Best of Boston Weddings 2024
Take the stress out of wedding planning by tapping these A-list wedding pros, services, and retailers.
Take the stress out of wedding planning by tapping these A-list wedding pros, services, and retailers. —The Editors
PEAK EVENT SERVICES
Ensuring everything in your event space is in sync with your wedding is a top priority—after all, no couple wants their tent coming down or their tabletops folding up at the wrong time. With Peak Event Services at the helm, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is showing up at the altar. The industry pros offer decades of experience, exceptional service, and a vast, varied inventory of everything from sailcloth tents to delicate china to champagne hedge walls (yes, that’s really a thing). And with five showrooms in New England, one of which is in Boston, you won’t have to go far to find the setup of your dreams.
THE CATERED AFFAIR
Let’s be honest, a wedding with bad food makes for an affair to remember—for the wrong reasons. That’s why you must opt for the best—and one of the longest-running—caterers in Greater Boston. With the goal of creating memorable culinary experiences, the team curates menus that wow with delicious and sensory-stimulating fare that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. These culinary masters are known for their longstanding relationships as the in-house caterer for a slew of the city’s leading venues, including the Boston Public Library, Harvard Art Museums, and the Boston Athenaeum—which begs the question, if they trust The Catered Affair to handle their cuisine, shouldn’t you?
GUS & RUBY LETTERPRESS
If you’re going to request the honor of someone’s presence at your wedding, it’s important to make sure the invite is enticing. That’s where Gus & Ruby come in. Best friends and business partners Samantha Finigan and Whitney Swaffield launched their studio in 2009, specializing in creating customized and unique invitations developed with each couple in mind. Experts in the art of letterpress, the New Hampshire–based duo’s designs are true works of art—nostalgic keepsakes that your guests will treasure. They also have three brick-and-mortar retail spots in New England, including one conveniently located in Beacon Hill.
Bridesmaid Dress Boutique
Always a bridesmaid and never a bride? That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’re shopping at Flair. Carrying a range of dresses plus elegant accessories, the Newbury Street boutique offers both style and substance, thanks to helpful staffers who can assist in putting together the best ensemble for every body type. Bonus: The personalized shopping experience is by appointment only, so bridesmaids can relish the spotlight
for at least a little bit.
It’s okay to admit it: Many brides dream of feeling like a princess on their big day. And at L’élite, you can expect to be treated like royalty. This luxury boutique is a Boston mainstay that has served brides in the Back Bay for more than 30 years. The extensive selection of gowns is, in a word, dazzling. You’ll find designer dresses by Carolina Herrera, Elie Saab, and Oscar de la Renta on the racks with Monique Lhuillier, Marchesa Notte, and Vera Wang for Pronovias. And the top-notch staff has one goal in mind: to ensure that you’ll have a regal experience from gown selection to alterations to gown preservation and more.
Even the most fashion-unconscious of men understand that an ill-fitting suit is undesirable. Thankfully, Samantha Shih’s custom clothier, 9 Tailors, has got the guys covered. Shih and her team take a modern approach to the customization process without scrimping on Old World craftsmanship. The first consultation takes place over cocktails at the studio’s in-house bar, and the finished product is turned around in five to seven weeks. There are endless options when it comes to fabric and styling, so you can be confident that you’ll stand out like the dapper dude you’ve always dreamed of being. And for brides who wish to forgo a traditional gown, the team also designs beautiful bespoke suits for the female form.
FACES BY ROBIN
If there’s ever a day to put your best face forward, it’s your wedding day. With more than 15 years of beauty-industry experience, Robin Liebowitz specializes in creating flawless, custom looks for brides and their families that reflect each person’s individual personality and style. Whether you opt for an au naturel look or strive for sophistication, Liebowitz will ensure you’re picture-perfect in every shot throughout the event, day or night (and day into night).
WILLOW TREE FILMS
Between the dress and the flowers and the happy tears, it might feel like you’re living in a movie on your big day. And watching your cinematic Willow Tree film after the event, you may as well have been. Videographer Greg Fisher captures weddings with all the elements of a big-budget romance, from sweeping drone shots to the intimacy of stolen kisses, and weaves it all together into an epic love story.
A good DJ can get everyone from your three-year-old nephew to your great-grandmother out on the floor. Meritage Entertainment prides itself on reading the room and getting the party started with hits, throwbacks, and all of your super-specific “must plays” in between. Not only can the company’s impressive lineup of DJs please the masses with great tunes, but it can also provide colorful uplights to set the mood and a GIF booth to capture all the fun.
Booking music for your wedding may feel like the next biggest decision after the dress. Do you want a funk band? R & B? Pop? Hot Mess offers the best of every genre (and the killer vocalists to match), so you don’t have to stress about committing to a single sound for the whole night. The high-energy, bring-the-house-down band has a repertoire that ranges from the Beatles and Bell Biv DeVoe to Lady Gaga and Flo Rida, but they can also learn new material on request.
One does not simply throw a super-chic party. From the tablescape design and cake auditions to making sure your aunt isn’t pestering you with questions the morning of the ceremony, there are countless details to wrangle. Whim Events specializes in taking care of all of the above and then some, ensuring that your event is a stress-free, perfectly polished fete. And did we mention the expert in-house floral design?
ORLY KHON FLORAL
Orly Khon is a master at combining colors, shapes, and textures to create floral masterpieces. The South End floral designer specializes in creating dramatic botanical art, and her breathtaking installations, luscious centerpieces, and magical bouquets often feature exotic and unexpected flora. Each arrangement is purposefully lush and overflowing, setting the scene no matter where you’re getting married, whether it’s a rural barn or a chic museum. Khon’s team works magic with roses and eucalyptus for more-traditional couples but also knows how to pump up the volume with unique additions like bubblegum-hued sweet peas, double-petaled brownie tulips, tropical laceleaf, and maidenhair ferns.
ADAMAS FINE JEWELRY
Business partners for more than three decades, brother-sister duo Anto Aboyan and Veronica Sagherian have long put any sibling rivalry behind them. On a trip to Adamas Fine Jewelry, you’ll find yourself put at ease by Aboyan and Sagherian’s engaging personalities; they offer a wealth of knowledge when it comes to gemology, and their creativity is boundless. Offering a personalized experience is the core focus they’ve instilled in their staff, whether you’re updating an heirloom ring, creating your own bespoke piece, or looking for something simple and classic. The shop’s designs may range from unconventional (think: a domed ring with a heart-shaped gemstone) to tried-and-true (a diamond eternity band), but they all have one thing in common: timeless and lasting beauty.
It can feel like a travesty to destroy one of baker Lizzie Johnson’s gorgeous cakes by cutting into one, but oh, how glad you’ll be that you did: Featuring floral motifs, stripes, and ribbons, her buttercream-iced confections are that delicious. Johnson bakes cakes for all occasions, but weddings have become her specialty. She loves customizing cakes for couples, and her sunny demeanor immediately puts them at ease. Bonus: Johnson offers prospective clients tasting boxes featuring her signature flavors so they can sample and ponder the options at home.
A former Newbury Street stylist, Maricruz Polito started her own studio years ago to focus on bridal hair, and she’s never looked back. The mane master believes brides look their most beautiful when they feel comfortable—and as a result, she’s a pro at just about any style under the sun, from updos and twists to loose waves, braids, and buns. Polito has a Waltham studio where she conducts trial runs during the week—along with classes for professionals—but from Thursday to Sunday, she’s on-site with her brides, creating fresh and elegant looks for their big reveal.
THE FAIRMONT COPLEY PLAZA
Always dreamed of fairy-tale vows? Arriving at your celebration in a flower-draped, horse-drawn carriage for your nuptials in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom—a historical space complete with ornate 30-foot ceilings, twinkling chandeliers, and gilded details—should do the trick. The Oval Room, with its expansive frescoed ceiling mural and handcarved moldings, is also a top spot for large guest lists; for more-intimate events, there’s the St. James room, which boasts warm and inviting mahogany details. No matter which space you choose, one thing’s for sure: You and your guests are guaranteed to feel like royalty.
THE GARDEN AT ELM BANK
You don’t have to fly to Europe for an Italian-style garden wedding. Just take a quick drive to Wellesley, where you’ll find the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Garden at Elm Bank. The venue’s 36 acres of lush gardens are perfect for photo ops and cocktail hour; the historical indoor and tented venues swathed in twinkling lights, meanwhile, appeal to nature lovers and hopeless romantics alike. But first things first: the ceremony. For that, the romantic Olmsted-designed Italianate Garden (one of two open to the public in the Bay State) is a no-brainer.
JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
Whether an intimate affair for a few dozen revelers or a soiree with a few hundred, the JFK Library and Museum’s gorgeous sun-filled Pavilion is a blank slate for the most elegant of ceremonies and cocktail hours. And no wonder: Its nine stories of soaring glass walls highlighting panoramic ocean views and the surrounding 12-acre park is the work of the iconic architect I.M. Pei. After the vows, guests can head over to the reception steps away in the equally-as-impressive Smith Hall. Now that’s a wedding for the history books.
BOSTON HARBOR DISTILLERY
With a vibe that founder Rhonda Kallman dubs “refined grittiness,” the 1800s-era Boston Harbor Distillery in Dorchester can be dressed up or down. For one event, that translated to candles and white tablecloths in the newly renovated tasting room, outfitted with 40-foot Douglas fir post-and-beam ceilings and brick walls. For another, more-casual gathering, it meant comfy couches and whiskey-barrel tables. Then there are the bar offerings to take advantage of—from signature cocktails with BHD’s Putnam whiskey to a full-on tasting table, your guests will have the chance to sample all the goods. It is a distillery, after all.
THE CRANE ESTATE
Perched high above Crane Beach, atop Castle Hill, the Crane Estate’s stately brick Great House recalls a bygone era of grandeur and evokes a sense of romantic nostalgia à la Downton Abbey—in fact, the cast of the PBS series depicting Highclere Castle actually traveled here for a Town & Country photo shoot in 2019. Overlooking sweeping lawns, gardens, and the ocean, who wouldn’t want to get married at this magical spot in Ipswich? A property of the Trustees of Reservations, the estate covers 2,100 acres, and ceremonies often take place on the Great House lawn with cocktails on the terrace and receptions for up to 250 held under a tent. Also on the property, overlooking salt marshes and woodland, the historical post-and-beam Barn hosts more-intimate celebrations.
WYCHMERE BEACH CLUB
An oceanfront resort that has been welcoming guests in one form or another since the late 1800s, the elegant Wychmere Beach Club provides the ultimate backdrop for couples who wish to host their nuptials in beachside splendor. In Harwich Port on Nantucket Sound, the resort spans nearly 20 acres and offers three venues for weddings: Dune, replete with driftwood floors and panoramic ocean views and crowned with a rooftop terrace; the Harbor Room, which jets out onto Wychmere Harbor; and the Ocean Room with its expansive balcony—all of which can accommodate weddings of various sizes. On par with the majestic setting, the staff here is polished and attentive; they know how to execute flawless events and will do anything and everything to ensure your celebration is special and seamless.
Stephanie Vegliante’s goal is to put her clients at ease—which isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do on one of the most important days of their lives. And, yet, we’re told she is able to achieve success every time. She and her team are known for capturing authentic, emotion-filled images that exude their subject’s true selves. Don’t let Vegliante’s relaxed demeanor fool you—she is one of the most prepared photographers out there, often coming equipped with bobby pins and a hairbrush to coif a bride’s fly-away hairdo. She and her team corral guests in seconds for group shots and go unnoticed in the background to shoot candids from all angles; by the end of your wedding, you’ll feel like
she’s an old friend.
Truly, you will feel like a rock star when you travel with this crew—and that’s exactly their intent. With a fleet of luxe vehicles that include stretch limos in various sizes, trolleys, vintage Rolls-Royces, and the ultimate party bus, replete with multiple wet bars and a top-notch sound system, the world becomes your oyster. The team’s drivers—many who have chauffeured celebrities—are top-notch and genuinely enthused to be part of your special day; they’ll not only go to great lengths to assure you arrive in style, they’ll make sure you have a blast on the way there.
These guys bring the bar to your wedding in singular style—that is, in one of its two retrofitted vintage Airstreams. Hive was launched about a decade ago by Graham McKissock and Lance Davis, two friends who wanted to offer clients a twist on traditional bar service. And the Airstreams really do elevate the bar experience at your celebration. Both models feature creative lounge and seating areas, handcrafted wood finishes, and other eclectic design details. These guys offer a full bar and have fun recreating classic cocktails; they also love to create customized drink menus for their wedding clients.
CHIC PARTY CARTS
After struggling to find a pretty dessert cart for a client’s new-business launch, Liz White stumbled upon a gap in the market, inspiring her to launch carts serving cotton candy. White launched to the Boston market in 2021, and her sophisticated, nostalgic cart received rave reviews. Since then, the business has expanded to offer additional “couture concessions” such as popcorn, ice cream, champagne, cigars, and espresso. Serving all of New England, New York, and Las Vegas, White’s carts can also be customized for your special day—she’s done waffle and pretzel bars, s’mores and mini donut carts—wherever your sweet tooth takes you.
Say cheese! The talented—and always delightful to work with—folks at Entertainment Specialists can bring several types of photo booths to your celebration. From the 360 photo booth to roaming robot and GIF booths to one of our favorites, the customizable, inflatable snow globe, these guys will work with you to create a memorable way for your guests to capture their memories of your wedding. This team knows how to party and how to execute high-caliber events; you might also consider contracting them for their DJ, lighting, and other wedding services.
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