Welcome to the Katherine Blair Journal! We're Katherine and Mark, husband and wife wedding photography team, and we strive to your story in an artful and evocative way. Our blog is here to help you find the perfect wedding venue, help with wedding planning, and get to know us better. Grab a glass of your favorite, sit down, and enjoy!
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The Chrysler Museum of Art is truly an experience. It’s hard for me to put into words. I was able to take a tour of the museum with Jennifer Kohms, the special events manager, and see how it might be used as a wedding venue. I went back a few days later just as a regular patron. Norfolk and surrounding Hampton Roads are lucky to have The Chrysler Museum and couples looking to get married in this area are incredibly blessed to have it is a venue option. Not only is it a gorgeous building from an architectural standpoint, but it also boasts exhibits and pieces that the rest of the world’s museums would kill for. Your guests could enjoy these during cocktail hour! What a unique experience that would be. It is an exceptional space, and any wedding hosted at the Chrysler Museum is sure to be entirely memorable for all involved. The art exhibits are beautifully curated and displayed, and your wedding would directly contribute to the museums ongoing effort to showcase and preserve them.
Located in beautiful historic Ghent, there are plenty of restaurants, hotels and inns, and experiences for your guests and you to enjoy over your wedding weekend. There are a number of historic churches in the area as well, should you choose to have you ceremony somewhere other than the museum, although we are definitely fans of all inclusive venue use.
Jennifer was also gracious enough to do an informative Q&A for anyone interested in hosting their wedding at the museum. She’s provided a wealth of information, which I am happy to share. Read on to learn what makes this venue unique (aside from the one-of-a-kind art), what is included in a Chrysler Museum wedding, and any other special insights.
If you could only tell couples ONE thing about your venue, what would it be?
That you can get amazing photos here! Imagine truly exclusive shots in our upstairs gallery spaces, the stunning double staircase in Huber Court, our two outdoor garden spaces with mature trees and a fountain, sunset over the Hague Inlet right out front, and edgy streetscape shots anywhere around the building. Our packages also include a complimentary 2-hour photo shoot BEFORE their big day – to use for engagement photos or a bridal portrait session.
Do couples using your venue have exclusive use? If not, how do you handle that?
Absolutely! We only book one private event a night, so we can focus on our clients and they can add on full access to our site if desired. Our Huber Court Rental Package already includes our Ancient Worlds and Porcelain galleries, for their guests to browse during cocktail hour.
Are couples able to host an entire weekend of festivities at your venue (ex. Welcome Party, Rehearsal, Wedding, Day-After Brunch…)
The Chrysler Museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from noon-5, so our clients are welcome to recommend a trip to visit the museum to their wedding guests! Clients also have the option to book our newly renovated café and event space, Zinnia, for a rehearsal dinner after their complimentary one-hour rehearsal the day before their wedding.
Is there a noise policy/reception cut off time?
With our Collection in mind, we recommend bands and DJs keep their music to 90 weighted decibels, which is still a good level for a party vibe! Receptions end at 11:30 p.m.
Do you have spaces for getting ready?
Wedding parties can arrive at 3 p.m. on the day of their event, and use our dressing rooms to put on their attire. Hair and make-up should already be done before arrival. Snacks and drinks can be ordered through our caterer for delivery to the dressing rooms.
Can couples/guests stay overnight, or do you have affiliations with somewhere they can?
While we don’t have any partnerships with the Downtown Norfolk hotels and inns, there are quite a few just within a few blocks to pick from!
Do couples have to use in-house catering, or can their bring their own?
Clients do need to use our exclusive catering partner, Taste Catering & Events, for all their food and beverage service. Pricing starts at $100 per person, and includes taxes, fees, and some rentals. You can provide your own alcohol, though! You just need to obtain an ABC banquet license.
If the couple has an outdoor ceremony, do you have contingency plans for bad weather?
Mary’s Garden, to the left of the Museum’s front entrance, is a beautiful spot for an outdoor ceremony for up to 160 guests. Chairs do need to be rented, since the Museum’s chairs are not meant for outdoor use. A rain call can be made up to the morning of the wedding, with Huber Court serving as the indoor back-up plan.
What is the guest capacity?
For an indoor ceremony and reception, we can seat up to 220 guests.
Do you have staff for set-up/breakdown and/or security staff included?
Taste Catering & Events sets up and breaks down the chairs and tables, as well as drops the linens and sets the tables. The Museum always has Security officers present, as well as event staff members to oversee the venue and facilitate the client’s experience. We do require our clients to hire a professional month-of event coordinator, to make their special day more stress-free!
Are there restrictions for décor or send-offs?
Live flames, glitter, confetti, birdseed, rice, sparklers, and home-grown flowers/greenery are not permitted inside or outside the Museum. Instead, clients can use electric candles and contract with Stage Right Lighting for cold sparkler fountains to use outside for a dramatic send-off!
There you have it from Jennifer! A few other things I’ve learned while getting to know the venue for this piece:
If you’d like more information on what a Chrysler Museum wedding would be like for you, please visit the museum website, and don’t hesitate to reach out the event staff! They are friendly, professional, and more than willing to answer any other questions you may have. I highly suggest going for a tour to see the venue in person. If you are looking for a wedding photographer to document your special day, Mark and I would love to get to know you and see how we can help! Get in touch with us, and we will get right back to you.
If you’ve made it this far, and are planning your wedding at the Chrysler Museum of Art, we’d like to offer you a little something! Once you’ve booked your big day at the Chrysler, and book us for your wedding photography, we would be delighted to give you a free 1 hour engagement session in Norfolk or Virginia Beach! Just mention this post when you reach out.