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Getting Married At The Natural History Museum In San Diego

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Imagine saying "I do" surrounded by the natural beauty and history at The Natural History Museum of San Diego. Nestled in the heart of Balboa Park, this unique and stunning venue offers a one-of-a-kind setting for your special day. The museum's impressive collection of natural artifacts and breathtaking exhibits provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos.


Exchange vows in front of an awe-inspiring display of the world's most precious specimens or under mesmerizing exhibits. The museum's grand and elegant spaces can accommodate both intimate ceremonies and grand receptions. Let's see what this spectacular venue has to offer.


San Diego Photographer : Willmus Weddings

The Nat: Weddings and History!


The Nat, officially known as San Diego Natural History Museum, is a historical venue for weddings where history and nature come together to offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Founded in 1874, it is California's oldest scientific institution and one of the oldest in the western United States.


The Nat is known for its research and conservation programs, which focus on the region's biodiversity and the protection of endangered species. It has a rich history and has played a significant role in shaping the development of San Diego as a city.


The museum offers indoor and outdoor areas for both ceremony and reception, which can provide a unique and historical setting for a wedding. Couples can choose from many different spaces depending on their preference and guest count.


Some of the popular spaces for wedding events include the Atrium, Rooftop Terrace, Photographic Exhibition Gallery, and the Main Exhibition Floor of the museum. The exhibits and galleries of the museum can serve as a perfect backdrop for beautiful wedding photos and the outdoor space can be used for ceremony or cocktail hour.


But the Nat isn't just a beautiful venue, it's also an interactive and educational experience. As part of your event, you and your loved ones can take guided tours of the museum's exhibits and get a behind-the-scenes look at the museum's research and collections.



Wedding Venues at Nat:


SDNHM offers a range of options to accommodate guests of all sizes and to suit your needs. Each venue has its unique charm and character, which provides the perfect setup for your ceremony, reception, and any other special occasion. Whether you are planning an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, the museum has the perfect space to make your wedding dreams come true.


Sefton Atrium (500 reception / 300 seated)


Step into the spectacular Sefton Atrium of the Museum and be transported to a lush tropical paradise. Begin yours forever here, where natural light floods through the skylights, casting a soft glow on the vibrant greenery and exotic plants on display. The atrium's architecture seamlessly blends traditional and modern elements, and its open and airy atmosphere creates a serene and natural ambiance, making it perfect for a lavish ceremony or a cocktail reception. As you take in the beauty of the atrium, you'll feel a sense of warmth and welcome that sets the tone for an unforgettable journey through the museum.


Reception in the Sfeton Atrium


Exhibition Gallery (100 reception)


Imagine yourself surrounded among the beauty and wonder of the natural world at the Natural History Museum. The Exhibition Gallery is the perfect environment, with its grand high ceilings, natural light, stunning views of the Museum's gardens, and a spacious floor plan that can be customized to fit your wedding vision. This small space provides an interesting and educational setting for guests to explore before and after the ceremony, making it a perfect location for a more intimate ceremony or reception.


Photographic Exhibition Gallery (130 reception / 60 seated)


The gallery features a variety of nature-themed exhibits, including photographs and artwork, which can provide a visually stunning backdrop for your special day. The space is spacious and versatile, able to accommodate a variety of seating and decor options. Additionally, the photographic exhibition gallery is an ideal location for an eco-friendly and sustainable wedding, as the event spaces can be decorated with natural materials and flowers, and the food served can be organic and locally sourced.


El Mirador Rooftop Terrace (150 reception / 100 seated)


Perched atop the Natural History Museum in San Diego, the El Mirador Rooftop Terrace offers a breathtaking escape from the city. Visitors are greeted with panoramic views of Balboa Park, the San Diego skyline, and the surrounding hills, making it a perfect spot to Say "I Do" and take in the natural beauty of the area.


As you step onto the terrace, you'll be surrounded by a serene and peaceful environment, complete with comfortable seating, shaded areas, and a garden oasis featuring native plants and a tranquil pond. It's the ideal spot for an intimate ceremony, a cocktail reception, or even a sunset ceremony.




The Nat: Wedding Packages & Services


The San Diego Natural History Museum offers several options for weddings and other special events. Their facility rentals include the use of their galleries and exhibits as well as their outdoor terrace. They also offer a range of catering options, including options for plated dinners, buffet-style meals, and reception-style cocktails.


They have a professional staff who can help arrange audio-visual equipment and other technical needs. They also provide tables, tableware, chairs, linens, and other event rentals. In addition, Nat offers customized wedding packages to suit individual needs and preferences.


Angie & Andrew tied the knot in 2022



At Willmus Weddings, we know that your wedding day is more than just a celebration, it's the beginning of your forever story. That's why our team of expert wedding planners, photographers, and videographers are here to ensure that your special day is nothing short of a fairytale. We will work with you to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding experience that reflects the unique love story and style of you and your partner.


We take pride in our attention to every little detail and our ability to capture every precious moment, so you can relax and fully immerse in the joy of your big day. Trust us to turn your wedding day into a storybook romance, with our expertise, attention to detail, and experience at the Museum!

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