The Bell Museum is a museum of natural history at the University of Minnesota and is the perfect spot to get married if you’re looking for a bit of a different wedding experience with your guests!
From the stunning views and activities to the large reception area where you can dance the night away, Bell Museum has got it for you! Keep reading for more details on what your day could look like and my best tips when it comes to photography, logistics, and of course, example photos!
What You Need to Know About Getting Married at Bell Museum
Rental Time and Getting Ready
Like other museums and public spaces, your rental time will start at 5:00pm — a bit later than at dedicated wedding venues — to allow museum guests to depart before your wedding can take over. Don’t worry though, you and your wedding party and family will be allowed to gather before then, so there is still time to get your first look and couples, wedding party and family photos done on-site.
As far as getting ready, the Bell technically has a getting ready space, but it is a classroom, so if you are looking for somewhere a bit more glamorous and functional, I would recommend finding a hotel or Airbnb where you can stay the night before and get you and your wedding party ready. Downtown Minneapolis is about five miles away and has a ton of great options, like The W at the Foshay where Megan & David got ready.
As long as weather permits, the space right outside the museum is perfect for all your formal photo needs! There are great views of the building, and the light will be great any time of year.
If it’s a bit too cold or rainy, inside the Whitney & Elizabeth MacMillan Horizon Hall there is great natural light for your couples and group photos, so not to worry if the weather is a bit tough on your day.
And don’t forget to pop around the museum to get some couples photos with your favorite exhibits, like the giant mammoth or the moose 😀.
Inside, there are a couple options on where to hold your ceremony. The first is inside the Planetarium, where a spotlight will illuminate the two of you as you say your vows under the stars in front of up to 120 guests.
A second option is in the Whitney & Elizabeth MacMillan Horizon Hall as you walk into the museum. This space is surrounded by natural light, and has the bonus feature that you can make a grand entrance down the stairs like Megan did! The Whitney & Elizabeth MacMillan Horizon Hall can accommodate 200 guests for your ceremony.
As for the reception, the Whitney & Elizabeth MacMillan Horizon Hall can hold 150 guests for a plated dinner or 120 guests for a buffet dinner. If you prefer to have a more casual standing reception, you can have up to 225 guests. Tables, chairs, and linens are included with your rental, so that’s a major item checked off the list! Bell Museum does have a list of approved caterers, which you can check out here.
Other Amenities and Considerations
You will have the option to open the museum to your guests for the duration of your wedding so they can mill about and explore the space. Most of Megan & David’s guests came in from out of town, so this was a great way for them to share a bit of Minnesota with their loved ones! Peep those Touch and See lab photos below!
Also, there will be a venue manager on site, but this is not the same thing as wedding management! You’ll still need someone to set out and clean up your decorations, name cards, memory table, and anything else you need that day.
What Your Day Could Look Like at the Bell Museum
The moment you’ve been waiting for!
Check out Megan & David’s wedding at the Bell Museum! And of course, give some love to those who made their day so wonderful:
Venue Coordination: Laura @ The Bell Museum
Photo: Jessica Knighton Photography
Video: Summit Hill Studio
Hair and Makeup: WarPaint International
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Entertainment: DJ Greg Ellis
Officiant: Friend, with help from Liz Rae & Co.
Transportation: Renee’s Limousines
Thinking of having your wedding at the Bell Museum or like what you see? I would love to help you out with your wedding day — reach out here to get started!