Rental Guidelines

 COVID-19 Specific

  • The maximum capacity is 25 people.
  • Clients, guests, and vendors must wear face coverings at all times, unless distanced at least 6 feet
    from others.
  • Museum staff will wear face coverings.
  • If the event must be canceled due to a change in COVID-19 Protocols, the rental deposit will be refunded less an administrative fee of $150.
  • In case of rain, your may move your Garden ceremony indoors to our elegant Greek Revival double parlor. If for safety reasons due to COVID-19 you prefer not to, we are happy to reschedule your event, depending on date availability. (Some bridal couples simply provide umbrellas!) The decision to reschedule must be made 24 hours prior to the date of the event. The rain date fee is $250. The Garden cannot be tented.
  • 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.
  • Pre- and Post-Ceremony Toasts: It is the responsibility of the client to set up, arrange, serve, and clean up food or drink. Catered events are not permitted.
  • Rental guidelines are subject to change in accordance with recommendations from NYS, NYC, and the CDC.
  • 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.

Headcount and Vendors

  • Client must submit a final headcount one week before the event (i.e., bridal couple, bridal party, officiant, photographer/videographer, musician(s), other vendors, and guests.)
  • Client must submit a list of vendors, with contact information, one week before the event.
  • Musicians or DJs are subject to an additional fee.
  • Events requiring a large number of vendors may, at the discretion of the Executive Director, be subject to additional fees.

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 only.

Staff

  • At least two staff members of the Museum must be on site during the event.
  • Docents are available to provide information about the house and its collections for an additional charge. Tours of the house are not available during COVID-19.

Decorations

  • Decoration/styling of the Museum is allowed only under the direct supervision of the staff and requires prior approval.
  • Large decorations (floral arches, free-standing chuppahs, etc.) are subject to an additional fee, at the discretion of the Executive Director.
  • 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.

Amenities & Access

  • 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.
  • Additional tables are available for a nominal fee.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.