Crystal Bridges has been called a hidden gem of the Ozarks; after all, most people would not expect a premier American art museum to be nestled in the northwest corner of Arkansas. But what some still might not know is that it isn’t just a museum; Bentonville’s cultural icon is also a beautiful backdrop for any ceremony. After all, shouldn’t your wedding be a work of art itself?
Crystal Bridges takes the idea of a traditional museum and promptly flips it on its head. The cool grey exterior is the very best of modern architecture, while inside its gallery you’ll stand face to face with a portrait of George Washington. Visitors are encouraged to deeply connect with the art through programs and workshops, rather than just gaze at it and continue walking. Founder Alice Walton created the space to serve as a celebration of the American spirit through art and nature, a place to tell the story of us as a nation. So what better place to celebrate you as a couple than the museum that’s been happily marrying its work with the natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas since 2011?
Crystal Bridges boasts an impressive number of wedding venues, both indoor and outdoor. No matter your wedding size, budget, or dreams, Crystal Bridges can make it a reality.
Most popular among brides is the museum’s Great Hall. The Great Hall can accommodate up to 450 people for a reception, or 220 if seated at round tables. Pale pine beamed ceilings enhance the natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, giving stunning views of the property’s Upper Pond. When it comes to practicality, this space can’t be beaten. It features its own kitchen facility to make feeding hungry party-goers a breeze.
Brides seeking a more relaxed yet contemporary location will find lots to love in the museum's restaurant Eleven. Black leather chairs and tables draped in white linen will allow for up to 250 people. In the center of the room hangs famed American artist Jeff Koon’s Hanging Heart, an appropriate piece for your venue of choice.
Large parties who want to experience the best of Crystal Bridges undisturbed will enjoy taking advantage of renting out the entire museum. You’ll gain exclusive access to the Great Hall, Eleven, and Walker Landing. To top it off, Crystal Bridges permanent collection and temporary exhibits are yours to enjoy alone for one hour during your event, allowing guests to take in the expansive artwork without distractions.
Planning a smaller, more intimate affair? Why not try the Frank Lloyd Wright House Lawn. Set steps away from the property’s South Lawn, native trees and a stacked stone wall offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of museum guests. The space can host 160 seated, or 200 for a reception.
Another outdoor option is the North Forest Shelter. Set like a tiny chapel amidst the trees, it is built entirely from local stone and wood. With a maximum capacity of 25, this venue is ideal for those hosting a family-only event or small elopement.
Also available for rent is Crystal Bridges South Lawn and paved patio Twin Bridges. Trail permits, as well as two open-air shelters, are offered in addition. Saying your vows in front of your nearest and dearest amidst the museum’s 120 forested acres? What could be more picturesque!
Renting from Crystal Bridges is an all-inclusive experience. While you’re worried about writing your own vows, staff will be taking care of the rest. Catering is handled through the museum’s famed top chefs from restaurant Eleven. No need to bring in your own wait staff, dishes, flatware, glasses, tables, or even chairs; Crystal Bridges provides all these, as well as staff to put up and take down your event. They also offer extras that other venues wouldn’t or don’t, such as decor, party lighting, space for the bride and groom to get ready, and an onsite coordinator for the day of.
Your venue selection at Crystal Bridges is also endlessly versatile. Room layouts can be transformed to what works best for your ceremony or reception.
While everyone is waiting for the bridal party to finish pictures, they aren’t just relegated to the standard cocktail hour. Private museum tours are offered just for your guests, where they can view Crystal Bridges outstanding collection of artwork.
While the property does not offer accommodations on-site, guests are mere minutes away from 21C Hotel in Bentonville. For those family and friends flying into town, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport is only a half-hour drive from the venue.
Planning your wedding at Crystal Bridges does require a membership to the museum, as well as a wedding planner to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible.
Rental prices range from $2500-$8000, depending on season and availability. Extra enhancements can also be added on to your experience, and may impact the price. On average, couple’s can look to spend approximately $20K-$25K when selecting Crystal Bridges as their venue.
Do you think having your wedding at Crystal Bridges will make your big day picture perfect? For more information, date availability, and a tour of the spaces fill out the form below.
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