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Boston Elopement Planning Guide: 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Say I Do

Marcela Diaz



I'm a New England-based fine art wedding and engagement photographer. With my unwavering commitment, my objective is to skillfully encapsulate the intimate moments that unfold during your wedding day.

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A newlywed couple holds hands as they run down the street in Boston, Massachusetts for their elopement. Image overlaid by text that reads Boston Elopement Planning Guide: 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Say I Do. Photograph by Northshore, Massachusetts and Boston wedding photographer Marcela Plosker.

A Boston elopement is one of the best options for couples looking to get married in New England. Eloping in Boston, Massachusetts means having a wedding day that is absolutely gorgeous and special, without needing to put in tons of stressful planning beforehand. Especially with new laws and regulations in place for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, Boston elopements are even more appealing!

Are you planning a Boston elopement? If so, this Boston elopement planning guide is just for you! Here’s the top five things you need to know as you plan your big day…

#1 – Pick your elopement date based on your favorite season in Boston

The first step to planning your Boston elopement is picking a wedding date! Since the nature of an elopement is intimate and low-stress, make sure you pick a date that is perfect for you and your fiance. There’s no need to worry about what time of year works best for your great aunt Susan or childhood best friend. Your Boston elopement is going to be about you and your fiance only!

So, pick a wedding date that suits you best. What season in Boston do you prefer? Each season has different pros and cons, so it’s really up to you to choose the right date for you.


Fall in Boston is gorgeous, yet chilly. This is a popular time of year for elopements, since the city is full of gorgeous, yellow and orange autumn tones. Daytime ceremonies (before it gets too cold in the evening) during fall months are unforgettable!


Winter elopements in Boston can be magical, too. Fresh, white snow coats the city and feels absolutely romantic. However, keep in mind that these cold winter months are not very friendly for outdoor events (as elopements often are). Even walking a short distance outside during a Boston winter can be challenging.


Spring is one of the most appealing times of year for a Boston elopement. The parks, trees, and flowers are in bloom, including Boston’s beautiful cherry trees. As the New England weather warms up this time of year, it’s the perfect time to host an intimate, outdoor wedding ceremony in Boston! However, keep in mind that spring in Boston can be quite rainy, so make sure you have a backup plan in case it’s raining on your wedding day.


If you’re planning a Boston elopement for any of the summer months, you’re bound to have a wedding that you love! Summer weddings in Boston are loads of fun, especially with the summer’s bright sunlight and endlessly cheery weather. Just remember that summers in Boston are quite humid, so you may want to plan how much time you spend outside (or at least walking outside). 

Newlywed couple embraces and kisses on the banks of a river in Boston, Massachusetts to celebrate their elopement. Photograph by Northshore, Massachusetts and Boston wedding photographer Marcela Plosker.

#2 – Plan ahead to get your marriage license for your Boston elopement

Once you’ve picked a date for your Boston elopement, start planning ahead to get your marriage license at Boston City Hall. You’ll need to book an appointment online to get your marriage license, and both you and your fiance will need to attend the appointment in person. Once you get your marriage license, it’s good for sixty days. This means that you have sixty days to get married and return the signed marriage license to the state from the date of your initial appointment. 

Especially due to COVID-19, marriage license appointments have been booking out far in advance, so be sure to book your appointment as soon as possible!

(Note: if you plan to get married at the Boston City Hall, you’ll need to book that separately from your marriage license appointment. Get your marriage license first, and then you can host your ceremony at Boston City Hall.)

#3 – Who do you want to attend your wedding?

Next, you’ll need to consider who you want to attend your Boston elopement.

  • Do you want it to be just you, your fiance, and the officiant?
  • Are any family members invited to attend?
  • How about any friends? 
  • How many people total will attend your elopement?

As I’ve said before: your Boston elopement is about you and your fiance. Make sure your special day is a time that truly reflects your relationship. Don’t feel obligated to invite a certain number of people. Your wedding day isn’t about the guests who attend…first and foremost, it’s about the love that you share with your partner!

Plus, keep in mind that Boston’s rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 have limited the number of people allowed to gather in one place. People are advised to maintain social distancing protocol and stay at least six feet apart even at allowed gatherings. Make sure that your Boston elopement falls within current city laws regarding COVID-19.

#4 – Choose a location for your elopement in Boston

When choosing a location for your Boston elopement, there are a few aspects to consider. 

First, COVID-19 regulations currently limit most indoor gatherings and events, so public, outdoor elopements are your best bet during this time. However, many public spots require a permit from the city. If you’re getting married at a public park or another spot, be sure to look into whether you’ll need a permit for your event

Second, consider the walkability factor of your Boston elopement location. It is so helpful to choose a hotel room to get ready in (and possibly stay in that night), ceremony location, and reception venue all within walking distance of each other. Not having to worry about transportation throughout the city will simplify your day and make it that much more stress-free. Plus, the less time you have to worry about transportation, the more time you have to truly celebrate this momentous occasion!

Newlywed couple have a picnic on Boston Common to celebrate their Close up of side of bride and her hairstyle as she adjusts grooms tie while he smiles about their elopement. Photograph by Northshore, Massachusetts and Boston wedding photographer Marcela Plosker. elopement while groom kisses brides left hand. Photograph by Northshore, Massachusetts and Boston wedding photographer Marcela Plosker.

Here are some of my favorite Boston elopement locations:

Boston City Hall

Boston City Hall is a classic elopement venue in the city. This stately building gives even the most simple ceremony or elopement an elegant, classy feel. 

Boston Common

Boston Common is a beautiful public park in the heart of downtown Boston. This park is a great spot for a Boston elopement because of its ample space, lush natural look, and convenient location. Plus, there are many chic, delicious restaurants close by to celebrate after you say “I do!”

Boston Common does require a permit for any weddings held there, so be sure to look into that before your big day!

Boston Harborwalk

The Boston Harborwalk is quintessentially “Boston.” This boardwalk is right on the water, with views of the city in the background. It is particularly nice for Boston elopements because it is a serene nature setting in an urban environment. Couples getting married here truly get the best of both the exciting city vibe and lovely natural landscape.

You really can’t go wrong choosing any of these venues for your Boston elopement!

#5 – The right vendors for a Boston elopement

Finally, it’s important to select the right vendors for your Boston elopement. Many couples wonder, “If I’m eloping, what vendors do I truly need for my wedding day?”

As an experienced Boston elopement photographer, here’s what I recommend:

Work with a hair and makeup artist

On your wedding day, you deserve to be pampered! It’s really worth it to have your hair and makeup done, as it will save you lots of time and energy so you can really enjoy your day. 

Close up of side of bride and her hairstyle as she adjusts grooms tie while he smiles about their elopement. Photograph by Northshore, Massachusetts and Boston wedding photographer Marcela Plosker.

Boston makeup artists Natalie Shafie and Danielle Austin are beyond brilliant at providing the most stunning wedding day makeup looks to Boston brides! 

I also highly recommend Melissa Scott and the Bridal Bar Boston for all of your bridal hair needs. These Boston stylists are incredibly talented and great to work with!

Wedding flowers are a must-have item

Having a gorgeous bridal bouquet for your Boston elopement is never something that is regretted. Working with a top Boston florist, such as BudsbyKRG or Fleur + Stitch, to design wedding flowers that you love will make your big day feel extra special. Also, there’s nothing better than looking back at your wedding photos and seeing a radiant bride with a lush bouquet!

Don’t be afraid to work with a Boston wedding planner

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Even if you’re planning a simple elopement in Boston, there are still a lot of elements to sort out and keep track of. Working with a wedding planner on your Boston elopement may be worth it if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the process. I am a huge fan of Boston wedding planners Kate Murtaugh Events & Designs and Always Yours Events. They make planning an elopement in Boston so easy and stress-free!

Hire a top Boston elopement photographer

For even the most intimate Boston elopement, it’s totally worth it to hire a photographer. Having someone photograph your elopement ensures that you’re able to remember and re-visit this most special day whenever you’d like. Knowing that your day is being captured to the fullest means that you can focus on being present and simply enjoy your day. 

As a Boston elopement photographer myself, I may be a bit biased (but not really), but I believe that having your day photographed is one of the best investments you can make! Let me know if you need someone to photograph your Boston elopement.

The bottom line: have fun planning your Boston elopement 

While planning your Boston elopement, remember to have fun and enjoy the process. It may sound cliche, but it’s important! Boston has many great options for your elopement, and your day is going to turn out great! So, don’t stress too much as you plan your big day. Remember: you’re saying “I do” to the love of your life in one of the most beautiful cities, and it’s going to be perfect! 

Xoxo, Marcela

North Shore, Massachusetts and Boston Wedding Photographer Marcela Plosker sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee

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