Superlative Settings

From secluded islands to hip concert halls, there’s no shortage of wedding-worthy venues in the Boston area. To help narrow it all down, we asked the city’s top planners to share their favorites.

Calderwood Courtyard at Harvard Art Museums

Calderwood Courtyard at Harvard Art Museums

photograph by studio atticus

Guests: Up to 400
Price: Upon request
Picked by: Gabrielle Stone, Stone Event Planning

“These are some of the most beautiful university museums on the East Coast and ideal for a couple who want a ‘museum wedding’ on a smaller scale, in a more intimate space. The vibe is formal, elegant, romantic, and classic. And you have the historical and architecturally significant Harvard Yard as the backdrop for your photos. The Calderwood Courtyard was recently renovated and is gorgeous.”

32 Quincy St., Cambridge, 617-495-1275,


The Sinclair

the sinclair

Photograph by laura nathan

Guests: Up to 200
Price: Starting at $20,000
Picked by: Lauren Wells, Lauren Wells Events

“As a restaurant and concert venue, the Sinclair has so many great details, design-wise: subway tiling, multiple levels, and a stage for a band or DJ. The vibe is hip and industrial, meant for a dance party. You could throw your own personal rock show with your band onstage—confetti cannons, the whole works. Definitely ask the staff to put your names on the giant exterior marquee to welcome guests.”

52 Church St., Cambridge, 617-547-5200,


Essex Conference Center

essex conference center

photograph by ebersole photography

Guests: Up to 180
Price: Starting at $14,995
Picked by: Natalie Pinney and Moira Thompson, Whim Events

“It has that California redwoods feel, very lush and green. The moment you go in, you instantly feel calm and at peace. The owner is a sculpture artist, so the landscape is very natural and wooded, with cool art on the property. It feels like a magical getaway—earthy and bohemian. Don’t miss the Jacuzzi after-party, either. Yes, they even have a hot tub for your crew.”

One Conomo Point Rd., Essex, 978-768-7374,


Downtown Harvard Club of Boston

downtown harvard club of boston

photograph by person + killian photography

Guests: Up to 200
Price: Starting at $18,000
Picked by: Lo McShay, LoLo Event Design

“The Harvard Club Downtown isn’t as well known as its Back Bay sister location. It’s 38 floors up and has stunning views of both the harbor and the Back Bay. When you time your event to the sunset, the light in the club is simply stunning and offers amazing photo opportunities. There’s access to the full club, which offers a kids’ room, as well as multiple spaces for things like ketubah signings and hair and makeup touchups. Plus, the built-in bar in the cocktail area creates a classic vibe.”

One Federal St., Boston, 617-542-2070,


Thompson Island

thompson island

Photograph by catharine morris

Guests: Up to 350
Price: starting at $25,000
Picked by: Paula Marrero, Marrero Events

“I love this island for its privacy and natural beauty. You feel a world away, but it’s just 25 minutes from Boston—with the best view of the city at night. It feels natural, organic, and tranquil, and can be transformed into whatever the couple wants. For photos, look for the refurbished boats in some of the back fields for a nautical vibe; on the main lawn, the ocean peeks through the trees. Staffers can also lead you to the beach for more photos. And best of all, your money goes toward the island’s Outward Bound Education Center program.”



Multicultural Arts Center

multicultural arts center

photographs by caitlin o’brien

Guests: Up to 200
Price: Starting at $4,200
Picked by: Mandy Connor, Hummingbird Bridal & Event Planning

“This isn’t the type of setting that feels forced or manufactured. Couples often find that they need very little additional décor because the space is so striking. It was built in 1889 as a theater, and still has a Parisian, Victorian-era feel, with white marble floors, marble staircases, a handpainted ceiling, and two art galleries. The courtyard is great for ceremonies. For the couple’s grand entrance after they’ve been married, I like to sneak them up to the second-floor balcony that overlooks the reception space. Guests love it.”

41 Second St., Cambridge, 617-577-1400,

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