The historic enclave of Boston is known for many things: narrow streets that meander past iconic vine-covered brownstones, an extensive museum scene that serves a time capsule into American history, and seafood that is so impeccable foodies will happily wait over an hour for a table. This classic metropolis is so legendary many would believe that the price tag on all desirable wedding venues would be jaw-dropping, but think again. For a fair rate, those hoping to say their I do’s in the crisp New England air will be pleased to discover affordable venues ranging from a Victorian mansion and famed hotel, to a pirate ship and a sprawling lawn speckled with colonial structures.
A venue that has mastered the art of rustic elegance, The Bull Run provides an idyllic space for couples wanting to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of New England. This space transports you back to the quaintness of pre-Revolutionary times, as it’s surrounded by colonial structures and stone walls, and oak trees so ancient you can feel the history emanating off of them. Options for the ceremony include classic outdoor spaces covered in lush grass and surrounded by towering foliage, or a historic meetinghouse that provides welcome refuge during the chillier months. And, you can’t go wrong when selecting the function room for your reception as they all feature picture windows, exposed wooden beams, and delicate chandeliers. Outdoor areas are also available for receptions. History buffs and nature lovers will easily say yes to The Bull Run.
Typical Cost: Between $9,450 and $11,916
Bonus: A nearby covered timber-truss bridge provides an ideal location for unique photo ops.
Swashbuckling couples with dreams of setting sail in search of adventure and intrigue will be thrilled to discover that they can wed on a pirate ship. As the Formidable sails through Boston Harbor your wedding day will be taken to the next level with a pirate crew who stay in character while regaling guests with tall tales, firing a cannon, and singing classic pirate ditties. And, alcohol and catering will be provided as you enjoy a ceremony and reception on your seafaring journey. Pirate enthusiasts with a passion for living history will discover their bliss aboard the Formidable.
Typical Cost: $2,400 to $2,550 for a reception and ceremony. This includes 3 hours of event time.
Bonus: You can request special appearances by Captain Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook.
Those yearning for a big day filled with Boston glamour will be in heaven amongst the breathtaking settings of this iconic hotel. As an award-winning wedding venue, Hotel Commonwealth provides an unsurpassable level of service and grandeur, with a terrace that looks out on Fenway Park, a modern ballroom with exceptionally high ceilings and cosmopolitan vibes, and an attentive yet “invisible” staff that caters to your every need without being intrusive. The mix of magazine-worthy contemporary design and historic ambiance at this legendary hotel creates a venue primed to provide an unforgettable wedding extravaganza.
Typical Cost: Ceremony fees start at $1,000. Rental fees for a reception start at $1,500 and include 5 hours of event time.
Bonus: The food. Menu options are inspired by the superb offerings of the on-site restaurants, which utilize seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Favorites include the lobster tacos, steak tartare, eggplant caponata, pan seared New Bedford scallops, and hand-cut ricotta gnocchi.
The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers a blank canvas on which you can creatively paint the wedding of your dreams. Providing couples with numerous areas that are all brimming with charm and history, this venue can be transformed into almost any variety of wedding wonderland. This versatility is made possible by the 8,000 square feet of interior event spaces that include everything from a ballroom and mural-filled rooms, to a marble-floored lobby and wrought iron entryway. In addition, 5,000 square feet of outdoor space is available, offering gardens, a plaza, and a large courtyard to host summer or spring nuptials.
Typical Cost: $7,600 – $12,220
Bonus: There is an outdoor basketball court that could double as an epic dance floor.
Couples striving to create an intimate gathering that exudes old-world elegance and romance will fall in love with this Italianate Victorian home, built in 1853. For ceremonies, the gardens offer a lush and whimsical ambiance, replete with brick and Belgian cobblestone paved areas and paths. Inside, a mix of antique furniture and a contemporary art collection foster a charming union of old and new. The resident food service, Vibrant Flavors by Persimmon, provides an exquisite menu with savory options like watermelon gazpacho, wine-braised brisket, and tart cherries, and mushroom and tarragon pithivier, and sweet treats such as pastry nests with poached pears and feta saffron cream, walnut crumble with guava and plum compote, and apple brown butter pie.
Typical Cost: $3,863 and $8,877
Bonus: This venue can help check off multiple items from your to-do list, as they offer floral arranging, and the rental of tableware, stemware, flatware, linens, and other items.
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Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with mothers-to-be, new mothers, and their support teams. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.