Event Rentals

Event FAQs

In order to get you answers as quickly as possible, we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions here.

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

What does the rental fee include?

  • Museum staff to accept deliveries two hours prior to your event.
  • Security staff in all areas of the museum open to your guests, as well as maintenance staff to set up and break down your event.
  • 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 on-site to support all vendors throughout the course of the event.
  • For weddings, separate spaces for ceremony, reception, dinner and dancing.

Do you have venue spaces available for daytime events?
The H.A. Crosby Forbes and Pamela Cunningham Copeland Galleries are available for small gatherings.

Is the museum air conditioned?

Is the museum handicapped accessible?

Is the entire museum open for my event?
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.

Do you charge a tax or extra administrative fee?
No, and our staff works hard to clearly communicate all costs so there are no surprises.

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

Looking at photographs from past events, I notice special lighting features. Is that included?
In the Atrium we provide lighting on the dance floor, a static graphic design on the walls and illumination of the sails. For additional lighting features, we can recommend local event designers.

What about parking?
Ample parking is available in a municipal garage on New Liberty Street directly across from our Essex Street entrance and also within 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.

Are there hotels nearby?
There are a number of full-service hotels in Salem and neighboring towns, as well as bed and breakfasts. Visit the city’s tourism hub, Destination Salem, for a complete listing at salem.org.

Wedding specific questions:

Can we host our wedding ceremony at the museum?
Of course! Depending on the size of your party, we offer different spaces available to best accommodate your special day.

How long is your wedding rental?
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.

Do you host multiple weddings the same night?
To ensure our focus is devoted to your special day, we only host one wedding at a time.

Are there any great photo locations?
Of course! Favorites include the spiral staircase leading to the new 5,000-square-foot Garden Atrium, a stunning sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor, as well as exhibition galleries and picturesque locations around the city of Salem.

A bride and groom seated in a dark red room with gold stenciled wallpaper
A bride and groom pose on a spiral staircase with intricate blue armor paintings stenciled on the white wall behind them
A bride and groom standing on an open walkway with glass railing in the atrium

Do I have to be a member of the museum?
No, but your wedding rental includes a one-year membership to GenPEM, allowing free admission to the museum and invitations to innovative events and curator-led tours.

What type of food options are available from Gourmet Caterers?
There are many! Gourmet Caterers Wedding and Social Event Specialists are happy to assist you. For information please email PEMcatering@GourmetCaterers.com.