In a city that seamlessly blends historical charm with modern innovation, Boston offers plenty of opportunities for a romantic urban wedding. Beacon Hill’s picturesque facades and cobblestone sidewalks, the North End’s authentic feel and the Freedom Trail’s unwavering red brick line shares space with Frank Gehry-designed buildings and towering skyscrapers.
“Boston is a romantic place and frequently referred to as ‘America’s European city’ that offers the feeling of London, Paris, Dublin, or Amsterdam with the efficiency of the USA,” says Larry Meehan, vice president of media relations and tourism sales of the Greater Boston Visitors & Convention Bureau (GBCVB). The city and its surrounding suburbs have managed to keep their sense of self while nurturing fine cuisine and a globally recognized cultural scene, and this makes Boston the perfect location for a wedding. The city has long been noted for its interesting architecture and this translates to wedding venues as well. New contemporary spaces at the recently renovated Revere Hotel (formerly the Radisson) lend an artsy-chic ambiance while the more formal Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental have spacious ballrooms.
Boston’s location on the water makes it the perfect backdrop for formal and casual weddings. “You can get both city and water views along with garden and green areas all through the city,” says Alexis Eliopoulos O’Maraof Unique Weddings by Alexis. Couples also have an array of interesting venue options for rehearsal dinners and receptions, whether they are looking for something grand and gilded such as the Fairmont Copley Plaza or more intimate like the Ames Hotel. “Boston has the perfect combination of traditional and modern trends,” adds O’Mara, noting that pricing is much less than New York City while not compromising on wedding professionals, venues, or food options. The abundance of skilled independent wedding professionals as well as event planners on site at local venues will give every bride confidence no matter where they are from.
Timing your wedding right and getting lucky with the weather can mean making the city your personal photography backdrop. The rotunda at the Boston Harbor Hotel with the glimmering water behind you, the stone stairs to the Boston Public Library entrance at Dartmouth Street and the carousel on the Rose Kennedy Greenway all make for beautiful wedding photos. If you want even more green options, head to the Boston Public Garden, the long arcade on Commonwealth Avenue with a leafy canopy of trees, or Christopher Columbus Park on the water in the North End.
The city is easily accessible by air, train, bus and car making it a realistic destination for weekend weddings. Boston offers a multitude of cultural experiences for wedding guests before or after the celebration. Meehan points out the multitude of sightseeing options, including Boston Duck Tours and Liberty schooners on Boston Harbor. Hop on, hop off trolleys will help your guests see Boston at its finest and the city’s easy-to-walk destinations ensure you see everything. Enjoy carefully curated galleries at the Museum of Fine Arts, the new Renzo Piano addition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and groundbreaking performances at the Institute of Contemporary Art. “Post-event you have one of the world’s friendliest (and efficient) international airports and cruiseports at your fingertips,” adds Meehan. “Stay local and the New England countryside awaits. There are 75 nonstop daily flights daily to US cities from Logan Airport and more than 25 international cities nonstop from London to Tokyo.”
However you get here, Boston’s wedding allure is obvious. This beautiful city holds onto its past while welcoming the future, much like a bride’s wedding traditions.
Boston offers plenty of natural backdrops and you don’t have to stray far from your ceremony location to get the photos of your dreams, from wooded areas and burbling brooks to the city’s vast seaport district.
Public Garden Whether you step onto a swan boat or get snapped in front of the carefully tended flowerbeds, the Public Garden is one of Boston’s finest gems. (617-635-4505)
Arnold Arboretum In all four seasons the 225 acres of this National Historic Landmark make the perfect place for photos. (125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain: 617.524.1718)
Old City Hall The granite façade of this Public Landmark Building gives off the true historic charm of Boston. (45 School St.: 617-523-8678)
Beacon Hill Antique brownstones and quaint side streets make this neighborhood the ideal spot to snap away.
Christopher Columbus Park The arbor in this serene park only adds to the water views behind you. (617-635-4505)
A city wedding shouldn’t mean having your guests scramble for a place to stay. Boston offers an array of accommodations, from charming boutique hotels to larger locations with sweeping ballrooms.
The Ritz Carlton, Boston Common 10 Avery St.; 617-574-7100
Fairmont Copley Plaza 138 St James Ave.; 617-267-5300
The Eliot Hotel 370 Commonwealth Ave.; 617-267-1607
Ames Hotel 1 Court St.; 617-979-8100:
The Mandarin Oriental 776 Boylston St.; 617-535-8888
(Photo courtesy of the Ames Hotel)