Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum has to be one of the most fun and exciting wedding venues we’ve ever seen. This eclectic space on the south side of the Inner Harbor highlights the work of self-taught artists, providing a place where their work can be enjoyed and appreciated by art novices and enthusiasts alike.  

Listed in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “10 Best Places to See Before You’re 10,” the museum is a delight to young and old. And located within easy reach of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hotels, it’s a convenient place to gather out of town guests. 

Plus, it’s reachable by water taxi...can you say send-off by sea?

The museum has three primary ceremony and reception locations for parties of 40 to 400. Learn a bit more about each — and stick around until the end, when we’ll hear some stories from the venue managers. 

Cielo Verde

The most intimate spot for an American Visionary Art Museum wedding is Cielo Verde, the museum’s 3rd floor café. This space can seat up to 65 seated, or 100 for cocktails and appetizers. 

The covered “whirligig” terrace is a beautiful space for ceremonies, with views of Federal Hill and the rest of the museum. Or take advantage of the dramatic spiral staircase as a ceremony site instead. 

Photo by Artful Weddings by Sachs Photography

The restaurant features a one-of-a-kind copper bar and back bar, and it’s decorated with lush green plant life. Guests can wander the rest of the 3rd floor to enjoy the exhibits during the evening.

Photo by Irena Stein

Sculpture Barn & Garden

The Sculpture Barn & Garden is a larger space than Cielo Verde, with room for up to 130 seated guests plus dancing. A covered patio looks out over the flower garden and outdoor artworks, and can be used as a ceremony location for smaller groups. 

Photo by Robin Shotola Photography

Inside the sculpture barn, you’ll find three-story exposed brick walls and a black-and-white painted cement floor. The ceiling height makes this space feel light and airy. Large arched doors can be left open to let the breeze drift in from the adjoining patio.

Photo by Photography By Brea

Jim Rouse Visionary Center

The largest rental location is the banquet hall on the third floor of the Jim Rouse Visionary Center. Featuring exposed brick walls, maple flooring, and an industrial scaffold ceiling, this space is a unique blend of textures and materials. Windows on three sides flood the space with light and provide views of Baltimore and the Inner Harbor. 

Photo by Photography By Brea

The space is wide open, and can seat up to 400 guests while still leaving room for a dance floor. Tables, chairs, and a stage are included with your rental. Best of all — the first floor exhibit space will be open during the wedding. Guests can wander the hall and take in the art for a truly unique wedding experience. You can also have your ceremony in the exhibit hall, under the glow of the electric hot air balloon.

Photo ops abound at this unique museum, so be prepared for your photographer to whisk you away more than once for “just one more!”

Photo by Photography By Brea

Photo by Photography By Brea

Photo by Photography By Brea

Photo by Photography By Brea

AVAM is currently offering micro wedding packages, so you can gather with a small, intimate group for safety. 

We asked the wedding team over at AVAM to share a few thoughts about weddings with us, and they kindly obliged! 

Answers are lightly edited for clarity.

What is the most unusual or unexpected wedding you've ever had at your venue?

We've had a groom ride in on an elephant! (Can’t do that in a hotel ballroom!)

What's the wildest thing a couple has ever asked for?

We had a wedding in 2017 that featured a huge balloon drop after their ceremony in the Sculpture Barn. We typically don't allow balloons in our spaces, but since these would not float away and a professional vendor was taking care of the setup and clean up, we had to allow for this wild and dramatic moment to celebrate the newlyweds!

What's the best "little kid moment" you've seen at a wedding?

At one wedding, one of the flower girls was waiting for the ceremony to begin, and spied the wedding cake already on display across the room. Before anyone could stop her, she had her finger deep in that frosting! Fortunately, the couple's caterer had some extra icing on hand and fixed it up right away with some creative frosting and movement of the fresh flower decorations.

What's one thing you wish people knew about running a wedding or event venue?

Having weddings and events at a museum is a delicate balance between wanting to assist your couples and make their wedding day dreams come true, while also preserving the mission of the museum and keeping the space in great shape for future visitors and couples! While we wish that there were no decorating rules and set up and clean up time could be unlimited, we have to keep these things in mind so that all museum patrons and rental clients are happy!

If you’re planning an American Visionary Art Museum wedding, we’d love to be there! Fill out our online form and let us know all about it.

Published on:

Sunday, August 9, 2020