Wedding & Photography Policy

The City of Boston's beautiful parks and gardens offer space for small weddings and photographs. These events require a permit issued by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

Background

Although weddings and wedding photographs are private affairs, when held in a park couples, attendants, guests, and photographers must strive to conduct their ceremony and photographs in a manner that does not impact or deter the general public's enjoyment of our parks.

This policy is in accordance with Park Commission Rules, environmental protection, and sound management practices. To ensure park protection and little or no park disruption, the Department enforces limit capacity and activities within the following guidelines.

General Guidelines

Couples must apply for a wedding ceremony or photographs by submitting:

  1. Special Event Permit Application

  2. Cashier's or bank check payable to the City of Boston at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Fees

City of Boston Residents: $50.00
Non-City Residents: $100.00

Notes
  • A site visit is strongly recommended beforehand.
  • No rehearsals are permitted.
  • The Department does not offer alternate locations or rain dates in cases of bad weather. It is recommended to have a back-up plan.
  • The wedding party is responsible for cleaning the area used following the wedding ceremony or photographs. Any trash generated by your party must be removed prior to your departure.
  • Parking is limited at most parks; car-pooling is advised. Illegal parking is subject to tagging and towing at the owner's expense. No vehicles permitted on park property.
  • No event or directional signs are allowed. It is suggested that you specify the exact location in your invitations and place an attendant at the nearest gate to guide your guests.
Permits Issued Under Following Conditions

  • Wedding activities are scheduled between April 1 - December 1.
  • 60-minute maximum duration for event or photo session.
  • Wedding activities are scheduled for: 
    • Monday through Friday
      3:00 - 5:30PM
    • Weekends
      11:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Wedding activities are not permitted on legal holidays.
    See City Holiday Schedule 
  • Permit is issued for a maximum of 50 people including the wedding party
  • No tents, tables, chairs, altars, arbors, decorations, signs, rice, birdseed, confetti, glass, balloons, props, or animals.
  • No music or amplified sound.
  • No food or beverages.
  • Cannot restrict other park visitors from the park nor block pathways.
Available Locations for Weddings & Photographs

The Public Garden, Back Bay
Swan Boat rentals in The Public Garden are available for rides and photographs during regular operating hours. Wedding ceremonies are not permitted on the Swan Boats. To make a reservation for your wedding guests, please call the Boston Swan Boats directly at 617-591-1150.

Kelleher Rose Garden, Back Bay Fens

Christopher Columbus Park Trellis, North End

Jamaica Pond Bandstand, Jamaica Plain

School Master Hill, Franklin Park, Dorchester

Application Process

Applications are accepted in the same calendar year as the wedding. Select a date, fill out Special Event Application, attach payment, and mail it to the Boston Parks Department. For more information, please contact the Director of Permitting at 617-635-4874.
2014 Special Event Application
Marriage Intentions, Licenses, Certificate and Ceremony Information