Peabody Essex Museum

Salem, MA

Capacity: 251-300 | WEBSITE | PHONE

Book Your Wedding with Peabody Essex Museum


About Us

The Atrium. The Atrium dazzles with its arched glass ceiling and recessed lighting fixtures. Its interior finishing blends with the granite flooring to create a glamorous location for an intimate reception dinner. The grand nature of the atrium accommodates 50 to 270 guests for a seated dinner or up to 350 guests for a standing reception.

The Peabody Essex Museum is located in downtown Salem, MA. There are hotels within walking distance and great restaurants for rehearsal dinners and brunch.


What You Should Know

At Peabody Essex Museum, all foods and beverages must be provided by the venue’s exclusive caterers. Couples are advised to make early selection of menu details for adequate planning and special considerations. On the other hand, the venue has a licensed liquor supplier who holds a liquor liability insurance, and couples are not permitted to bring their own alcoholic drinks to the venue.

Peabody Essex Museum prohibits the use of rose petals, glitters, confetti, live trees and candles with open flames. In addition, the venue does not allow chocolate fountains, ice cream bars or chocolate-covered strawberries in its indoor spaces.

As a result of ongoing renovations, exhibitions and other activities; the museums art exhibits may be changed, removed or added to the event spaces. However, guests, vendors or couples are not permitted to alter or move any piece of exhibition.

The venue provides tables and folding chairs for the Atrium. Couples can rent upgraded fruitwood chivary chairs.


Extra Perks

Peabody Essex Museum has friendly staff who cooperate with the vendors and personal event planners to ensure that everything flows smoothly on the day of the event. The venue’s event facilitator oversees the set-up and breakdown of tables and chairs.

As an added bonus, couples can upgrade their wedding package to include access to two of the adjacent galleries, giving them and their guests time to browse through its renowned art collections. In addition, access to special exhibitions may be available upon request, or for a real treat, couples can purchase museum passes for all of their guests, allowing them to visit the museum anytime during regular opening hours.


From the Vendor

distinctive| elegant | unforgettable

The Peabody Essex Museum is one of the nation’s major museums. The mission of PEM is to celebrate outstanding artistic and cultural creativity by collecting, stewarding, and interpreting objects of art and culture in ways that increase knowledge, enrich the spirit and, engage the mind.

Amenities + Details

  • Handicap Accessible

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$$ – Moderate

Venue Capacity




Wedding Categories

Planning, Rentals + Equipment


Contact Info

161 Essex Street, Salem, MA (978) 542-1615

Reviewed on 10/27/2017 Mitchell T

We couldn't be happier about how our wedding reception at the PEM turned out. The space was beautiful, and Natalia and the staff were extremely helpful in making it a beautiful event. The Atruim has a well earned reputation for being a beautiful event space, but until you're in... Read More there with the lights down and everything set up, it's hard to fully comprehend how amazing it really is. From our the earliest days of our planning, Natalia helped us stay on track so that by the day of the event, our vendors knew what to do and we just got to focus on our guests. We didn't need a separate wedding planner because the PEM does such a good job with day of coordination. As soon as we arrived at the PEM on the day of, they made sure we ate, and the took us into the museum for pictures which was such a cool experience. And for the rest of the event they handled the schedule of things like the first dances and cake cutting, so that all we had to do was have fun. We highly recommend the PEM and Natalia for your wedding reception (or any event). It was white glove service from start to finish and a spectacular way to celebrate with our friends and family.

Reviewed on 10/20/2017 Victoria B

The Peabody Essex Museum is a phenomenal venue for many reasons: (1) The atrium is a gorgeous, dramatic, unique space that looks stunning in person and in photos. The architecture is amazing, with high ceilings and windows but it is also neutral so you truly make it your own... Read More and you have a lot of options and flexibility for how to decorate. (2) Natalia is fantastic to work with. She has great knowledge of the industry and vendors and gave us really good advice throughout the process. She was also very flexible and accommodated our many requests and vendors despite the added complexity. Everything was perfectly executed on the day of despite some of the complicated logistics involved, and it was in no small part due to Natalia’s level of organization and dedication. (3) Having the wedding in the Museum was really special because we were able to take photos in the museum galleries (though galleries are closed to guests during the reception for good reason) and were able to give our guests museum passes in the welcome bags, and everyone really loved being able to explore the museum during the weekend. (4) The PEM is in a great location where guests can stay at one of the many hotels that are in walking distance of the venue and take advantage of the great restaurants and things to do in the area throughout the weekend. It made everything very easy from a logistical standpoint. All in all, I highly recommend the PEM for all of the reasons outlined above. It will make for a truly special venue to celebrate your wedding!

Reviewed on 10/18/2017 Douglas C

My partner and I just hosted our reception at the Peabody Essex Museum, and she and could not be happier with our experience. It was stellar! Working with Natalia was an absolute pleasure, and the space was a stunning setting for our reception. We had quite a few of our guests... Read More (many of whom work in the arts, as we do) comment on how wonderful the museum's atrium setting was, and, they were thankful for the opportunity to be in Salem for the day and take advantage of the museum as well. We used the Hawthorne for a caterer and the planning integration between them and the museum was seamless. Moreover, we wanted to have a masquerade reception, it being October, and Natalia worked with us to make that happen. Finally, Natalia worked with our photographer to get us into a few beautiful gallery spaces for photos after hours. If you are looking for elegance and the arts, all with the beauty and quirkiness of Salem as an environment, look no further than the Peabody Essex Museum.

Reviewed on 10/18/2017 Kristina W

I cannot not say enough nice things about Natalia Laskaris and the Peabody Essex Museum. The venue has such a high-end, modern feel in the middle of quaint, old New England Salem. It is absolutely gorgeous! Natalia is kind, helpful and more than accomodating. I don't think I... Read More could have made it through the planning process without her.

Reviewed on 10/08/2017 Takara L

My husband and I had the best time working with Natalia Laskaris and the Peabody Essex Museum while planning our reception in August. We were looking at museums for our reception, and the PEM was a location that was stunning and unique without needing a lot of extra... Read More decoration. Natalia was kind, personable, professional, knowledgeable, and really fun to work with. Any time my husband and I had questions, Natalia responded in a timely manner by phone or email. The reception went off without a hitch, so much of it to do with the hard work Natalia and her staff put in prior to and on the wedding day. We and our guests had an amazing time at the PEM, and we cannot recommend Natalia and the PEM highly enough. Thank you!!!

Reviewed on 9/04/2017 Michaela M

My husband and I got married at the Peabody Essex Museum this August in the Atrium. We were over the moon with the location when we first saw it and it lived up to its first impression. We've heard from many family and friends how much they loved the venue and enjoyed the... Read More evening. Not only is the location lovely on its own, but Natalia and her team, as well as Hawthorne Catering, were such an amazing team to work with. Natalia proved us with much insight when we probed her with multiple questions and was extremely helpful throughout the entire process. The PEM team was there every step of the way included the night of, where not only did we have a day of coordinator from PEM, but from Hawthorne catering. We had all hands on deck and the night was successful! We are so grateful for the beautiful location and amazing team and would not change a thing about our big day!

Reviewed on 8/10/2017 Lisa N

My daughter's wedding reception was held at the PEM and it was an incredible evening. The museum's wedding coordinator (Natalia) was very professional, helpful and organized. She was always available throughout the entire planning process and coordinated efficiently with all... Read More of the vendors. Her thoroughness was so reassuring. The venue is very striking and spacious allowing for lots of dancing. We were so happy that we chose the the PEM!

Reviewed on 7/23/2017 Liza C

I cannot imagine my wedding reception anywhere other than the Peabody Essex Museum. If you are looking for a gorgeous venue, protected from the elements and flexible for a bigger or smaller crowd, amazing people to work with (Natalia and Liz) and a space that is just totally... Read More unique both inside and outside, this is the place. We had our cocktail hour and reception in the Atrium (cocktail hour in the Atrium spine and reception in the main Atrium). Words do not do it justice – go look at the photos online and I will update when I receive my professional ones. The soaring ceilings catch the early evening light and then light up the beautiful sails once it’s dark. The balconies make for amazing photos and my husband and I had fun looking over the cocktail hour while we took a few photos up above – we felt like we were still part of the party. Then you can do your entrance by walking across the balcony and waving down at the whole reception – just awesome! We also took some large group photos with the group on the dance floor looking up at the photographer shooting from the balcony. The space held 230 people very comfortably (we invited 315) and felt like one big party (no separate rooms or partitions). Natalia was amazing from start to finish – she’s super responsive and willing to work with you. We had a kid’s table and she suggested using a table the museum had in their Discovery Center and she even used all blue chairs to match our colors! As we got closer to the wedding, Natalia went over each and every detail with us, entertaining questions from both of us and both of our parents. The day-of, Liz was with us and she was on top of everything. Although there are a few options for food, we went with Hawthorne, who does the museum’s regular catering as well. Separate review on them (they were awesome, food was amazing), but just to say they work seamlessly with Natalia and the museum, it really feels like one team that is working with you. They are completely in sync. My husband and I loved Peabody Essex Museum for our wedding day and we also think it is really special that it is a place we will go back and visit for years to come.

Reviewed on 7/23/2017 Drew S

We had our wedding reception on May 27 2017 at PEM. Absolutely amazing from start to finish. Natalia was great to work with, responsive to questions and receptive to any alternate ideas we had. The venue itself is totally transformed from what it looks like during museum hours... Read More to a marvelous open area with spacious room for tables and large dance/band floor. Our reception was at night, so the twilight sky followed by the perfect uplighting made the space absolutely stunning. We went with Hawthorne Catering, and the food and service were outstanding. We were also lucky enough to get some great pictures in the East India room. I have to say, when we started looking for wedding venues, we checked out countless hotels with ballrooms. Guess what? Nobody remembers the ballroom weddings. Everyone will remember our wedding in the Peabody Essex Museum!

Reviewed on 7/23/2017 Alison G

Our reception at the Peabody Essex Museum was incredible-the atrium makes a for a beautiful and unique space for a wedding reception. Natalia was so helpful through the entire planning process and took care of every detail for us. We had an amazing wedding thanks to her and the... Read More PEM!

Reviewed on 12/29/2016 Claudia C

My daughter and her husband had their wedding at the Peabody Essex Museum in January of 2016. Although the weather outside was dreadful, the wedding and reception went without a hitch! Natalia Laskaris and her team went above and beyond their duties to have a perfectly... Read More coordinated event! The venue is spectacular to the point that it almost doesn’t need any decorations. It elevates any reception to the highest level The couple only had special lighting as decor and the place looked sophisticated and classy. The dancing space is plentiful. I highly recommend the Peabody Essex Museum to any couple looking for their perfect place!

Reviewed on 12/12/2016 Jill M

My husband and I had our reception at the PEM in December 2016, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the entire experience. From the moment we toured the facility, through every planning meeting, email and phone call, it was clear that we were in excellent hands throughout the... Read More planning process. Natalia was simply incredible in helping us prepare for our big day. She couldn't be more pleasant, calming, and knowledgeable with all aspects of planning and execution. The reception went off without a hitch, and we owe that largely in part to Natalia's amazing efforts and expertise as well as her staff's incomparable level of hospitality. Our guests were absolutely floored with the venue and the compliments haven't stopped! The atrium of the museum offers an unforgettable, unique atmosphere that promises to impress. In addition, it’s located conveniently in downtown Salem which offers a wide array of restaurants, shops, and tourist activities for your guests! This place simply cannot be beat!!

Reviewed on 10/30/2016 Kate L

My husband Dave and I got married at the Peabody Essex Museum in July, and we are still hearing feedback from our guests about how stunning it was! We are confident that the beautiful museum played the biggest role in how highly our family and friends regarded the experience! We... Read More took about 15 months to plan our wedding, and Natalia was with us the whole way. She made it a seamless, special and personal experience from our first conversation, allowing us to share my vision and helping us see it to fruition. The staff was very accommodating, friendly, and supportive. We wouldn't change a thing!

Reviewed on 10/30/2016 Meghan Z

The BEST! The event coordinator, Natalia, could not have made the process more organized, accomadating, and fun. Such a gorgeous, unique venue for our October wedding!

Reviewed on 10/29/2016 David S

My wife and I got married this past August and had our reception at PEM. I want to start by saying working Natalia was an absolute pleasure ! She is truly a professional and made me and my wife very comfortable from the start. We couldn't have been happier with the service.... Read More PEM itself is the perfect place for a wedding, it's truly one of a kind. All of our guests were blown away. Not to mention the service and food was incredible!!

Reviewed on 10/29/2016 Maria S

The Peabody Essex Museum was the first venue my hushand and I looked at and nothing else compared. The venue itself is stunning and coordinator Natalia Laskaris is amazing! Thank you Natalia and PEM staff for making my dream wedding come true!

Reviewed on 10/28/2016 Jayne C

The venue is stunning and the staff is exceptional. My wedding was what dreams are made of.

Reviewed on 10/28/2016 Tory S

We got married at the PEM last December and I have nothing but the most wonderful things to say about the entire experience. The wedding venue was an absolute highlight for our guests -- especially those from out of town. I couldn't have asked for a more capable, kind, and... Read More thorough contact in Natalia. We chose to host the cocktail reception in the East India Marine Hall and the dinner and dancing in the Atrium. It was spectacular. For some background, I work in national and international event production and I knew going into the process of planning a wedding that I would want the absolute best and demand perfection. That is exactly what I got with the PEM and Natalia and I give them 5 stars... 10 if I could... believe me, you won't be disappointed on one of the most memorable days of your life.

Reviewed on 10/28/2016 Elise M

Natalia and her staff at the PEM are amazing. Not only was it absolutely stress-free, we felt like VIPs. We have had many guests tell us it was one of the best, most fun weddings they have ever been to. If you are considering the PEM, do it - you will not regret it.

Reviewed on 10/22/2016

Natalia Laskaris, Manager of Private Functions & Rentals at the Peabody Essex Museum is a class act and was a pleasure to work with. She has the wisdom and imagination to make any event perfect.

Reviewed on 10/04/2016 Nina D

My husband and I had our cocktail hour in the atrium spine and our reception in the atrium. The Museum is the first place we looked at and were immediately in love with it. It makes for such a unique venue and all of our guests loved the location. Natalia Laskaris is the event... Read More coordinator and she is simply amazing, wonderful, and a delight to work with. Natalia is extremely kind and very responsive. She will spend as much time with you as you need. We used the Hawthorne as our caterer and they really work seamlessly together. Natalia and Laura from the Hawthorne were always one step ahead of me and did everything to make sure our day was just how we wanted it. I highly recommend the Peabody Essex Museum to anyone looking for a unique wedding venue in an awesome location!

Reviewed on 9/19/2016 Alexandra B

My husband and I held our cocktail hour and reception at the Peabody Essex museum. It was so amazing! Natalia was so easy to work with and she did a great job making sure everything was how we imagined and discussed! The venue itself is STUNNING! Talk about a serious wow factor,... Read More and you can have as much fun as you'd like with the up lighting! The charm of Salem combined with the unique atrium of the museum, you will definitely leave your guests with a lasting impression! Amazing, amazing! We will be suggesting the Peabody Essex Museum to friends/family members that are getting married on the North Shore, hands down. Love it!

Reviewed on 9/14/2016

My husband and I couldn’t be more pleased with our decision to have our wedding at the Peabody Essex Museum! We checked out a few different venues but upon walking into the museum, I knew instantly that this was the place - just a very unique space, with great lighting, and a... Read More lot of character. And then we met Natalia (who manages private functions for the museum) and she is just one of the most delightful people I have ever met. I honestly can’t say enough great things about her. Planning and figuring out all the details was not my forte but she was super helpful – answering emails promptly at all hours of the day, putting me at ease, and just there for anything I needed. I told my husband that if she wasn’t already going to be there, I would have wanted to invite her to our wedding! As for the actual wedding day, the museum looked amazing. The lighting in the Atrium was awesome and the dance floor was spacious. So many guests came up to us and commented on how incredible our venue was. We also had access to the Intersections Room and Spiral Staircase for pictures which was just an amazing backdrop and provided us some unique and breath-taking pictures. It was simply perfect! We just loved our wedding! Thanks again to Natalia and PEM!

Reviewed on 8/08/2016 Jennifer D

We don’t even know where to begin when explaining just how amazing the museum and Natalia were throughout the planning process, ending in what could only be described as our picture perfect wedding day. From the moment we first stepped in the museum at our initial visit, we knew... Read More it was the spot for our June reception. Once we met Natalia, any possible doubts were erased. Natalia is one of those amazing types of people who just set you at ease the minute you meet her, and our appreciation of Natalia only grew as time went on. She is a calming presence, and always made us feel like we were her top priority; even with all the couples she works with throughout the year! We had boxes upon boxes of reception details (not that they were needed with the beautiful backdrop of the museum!) and Natalia and team made sure it all went off without a hitch. Every single detail was carried out to perfection, which meant a lot to this detail-oriented perfectionist bride! From the rooms (East India for cocktail, atrium for dinner and dancing), to the lighting, to the staff, everything was just amazing. Natalia even made sure to extend our cocktail hour so we could get some amazing photos in the museum. Our guests raved about the unique venue, and we will always have such wonderful memories of our wedding night. We also have to extend a shout out to Jenn, who stuck around for the whole reception and made sure everything continued to run smoothly; she was organized, professional, and so much fun! If you are considering PEM for your wedding, or just poking around for a unique venue, don’t hesitate! Email Natalia, schedule a visit, and we are sure you will fall in love just as we did! We would not change a thing about our day, and Natalia and everyone at PEM are a huge reason for that. Thank you ALL again for everything, it was a night we will never forget! And a special thank you to Natalia for always being so graceful when working with my opinionated family :)

Best Day Ever - Nailed It!

Reviewed on 11/23/2015

We looked as several museums and libraries in the greater Boston area, but when we walked into the Peabody Essex Museum, my fiance and I looked at each other and said YES at the same time. Not only is the PEM a beautiful space and an amazing musuem, but their wedding... Read More coordinator, Natalia, and her PEM colleagues were immensely helpful. We felt that our thoughts were heard, ideas were offered, communication was easy, and the PEM made it easier for us to create our special day. Enter our wedding day - it could not have been more perfect. We were married in the East India Marine Hall, cocktail hour was in the atrium spine, and our reception was in the atrium. Every detail had been mapped out to maximize flow of people and attention, and time for food, dancing, visiting, and special moments. Our guests had a wonderful time because the PEM took such great care to make it awesome - and everyone commented that the wedding was so "us". We used the Hawthorne Hotel Caterers who worked seamlessly with the PEM, and the food was fabulous. What an amazing staff they have, too! I cannot recommend this venue enough - for both ceremony and reception. The best part is that when you have a wedding at the PEM, you have to become a member ($100 well spent!). We've already attended special events as members, and since the wedding we've been recognized and congratulated by several of the PEM staff. It feels like "our" museum in a way, in that we created a wonderful set of memories and get to walk back through them together every time we visit. You can't go wrong with the PEM. Love you guys!