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Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Wedding Venue
1000 Oak Street
Oakland, California 94607

Contact: Special Events
Phone: 510/318-8505
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Why We Like This Place

The Oakland Museum of California is not just one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks—it’s also an oasis of serenity and beauty. In contrast to its modern, concrete exterior, OMCA’s multi-tiered layout, open-air settings and views of Lake Merritt make it an amazing place for weddings and other special events.

The museum is built on three levels, with stairs and walkways leading the visitor through the site’s intriguing variety of courtyards, terraces and gardens. A koi pond full of water lilies and papyrus plants graces the first level, and sculptures and artifacts are installed throughout the grounds. The Great Court Garden, a spacious lawn shaded by deodar cedars, sweet gum and alder trees, is lovely for a wedding, reception, corporate picnic or similar event. Concrete pillars topped by planters form two sides of the courtyard; creeping-fig-covered walls form the other two sides. The air is perfumed by swags of Japanese honeysuckle interspersed with mounds of blue cape plumbago and purple lantana.

Other outdoor venues include the Terraces, which look out on the gardens, and the Patio, which houses the OMCA Pavilion, a tented area that overlooks the koi pond. Another terrace has a view of Lake Merritt and the Oakland hills. If you happen to be wandering around the museum grounds and see a perfect spot but don’t find it listed for rent, ask about it. OMCA will let you reserve almost any of its outside spaces.

For indoor functions, consider the museum’s dining area, which forms a “bridge” over one of the main stairways. Two floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to view the koi pond from one side and the bustling museum from the other. The James Moore Theater is used for a multitude of events, such as concerts, theatrical performances and movie screenings. Both the theater and the Lecture Hall are suitable for business meetings and seminars. Additionally, the California Room is ideal for board meetings and small retreats of up to 40 people.

At OMCA, you really can have a garden wedding: Exchange vows under a shady tree canopy surrounded by blooming flowers, and dine al fresco on a terrace with Lake Merritt vistas. The lake also makes a wonderful backdrop for photos, especially at sunset when the sky is painted with color.

OMCA’s location is great for your out-of-town guests, too. It’s close to hotels, restaurants and local attractions—plus San Francisco is just a short drive over the Bay Bridge. As you can see, the Oakland Museum of California offers all sorts of unexpected possibilities.



  • Max. Seated Indoors: 120
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 750

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 150
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 750
  • Max. Standing Indoors: 225
  • Max. Standing Outdoors: 2000


  • Max. Seated: 275

CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Great Court Gardens accommodate up to 750 seated or 2,000 standing guests. The Terrace holds 60 seated or 100 standing, and the Patios—including the OMCA Pavilion—hold 150 seated or 250 standing.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: For the Gardens, Terrace and Patio areas, see figures above. The museum café holds 150 seated guests, or 120 with a dance floor and small stage.

MEETING CAPACITY: The James Moore Theater accommodates 275 seated theater-style; the Lecture Hall holds 100; and the California Room seats up to 40.

Fees & Deposits

A refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. 50% of the facility rental fee is payable 180 days prior to the event. The balance is due 30 days prior to the event. Rental fees for a 6-hour block start at $450 for a meeting space and vary depending on the area(s) rented. Contact the Events Services Department for the rental rates of specific areas. Security and other services are an additional charge. The OMCA garage, with a 170-car capacity, can be rented after regular museum hours.

Location Uses

Wedding Receptions
Special Events, Parties
Business Functions/Meetings
Rehearsal Dinners


Catering: select from preferred list
Kitchen Facilities: fully equipped
Tables & Chairs: provided, up to 250 guests
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: CBA, extra fee
Bride’s Dressing Area: CBA
Meeting Equipment: full range
Parking: museum garage, extra fee
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: emergency use only
Outdoor Night Lighting: CBA or BYO in gardens
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: provided or caterer
View: Lake Merritt from upper level
Other: some event coordination provided

Site Views

Fountain/Water Feature
Garden Patio/Courtyard
Landscaped Grounds

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility


Alcohol: provided, no BYO
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: required
Other: no rice, birdseed or confetti

Some Essential Info
Price $ • $$

Choose From List



Amplified Music


Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Accessible


Year-round, daily, 8am–11pm. The museum café is available all day Monday and Tuesday, and after 5pm on Wednesday–Sunday. The outdoor Terraces and Garden are seasonal areas, available May–October as weather permits.

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