The Boston Elopement Guide: How To Elope In Boston

April 11, 2023

Bride and Groom Boston Gardens

Planning a Boston Elopement does not have to be difficult. In fact, it should be fun! This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to plan an elopement in our beautiful city. From deciding when and where to elope to planning out the details, I’m covering it all. If you are considering planning a Boston elopement then keep reading for all 6 steps!

1. Decide When to Elope

The first step to planning your Boston elopement is to decide when you want to elope. Start by visualizing what is most important to you, and that will help you select the season or month! If a sunny and warm morning walk with lots of greenery is something you’re imagining, then go with a spring or summer elopement. Spring blooms begin in Boston at the end of April and will last until mid-September when the leaves start to turn.

Picturing fall foliage and a walk along the esplanade? Peak foliage in Boston is from mid-September through mid-October. Or is a snowy rooftop ceremony with cozy warm drinks is more the vibe you’d like? Then plan for between December and February, as that is when snow is most probable.

Regardless of the time of year you decide on, Boston is a beautiful city and has so much to offer! I always recommend to couples that you embrace the weather on your day no matter what. Any weather adds so much life and emotion to your images – not to mention adding to the memories!

2. Decide Where to Elope – Boston Elopement Locations

Now that you’ve decided when you are going to elope, the next step is to decide where. I may be biased, but Boston is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. We have lots of wonderful locations to choose from for a wedding or elopement! Some of my favorite Boston elopement locations are:

  1. City Hall – a classic! 
  2. The Boston Public Garden – such a romantic setting for your day, you’ll feel like you’re in a movie! 
  3. The Arnold Arboretum – beautiful nature scenery in any season
  4. The Boston Public Library – a regal setting perfect for couples who want a classic and timeless vibe 
  5. Copley Square – the architecture and city life surrounds you here in the perfect way!  
  6. The Seaport – imagine the boats and Boston Harbor Hotel in the background! 
  7. The South End – classic brownstones and tree-lined streets are perfection
  8. Charles River Esplanade – some pretty epic views of both Cambridge and Boston
  9. Any city rooftop – every part of town has lots of options! 
  10. The State House – incorporate a piece of history into your elopement 
  11. The North End – grab a cappuccino and a cannoli to celebrate your day 
  12. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Libray and Museum – the architecture is epic, making a great location for both elopements and weddings

3. Apply For A Marriage License

The third step to planning your Boston elopement is to apply for your marriage license. You can follow this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a marriage license in Boston – and keep in mind that you can apply for a license in any city in the state of Massachusetts, not just Boston. 

You’ll need to make an appointment to apply for the license together and in person. Bring your IDs, the $50 application fee (which can be in cash, debit or credit card, or money order), and any forms that you completed in advance. Then, your marriage license will be mailed to you within 3 days. Keep in mind that the license will be good for 60 days from your appointment, so make sure that the timing is appropriate. Once you have this all taken care of, you can bring the license to your ceremony, and the person marrying you will complete the license and return it to the city of Boston. 

4. Choose Your Boston Elopement Photographer

Working with an elopement photographer is so important because this allows you to live in the moment, and also have the photos to share and remember this heartfelt ceremony! An elopement photographer will help you create the best timeline for your day, work with your priorities, your location, and the lighting, and offer suggestions and advice along the way. I provide custom proposals for each of my couples and love getting to know you before we move forward to ensure that I’m the best fit possible for you.

5. Plan Your Elopement Day Details

Because you are eloping and not planning a large wedding, you can create a day that is completely custom and a reflection of you both! I suggest incorporating things that are important to you and activities or locations that have significance in your lives. Slow, intentional moments are so meaningful, so try to create a day that is focused on your connection.

Whether this means going for a morning run together, having late-night drinks and dancing, stopping by a coffee shop where you had your first date, or celebrating on the waterfront after your ceremony – create your ideal day!

Additionally, different wedding vendors can help you put together an elopement day that is pure perfection. Hair and makeup artists can make your morning a little less stressful and help you feel your best, and florists can help you add some decor and design a stunning bouquet for you – just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you don’t get to have all of the fun details! Bakeries can also be a great addition to your day, and a Justice of the Peace can officiate a heartfelt ceremony for you if you’re not getting married at City Hall or by someone who is significant to you.

Boston City Hall Weddings

If you are considering a Boston City Hall elopement, then here is some information you’ll want to know! City Hall weddings can be scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, by calling City Hall. You can bring four guests to your wedding ceremony. Be sure to check in early and bring your marriage license, IDs, and the $75 fee in cash.

[Related – If you are looking for City Hall elopement inspiration, check out this post of Madison and Kevin’s day!]

6. Look Forward To Your Boston Elopement!

Once all of the plans are in place, it’s time to relax and look forward to your day! You’re marrying your best friend and creating the ultimate day for you both. Enjoy the process and embrace all of these moments. Have fun with the details and make your day your own. And I’m always here to help along the way!

  1. […] for more Boston elopement or micro-wedding ideas? Check out these posts: The Boston Elopement Guide: How To Elope in Boston, and A Classic Stylish Boston Courthouse […]

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ABOUT kelly

At home near the sea. Ever-focused on finding beauty in intimate or grand moments; found in the love stories that leave me breathless and in awe. 

Kelly  deeply values connection by being intentional in knowing her couples and their love stories. Through her organic and natural photography style, she creates timeless images that allow you to relive your moments and remember how you felt. Kelly began her professional career in 2015 and has since been delivering skillfully crafted images and an elevated experience for every couple she works with. She will help you feel natural and relaxed in front of the camera by knowing when to give guidance and when to let the moments naturally evolve, focusing on your unique and unforgettable celebration from start to finish. Based in Boston, she would love to document your authentic love throughout New England and beyond.