The Smithsonian expands the scope of special events allowed in museum buildings. 

If you’ve ever strolled through a museum at the Smithsonian and thought, "Wow, this is a great place for a wedding or party,” your prayers have been answered. Groups, individuals, and nonprofits can now hold events at the various museums and buildings of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. 

While many of the buildings have hosted corporate events in the past, individual museums will now be able to grant use of their spaces for individual social events like anniversaries, retirements, and weddings. 

National ZooThe entrance to the National Zoo, courtesy of the Smithsonian

The new policy is part of a three-year pilot program to bring in more revenue to the nation’s treasured museums and cultural spaces. Fees vary depending on the museum and the space being rented. For example, the entire National Zoo can be rented for $150,000, while a rental of the iconic Castle on the Mall will run you about $15,000. Buildings available for individual events include:

Arts and Industries Building
African American Museum
African Art Museum
Air and Space Museum
Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center (Virginia)
American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery
American History Museum
American Indian Museum
Anacostia Community Museum
Castle on the Mall
Freer and Sackler Galleries
National Zoo
Natural History Museum
Postal Museum
American Indian Museum New York
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Air and Space Museum Air and Space Museum, Courtesy of the Smithsonian

Smithsonian buildings cannot be rented for political events or programs designed to be open to the public, like a concert. Not all events can be accommodated, either -- for instance, some of the venues won’t do proms or teen events. Rentals will be restricted by museum operating hours to preserve access to the public, and some gallery spaces may not be included in the rental fee.  Dates and the number of events may be restricted while museums adjust staff for the new program.

All the same, the new policy is a welcome one, and the Smithsonian is bound to become a popular event venue in the coming months and years.

Which venue at the Smithsonian would you choose to host your dream wedding? Tell us in the comments!

Looking for other wedding venues? Here's our list of other beautiful places to host a wedding in D.C.!