Whether you’re after old-school elegance or downtown cool, there’s no shortage of places to celebrate in the heart of the city. “Boston is a special place to get married because of the breadth of venue options,” says Lo McShay, owner of the Boston-based LoLo Event Design. “Often couples find the search the most stressful part of the planning process. I equate it to apartment hunting. There is no such thing as a truly perfect apartment, but you can always find one you can turn into that perfect home for you.”
With the opening of three stunning urban locales, however, perfection is within reach. At the recently renovated Harvard Art Museums, your nearest and dearest can dine under the stars in the Roman-piazza-inspired Calderwood Courtyard, topped by a vaulted glass ceiling. Guests also have the run of the museums’ first-floor galleries, which feature everything from Buddhist sculptures to paintings by the likes of Picasso and van Gogh. If hometown sports get your blood pumping, soak up views of the Green Monster from the two-story floor-to-ceiling windows inside the Hotel Commonwealth’s brand-new event spaces—or move the party outdoors to the 2,000-square-foot terrace. Looking for a spot to make completely your own? Head downtown to the Seaport’s District Hall, where programmable lights, walls you can write on, and a customizable marquee can match any theme or style.
Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy St., Cambridge, 617-495-9400, harvardartmuseums.org.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 160 seated
PRICE: Upon request
500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-933-5000, hotelcommonwealth.com.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 250 seated
PRICE: Starting at $125 per person
75 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-982-3213, districthallboston.org.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 80 seated
PRICE: Starting at $1,000
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Lo McShay, LoLo Event Design
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Ignite some friendly competition with an urban scavenger hunt organized by Cashunt. Choose from challenges such as the Wedding Party Race, a customizable game in which players answer questions about the couple; snap photos in front of landmarks; and shoot videos reenacting movie scenes. The best part? You and your crew get to keep all the hilarious footage.
Nestled in the burgeoning Innovation District, the new Envoy Hotel stuns with colorful interiors and unobstructed views of the skyline or waterfront from each of the 136 rooms. Bonus: The hotel also boasts a seasonal rooftop bar and an on-site restaurant featuring locally inspired cuisine, craft cocktails, and micro-brews.
At Kendall Square’s Catalyst, toast your bridal party in one of the restaurant’s customizable event spaces while enjoying chef-owner William Kovel’s modern American cuisine (think: house-made pastas and entrées like spit-roasted chicken with chanterelles). Or clink glasses in the semiprivate Fireplace Room, outfitted with lounge furniture and a double-sided hearth.
Commemorate a special moment from your big day with a custom painting by fashion illustrator Beth Briggs, who uses vibrant watercolors to create everything from portraits of the bride or bridal party to floral detail shots.
Available in flavors like Mexican chocolate, rosemary sea salt, and cayenne mango, the artisan-roasted peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans from Q’s Nuts, in Davis Square, are sure to satisfy those post-party snack cravings.
Consider the Mini-Moon
Since its debut in 2008, the Mandarin Oriental has wowed guests with modern, art deco–inspired interiors and a sprawling world-class spa (pictured). Unwind after the afterparty with a day of pampering—the three-hour “Rejuvenate” package, complete with a salt scrub and aromatherapy massage, should do the trick. Or explore the world of high fashion at the Museum of Fine Arts, which is showcasing Kenneth Paul Block’s stylish illustrations and Hiro’s dramatic couture photographs through August 2016. Round out the day with a meal at Somerville’s recently opened Tasting Counter, where Peter Ungár and Marcos Sanchez serve up nine intricate courses—chef’s choice—around an intimate 20-seat bar (just be sure to buy tickets in advance).
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.
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