Ever wondered how to elope in Boston?
It is actually pretty easy.
Boston is a beautiful city to elope in. If you are looking for a nature vibe for your day, there are a lot of amazing parks you can elope in like the Public Garden or the Arboretum in JP. If you are looking for more of a city feel we can capture that too. The city has it all and one of the things I love most about elopements is that you can make the day customizable to YOU. Whatever your vision is for your day, we can make it happen.
When you are in the preliminary stages of planning your elopement day it is vital that you figure out how you want your wedding to feel. You already know that you want to have an intentional wedding ceremony, that is why you are eloping. This is a great start! But to help narrow down the exact location, or the date it helps to start with how you want to feel on your wedding day.
Do you want to feel calm and relaxed? Or maybe you want to feel adventurous? Or artistic and inspired? Do you want to feel like a woodland fairy? Or like a celebrity? How you want to feel will help inform every single decision you make for your day. So go ahead, relax, close your eyes and just imagine how you want to feel on your wedding day.
Now that we know how you want to feel, you now need to choose your wedding day. For some couples this decision might be really simple. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a winter wedding, or you want to have fall foliage in your photos? You don’t have to nail down the specific date and timeline just yet, but having a month or even just the general season really helps. Fall is truly when Boston & New England shine.
Although it is never too early or late to plan your elopement, typically couples plan their day 3-6 months out. But I have also seen couples plan as far as 12 months or even as little as 2 weeks. There are no rules.
If you really can’t narrow down when you want to elope, consider booking your location or your other elopement vendors first. As some locations are only available at certain times of the year, you might need to work around a venue’s schedule. That way you still get the dream wedding experience, and you just work with your vendors schedules.
Now that you have your date picked, or at least a general idea, you can begin brainstorming where you would like to elope in Boston. You can also begin dreaming up what your wedding experience will look like. Do you want to do a specific activity? Maybe go for a hike, or hit up your favorite ice cream store? Maybe your first date was at a golf course and you want to go hit the links before your vows. Whatever your perfect day is, I give you permission to dream it.
In this stage of planning you will also want to start figuring out if you are going to be inviting any family or friends. The beauty of eloping is that you can still have a private intimate ceremony that is just the two of you and then invite your family for a celebration after. As I always say there are no rules. There are some locations that are perfect for a small gathering, where others would have to only be the two of you.
Arnold Arboretum (Boston, MA)
Boston Public Garden (Boston, MA)
Boston Public LIbrary (Boston, MA)
Larz Anderson Park (Brookline, MA)
Middlesex Fells Reservation (Stoneham, MA)
Here is another resource you can check out for some of the best places to elope in Massachusetts.
Just because you’re eloping, doesn’t mean you can’t have all of the details of a larger wedding. Remember eloping can be as simple or elaborate as you would like, what’s important is that the focus is kept on you two as a couple. Your vendor team is just there to make your vision come to life.
An officiant is required in Massachusetts. You can check out this article and see who qualifies to marry you. Also if you would like someone special in your life to marry you, you can apply for a 1 Day Designation.
Here is a list of Officiants and Justice of the Peace who work in Massachusetts:
If you would like to keep your elopement small and you just want to exchange your vows privately, aren’t interested in a religious ceremony or marriage counseling, I am also ordained and can legally marry you and your partner!
I am probably a little biased here, but photographers are absolutely necessary on your elopement day. Often times we are the only people you will be with the entire day, so it is vital that you get along with your photographer. I know it can be a little awkward having a camera in your face all day, but TRUST ME, if you aren’t inviting any guests its all the more important to hire a professional photographer. That way you can relive through the photos with all of your loved ones who weren’t
Other vendors to consider hiring are videographers, planners, florist, caterer, baker, hair and makeup artist etc. Again, its your day so you can decide how simple or elaborate you want your elopement day to be. It all goes back to how do you want to feel on your elopement day.
Now that we have got all of the fun part of your day planned, it is time to get legal!
About a month or so before your wedding day you can apply to get your marriage license. To apply, all you have to do is schedule an appointment at Boston City Hall.(you can also apply at any City Hall in the state of MA, just do a quick google search on how to set up your appointment) Couples must apply together and in person. When you apply you will need a valid ID and the $50 license fee. Your marriage license is valid for 60 days after you apply. You MUST have a marriage license to legally get married in Massachusetts. Your license is only valid in Massachusetts.
Now that you have everything planned and ready to go, all you have left to do is tie that knot! Take the next couple of days or weeks leading up to the wedding enjoying and savoring each moment. The day is going to go by so fast, so just enjoy it as much as possible.
I hope this guide gave you some ideas of how to plan your dream Boston Elopement.
Please check out some galleries to give you some more ideas how custom your elopement can be.
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© Tessa Klingensmith Photography 2021