Special Events Policies

The National Portrait Gallery invites individuals and organizations to support the museum’s mission and have the opportunity to celebrate a special occasion at the museum. These events could include:

  • Fundraising galas for organizations with 501(C)(3) tax-exempt status
  • Private corporate receptions and dinners
  • Personal social events for adults, including wedding receptions, memorials, anniversary celebrations, and birthday parties
  • Personal social events for teens and children such as bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, prom parties, etc.

The dedicated special events team at the National Portrait Gallery will be pleased to provide you with a list of vendors whose expertise and familiarity with the venue will help make your event successful. Vendor selections must be approved by the Portrait Gallery.

View and download our event guidelines:


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have an in-house caterer?
The National Portrait Gallery does not have an in-house caterer. Your Special Events Coordinator is happy to provide you with a list of preferred caterers and vendors for your special event.

When can I start my event?
The museum is open to the public from 11:30am to 7:00pm. Evening special events can begin at 7:00pm when the museum closes to the public. The Courtyard, Great Hall and Luce Center can be closed no earlier than 6:00pm for an additional fee.

What are the load-in and set-up times?
Your vendors are permitted to load-in and set items such as staging and lighting from 7:00am to 11:00am. Your vendors can return at 3:00pm to finish set up around the public.

Do you host weddings or birthday parties?
We now host special events of a personal nature to include wedding receptions, birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, etc., however, ceremonies cannot be hosted at the museum. All social events require an approved event planner.

Can you host my organization’s fundraiser?
Fundraising events for organizations with 501(C)(3) tax-exempt status are permitted. Ticket sales on-site is not permitted.