Boston Bridal Blog: Sights & Sites

When I got engaged a month ago, I figured the task of finding a reception site in Boston proper that met all of my expectations (gorgeous view; open layout with generous dance floor; superior food; and most importantly, within my budget) would be a piece of overpriced wedding cake — once I saw the spot, I’d know it was right and subsequently book it.

I was completely, utterly wrong.

The majority of the two dozen or so venues I e-mailed for pricing were immediately ruled out. ($300 per person ? I don’t think so!) The first place my fiancé, Brad, and I actually saw, a hotel in the heart of the city with a stunning ceremony space and a beautiful harbor-view ballroom, was too high in price and unwilling to work with us. The second venue, in Cambridge, had jaw-dropping vistas across the Charles, but was on a school campus and felt way too institutional. We loved the third space until we heard about the whopping parking charges — and figured out that a produce market would probably be breaking down directly adjacent to the hotel right around the time guests would be arriving for the ceremony. The fourth locale showcased stunning sky-high views — plus extremely reasonable parking, a major bonus in the city. But alas, the room felt too narrow (and the décor would have majorly clashed with my color scheme). And finally: The last place we looked, a hotel, had exquisitely prepared food, an elegant and spacious ballroom, a prime location in the Back Bay — but no windows, meaning no views. Ultimately, though, we decided that this spot had just about everything on our wish list — and the stuff it didn’t have, well, we could work with.

So what have I learned from all of this? Unless you’re on a Platinum Weddings-size budget, holding a wedding in downtown Boston requires some compromises. These compromises don’t mean you should choose a venue knowing you’ll be unhappy on your big day; rather, it means deciding what’s most important to you and what you can live without, then playing up the positives from there. No place is perfect, so try not to sweat every tiny detail. This is advice I’m still trying to take myself, of course…but I’ll get there eventually.

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