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Lawrence Hall of Science

Berkeley Wedding Venue
1 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, California 94720
Contact: Hall Rentals
Phone: 510/642-2275

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Why We Like This Place

High in the Berkeley hills, the Lawrence Hall of Science boasts one of the best views in the Bay Area. The breathtaking panorama extends from the UC Berkeley campus to the ocean, Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, then stretches all the way to Sausalito and beyond. This coveted top-of-the-world setting, combined with dynamic event spaces, makes the museum an inspirational—and fun—wedding venue.

Several outdoor ceremony and reception sites take full advantage of the spectacular vista, beginning with the Plaza. Situated right beside the main entrance, this expansive stone patio is a favorite after-hours spot for exchanging vows against a glorious sunset. It's also the place to capture some unique photos, either in front of the huge Helix sculpture or atop Pheena, the iconic, life-sized whale, where there's enough room for the entire bridal party to get in on the shot!

If you prefer more seclusion—and the most jaw-dropping view—consider "The Forces That Shape The Bay" installation, a landscape of rock formations, native plantings, a waterfall and pond that surrounds a large grassy area and brings to life the story of nature. Say "I do" on a terrace perched at the edge of a bluff, which overlooks the stunning tableau spread out below. Afterwards, host cocktails on the sweeping lawn and mingle with your guests while strolling through the grounds. They even provide a telescope so that you can savor the amazing view up close. As for photo ops, the most popular backdrop may be the totem-like Sun Tower, a powerful sculpture that rises from the center of the lawn. (Worried about fog or rain? Don't, because there's an adjacent glass-walled Foyer for inclement weather.)

Once the museum closes, you'll have exclusive use of the facilities. Serve dinner in the high-ceilinged Lobby, and feel free to add your own decorative touches like dramatic uplighting, plasma balls, "geek chic" flower arrangements in lab beakers, or place cards written on periodic charts. Opt for a dance floor beside the tables or create a sultry nightclub with a "Cosmos" theme in the nearby "Science on a Sphere" exhibit. This area is highlighted by a six-foot orb on which you can project flashing animated images of earth, space, the oceans, or heavens.

A big perk of having any celebration here are the rotating exhibits featured throughout. So encourage your guests to wander and experiment—this is one museum where touching is definitely allowed. Go ahead and push your hand against the pin wall, make a paper airplane to see how far it flies under different conditions, or get a peek into life on the surface of Mars. No matter when you host your event, there's always something interesting to explore.

From start to finish, events coordinator Emma Duran-Forbes and her staff will make sure everything runs smoothly—as evidenced by the personal thank-you notes they consistently receive. When you add in reasonable rental fees, the freedom to bring your own caterer, and plentiful parking, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to discover why people love this place.

Capacity

Ceremony

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 0
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 300

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 150
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 150
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 500
  • Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 500

Meetings

  • Max. Seated: 275

CEREMONY CAPACITY: The museum can accommodate 300 seated guests outdoors.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The museum holds 150 seated or 500 standing indoors and outdoors.

MEETING CAPACITY: The museum seats 275 theater-style.

Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.

50% of the rental fee is required to secure your date and the balance is due 30 days prior to the event. The rental fee ranges $250–5,000, depending on the day of the event and the space reserved.

Location Uses

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

Services/Amenities

Catering: select from preferred list; or BYO with a $500 fee
Kitchen Facilities: none
Tables & Chairs: through caterer
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: yes
Bride's & Groom's Dressing Areas: limited
AV/Meeting Equipment: available in specific meeting rooms
Parking: fee based
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: limited
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer or renter
View: San Francisco Bay, cityscape, Golden Gate Bridge


Venue Views

Cityscape
Forest/Wooded Area
Fountain/Water Feature
Hills
Landscaped Grounds
Ocean/Bay
Panoramic

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
College Campus/School
Garden
Museum
Other

Restrictions

Alcohol: BYO, permit required
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required
Other: no rice, glitter, or birdseed; decorations are restricted


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