The crown jewel of Cleveland’s cultural life, the Cleveland Museum of Art boasts art collections in the country. With the completion of the new East and West wings and Atrium, the museum is back in the business of hosting events after a very long hiatus. The South Terrace can serve as one of the most breathtaking ceremony locations in the city and the surrounding Wade Park provides limitless opportunities to create stunning portraits on the wedding day. The new Atrium, with it’s soaring glass ceiling, provides all the space you could want for a reception. With clever placement of floral decor and draping, the space can be made to feel as large and grand or as small and intimate as you like.
Ceremonies in the Atrium
Indoor ceremonies often take place in the west end of the Atrium near the restaurant. This space is separated from the central area where receptions usually take by some indoor landscaping. This means that the ceremony and reception can both be set up ahead of time so there is no need to “flip” the space between the ceremony and reception. The glass ceiling lets in plenty of natural light during the day for an open airy feel, or the lights can come down during an evening reception for a romantic candle lit ambiance.
Ceremonies on the South Terrace
Outdoor ceremonies at the museum often take place on the expansive South Terrace overlooking wade lagoon. For the processional, your bridal party will walk from the South Entrance down the marble stairs to the ceremony sight.
Ceremonies in the Gartner Auditorium
The Gartner Auditorium is a performing arts space just off the main lobby. The ceremony takes place on the stage.
Outdoor Bridal Party Photos
The exterior of the museum provides a nearly unlimited amount of options for great photos with the bridal party or just the couple. You can go down the classical architecture route with Marble columns, terraces and benches, or bend more modern with the stone and glass structures of the more recent additions. Wade Lagoon is also a few steps away with neo-classical statues, century old trees, and excellent views of the museum itself.
Bridal Party Photos in the Atrium
If the weather doesn’t cooperate on your wedding day, you are not out of luck. The Atrium offers plenty of space and light for some great photos with your favorite people. You will likely see other bridal parties making use of the space if the museum is still open to the public on a rainy day, but the space is huge and easy to share.
Bridal Party Photos in the Glass Box
The glass enclosed hallway just off of the mezzanine that overlooks the atrium is a very unique space that is only available if you are having your reception at the museum.
Bridal Party Photos in the Rotunda
The Rotunda, which is the central hub of the original museum structure, is also available for photos if your reception is at the museum. The museum is very protective of the art and galleries that you walk through to get there, so we have to leave bouquets, flowers, and our flash and lighting equipment behind. Even so, a trip to the Rotunda most definitely worth the effort.
Receptions in the Atrium
The central area of the Atrium is a massive blank canvas that can be set up in any number of ways with the help of your florist and event designer. You have the exterior wall of the original museum structure on one side and more modern architecture of the more recent additions surrounding you from all other sides.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of, if not THE premier wedding venue in all of Cleveland. We had the pleasure to photograph the very first wedding reception to take place in the Atrium upon it’s completion in 2013, and we have been back many times since. If you are planning a wedding at the Cleveland Museum of Art, we would love to photograph it for you!