Bunker Hill Ceremony | Boston Elopement Photographer

Where is the best place to elope in Boston?

As elopements become more popular in Boston and all over the world, couples ask themselves this question often. As an elopement photographer, I usually come onto the scene after this detail has been taken care of. My job is to make wherever you’ve chosen look as beautiful as it can. With that being said, there are definitely some parameters to keep in mind when choosing a location to marry your best friend.

black and white portrait of bride and groom touching foreheads boston elopement photographer

1. Is the spot pet friendly?

Lately I have found that it has become trendy to include your pup in your wedding ceremony. If man’s (or woman’s) best friend is an important part of your relationship, you may want to choose a location that is pooch-friendly. This particular couple chose the Bunker Hill Monument park to have their intimate wedding ceremony and their dog, aptly named “Bunker” was an essential piece to their vows.

dog staring at camera during elopement ceremony in boston

2. Does your location have shade?

couple eloping by bunker hill monument in charlestown

Shade may not be the first thing on your mind when you think of the ideal vow location. Here’s the thing, if you want the flexibility to have your ceremony before 7/8PM (ideal time from April-August) and still want beautiful pictures, shade is essential. Any skilled elopement photographer can make any type of light work, but the most even flattering light is either at sunset or in open shade.

Bunker Hill Monument is a tricky venue for light because on top of a hill there is not much shade. However, we got very lucky for this 3:00PM ceremony and got an overcast day– open shade everywhere!

wedding ceremony on top of bunker hill in boston
black and white portraits of a bride and groom
photographs of the ring exchange of a couple eloping
black and white image of wedding ceremony by bunker hill monument

3. Does your location offer privacy?

I find that most couples considering an elopement or intimate wedding value privacy. They want to get married in an intimate setting with their closest friends and family. What does this mean in regards to finding a good place to elope in Boston? My recommendation would be to not choose a busy park/monument midday on a weekend. One of the major benefits of eloping is being able to choose the time and place and not having to worry about lots of people’s schedules. Those joining you for your intimate wedding would probably agree to come wherever, whenever. A place like the Bunker Hill Monument would’ve been absolutely mobbed on a weekend at 3:00PM. It’s a big tourist destination due to its historical significance. But 3:00PM on a Thursday….not so bad! You don’t want a huge crowd of people in the background of your elopement photos!

view of boston behind wedding ceremony during elopement
first kiss of bride and groom eloping in boston
bunker hill monument wedding ceremony

4. Does the elopement location in Boston offer a variety of backdrops?

bride and groom walk across a field after elopement in boston

A common question that I get from people who are not familiar with elopement photography is: “why would they elope and then hire vendors like a photographer?! I thought an elopement was supposed to be casual and secret!” The term elopement a couple decades ago more often meant heading to city hall on a whim without telling anyone. Today, that’s not usually the case. In the past few years, an elopement or intimate wedding has come to mean a very small (think 10-15 people) event that usually entails a ceremony followed by a celebratory meal at a restaurant. Just because couples are planning an elopement does NOT mean that they don’t want beautiful photographs to remember these moments.

couple holds hands on the steps of the bunker hill monument during elopement

Elopement photography coverage usually lasts a few hours and covers anything from: the getting ready process, a private first look, the ceremony, couples portraits, and sometimes the small gathering afterwards. The best way for couples to utilize the smaller block of time is to make everything happen in close proximity to one another. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that the place you choose for your ceremony has great spots for portraits right there…or within a short walk!

Boston is a great city to capture a variety of backdrops. We have no shortage of beautiful parks surrounded by classic Boston city streets. I was able to photograph this couple quickly and easily without walking more than a minute or two away from their ceremony location.

couple laughs during wedding portraits in the city of boston

5. Do you need a permit?

Something so simple is often overlooked. Many public or historic spots in the city of Boston require a permit to get married. This is something different than your marriage license, so don’t confuse the two. Getting a permit is not difficult, just be sure to do your research and get that paperwork submitted in advance!

bridal portraits with the boston skyline in the background

Happy Eloping!

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