Museums are some of the best locations for weddings. Everything about them feels so timeless and elegant. With fascinating exhibits surrounded by gorgeous architecture, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the day’s magic. In Philadelphia, we have some of the best museums in the entire country. Our bigger museums tend to get all the attention when planning weddings. Still, I want to tell you about one of my favorite gems in the city: the Rodin Museum wedding venue. This spectacular building is tucked into brilliant landscaping and is the perfect location for a smaller museum wedding.
Even if you don’t know Auguste Rodin’s name, you know his work. This French sculptor was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His detailed work often drew inspiration from Greek culture. For instance, his most famous sculpture, The Thinker, has come to symbolize the study of philosophy and the fabulous minds we continue to celebrate to this day.
Rodin was renowned in Paris, and in 1876, he decided it was time for his American debut. He sent eight sculptures to the Centennial Exposition happening in Philadelphia but received no recognition. While this failed attempt left him devastated, he had no idea it would lead to one of the most prominent monuments to his art.
His work caught the eye of Jules Mastbaum, a Philadelphian philanthropist who had earned his money through the budding cinema industry. Mastbaum bought a small bust by Rodin on a trip and quickly became an avid collector. He came to own over 200 sculptures and decided to build a museum as a tribute to the then-deceased sculptor. While Mastbaum did not live to see the museum’s opening, the center now carries on the legacy of both him and the artist. The Rodin Museum wedding venue has the most extensive collection of Rodin pieces outside of Paris. The Greek Revival building is serene and respectful. And while it’s a great place to stroll around for an evening, it’s ready to transform into a magical venue for your wedding.
The Rodin museum offers magnificent places for indoor and outdoor weddings. For those who prefer an outdoor ceremony, the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden is a tranquil area that gives you a stunning view of some of Rodin’s most significant works. Many people choose the area near the front of the property’s entrance for their ceremony. During spring, this area has blooming cherry trees. The gates stand just in front of The Thinker, giving your pictures an unbelievable background. The museum also allows you to have indoor ceremonies. Here, the space has high ceilings and a calming blue marble floor. Your guests will sit alongside the legendary sculptures and sketches as you say your I dos.
The Rodin Museum features an outdoor garden bar that will double your outdoor reception space. The elegant tablecloths and cafe-style seats will give your guests a comfortable space to celebrate your big day. The most popular reception space is inside the museum. This airy room offers plenty of space amongst the impressive works of art.
The museum has numerous places to set up a cocktail hour. Outdoor cocktail hours near the garden bar will allow your guests to grab a drink, look out at the reflection pool, and take in the tranquil setting.
The venue doesn’t list a private bridal suite or groom’s room. However, the proximity to upscale Philadelphia hotels allows you to book a stylish hotel suite and relax with your friends before walking down the aisle. As a bonus, you’ll already have a fantastic place to unwind after the festivities.
The indoor and outdoor spaces have a reception capacity of 125 guests and a dinner capacity of 60 guests, making it the optimal setting for an intimate wedding. Still, for those wanting a larger capacity, you can pair your Rodin Museum wedding with a Barnes Foundation reception.
Between the bronze figures and the towering columns, everything about this space feels refined. The limestone building has done extensive work to ensure it’s accessible to all guests. The high ceiling features arched wooden rafters with ornate designs throughout the building. Outside, the serene reflection pool leads into a sculpted fountain that is surrounded by meticulously maintained hedges.
People come all across the city to have their wedding pictures taken at the Rodin. With such beautiful accents, it’s easy to understand why. The towering gates near The Thinker are a lovely space for photos. The pale stone contrasts the black iron and creates a wonderful backdrop. The bronze casting of Rodin’s masterpiece, The Gates of Hell, is another popular space for pictures. Rodin toiled over this work toward the end of his life, creating countless damned figures. While the name and topic might seem ominous, the work itself is intricate and beautiful, creating a rich texture for the background of your portraits. The stairs around the exterior and the reflection pool are also great spaces for wedding party photos or family formals on your unforgettable day.
The Rodin is a part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It features all the same exquisite services as the other locations. The world-class chefs at Constellation Culinary Group provide catering. Here, every meal is a work of art.
Recently, the Rodin Museum paired with the Barnes Foundation to create a unique package that allows you to plan your wedding across the two neighboring locations. This combo allows you to host an intimate ceremony at the Rodin and throw a lavish party on the terrace of the Barnes Foundation. With room for up to 225 seated guests, it’s a way to get the large reception you want while still getting the Rodin’s romantic location.
If you are looking to host a smaller museum wedding, I think you will adore the Rodin Museum wedding venue. With breathtaking sights and priceless works of art, it’s the perfect venue for the creative couple.
Are you looking for a photographer who will capture all the details of your wedding day? I’m a Philadelphia-based photographer who specializes in editorial photography. Contact me today to find out how you can have stylish photos you can’t wait to frame. For more romantic garden wedding resources, check out the blogs below.
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Currently based out of both Philadelphia and Los Angeles, Kseniya's work brings her all over the globe to document beautiful memories for stylish couples who want to make a statement.
Recently named one of the top 100 Wedding and Boudoir Photographers in the world, Kseniya puts her artistic and vogue-style aesthetic into every image.