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Space Center Houston Hosts Out-of-This-World Weddings

Star Trek costumes are optional

Stephanie K. Birdsong Coolnina/Shutterstock.com

Picture your wedding guests enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres inside the payload bay of a full-scale space shuttle replica. That’s just one way space junkies can celebrate their nuptials at Space Center Houston, which is just across from NASA’s Johnson Space Center and serves as its visitor center.

The museum is famed for fascinating exhibits, including vintage craft flown during Apollo and Gemini missions, one of the few lunar rocks on public view, and a gallery of spacesuits, including one still flecked with lunar dust. Recently, the museum unveiled Independence Plaza, anchored by NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905, a modified Boeing 747 that ferried the space shuttle, piggyback-style.

All of Space Center Houston, which comprises several galleries, is available for private-event rentals, and space-crazy couples from as far as India and Australia have held weddings here. (The museum handles catering but allows cakes from outside vendors.) The space geekery at such celebrations ranges from gold-foil chocolate space shuttles as party favors to full-on theme weddings keyed to Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek—with guests in costume.

The shuttle replica can accommodate up to 100 guests, all of whom are free to mingle in the ship’s living quarters and seven interactive exhibits. At least one of these—devoted to “mating”—seems tailor-made for funny wedding photos: guests can experience what it’s like to line up a space shuttle and hoist it onto the back of a carrier aircraft. 

The museum will set up tents for up to 200 guests in the plaza surrounding the shuttle carrier, which can be illuminated with strobing blue and red lights. And construction has begun on an adjacent new 5,000-square-foot special events center that will accommodate even larger shindigs. Wedding packages don’t include rocket trips to space, sadly, but you’re encouraged to light up the sky anyway, with a fireworks show as a grand finale.