The Boston Public Library McKim Building in Copley Square houses the library’s research collection, exhibition rooms and administrative offices. The exclusive caterer is The Catered Affair.
The Boston Public Library is a beautiful place to take engagement photos and/or host a wedding.
Boston Public Library address & Current location: 700 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116
The Boston Public Library expanded with the Johnson building in 1971, adjacent to the McKim building
It’s a perfect downtown Boston location for any wedding party.
Historical facts about the Boston Public Library:
The Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported free municipal library in the world and also the first to allow members to borrow books
The Boston Public Library is also the first library to designate a special area for kids.
The Boston Public Library is the the first library to introduce the art of formal storytelling.
The Boston Public Library expanded with the Johnson building in 1971.
How much is a wedding at the Boston Public Library venue?
Estimated site fee and cost for the Boston Public Library range from $8,500 – $21,500
How much does it cost to rent out the Boston Public Library venue?
The typical rental of the Boston Public Library venue space will cost $15,400. The money includes the base fee and other costs such as load in/out fees, removal of security gates at entrance, bridal suite set-up and courtyard setup.
Where will my Boston Public Library wedding ceremony be held?
Those getting married at the Boston Public Library have many venue ceremony and reception space options. They can get married indoors or can get married outdoors in the Courtyard.
The Boston Public Library offers ceremony space in its outdoor courtyard with additional seating on their 2nd level. Cocktail reception can be served outdoors as well. Wedding reception dinner can be enjoyed indoors at Bates Hall. Dancing will take you inside of a room full of history- The Abbey Room. This setup has been able to accommodate up 330 guests.
Estimated Site Fees: $21,500.00
*Discount available January-April as well as Sunday bookings (excluding holiday weekends). A customized proposal will be provided for each individual event.
Option B: Courtyard, Map Room Tea Lounge, and Gustavino Room
With a maximum of 150 wedding guests, the outdoor ceremony can be in the Courtyard with Cocktail Reception in the Courtyard Tea Room & Map Room Tea Lounge. Wedding reception dinner and Dancing will take place at The Guastavino room.
Estimated Site Fees: $8,700.00
Option C:Courtyard, Abbey Room, and Boylston Room
This option offers the wedding ceremony at the Courtyard, cocktail hour also at the courtyard, dinner in the Abbey Room, and Dancing in the Boylston Room.
Additional fees and cost for food and beverage (catered by The Catered Affair) are additional.
What wedding venue spaces are available inside of the Boston Public Library ?
Bates Hall – Historic tall bookshelves with the green lanterns
Abbey Room – Gorgeous mural paintings
The Guastavino Room – Named for its vaulted ceilings designed by Rafael Guastavino
The Boston Public Library is open to the public, and many people can be seen hanging out in the courtyard or touring the event venue space.
Every room in the Boston Public Library is a joy for any photographer. The historic detail of the grand staircase, the majestic columns, and the beautiful outdoor courtyard brings excitement to any photographer. Because of the tall ceilings, 700 Boylston feels so spacious and no person ever feels too cramped.
Check out my website for many more weddings at the Boston Public Library McKim building.
What hotel should I get ready in for my Boston Public Library wedding?
The Fairmont Copley Hotel in downtown Boston has my favorite bridal suite for getting ready. The hotel is in Copley Square on a busy street Boston. The best part about this hotel is that it’s walkable to the Boston Public Library, which makes transportation on the wedding day.
Even if there are special events happening in the city, you won’t have to worry about transportation if you’re staying across the street!
You’ll also be able to party, hit the dance floor, and open bar all night knowing that the location that you’ll be sleeping is within a few steps away from the wedding venue. No need to figure out parking for your car, or get a designated driver.
Other close hotels that have a pretty bridal suite spaces: Hilton Hotel, Westin Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Boston on Boylston St.
What are the best things on the Boston Public Library wedding menu?
The Catered Affair menu is diverse, varied, and all delicious! I love their steak courses. Their vegetarian options on the menu are scrumptious, too! The food cost depends on catering menu.
The Catered Affair also caters the weddings at the The Institute of Contemporary Art.
Are there special consideration for my vendor team?
Driving into the city can be difficult for those who who aren’t used to Masshole driving in downtown Boston. Always have backup parking garages in case they’re full if there’s an event in the city
Also, Boston Public Library venue coordinators requires the vendor teams to submit a Certificate of Insurance prior to the wedding date.
Meals for vendors are catered by the exclusive on-site caterer, The Catered Affair.
Will Catered Affair cater my event at the Boston Public Library?
The Boston Public Library is proud to have The Catered Affair as their exclusive on-site food and beverage provider for the wedding venue, serving up delicacies for over a decade. They’re a top notch quality group and the service they provide to the guests as well as vendors is unparalleled!
An unerring focus on three elements has driven the success of The Catered Affair: Brilliant food. Flawless service. Stunning venues. Thousands of our guests across New England have experienced the alchemy of The Catered Affair since 1979 when founder Holly Safford set out with just a toaster and her undeniable passion for hospitality, creating the region’s best-loved catering company as we know it today!
Today, The Catered Affair has 300 person team and a 15,000-square foot headquarters. They’re a very much loved team in the Boston wedding industry!
What parking garages are available for my wedding guests?
In addition to downtown Boston metered street parking, there are a handful of parking garages:
149 Newbury Street Parking Lot
Valet parking at the Fairmont Copley Hotel
I like using Spot Hero for its easy parking service and simplified fees. On the app, it tells you if there are service fees, how much space is available, and how close it is to the BPL. The app also will show a photo of the garage or parking lot which makes it easy to find.
As a Boston wedding photographer, I love Spot Hero. I know many other wedding vendors also find the services of this app very easy to use!
Is the BPL venue available for private events?
In addition to Boston wedding bookings, the BPL venue is available for corporate events, family functions, team gatherings, and other party events. All catering is done through the exclusive The Catered Affair.
Boston Wedding Day Testimonials from brides and grooms at the Boston Public Library
“The Catered Affair team at the BPL team made our September wedding seamless from start to finish. Working with Bryanne, our coordinator, and the entire Catered Affair team really made our wedding day so enjoyable – we didn’t have to stress about anything. ” – Margot
“I can’t say enough about working with the staff at the Boston Public Library and the Catered Affair. They were always prompt in answering my questions, flexible during the planning process and ensured a smooth and perfect wedding day.” – Kathleen
“The Catered Affair did an absolutely phenomenal job with our wedding event, from the planning process through the last minute of the party. Every last detail of our wedding was executed spectacularly. Faith Larsen is an absolute master. She always made herself available throughout the entire process and provided a tremendous amount of guidance, expertise and advice.” – James
“The BPL is a dream venue. The Catered Affair staff made everything so easy and beautiful with wedding planning. We had a vegetarian wedding and everyone loved the food!” -Hannah
“I don’t know where to begin. The Catered Affair is the most incredible vendor anyone could EVER IMAGINE AND THEN SOME! They just executed the wedding of my absolute dreams this weekend at the Boston Public Library. Bryanne Pepin, my event producer, is beyond amazing… I don’t know what I would have ever done without her.” – Ashley
“Our entire wedding planning experience at the Boston Public Librarywas seamless and easy thanks to Eliza at the catered affair. The BPL is an amazing venue space for a wedding, we received so many compliments from our guests.” – Julia
“From start to finish, the Catered Affair was wonderfully helpful in wedding planning. At no point in time were we even remotely stressed during the planning process” -Tommy
As you can see, in terms of helpfulness and kindness, this wedding venue offers all the planning services that you may need for your wedding!
What is the starting price per person for bar service?
$ 50 per person for event bar service for Boston wedding events.
Wedding couples can chose from cash bar or open bar for their guests.
There are flexible options for your cocktail reception, drinks prior to your wedding ceremony in the courtyard, champagne toast for your guests, and other special requests for your wedding reception.
What event rental items are available for the Boston Public Library venue?
Audio Equipment, Chairs, Tables, etc.
I highly suggest Peak Event Rental for linens, chairs cutlery, etc. Their rental program is seamless and they’re consummate professionals. The only difficult part is the search for which beautiful linen to select! They do have photos online, so contact them for their events services!
You can even rent furniture for your wedding venue. Furniture rentals can be statement pieces, or upgraded chairs for your guests to sit on during the wedding ceremony.
The most popular furniture I see rented are chairs, furniture lounge rentals, and couches for the wedding ceremony or cocktail. The rental fee varies based on the item.
Check out their Pinterest for more photos of the event venue spaces for weddings! The rental fee range based on item and quantity.
What are other names for the Boston Public Library?
Bates Hall, Johnson Building, McKim, and “the hall” are all names used to describe the BPL events ceremony and reception space for weddings.
What is the Johnson Building?
The newly renovated Johnson Building is next door to the Boston Public Library. It is a stunning event venue space for a conference, wedding ceremony or reception. The custom floor-to-ceiling windows and wide open space make it an ideal backdrop with its crisp, colorful lines.
For an all-day seminar, corporate clients can enjoy the re-imagined Rabb Hall venue which seats up to 323 guests. This theater has been updated with state of the art a/v equipment and cutting edge green room perfect for meetings or events. It still has a great library feel.
The rental fee for this hall depends on date and services needed.
Can I smoke at the Boston Public Library?
No. Smoking, chewing, and other tobacco use is prohibited throughout the entire Boston Public Library venue. Without exception, anyone caught smoking will be asked to leave the premises. Smoking is permitted outside of the library as long as it is at least 20 feet away from the Boston Public Library venue entrance.
If I’m having my wedding elsewhere can I still take pictures inside of the Boston Public Library?
Yes, however, formal photo shoots require a reservation and a services fee.
If you would like to schedule a formal photo shoot at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, please contact our Special Events Office at email@example.com or 617.859.2212 to determine the available dates, start times, and fee for your session. Unfortunately we cannot allow formal photography shoots during library hours
Can I hold my wedding rehearsal at the Boston Public Library the day before the ceremony?
Yes! Wedding rehearsals occur during the normal Boston Public Library hours. Your wedding venue coordinator at The Catered Affair will help schedule you in!
How many guests can Bates Hall at the Boston Public Library hold?
Bates Hall in the Boston Public Library offers seating for up to 220 wedding guests. For an additional fee, the original chairs can be removed to accommodate up to 330 guests with rental wedding chairs.
Can I only rent out the Boston Public Library Courtyard for a private functions?
The Boston Public Library Courtyard is an ideal location for cocktail receptions and wedding ceremonies. It must be rented in conjunction with another space and is only available after the Boston Public Library has closed to the public.
What are the hours is the Boston Public Library open?
The Boston Public Library open hours are:
Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Are you interested in learning more about photography & videography for your Boston Public Library wedding?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some recent weddings that my team and I have photographed at the Boston Public Library: