I had no idea when I walked into the VMFA for my tour that they had so many options available. There are several spaces available, and several different styles. They are also reasonably priced. I was truly surprised.
The first venue is the one I’m sure most people think of when they think of the VMFA. The main museum has a gorgeous marble hall. The walls and floor are a rose/peach marble color with open staircases and large white columns. At first glance this may look like a challenging space to style. If you are not a designer I would suggest hiring a planner or designer. This space can be fabulous if you work with the space, not against it. The Marble Hall can hold up to 250 guests for a seated dinner.
If you are more of a modern couple you will probably be most interested in the Cohran Atrium. The atrium is very modern and clear with slate colored floors and white walls. There are glass staircases and walkways that would be make for a great entrance. With the walls of windows you can enjoy the views to outside and of the sculpture garden. This space will sometimes host art exhibits so be sure you are aware of the schedule when you are selecting your wedding date. The Cohran Attrium can hold up to 300 guests for a seated dinner.
When you are looking for a venue for a smaller crowd, or a pre-wedding event don’t forget about the Amuse Restaurant located on the upper level of the VMFA. This contemporary space is great for a bridal shower, bachelorette bash, rehearsal dinner, or a more intimate wedding. The furniture stays, and has a very modern chic style. There is a private dining space and a conference room that can be converted into more seating or a dance area. The floor to ceiling windows over look the lawn and structure gardens.
For the more traditional couples there is always the Pauley Center. The Pauley Center is across the lawn from the museum, and was designed to look like the White House in DC. This venue has a large, traditional dining room, an event room, and a slate terrace. The decor is very traditional and classic.
The VMFA does require that you use an in house caterer and their bar service. They don’t provide wedding cakes so that is something you will need to bring in on your own. Their staff is very informative and helpful. However, keep in mind that they are a museum before they are a venue. This provides a few minor challenges, but nothing that can’t be worked around.
For more information I would reach out to them directly. Their pricing and general Q’s are listed here: http://vmfa.museum/visit/dining/wedding-receptions-vmfa/