Navigating Luxury Wedding Venues: Insider Tips for Boston, Cape Cod, and Beyond

Beginning the journey of planning a luxury wedding in unique locations is an adventure filled with excitement and challenges. Explore the intricacies of three extraordinary venues we have had the pleasure of working with – Harvard Art Museums in Boston, The Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod, and the iconic Boston Public Library. Join us as we unveil the behind-the-scenes elements and valuable insights gathered from planning celebrations in these distinctive settings.

1. Harvard Art Museums: A Unique Boston Affair

The Calderwood Courtyard at Harvard Art Museums exudes the charm of an Italian piazza, making it an unparalleled wedding venue in Boston. Home to some of the world’s finest works of art, this bustling museum requires finesse in navigating its policies. Here’s how we turn challenges into opportunities:

  • Strategic Scheduling: Plan your ceremony timing with precision, considering guest access restrictions until 7:00 pm. The nearby Swedenborg Chapel accommodates later ceremonies.
  • Guest Transportation: Avoid early arrivals by providing guest transportation. Coordinate with vendors to ensure seamless entry, adhering to all restrictions.
  • Effective Communication: Clear communication with vendors is key. From IDs to Certificates of Insurance, ensure all forms are completed, and everyone arrives at their allotted time.
  • First Look Planning: If unique photos within the museum are a must, plan for a first look, as certain areas close once guests are on-site.
  • Rely on Planning Partners: Seek guidance from planning partners, both external and at the venue, throughout the preliminary process for invaluable insights.

2. The Chatham Bars Inn: Quintessential Cape Cod Elegance

As a 5-star luxury resort, Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod sets the stage for quintessential celebrations. The Beach House Grill, nestled among the Dunes of Chatham Harbor, poses unique challenges due to its active restaurant status. Here’s how we tackled the hustle during setup:

  • Night Prior Setup: Plan for added setup time the night before to install the tent, lighting, and draping in advance.
  • Strategic Load-In Sequence: Prioritize setup tasks, such as staging the stage for audio checks and the custom champagne wall, ensuring a smooth flow.
  • Delivery Planning: Strategically plan deliveries, utilizing the cocktail hour space for staging items before moving them to the event space.
  • Additional Staff and Communication: Bring extra staff and walkie talkies for effective communication in the vast property, collaborating closely with the venue team for a seamless execution.

3. Boston Public Library: Elegance Amidst History

The Boston Public Library stands as a historic gem, offering ornate spaces and timeless charm. Hosting a wedding here requires careful consideration of its public access policies. Here’s how we orchestrated magic amidst the pages of history:

  • Early Morning Load-In: Arrange for vendors to load-in early in the morning before public access (if allowed by the venue!) ensuring a quick setup when permitted.
  • On-Site Production Space: Secure on-site space for floral and design production, allowing for swift placement during setup.
  • Quick Ceremony Planning: If hosting a ceremony on-site, keep it brief to accommodate large groups moving to the cocktail hour without disrupting the timeline.
  • Lighting Magic: Illuminate the space strategically to bring warmth to the stone, high ceilings, and vast empty spaces. Consider swapping out bulbs in Bates Hall for enhanced ambiance.
  • Effective Communication: Collaborate closely with the on-site team, maintaining communication with load-in, setup, and load-out schedules for a successful planning process.

Planning a luxury wedding in unique locations demands creativity, strategic thinking, and collaboration. These venues, each with its own charm and challenges, offer an unforgettable backdrop for couples seeking a distinctive celebration. Our number one tip, as always, is to ensure all decisions made are in approval with your venue and catering team. Their priority is to protect these unique locations, while ensuring excellence for you and your guests!