130x130_sq_1317315593222-avam

American Visionary Art Museum

Baltimore , MD
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

800 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD US 21230 (map)

PHONE

410-244-1900

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

Nestled at the base of historic Federal Hill and in the heart of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is a unique and fun venue for weddings and events. Our... Read more
Nestled at the base of historic Federal Hill and in the heart of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is a unique and fun venue for weddings and events. Our Sculpture Barn & Wildflower Garden can accommodate up to 125 for a seated dinner with dancing, includes a beautiful attached garden perfect for ceremonies, and provides access to the museum's main building for guests to tour the exhibits. The 3rd floor banquet room of the JRVC building can accommodate up to 450 guests with stunning panoramic views of the harbor and city skyline. This space includes tables and chairs, along with access to the JRVC 1st floor exhibit space for guests to tour, or provides a unique backdrop for your ceremony. For more intimate weddings and rehearsal dinners, our Permanent Gallery space inside the main museum building is also available for groups of 40 or less. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

When was your venue built?
2004
Describe your venue:
Banquet Hall, Historic Site, Museum
Describe the style of your venue
City, Garden / Romantic, Rustic
What wedding services does your venue provide?
Ceremony, Reception, Rehearsal Dinner
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
450
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
2
Does your venue offer an indoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer a covered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer an uncovered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue have on-site accommodations?
No
What is the minimum rental fee for your venue?
2000
Bar Service
Outside vendors welcome
Beverage Service
Outside vendors welcome
Catering
Outside vendors welcome
Event Coordination
Outside vendors welcome
Event Rentals
Offered in-house
Are event rentals included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Lighting and Sound
Outside vendors welcome
Linens
Outside vendors welcome
Seating
Offered in-house
Is seating included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Shuttle / Transportation
Outside vendors welcome
Wedding Cake
Outside vendors welcome

REVIEWS

4.7
out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.5/5.0
4.6/5.0
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
4.8/5.0
This venue was awesome. So many cool spots to take pictures. I would highly recommend having your ceremony somewhere else before hand though because you only have from 6-11 in the space which leads to a VERY short reception. That means you have to your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all in a short 5 hours, and trust me, you want that day to last forever! Other than that it is a phenomenal place to have a wedding and we loved working with michele!
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Erica
Wedding:
5/16/2014
5.0/5.0
The AVAM was just simply perfect! We had our wedding in the garden and the sculpture barn and couldn't have asked for a better setting. There's so much interesting artwork and the garden was in full bloom so you really don't need much in terms of decorations. They also leave the museum open for guests which is nice.

Michele Goldberg, the Facility Rental Coordinator, was wonderful. She was super responsive with all the questions I had and also had some good suggestions during the rehearsal.

The AVAM truly was my dream venue and if you have the chance to get married here, I would definitely encourage it!
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Lauren
Wedding:
11/23/2013
4.8/5.0
I LOVED having my wedding at AVAM! It was so much fun to be married with the sculptures... and the guests loved it too. The JRVC has the perfect spaces for the ceremony and reception and could accommodate my large guest list.
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Andrea
Wedding:
11/16/2013
4.9/5.0
My husband and I chose the JRVC building at AVAM for our wedding of 125 guests. Michele, the rentals coordinator, was extremely attentive and knowledgeable. She responded to our emails immediately with thoughtful suggestions. We booked almost all of our vendors based off of AVAM's list of recommended vendors. The space is stunning and completely unique. The ceremony space is filled with artwork and sculpture, including Fifi, a fluffy, 15-foot pink poodle. The reception area is open, with exposed brick and woven whiskey barrel planks. There is a balcony that overlooks the harbor. In short, it was a beautiful canvas that doesn't need a lot of decoration. All we added were some drapery, and up lighting. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny!
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Meghan
Wedding:
10/5/2013
4.5/5.0
I just had my wedding a couple months ago at AVAM and it was absolutely beautiful. A lot of guests thought the venue was awesome and a couple friends who haven't gotten married yet told us we really stepped up the game with this venue choice. My event was in the JRVC 3rd floor as I had to many guests for the barn. Michelle who is the event manager there is great, she is always super responsive to emails or calls. The contract comes with white folding chairs, a variety of tables, and audio/visual equipment which is nice. I ended up switching out the chairs as I wanted chaivari chairs, but still always great to have a backup. The cost was probably a little higher than the average, but for a unique venue it made sense. Also chair and table rentals can get expensive so if you are looking at a venue without them put that in your cost comparison. Probably the only downside is that you only have the space for a max of 5 hours and everything has to be cleaned up by midnight, which really requires a lot of planning to get everything in that you want. I didn't have my ceremony there as I had a church wedding, but the pictures would be amazing had I done that. Lastly, you have to pick from a list of approved caterers, which actually helps in the process as it helps narrow it down and you have 14 to choose from. Michelle also gives you a list of recommended vendors and it is good to check them out as having a vendor that has worked in the space before is really nice.
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Grace
Wedding:
9/14/2013
4.6/5.0
I had my wedding here recently & have nothing bad to say about the venue. We used the sculpture barn for cocktails, the first floor of JRVC for the ceremony & the 3rd floor of the JRVC building for the reception. It is a little pricey especially compared to some other venues in Baltimore but we fell in love with the space & all our guests were raving about it. It is definitely not a traditional venue but if you are into more modern and quirky art it is GREAT and allows for so many photo opportunities! The coordinator Michele Goldberg is so professional & responsive too by email with any questions I had along the way. The venue is also well located and near the hotels in the Inner Harbor so you don't necessarily need to provide guests with transportation, etc.
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Margot
Wedding:
7/6/2013
4.9/5.0
We loved our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception at AVAM! Michele was helpful and lovely to work with throughout our engagement. Jonathan was sweet at the rehearsal, but do know that they can't guarantee that anyone will be there during the actual ceremony to help run it. We were more than fine with no day of coordinator though.The first floor of the JRVC was a delightfully unique space to have our ceremony, the cocktail hour in the sculpture barn was beautiful but very hot on our 97 degree wedding day, and the reception on the third floor was fabulous! My girls and I got ready on the second floor which was a lovely space as well! Although it cost even more money to book the sculpture barn, we were so glad that we were the only event at AVAM that day since we had booked all the spaces. My husband and I, our friends and family truly enjoyed everything! We just wish we could have started the evening earlier and had the evening go longer. Thanks AVAM!
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
This was absolutely the most perfect location for our wedding this past June! We were incredibly lucky to have an amazing day of weather, and the wildflower garden was the perfect place for our ceremony. The sculpture barn has so much character, that besides hanging twinkle lights on the truss above us, no decor was needed. We received so many positive comments from family and friends about the venue, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get married in Baltimore.
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Becky
Wedding:
6/15/2013
4.8/5.0
The moment my (then) fiance and I saw the giant poodle and elephant kinetic sculptures....we just knew we had to get married here. Don't think we could have found a more fun, quirky space for our ceremony. Also, Michele is the best - she's super, lightning fast responsive + helpful.

Something to bear in mind for the JRVC - if you plan on having over 250 guests, you might need to rent more chairs. We had 300 guests and ended up having to rent an additional 100 chairs to have enough for both the ceremony + reception. It was kind of a last minute hassle because we didn't ask about this earlier.
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Kristen
Wedding:
6/8/2013
5.0/5.0
Amazing venue- Michelle is a fabulous event coordinator! Responsive, great value for the cost, and extremely flexible!
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Claire
Wedding:
5/31/2013
5.0/5.0
I feel like I should make one of those 5-star rankings into 4, so it doesn't look like I just checked them thoughtlessly. I didn't check them thoughtlessly. AVAM is a fantastic venue for a wedding--great art, unique vibe, totally responsive and fun staff, beautiful setting. My husband and I were married just up the hill in Fed Hill Park, and then had all of our guests walked down to AVAM's small venue, the Sculpture Barn and Garden, for food, dancing, and fun. The whole event was a blast, and you can configure the Sculpture Barn to have great flow in and out of the building when it's warm enough. Plus, if you book on a Friday night, as we did, you save considerably. Michelle and her staff are terrific. We were thrilled with our wedding at AVAM.
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Robin
Wedding:
5/12/2013
4.6/5.0
The venue was everything that my children wanted for their wedding. I had 2 concerns, the refrigerator had left over food in it and was not too clean, and my guests had difficulty finding their way around. This venue requires an "a la carte" approach which can quickly add to any budget.
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Linda
Wedding:
1/26/2013
4.3/5.0
A Beautiful venue that couldn't be more interesting. Our guests couldn't stop talking about how special the ceremony site was ( first floor JRC). Plenty of room on the third floor for eating, drinking and dancing. Michele was very helpful, responded quickly to emails. Cons- expensive to rent, limited set-up time for ceremony, night ended way too early! That being said, we had a blast and would do it again if we could.
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Julie
Wedding:
1/26/2013
4.4/5.0
Michelle, the event manager, at AVAM is great. Extremely helpful and responsive. Since this is a museum, there are a lot of "no can do's" However, this is why we picked it. The space is so unique and all of our guests couldn't believe they didn't know the museum existed and were so impressed with the space. The third floor of the JRVC building is a blank canvas and can be turned into anything you can dream of. Only con is the museum doesn't close until 6pm, therefore, you cannot start your event until 6pm and your event must be over by 11pm. Doesn't give you a lot of time if you have ceremony and reception there.
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J&C
Wedding:
12/31/2012
4.5/5.0
We were married on the first floor of the Jim Rouse Visionary Center with the reception on the third floor. We had a welcome beverage prior to the ceremony, and the guests were allowed to explore the first floor exhitibits while waiting for the ceremony to begin. The third floor is a large open space that can hold up to 400 people, and we were able to divide the area with pipe and drape to have both the cocktail hour and dinner dancing there. It can be decorated any way your imagination and budget allow. The event staff was very responsive and helpful, espcially Michelle Goldberg who answered all phone calls and emails promptly. There is no specific parking for this museum so hiring a valet is highly recommended. There is a wide variety of permitted caterers of all price ranges, or you can use the on site restaurant. It is a little pricey, but it benefits a great art museum and provides unique atmosphere your guests will be sure to talk about for weeks to come.
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Tarra
Wedding:
10/28/2012
4.8/5.0
The AVAM is the perfect place for anyone who wants a unique, memorable, absolutely gorgeous wedding. The facilities rental coordinator Michele is a true pleasure to work with. I am really sad the whole thing is over and that I have no reason really to speak with her! She helped make our special day as perfect as possible, even with the threat of Hurricane Sandy. Michele and her colleagues were more than willing to accommodate any changes to our regularly schedule program due to the storm. They went above and beyond. Everything worked out just fine with a little bit of rain. Both the ceremony (on the staircase of the main museum) and reception (in the Barn) were wonderful LOVE LOVE LOVE THE AVAM!!
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Krista
Wedding:
10/27/2012
4.6/5.0
The venue was beautiful and Michele was helpful but for $7,000 I had to have my table switched because it rocked and even when switched my table still shook which almost caused my dinner to be on my dress.
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Curls &
Wedding:
10/14/2012
5.0/5.0
If you love whimsical, creative, magical, romantic energy, then AVAM is the place for you! There is not enough space on this site to describe the amazingness of the museum in detail (go visit, you won't regret it!). We had visited the museum a few times and were excited to learn that we could host our celebration there. We decided to rent out the Barn (which included passes for our entire guest list to the main museum). Michele, the event manager, is a rock star. She was incredibly communicative, answered all of our questions, and brought the creative spirit of the museum into our planning. When we had questions about vendors, she used her many years of work in the industry to give us perfect recommendations. The rest of the AVAM staff were also fantastic and we were so glad to give our money to a place that does such great arts work in the community. We highly recommend AVAM!
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.8/5.0
We went with AVAM for these main reasons: 1.) They have a large list of caterers to choose from 2.) There was plenty of space to accommodate 200 guests and 3.) Michele, the event coordinator was very straightforward and responsive. We had a Hindu/American ceremony on the 1st floor of the JRVC, and the reception was on the 3rd floor.

On the negative side: It's a little pricier than most places (although when you factor in the cheaper caterers, it still costs less than some of the places in Baltimore). Second, there is no parking included (although we were able to rent out the parking lot of Digital Harbor High School for ~$300 or something like that). We also had our wedding during the Grand Prix, so have the parking lot was extremely clutch. We also looked into water taxi for guests, but they weren't available for us to rent that day. It also would have been cool if they had some kind of discounted rate for museum admission for the guests, although maybe there is a way to work that in the price, somehow.

All in all, I would definitely choose the AVAM again for our wedding. Very spacious, great background for interesting pictures, plenty of food/drink options, flexibility with decorations, Michele is awesome, good prep area available for bridal party, price includes most of the chairs/tables needed, and definitely a relaxing/fun environment that mitigates the stressfulness that's associated with the wedding day.
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April
Wedding:
8/24/2012
5.0/5.0
It was a pleasure working with Michele, the event coordinator, at AVAM. She is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. The venue was fun, creative, and quirky and really reflected my husband and my personalities. We chose to have our wedding in the sculpture barn and wildflower garden and really wanted to have our ceremony in the JRVC plaza next to the garden. Michele made sure it could happen and totally made our day. Our guests were able to have access to the museum for most of the evening and really enjoyed all of the facilities.
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Kimberly
Wedding:
8/10/2012
5.0/5.0
Michele was so easy to work with! She gave me everything that I needed and always answered my emails within a reasonable amount of time! Whenever I had an issue arise, she was always available to ensure that we could get everything straightened out. The AVAM is an amazing venue and all of our guests enjoyed the open 1st and 2nd floor galleries as they had so much to look at! It's an absolute gem in Baltimore and right across from the Inner Harbor.

Kimberly & Lester Castellano
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Erin
Wedding:
8/4/2012
5.0/5.0
Perfect place for a wedding reception! The third floor of the Jim Rouse Building is simple, yet beautiful and it didn't take away from our decor. You can turn it into whatever you want it to be. Michele was great to work with and she was so helpful with all the questions we had!
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stephy1771
Wedding:
8/4/2012
5.0/5.0
We held our reception in the Sculpture Barn and our ceremony on the staircase inside AVAM. It is such a great place for events generally and was really a great fit for the casual, fun wedding we were shooting for. Our friends and relatives just loved the museum itself, and on top of that the Barn is a good space. We had about 100 guests (and used 14 round dining tables) and it did not feel crowded at all. It was a bit tricky to figure out how to use our flower girl for the ceremony, since you cannot scatter flowers on the stairs (they just fall through), but otherwise a nice place for the ceremony and our guests could see pretty well.

The one thing we wanted to avoid in this process was a hot, sticky, mid-Atlantic summer wedding, but the ONLY Saturday available within the 6-month range we wanted to have our wedding was in early August, and we were set on a Saturday due to people's work/travel/school schedules. But the space was just too great so we decided to just deal with the heat. Plan for the worst and hope for the best -- we bought up several fans from thrift stores and used them to augment the 2-3 big fans they have in the Barn. We also glued popsicle sticks to our programs so they could be used as fans. People could go outside where there was more of a breeze or inside the AC museum to take a break from the heat though. We also warned them in advance on invitations and our website that it would be warm so they should dress accordingly.

The only drawback, aside from being WARM, was that the sound system in the Barn is not very powerful. We plugged a laptop in to play music and it ended up sounding like background music the whole time - we would have had to turn it WAY up to make the music more central and get over the fans and general noise of the event. But that was OK - if the music was more important we might have actually hired a DJ, and people danced a bit when we put the dance playlist on anyway, so no big deal for us.

We also wanted people to be able to take public transit to the wedding, and AVAM is located on or near a couple of Charm City Circulator routes, so some people did successfully use the bus to get to/from there and the hotel or train station. There is ample cheap parking nearby too.

Great spot - everyone just loved it despite the heat.
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Brenda
Wedding:
6/17/2012
5.0/5.0
This Venu was beautiful and my husband and I couldn't have picked any more of an artsy place to hold our wedding. The spaces we rented were very reasonable. We rented the Sculpture Garden and Sculpture Barn. The people at the art museum are very friendly and personable. I highly recommend this space for someone that wants to add an artsy twist to any event.
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Jennifer
Wedding:
6/2/2012
5.0/5.0
We had our ceremony in the Sculpture Garden and reception in the Sculpture Barn. It was amazing!! I love that our guests had access to the museum. We had 106 guests and it was really the perfect space for that many people. The brick walls in the barn and the hanging art pieces really make it so you don't even have to decorate. And the location was really sentimental to us since we met and got our first apartment together in Fed Hill. Michele responds immediately to emails and recommended vendors for us. She was great! And there were so many great photo ops on Federal Hill and in and around the museum. We love the museum in general so it seemed like a logical choice.
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Julia
Wedding:
5/12/2012
5.0/5.0
We used the JRVC building and it was the perfect space for our wedding! It is so unique and modern which no other venue in the area can offer. The rental fee is a high but totally worth it. Michele was great to work with and very responsive.
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Deborah
Wedding:
4/1/2012
5.0/5.0
We had our ceremony on Federal Hill, cocktail hour in the sculpture garden at AVAM, and the party in the barn at AVAM.

Michele has about a 15 second response time to emails. Seriously. We planned our wedding in about two months, so the planning time was intense. Michele helped us find amazing vendors, gave really useful advice, and was really generous with her time and expertise.

AVAM was a great site--offbeat, elegant, playful, and funky. Our guests loved it. We loved it.
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Caitrin
Wedding:
11/19/2011
3.4/5.0
There is no cooler wedding spot than the AVAM! We were married on the stairs and held our reception in the Sculpture Barn. We were looking for something untraditional but underestimated how entertaining the place would be for our guests. No one will be bored by the usual white walls of a ballroom here. We used a laptop for our music, linked to the Barn's speaker system and had no issues. Keep in mind the museum has certain restrictions that it won't bend on. The (previously approved) room in which we'd planned on waiting (so no one would see us before the ceremony began) was unavailable on our wedding day because of art work being stored in it. This was disappointing. It's also important to note that if you get married on the stairs, Mr. Rain's Fun House restaurant will be open at the same time. We had no issues with parking and did not use a valet service (125 guests).
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Ilissa
Wedding:
10/29/2011
5.0/5.0
We had our October 29, 2011 wedding at the Jim Rouse Visionary Center at AVAM, and absolutely loved it. This is a unique venue in two ways; first, the downstairs area is quirky and amazing and, second, the third floor is a wide-open space than can really be customized. The staff at AVAM is great to work with -- the facilities coordinator responds quickly and thoroughly to emails, and is very helpful. Also, while the rental fee is a bit high, it does include tables and chairs (we did not have to bring in any rentals). We highly recommend AVAM.
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Joanna8050
Wedding:
10/22/2011
5.0/5.0
We picked the AVAM because we wanted something fun and different, and we definitley got that! The staff at the AVAM were so easy to work with. All the guests absolutely loved the art work in the JRVC and the third floor was just beautiful. I was so pleased with the venue, thank you to the AVAM team!
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Melissa
Wedding:
10/15/2011
4.5/5.0
The American Visionary Art Museum is the key to a truly unique wedding -- our guests can't stop raving about what a fun and different venue we had! Behind the scenes, Michelle - the museum's event coordinator - is an absolute joy to work with. She was helpful in so many unexpected ways -- always available, gave valuable recommendations for other vendors, knew the space well to make suggestions about what would and wouldn't work, was flexible, and was dedicated to our satisfaction and helping us create a memorable event. The possibilities are endless inside the museum -- the spaces are a rustic blank slate to create your own tables, linens, florals, stages, musicians, food, dance floors -- anything and everything! Absorb the creative energy teeming from the entire campus and let your imagination dictate the results. Yours guests will rave about your wedding for years to come. And your photos? They'll be fabulous... every nook of this place is spectacular. One word of caution -- this is not a "cookie cutter" wedding venue, meaning that you'll need to hand pick all of your vendors -- and all of those vendors have to abide by museum rules. But that's the fun of it all!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Sarah
Wedding:
10/9/2011
4.6/5.0
The venue is spectacular! Michele, the rental manager, was really easy to work with even when I had a major freak out about a payments going awry. She was easy to get a hold of via phone or email when I had questions and she mainly dealt directly with my caterer making it so that I didn't have to get information from one and pass it along to the other in what could have been a really confusing game of telephone.

It was an expensive venue and had we planned better, we may have rethought the location based on the amount of our budget we spent on it. However, hind sight is always 20/20 and I don't think we could have found a more fun or interesting venue that fit our personalities as well. Due to residential noise regulations, the reception couldn't go as long as we may have wanted, but the museum's location allowed us to head straight to Little Havana for an afterparty.

Overall, the museum is perfect is you want a non-traditional, not so formal fun/quirky atmosphere
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Katharine
Wedding:
9/24/2011
5.0/5.0
This was such an awesome site for a reception! Our guests loved being able to tour the museum, and walk around in the garden, it gave the wedding a very relaxed, fun vibe. Michelle was very easy to work with and keep in touch with. We were in the sculpture barn, which is best for a group of around 100.
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Jacquelyn
Wedding:
8/20/2011
5.0/5.0
I couldn't imagine a more perfect space for my wedding! I'm not a ballroom girl, and when I went searching for a unique wedding venue I fell in love with AVAM. We chose the Wild Flower Garden/Sculpture Barn for our ceremony and reception - my biggest fear was that there was no AC and my wedding was in August! But the heat didn't matter becuase the space is just that amazing that I wouldn't trade it for anything. We worked with Michele every step of the way and she was so extremely helpful, giving us advice when we needed it and always responding quickly and efficiently. We couldn't be happier about choosing AVAM as our venue.
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Dayani
Wedding:
8/13/2011
5.0/5.0
This is a pricey but amazing venue. The 3rd floor is a blank slate with a beautiful contrast of exposed brick and wood as your foundation. You truly can get as creative as you want up here. We were married in the sculpture barn and the only hitch was the heat when they closed the doors. AVAM was the perfect setting for creative photography and videography. I can't wait to see the results.
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Mom Donna
Wedding:
7/2/2011
5.0/5.0
THE most fantastic venue for the ceremony and reception! All 280 guests, including several children, had an awesome time! We had a cocktail hour in the barn, ceremony on the first floor of JRVC and the reception on the third floor of the JRVC. To give our guests the opportunity to enjoy the gallery, we also included access to the museum as part of the contract. Working with the event coordinator made planning a breeze.
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Out of Town Bride
Wedding:
6/11/2011
5.0/5.0
The American Visionary Art Museum was the perfect place for our ceremony and reception - the night was like a dream! We had our ceremony on the stairs of the main museum building and our reception in the Sculpture Barn and they were both amazing locations. Michele was a great help - she answered any and all questions that we had as well as from our other vendors. The pictures are amazing and we didn't even have to use any decorations - the decor and lighting of the museum were all we needed. If you're looking for an original location that will exceed any expectations you've had about your wedding, then the American Visionary Art Museum is the only place you need to visit!
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Kristin
Wedding:
5/21/2011
4.8/5.0
Not only is this venue totally unique and fun for guests (they get to tour the museum during the event), the service was outstanding. Michelle is fabulous to work with and always had a quick answer for our questions. We are a lesbian couple and this venue is very gay friendly and just all around awesome. The rates are very reasonable for the location and you can save even more by supplying your own alcohol. You do need to work within their preferred vendors for catering, but we had a great experience with Absolutely Perfect Catering.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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nikiap
Wedding:
4/23/2011
5.0/5.0
Perfect venue for a unique, funky and one of a kind wedding.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jennifer
Wedding:
11/13/2010
5.0/5.0
This was the easiest decision we made as we were planning our wedding. We are big fans of the AVAM and knew we wanted to get married here. We got married on the first floor of the Rouse building (JRVC) and had the reception upstairs on the 3rd floor. The staff was down to earth and easy to work with. It isn't the least expensive venue around and it definitely isn't for everyone, but we loved it.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jennifer
Wedding:
10/23/2010
4.6/5.0
AVAM was the perfect location for our reception-it does cost more money than other places, but everyone raved about the uniqueness of the location. The 3rd floor of the Jim Rouse building was a huge space and the dance floor (the most important aspect for my husband and I) was big enough for everyone to dance comfortably. We loved it! The staff was helpful-make sure to get your vendor forms filled out early (all vendors need to sign a form with AVAM)
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Erica
Wedding:
9/18/2010
4.8/5.0
We loved, loved, loved having our wedding ceremony and reception at AVAM!!! We had long been fans of the museum, so it was a natural choice for us when we decided to get married. All of our guests, many of whom had never visited AVAM before, enjoyed exploring the museum and said that it was by far the most interesting location for a wedding they had ever been to. We had about 175 guest; got married on the first floor of the Rouse building; had cocktails in the garden and Barn; and had the reception on the 3rd floor of the Rouse.

Despite the fact that the Event Manager transitioned a month or so before our event, Alicia (the old event manager) and Michelle (the new event manager), as well as their assistants, were responsive and accommodating during the planning process and event. The only drawback that I can see of having an event at AVAM is that events can only start at/after 6PM and must end promptly at 11PM. Had we had our ceremony elsewhere, the reception would have seemed longer (or not - it went by in a flash). It would have been excellent if it could have gone on until 12 midnight. That said, rules are rules and AVAM was super flexible about letting our vendors set up several in advance.

A few other tips: we did not have a ton of people driving directly to the ceremony and we directed them to park at the Rusty Skupper garage across the street and street parking along Covington, which worked great and allowed us to skip having a valet. Also, we wanted to have an after party at a nearby bar and Little Havana, about a 5 minute walk away from AVAM, came highly recommended (we live in DC and are not too familiar with Baltimore nightlife). It was close by and ended up being the perfect after party spot - a large, fairly low-key space with indoor and outdoor seating and right on the water.
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cbn
Wedding:
5/21/2010
5.0/5.0
The museum is a beautiful and magical place to have a ceremony. We used the smaller "barn" area and got married in the garden. It was perfect. The bar was outside, no one had to drive around between ceremony and reception. I had read that AVAM is expensive and inflexible. They do have a list of approved vendors, but you don't HAVE to use them. It's a recommended list of people that are good and comfortable working there---which is a good thing! but I used some different people and just had to get a vendor contract signed-no big deal! Everyone loved the site and it's right downtown by the water. Several people decided they're having their next event there! The Barn area holds about 140 people. We had about 78 guests and it was perfect! Could not say enough great things about the people there. Their onsite coordinator who works with you at the rehearsal and is there for the event was too sweet! He was so helpful and cheery and wonderful. I wish we could keep in touch! And the main event coordinator there is great! She is very responsive and helpful--I never had one issue with any of it!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Ash11481
Wedding:
12/18/2009
5.0/5.0
Our ceremony and reception were in the Jim Rouse Visionary Center (the O Say Can You See building) at AVAM in December 2009...the night before a blizzard. Alicia and Scottie were so amazingly helpful, leading up to the wedding and the day of, respectively - and I think every single one of our 200+ guests said it was the best wedding, and most fun/amazing space they've ever been. Highly recommended!! -- Ashley Daniels Schall, 12.18.09
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jlt7595
Wedding:
11/6/2009
5.0/5.0
Above and beyond our expectations! Alicia Karoll, the Visionary's event manager, was extremely attentive and was more than gracious in constantly responding to our panicked wedding requests. Very well networked with our other wedding vendors, which made many aspects of our planning that much easier. The venue itself was gorgeous and provided us with exactly what we were looking for to make our day absolutely spectacular!
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ekinsch
Wedding:
10/17/2009
4.4/5.0
When I say it was love at first sight, I mean it. I love the American Visionary Art Museum and when I saw the barn, I knew there was no other place for me to have my reception. I wish that I had known upfront about the "hidden costs" of doing business with them such as the potential of new exhibits and the rain contingency costs, etc. However, Alicia was always professional and everyone loved the character and feel of the reception. Despite the rain, we all stayed dry and were able to enjoy a beautiful evening with a wonderful backdrop. The museum was the perfect venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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marzyb
Wedding:
10/11/2009
5.0/5.0
It was a pleasure working with the American Visionary Art Museum! Alicia was extremely helpful and everything was taken care of! She met with me and emailed with me a number of times to answer all of my questions. Compared to the price for other venues in dowtown Baltimore it was a great deal! We didn't even need to rent tables and chairs because they had them available! There was a great view of the harbor at night and all of our guests loved the art!
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Sarah
Wedding:
9/12/2009
4.7/5.0
We both LOVED this site! You need to do very little to make it unique because the setting provides this for you! The third floor is huge and a blank slate, so even though the museum is decorated as if, you still have plenty of opportunity to do some decorating if this is for what you are searching. Flexibility is somewhat limited with the site as it is an art museum, but they are flexible with what they can be. I would get married here again if I had to do it all over again! It was GREAT!! Our guests continue to talk about our wedding and want to visit the museum again!
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Indian Bride in Baltimore
Wedding:
9/5/2009
5.0/5.0
AVAM was an outstanding wedding venue. The facility rentals manager and staff were highly professional, were easy and friendly to work with, had great suggestions for other vendors, and were very responsive to guests. The venue itself has stunning views of the Baltimore Inner Harbor and great artwork and a great vibe. We used the JRVC 1st Floor for our ceremony, the Sculpture Barn and Garden for a cocktail reception, and the JRVC 3rd floor for our dinner reception. Since we had booked the entire venue, our guests were able to see the exhibits free of cost until 8 pm. The team which was on-site on the evening of our ceremony/reception was outstanding, and great at steering our guests to where they needed to be and helping with vendors. We got so many great compliments for selecting AVAM over the run-of-the-mill hotels and banquet halls. The venue is a bit expensive, but our total wedding per-guest cost ended up being about the same as it would have been if we had used a hotel or other venue. We highly recommend AVAM as a venue.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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btlewis
Wedding:
8/22/2009
5.0/5.0
We used the Jim Rouse Visionary Center for our entire wedding. We had an unusual order of events: cocktails and dinner on the 3rd floor, ceremony on the 1st floor, and then back upstairs for dessert and dancing on the 3rd floor again. AVAM was the most creative, unique, and beautiful place for our wedding. We are beyond thrilled with the venue. What could be better than getting married right under two pink poodles!

Although other reviewers have given the venue a lower rating because of the cost, think about it this way: you are helping to support the museum with your money. If you pay to have a wedding at a ballroom or a hotel, the money is going to something that does little for the community. AVAM offers the Baltimore community culture, resources for teachers and students, the Center for Visionary Thought (seeks to improve low cost grassroots efforts), and more.

Alicia Karroll was an incredible help! She helped us sort through the list of preferred vendors and made suggestions about the space that were very useful.

We HIGHLY recommend hiring a wedding planner or at least "day of" coordinator for this venue, because you have to bring all of the vendors into the venue- none are supplied.

FANTASTIC VENUE!
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ClaireElizabeth
Wedding:
8/8/2009
4.4/5.0
The only reason I didn't give AVAM five stars across the board is that the venue ended up being a little pricier than we'd expected. I guess this is because we'd never planned a wedding, and didn't realize that we may not want to sink a big chunk of our budget in a venue, since catering costs so much. Bottom line: you pay for a gorgeous location with full amenities, but the only extras are tables and chairs.

Regardless, I LOVE the location, I love the museum. We used the Jim Rouse Visionary Center. We had our ceremony on the first floor and the reception on the third and it all went off without a hitch.

Alicia was very helpful throughout the planning process, providing lists of recommended vendors and answering our questions from beginning to end. The day-of coordinator was also very helpful.

All in all, if you don't want to be married in a wedding factory and are willing to cut out a few other expenses (like crazy flower arrangements), choose a gorgeous location like AVAM. Your guests will be wowed, and the pictures will stand out in everyone's mind years later.
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Happy Newlywed
Wedding:
2/7/2009
3.6/5.0
AVAM was an awesome place to have our ceremony and reception and we wanted something really unique which is what we got. Alicia was great about answering my questions and pretty responsive to e-mails. There were a few times I had to leave several messages and send several e-mails but she did always get back to me although I never spoke with her or met her in person. There were other people there for our rehearsal & event. She was very flexible with us because we changed our date and ended up having the ceremony there as well which we did appreciate. On TheKnot.com the venue was listed as being "reasonably" priced but I don't think this was the case. Out of all the locations we looked at this was the most expensive and only included the location & tables and chairs. Initially, I was told it would be $6,500 for 6-11pm but then additional fees were added for security having to stay later so it was even more than that. It was an amazing location but I think the price was just too much. And our wedding was in February but there was no cost difference at all. I think it was slightly less if the wedding was on a Sunday but not enough to make it worth it. Overall I loved the location I just think it shouldn't be so expensive for a cool space.
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KathV
Wedding:
10/24/2008
3.4/5.0
AVAM is a beautiful space; however it was on the pricey side as far as wedding reception locations. Because of its price I expected nothing but the best customer service, and unfortunately their response time was very slow. I found that it was a losing battle to leave voicemails, instead emailing would get you a faster response. I was also disappointed in that Alicia was the individual I spoke with through the planning process; however she was not there on the night of our wedding. Fortunately, I had many other wonderful venders who knew all of my details so everything ran smoothly; nonetheless I was anxious leading up to the event about if this coordinator understood my vision. Despite some hang-ups we loved having our reception on the third floor of the Jim Rouse Building. The unique venue had our guests talking for months about our beautiful reception, and we would recommend others to use the American Visionary Art Museum.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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bawlmerbride
Wedding:
9/20/2008
5.0/5.0
This was the best decision I made regarding my wedding. I loved everything about AVAM. Everything. I am so incredibly happy we booked there, and everyone raved about how great the site was. We have so many amazing pictures and with AVAM as the backdrop, it was absolutely magical. I will say not having a kitchen on site is a bummer. But I loved AVAM so much I didn't really care in the end.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
3.0/5.0
The location was beautiful; however it is very expensive and the rental coordinator was not readily available on the day of the wedding. I think you could find a cool location for a much cheaper price if you look around.
Services Used: Rentals & Photobooths
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Marissa
Wedding:
8/18/2007
4.7/5.0
AVAM was a great, unique venue. Alicia was so great from the first time we met her, we knew we wanted to work with her. She's funny and friendly, but she gets things done. We had no problems with booking at AVAM at all or with any dealings with them. The only problem was that at the reception, there was another person handling the reception for AVAM and when we were supposed to play my childhood slideshow during my dance with my father, he managed to shut down the whole system which then had to be rebooted and the slideshow that my husband had stayed up until 4am wasn't shown. I felt really bad because that was a big part of that moment and my husband put a lot into it as a surprise to my parents. I know the guy felt really bad and it was just a mistake, but it was the only bad part of my wedding so it stands out. So basically, all I can say is if you have a slideshow make sure someone knows how to work it and you have it all planned out. At any rate though, we loved AVAM, our guests loved it because they had never been to such a unique place, and the facilities were great. We were able to have kids in an activity room on the 2nd floor where they could have pizza and watch videos. We were also able to get some great photos around the museum.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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shellshark
Wedding:
6/9/2007
3.6/5.0
We had our reception in the barn/sculpture garden area. We loved it. Big doors opened out to the garden. A huge checkerboard is in the center and serves as a great dance floor. All guests can tour the museum while the reception is going on which is a great feature.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Sheila
Wedding:
5/12/2007
4.6/5.0
This was a wonderful place for the ceremony. They allowed us to have a fire for the Hindu ceremony in their Sculpture barn and we had our Christian ceremony in their courtyard. The downside to the outside ceremony is that now they have built the Ritz-Carlton residences across the street which are such an eyesore at the moment. They also reflect traffic sounds into the courtyard and therefore the traffic sounds created a muffling effect of anything that was occuring in our ceremony. We had to use microphones.
Services Used: Wedding Venue

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