
Maryland – Evergreen Museum & Library
This former Gilded Age mansion holds a detailed collection of fine and decorative arts, rare books and manuscripts brought together by two generations of the Garrett family, who built this 48-room estate with money they made by off laying railroads across the United States. The stunning home is surrounded by Italian-style gardens on 26-acres of landscaped property just north of downtown Baltimore. One would be hard-pressed to find a more romantic setting to pledge their vows. Couples and their guests can celebrate the nuptial union inside the original carriage house or outside on the elegant terrace.
Massachusetts – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Located in the city that launched president John F. Kennedy to legendary status, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the 35th president and everyone who seeks to build a new and better world through the art of politics. The modern museum illustrates his life, leadership and legacy by exploring his enthusiasm for public service and his presidential experiences. The contemporary building features a nine-story glass atrium conceived by renowned architect I.M. Pei that is designed to help visitors reflect on the accomplishments and unfinished work of the Kennedy Presidency. With gorgeous views of the Boston Harbor islands and city skyline, the exquisite space is a moving place to begin your quest to change the world together.
Michigan – Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Art has moved and expanded multiple times since it was founded in 1885. Currently housed in a Beaux-Arts building, the “temple of art” has more than 65,000 works spread throughout 100 galleries. The 658,000 square foot structure is considered to hold one of the top six collections in the entire United States. Couples who wish to celebrate their union among the greats—Caravaggio, van Gogh and Kehinde Wiley to name a few—can choose from multiple ceremony and reception sites within the building.
Minnesota – American Swedish Institute
This museum and cultural center that explores Minneapolis’ cultural, migratory, environmental and artistic links to Sweden is located in the stately Turnblad Mansion, the former home of Swan Turnblad, his wife Christina and their daughter Lilian. The 33-room home was inspired by the family’s global travels, combining a French Chateauesque exterior with intricate details inside, including 11 decorative tile stoves imported from Sweden. A wedding here is like holding court, and "royal" couples have a few different options for their marriage rites and the following celebrations.
Mississippi – GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
Set right in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of the Blues, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi explores American music history and evolution with a sense of place. The 28,000 square foot museum has more than two dozen exhibits that cover a wide range of genres from rock and hip-hop to jazz, R&B, classical and country. Could there possibly be a better way to entertain music-loving guests? We doubt it. Couples can pick from a range of outdoor and indoor event spaces, and friends and family can tour interactive exhibits in the most technologically advanced museum in the South. It’s a win all around.
Missouri – City Museum
Part children’s playground, part surrealistic pavilion and part architectural marvel, tying the knot at City Museum is essentially like getting married in a giant funhouse. Even your grumpiest uncle is bound to feel joy while watching—or joining!—partygoers spinning around the giant Ferris Wheel or gliding down one of the 30 slides spread around the museum. Those gravity-based rides were built around the old spiral chutes from when the building served as a shoe warehouse. The 10-story “city within a city,” built by artists Bob and Gail Cassilly, can accommodate parties of almost any size.
Montana – Moss Mansion
In 1901, entrepreneur P.B. Moss commissioned his namesake mansion for he, his wife Mattie and their six kids. While Moss went on to greatly impact the development and culture of Billings, Montana, his grand home remained pretty much exactly the same as the day he built it. Visitors are still awed by its high-quality craftsmanship and period decor. Brides can make an entrance by descending the stairway to the French Parlor inspired by none other than Marie Antoinette (think of all the cake references come dessert time!). Guests can soak in the magnificence as they get to know one another on the idyllic grounds or reminisce while taking a guided tour of the mansion and museum’s collections.
Nebraska – The Durham Museum
Gorgeous architecture blends with bygone eras at this National Historic Landmark. The museum is housed in Omaha’s Union Station, which is now considered as one of the best examples of art deco architecture in the entire United States. Spouses-to-be can rent out the entire place, so their guests can peruse the museum’s exhibits. With a sleek design, featuring 65-foot ceilings, original chandeliers and chic mosaics spanning from floor to ceiling, your guests will be wowed and photos are bound to be great.
Nevada – The Liberace Mansion
The primary Las Vegas residence of American pianist, singer and actor Wladziu Valentino Liberace—the Liberace. The Liberace Mansion is the first Clark County home to be designated a Historic Landmark. It looks much the same as it did when the artist wandered its halls, holding on to its original features like the Moroccan Room, the Parisian staircase and the Hall of Mirrors, replicating Louis XIV’s palace of Versailles.
New Hampshire – Governor John Langdon House
John Langdon built his Portsmouth mansion to express his status as a man of importance. By the time of his death, his resume included the titles merchant, shipbuilder, Revolutionary War General, signer of the United States Constitution and three-term governor of New Hampshire. The 1784 family home is one of the finest Georgian-style residencies in the U.S. It boasts rococo-style woodwork and an elaborate entry with a grand door bordered by pairs of Corinthian columns, a semi-circular portico and balustrade. These days, the mansion hosts rotating art exhibitions.
New Jersey – Morris Museum
The Morris Museum is the second largest cultural institution in New Jersey, spanning 75,524 square-feet. Formerly known as the Morristown Children’s Museum, the institution has long focused on education by introducing kids to world cultures through artifacts sourced from around the globe. Later, it paved the way with cutting edge dioramas, panels and niches, live performances, mechanical musical instruments and robotics. If you’re looking to bring a childlike sense of wonder to the big day, this is the place. It features a handful of indoor venues, such as the Museum Court, a modern two-story promenade that’s attached to the 1913 Twin Oaks mansion.
New Mexico – The House of Eternal Return
The House of Eternal Return isn’t exactly a museum but it’s not not a museum. The 20,000 square foot house is the first permanent installation by Meow Wolf, an arts and entertainment collective based in Santa Fe. The group is known for its immersive experiences. Their THEA Award-winning house is exhibit A, a multidimensional mystery house with secret passages and portals to surreal worlds and a science fiction-like story—Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin helped the group get it launched. Like a mix of Burning Man, Magic Kingdom and an acid-washed mystery house, getting married at this multifaceted mecca would be the epitome of arthouse cool.
New York – American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, located across the street from Central Park, is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. It features a mix of different styles of architecture that represent varying points in history, starting with the original Victorian Gothic building, which opened in 1877, expanding with a neo-Romanesque structure to the south and a Beaux-Arts monument to the west. Brides and/or grooms with cash to spend can rent out its iconic halls, including the Teddy Roosevelt Rotunda with its emblematic dueling dinosaurs and Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, the room that’s crowned by a famous 94-foot replica of a Blue Whale.
North Carolina – North Carolina Museum of Art
As one of the leading art museums in all of the South, the North Carolina Museum of Art boasts more than 5,000 years of artistic work spread throughout 40 galleries and the largest museum park in the entire United States. It features seven different event spaces for couples seeking a classy, culture-filled affair. Those venues span from crisp, modern white galleries, like the West Building Great Hall, to the beautifully landscaped sculpture garden that is dotted with lush trees and a serene reflecting pool. The museum’s event staff try to make weddings and other private events as seamless as possible with packages that include floral services, musician bookings, audiovisual setups and catering from on-site Iris Restaurant.
North Dakota – Plains Art Museum
In 1997, the nonprofit group who runs Plains Art Museum took over the turn-of-the-century International Harvester warehouse in downtown Fargo and transformed it into an airy center of culture. It still has its original brick, wood floors and large windows that allow the sun to illuminate the space, which is especially beguiling come golden hour. The place only accepts one event per weekend, so when couples book the museum, they get the entire place to themselves and their guests. Most receptions start on the first floor, so friends and family can chit-chat while perusing the galleries. Dinner and/or ceremonies tend to take place afterwards on the third floor, the largest raw space, which can be custom-tailored to fit whatever theme fulfills the bride and grooms ultimate wedding day fantasy.
Ohio – The Cleveland Museum of Art
Several years ago, the Cleveland Museum of Art underwent an eight-year, $320 million expansion and renovation, transforming the formerly cramped institution into of the most alluring and easy to explore art museums in the United States. It’s now one of the largest in the country, ranked in size at number 12, just behind the Museum of Modern Art in New York and one slot ahead of the Dallas Museum of Art. Parties of up to 2,000 people can be accommodated for a standing reception in The Ames Family Atrium, the courtly centerpiece of the century-old museum’s expansion. Crowned by panoramic glass skylights, two-thirds the size of a football field, the three-story-high space has incorporated the original 1916 white Georgia marble façade, which makes a romantic backdrop for a very civilized marriage ceremony.
Oklahoma – National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
This Oklahoma City museum has more than 28,000 Western and American Indian artworks and artifacts, as well as the world’s most extensive collection of American rodeo photos, trophies and saddlery. Celebrate the special occasion in one-of-a-kind spaces like the Sam Noble Special Events Center. The sprawling room is centered by its massive “Windows to the West” triptych by Wilson Hurley and five monumental 18-by-46-feet triptychs depicting gorgeous western locations.
Oregon – Tamástslikt Cultural Institute
Tamástslikt Cultural Institute digs into the history, culture and hospitality of people who have lived in Oregon for more than 10,000 years. It celebrates the traditions of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Tribes with moving exhibits, acclaimed artwork and a Living Culture Village (pictured above). It’s a pretty inspiring place to start a life with your spouse-to-be. The alcohol-free museum can host outdoor weddings on the cafe patio and Living Culture Village. Indoors, couples can choose between the beautiful Tamástslikt Theater and the lobby rotunda, which has room for up to 230 guests.
Pennsylvania – Philadelphia Museum of Art
Resting atop a hill like the crown jewel of Philadelphia’s cultural strip, Philadelphia Museum of Art’s main building is an elegant setting for a very sophisticated event. The grand structure, built of Dolomite from Minnesota, looks like a classic Greek temple with grand columns and figures attached to the pediments. Fully customizable weddings can work their way throughout the expansive buildings. Couples can make an entrance via the steps of the Great Stair Hall, followed by cocktails in a French cloister and a splendid outdoor party on the East Terrace. They can also choose to honor Rodin in his namesake museum or go Art Deco in the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building. To sum it up, this place offers plenty of opportunities to create the classiest wedding of one’s dreams.
Rhode Island – RISD Museum of Art
Founded in 1877 with the idea that art, artists and the institutions that support them play vital roles in promoting civic engagement and creating open societies, the RISD Museum highlights diverse art from cultures around the world. The collection, which is part of the esteemed Rhode Island School of Design, spans from antiquity to the present with a permanent collection of more than 86,000 works. Give your guests private access by renting out one of its event spaces. Most couples who seal the deal here choose to perform their nuptial rites in the presence of greats in the dramatic Grand Gallery. With warm blue walls and plenty of gold frames, the modern-yet-antique space can accommodate up to 200 guests.
South Carolina – Gibbes Museum of Art
Charleston’s premier art museum is set in the heart of the city's idyllic Historic District right on the Museum Mile. The grand Beaux Arts building opened in 1905, nearly two decades after benefactor James Gibbes left a bequest to the city in the aftermath of the brutal pain of the Civil War. Highlighting a collection of works from America and the American South, the museum grapples with the nation’s oftentimes bloody history and what that means in the present day. The opulent museum has magnificent works and has recently been restored to its original grandeur, offering an impressive and deeply moving setting for a romantic lowcountry wedding. Couples and their guests can move throughout the building for the big day, reciting vows in the classical garden before wining and dining under the Tiffany-style glass dome in the rotunda gallery.
South Dakota – Old Courthouse Museum
This restored 1890's Richardsonian Romanesque building that now serves as the regionally-focused Old Courthouse Museum is beautiful both inside and out. An 1893 clock tower rises from the top and the structure, erected from native pink quartzite, looms over Sioux Falls like a castle. Serving as a museum since 1974, its libraries and former courtrooms are now used to highlight the natural and cultural history of the Siouxland region. One of the most impressive works is the series of 16 large murals that line the hallways and were painted by Norwegian immigrant Ole Running between 1915 and 1917. All of the public areas are available for special events, so couples can take advantage of the gorgeous woodwork, stained glass windows and grand staircase to seriously impress their guests.
Tennessee – Country Music Hall of Fame
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of colloquial American music on the planet. Since the museum received its charter in 1964, it has amassed one of the most extensive musical collections around and has more than 800 stage costumes, 600 instruments and hundreds of other objects from microphones to cars. Even folks who don’t like museums fall for this everyman masterpiece. Celebrate your special day with friends and family while overlooking downtown from the 40-foot glass windows that wrap wound the Event Hall.
Texas – Nasher Sculpture Center
This Dallas sculpture park seamlessly blends manmade design with the natural world and is one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculptures. The indoor and outdoor museum features more than 300 masterpieces by famed artists like Serra, de Kooning, Picasso and Matisse. Located right in the middle of the city’s Arts District, the museum has become a beacon for lovers who want to toast Champagne next to a giant Calder, dance in the presence of Miró and spend time celebrating with friends and family under the stars in the extraordinary garden.
Utah – Natural History Museum of Utah
Salt Lake City
Set high in the foothills of the Wasatch range, the Natural History Museum of Utah offers breathtaking views from the three-story glass walls of its premier event space. The room was inspired by Utah’s ancient slot canyons, where the light bounces off the walls in ways that feel otherworldly. The concrete floor, inlaid with stones, was designed to look like a stream bed. It’s a dream wedding venue because of the architecture alone, but the museum’s impressive collection seals the deal for anyone interested in the natural history of Utah and the Intermountain West. It has billions of years worth of specimens covering paleontology and geology to anthropology, including Native American artifacts that date back to 11,500 BC.
Vermont – Shelburne Museum
There’s a lot going on at the Shelburne Museum. Spread across 45 pastoral acres, this varied collection includes 39 historic New England buildings, each of which is filled with fascinating artifacts and works, ranging from American folk art and French Impressionism to duck decoys, circus animals and dolls. It even has its own early-20th-century steamboat that is parked on the lawn, as well as a decommissioned lighthouse. Seriously, there is something to spark every interest at this unique place. Couples who want to honor the region’s heritage have plenty of options for their wedding day and, most importantly, photo backdrops include the aforementioned ship along with the stately Brick House, rustic Round Barn and contemporary Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.
Virginia – Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Va. was the political, cultural and intellectual center of what was the largest, most populated and influential of America’s 13 colonies. It’s where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Peyton Randolph devised the fundamental concepts of the American republic. These days, the former city has been transformed into a living history museum. It boasts a mix of buildings that still stand from its height, as well as recreations of significant sites. Colonial-loving couples can choose from nearly two dozen event spaces around the museum ranging from the restored 18th century Providence Hall House to the 1722 Governor's Palace, the former home of Virginia governors including Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Tell guests they’re safe to wear period garb if they’d like.
Washington – Chihuly Garden and Glass
It’s safe to say that Dale Chihuly is the most famous glass-blowers on the planet and probably in all of history. The Tacoma native has received countless awards, including 12 honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, but the best is at his namesake museum that is right next to the Space Needle in Seattle Center. With eight galleries, a landscaped garden dotted with mind-altering sculptures and a central Glasshouse with a vibrant 100-foot-long work, a nuptial union at this surreal venue is like having one's own storybook wedding.
Washington, D.C. – National Portrait Gallery
Host a picture-perfect wedding at the National Portrait Gallery. As a part of the Smithsonian Institution, this renowned museum presents portraits of famous Americans of remarkable character and achievement. Iconic images of folks ranging from Barack and Michelle Obama to Bob Hope, Rosa Parks and Dolores Huerta adorn its walls with the aim of informing visitors of national identity. Soak up the inspirational energy on the big day with a ceremony and reception in the glass-covered Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, a breathtakingly beautiful contemporary addition that marries seamlessly with the original Greek Revival building. The museum is one of the largest and most spectacular event spaces in the capital, and its soaring room is filled with lush Ficus trees and gleaming marble accents.
West Virginia – Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
Combining performing arts spaces, visual arts galleries and science exhibits, this 240,000-square-foot facility is one of a just a few institutions in the United States that combines all three areas of study under one roof. It’s a unique place to please any guest who isn’t a complete philistine—which is why it’s one of Charleston, West Virginia's most coveted wedding venues. The museum boasts an array of venues, including multiple performance spaces, an outdoor sculpture garden and its Benedum Grand Lobby. The latter is the most popular due to its soaring three-story wall of windows, patterned floor and sweeping grand entrance that’s sure to provide a knockout entrance.
Wisconsin – Harley-Davidson Museum
Celebrating more than a century of Harley-Davidson, this museum near downtown Milwaukee, explores the history, culture and engineering of an American icon. It’s become a mecca for Harley fanatics, drawing many on their American-made bikes from all across the United States and beyond. The 130,000-square-foot building drew inspiration from motorcycle rallies like Sturgis and Laconia, and incorporates indoor and outdoor areas that feel like a bike-loving neighborhood. Tie the knot on its sprawling lawn as the Menomonee River rushes past, before celebrating with guests in one of its three Harley-inspired event spaces. Getaway bike not included.
Wyoming – Buffalo Bill Center of the West
For more than a century, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (formerly called the Buffalo Bill Historical Center), has explored the American West through art, science culture and history, allowing its visitors to connect with a uniquely American place and experience. The rambling complex features five museums with a whopping seven acres of gallery space, and countless opportunities for distinctive western-inspired wedding photos. Many couples choose to wow their guests in the Whitney Western Art Museum, which boasts south-facing windows that offer dramatic views of the mountains and the bronze sculpture Buffalo Bill The Scout. The museum’s full-service wedding packages offer a mix of indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception venue options, on-site catering and a full bar.