Question about hosting a wedding at HMNS?
Can I have my wedding reception at the museum?
Yes, we have several wonderful venues to choose from. You can view the available venues on our Event Spaces page, or contact us at
to discuss the location which will best suit your wedding needs.
Where can I have my wedding ceremony?
Our Cockrell Butterfly Center, Butterfly Center Lobby, Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, Burke Baker Planetarium, Hall of Paleontology and Sun Dial are all wonderful venues for wedding ceremonies.
What is the maximum capacity of the Museum for an wedding?
The Museum can accommodate up to 2,000 guests for a cocktail reception. Please please contact us at
to discuss the spaces that would work best for you and your guest count.
What are the steps in planning a wedding at the Museum?
The first step is to relax - planning an wedding at the Museum is an easy process! Here at the Museum, we have everything down to a science - including wedding planning.
The third step is to consider catering - the biggest component in planning a wedding at the Museum. The Museum has several exclusive caterers that are contracted to provide food for any wedding. For more information, please visit our Catering page.
Can I use my own caterer?
No, you must use one of the Museum’s catering companies.
Can alcohol be served at my wedding?
Yes. City Kitchen Catering holds the Museum’s liquor license, so all alcoholic beverages must be provided by them. Please contact them directly for more information.
City Kitchen Catering is a full service catering company, so you may use them for both your food and beverage needs. If you decide to use them for just your alcoholic beverage needs, you may also select any of our other caterers for food.
Is red wine allowed?
Red wine is allowed in all of the halls where food and drinks can be served. Please note that no food or drinks can be served on the 3rd floor or in the newly renovated William Stamps Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife.
What information should I have ready when I contact the caterer?
Let the caterer know your anticipated date, guest count, and budget. Budget is one of the most important pieces of information, as it assists the caterer in providing you a more accurate proposal.
Also, have an idea of whether you want a seated dinner, a buffet, food stations or a cocktail reception. Please visit our Catering page for definitions of each wedding type and catering contact information. The more details you can provide, the better.
How do I secure a date for my wedding?
Return your signed contract and deposit to secure a date.
What does the rental fee include for evening weddings?
For evening weddings, the rental fee includes security, an onsite wedding manager, house staff and building manager.
The fee does not include food, beverage and equipment such as tables, chairs, linens, etc. All of those things are an additional cost and would be handled by one of our four caterers. Please contact the caterers directly for that information.
What’s the earliest time my wedding can start?
All wedding ceremonies and receptions take place when the Museum is closed to the public. During the summer months, the earliest weddings can typically begin is at 7 p.m. During the rest of the year, the earliest weddings can begin is 6 p.m.
Do you offer wedding packages?
No. The Special Events department customizes each wedding according to your wedding needs.
Does the Museum offer a place for brides to get dressed?
Yes. The Museum does not have a bridal suite, but we do have a conference room and classrooms that are often used as dressing areas.
Does the Museum provide decorations for my wedding?
No, the Museum does not provide decorations. One of the benefits about having your wedding at the Museum is that very little décor is needed, as the exhibits serve as décor. You are more than welcome to bring in free-standing décor for your wedding. Please contact us at
regarding specific décor policies.
When can I have access to the facility on the day of my wedding?
Two hours prior to your scheduled wedding.
How is parking handled?
For weddings and receptions, the Museum offers complimentary self-parking in the Museum’s parking garage. If you would like valet parking, this service would be an additional cost and can be arranged through any of our catering companies. Please contact the caterers directly for information on costs.
Can I have rehearsal prior to my wedding day?
Yes. Rehearsals can be scheduled Monday-Friday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Can my wedding be the only wedding in the building?
We often have weddings and events occurring simultaneously on any given evening and take all the necessary steps to keep each wedding private - including separate entrances, security and support staff.
Do my guests have access to the entire Museum?
Your guests only have access to the spaces that you rent. You can explore the Museum’s rentable venues on our Event Spaces page.
Can I have a band or D.J. at my wedding?
Yes, there are many great locations throughout the Museum where a band or D.J. can set up.
Do Museum members get a discount?
Yes, Museum members receive a 10% discount off of the facility rental fee.
When can I arrange for a site visit?