Best Florida Museums for Weddings

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

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

In the grassy courtyard of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, up to 1,000 guests can mingle among replicas of ancient Roman and Greek sculptures. The more intimate Cà d'Zan Terrace, located right on Sarasota Bay, seats 250. The pink-toned mansion's arched windows line one side of the space. Rent the indoor galleries for guests to check out during the reception. You must use the museum's approved caterers and rental companies. (941) 359-5700 x5703,

The Bass Museum of Art

Hold an indoor/outdoor wedding at Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach. Start with an alfresco cocktail hour for up to 300 guests in the Arthur and Alice Adams Terrace before heading into the light-drenched Lydia and Burton Harrison Café Gallery for a seated reception for up to 80 people. Both spaces are blank slates, so you can truly personalize the venue. The museum offers gallery access, and you can choose your own caterer, with one hitch -- no red wine. (305) 673-7530 x1013,

The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum

Weddings in the ballrooms of The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach seem straight out of the Gilded Age. The Flagler Kenan Pavilion seats up to 250 guests and looks like a turn-of-the-century train station, while the ornate Grand Hall, which accommodates up to 250 for cocktail receptions, looks ripped from a European palace. You must become a high-level member to hold your wedding at this catered venue. (561) 655-2833,

The Orlando Science Center

Giant dinosaur skeletons set the scene for up to 300 guests at the Dino Dig exhibit at the Orlando Science Center. There are more formal spaces too, like the open-air SunTurst Terrace, a prime spot for an outdoor ceremony or a reception under the stars for up to 300. Guests can explore the hands-on exhibits during the museum's regular hours. You must buy liquor from one of the museum's preferred providers. (407) 514-2290,

Norton Museum of Art

Get hitched beside a fountain and under palm trees at West Palm Beach's Norton Museum of Art. Its Central Sculpture Garden fits 100 for a ceremony and 250 for a reception. Make a grand entrance into your cocktail hour down a contemporary spiral staircase in the Tsai Atrium. For dinner and dancing for up to 250 guests, the airy, indoor West Courtyard is your spot. The museum's in-house caterer provides the menu. (561) 832-5196,

The Lightner Museum

The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine can accommodate events with 50 ¬to 400 guests in one of the many elegant settings. The former indoor pool of an old hotel is now a unique reception spot; the water's all gone, but the vast space is framed by stately columns and sits under a ceiling that rises three stories above the floor. Take your wedding photos in the museum's spectacular palm tree¬ and fountain-covered courtyard. Bring in any caterer you like. (904) 824-2874,

The Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

If 35 acres of landscaped gardens dotted with palm trees sounds like your wedding dream come true, Bonnet House Museum and Gardens in Fort Lauderdale may be the ideal venue. There's a built-in altar for outdoor ceremonies, and seasonal tented receptions for up to 200 take place at The Veranda, which borders a pond filled with swans. Choose your own caterer. (954) 563-5393 x120,

The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens

Built-in stadium seating gives up to 240 guests great views of your lakeside ceremony at The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. Stay outside for dinner and dancing for up to 150 on a terrace that overlooks Japanese-style bridges, gardens and a waterfall. Larger weddings for up to 400 can take place under a tent on the grounds. Pick your own caterer. (561) 495-0233,

The Florida Museum of Natural History

Exchange vows surrounded by butterflies in the McGuire Gallery of Gainesville's Florida Museum of Natural History. Want a more prehistoric vibe? The impressive woolly mammoth skeleton in the Central Gallery and Galleria will give up to 200 guests something to talk about during your reception. Choose from a list of preferred caterers. (352) 846-2000,

The South Florida Museum

Start your wedding at South Florida Museum in Bradenton with a ceremony for up to 80 in a replica of a sixteenth-century chapel, complete with wooden pews and stained-glass windows. Next, head to the outdoor Spanish Plaza, where lampposts, wrought-iron gates and a fountain add to the ambience. There's space for 225 guests, who can check out the manatee exhibit next to the plaza. Pick your own caterer. (941) 746-4131 x17,

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