Site Rentals FAQs
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 we are not accepting indoor wedding reservations this year.
Bennington Museum is located on 75 Main Street (Route 9) one mile west of the intersection of Routes 7 and 9 in Old Bennington, Vermont. The Museum is a short drive to Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Manchester, Vermont, as well as many communities bordering us in New York.
Nineteen hundred square feet of space can accommodate up to 110 people for receptions, sit-down dinners or buffets. We can welcome up to 150 for cocktail receptions and lectures. Depending on the layout selected (theater-style, classroom, or open U) meetings can range from 20 to 130 people. The first floor lobby area is available for welcoming guests. When weather permits the outside courtyard is available for your use as well.
The Museum is wheelchair accessible with ample on-site free parking.
WiFi is available in the Paresky Wing.
The Museum also boasts a 10-acre campus including an upper field available for use. Outside weddings must adhere to the noise ordinance hours in place and the Museum will handle all preliminary permitting associated with said event. No fires are permitted on Museum property. Note also, there is no parking directly adjacent to the upper field and guests must be able to walk up one of the trails to the location. There is a maintenance road which may be used by a vehicle with permission for a handicapped guest. In advance of an event the Museum will mow the field. Tables, chairs, and all other wedding accouterments must be rented from an approved agent. Tents on the upper are subject to outdoor exhibitions and must be rented from an approved agent. The upper field does not have access to power.
The pricing is based on the number of people, the time of day, the length of your event, and whether the event is for an individual or business/corporation, for a professional organization 501(c)6, or a non-profit charitable organization 501(c)3. Wedding receptions are billed for a minimum of 5 hours. Call to discuss your plans and to receive a preliminary price quote. 802-447-1571 ext. 208.
The rental period does not include the caterer’s and client’s set-up and breakdown time – including setting and clearing of tables.
If the event extends beyond the contracted time, the client will be charged $200 for each additional hour if preplanned with the Museum and $150 for each additional one-half hour if not planned.
When considering your rental, keep in mind when the museum is open to the public. While we are happy to host your event at these times, certain restrictions may apply.
If the caterer is new to the Museum, they must be approved by the Facility Coordinator who will arrange for a tour of the space and kitchen. Any caterer providing services at your event must provide Bennington Museum with a certificate of insurance indemnifying the Bennington Museum, valid license (if applicable), and proof of a workers’ compensation policy no less than 30 days prior to the event.
In addition to preparing and serving the catered meal, the caterer is also responsible for setting of the tables prior to the event, busing the tables during the event, clearing of the tables once the guests have left, and cleaning any dishes or glasses used that are the museum’s property. Additionally, the kitchen will be left clean. (See Kitchen Policy below) Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of your Security Deposit.
Bennington Museum staff can assist with the coordination of catering, rental equipment and entertainment arrangements. An additional charge can be assessed for this service. We can provide, at no charge, a list of vendors for your use.
The Museum may not be used for fundraising or benefit purposes for any organization other than the Bennington Museum. The not-for-profit status of the Museum prevents the rental of museum facilities by political, or religious groups.
The Museum reserves the right to end an event at any time due to inappropriate or undesirable behavior by the event host or guests as determined by museum staff.
• All clients must agree to cooperate with the Facility Rental Coordinator and abide by his/her requests.
• The client or their appointed delegate must be at the event from beginning to end and serve as the liaison with museum staff or appoint someone to serve in this capacity.
• Smoking is strictly prohibited anywhere on museum property.
• The use of candles or balloons in the Museum is strictly prohibited. No rice, confetti, or similar materials may be thrown at weddings inside or outside the building.
• Live trees or potted plants are not permitted in the Museum. All floral arrangements must be removed from the property at the end of your event.
• Guests may not touch or lean on the artifacts.
• The client may not tack, staple or tape anything to the walls, ceilings or any other fixtures of the museum without express consent of the Facility Rental Coordinator.
• Food and drink is allowed only in the Paresky Wing; and the outside grounds. Food and drink may not be taken into any of the galleries.
• All exits shall remain free from permanent obstruction at all times.
• Museum personnel are not responsible for any personal belongings left in the building after the function.
• The client must provide the Facility Rental Coordinator with pertinent information regarding the function, including the names, phone numbers and specific arrival times of the caterers, florists, musicians, and other vendors. This information, as well as an event timeline is vital to a well-coordinated function and must be given to the Museum for approval at least two weeks prior to the event.
• Vendor and service vehicles must be moved from the paved parking lot prior to event start time. Parking can be in the rear of the parking lot along the woods’ line. Parking lot is for guests of the event only.
DEPOSIT AND PAYMENTS
Upon approval of the event, a deposit of 25% of the estimated total fee is required to secure a date. In the event of cancellation by the renter, the deposit may be retained as a tax-deductible donation to the Bennington Museum.
A $250 security deposit is required. This deposit will be returned one week following the event, less any expenses incurred for extensive clean-up as determined by the Museum or damages to the facilities or Museum property.
The balance of the fee, along with the number of people expected, the security deposit, and all the requisite information will be due one month prior to the function.
SET-UP AND CLEAN-UP
The Museum staff sets up tables and chairs needed prior to the event, puts tables and chairs away after the event, and cleans the floors in the Paresky Wing.
Caterers may deliver food and equipment on the day of the event during regular museum hours. This will not count as part of the event time and there is no charge for this.
At the conclusion of the event, the renting party or their designated representative is responsible for dismantling and removing all event related equipment brought into the Museum.
The museum will provide the following equipment at no charge:
• 12 60” round tables
• 12 6-foot banquet tables
• 100 chairs
• 1 podium with microphone
• Use of sound system
• Use of projection screens
• Use of projection equipment (all connecting cables must be provided)
All other tables, chairs, linens, china, silverware, and glassware must be rented or obtained from another source, unless discussed with the Event Coordinator. The Event Coordinator can work with their suppliers to assist in obtaining the best prices.
Rental items may be delivered during regular museum hours and must be picked up the next business day unless other arrangements are made with the Museum. The cost for all outside vendors (flowers, transportation, photographers, etc) is the responsibility of the client. The client is to make all delivery and payment arrangements with the vendors. While the Bennington Museum representative can receive deliveries, neither they nor the museum is responsible if the outside vendors fail to satisfy the customer’s wishes and demands.
For the caterer, the kitchen offers a double convection oven, a stove top, microwave, commercial refrigeration, commercial dishwasher, and overflow refrigerator.
Museum staff is not responsible for any personal belongings left in the building.
The client must hire a Vermont licensed bartender or caterer with liquor liability insurance, who must obtain a serving permit for that event. This process could take 15 days. All liquor must be obtained from that licensed provider. A certificate of insurance and the one-time serving permit must be presented to the Events Coordinator at the museum, two weeks prior to the event. The certificate shall specify that the Bennington Museum is an additional insured party under the policy.
Museum and catering personnel are authorized to limit the alcohol consumption of individual guest.
The renter accepts full responsibility and liability for any loss or damage to the building, contents, grounds or equipment whether by the renter, guests, employees or caterer and must sign an agreement to abide by all rules and regulations as stated within these guidelines. The renter holds the Bennington Museum harmless from any loss, damage, or injury and shall indemnify Bennington Museum thereon.
Photographs taken by the museum staff during your event can be used by the Museum to promote the space, for general public relations, and when meeting with potential renters. These may be used in e-mails, ads, on the website, and in other appropriate public relations vehicles.
Based on expected attendance, Bennington Museum assigns as many personnel as necessary to maintain the required degree of safety and protection during each function. These assignments are made at the sole discretion of the Building Manager in consultation with the Executive Director of the Museum. All costs associated with security are the responsibility of the renter. This fee is $40 per hour for one guard and is not included in the base price. If two guards are necessary, a fee of $60 per hour is assessed. The price for security begins one hour prior to your event and is charged for a minimum of one hour after your event, but can be assessed for the time it takes all event-related personnel to vacate the building.
BENNINGTON MUSEUM KITCHEN RULES
The following Kitchen Rules must be adhered to by all caterers. Failure to do so can result at a minimum to a forfeiture of security deposit.
• Collect and remove all trash.
• Clean all Bennington Museum dishes, glasses, etc. and replace as found. Dishes must be rinsed prior to putting in the dishwasher and dried/polished before putting away.
• Only food items may be put into garbage disposal.
• Clean all counters and stovetop, sweep and damp mop the floor.
• Turn off all appliances you may have used.