FAQs

Book  your event

What is included in the site fee?

The site fee includes the use of the museum grounds and approved indoor spaces. A one-hour open house in the museum is a special add-on feature Hill-Stead offers for events held at the estate. Historic interpreters are stationed throughout the first floor of the historic house to provide information for event guests. For wedding ceremonies without receptions, the open house may be scheduled either immediately before or immediately after the ceremony. For wedding receptions (with or without ceremonies), the open house is typically scheduled during the cocktail hour. For non-wedding daytime events, guests will receive a pass to visit the museum at their leisure rather than an open house. Hill-Stead Museum has tables and chairs for use in indoor spaces only. Please inquire about specific quantities and sizes.

Does the site fee include a tent?

Tents and other rental items must be obtained by clients with the help of one of Hill-Stead’s preferred vendors.

What paperwork is necessary to hold an event at Hill-Stead?

Clients are required to obtain a special events insurance policy, naming Hill-Stead Museum as an additional insured, in the amount of $1,000,000. Specific coverage requirements are outlined in the client’s event contract. For private events (anniversaries, birthday and graduation parties, bridal and baby showers, and family reunions), the same liability insurance requirements apply.

Please note that a homeowner’s policy does not allow for the inclusion of Hill-Stead Museum as an additional insured.

Hill-Stead recommends Wedsafe (www.wedsafe.com) and Private Event Insurance (www.privateeventinsurance.com). Both programs are underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company. A brochure outlining the insurance program appropriate for your event will be provided at the time of contract signing.

Does the museum offer catering or may I use my own caterer?

Hill-Stead Museum has a preferred catering list of professionals who are very knowledgeable about the museum’s facilities, policies and procedures.

What is Hill-Stead’s alcoholic beverage policy?

Alcoholic beverages may be served as long as the caterer and/or bar-tending service and host provide for liquor liability coverage. Host liquor liability coverage can be included with the WedSafe or Private Event Insurance liability policies.

At no time may a bar be “self-serve.”

Alcoholic beverages may be purchased either through a client’s contracted caterer and/or bartending service.

When are weddings scheduled?

Hill-Stead’s outdoor wedding season commences in May and ends in October. During the off-season, the Makeshift Theater and Pope Board Room provide indoor event space. Hill-Stead Museum schedules just one wedding per weekend, ensuring an exclusive and leisurely experience for you and your guests.

Hill-Stead Museum is open to the public until 4 pm. Wedding receptions (with or without ceremonies) may last up to six hours, from 4:30 to 10:30 pm. All outdoor music is required to end by 10:30 pm, in consideration of our residential neighbors.

Wedding ceremonies without a reception may be scheduled for a two-hour time block, following the close of the museum to the general public. Event timing will be restricted if setup and/or the actual event is deemed intrusive to the museum’s daily visitors.

Evemt times for indoor spaces and the Sunken Garden are calculated to include set-up and clean-up. Additional fees are charged for before-and after-hours access to buildings. Access to the lawn areas is from 7:30 am–5:30 pm.

More questions?

Please contact Jennifer Mooney, Manager of Private Events & Corporate Functions (860-677-4787 ext. 134, or mooneyj@hillstead.org).