WHERE ARE THE BEST SPOTS TO PHOTOGRAPH BOSTON COMMON ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?
The City of Boston is home to the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common, often mistakenly referred to as the Boston Commons, is an iconic park that spans 50 acres and marks the beginning of the Freedom Trail. During the day, you clearly see the rich history the park offers. And at night, the park is lit with bright streetlights shadowed only by the illuminated skyscrapers of Boston City. If you’ve ever wanted to have a public outdoor garden wedding, this is the sign you’ve been looking for.
Here are some of my favorite spots in the Boston Common for engagement photos and wedding photos:
- Greenery – trees, foliage, they’re everywhere!
- Central Burying Ground
- Boston Common Frog Pond
- Plaque to the Great Elm tree – represents liberty
- Brewer Fountain
Located directly across the street from the Boston Common is the Boston Public Garden. They are often confused with each other, but a quick look at a map will show that they’re separate parks. Both are free to the public and are easily accessible by simply walking across the street.
WHERE ARE THE BEST SPOTS FOR BOSTON PUBLIC GARDEN ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS AND WEDDING PHOTOS??
Often, I suggest to my couples to head towards the Boston Public Gardens, the Common’s younger brother.
Boston is a beautiful location for weddings— the space is flush with sprawling gardens, cityscapes, swan boats, parks, and winding rivers. There’s no shortage of picture-worthy moments on the map when it comes to the Walking City.
The Public Garden, a national historic landmark in the City of Boston, is highly popular as an outdoor wedding venue. Located near the corner of Beacon street and Charles street, the park is filled with colorful scenery and even more colorful locals in the spring. It’s charming, picturesque, and for those of us who grew up reading Make Way for Ducklings, intensely nostalgic.
Here are some of my favorite locations for Boston Public Garden engagement sessions and wedding photos:
- Boston Public Garden Bridge
- Willow trees surrounding the pond
- Swan boats
- George Washington statue
- Make Way for Ducklings statue(s)
Boston’s public garden makes for many intimate and personal photo sessions that are sure to make the event memorable both day and night. The space is open for organized activities such as wedding photo shoots and wedding ceremonies, but it is important to know there are necessary steps to be taken.
HOW TO PLAN A BOSTON COMMON WEDDING
There are a number of things to consider before planning the wedding of your dreams in a public park, specifically a Boston Common Wedding.
I’ve written down the main tips for you to keep in mind when considering a Boston Public Garden Wedding, as well as some additional resources that should help your arrangements go smoothly.
Reserve your area with Boston Parks and Recreation
- Wedding season is (unsurprisingly) busy for the Boston Public Garden, so it’s important to reserve your spot well ahead of time!
- Weddings can be scheduled between April 1st and December 1st, and can be booked up to one year in advance. Once you reach a week out from the date, you will no longer be able to book your Boston Public Garden Wedding. It’s also important to consider whether your friends, family, or other invited guests may have problems with attending this date.
- If you want to reserve a specific area in the park, apply for a special event permit via the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Permitting Division; 617-635-4505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You’ll be able to pick from 6 or 7 different areas of the park— which also means there can be up to 6 or 7 events happening at the same time. If you can’t book in a certain area for your Boston Public Garden Wedding, it means that someone has already reserved that area for their own event.
When is a best time of year to get married?
The most popular months to get married are June, September, and October. The weather in early summer is absolutely beautiful without being too hot or humid while the fall offers a refreshing cool breeze perfect for a public garden ceremony among the leaves of trees turning gold. Although there are drawbacks, March and April also makes good dates to hold a wedding ceremony as to avoid the cold or wet seasons. If you plan it right, you can hold a beautiful spring wedding with your beloved friends and family.
Pay fee for Special Event Permit Application
- After you apply for a Special Event Permit Application through the Boston Parks and Recreation Department website, make out a check to the City of Boston at least 10 days prior to the wedding.
- If you’re farther out the map of Massachusetts, don’t worry. The site is open even to those outside of Boston. The department charges a $100 free for Non-Boston residents; for residents in the city of Boston, the cost is $50. Make sure to contact the permitting division (617-635-4505) as they can provide the assistance when you apply for a permit for your wedding photographer. If you have other questions about photography at both parks, please contact the permitting division.
- Although there’s no cost for the permit to reserve your special spot in the main part of Public Garden, there is a fee for professional wedding photography and videography. This applies to whether you’re having your wedding ceremony at the site, or are headed there simply for your wedding family photos, bridal party photos, or couple photos.
Consider weekdays or off-peak times
- “Popular” and “public” go hand-in-hand with “packed.” Expect there to be crowds at the public garden during wedding season, especially if it’s a Friday or Saturday!
- We highly recommend considering weekdays for your main event.
- Weddings can take place Monday through Friday between 3:00PM and 5:30PM, or weekends between 11:00AM and 5:30PM.
- There could be several other events happening at the same time as your wedding, not to mention tourists, students, and families enjoying their day at the Public Garden while you have your photo session. This provides its own set of challenges for photographers and couples alike.
Yes, weekdays for Boston Common Engagement Sessions, too!
- I recommend Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for Boston Common engagement sessions too.
- Your Boston Common engagement photos will be less filled with tourists, people, picnic-ers, and students if you decide to do this on a weekday!
- Many of my couples do not like being in the main “center of attention” state.
Be aware of Boston’s unpredictable weather
- If you’re familiar with Massachusetts, you know how unpredictable the weather can be. Make sure you have a backup plan for rainy weather! (Or umbrellas and galoshes if your guests are the outdoorsy type.)
1 hour duration with 50 person capacity
- If you’re planning a short, cost-efficient, intimate wedding, a Boston Public Garden Wedding may be a perfect fit for you.
- Weddings organized at both parks have a 1-hour maximum duration, with a 50 person maximum capacity. This way, you can enjoy a casual, intimate wedding in a beautiful space with beloved family and friends.
WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED FOR MY BOSTON COMMON WEDDING?
- Amplified sound
You won’t be able to have tents, tables, chairs, decorations, or balloons in your ceremony. This is a public space, after all, and the Boston Parks Department wants to keep it as pristine as possible. In addition to being the oldest city park, it’s also the first public botanical garden in America.
Music and amplified sound are not allowed, presumably for the benefit of the other park-goers.
No food or drinks are allowed, but the public garden is center to a host of restaurants, if you and your guests are looking for a bite to eat after the ceremony. Additionally, the Friends of the Public Garden FAQ state that Brewer Fountain Plaza is filled with many open food trucks.
If you have any questions about holding organized events, please contact the Boston Parks and Recreation Permitting Division (617-635-4505) or via email email@example.com.
WHERE CAN I PARK FOR A BOSTON COMMON WEDDING?
- Boston Common Garage is a state of the art parking facility underneath the Boston Common. The location of their office is at 0 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02116 — a conveniently nearby parking spot for you and your guests.
- Being a public park, the Boston Common is at the center of many parking meters that charge for up to 2 hours in case you want easy access to your vehicle before and after the wedding.
WHAT MBTA TRAINS CAN I TAKE FOR MY BOSTON COMMONS WEDDING?
Boston navigation is tricky, but the train system in the state of Massachusetts are simple because they’re just colors. No sign of letters, just colors! When looking for the MBTA stop, search for the big bold T.
- Green line – Arlington, Boylston, Park Street
- Red Line – Downtown Crossing
- Orange Line – Chinatown
ARE THERE RESTAURANTS IN THE BOSTON COMMON?
Yes! There are lots of different types of food. To view an online menu, I suggest looking at Yelp for ratings.
Since the pandemic, guests cannot view a paper menu. To look at a menu, you’ll have to use your phone, scan a QR code, and then a menu will pop up via a website.
To expedite, feel free to check out the menu beforehand on your computer. It makes the search much easier.
READY TO PLAN YOUR BOSTON COMMON WEDDING CEREMONY? CONTACT ME!
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