Santa Barbara Historical Museum

136 E De La Guerra St,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 966-1601
Visit the Santa Barbara Historical Museum Website

Average Base Cost: $24,000

Average base cost for a Santa Barbara Historical Museum wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list for a Saturday night wedding including venue fee and  applying standard catering costs ($100/pp). Chairs, furniture, linens, entertainment, parking, and decorations are NOT included.  Average price includes gratuity and state sales tax. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.

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How it Breaks Down:

Facility: There are several areas at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum available for your wedding, however most of them are grouped together. They include the Museum Courtyard, the Adobe Courtyard, the Plaza Terraces, and The Galleries (which is their inside venue area).

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum wedding cost varies by day and number of guests:

  • For up to 300 guests, the rate for both courtyards and Plaza Terrace is $5,500 Monday-Thursday, $6,000 for Friday and Sunday, and $7,000 for Saturday.
  • For 300-500 guests, the rate is $6,000 for Monday-Thursday, $7,000 for Friday and Sunday, and $8,000 for Saturday.
  • If you wish to just rent the Adobe Courtyard, the rate is $4,500 Monday-Friday for up to 100 guests (Saturdays are not available).
  • Off-season/last-minute rental rates for both courtyards and the Plaza Terrace is $3,500 Monday-Thursday, $4,000 Friday and Sunday, and $4,500 for Saturday’s. An off-season or last-minute rental for the Adobe Courtyard is $2,500 Monday-Friday.
  • You can also rent The Galleries (the museum’s inside space) for $1,000/hour during your event.


What’s Included: Fees include a Museum Representative the day of your event to assist with vendors, security, and custodial services. The rental fee also includes grounds keeping and custodial services before your event. Additional security staff is provided if you are renting the Museum galleries.

More Stats:

Space Type: Unless you are renting The Galleries the space is outside.

Bridal Suite: Yes, there is a Bridal Room available.

Size: The Museum Courtyard can accommodate 50-450, the Adobe Courtyard 250 for ceremony/cocktail and 175 for reception, and the Plaza Terrace can hold 100 for a cocktail reception. The Galleries can hold 130 for ceremony/cocktail and 75 for dinner.


Food Service Type: Depends on caterer.

Parking: Guests can park across the street in the Santa Barbara School District parking lot, however it is first come first serve.

Restrictions: You must have a wedding coordinator and all food/beverage must be brought in from a licensed vendor.

How Will Grandma Get There? The museum is located just a few blocks from downtown Santa Barbara, where the hotel options are plentiful. Whether friends and relatives are interested in low to high budget hotels, there are lots to choose from. Check out the best Santa Barbara Hotels here.

Party On!: While setup for the wedding can start at 9 a.m., events can start no earlier than 4 p.m. and must end by 10 p.m. by city law. Amplified music is allowed.

The Report:

The Santa Barbara Historical museum was established in 1932 and features art and relics from Spanish, Mexican, and Chinese cultures dating back to the 15th century. The Santa Barbara Historical museum and the grounds underwent extensive renovation starting in 2000, and continued improvements are ongoing.

Woman Getting Married Says:

If you’re looking for a Santa Barbara wedding venue that can accommodate A LOT of people, this venue makes sense. My two biggest issues with it, however, are the venue rental cost and the lack of inside space. While the Santa Barbara Historical Museum has lots of history and unique features, unless you choose to have a portion of your reception in the museum’s galleries (which can only accommodate up to 75 for a reception and also cost an additional $1,000/hour), you’re going to have a strictly outside ceremony/reception in their courtyards and terrace with no backup options. While the weather in Santa Barbara is pretty idyllic and they only get 15-inches of rain a year on average, you always run the risk of having one of those inches on your wedding day (and while tenting the courtyard is always an option, I think it can get a bit claustrophobic). I also like to see a wedding venue throw in at least a few amenities when they’re charging more than a couple thousand dollars for a rental fee. While the money goes to the betterment of the museum, it’s still a hefty price to pay for a limited floor plan, early end time and no extras. With that said, the venue is in a great location and allows for a larger guest list than other venues, so everything has to be taken into consideration.


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Listen to the Woman Getting Married Podcast

Amenities/What’s Included 5
Convenient for Grandma 9
Layout 8
Location 9
Overall Charm 8
Venue Value 6

WGM Rating

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