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      Event Rentals

      Make your special event a work of art.

      At the Peabody Essex Museum, we create extraordinary, one-of-a-kind experiences for your guests, surrounded by a backdrop of world-class art and stunning architecture. Located in the heart of vibrant downtown Salem, we hold the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating museum in the country.

      From intimate corporate cocktail parties in our garden to luxurious weddings with dinner and dancing in our atrium, you will find a variety of customizable spaces for your next celebration. Explore our venue options below.

      We invite you to join us for an onsite tour where we can learn more about your event and show you around the museum. Contact Natalia Laskaris at 978-542-1615 or

      We really can’t say enough about how perfect our day was, and how working with PEM and their amazing staff made that possible.
      — Samuel L., 2019
      PEM is a hidden gem tucked within the cobblestone streets of Salem. Not only is it a unique venue, but the staff is incredibly kind and knowledgeable.
      — Nicole O., 2022
      It's a beautiful museum, and you're surrounded by breathtaking art and architecture. The photos we got are spectacular and can't be beat!
      — Thomas D., 2022

      Museum locations

      Main Atrium set up for a wedding reception

      Main Atrium

      First impressions are important, and your guests will be awed by the sight of our breathtaking Main Atrium designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Located in the heart of the museum, this light-filled space boasts an arched glass roof that soars dramatically overhead and offers generous space for dinner and dancing. Enjoy a lively wedding reception like no other with this stunning backdrop.

      300 for seated dinners | 250 with dancing | 400 for standing receptions

      A couple getting married in East India Marine Hall

      East India Marine Hall

      Built in 1824 by the founders of the museum, East India Marine Hall is a classically stylish ballroom and a National Historic Landmark. This elegant space features floor-to-ceiling Palladian windows, two grand chandeliers, polished hardwood floors and Maritime art.

      150 for seated dinners | 120 with dancing | 300 for standing receptions | 250 for wedding ceremonies

      An interior view of the Garden Atrium

      Garden Atrium

      Designed with a stunning sky-high glass ceiling, this light-filled space adds a dynamic element to your wedding experience. Combined with the outdoor garden, this venue space is perfect for cocktails, standing receptions and small dinners.

      50 for seated dinners | 200 for standing receptions | 70 for wedding ceremonies

      Forbes Copeland gallery set up for a wedding reception

      Forbes and Copeland Galleries

      Located on the first level, these two galleries offer an intimate setting for your guests. Enjoy a seated or standing dinner reception in the larger H.A. Crosby Forbes Gallery, featuring a commissioned installation by artist Vanessa Platacis. Guests can mingle over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Pamela Cunningham Copeland Gallery and explore the adjacent outdoor patio and garden.

      70 for seated dinners | 120 for standing receptions

      Morse Auditorium

      Morse Auditorium

      Our state-of-the-art theater has full audio and visual support for lectures, presentations and screenings.

      Stadium seating for up to 185 people

      Historic Ropes Mansion Garden

      Say “I do” surrounded by the natural beauty of the historic Ropes Mansion Garden. Located in Salem’s McIntire Historic District, the tranquil space blooms with plant life and is the perfect backdrop for your ceremony. The Ropes Mansion Garden is available for free micro ceremonies during regular hours when the property is open to the public, provided that it does not interfere with the experience of other visitors.


      PEM’s caterer, Gourmet Caterers, is renowned for creating unforgettable events with innovative menus, impeccable service and a willingness to accommodate all of your guests’ needs. Gourmet Caterers was chosen as Caterer of the Year at the Massachusetts Wedding Awards in 2020. For more information, contact

      Asparagus, meat and squash beautifully set on a white plate on a table
      Sliced meat, lettuces and potatoes on a white plate
      Blue gift boxes on plates of a table set for a wedding reception
      Reddish brown sauce in a white bowl surrounded by green and orange hors' d'oeuvres

      Photograph by Jwessel Photography

      Long view of a table with many table settings and chairs with dinner plates, flowers and candles
      Salmon with greens plated on a white plate

      Photograph by Jwessel Photography

      Tall floral vase and tables set for a wedding reception
      A bride holding her floral bouquet up in the air and her groom standin on the upper level hallway in front of Yin Yu Tang at PEM


      No matter which PEM setting you choose, our experienced team of event professionals will be there to guide you every step of the way.

      Video of wedding at pem
      "We really can’t say enough about how perfect our day was, and how working with PEM and their amazing staff made that possible."

      — 10/31/2019 by Samuel L


      PEM is found in the heart of downtown Salem, Massachusetts, a charming, walkable city steeped in a rich history, with a thriving arts and culture scene. Experience waterfront parks, trendy shops and exceptional restaurants for rehearsal dinners and Sunday brunch.

      • Museum staff available to accept deliveries two hours prior to your event.
      • Security staff present in all areas of the museum open to your guests, as well as maintenance staff to set up and break down our tables and chairs as well as assist your vendors.
      • Dining, cocktail and high-top tables, as well as white folding garden chairs. An upgrade to chameleon chairs is available for $8 per chair.
      • A museum facilitator who will remain onsite to support all vendors throughout the course of the event.
      • For weddings, separate spaces for ceremony, reception, dinner and dancing.

      The H.A. Crosby Forbes and Pamela Cunningham Copeland Galleries are available for small gatherings.


      Yes. Read more about museum accessibility here.

      We reserve specific areas of the museum for your event based on your guest count and preferences. In some instances, your guests may walk through certain galleries as they move from one part of the evening to the next. We can make special arrangements to open certain galleries at an additional cost.

      No, and our staff works hard to clearly communicate all costs so there are no surprises.

      Unfortunately, to protect the museum facility and our collections, any type of flame is not permitted. However, battery-operated votives and candles are welcome.

      For Main Atrium rentals, we provide lighting on the dance floor, a static graphic design on the walls and illumination of the ceiling sails. For additional lighting features, we can recommend local event designers (this may incur an additional cost).

      Ample parking is available in a municipal garage on New Liberty Street directly across from our Essex Street entrance and in an additional New Liberty Street parking lot one block over. There is also metered street parking. The museum does not have its own parking facility.

      There are a number of full-service hotels in Salem and neighboring towns, as well as bed and breakfasts. Visit Destination Salem for a complete list and other useful tourism information at

      Of course! Depending on the size of your party, we offer a range of spaces to best accommodate your special day.

      A wedding ceremony includes a one-hour rental, with 30 minutes for guest arrival and 30 minutes for your ceremony. A wedding reception includes a five-hour timeframe, with one hour for cocktails and four hours for dinner and dancing.

      To ensure our focus is devoted to your special day, we only host one wedding at a time.

      Of course! Favorites include the spiral staircase leading to the beautiful 5,000-square-foot Garden Atrium and a stunning sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor. We can also recommend exhibition galleries and picturesque locations around the city of Salem.

      Yes, membership is required for wedding rentals. Find out about our membership levels here.

      There are many! Gourmet Caterers’ Wedding and Social Event Specialists are happy to assist you. For information please email

      Nonprofit organizations may qualify for a 10% venue rental discount. Please fill out the application form found HERE to begin the process.