Recommended by 96%
16 User photos
Carlie · Married on 07/13/2014
The Museum of Fine Arts was the perfect venue for us - we had our ceremony in the Marly Room, cocktails in the Membership Garden, and reception in the Conservatory. We had 140 guests at our wedding. It was a pleasure to work with Nancy Cotto, as she is knowledgeable, experienced, easy-going, and was committed to giving us the wedding of our dreams. She offered honest feedback, helped to keep us and our families calm during planning, and is a lot of fun! She helped us plan a menu that met our needs, fit our budget, and tasted great! Our guests' favorites included the lamb lollipops and jumbo shrimp cocktail hors d'oeurdvres, and the petit filet and vegetarian (Portobello and vegetables) entrees – the mascarpone mashed potatoes were phenomenal! Our dinner tables were beautifully set, and the staff at the MFA setup our ceremony and reception spaces perfectly - no need for us to supervise anything! We are also so grateful to Debbie Aaron for helping us create the perfect wedding cake - it exceeded our expectations, as it was both tasty and beautiful! Debbie also arranged for small plates of delicious bite-sized pastries on every table.Sent on 07/26/2014
User3367180 · 2+ years ago
I had a wonderful time at my wedding and the museum made it possible. Everyone was very nice and the wedding turned out beautifully. Many of my guests said it was the most beautiful venue they had ever seen. It was great!Sent on 07/02/2013
Juanita · Married on 04/08/2017
We were fortunate enough to secure one of the last wedding dates available for Spring 2017 (we did this in January 2016 mind you!) and we 100% see why they are so booked up. We were completely floored and blown away by the museum and I do not even know where to start on NANCY COTTO. <<-She was basically our entire event coordinator, she is the leader of their catering and coordinating services but I hired her as my Day Of Coordinator. She was so sweet and kind from day 1 and gave us 100% realistic answers and expectations. She did everything above and beyond to always answer my millions of questions promptly, sometimes within the hour. I set up all the tables exactly how I wanted and fulfilled every single detail I asked for. One of my favorite things about her, was she was firm with my crowd with keeping them organized and on time, but she was 110% focused on us(the bride and groom). She even came out when she saw that we were still taking some photos and offered to extend cocktail hour so we could finish. She made us feel so special and unique (even though she has surely seen thousands of weddings) and I honestly could not have imagined by night without her. She made the whole process as easy as picking out colors and flavors. The Museum and Olympia Catering - The museum: could not have been more accommodating, they literally do EVERYTHING for you. They even had full security there the night of our event and kicked out some people who were trying to crash! Olympia Catering was fabulous. Debbie who made our cake did exactly what we asked and worked with us on pricing. The food was incredible, all the steaks were cooked perfectly and they even worked with us on a vegan dish. The set up and linen choices were beautiful and so easy to pick out. The bar services were well priced with excellent service from the bartenders. It wont let me write more, but I really could not be happier that we booked here. Worth every $Sent on 04/23/2017
Priska · Married on 11/25/2016
Nancy was so quick to respond to all my emails and special requests. She even advised me on which food was the best! I feel like I got more out of it than I paid for - the wedding and reception were amazing!Sent on 12/14/2016
User3019463 · 2+ years ago
I planned our wedding (December, 2012) from half way across the country and Nancy Cotto was absolutely wonderful. She was more than helpful and extremely flexible in everything. You name it, she was ready and willing to help. The venue was beautiful and our guests loved that they could tour the museum during cocktail hour. We don't have our pictures back yet but I'm sure they're gorgeous because the venue just set everything off. The museum employees were also very flexible the day-of. It ended up being JUST cold enough to make cocktail hour outside uncomfortable so they moved it indoors at the last minute - AWESOME! One thing to really consider when booking venues - you really don't want to have to drop things off or set things up the day of. We were able to drop everything off the day before, with simple instructions, and it was all set up to exact specifications. We also didn't have to worry about clean up!Sent on 01/26/2013
The food (Olympia Catering) was absolutely incredible too - they're contracted with the museum as the food provider. Their stuffed chicken is to die for and our guests asked about having extra! They also were flexible with food choices - we wanted broccoli instead of asparagus and it was a very easy change. We also wanted hot chocolate instead of an additional appetizer. Again - no problem and it was a hit! The cake was also included which saves a lot of money!
Jessica · Married on 03/05/2011
The Museum of Fine Arts was a perfect venue for our ceremony and reception. We had our ceremony outside on the lawn and the reception in the Marly room. Allison was very quick to respond to questions, when she didn't know she would ask Darren (the caterer); however, he was a little slower to respond. They allowed the art galleries to be open for the first hour and a half of the reception and had a volunteer docent give a tour. Darren set up the chairs and decorations for the ceremony and the cocktail hour.Sent on 10/13/2011
My only issue is there is very limited parking, but I didn't hear any complaints from guests so I guess it was fine. Also, we gave all of our decorations the day before to be set up, but our guest book pens got lost and the guest book sign was misplaced several times. Only minor issues though.
All in all, the museum was very beautiful, our guests loved looking at the art. It was very elegant and affordable for what is included. I would have loved to have a couple extra hours without having to pay so much more though. You have to use Olympia catering and Lundy's for alcohol.
Jennifer · Married on 02/26/2011
This was the perfect place to get married. We had our reception here and it outdid our expecations. It was absolutley stunning and our guests could not stop talking about it. It was so different than just getting married in a hotel.Sent on 03/15/2011
They were a little hard to get a hold of when we tried to contact them, but all in all they were stupendious!!!
Would def recommend getting married here...would not have changed a thing about it.
Kate · Married on 05/27/2018
We absolutely loved this venue! We got married in the Marly Room and the two gardens and ballroom we're gorgeous and exactly what we were looking for. The ceremony, which was in the Membership garden, was exactly like we envisioned except that there was a mechanical whirring sound that was slightly distracting. Other than that, we couldn't have wished for a better venue and service. The coordinator, Nancy, and the catering staff and security were all highly professional and friendly and a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended!Sent on 07/08/2018
Grace · Married on 06/04/2016
We are thrilled to be holding our reception at the MOFA St. Pete! It's the perfect mix of contemporary with the large glass walled conservatory and traditional with its fine arts displays. Nancy Cotto has been super responsive and flexible which I appreciate immensely.Sent on 04/20/2016
User4582142 · 2+ years ago
Beautiful backdrop for a wedding. We had our ceremony in the Marley room, cocktails in the Membership Garden and reception in the Conservatory. We had 172 guests.Sent on 02/02/2015
You will work directly with Nancy Cotto the Catering Sales Manager for Olympia Catering. You can also hire her as your day of coordinator, like I did. She is very helpful throughout the process and very knowledgeable. I wouldn't say that Nancy and I meshed perfectly, but she put on an outstanding wedding. I would recommend her to other brides and I would use her again.
Olympia Catering is contracted with the MFA, so you must use them. They were great, staff was very nice. Food was good, but not perfect, you can check out that separate review under "Olympia Catering". For liquor, you will also only be able to use Lundy's, which again, they were wonderful!
I still receive lots of nice compliments about the wedding and how "elegant" everything was.
Angela · Married on 09/08/2012
We are so pleased that we chose MFA for our wedding. Nancy (event coordinator) was a pleasure to work with. The fact that we didn't have to think about the caterer, cake, linens, or bartender was a major plus. The only snag was that we were unable to access the venue for our rehearsal, but in the end it didn't really matter. Everything turned out wonderfully...beyond our expectations.Sent on 10/11/2012
meagan · Married on 09/05/2010
The museum is a beautiful place to have your reception! We used the Marly room and the membership garden. It was such a special night and everything went perfectly. Because the museum hosts a good number of weddings and works SEAMLESSLY with olympia catering there was absolutely nothing for me to worry about the whole night. It was a little expensive in the end because you must use Olympia for catering and Lundy's for alcohol, but they are all so familiar with the venue that it is really easy to work with the other vendors there.Sent on 09/21/2010
Seeta · Married on 10/22/2017
The Museum of Fine Arts was a beautiful Venue. We had both our ceremony and reception there. We chose the membership garden for our ceremony, and the Marley Room for our sit down reception. We were also able to have a cocktail hour in the statue garden which was nice. Our wedding was approximately 100 people.Sent on 12/29/2017
Initially, we did a have a little trouble with scheduling, but because we booked the venue so far out, it was taken care of almost immediately. Otherwise, there were no other large logistic issues of note.
All of our guests were able to have access to the permanent exhibits, but obviously were not allowed to bring drinks into the exhibits to protect the art. I would recommend a wedding planner with experience with the venue due to the fluid nature of the museum. Having someone that could assist guests the right way to promote flow of your event would be beneficial.
We were required to use Olympia catering, Lundy's bar, and Courtesy valet. All of which were excellent vendors, and we had no issue with whatsoever. All the other vendors are up to the couple. We were additionally required to purchase insurance, which was relatively easy to do as well.
All of our guests were very impressed with the museum. It's already mostly decorated, so minimal floral and lights were required. Additionally, after the wedding our guests were able to progress through the St. Petersburg night life seamlessly! We were really able to showcase the St. Petersburg nightlife, and show they why we loved the burg.
The reason for the 4 out of 5 rating was mainly related to the initial scheduling issues and the requirement of vendors. While we had no issues with these requirements, I could see how they could pose issues to other couples. This venue was absolutely beautiful, and would highly recommend!
Leah · Married on 02/28/2015
The MFA is certainly not a bargain venue, but in the end it was not more expensive than any other place I looked once I tallied up all the costs---and it was worth every penny. I was concerned about using this venue because of the hype that it was one of the "top wedding venues" in the area--I thought it might be too snobby or stuffy. Happily, I was wrong. We had the wedding we imagined with the best service we could have hoped for. One of the best features was that the banquet captain, who is part of the package, made sure we had appetizers, drinks, full plates of dinner, seconds, and a to-go box of our favorites from the night, as well as first dips on our ice cream sundae bar. We had heard that some couples never get to enjoy their food and drink at their wedding--definitely not the case for us, which was great and super important! We were able to socialize and spend time together while still enjoying all of the special treats we had arranged for our wedding. As so many people warned me, most of our wedding went by in a blur--but I can say that it all ran seamlessly thanks to the staff at the MFA.Sent on 03/17/2015
Ella · Married on 07/21/2013
This venue was amazing. The price was eminently reasonable, and though they required us to use their catering and bar vendors, we were happily surprised by both. I doubt given the choice we could have chosen better. And in the end the space was a gem and remarked upon by our guests as both unique and beautiful. Our guests also loved the area. Staying in downtown St. Petersburg with all of the museums, art, food, and nightlife was a major plus. On the negative side, the museum doesn't allow open flames, balloons, any rigging and probably a dozen other decor options that we could have tried. They weren't very responsive to our questions and refused to work with us beyond exactly what we paid for. So overall it was great despite some frustrations in the lead up to the reception.Sent on 11/10/2013
Racha · Married on 05/20/2017
Prices are a little steep. Spaces are limited and you can tell that they know this. However we loved the venue and wanted our wedding there.Sent on 02/16/2017
User4898984 · 2+ years ago
I've noticed that a lot of five-star reviewers used Nancy as a day-of coordinator. Not a problem, but I think it's valuable to have the perspective of someone who didn't.Sent on 03/23/2016
We fell in love with MFA St. Pete the first time we visited and knew it was our venue. Everyone was very responsive and helpful as we started the process of booking the museum.
Let me start with our rehearsal: To keep this short, it was a mess. The museum double-booked the Marly Room and had another event being set up at the same time, so my bridal party was dodging cocktail tables and vendors as we practiced for the ceremony. Whatever –– we're flexible, and our day-of coordinator was a rockstar. One super annoying thing, though: As my bridal party was waiting in the museum lobby, a museum security guard BARKED at us to be quiet. I'm sorry, but we didn't pay $7,000 in just venue costs to be yelled at by a wannabe cop the day before our wedding. (For the record, we talked to the venue and our wedding day was much smoother –– mean security guard nowhere to be found.)
This is the point where it's important for me to say that I think Nancy was much more accommodating before she knew we'd booked day-of services with someone else.
The day of our wedding, we had an issue with the valet service –– they didn't show up on time. My dad had to recruit wedding guests to help park cars. My mom happened to see Nancy inside the museum and ask her who to contact and she responded by saying, "I'm not the valet girl." We get it, not your job –– but the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.
Enough of my complaining. I'll say this: The food was awesome, our head of security at the wedding was very courteous, and we didn't have any problems once the ceremony and reception kicked off. If you're looking for a flexible venue, this isn't it –– there are so many rules –– but it's also a working museum, so cut 'em some slack. Beautiful exhibits and we loved being right on the water.
Rosemarie · Married on 12/04/2010
The MFA in St. Petersburg is a beautiful venue for a wedding reception. I fell in love with the location because of it's beautiful architectural features, it's classic elegance, it's great location in downtown St. Pete, and because they allow your guests to tour the art galleries during your event.Sent on 12/21/2010
However... their event coordinator took a leave of absence and then quit her job during the time I was planning my wedding and it took a while for the museum to fill her position. To make matters worse, we later found out that she told us several things that weren't true (like we would be the only event that night). And of course, there are strict rules as it's a museum. So I have to give low scores for responsiveness, professionalism, and flexibility.
That being said, the new event coordinator at the MFA (Allison) is very friendly and she tried her best to make it up to us. Had she been there from the beginning, our overall experience would likely have been excellent. Also, the MFA's required vendors- Lundy's for bar service and Olympia for catering- are fabulous and provided excellent service!
On wedding day, everything was beautiful and went smoothly. Hence 5/5 for quality of service.
It's a very special venue, and though it was stressful during the planning process for the reasons mentioned above, in the end I was so glad that we had our reception in the Marly Room at the MFA in St. Petersburg.
Mindy · Married on 08/09/2014
We were very happy with the venue itself, though in my opinion the staff left a lot to be desired. I did not find my point of contact very professional and I found that details kept changing as the date of my event grew closer. The food was superb and the event itself was handled marvelously, but the process leading to the wedding stressed me out to the point that I hired a wedding planner (though I hadn't been planning to) just so I could have someone else present at my meetings and to assist with the things that I felt were falling through the cracks.Sent on 01/09/2015