Rental Guidelines

COVID-19 Protocols & Safety Measures

  • Maximum capacity 25 people, including bridal couple, guests, officiant, photographer/videographer, musician(s), and other vendors.
  • Pre- and Post-Ceremony Toasts. Client is responsible for bringing food/beverage and all supplies (tablecloth, cups, napkins, cutlery), as well as setting up, arranging, and serving. Catered events are not permitted. The Museum cannot take deliveries prior to the event. Museum Staff will set up one caterer’s table (30″ x 72″) for serving.
  • In case of rain, your Ceremony will be held in our elegant Greek Revival Double Parlor and the Toast in the 1850s Kitchen. The Garden cannot be tented. Seating will be limited to adhere to social distancing restrictions.
  • Rental guidelines are subject to change in accordance with recommendations from NYS, NYC, and the CDC.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations are posted throughout the Museum; enhanced measures for cleaning and disinfecting have been implemented.
  • Face coverings and social distancing are required for clients, guests, and vendors. This includes children over two years old. Museum staff will wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.
  • An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are present. Those visiting the Merchant’s House Museum do so at their own risk as to such exposure.
  • NOTE: For the safety of all, we ask clients to self-screen themselves, their guests and vendors, 24 hours before the event and submit in writing that everyone is symptom-free and has not been to a state on NYS Travel Advisory List within 14 days. Client must have contact information for all in case of the need for contact tracing.

Headcount and Vendors

  • Client must submit a final headcount one week before the event (i.e., bridal couple, officiant, photographer/videographer, musician(s), other vendors, and guests.

Amenities, Access, and Museum Staff

  • The Museum has two public restrooms and a coat room on the ground floor.
  • Rentals include the use of gold folding chairs for wedding ceremonies, one table, and trash bins. All other supplies are the responsibility of the client.
  • At least two staff members of the Museum will be on site during the event.
  • The Museum is not currently wheelchair accessible.

Approval and Fees

  • All applications for special events are subject to approval by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, at the recommendation of the Executive Director.
  • A signed Rental Agreement and deposit of 30 percent are required to confirm the date. If the event must be canceled due to a change in COVID-19 Guidelines, the deposit will be refunded less an administrative fee of $150. Otherwise, the deposit is non-refundable.
  • Additional fees. Large decorations (floral arches, free-standing chuppahs, etc.), musicians or DJs; cancellation of tours if the Museum closed to the public; docent tours of the house (limited to five people); a second table for the Toast and Champagne flutes or other catering supplies. Events requiring a large number of vendors or deliveries outside the start and end times of the event may, at the discretion of the Executive Director, be subject to additional fees.
  • If the event must be canceled due to a change in COVID-19 Guidelines, the rental deposit will be refunded less an administrative fee of $150.
  • A damage deposit of $500 (or as determined by the Executive Director) is due at time of deposit and will be held for one week after the event.
  • Overtime is at a rate of $200/half- hour, rounded up to the nearest half-hour, or at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • Payment of balance (by check or credit card) is due one week prior to the event.

Room/Garden Usage

  • Clients have access to the space(s) listed in the Rental Agreement only. Clients are not permitted in other areas of the museum.
  • Objects in the collection may not be touched, nor may the furniture be sat upon.
  • Only Museum personnel may move objects in the Museum’s collection.
  • Smoking is prohibited.
  • Photography, with flash, is allowed in all spaces.
  • Food and drink may be served in the garden and 1850s kitchen only.

Decorations

  • Decoration/styling of the Museum is allowed only under the direct supervision of the staff and requires prior approval.
  • The use of nails, stickpins, tape, paint, or any other material that could have irreversible effects on the Museum building or its collections is not allowed.
  • All decorations must be removed from the Museum at the end of the event.
  • Fires in the fireplaces are not permitted.
  • Flower petals may be tossed on the front steps only. No rice or birdseed are permitted in the garden or inside the Museum.

Insurance

  • In the case of an event sponsored by a corporate or non-profit entity, the Museum requires proof of coverage of Renter’s activities at the Museum by general liability insurance (or as determined by the Executive Director).
  • For Clients who are individuals, such coverage is at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • If required, a proof of insurance must be submitted prior to the event.