Happy couples dancing inside an iconic building designed by MoMA architect Edward Durell Stone greet their guests among masterpieces by Jose Campeche and Francisco Oller, and pose for photos in front of a soaring sculpture by American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein or outdoors in an awe-inspiring romantic botanical garden.
Puerto Rico’s chic museums shine as bright as the island’s blazing blue skies, shimmering Caribbean waters, and sultry nights. They provide beautiful and unique venues to host wedding receptions with dramatic spaces, open courtyards, elegant galleries, and other variety of rooms so the special day can be remembered for years to come.
All across the country, museums of art, history, and science are opening their doors for wedding receptions—and an increasing number of brides and grooms are discovering: There’s no better place to hold their own historic events, and Puerto Rico is no exception.
Puerto Rico definitely has plenty of stunning hotel ballrooms that make for lovely venues, but commemorating your special day in a museum is unique. They offer great backdrops for wedding portraits, as well as vast indoor atriums and halls that comfortably accommodate hundreds of guests for dining and dancing. Best of all, museums often offer exclusive access to their collections. Guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind wedding experience as they mingle among masterworks dating back to the 17th century to the present and world-class temporary exhibitions.
The Museum of Art of Puerto Rico situated between San Juan’s Condado bustling tourism hub and its cultural hub of Santurce is especially popular with couples who want a level of luxury. The main room, where you dine and dance is called the Grand Hall (which can fit up to 600 guests) and it’s sure to impress. It has a height equivalent of three stories and has a spectacular stained glass window designed by Puerto Rican artist Eric Tabales where the natural light from outside softly illuminates the entire area; and cocktails can be served outside overlooking a lush and beautifully manicured botanical sculpture garden.
Its 2.5 acre botanical sculpture garden is a true oasis that can transport the wedding guests a world away from the bustle of the city and can be combined and tented for a magical seated dinner for up to 130 guests. A walkway around the free-form pond eases through individual settings including a grove of native trees, a bamboo forest, and a prairie. More than a dozen sculptures are positioned in harmony with the scenery while several gazebos serve as perches for rest and relaxation. A terrace with a natural amphitheater sets the stage for open-air events.
Designed in accordance with the strictest and most modern standards, the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico was built by architect William H. Schimmelpfennig in 1920 and its 130,000 square feet of space includes 24 exhibition galleries.
Just blocks away is the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art in Santurce, which offers brides, grooms, and guests urban charm and historical elegance. Housed in a small but charming building, guests at the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art can stroll through galleries of work ranging from paintings and sculpture to mixed-media, sound, and video installations. But the party happens within its enchanting interior courtyard that can accommodate about 500 wedding guests.
The Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art used to be a former public school built in 1918. The Georgian-style structure designed by architect Adrian C. Finlayson as part of a U.S. Department of Education’s drive to build public schools in urban zones, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the late 1980s and was renovated under the direction of Puerto Rican architect Otto Reyes Casanova for its new role as home to the island’s top collection of contemporary art.
Another fashionable museum in Puerto Rico is the Ponce Museum of Art, a charming enclave of strong Catalonian heritage that captivates visitors with its small town flair and laid back atmosphere. The museum is located on the island’s sere south coast overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea in Ponce, known as the Pearl of the South, the second largest city outside the San Juan metropolitan area, and an interesting town for history buffs.
Inside, the architecture of the Ponce Museum of Art is simply ideal for dreamy wedding receptions with its stunning backdrops, sweeping spiral staircase, spacious halls, spectacular balcony and amazing garden.
The striking building is comprised of seven interconnected hexagons topped with glass cupolas, which allows natural light to pour in though its corners creating a perfect setting for wedding photos. The exterior garden that can fit up to 500 guests is distinguished by the Archipelago sculpture inside the central fountain. Situated on the second floor are the balconies that can accommodate between 60 to 300 people and have views of the garden and the impressive Roy Lichtenstein, Pinceladas al vuelo sculpture. Also on the second floor but in the annex building is the Caribe ballroom that fits up to 130 people and can be divided into two rooms and for receptions there is the intimate Granada room that was designed by Dr. Rene Taylor, the first director of the Museum who was an expert in Spanish baroque art and architecture, which is why this small space that fits up to 40 guests has fountains and brick floor detailing.
Recognized as an important center for European art in the Americas, its stunning collection – the finest in the Caribbean, provides a rich panorama of western art stretching from the Renaissance to the present day. Inside are more than 1,000 paintings and 400 sculptures covering classical, ancient and contemporary works. Among the prizes of the collection are works by Velasquez, Rubens and Rodin.
Also in Ponce is the Serralles Castle Museum, a Spanish Moroccan architectonic masterpiece that captures the history of the town. Framed in an elegant and tasteful environment, this venue offers beautiful terraces, charming gardens, and breathtaking views of the city of Ponce and the Caribbean Sea that will be longed remembered by wedding guests. It’s no wonder this luxurious mansion, once the home of the affluent Serralles family who built their fortune from sugar and rum, its most famous brand being Don Q, has won consecutively the Weddingwire Couples’ Choice Award from 2014-2016.
The bride and groom can opt to rent either the east terrace to accommodate up to 200 people or the west terrace that fits 300 or reserve both for a large wedding reception of 500 guests where sprawling cityscape and majestic ocean views is the astonishing backdrop. There is also the Don Juan Café terrace to accommodate smaller affairs up to 50 guests, the exterior fountain for 100 guests, and Japanese Garden for a maximum of 120 guests, all situated on the property’s 2.5 acres of magnificent landscape filled with impressive architectural details.
Explore Puerto Rico’s unique options for weddings and receptions that stand out from the rest and where dreams are made reality.