Book Your Wedding with New Bedford Whaling Museum


About Us

For more than a century, New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts, stood witness and preserved rich and colorful history of the whaling industry in North America and the rest of the world. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the largest whaling museum in the world and it houses a comprehensive library of whaling books, artifacts, whaling art and literature from Japan, European paintings of centuries-old whaling tradition and more. As a wedding venue, the New Bedford Whaling Museum is easily one of the unique options available to you.

The museum sits within the New Bedford Whaling Park along Johnny Cake Hill. This allows you and your guests soak in the maritime atmosphere even before you get to the venue proper. The New Bedford Whaling Museum offers several event space options for your wedding event with indoor, outdoor or both options available. The following are the available event spaces for your wedding at the museum.

Jacob's family gallery. This is the most spacious event space in the museum and it features precious paintings depicting the whaling industry in various centuries. The room is large enough to have an exhibit of several skeletons from different whale species. This room has a maximum capacity of 250 guests with a standing cocktail reception.

Bourne building. To give you an idea of the floor area of this event space, it happens to house a half-scale model of the famous Lagoda Whaling Ship. This building accommodates up to 100 guests with a seated dinner and up to 300 guests with a standing cocktail reception.

The plaza. This outdoor event space is sitting on top of Johnny Cake Hill on its cobblestone streets giving you and your guests an amazing view of the historic Seaman's Bethel and the Double Bank Building. The plaza works well for ceremonies or your hospitality cocktail hour. Available in covered or uncovered configuration, it accommodates up to 150 guests with a seated dinner layout and up to 200 guests with a standing cocktail reception.

The San Francisco room and Davis observation deck. While these two event spaces appear more as meeting rooms, they also work well for small and intimate wedding celebrations. It has amazing views of the New Bedford Harbor and likewise has a projector system for your audiovisual needs. The rooms seat up to 25 guests.


What You Should Know

Apart from ceremonies and receptions, the New Bedford Museum also hosts other wedding events such as engagement parties and bridal showers. While the venue offers all-inclusive wedding packages, outside vendors for wedding services apart from catering and bar services are welcome. Inclusive of the catering and bar service fees are the following:

  • Choices of plated dinners, buffet servings, stations or hors d'oeuvres
  • Wedding cake
  • Cake-cutting services
  • Servers
  • House wine, house beer and house liquor
  • Champagne toast
  • Bartender

Event services include the following:

  • Audiovisual equipment
  • Dance floor
  • Table and chairs
  • Linens, silverware, glassware and flatware

Extra Perks

  • The unique venue presents unique opportunity for one-of-a-kind set of wedding photographs and pictures
  • Guests get to enjoy the galleries and exhibits during cocktail hours
  • In proximity to New Bedford's other attractions

From the Vendor

Host Your Unique Wedding With Us

Host your unforgettable wedding celebration at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where captivating settings range from classic maritime to modern elegance. Linger on the Harbor View terrace or mingle in galleries devoted to whale ecology, history, and science in this unique museum, nestled among historic homes and cobblestone streets in the city's vibrant cultural district. Your guests will enjoy striking views of the waterfront, and easy access to accommodations, cultural attractions, restaurants, and charming shops. The Museum offers full service catering by Russell Morin Fine Catering & Events. On-site event specialists are ready to help with your planning.

Amenities + Details

  • Bridal Suite

  • Handicap Accessible

  • Liability Insurance

  • Indoor

  • Outdoor - Not Covered

  • Reception Area

  • Wireless Internet

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$$ – Moderate

Ceremony Types

Civil Union, Commitment Ceremony, Non-Religious Ceremony, Same Sex Ceremony, Second Wedding , Vow Renewal Ceremony

Venue Capacity



Ballroom, Waterfront, Historic Venue, Museum, Rooftop

Wedding Categories

Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff


Contact Info

18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA (508) 717-6833

Reviewed on 9/25/2017 Elaine Victoria T

Thank you Casey for your help and care throughout the wedding planning process. From the tasting (which was a blast) to the night of our wedding you made sure that everything went off without a hitch! On our wedding day we were treated like royalty. No, really… I was amazed!!!... Read More Casey greeted us with champagne the second we arrived at the museum. Janet swooped in and informed us that she was a master as bustles. My train was literally about 2 yards long so my bridesmaids and I were very relieved!! If it were not for the help, we would've spent the better portion of cocktail hour fussing with the train. We were able to get freshened up, buttoned up, and join our guests for most of the cocktail hour. (Janet you are a sweetheart – thank you!) Janet and Casey ensured that my husband, me, our wedding party and parents were all well fed, hydrated and had everything we needed from cocktail hour, on. Casey was always close by ensuring that everything went smoothly, making adjustments to the night’s line of events if we felt that some things needed to be moved around, etc. The teamwork between Casey and the other vendors at the NBWM that night was impressive! Right up to the very end of the night Casey was working hard to make sure everything was perfect. Casey, you are awesome! Thank you! Lastly, all of the food that evening was delicious! Hor d’oeuvres were flowing all through cocktail hour with a personal plate following us around. Our guests had a blast checking out the museum and catching up with friends and family. Dinner was delicious as well – and all of the guests we have chatted with have raved about the food. I was so worried that with the day being so busy my husband and I would end up not eating enough, but that did not happen. We were cared for by the staff and allowed to enjoy a relaxing meal in such a busy day. Thank you Janet! Thank you Casey!! & Thank you Russell Morin Catering & Events!!!

2017-09-27T13:27:35 Response from the vendor

Thank you so very much for such an amazing and thoughtful review! We are so happy to hear your wedding day was even more amazing than you expected with our services and experiences, as we also try our best to go above and beyond for... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 10/02/2017 Patti J

We had our wedding 2 weeks ago and the Museum and absolutely LOVED it!! Nikki + Casey are a great team + they really went above and beyond. Our guests loved the cocktail hour room and thought the food was unbelievable! I would recommend this spot + staff to anyone!!

2017-10-18T12:21:30 Response from the vendor

We are so ecstatic to hear about how much you loved your wedding day here at the New Bedford Whaling Museum! Thank you so much for the pleasant review and we are so happy we were able to go above and beyond your expectations!

Reviewed on 9/28/2017 A M

My husband and I could not recommend the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Russell Mirin catering enough! Guests loved the cocktail hour in the museum; it was such a unique experience! Many of our guests (and us included) commented that the food was the best that we had ever tasted... Read More at a wedding. We couldn't recommend the venue and Russell Morin in general enough!

2017-10-18T12:23:38 Response from the vendor

We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your wedding day, especially the food and venue! Thank you so much for your kind words and we wish you all of the best for your future as a newlywed!

Reviewed on 9/26/2017 Joe M

We had an amazing experience with the Whaling Museum and its top-notch staff, kudos to all involved. Casey was incredibly responsive, informative, and accommodating, and she and the event/catering staff were more than able to deal with some of our last minute requests,... Read More including leading up to and on the day of the wedding. The space was beautifully arranged with all of our planned small touches, and guests raved about the museum experience, as well as the reception itself. It was a night both we and our guests will never forget and we are so glad we picked this venue. One small tip: When booking our date, we were unaware of New Bedford's Annual Folk Festival, which coincided with our wedding day (yikes!) and made parking a little trickier. We ended up hiring a valet service, so all was salvaged, but it would be wise to check in on local events planned on and around your big day.

2017-09-27T13:29:07 Response from the vendor

Hi Joe! Thank you so much for the review and taking the time to write your thoughts! We are happy to hear not only you and Kristin, but your guests enjoyed the experiences that the New Bedford Whaling Museum had to offer throughout the night.... Read Less Read More

Reviewed on 6/22/2017 Heather M

This venue is absolutely stunning - gorgeous views of the water and 2 private outdoor decks. The event coordinators are on top of their game and my day went off without a hitch.

2017-09-27T13:31:36 Response from the vendor

Hi Heather! Thank you so much for your generous review and we are so happy to hear your day went off without a hitch, and you enjoyed the venue's beauty. We wish you nothing but the best as a newlywed!

Reviewed on 6/25/2016

We had our June wedding in the new harbor view gallery at the whaling museum and the venue was second to none ! Bethany was attentive and available for all of our needs all the way up until the day of the wedding. Food, service, and venue space was spectacular. We had around 160... Read More guests and we fit comfortably with access to balcony overlooking the city and beautiful ocean front. Guests have not stopped talking about our unique choice of venue at the whaling museum ! Guests got to explore the museum during cocktail hour which they thoroughly enjoyed. Having our wedding at the whaling museum made our wedding "the best ever" and a wedding that will leave guests talking for a lifetime !

2017-09-27T13:33:32 Response from the vendor

Thank you so very much for the beautiful review on your experience with your wedding at the New Bedford Whaling Museum presented by Russell Morin Catering & Events. It is great to hear you had the "best day ever" and we always try to go... Read Less Read More

Unique New England Venue!!

Reviewed on 7/18/2013 Teri B

The Whaling Museum was the perfect setting for our New England / beach inspired wedding. The venue is so beautiful and unique on it's own, no need to spend extra $$ on decorations, lighting, etc! Elizabeth, the wedding coordinator, is amazing and very easy to work with. She... Read More had some great ideas (experience from previous weddings) that really added some nice touches to our special day. I would absolutely recommend the New Bedford Whaling Museum to anyone getting married on the South Coast of MA.

2017-09-27T13:34:36 Response from the vendor

hank you so very much for the beautiful review on your experience with your wedding at the New Bedford Whaling Museum presented by Russell Morin Catering & Events. We are so happy you had an amazing wedding day at our unique venue!


Reviewed on 11/12/2012 Ximena M

I absolutely loved having my wedding in the museum. Initially we were a bit put off by the fact that they work with one catering company exclusively, however it turned out to be the best choice since their partnership is fantastic and it makes the planning so much easier and... Read More flawless. Elizabeth is fantastic. Extremely professional and responsive and very friendly and easy to work with. Between her and our caterer they took care of every little detail and answered all of my million questions. And I can't stress enough the beauty and impact that the space offers! all of my guests were flabbergasted with how unique and gorgeous the space is. We had about 100 guests and it was the perfect location. Between the cobblestone streets and red brick buildings of New Bedford and the fantastic terrace and exhibition rooms inside the museum there is plenty of room, amazing views and a lot of incredibly nice spots for taking photographs. Very unique, classic and elegant location! It was the whole package for a very reasonable price!! I would recommend the New Bedford Whaling Museum a thousand times!!

2017-09-27T13:37:04 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much for this detailed review and we love hearing how our couples enjoy the historic factor of our unique venue! We wish you nothing but the best and are honored to have been a part of your special day!

Unique and Amazing Location for a Classic Wedding!

Reviewed on 11/06/2012 Angela B

If you love whales and the history of New Bedford fishery, than the whaling museum on johnny cake hill is your location to get married. Your guests get to view the museum for free, you can rent out a theater if you like to showcase any movie you like. In the Lagoda room a... Read More lifesize boat plays for an amazing backdrop for pictures and memories for a lifetime. In the main reception room (Jacobs Gallery) you have many whale bones suspended above you, high ceilings and amazing windows. Great venue for a wedding. Just an FYI, there max is 200ppl, I recommend 120-150 tops. CHEERS! Happy Planning!

2017-09-27T13:38:06 Response from the vendor

Thank you so much for this detailed review and we love hearing how our couples enjoy the historic factor of our unique venue! We wish you nothing but the best and are honored to have been a part of your special day!

Meet The Director of Sales

Casey Nelson

The Sales & Events Manager, Casey Nelson, will help you create an inspiring and memorable catered event at the Whaling Museum with the help of Russell Morin Fine Catering & Events. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, with a degree in Business Management and a concentration in Meetings & Event Management, she has always wanted to pursue a career in the event industry. Casey has 4 years of experience handling all aspects of events, giving her a keen insight into all the components of executing a flawless wedding or celebration, by gaining experience working in Newport, RI.