The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago is a venue offering an upscale contemporary setting for city-chic weddings. With its location in the downtown area, the Museum of Contemporary Art has beautiful spaces to accommodate celebrations that are small to very large surrounded by the fantastic city views. Couples looking for a versatile, modern facility will find it at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. A gorgeous location is matched by outstanding cuisine, making an unforgettable wedding day couples and guests will hate to see end.
Kovler Atrium & Kern Terrace. Couples can create a beautiful atmosphere in this spacious area that offers stunning views of the museum’s sculpture garden and Lake Michigan. Ceremonies are often staged in the garden with a reception on the terrace. Tenting options are available, allowing to-be-weds to customize their own indoor or outdoor celebration.
A rental of the atrium and garden includes access to the main floor galleries, so guests can enjoy browsing the current exhibit as they mingle. This area has a capacity of 300 guests for a seated reception and up to 900 for a cocktail reception. Up to 500 can be seated in a garden tent and seating for ceremonies allows for up to 200 guests.
MCA Warehouse. With 10,000 square feet of space, the Warehouse offers a unique venue for creating everything from an industrial-chic event to a lavish celebration. The MCA Warehouse was once a pie factory and then a Chinese bakery, so it has many remnants of its past including exposed pipes, open brick interiors and large windows. The MCA Warehouse can seat 300 guests for an indoor ceremony or 300 at a sit-down reception and 500 for cocktails.
MCA Theater. This space is a state-of-the-art that could work for lavish ceremonies due to its capacity of 300 seats. It has beautiful oak paneled walls and the tiered seating ensures that no one will have a bad seat.
What You Should Know
By sticking to a simple principle to “make it delicious,” the talented culinary staff of the Museum of Contemporary Art goes above and beyond to work with couples to craft a menu that you and your guests will love. They believe in keeping things local by building relationships with farmers and artisan producers to ensure guests have food that’s fresh and satisfying for even the pickiest members of your guest list.
Couples interested in holding their date at the Museum of Contemporary Art must put down a 50 percent non-refundable deposit with their signed facilities rental agreement. The balance of the site rental fee is due six weeks before your wedding date. This fee includes general maintenance of the space, gallery officers, two coat-check staff members and a four-hour rental, excluding setup and take down time.
Couples should also be aware that flexibility is necessary due to the changing exhibits hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Because this a museum that’s open to the public, weddings are typically scheduled for times when it would be closed to allow your event to be private.
The Museum of Contemporary Art has a professional staff that will work with you to create a wedding celebration that you and your guests will treasure. Other benefits to hosting your event here include:
- Third and fourth floor galleries can be opened for viewing for an additional fee
- MCA-themed party favors available through museum store
- Destination wedding potential: explore all that Chicago has to offer
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$$ – Expensive
This is a wedding reception review. My husband & I had our reception at the MCA beginning of June this year & everything went so smoothly! Kristy & Mary were amazing to work with leading up to the big day. They were all very easy to work with & no request went unheard. We would highly recommend this as your venue if you're looking for a fun, unique, cool place. We were able to have cocktails outside on the terrace. Our band played in the cafe area & I didn't think the acoustics were too bad. Our guests had nothing but great things to say & we were told numerous times that we had the most fun wedding they had ever been to. The food was excellent- we had three stations along with a dessert table plus late night snacks! Most weddings I go to the food is not that great but their catering was outstanding! The only bad thing is you probably won't know what will be in the exhibits until a few months before the event so you'll have to be flexible. We had surrealism which was a little weird but we just went with it. The other exhibit was opening the day of our reception but they allowed me a sneak peek so I wasn't surprised about what was being displayed for my guests. You won't be able to take pics in the exhibit but you'll get some gorgeous shots outside the front/back of the MCA & on their beautiful staircase. The MCA is also a great, small museum if you love modern art. Their gift shop is also really cool & you can always find an unconventional gift. We have a yearly membership with them & it's so worth it! Plus if you get married here they'll give you a yearly one for free!
We celebrated our wedding reception at the Museum of Contemporary Art in late July. Chaz was easy to work with in preparation to know how best to use the space, and he helped it go smoothly the day of transitioning an outdoor cocktail hour inside minutes ahead of the guests during a downpour. Mary managed the food side, and was extremely organized and fun to work with! The food was delicious!! The team was accommodating with pre-planning and day of activities, especially as I planned our wedding from out of town (day of coordinator). I know the whole MCA crew was busy behind the scenes, but the delivery is flawless!! Overall, the venue works well for a great dance party, with quiet tables for people to connect, and see beauty with a museum visit! Really a great combination for a wedding celebration!
Great place, good serviceReviewed on 10/08/2012 Yi G
Beautiful location - but limited say in art selection during your event obviously. Comes with Wolfgang Puck catering. Great quality but is on the expensive side.
classy and fun venueReviewed on 10/01/2010 Natalie M
the MCA was fantastic all around -- easy to work with, their staff was great in helping to plan and provide a little hand-holding along the way where needed, and was classy and different from your standard, stuff wedding venue. with gorgeous weather, we were able to have the ceremony outdoors and a fabulous reception inside (and throughout, guests were allowed to wander through the galleries as a nice side-touch). loved it all around!