Thursday Toast Time – A Toast to The San Diego Museum of Art!

Take one: you’re standing at the top of a gorgeous Spanish-style grand staircase, wearing white. You’ve snuck up from the basement, so that no one’s seen you yet. Below, hundreds of guests are waiting with your fiancé. You feel like a princess when the music starts and you descend to exchange “I-dos”…
Take two: The sun’s sinking into the Pacific, teasing pink and orange into the sky. It’s framed by the most photographed point in San Diego, the California Tower at the Museum of Man. It disappears at that magic moment when your man slips the ring on your finger and promises to be yours for the rest of your life…

Take three: You’re a little more rockstar. You think everything’s better with a little flare. So you’re exchanging I-do’s with your future hubby against a glitzy, glammed up back-drop fit for the Emmy’s…

The San Diego Museum of Art promises to fulfill any of these dream wedding scenarios, and tons more. This gem in the midst of Balboa Point offers three equally gorgeous, equally unique spaces fit for a fairytale.

“We’re a beautiful jewel in Balboa Point,” on-site coordinator Sarah Grossman said. “So many people have walked our halls‚Äîfamous people, amazing artists. You get to be a part of that history.”

Weddings here escape the familiar trappings of hotel ballrooms, transporting both you and your guests into a realm of surreal timelessness. Get lost in the ornate Spanish Renaissance decor in The Rotunda Space—the main entrance of the museum. It seats 100 on the first floor and 60-75 on the second. With a grand staircase entrance and standing room for 500 guests and freedom to roam the adjacent galleries, the space is perfect for ceremony or reception.

Or, venture outside to the Sculpture Court and Garden, a gated area offering an indoor/outdoor space with a view unmatched in San Diego. Tie the knot in the garden overlooking the California Tower, and move to the open-air, but permanently tented court, which seats 200 with the dance floor.

If you’re that non-traditional gal, the auditorium, which also opens up to the court, offers you a blank slate to create your dream vision. From “night club weddings” with an “actor party” vibe to show-stopping receptions, Sarah says the space is flexible to change. It seats up to 250 people, with 500 for standing room.

These choices make the museum a fit for any bride.

“We’ve seen a wide range of brides and what they want,” Sarah said. “But we haven’t had anyone come in that hasn’t marveled at the beauty of the spaces. All of them want something unique that means something to them‚Äîwhether they have an art background or art lovers in their family or they really like the cultural aspect or love Balboa Park in general.”

This variety of options extends to combining spaces and pricing. While the venue price steeps higher, at $5,000 per space, Sarah accommodates brides who wish to use any combination of the two spaces (say a ceremony in the Sculpture Garden and a reception in the Rotunda) for this price. She’s also flexible with brides who book the venue in the off season, so they can get this place for a steal.

The venue works with 10 preferred catering companies at every price range and uses one bar provider (the in-house café), but after that, brides can bring in any vendor of their choice.

“I always recommend a wedding coordinator to oversee the design,” Sarah said. “I’m there to help out, but I haven’t been there for the day-to-day process. I’m more a mediator between the vendors and the wedding party.”

For those using the Rotunda space, the museum provides docents for tours of the gallery.

“There’s centuries of art on display for your guests. It provides another level of activity that’s cultural building and historical,” she said.

It’s this enriching experience that makes the museum the perfect backdrop for starting your own history. Whether you’re a San Diego native or a part of a destination wedding, the museum adds that extra spark that will elevate the brilliance of your wedding more than a ballroom at the Marriott could.

Sarah herself puts it best—

“Who else gets Pablo Picasso to attend their wedding?”