In the Event Planning and Design industry, selecting the best venue for the client is essential to hosting a successful and memorable event. One of our favorite venues is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This iconic Philadelphia building is an incredible option for special events, such as weddings, receptions, fundraisers, and galas.

Two women stand in the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The museum has recently been under renovation to restore and reopen original public spaces and to enhance the guest’s experience. The Core Project renovations are being conducted by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and we’re so excited to tour the museum’s new spaces! We talked with the museum’s senior event planner, Rose Alemi, about what we can expect to see when renovations are complete in Fall 2020.

A dance is held in the Great Stair Hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with an audience watching

The renovations are designed to improve the overall guest experience for clients who want to entertain at the museum, especially since guests will be able to explore new and expanded galleries and public spaces.

A new and very exciting feature is that wedding ceremonies will be permitted in the museum. KPW Productions has planned several receptions at this gorgeous venue, and we’re very much looking forward to working with Rose and the museum staff to host all aspects of a wedding, from the ceremony to the reception, in this one fantastic venue.

An interior view of the Forum at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Regarding the spaces and rooms available for entertaining, all of the iconic and familiar locations are still accessible, such as the Lenfest Hall, Great Stair Hall, and Cloisters. Rose tells us, “The Forum and Vaulted Walkways will enhance the traditional spaces with a more contemporary feel. Frank Gehry has opened up interior walls so natural light will filter through the museum. The West Entrance will have a more modern aesthetic and is a convenient and comfortable entrance for guests.”

Each space within the museum is unique and interchangeable depending on the format and flow of the event. Rose tells us, for example, the Great Stair Hall/Balcony is ideal for reception and dancing, while the Forum will be perfect for both dinner and dancing. The Vaulted Walkways will add flexibility and capacity to all event plans. The museum has a guest capacity of 250 guests for a sit down dinner with dancing in the Forum and Vaulted Walkways or in the Great Stair Hall and Balcony.

We asked Rose which spaces were best for photography sessions, including the first look and wedding party photos. She says the “photography opportunities in the museum include intimate gallery spaces, such as the Cloister and St. Laurent Galleries, and dramatic public spaces including the Great Stair Hall. The architectural details provide a beautiful backdrop; while the view from the East Terrace is Philly’s Finest.”

An exterior view of the East Terrace of the Philadelphia Museum of Art against a blue and cloudy sky

In addition to a breathtaking place for photographs, the East Terrace, one of Philadelphia’s most recognizable locations, is also an option for events. “It’s an entire ballroom under the stars,” Rose says.

While the museum is open to hosting events, Rose shares that it’s helpful for the bride, groom, and their family to hire a wedding planner. Rose explains, “A planner should be able to adjust to the needs of the client. Each couple is unique and has a personalized vision of their wedding day. In addition, each family has a unique dynamic and requires a different level of attention. The planner needs to be sensitive to both and organize the resources to meet the expectation of the client. A good planning team will delegate tasks focused on the bride and groom, the family, and their guests.”

Event planners and designers work directly with the venue and vendors to make a wedding, and other events, seamless for guests and hosts alike. This professional experience in working with iconic locations, such as the museum, is indispensable in hosting an effortless event.

Looking out the window of the Great Stair Hall Balcony to the Philadelphia skyline

We asked Rose what she likes to share with a bride who is considering hosting her wedding at the museum, she says, “I tell couples how wonderful it is to be celebrating their special day at the museum and that their story becomes part of the museum’s story. Art is endless and love is endless and it’s nice to share the experience.”

We look forward to the unveiling of the newly renovated spaces of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and thank Rose for her time and conversation.

Photography: Joseph Lin Photography

Posted Under: Venues