Top 10 Pennsylvania Museums for Weddings

10 Pennsylvania museums that are as great for weddings as they are for class trips.
by Nirvanna Lildharrie

The Franklin Institute Science Museum

Have a moonlit wedding, without the threat of storms, for up to 250 at Fels Planetarium inside The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. During cocktail hour, get guests' blood pumping with a walk through a giant heart and other interactive exhibits. Cap it all off with a reception in the classically elegant Benjamin Franklin Hall, an 80-foot-tall dome with soaring columns and a sculpture of its namesake. You must use the museum's exclusive caterer. (215) 448-1165,

The Erie County Historical Society

Elaborate woodwork, marble fireplaces and stained-glass windows are just some of the original, nineteenth-century details at the Watson-Curtze Mansion, part of the Erie County Historical Society in Erie. There's room for 70 inside, but weddings of up to 300 can fit in the formal gardens and lawn in front of the Battles Museums. Choose from an approved caterers list. (814) 454-1813 x32,

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Have a ceremony in Egypt and a reception in China without ever leaving Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The warmly lit Lower Egyptian gallery, with room for 180 for a ceremony, has a humongous sphinx, while the Chinese Rotunda is a colorful dome which seats up to 300. Guests can explore all three floors of the museum's international exhibits during your wedding. The museum's exclusive caterer handles the menu. (215) 898-3024,

The Senator John Heinz History Center

Vintage vehicles line the Great Hall at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. The vast space, with its brick walls and exposed steel columns, has an industrial vibe and seats up to 200. Up on the fifth floor is the more classically elegant Mueller Center, a ballroom with space for 350 and an outdoor deck overlooking the Allegheny River and city skyline. You must use the center's exclusive caterer. (412) 454-6000,

The National Liberty Museum

History buff? You'll love the built-in décor -- a display of George Washington's china and a mural of the founding fathers signing the constitution -- at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. Lenfest Liberty Hall can seat 100 for a reception. Skip the ceremony arbor and exchange vows under the Peace Portal, an iron and painted-glass canopy in the Let Freedom Ring Gallery. Pick one of their preferred caterers. (215) 925-2800,

The National Civil War Museum

There are photo ops galore at The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg: It sits in a park overlooking the city's skyline and the Susquehanna River. Make your entrance down their grand staircase in the rotunda; then head to the banquet room for a reception for up to 250 people catered by their exclusive vendor. (717) 260-1861,

The Mattress Factory

Despite its name, the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh is actually a modern art museum. Weddings take place in the white-washed, loft-like space and spill over into the garden and galleries -- room-sized environments created by local artists. Go for a cocktail reception for up to 150 people here and choose any caterer you wish! (412) 231-3169,

The Independence Seaport Museum

Right on the Delaware River, the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia has an outdoor terrace for cocktail hours that looks out onto the Philly skyline. Super-sized weddings are welcome: Up to 480 guests can fit indoors for dinner, catered by the museum, and dancing in an airy, windowed ballroom. (215) 413-8655,

The Andy Warhol Museum

You can keep décor to a minimum at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; the famed artist's colorful paintings cover the walls. This spot has space for 150 seated guests. The museum's exclusive caterer, Big Burrito, keeps up the hip vibe. (412) 622-1906,

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

The Lower Level Gallery at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey is filled with vintage buses and rare cars you probably haven't seen before! It seats 300. The more intimate Upper Level Rotunda, with space for 150, looks out onto the Central Pennsylvania hills through its arched, floor-to-ceiling windows. The museum provides a list of approved caterers. (717) 566-7100 x105,

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