Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St.
Boston MA 02116
View their website

Average Base Cost: $50,000

Average base cost for a Boston Public Library wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list on a Saturday evening in a peak month using $400/pp for food, beverage, venue rental fees, staffing, rental items, administrative fees and taxes. Entertainment, additional decorations and rentals, DJ, parking and photography are not included. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.

*Prices subject to change

How it Breaks Down

Facility Rental Fee: 

The Boston Public Library has a breakdown of various ceremony/reception layouts and what they would cost combined (listed below).

However, while this cost breakdown is helpful in order to see what you would be paying for the actual venue, if planning a wedding you would deal directly with the Boston Public Library’s in-house caterer, A Catered Affair. They would charge you a per person price based on your wants/needs that would include the venue rental fee (and any extras, listed below), food, beverage, staffing, rental items, admin fees, and taxes. Their per person price all-in is generally in the range of $400-$600/pp. And again, that would INCLUDE any of the venue rental fees listed below based on the date, time, rooms used, etc.

NOTE: The typical venue rental fee with a ceremony in the courtyard during the warmer months is $15,400 (Option A, listed below).

Bates Hall


(maximum, 330 guests)

  • Ceremony: 7:00p-7:30p *additional seating on 2nd level Courtyard—doors open to guests 6:45p
  • Cocktails: 7:30p-8:30p Courtyard
  • Dinner: 8:30p-10:00p Bates Hall
  • Dancing: 10:00p-12:00a Abbey Room
  • ESTIMATED SITE FEE: $15,400.00 (additional fees required for parties over 220)


(maximum, 330 guests)

  • Ceremony: 7:00p-7:30p Bates Hall– doors open to guests 6:45p
  • Cocktails: 7:30p-8:30p Chavannes Gallery, Abbey Room
  • Dinner: 8:30p-10:00p Bates Hall
  • Dancing: 10:00p-12:00a Abbey Room
  • ESTIMATED SITE FEE: $14,900.00


(maximum, 100 guests)

  • Ceremony: 7:00p-7:30p Courtyard– doors open to guests 6:45p
  • Cocktails: 7:30p-8:30p Courtyard
  • Dinner: 8:30p-10:00p Abbey Room
  • Dancing: 10:00p-12:00a Boylston Room
  • ESTIMATED SITE FEE: $11,600.00


(maximum, 75 guests)

  • Ceremony: 7:00p-7:30p Courtyard– doors open to guests 6:45p
  • Cocktails: 7:30p-8:30p Courtyard
  • Dinner: 8:30p-10:00p Courtyard Restaurant
  • Dancing: 10:00p-12:00a Map Room Café
  • ESTIMATED SITE FEE: $8,450.00 (BPL Fee: $6,950 + TCA Fee: $1,500)
The Courtyard


(maximum, 150 guests)

  • Ceremony: 7:00p-7:30p Courtyard– doors open to guests 6:45p
  • Cocktails: 7:30p-8:30p Courtyard
  • Dinner Stations: 8:30p-10:00p Courtyard Restaurant, Map Room Café, Courtyard
  • Dancing: 10:00p-12:00a Courtyard Restaurant, Courtyard
  • ESTIMATED SITE FEE: $9,650.00 (BPL Fee: $8,150 + TCA Fee: $1,500)
A ceremony in Bates Hall. Photo by Sarah Bastille

What’s Included: The per-person catering costs as listed above would include the venue rental fee (and any optional extras, listed below), food, beverage, staffing, rental items, admin fees, and taxes.

A ceremony in the Abbey Room. Photo by Brian Phillips Photo

Optional Extras:

NOTE: Most of these charges are often factored into the per-person A Catered Affair Price (such as the bridal suite). As stated above the typical rental fee of $15,400 would generally include not only the base fee, but load in/out costs, removal of security gates at entrance, bridal suite, and courtyard set-up costs.

  • Additional Restrooms: $250 +
  • Bridal Suite: $250
  • Bates Hall Chair Removal: $1,950
  • Bates Hall Table Bulb Change: $800
  • Boylston Room Bulb Change: $1,200
  • Courtyard Furniture Removal: $250-500
  • McKim Lobby Use: $500
  • McKim Lobby Gate Removal: $400
  • McKim Lobby Gate & Desk Removal: $800
  • Wedding Set-Up (Bridal Suite, Courtyard furniture removal,
    Lobby Gate Removal): $1,150

Food/Beverage: As mentioned earlier the Boston Public Library’s in-house caterer is The Catered Affair. Their prices typically range from $400-$600 per person inclusive of the venue rental fee (and any optional extras, listed above), food, beverage, staffing, rental items, admin fees, and taxes.

The Abbey Room. Photo via Bill Damon

A sample menu includes:


Granny Apple Tart Tatins with Chèvre

Fried Olives Stuffed with Duck & Smoked Gouda

Leek Fondue with Crisp Sage

Braised Short Rib Tacos with Cheddar & Tomato

Coconut Shrimp with Apricot Dipping Sauce


Duck Confit Dumpling with Maitake Mushroom

Saffron Butter Poached Lobster with Fennel Confit

Corn & Crab Chowder

Native Lobster Bisque

Cumin-Seared Ahi Tuna

Carrot Ribbon Salad with Aromatic Spices, Mint & Orange

Baby Arugula & Radicchio de Trevisano


Grilled Hanger Steak (Wild Foraged Mushroom & Potato Cake, Haricots Verts, Oven Cured Tomato Roasted Garlic Red Wine Jus)

Rack of Lamb Provençal (Potato Fondant, Roasted Zucchini with Ratatouille, Mustard Seed Jus)

Corn & Crab Crusted Cod (Lobster Summer Succotash, Chive Vinaigrette)

Roasted Cornish Hen (Cornbread & Prosciutto Stuffing, Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash, Crispy Sage)

Pumpkin Cannelloni with Walnuts & Fried Sage


White Chocolate Cappuccino Torte (Espresso Soaked Cake, Mascarpone Mousse)

Donut Bar (Homemade Full and Bite-Sized Donuts)

The Abbey Room. Photo by Lisa Rigby



The Classics:
White Wine, Champagne & Sparkling Water

To Cool Down:
Watermelon-Ginger Agua Fresca, Blackberry Dandy, Passion Peach Iced Tea, Strawberry-Basil Lemonade

To Warm Up:
Hot Apple Cider, Housemade Hot Cocoa, Cinnamon-Apple Sparkler

Consumption Bar:
Every Bar is Custom Built and Charged by Consumption

Wine Portfiolio Available Upon Request

Specialty Bars:

Champagne Cocktail, French 75, Kir Royale

Bellini, Bloody Mary, Mimosa

Craft Beer:
Selection of Ale, Lager, Porter, Stout

On the Rocks:
Negroni, Old Fashioned, Sazarac, White Russian

Clementine-Pomegranate, Watermelon-Ginger, Cranberry-Lime, Minted-Grapefruit, Classic

Traditional or with Freshly Muddled Fruit

Bee’s Knees, Manhattan, Martini, Mint Julep, Whiskey Sour

Photo by Daniel Schwen
Photo by Daniel Schwen

More Stats

Space Type: Inside/Outside

Is there a rain-plan? Yes.

Size: Bates Hall currently offers seating for up to 220 guests. The original chairs can also be removed to accommodate up to 330 guests with rental chairs.

Bridal Suite: Yes

Parking: No. The library does not have designated parking; however there are a number of parking garages in close proximity to the building that you can pre-arrange parking with (expect fees to average $7/pp). You may also hire valet.

How Will Grandma Get There? The Boston Public Library is situated in downtown Boston, and is located near a ton of hotels. Guests can stay at hotels such as The Westin Copeley Place, The Boston Marriott, and The Four Seasons.

Party On! Events held on a weekend typically begin at 6:30p and there is no specific end-time, but their liquor license ends at 1 a.m.

The Report

Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library is one of the largest municipal public library systems in the United States. The McKim building (which hosts’ the BPL Research Collection as well as events) was designed by the New York firm of McKim, Mead, and White based on the Renaissance style. In 1972 the Johnson Building opened adjacent to the McKim building and houses BPL’s main circulating collection. Weddings at the Boston Public Library can take place in the Courtyard, Bates Hall (the Reading Room), the Abbey Room, Chavannes Gallery, and the Restaurant and Cafe.

Woman Getting Married Says

There are very few wedding venues out there where the brides have nothing but glowing things to say about their wedding/planning process at a particular site, and this is one of those venues. The catering and venue itself all get stellar reviews, which should mean a lot to any bride out there looking for the perfect place to get married. Is this wedding venue expensive? Yes. There’s no way around that. But if you’re looking to get married in downtown Boston in a beautiful historic building and you have a budget to play with, this should absolutely be an option (and your top one at that).

Click here to learn more about my wedding venue review process.

Looking for something different? Discover more wedding venues here!

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Listen to the Woman Getting Married Podcast

Amenities/What’s Included 8
Convenient for Grandma 9
Layout 10
Location 10
Overall Charm 10
Venue Value 8

WGM Rating

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  1. says: Quinn Williams

    Thank you for the review! This is great information, considering that I may plan a wedding myself in BPL 🙂