What Would They Know? Kirby Tucker of Museum Spaces

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


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 The team at Museum Spaces have the enviable task of organising events for Scienceworks, Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building. How lucky are we to have four such magnificent venues showcasing the history of our country, immigration and science and technology! Anyone who has been to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, or a bridal expo will have seen the magnificence of the Royal Exhibition Building too. And to be able to have our wedding in some of these spaces, to wander amongst dinosaurs, or to feel the history of our immigrants – or even to marvel at the heavens – must surely be one of life’s privileges. Here, Kirby Tucker, Client Relationship Manager tells us tells us the story of Museum Spaces, and the many and varied options they offer for your wedding.

Please describe the purpose of Museum Spaces – and how all the venues under its umbrella came to be?

Museum Spaces purpose is to assist you in the creation of your perfect event in one of our four beautiful venues; Scienceworks, Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building.

Museum Spaces is part of Museum Victoria, which is Australia’s largest public museum organisation. Museum Victoria’s origins date back to 1854, with the founding of the National Museum of Victoria and the establishment. In 1996, Museum Victoria took over custodianship of the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building.


Melbourne Museum houses eight permanent galleries and explores life in Victoria, from our natural environment to our culture and history. Onsite at Melbourne Museum we have evolving collections, permanent and temporary exhibitions, researchers, geologists, marine scientists, public programs teams and this is only a snapshot.

rsMM - Main Foyer - Hikari Photography

Main foyer – image by Hikari Photography

Please describe the spaces available for weddings and what is different about having your wedding at the Museum?

For your wedding ceremony, North Terrace is a beautiful elevated space that sits amongst the treetops of Carlton Gardens, and is adjacent to the Museum’s living rainforest. Our second ceremony space Kalaya, provides a spiraling timber ramp and an abundance of natural daylight where your guests can watch you say I Do. This special space is part of Melbourne Museum’s Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Bunjilaka and has perfect acoustics.

Spaces for your receptions at Melbourne Museum are endless, with the opportunity to open galleries for pre-dinner drinks or your wedding reception. Some real favorites are pre-dinner drinks in Dinosaur Walk amongst the skeletons of some amazing animals of the past, or perhaps Phar Lap is your choice of space in Melbourne Gallery.

Treetops has beautiful views of Carlton Gardens, and opens up onto North Terrace giving you indoor and outdoor options throughout your wedding. With a beautiful white marble bar and floor to ceiling windows, Treetops is a real wedding favorite.

For larger numbers (up to 200 guests), Birrarung is a magical space. Its curved zinc wall is no accident, as Birrarung is the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung name for Yarra River. With double doors out to Milarri Garden, the space is a beautiful setting for a reception.

The Main Foyer and Walk of Melbourne Museum is set in front of the living Forest Gallery and overlooks the magnificent World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building. Its striking architecturally designed features, and high ceilings create a contemporary setting for a larger sit down wedding above 200 guests.

How would you suggest we use the space for a wedding? 

For ceremonies that take place during Museum hours (10am – 5pm), both North Terrace and Kalaya are perfect options. We also include Kalaya as a wet weather alternative for all weddings booked onto North Terrace.

Pre-dinner drinks are always a great way to incorporate a true Museum experience into your wedding followed by your reception.

A photography licence is included in your wedding package, which gives you access to take some fantastic shots around the Museum.

rs1MM - North Terrace - Stewie Donn Photography

North Terrace – image by Stewie Donn Photography

How many guests can you accommodate in the event spaces?

Wedding Ceremony
North Terrace: 200 guests (approx. 60 seated + 140 standing)
Kalaya: 150 guests (approx. 30 seated + 120 standing)

Wedding Reception
Treetops: 120 Banquet or 90 Banquet with Dance Floor
Birrarung: 200 Banquet with dance floor

Main Foyer and Walk: 650 Banquet or 600 Banquet with Dance Floor

Are there any restrictions in their use?

The last commencement time for a non-catered and stand-alone Wedding Ceremony is 4pm.

If you are having your reception onsite, then you may start your ceremony later should you wish.

Wedding Receptions are of an evening only, with the exception of Treetops and North Terrace which are available at all times throughout the day and evening.


Kalaya – image courtesy of Museum Victoria

What is provided and which vendors might bridal couples need to bring in?

Wedding Ceremony: Museum Spaces will provide you with a wedding coordinator to assist through the planning stages of your wedding and be onsite for the day. The ceremony packages include everything you need for your ceremony, including 30 chairs, red carpet, signing table, museum staff, 1 hour photography licence and an onsite rehearsal. Couples will need to organise any floral arrangements required, however on the day our team will be onsite to assist with the delivery. The couple will also need their own celebrant. We recommend their celebrant brings a free standing PA system with them.

Wedding Receptions: Our renowned catering partner, Peter Rowland Catering, will assist you from your initial enquiry and be there for your special day. Food, beverage, audio-visual, linen and furniture will be organised by your dedicated wedding specialist. Couples can organise their own table center pieces or your wedding specialist is happy to provide suggestions.

Both Museum Spaces and Peter Rowland Catering can provide options for entertainment and suppliers should couples require this.

What have you seen at Treetops in wedding décor, that gave you a ‘wow’ moment? 

With glass walls overlooking the spectacular Carlton Gardens, Treetops is a wedding oasis nestled in the heart of the city. Unique amongst Wedding Reception Venues, Treetops is an ideal space for an intimate sit-down reception or elegant cocktail party. With dramatic Te Pasifika Gallery as a dance floor and North Terrace as a private outlook, Treetops appears at its breathtaking best, when styled with natural flowers, greenery and contemporary finishes.


Where is Scienceworks situated?

Just over the West Gate Bridge in Spotswood.

rsSWJade and Stefan - Maho & Pea Photography 4

Pumping Station – image by We Are Alchemy Photography


What is Scienceworks main purpose?

Scienceworks aims to make learning about Science and Technology fun! It is a hands-on Museum, with a Planetarium, Lightning Room and the Historic Pumping Station.

How would you describe the space/areas available for weddings?

The most amazing spaces at Scienceworks are located within the Pumping Station. The Pumping Station is made up of the Boiler House, Engine Room and external courtyards.

You and your guests may have pre-dinner drinks in the ever-changing gallery spaces including the newest exhibition Think Ahead, or you may also choose to treat your guests to a planetarium show on the 16m high dome. This is also a great option during your bridal photos. Options are endless!

How many guests can you accommodate here?

Wedding Ceremony

Engine Room: 150 guests (approx. 30 seated + 120 standing)

Pumping Station Courtyard: 140 guests (approx. 60 seated + 80 standing)

Wedding Reception

Boiler House220 guests sit down with dancefloor or 450 guests cocktail
Engine Room80 guests sit down on one long table with dancefloor or 200 guests cocktail.

rsSWJade and Stefan - Maho & Pea Photography 8

Image by We Are Alchemy Photography

What is memorable about having our wedding here?

The building and the surrounds are magic. Within the Pumping Station, you and your guests will be in a red brick heritage building with impeding towers, restored boilers and four engines, one which still runs under compressed air. The views stretch across Melbourne’s CBD, the Yarra River and the West Gate Bridge. From the moment you arrive onsite, the grandeur and architecture of the Pumping Station is mind blowing. Guests also have opportunities to include some of the Scienceworks exhibitions and planetarium into their wedding.

How is the space best used to take advantage of Scienceworks unique features?

Depending on your style, you may wish to have your ceremony, pre-dinner drinks and reception all in the industrial Pumping Station, alternatively you can mix it up! Enter in via the exclusive Planetarium entrance, recline and relax watching the sky unfold on the 16 m high dome in the Planetarium, host pre-dinner drinks in Think Ahead looking at what our future might be like, then make your way down to the Pumping Station for your reception and where you can dance the night away!

Spotswood Pumping Station:

Can you please describe the interior and unique attributes of the Pumping Station?

The Pumping Station is classified by the National Trust and was built with the full grandeur of nineteenth century French architecture in 1896. These majestic and unique buildings have sweeping views of the Yarra River and Westgate Bridge.

With two external courtyards, Engine Room and North Boiler House available for weddings and events, the interior showcases concrete flooring, exposed brick walls, high ceilings with exposed lighting truss and some amazing restored items including two boilers and four steam engines from the original Pumping Station.

The outdoor central courtyard, between the two Pumping Station towers is a gorgeous space for your ceremony, pre-dinner drinks or even your roaming desserts or ice-cream truck!

How is the rustic industrial ambience of this venue best enhanced for a wedding? Do you have some styling suggestions to offer for this space?

Tea light candles in glass jars work beautifully, as do floral centerpieces or an installation to give the space a pop of colour. Old books and antique ladders also fit the space. On the reverse of this, modern seating in aqua green and current colour trends also work well. It really is a beautiful space that can be left or transformed. Everything works!

Is it a large space – how many guests can you accommodate here?

Wedding Ceremony
Engine Room: 150 guests (approx. 30 seated + 120 standing)
Pumping Station Courtyard: 140 guests (approx. 60 seated + 80 standing)

Wedding Reception
Boiler House220 guests sit down with dancefloor or 450 guests cocktail
Engine Room80 guests sit down on one long table with dancefloor or 200 guests cocktail

rsSW Boiler House-Tony Mott Photography

Boiler House – image by Tony Mott Photography

How would you suggest we can make the best use of the space?

Ceremony or pre-dinner drinks in the Courtyard or Engine Room followed by the reception in the Boiler House. A dancefloor and band/DJ is great in the area next to the restored boilers, allowing your guests to mingle. A lolly buffet is also a sweet touch.

What services do you provide as part of a wedding package for this venue?

Our onsite caterer, White Card Food & Events include everything you need in their package. Venue hire, event planner, technician to manage the lighting and sound, table linen, candelabra center pieces, wrought iron display easel, gift and cake table, linen napkins and personalised menus. They are great!

Melbourne Planetarium:

Please describe the spaces available for weddings?

A ceremony in the Melbourne Planetarium Dome amongst the stars! Or a show in the dome, followed by a sit down dinner of cocktail reception in the Planetarium Foyer.

The Foyer is home to the original projector which operated from 1965 – 1997 in the old Museum on Swanston Street. The changing image exhibitions also have a focus on space – perfect for the science and space lovers.

How can bridal couples bring the delights of such a unique venue into their wedding to create a different experience for their guests?

A Planetarium show or pre-dinner drinks in one of the exhibitions is such a special moment. To be able to embrace the location is amazing.

Can we do a sit down reception here, or is it best suited to cocktail style weddings?

The Melbourne Planetarium Foyer can accommodate sit-down weddings for up to 150 guests or cocktail for up to 250 guests.


What is this Museum’s purpose and history?

Located in the Old Customs House in the heart of the city, the museum re-creates the real-life stories of coming to Australia with a rich mix of moving images, personal and community voices, memories and memorabilia.

rsIM - Atrium - Stewie Donn Photography

Atrium – image by Stewie Donn Photography

Please describe the unique qualities of the different spaces available for weddings?

Long Roomgorgeous 1870’s luxury, ionic columns, high ceilings and hand laid tessellated tiles. This space also features a large exhibition installation of a replica ship in the center of the room, that represents that no matter when they arrived, Immigrants are all linked by the common experience of a journey.

Courtyarda special courtyard that can be made exclusive for you in the heart of the CBD. This is rare! The large leafy courtyard, intimately connected with the glass Atrium, this contemporary area includes the Tribute Garden which pays tribute to 7,000 people who have made the journey to Victoria from over 90 countries.

Atriumthis is a contemporary and architecturally designed glass conservatory connected to the original bluestone vaults of the Old Customs House Building. A beautiful way of experiencing both old and new. This space also is adjacent to the Courtyard that gives you endless opportunities of creating an indoor/outdoor event.

Grand FoyerWith white marble floors, and access via the great ceremonial staircase, the Grand Foyer is a gorgeous intimate space offering pleasant views over the Yarra River and the modern buzz of Southbank.

rsIM - Courtyard Wedding Ceremony

Courtyard Wedding Ceremony – image courtesy of Museum Spaces

Are the Courtyard and Atrium the most popular areas for weddings?

Yes the Courtyard and Atrium prove to be the most popular for weddings at Immigration Museum. The Courtyard in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD is such a gem. This space really works well as a ceremony location as there is a small elevated area leading up to the Tribute Garden, giving the bridal party some height. It is also perfect for an outdoor cocktail reception.

The glass atrium which is adjacent to the courtyard is a stunning space to have a reception. Seating 80 on one long table running down the rooms centre, or 70 on rounds its outlook is beautiful onto the outdoor Courtyard.

How many wedding guests can be accommodated in the spaces?

Long Room: Sit Down with dancefloor in Grand Foyer – 130, Cocktail – 250

Courtyard: Cocktail – 800,  Ceremony – 200

Atrium: Ceremony – 100, Cocktail – 250, Sit Down – 80

Grand Foyer: Cocktail – 130, Sit Down – 60

What style of wedding works best here?

An elegant wedding ceremony in the courtyard, followed by pre-dinner drinks outside, then moving into the Atrium or Long Room for your reception.

rsIM - Atrium - Stewie Donn

Atrium – image by Stewie Donn Photography

You have an exclusive caterer for each venue. How would you describe the style of food they serve? 

Immigration Museum and Scienceworks
White Card Food & Events has been creating unforgettable events for over 14 years. Influenced by the dynamic and savvy food culture that is Melbourne, their individually and personally created menus combine new and exciting flavours, quality ingredients and the passion to deliver food that is stylish, contemporary and nothing short of delicious.
White Card Food & Events want your day to be perfect for you, and are happy to tailor, shared platters, banquets, food stations or roving desserts for you. They recently created a Mexican themed menu for a couple who was delighted by the outcome!

Melbourne Museum
Peter Rowland is one of Melbourne’s leading caterers with a reputation for exquisite food and excellent service. Offering fully inclusive wedding packages with beautifully crafted menus and selected beverage, along with tailored solutions from contemporary “on-trend” cocktail menus to traditional seated banquets and everything in between. Their menus use carefully sourced local and sustainable ingredients and produce where possible.

How can couples approach you to start the wedding planning process? And what is involved in this process?

Couples can contact the Museum Spaces sales team via email, phone or our online enquiry form. We will ensure the spaces are suitable and available before having our caterer liaise with couples directly on a suitable and tailored offer for their special day.

Given there are multiple spaces across each venue, the team can assist in planning the perfect layout for your wedding.

What do you love about working at Museum Victoria?

To be able to hold events and weddings in culturally enriched and amazing spaces is great. I love seeing the transformation from a Museum gallery or foyer into a spectacular event space and witnessing the client’s reaction. Museum Victoria is such a great place to work and the level of creativity and expertise is inspiring.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Sew – make cushions and polymer clay jewelry. Enjoy good food and wine. Plan my next holiday. Spend as much time with my hubby, friends and family.

Thank you Kirby for sharing your story. For more information visit the Museum Spaces website.

Headshot of the team courtesy of Museum Spaces.



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