Boston Public Library

Boston, MA

Capacity: 300+ | WEBSITE | PHONE

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The Inside Scoop


FROM THE KNOT EDITORS

The First Look

The Boston Public Library: First Look Nestled in the bustling city of Boston, Massachusetts, The Boston Public Library's gorgeous architectural features make charming backdrops for ceremonies and receptions. Dating back to 1848, the building's many graceful rooms and grand halls are sublime spots for those who enjoy the charisma that historic libraries have to offer. From a dramatic courtyard with a stunning fountain to the domed ceilings in lavish Bates Hall, to-be-weds have a selection of spaces to choose from when planning their wedding. Couples and guests enjoy browsing the library’s gorgeous architecture and renowned departments, taking in nearby sights of the city before or after the ceremony. Built with European design in mind, the Boston Public Library has indoor and outdoor spaces for couples to choose from when planning their weddings. One of the prime areas for first-look photo sessions in the Boston Public Library is its grand marble staircase, which sweeps up under domed ceilings and large bay windows where sunlight pours in during the day. Choose from several space options for romantic and elegant spots in the library. The Courtyard surrounds an enchanting fountain and is wrapped by elegant archways that make a statement. A grandiose balcony sets the stage for ceremonies to match the regal architecture and provide beautiful photography backdrops. As the Boston Public Library requires written approval for freestanding decorations, couples must discuss tenting options with the Event Coordinator. Abbey Room boasts Venetian bravura with dark wood paneling, dramatic ceilings, a marble fireplace and mesmerizing murals. It’s a great fit for receptions and dancing the evening away in style. Bates Hall features dramatic, domed ceilings, offering a lavish space for larger weddings. Tall windows along book-lined walls let in light during the day and add a glimmering decoration at night. The Chavannes Gallery is peppered with murals and opulent marble design features that pair well with cake-cutting ceremonies. Tall archways and dazzling chandeliers are an ideal backdrop for romantic receptions. Guastavino Room is adorned with high ceilings, tall columns and colorful lighting for a slightly more modern space. Often used for receptions, Guastavino Room has books on display to tie in the charm of the library.
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What You Should Know

The Boston Public Library: What You Should Know While couples may choose their own combination of venue spaces for ceremonies and receptions, the Boston Public Library has a selection of popular options. Many partners hold their ceremony in the Courtyard, dinner in Bates Hall and dancing in the Abbey Room, while others opt to have their ceremony and dinner in Bates Hall with dancing in the Abbey Room. Couples book wedding ceremonies and receptions by contacting the library's Special Events Office, after which they receive a full proposal that outlines all details and fees. Displays and free-standing decorations must be submitted in writing and approved by the Event Coordinator before the event. The Boston Public Library does not allow the following decorations: Balloons Stickers Candles Hemlock Balsam Spanish moss Live Christmas trees Decorative greens containing pitch Bubble, fog and smoke machines While there are restrictions on decorations, the library allows couples to use decorative elements that the staff puts up year round to celebrate holidays and other events. The Guastavino Room, Courtyard Restaurant and Map Room Café are only available to rent during library hours. Other locations are available to rent for weddings after the library is closed. Weekend wedding events start at 6:30 p.m. or later, but couples must contact the Special Events Office for available dates and times. Although the library cannot guarantee that other spaces in the venue will not be rented at the same time, the staff does ensure that weddings are not disturbed by other events. Venue fees for the Boston Public Library include the space and staffing required to run the event, and vary based on a couple's custom proposal. During library hours, music and noise must be kept at a reasonable level, but there are no restrictions after hours.
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Extra Perks

The Boston Public Library: Extra Perks The Boston Public Library provides couples with vendor recommendations upon request, suggesting florists and bands that have previously worked with the library. However, the library uses The Catered Affair as an in-house caterer, which is a full-service company that serves cocktails and starters, farm-to-fork food and a variety of delectable desserts. Seating in Bates Hall accommodates up to 220 guests, and the library can remove the original chairs for an extra fee and seat up to 330 guests with rental chairs. Although the library does not have designated parking, it is available in downtown Boston close to many hotels and a handful of parking garages. Guests enjoy other experiences in the library as well, such as the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department.
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Amenities + Details

Amenities
  • Handicap Accessible

  • Indoor

  • Reception Area

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$$ – Moderate

Venue Capacity

300+

Settings

Ballroom, Library, Museum, Historic Venue, Restaurant

Wedding Categories

Rentals + Equipment

Awards
Bow2013
Bow2010
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Contact Info

Address
700 Boylston, Boston, MA (617) 859-2212
WEBSITE

The BPL is the PERFECT spot for a Boston wedding!

Reviewed on 2/17/2012 Catherine M

Everything about the BPL is perfect and you cannot pick a more unique and special backdrop for your wedding in Boston. The library will take your guests' breath away when they walk into the foyer and see the grand staircase. We did our ceremony in the Abbey Room on the second... Read More floor and it was absolutely stunning. The rich colored murals and dark wood in this room give it a church-like vibe. Many of our guests said it was the most beautiful ceremony they had ever seen (in large part because of the space). Our cocktail hour flowed between the Chevannes Gallery and the Abbey Room. Then guests went to the Popular Reading Room on the first floor for the reception. It was nice to use so many different spaces within this beautiful building and they have many more that we did not even use. Beyond the beauty of the building itself, the BPL is within a block or two of dozens of nice hotels and restaurants making it extremely convenient for guests. We found the rental fee to use the space very reasonable (it was comparable to many of the large estates outside the city we looked into). They also offer a discount if you get married in the off-season or on off-nights.


Catered Affair at the Boston Public Library

Reviewed on 11/28/2011 Sarah M

Catered Affair at the BPL cannot be matched. They are beyond professional and made sure that the entire evening was perfection (200+ guests with no coordinator or planner and they handled everything). Truly cannot say enough about the entire process.


Perfect!

Reviewed on 11/10/2011 Monica S

The BPL was fabulous. They were very accommodating the day of when our plans had to change and while expensive were willing to do some things to work with my budget.


Reviewed on 8/28/2016

What an absolutely amazing place to have a wedding!! Wow! That is what our guests kept saying over and over again. We had our reception in The Courtyard and the dinner/dancing in the Abbey Room. The details were absolutely perfect. The Catered Affairs is their sole caterer and... Read More they were terrific. We worked closely with Faith and her assistant Erica. From beginning to end, it was impeccable. They allowed up to delve deep into the menu details and we had a great tasting six months before our wedding. They are clearly well versed in managing complex weddings with multiple moving parts. If I could, I would do it over again, again and again!


Amazing venue

Reviewed on 10/30/2015

We had our ceremony and reception at the BPL (courtyard, Bates Hall, Abbey room). For us, getting married in a library made perfect sense, given that we are both academics and we met in Boston. From the first time we visited the BPL, it was clear that the venue was gorgeous... Read More and The Catered Affair knew exactly what they were doing. We worked with Michele, who guided us through the whole process and handled everything on the BPL side. Almost everything throughout the planning was very clear - the timeline, the action items, etc. The BPL listened to any out-of-the-ordinary requests we had and worked to make them happen. On the day-of, we didn’t have to worry about any set-up or organizational logistics throughout the night; we were free to focus on our wedding. We even had an attendant making sure that we were able to try the food and drinks we wanted. A few downsides: the person contacting the vendors did so without always communicating with us - although this gave less to worry about, it led to a couple of moments of confusion; and it’s definitely not cheap. Overall, we are thrilled to have gotten married at the BPL - it's a beautiful venue and TCA has the wedding planning down to a science.


Reviewed on 10/26/2015 Ashley W

We got married in February at the BPL, and I am still in awe of what an extraordinary experience it was. We were completely and utterly thrilled with the entire experience, and we are so happy that we chose to marry at the BPL. The Library itself is unsurpassed in history,... Read More beauty, and location, and there are a variety of spaces within the building where you can hold different events during the evening. Our guests loved having the run of the Library and seeing different rooms on different floors. The food was delicious (and we were able to totally customize our menu based on our preferences and, after the very extensive tasting, what flavors we liked. We are still getting compliments on it! The waiter and bartender service was impeccable. But the most important thing to making our special day so perfect was the staff of the Catered Affair, who went above and beyond in terms of providing the utmost in attention to us. They had an answer for every question, a suggestion for every uncertainty, and a willingness to deal very kindly and pleasantly with a slightly harried bride who was planning her wedding by herself. When we received more snow than Boston ever had in the month leading up to our wedding, the staff went above and beyond to help restructure the different events and the flow of the evening in order to accommodate our unprecedented weather. They are, without exception, the best of the best. Thanks to Alyssa, Eliza, Michele, and the rest of the [email protected] personnel who made everything simply magical.


Dream come true

Reviewed on 9/07/2015 Laura S

Erin, Alyssa, and the rest of the Catered Affair team truly put together a storybook wedding for us this past June at the BPL. The venue is gorgeous, and the team was outstanding. They were incredibly professional and helpful from the early planning stages through the wedding... Read More day itself. I knew that I didn't have to worry about anything because they had it all under control, and I got a ton of compliments afterwards on how beautiful and perfect everything was. I would recommend them very, very highly.


The Catered Affair @ the BPL is extraordinary

Reviewed on 10/25/2014 Jennifer R

I can't even put into words how amazing The Catered Affair at the Boston Public Library is. Their detail and level of service is incomparable to any other wedding venue in Boston. Our event planner Annie was AMAZING. Her attention to detail, flexibility, and focus on... Read More personalization made our wedding absolutely perfect. On the day of, our attendant Meghan was an angel sent from heaven. We worried about NOTHING all day. We had food / drink in our hand at all times and never had to walk away from dancing or conversations. BPL is truely top notch. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to have an extraordinary wedding. Our guests can't stop talking about it...


Perfect Wedding!

Reviewed on 10/13/2014 Beth L

The BPL is the perfect location for a Boston wedding! It is a hidden gem. Each room you pick is unique. We worked with Eliza and she was so helpful! She listened to each and every question and helped us plan the perfect day. On the day everything went so smoothly, we had such a... Read More wonderful time! It was perfect! I couldn't recommend this venue more!


Wedding Perfection

Reviewed on 9/07/2014 Kara H

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding. Eliza, Alyssa and staff were so attentive during the year of planning our wedding. They made sure that I had nothing to worry about on the day of the wedding, which completely de-stressed me and my groom. The food was so... Read More delicious and we received rave reviews from all the guests. There is not one thing I asked of the catered affair that they said they couldn't do. They also took care of our favors (doughnuts - cronuts and chocolate covered candied bacon - highly recommend!) and cake. They also spoke with all the outside vendors to make sure everything was timed perfectly, a huge help! I would recommend the catered affair to anyone who asks and wish I could relive the day over and over again!


Wedding at BPL

Reviewed on 9/05/2014

My daughter's wedding at the BPL was perfection from start to finish. Our wedding coordinators, Eliza and Alyssa were absolutely a delight to work with and amazing at their jobs. The food and service were incredible. Even if I tried I could not find one thing wrong with... Read More anything that night. Thank you to the whole staff at BPL for making my daughter's wedding a night to remember.


AMAZING Boston Wedding Venue

Reviewed on 8/23/2013 Megan D

I cannot say enough good things about the BPL for a wedding venue. It is beautiful all by itself - grand ceilings, marble staircases, balconies, a courtyard with fountain, just perfect. You can absolutely enhance the space with beautiful florals, uplighting, linens, etc.... Read More However, if you are looking for a venue that doesn't need much added in order to look great, this is your space. Also, love, love, love the Copley Square location - all of our out-of-town guests were wowed, and really got a true Boston experience.


Every detail was perfect

Reviewed on 6/18/2011 Lucy G

I had my ceremony and reception at the BPL this May and it was perfect. They got every detail right and I wouldn't have changed a thing. They were a breeze to work with!


STUNNING VENUE

Reviewed on 10/19/2010 Amy S

The moment I set foot into the Library, I knew it was a must. From the courtyard and the grand staircase, to the sky-high ceilings and impressive stacks, it was just breathtaking. I chose this venue for what it is; no real "transformation" required. They were very cool about... Read More letting us remove the lobby items, such as the metal detector (!) and circulation desk. I had flowers and potted palms brought in, uplighting, and of course cocktail tables, etc. Little else in the way of decorating was needed to enhance this building's natural beauty.


An elegant Boston wedding

Reviewed on 8/16/2010 Linda h

My daughter and her husband wanted a uniques venue for their wedding. The Library fit the bill beautifully. My guests commented they felt like they were in Europe! The staff at the Library was extremely competent and helpful in planning the event. The Catered Affair was terrific... Read More as well. Food was great. The Courtyard was perfect for the ceremony and so inviting for guests to catch some air in the soft light of the fountain.The Popular Reading Room was warm and inviting for the evening festivities. The location is great for (out of town) guests as there are so many hotels in the area. I recommend this venue without reservation.