If you’re considering a Boston elopement but don’t know where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re planning a Boston City Hall elopement or a simple ceremony in one of the city’s many parks, eloping in Boston is the perfect way to begin your marriage. Read on to learn everything you need to know to plan your Boston elopement!
1. Choose a date
Once you’ve made the decision to elope in Boston (yay!), the first thing you’ll want to decide is when to do it.
An important factor in choosing your date is the weather; Boston is known for its dramatic changes of seasons, so think about the time of year and be prepared! If you love autumn in the city, then a fall elopement in September or October would be perfect for you and your partner — think of saying “I do” in the warm sun and crisp air, with a backdrop of colorful foliage! If you’re cold weather people, then eloping in the winter is a great option (just bring lots of layers, and don’t be surprised if it snows!). Spring elopements are also popular, but be aware that the weather doesn’t get fully warm (and the leaves/flowers don’t blossom) until at least late April. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic, beautiful summer elopement in Boston.
The great thing about eloping is that you can choose a date that feels true to you and your partner, without outside pressure from family, friends, or even venues/vendors. If you’re hoping to have a Boston City Hall wedding, then keep in mind that those ceremonies only take place on weekdays when you’re choosing your date!
2. Choose a location
Now that you’ve picked a date for your elopement, it’s time to choose a location! Boston is full of beautiful places to say your vows — from its winding brick-lined streets to its lush parks and gardens, you can’t go wrong. Some of the best locations to elope in Boston:
- Boston City Hall & Beacon Hill
- Boston Common & Boston Public Garden
- Back Bay
- Arnold Arboretum
- Boston Harbor Walk – Seaport
- Charles River Esplanade
- Fenway Park
- South End
Be aware that certain locations — like the Boston Public Garden — require a permit to hold your ceremony. You will have to fill out a Special Event Permit Application at least ten days prior to your elopement, so plan ahead!
3. Get your marriage license
Though planning the details is exciting, it’s also important to sort out all of the legal logistics of how to get married in Boston. In order to elope in Boston, you’ll need to get a marriage license from City Hall — this is critical! To do so, you have to make an appointment to apply in person with your partner (you can do this at any town/city hall in MA, not just in Boston), and fill out a Marriage Intention form. When you go in for your appointment, you’ll need to bring your IDs and $50 for the license fee, as well as provide some personal information like where you live, where you were born, and what your legal names will be after you get married.
After your appointment, your marriage license will be mailed to you in three days. Keep in mind that your marriage license is only valid for 60 days after to get it, so be sure to schedule your appointment within that window before your elopement date!
4. Book a Boston elopement photographer
Elopements give you a huge amount of flexibility when it comes to how you spend your day; you can get coffee before saying your vows, stroll through your favorite neighborhood, see a Sox game, go to your favorite bar for a congratulatory toast. The options are truly endless and there are no rules! Your Boston elopement will be unique to you, and your photos should reflect that.
No matter the size of your wedding, your celebration deserves to be documented! And — perhaps even more so with tiny weddings and elopements — photographs are the best way to share your day with loved ones who couldn’t be there.
5. Book any other vendors
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t have all your dream details — even if it’s just the two of you, you can still hire vendors to really elevate your experience and help bring some incredible, personal touches to your day (not to mention, you’ll need an officiant for your ceremony!). You can make your elopement whatever you want it to be, so teaming up with the right people can make it even more memorable.
Your elopement is a chance to celebrate your love, in whatever way feels true to you! Find vendors who share your vision and will do anything to make it happen for you. If you want to picnic in the sun and drink wine, surrounded by flowers, then find the people who will bring that to life. I encourage you to be as creative and imaginative as possible! there are so many opportunities and possibilities, and so few rules.
Reach out or check out my guides if you want my list of recommended vendors for your Boston elopement!
7. Relax, and tie the knot!
The bottom line: have fun planning your elopement in Boston! Remember that you’re marrying the love of your life in one of the most beautiful cities, and it will be the best day ever. Enjoy the process and soak in every detail of your day!
Planning a tiny wedding or elopement? Check out the best small wedding venues in New England and New York!