Planning your Boston elopement can be an overwhelming and daunting task. That is why we are here to help! We have compiled a quick guide for you to follow that will walk you through the process of planning your intimate Boston elopement in less than five minutes. Planning something as important as this should not be left up to chance, so take advantage of our expertise today!
Gone are the days when eloping in Boston consists of plastic flowers from the dollar store and a tacky looking altar with twinkly lights that belong in the 70s. Let’s elope in Boston in style!
Typically, couples head to Boston City Hall for their Boston elopement. Now we know that Boston City Hall is not the only option for your elopement! Your elopement can be adventure based – hiking mountains with a friend who has a one-day marriage designation to marry the two of you. It can be revisiting favorite places that mean a lot to the two of you and sharing this experience with your favorite people.
Your Boston elopement doesn’t have to be secret, but it doesn’t have to be overtly public either. Elopements can be anything you want it to be. Throw tradition to the wind!
I hope that this guide will help you elope in Boston!
WHY SHOULD YOU ELOPE IN BOSTON?
You’ll have more time for planning and less stress because responsibilities are reduced. Next, you’ll be making your elopement memorable without anyone else interfering with that vision.
Eloping in Boston is a good idea because it will provide an intimate experience which reduces financial obligations and provides less stress when planning compared to the traditional wedding route. You’ll also be able to avoid “center of attention” anxiety!
BEST ELOPEMENT LOCATIONS IN BOSTON
Planning a Boston elopement? Here are a handful of Boston locations that will get you started on location ideas for the elopement!
- Boston City Hall
- Arnold Arboretum
- Boston Common
- Fan Pier & Harborwalk
- Boston Public Garden
- Christopher Columbus Park
- Martha’s Vineyard
- Museum of Science
- New England Aquarium
- Institute of Contemporary Art
- Fenway Park
- Boston Public Library
- and more Boston Wedding Venues here!
WHAT IS THE BEST SEASON TO ELOPE IN BOSTON?
Months of April and May
Boston starts to become alive during the spring. Magnolias on Beacon Street in the Back Bay and the Beacon Hill bloom. Slowly, the grass starts to grow back. The willow trees in the park at the Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens start to come back to life! Boston is stunning in the spring, and a perfect time to elope.
However, you and your person may be battling seasonal allergies. Be sure to stock up on medication if necessary! Nobody wants to be sneezing the entire time during their wedding ceremony. Also, depending on the year, we may have fluke frost storms and snow, even in April. Trees may start to be green, but there may be lots of mud and brown-looking scenes.
During April, there’s a high chance for rain. April showers bring May flowers!
During May, you may be also be battling with the chaos of high school and college graduations that may have already booked the venues. Planning a Boston event during graduation time or Memorial Day weekend can be tricky!
Months of June, July, and August
There’s nothing more relaxing than looking at the full bloom of all flowers during the Boston summer months. I love walking through the Arnold Arboretum gardens or several other smaller secret parks that I know of to look at all of the gorgeous flowers! Being close to the water – whether the Charles River or the Atlantic Ocean, both near the city like at Fan Pier or down the Cape, (*ahem, Cape Cod), are also great locations!
Of course, there are some days where the humidity can get very high. Be sure to make sure you test out your makeup so you don’t melt it all off. If you’re prone to sweating, turning red, and just being generally uncomfortable when hot and sweaty, perhaps look into early morning or late evening when the sun is a little lower for your Boston summer elopement. Check online for the weather.
Summer months are popular for tourists, families checking out colleges for their children, and locals emerging from their winter hibernation. Hotels may be extra busy during this time since the weather is nicer.
Of course, for elopements, guest count tends to be smaller for intimate weddings or completely non existent, so finding hotel availability might not be as difficult for your celebration.
Busy weekends include Father’s Day and July 4th weekend. Depending on the weather, it can be unbearably humid, too.
Months of September, October, and November
This is my personal favorite season in Boston because of the incredible New England Foliage and chiller weather. The vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows are unmatched to any other foliage in the world! I have some secret spots of big trees that I love bringing my clients to, that aren’t on most tourist and “leaf peeping” maps.
Avoid Sept 1st, the first weekend of September, and Labor Day weekend. It marks the weekend before colleges open, so lots of students are moving in. It’s a great time for a celebration for your special day.
Early to mid October is ideal for the best Boston elopement foliage, but I’ll be able to scout out some locations aside from the city hall if you’re even looking later than late October. Sometimes, there are specific types of trees that will keep their colors until early November! There are some locations like World’s End that will need a permit, but others like Arnold Arboretum that do not need a permit for you.
Halloween can be a big deal in some parts of Massachusetts – Salem specifically! Smart planning would tell me to avoid Salem in October, if possible.
If you’re looking for a September or October Boston elopement date to get married and plan your Boston elopement, book your vendors ahead of time. This tends to be the busiest month for a wedding date.
Months of December, January, February, and March
I personally love the crisp air of winter. If dressed appropriately, the cold is bearable. Think merino wool, fleece lined everything, outer layer for wind. Accessories that help include scarves, mittens/gloves, thick socks, and hand warmers! It might be fun to cozy up with your partner!
You’ll be able to get some romantic snowy scenes with a gorgeous city skyline for your elopement. The winter months are the least overrun with tourists. I’ve photographed outdoor weddings in the middle of the snow. Though it’s cold, we’ll keep walking to keep warm. It’s very romantic!
6 STEPS TO ELOPING IN BOSTON
Identify your priorities
The first step in the process is figuring out what is of most importance. There are so many options for elopement locations from the Boston Public Gardens and Boston Common to an airbnb roof deck! Is it imperative that you get married on the beach where you shared a first date? How about hiring Boston elopement photographer (or other wedding vendors) who you’ve dreamed of hiring ever since you saw their instagram? Is it getting married in a certain country? Has it been a dream of yours to eat in there a private room in a restaurant that you’d love to celebrate in? Will you be eloping with any friends and family, or just you two?
Identify your must-haves with your partner and craft your Boston elopement around those priorities!
Select a venue
Research possible venues in Boston that fit the experience that you’re looking for. Narrow it down to a few top choices, compare offerings, and take venue tours if necessary. Some venues may have a package specifically for elopements or perhaps for the ceremony only.
Location Location Location! This is where you’re going to get married! Will the ceremony location be outdoor? Is there a lot of noise or possible construction going on during the ceremony? What are the backup locations in case it rains? Ask the venue if there’s anything else you need to know.
Of course, it’s super easy if that venue is Boston City Hall!
Identify several possible dates
Because it’s a smaller group, it may be ideal to have a Boston weekday elopement to avoid the crowds. Depending on the venue, it may be less financially straining, as well. If you’re having a Boston City Hall wedding, all weddings there are performed on weekdays.
I love when couples approach us to be their Boston elopement photographer and videographer and they have several options for dates. It’s often that our teams get booked up quickly, and having a few options makes it so much more flexible.
Assemble your vendor A-Team!
Send out a handful of e-mails and make some phone calls to vendors that you’ll need! Again, this comes back to your priorities. Do you love flowers and want to collaborate on a bouquet with your favorite designer? Do you have a favorite makeup artist? Do you want to remember how your vows sounded and want to hire a videographer? Have you dreamed of designing a custom gown or suit? Make a list of vendors and start working your way down that list! Ask then what you need to know to help them do the best job possible!
I’m biased, but photos and memories last forever. Hire an incredible Boston elopement photographer who can create beautiful Boston elopement photos for your special day.
Some chose just a couple of hours, while some others chose full day coverage, starting at the getting ready at the hotel.. You’ll be able to cherish and share your photos with friends and family later!
Find an Officiant
There are plenty of Boston officiants that you can hire. You can ask a someone from your friends and family group to officiate the elopement ceremony for you on your wedding date. I recommend that you have planning phone calls, video chats, or in-person meetings so that you can get a feel for their vibe and see if they’ll be a good fit.
Decide which guests to invite (if necessary)
Some couples want a stress free experience with just the two of them at Boston City Hall for their elopement. Some want a few friends close by. Some know immediately what they want, and some change their minds every 60 days!
Most elopements that I photograph in Boston are either in Boston City Hall or at an outdoor wedding venue with a small amount of guests.
Send out invites (if necessary)
Will your guests be allowed to come to the Boston wedding ceremony? To dinner afterwards? It’s up to you! It’s your elopement! Either way, notify them and perhaps send information around timing, location, city parking, planning for childcare, what to expect, dress code, etc.
HOW TO GET A ONE-DAY MARRIAGE DESIGNATION IN MASSACHUSETTS?
Looking to have a friend officiate your Boston elopement ? Applying for one time officiant certificate allows a friend or family member to officiate your Boston ceremony. They will be able to be your officiant for a day and perform your nuptial on your wedding date.
It’s extra cool because your friend will be able to sign your marriage license!
Here are the easy steps on how you can get a marriage license in Massachusetts.
- Apply for a one-day marriage certificate via the Governor’s office up to 6 months in advance of the wedding date or up until 1 week before the wedding.
- Pay the marriage license fee. The online fee is $20.00, plus a $3.50 expedited fee. Once your request is approved, your certificate will be expedited in 5 business days.
- If they are a clergy member or authorize to marry people in other states, they can fill out a non-resident clergy petition form.
- For urgent requests about your marriage license, call the City Commissions office at 617-727-2836
- In the state of MA, there is a marriage license, but no marriage intention form
BOSTON ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
We offer Boston photo and video packages for city elopements ranging from two hours to full day coverage starting at 1900.
Boston elopement photography is very special for us because I know that you chose to not have any guests (or only a few). I find it a great honor to be one of the people that are there to celebrate this elopement moment with you, and helping you create memories.
BOSTON CITY HALL ELOPEMENT PACKAGES
Whether you’re looking for someone to help walk through the Boston City Hall process or be your travel concierge to coordinate luncheon or dinner, I’ll put you in contact with a wedding planner that is familiar with the city and that will take care of you!
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY ELOPEMENT PHOTOS?
You’re married! Congratulations. Once your special day is over, let’s take those photographs from your elopement ceremony and bring them to life in print.
Karen and I will take your elopement photos and help you design a Wedding Album or Wall Art (whether it be a gallery collage or one large statement piece) so that you can enjoy your elopement photos every day.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY MASSACHUSETTS INTIMATE WEDDING PHOTOS BACK?
Our typical turnaround time for your online gallery is 2 weeks.
LASTLY, DON’T FORGET YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
One time, my couple forget their marriage license at home!
Have more questions? Want to talk about your Boston elopement photography? Contact me here!