Venue Rental FAQ's
Yes! Many parties use the Adobe Courtyard for a ceremony, and the Museum Courtyard for a reception, or vice versa. You are welcome to lay out your event however best fits your group size (please note the rental fee is the same regardless of whether the ceremony is also held on-site)
Unfortunately we are not able to give pricing estimates, as it can vary anywhere from $30k to $300k, depending on your rentals needs, guest count, etc, but we recommend reaching out to a few of the vendors on our list and asking for estimates from them directly based on your particular needs (specifically Lighting, Rentals, and Catering/Bar, as this will give you an idea of the minimum you will be looking at spending).
For additional questions, to request to schedule a tour, or to place a 7-day courtesy hold on a date (giving you first right of refusal), please complete the Inquiry Form.
The Venue Rental includes use of the three outdoor Courtyards, four single-stall restrooms, the Bridal Room, and designated space in the parking lot for your Satelilte Kitchen
The Museum does not have any in-house equipment/rentals for events. All items, including lighting, must be rented from and installed by an Approved Vendor. But not to worry, your chosen Rentals Vendor and/or Coordinator can assist with planning your layout and rental inventory list.
No. We require that you hire an approved, professional Day-Of Coordinator, and a Caterer from our Exclusive Vendor List.
There will be a Museum representative on site the day of your event to assist with any site issues.
For rentals, lighting, catering, and bar service (and facilities/valet if used), you must use a pre-approved vendor from our Exclusive Vendor List.
For your coordinator, you may apply to use an outside vendor, but they will need to be submitted for approval at least 90 days prior to the event date. Approval is at the Museum’s discretion and is not guaranteed.
For other services, such as DJs/bands, photographers, and floral designers, you may use outside vendors of your choice provided they are able to provide proof of the proper insurance and business license.
Events may begin at 4pm and must conclude by 10pm. An earlier start time can be arranged as available (for an additional fee), but bar service may not exceed 6 consecutive hours, and 10pm is the hard end time for all events.
The grounds open at 9am for your vendors.
All load-in/out must take place during your rental hours. The Museum is not able to store any items overnight.
Vendors are to be off-site by midnight to avoid overtime fees.
Additional setup days/hours may be added as available (for an additional fee).
For the bride, we have a picturesque room available in our Covarrubias Adobe (one of the oldest buildings in Santa Barbara, built in 1817).
For the groom, we do not have a dedicated space included in the rental fee. However, we have additional spaces (The Penthouse Boardroom, or Covarrubias Sala) that can be added to your rental for an additional fee.
The Boardroom has the advantage of an attached private bathroom, full sized fridge, and A/C.
We suggest referencing Weather.com for historical rainfall and temperatures.
If you are renting during the rainy season you should create a backup plan, which usually includes tenting the event space (depending on your guest count). Your chosen Rentals Vendor can answer questions regarding pricing and availability for this.
The Casa Covarrubias may be a potential back-up plan for guest counts of 75 or less (as available).
Amplified music is allowed.
The site coordinator may request that the volume of music be turned down if there are complaints from neighbors. However, this is not a common issue.
Arrangements for the purchase of alcohol should be discussed with your caterer/bar service, but can usually be purchased from Costco or Bevmo (which can significantly help your budget!).
Alcohol must be served by your approved Caterer or Bar Vendor (see Exclusive Vendor List). Self-service alcohol is not allowed.
The Museum requires clients to abide by ABC Regulations, and your required Event Insurance must include Host Liquor Liability.
Self-catering is not permitted.
However, we are able to offer useful tips and proven resources to assist you in keeping your event within your budget.
Onsite parking is limited to Museum staff, gallery visitors, and your event satellite kitchen.
There are two handicap spots available on site for eligible vehicles.
The Santa Barbara School District parking lot is conveniently located across the street and provides fifty spaces that are available on weeknights and weekends. There is an additional lot available to rent privately on the opposite corner of the same block, as well a street parking and nearby public parking lots (but we do tend to see that many guests will use a taxi or rideshare service)
We are a non-profit, so there is no tax or hidden fees. However, there may be additional fees for overtime (vendors on site past midnight), and/or requested additional setup hours or add-ons.
The applicant must provide a Certificate of Insurance showing the Museum as named additional insured with $1,000,000 in coverage to rented premises. This can be obtained through your home-owners policy or a private event insurance carrier such as Wedsafe.com.
We also require a $1,000 refundable Cleaning/Security Deposit, which will be due 60 days prior to your event.
A refundable cleaning/damage deposit, a Certificate of Insurance, and a list of your vendors will be required 60 days prior to your event.
Your rental fee contributes directly to the community, educational and curatorial goals of the Museum.
Over 30,000 people, including many school children, visit each year to learn more about the history of their community!
For general questions regarding the Museum please reference Museum FAQs
View images from past events and weddings held at the venue via our Pinterest page or Photo Gallery
Pick a Date
Our online Rentals Brochure includes our live availability calendar, current pricing, and list of approved vendors
See the Space
View our short Virtual Tour video of our outdoor spaces, peruse our Available Areas, or Request an In-Person Tour