10 Historic Boston Wedding Venues We Love

Make a little history of your own at one of these notable spots.
by Caitlin Moscatello

Boston Public Library

700 Boylston Street, Boston; (617) 859-2212, BPL.org

Make a dramatic ceremony entrance by walking down the sweeping staircase inside this 116-year-old building. The marble floors, tall windows and domed ceiling set the stage for an unforgettable moment. Afterward, usher guests into the library's outdoor courtyard for a cocktail hour, then move back inside for the reception -- where there's room for up to 350 guests. The library has a formal partnership with the Catered Affair, so you'll be able to work with the reputable caterers to plan your menu. Guests from out of town will love this locale; it's right in Copley Square and close to a slew of hotels and historic attractions (not to mention it's just a few T stops from Fenway Park!).

Captain Linnell House

137 Skaket Beach Road, Orleans; (508) 255-3400, Linnell.com

Fit anywhere from 50 to 200 people at this Cape Cod mansion, once home to a nineteenth-century shipmaster and his wife. Now fully restored, the Captain Linnell House is a charming wedding venue just steps from the beach. Hold your ceremony by the water or beneath the gazebo in the home's garden. An in-house caterer will take care of beach-inspired menu options like a raw oyster bar and Bourbon lobster bisque. Bonus: The staff sommelier can be on hand to serve wines during dinner.

The Endicott Estate

656 East Street, Dedham; (781) 326-0012, EndicottEstate.com

Invite up to 150 people for a sit-down dinner (or 200 for a buffet) in the estate's Grand Ballroom, or host over 200 people using the estate's tented grounds. Mahogany accents, Italian marble fireplaces and Oriental carpeting add to the historic feel of this nineteenth-century estate, which was rebuilt in 1904 after a fire. You'll need to use an outside tent rental company, as well as an outside caterer.

Omni Parker House

60 School Street, Boston; (617) 227-8600, OmniHotels.com

Not only is the Omni smack in the center of some of Boston's most historic attractions (including the Freedom Trail), it's also America's oldest continuously operating hotel. But this isn't a dusty relic; the hotel recently underwent $30 million in renovations. Host your seated reception with dancing in the mezzanine ballroom (fits 130 guests) or the rooftop ballroom (with 250 guests). Don't forget to ask the in-house caterer to serve Boston cream pies after dinner -- the classic dessert was created here.

Peabody Essex Museum

161 Essex Street, Salem; (978) 745-9500, PEM.org

Say “I do” in front of 100 guests in one of the museum's gardens, or among 160 friends in the Phillips Library Reading Room (where you'll be surrounded by polished wood bookcases). Then kick off the reception in one of four different spaces -- the Atrium, the Bartlett and Copeland Galleries, East India Marine Hall and Phillips Library Assembly Room -- which can accommodate between 80 and 400 people for a sit-down dinner. True history buffs will be drawn to East India Marine Hall, the museum's original building, once visited by John Quincy Adams. There's no in-house chef, but you'll have the option of choosing from a list of preferred caterers.

The Phoenix Room

19 Inn Street, Newburyport; (978) 463-3301, HarborsideCatering.com

Over 200 years ago, the Phoenix Building was constructed to house the Phoenix Marine & Fire Insurance Society -- only to be burned to the ground two years later in a massive fire that took out 250 buildings in town. Six months later, though, the Phoenix was rebuilt and, today, after another recent renovation, the building's third-floor ballroom is a charming reception spot (think: six-foot windows, working original fireplaces and ornate chandeliers). Fit up to 120 guests for a sit-down dinner with dancing.

Pilgrim Monument

High Pole Hill Road, Provincetown; (508) 487-1310, Pilgrim-Monument.org

For a true taste of local history, get married on the grounds of this monument, which commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims' first landing in Provincetown in 1620. Only about 10 weddings are held here each year due to limited availability -- the site is only open May through October -- so it's recommended that you make reservations at least a year in advance. You'll need to provide your own catering (there's a list of preferred vendors), tent and liability insurance, but the effort is worth it for the sweeping ocean views and manicured grounds. The outdoor space generally holds tents with room for 50 to 175 people.

Union Station

2 Washington Square, Worcester; (508) 755-1200, MaxwellSilvermansBanquet.com

Hold your ceremony and reception in Union Station's Grand Hall, which has marble columns, curved glass ceilings (talk about dramatic lighting!) and mahogany trim. The space holds up to 600 people, making it the perfect setting for an all-out event with a big guest list. And you'll get that vintage feel thanks to the 1911 decor, which was restored just over 10 years ago, after the transit hub sat vacant for more than two decades. The in-house caterer makes choosing your menu a breeze, although outside caterers are allowed (as long as they provide all the required paperwork).

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

On Pleasant Bay, Chatham; (508) 432-5400, Wequassett.com

Get married on the seaside lawn -- land that was first inhabited by the Wampanoag Indians over 400 years ago. After the ceremony, celebrate with a tented reception overlooking the water, or take the party inside to one of 16 cocktail and event spaces housed within the 26 structures that make up the resort (one of which, the Warren Jensen Nickerson House, dates back to 1740 and was actually moved onto the site). Since there are so many options, parties of 10 all the way up to 320 people can be accommodated for a seated affair, and an in-house caterer takes care of all the food and drinks. Tip: For a summer wedding, consider their outdoor clambake!

Willowdale Estate

24 Asbury Street, Topsfield; (978) 887-8211, WillowdaleEstate.com

Built in 1901, this fieldstone mansion was originally the summer home of Boston businessman Bradley Palmer. It was opened as an events space on the North Shore just four years ago and, since then, it's become a top spot for weddings thanks to its Tented Pavilion, Butterfly Garden and intimate indoor dining room. An in-house caterer works up delicious menu options, but the bar is up to you (although this is a good thing -- you'll save money buying alcohol through one of Willowdale's preferred liquor vendors). And no need to revise your guest list -- the estate's different reception spaces are suited for anywhere from 10 to 240 people.

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