Average Base Cost: $28,000
Average base cost for a Bowers Museum wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list for a Saturday ceremony/reception using the John M. Lee Court and Huang Sculpture Garden, including top-tier catering costs and a Top-Shelf bar. Transportation to venue, entertainment, furniture rentals, decorations, DJ, and photography are not included. Average price includes gratuity and state sales tax. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.
How it breaks down:
Facility Fee: There are several locations available for a wedding at the Bowers Museum. They include:
John M. Lee Court
- Floor to ceiling windows frame the Huang Sculpture Garden (listed below)
- Indoor venue
- 350 seated/750 cocktail
- 5,500 sq. feet
- Rate: $3,000
Margaret and Cleo Key Courtyard
- Historic early-California garden area
- 400 seated/900 cocktail
- 5,200 SQ. FEET
- Rate: $3,000
Norma Kershaw Auditorium
- Often used in conjunction with the adjoining John M. Lee Court or the Huang Sculpture Garden.
- 292 seats
- Rate: $500/hour
Fluor Family Gallery (Includes adjacent Historic Balcony)
- Overlooking the Key Courtyard
- 50 seated/100 cocktail
- Rate: $250/hour (EVENT TIME 8 am – 4 pm) or $1,500 flat rate (4 pm – 11 pm)
Huang Sculpture Garden
- Garden includes sculptures and fountains
- Outdoor venue
- 150 seated/250 cocktail
- 5,500 sq. feet
- Rate: $2,000
What’s Included: Rates are based on 7 hour maximum, inclusive event timing (set up, 4-5 hour event time, and break down). Facility fees include security and custodial services. If you are interested in booking more than one space on the same day, a 50% discount is applied to the lower rate (does not apply to Auditorium).
Additional Fees: Membership to the Bowers Museum is required of all special events (membership fees are $40/year). Additional event time can be purchased for $500/hour. Exhibitions can be opened to guests for an additional charge, and some events requiring audio visual assistance may be charged for staff time.
Other Important Notes: No food or drink allowed in the exhibition galleries or the Auditorium
Food and Beverage: Patina is the exclusive caterer for the Bowers Museum. Expect rates to range from $105-$120/per person depending on the wedding package you choose, which includes a standard bar only (wine and no spirits). If you wish to add spirits to your wedding package, the costs will range from an extra $ 15/pp for a Well Bar for 5 hours, $20/pp for a Premium Bar, and $25/pp for a Top-Shelf bar
Space Type: Inside/Outside
Bridal Suite: One is not specifically designated
Food Service Type: Your choice.
How Will Grandma Get There? There is a decent selection of chain hotels in the area (Doubletree, Courtyard). Guests looking for more upscale accommodations would most likely want to look along the coast at Laguna Beach, while families looking to stay closer to Disneyland for before/after your wedding would want to be in Anaheim.
Party On! Events typically run from 6 p.m.-11 p.m., but can also go from 7 p.m.-midnight.
The museum was named after Charles Bowers, an 1800’s developer who donated the land to the city of Santa Ana. The building was constructed in 1831 after the death of his wife, Ada. The building remained empty for four years because of the Great Depression, but was eventually opened in 1936 as a museum. Renovations in 1992 and 2007 have expanded its size to nearly 100,000 sq. feet.
Woman Getting Married Says:
I really like the options this venue affords you in terms of capacity, layout, and indoor/outdoor venue options. While I would eliminate the possibility of the auditorium completely, the combination of the Sculpture Garden/John M. Lee Court or the Courtyard/Historic Balcony (for a smaller wedding) offer two completely different vibes for brides to choose from. While the museum venue fee is reasonable, the catering/beverage costs are a bit on the hefty side if you are looking to add a full bar, which is one of the downsides of dealing with a venue that has an exclusive caterer.