Category Archives: Boston wedding venues

Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm wedding couple | Jenna & Jarrod

Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm is the wedding venue Jenna and Jarrod chose to host their reception this coming spring. This awesome couple traveled into Boston for their engagement shoot on one of the hottest nights of the year, it was about 90 and felt warmer because of the humidity. We went all around the North End for their night time engagement session.

downtown boston wedding photographer engagement shoot at night

Click here for information about wedding photography at Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm along with photos from a wedding I shot in The Knot Magazine’s Smith Barn feature, profiling one of my favorite Boston area barn wedding venues.

Smith Barn wedding photographer Heather Parker

I traveled up to Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm for Ashley & Nate’s engagement session. After getting a Smith Barn wedding published in The Knot Magazine across four pages last season, I’ve had the opportunity to photograph at this rustic location many times. The couple had a rustic theme envisioned and wanted to bring their vintage Ford pickup truck and their pug dog as props. They also took a salvaged window to display their wedding date which will be used for their save the dates. I love when this kind of extra effort is put in to make a shoot that much more personalized and special. Along with wearing cowgirl boots, Ashley got her hair professionally styled by Boston wedding hairstylist Lindsay Griffin. Having a professional style your hair for engagement sessions gives that extra polished look, even if you are going with a casual or rustic look.

boston engagement and wedding photographer heather parkerbrooksby farm engagement session by smith barn wedding photographer heather parkersmith barn wedding photographer heather parkerbrooksby farm wedding photographerboston wedding photographer heather parker for smith barn

Location: Smith Barn

Hairstylist: Lindsay Griffin

For more Smith Barn weddings, you can look at this July wedding here or another published in The Knot Magazine.

Scottish wedding in Cambridge

Arriving from Glasgow, Scotland, Bridget and Barrie had their destination wedding in Cambridge this weekend. They were so great to work with. Here’s a frame from just after their brief but memorable wedding ceremony. A few more photos are posted over at Heather Parker Photography on Facebook. I’ve got quite a bit of weddings to share with my blog subscribers. Thank you for your patience, its a busy time of year and I’m honored to play such an important role in documenting so many special weddings.

scottish wedding in cambridge at the meridien

Wedding photography review from Bridget the bride:

I love Heather!!! She gave us exactly the photos we wanted to preserve our memory of our wedding. She was so professional and helped us find other wonderful vendors that helped make our wedding a success. I was planning the wedding from abroad and she was extremely flexible in having Skype meetings. Without Heather we would not have had the first class wedding team that pulled off our big day without a hitch!! I couldn’t recommend Heather more!

Crane Estate wedding at Castle Hill featured

Alexa and Andrew’s Crane Estate wedding at Castle Hill was featured on the Borrowed & Bleu wedding style blog that provides inspiration, ideas & resources for planning a unique wedding. You may remember this wedding from the attention it got on Style Me Pretty. If you would like to see the original blog post of Alexa and Andrew’s lovely seaside wedding, you can check it out right here. I don’t think the Crane Estate could really be any more regal! In fact, it appears as though it could be right out of a fairytale. This wedding made the idyllic fairytale become a reality. The day’s weather was about as perfect as you could ask for. The day began with the bride getting ready at the bright bridal suite. I love their suite because of how much natural light is available and the fact that it as an ever-so-charming fireplace. While many weddings at the Crane Estate at Castle Hill are traditional, this Crane Estate wedding at Castle Hill featured a twist of whimsy and modern by implementing colorful DIY crafts such as pinwheels and delightful table overlays. Traditional coastal New England weddings often incorporate lighter colored tuxedos and navy blue accents throughout the wedding day, but this trendy couple added pops of hot pink and celery green to their traditional navy palette. The groom wore a celery green colored tie from an Etsy vendor Tux and Tulle. This designer creates vibrant neckties that have a nice balance right between whimsical and classic. The navy blue bridesmaid dresses looked stunning with the pop of hot pink bouquets. The couple’s outdoor ceremony set was amongst rolling hills that the Crane Estate is famous for and featured breathtaking ocean views. Lemonade and signature cocktails were enjoyed outdoors before an indoor plated dinner. Since it was probably the best night of the summer, outdoor dancing was in order. The newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a live band as the sun set.

If you’re curious about the Crane Estate at Castle Hill, it was completed in 1928 by David Adler of Chicago. The mansion has 59 rooms and includes a facade that was created to replicate the 17th-century Stuart style. The landscaping done by the Olmsted Brothers has changed little since it was initially designed.

Crane Estate wedding photography Boston

Ceremony Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA
Reception Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA (capacity 200 guests)
Wedding Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Officiant: Rabbi Judy Epstein and Father Bill Nesbit
Caterer: Swartz Catering
Wedding Florist: Bella Floral Design
Ceremony music Siman Entertainment
Wedding Band/Entertainment: The Return
Wedding Gown: Watters and Watters San Miguel
Bridal Boutique: Aisle Style, Elmhurst, IL
Custom wedding gown hanger: LilaFrances
Brides/Bridesmaid Shoes: Jack Rogers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston
Suits: JoS. A. Bank
Ties: Tux and Tulle (Etsy)
Invitations: Blush Design Studio
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Kate Spade
Day of Coordinator (DOC): Jennifer Potter, Dot your i’s
Table squares/overlays- Groom’s mother
Chuppah: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company
Brides Clutch: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company

Fairmont Copley Plaza Oak Room Bar: Whitney and Ian

Fairmont Copley Plaza Oak Room Bar is the location where I met Whitney and Ian, a couple I will have the honor of photographing their upcoming wedding. They are another one of my Chicago couples getting married in Boston! Whitney was searching through a list of Boston wedding photographers while residing in Chicago and she hired me after we clicked over the phone. I knew right away she was the perfect client and I couldn’t wait to meet her in person. This winter, the Whitney and Ian will hold their wedding at the iconic Trinity Church in Boston’s Back Bay, with a reception following at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel just across the street. Both the church and hotel are a tradition in Whitney’s family. She was in fact baptized at the same church and the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel is where her family has an annual dinner. I can see why these wedding venues were the perfect choice! I am lucky to have had the opportunity to meet with this awesome couple before they head off to the new place they’ll call home: Naples, Italy. Before their new journey, they arrived in Boston to get a good chunk of their wedding planning done. I had the opportunity to meet with them in person at the Oak Room Bar. We had a great afternoon chatting, seeing the wedding reception venue, and going over photography details with the wedding planner and catering sales manager of the Fairmont. I of course couldn’t resist taking some photos of the couple. They had such a perfect connection and complimented each other perfectly. These photos below are of the couple in the original Oak Room Bar. Since then, the space has been renovated and is now known as OAK Long Bar + Kitchen and offers a modern farm-to-table menu.

Enjoy the photos at Fairmont Copley Plaza Oak Room Bar: Whitney and Ian

Boston wedding photographer Oak Room Fairmont Copley Plaza engagement shootboston wedding photographer Heather Parker at Oak Room at the Fairmont Hotel in Copley PlazaBoston wedding photographer Fairmont Hotel engagement at Oak Room

Crane Estate at Castle Hill Wedding Photography

Crane Estate at Castle Hill is one of my all time favorite wedding venues. The groom Andrew lives in Chicago with his bride Alexa. They had their summer wedding close to Alexa’s home near Boston at the Crane Estate in Ipswich. There is another wedding venue nearby in Newport, RI called Castle Hill as well, so just to be clear, this was on Boston’s North Shore. The Crane Estate on Castle Hill is a National Historic Landmark, and encompasses more than 2,100 preserved acres, including a wildlife refuge. The North Shore wedding venue is a 59 room, Stuart-style mansion was designed by Chicago architect David Adler. It’s no secret that this is one of the Boston area’s best historic wedding venues, but it is also one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the Northeast. The weather could not have been more perfect for the bride and groom. The warm breeze with clear blue skies was just right for an outdoor ceremony on the rolling hills of the Crane Estate, which offers dramatic views overlooking the ocean. The bridal suite which has large windows that let in the most magnificent natural light was where I met Alexa to photograph her getting ready with her bridesmaids and family. This wedding photography blog post is filled with loads of photos of some of the DIY details that the bride and groom selected and created to personalize their day.

UPDATE: This wedding was a real wedding feature on Style Me Pretty! Congrats Alexa and Andrew!

crante estate at castle hill wedding venue, a mansion near bostonAlexa had ordered a personalized and custom made hanger for her wedding gown. As of this posting, I believe there is an 8-10 week waiting list on the LilaFrances hangers.
creative wedding ideasbridal suite at the crane estate mansion where the bride was getting readybridal suite in boston wedding mansion crane estate on castle hillblack and white wedding photography bostonThe bride and bridesmaids wore Jack Rogers Navajo leather resort sandals, which worked great for the outdoor summer theme and complimented their navy blue Priscilla of Boston bridesmaid dresses.
pink and silver wedding shoes also can be sandalsThe groom and groomsmen wore custom made light green neckties from Etsy seller Tux and Tulle. green wedding flowers for the groom and groomsmenThe guys got ready in a room that had a set of antique vintage keys, probably to open the doors of all fifty nine rooms in the mansion.vintage keysPerfect for a seaside summer wedding, navy blue and white letterpress invitations were made locally in Massachusetts by Blush Design Studio. The rehearsal invite on the right with the lobster are from Kate nautical wedding invitation for a summer wedding with a lobsterAlexa and Andrew had such a modern color palette of navy, hot pink, and celery green. Bella Floral Design worked with their contemporary colors to create a casual luxury atmosphere. I know from talking to the bride before her wedding day, that she and Andrew were working hard together on many DIY wedding decorations to complete the look of their big day.table numbers DIY kitsch etsy blue greenThe mother of the groom made these fun table overlays!tablecloth overlays on each tablesummer wedding bouquet in pink and navy for a nautical seaside themeThe bride and groom were each in a sorority and fraternity and this was incorporated into the bridal bouquet. bridal bouquet charm sorority and fraternity hot pink wedding bouquet with green and navywedding bands and engagement ringOne of my favorite decorations from the wedding was the pinwheel theme. Guests found their name and table number on the colorful pinwheels which were arranged in a tray of white pinwheels for seatingplacecards escort cards diy pinwheel for summer weddingAlexa made a pink and white houndstooth card box complete with a navy blue pink houndstooth and blue wedding card boxRather than use a traditional guestbook, the newlyweds invited their friends and family to add wishes, predictions, and words of advice on note cars which were pinned onto vibrant DIY frame cork boards.guestbook alternative board for guests to pin up notes and well wishesguestbook alternative boardBefore their multicultural Jewish and Christian wedding ceremony, the bride and groom had their ketubah signing amongst close loved ones.

ketubah signing boston jewish weddingGuests were seated for the wedding ceremony in anticipation of the beautiful bride.
wedding ceremony informationAlexa was walked down the aisle by her parents. She wore a Watters and Watters San Miguel wedding gown.outdoor ceremony on the lawn in the summerThe day could not have been more perfect. I anticipated hot and humid weather but I was proven wrong and so happy for the best weather of the year.

mansion estate with sprawling lawn overlooking the oceanThe Italian rose garden is really a secret garden, it is surrounded by walls and sunken into the ground a bit. Surrounded by trees, it is one of the many locations for photography at the Crane Estate. The bridal party at this wedding wore blue dresses and beige suits, similar summery colors that you will find in New England island weddings. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am also a Nantucket wedding party bridesmaids and groomsmen in navy and beige summer nauticalrose garden at the crane estate photo location for bride and groombride and groom north shore massachusetts weddingI am a big fan of knowing what time the sun sets ahead of time, so that on a wedding day, if time permits, we can get photography with dreamy lighting.the crane estate historic mansion in ipswich on the north shore of bostonAt the Crane Estate, there is a half-mile-long man-made Grand Allée grass lawn that provides sweeping views of the sea. You can’t really ask for a better wedding ceremony location in my opinion. The Grand Allée is framed by classical sculptures and Norway spruce and pine hedgerows. Grand in scale, it is modeled after the beautiful Italian and French gardens of Renaissance Europe, and is the only known landscape masterpiece of its kind still in existence in North America – and one of just a few remaining worldwide.real wedding castle hilleuropean style hills and landscape in the boston areacrane estate wedding photographerThe pinwheels were making appearances all day!escort card in the pinwheel styleAndrew and Alexa had menus artfully designed, with rounded corners, signature colors, and fonts to match the atmosphere of their wedding.seaside wedding menu new englandbridal clutch purseblack and white wedding photography in the photojournalism styleAfter an indoor dinner, the party continued on the patio overlooking the sea, where Alexa and Andrew cut their cake. swartz catering boston wedding cakefather of the bride toastThe first dance and parent dances as the sun was setting were about as magical as you can imagine.first dance on an outdoor patio at a mansionevening outdoor wedding location near the ocean in massachusettscrane estate historic wedding venue with outdoor patio for summer dancingFollowing the dances, there was a brief hora dance. Its one of the main reasons I love photographing Jewish weddings.jewish wedding multicultural near bostonjewish wedding hora outdoors near bostondancing outdoor patio summer weddingThe Boston area band at the wedding was called The Return. boston wedding band entertainment by The ReturnThis shot of the venue at night was hand-held. Every photo in this set was taken with available light. I enjoy the challenge of photographing in low-light venues. As the sun went down, this wedding reminded me of destination weddings held on the beach, because it had the same challenge of photographing outdoors under a night sky with little light available.a summer wedding outdoors at night

Ceremony Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA
Reception Venue: Crane Estate at Castle Hill, Ipswich, MA (capacity 200 guests)
Caterer: Swartz Catering
Officiant: Rabbi Judy Epstein and Father Bill Nesbit
Wedding Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Wedding Band/Entertainment- The Return
Ceremony music Siman Entertainment
Wedding Florist: Bella Floral Design
Wedding Gown: Watters and Watters San Miguel
Bridal Boutique: Aisle Style, Elmhurst, IL
Custom wedding gown hanger: LilaFrances
Brides/Bridesmaid Shoes: Jack Rogers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston
Suits: JoS. A. Bank
Ties: Tux and Tulle (Etsy)
Invitations: Blush Design Studio
Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: Kate Spade
Day of Coordinator (DOC)-Jennifer Potter, Dot your i’s
Table squares/overlays- Groom’s mother
Chuppah: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company
Brides Clutch: BZ Sustainable Style, the Bride’s mother’s company

If you are looking for a venue similar to the Crane Estate, the Bradley Estate is another gem which is also part of the Trustees of Reservations, and just like the Crane Estate, it is also a brick mansion.

From the folks at JoS. A. Bank Clothiers:

“This looks like a great event! Congratulations to Alexa and Andrew! And as always, Heather Parker your photographs are stunning. You capture the moment with visual poetry.”

Omni Parker House Boston Hotel | A Greek Wedding

As wedding photographers, sometimes its nice to be able to spend time with friends and family at important life events and to not have to pick up a camera. Andrea contacted me last year looking to hire a wedding photographer for her Omni Boston Hotel wedding. She mentioned that her fiancé Lou’s uncle is a wedding photographer. When you have an experienced photographer in your own family, you know that even if they won’t be shooting your big day, you’re still going to get some good advice on selecting an experienced photographer. Andrea and Lou selected me as their wedding photographer and in the months leading up to their wedding, I learned that they were going to have their ceremony at a church that dates back to 1686 loaded with history that includes a bell that was re-cast by Paul Revere. I can’t say I had shot in a church that old but i was excited! To top off my enthusiasm for this wedding, it was a Greek wedding with many cultural wedding traditions to be had throughout the ceremony and reception.

top photos from an omni hotel wedding

On the wedding day, I arrived to photograph Andrea and her bridesmaids at the historic Omni Parker House Hotel. This hotel is loaded with history as it was the first hotel built in the United States, and was also where boston cream pies were invented. this hotel previously employed Ho Chi Mihn, Malcom X, and Emeril Lagasse. It boasts some haunted tales, but my camera did not pick up any paranormal activity.

Andrea had her wedding gown, shoes and rings easily accessible to be photographed while she was getting her hair and makeup done.

omni hotel bridal suite with wedding gowndestination omni hotel weddingwedding rings and a pink flowerwedding photographer at omni hotel in the bridal suiteboston bride in the mirror

Before we walked over to King’s Chapel next door for the wedding ceremony, I documented Andrea descending the stairs into the lobby to greet her father, which was a very emotional moment for both of them just outside of the legendary Parker’s Bar. first look weddingfirst look bride wedding

Even though the ceremony occurred after sundown, I wasn’t allowed to use flash in King’s chapel as they informed the bride “in keeping with the solemnity of the marriage ceremony, we would be most appreciative if you would make certain that your photographer and guests understand that there is to be absolutely no flash photography.” It was also great that there were no arms waving mobile phones into the aisle making attempts to get a shot of the bride, amen! I think every bride and groom deserve an unobstructed photo of the bride walking down the aisle so if you are reading this and are invited to a wedding, your mobile phone shouldn’t make an appearance in church wedding photos.

king's chapel wedding photographer

Here is a shot of the groom during the vows.

greek wedding kings chapel

and the bride holding back some tears.a boston bride crying with emotion at her greek wedding ceremony

The crowns that are seen during Greek wedding ceremonies are signs of the glory and honor with which God crowns them during the sacrament. The wedding crowns (stefana) are joined by a ribbon to symbolize the unity of the couple and the presence of Christ who blesses and joins the couple. This establishes them as the king and queen of their home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice and integrity. The priest takes the two crowns and blesses the bride and groom, followed by placing the crowns on them. The koumbaro then steps behind the couple and interchanges the crowns three times as a witness to the sealing of the union.greek stafana koumbaro tradition

Finally they seal the deal with a wedding at the king's chapel church in downtown boston

It was admittedly chilly during the creative outdoor photo session with the newlyweds but I was thrilled to have an opportunity to take some artistic night wedding photos around downtown Boston.

downtown boston wedding photojournalism at nightboston omni hotel wedding photography of the bride and groom

We had some time before cocktail hour began.

bride getting her amsale dress bustleBefore the guests entered the ballroom, here is what the room set up looked like.omni parker hotel ballroom for wedding receptions

Is this the coolest bridal party entrance you have ever seen?

fun wedding entrance at a receptionwedding traditions with the dollar danceicing on the cake wedding designtoast wedding candid at the omni hotelwedding candid in boston at the omniwedding reception venues in boston

Boston Common Band had the guests dancing all night. They truly are one of the best wedding bands in town and always get excellent 5-star reviews. The band is a consisstently ranked ‘Best of Boston’ by Boston Magazine and serves all of New England. The musicians hail from the prestigious Berklee College of Music & Northeastern and have shared the stage with famous artists such as Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, The Deftones, and Ben Folds just to name a few. One of the main reasons I love Boston Common Band is because of their trend-setting style and unique approach to performances. They always deliver a high-energy experience and intelligently blend a perfect mix of pop rock, dance and R&B music.

the boston common bandthe boston common band at the omni hotel

Greek wedding music set the tone for some traditional dancing as the groom’s relatives welcomed the bride and her family into theirs. greek traditional wedding dancewedding traditions including greek dancing

Vendors used for this Omni Parker House Boston Hotel | A Greek Wedding

Boston Ceremony Site / Church:  Kings Chapel, located in downtown at the corner of School St and Tremont Street, Boston MA 02108
Boston Reception Venue: Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School Street, Boston MA 02108
Wedding Band: Boston Common Band
Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Cake: Icing on the Cake, 230 Adams Street, Newton, MA
Wedding Gown: Amsale, “Serena” dress purchased at Cristina’s, 10 Main Street, Andover MA
Invitations: Hello Lucky
DIY: programs, place cards (paper from papersource) and table numbers
Pleacecard template design: TwoYellowShoes on etsy

Coastal Boston Wedding Venues by the ocean

The above photo was my one of my top wedding photos from this shoot. During this wedding, I saw some amazing light and snuck the bride and groom outside and were able to get some great shots right around sunset and the magic hour. Coastal Boston wedding venues by the ocean offer so much from a photography standpoint, and of course they’re simply gorgeous.

Mary and Steve hired me last year for their recent coastal Boston area wedding. The couple met at boston college and while she grew up in florida, they decided to get married near Boston since they both live and work in the area. It is often a choice as a destination wedding location because the charming New England seaside rich with historic details and filled with so many natural elements including parks, a wild life preserves and a quaint harbor. Mary got ready at a rented cottage with the help of her mother, and twin sisters Caroline and Kathleen.

Mary and her groom Steve chose to see each other before their wedding in order to make some time for photos. They are part of an ever increasing amount of newlyweds who choose to do a first look. First looks are a moment set aside to see each other on the wedding day, before the walk down the aisle. The first look is done alone, not in front of your wedding guests, and it is documented with photos. Historically, seeing each other before the wedding has been a hot topic, but I am noticing more and more couples want to get photos done beforehand rather than skip out on guests midway during their wedding day. Even though the first time you lay eyes on each other as bride and groom will not be in front of those close to you, the benefit of doing this is that before your wedding ceremony, you can budget time for photos and still have time to mingle with friends and family during cocktail hour later. Having a first look during late autumn weddings and early spring weddings is something important to think about. This time of year, days are shorter and with less sunlight, the possibility for outdoor photos for afternoon weddings is sometimes slim.

Mary’s aunt created all the floral arrangements for her wedding including this arrangement called the Bells of Ireland. This is popular in ireland and in the Boston area due to the large Irish American population. I have a lot of couples asking for information about incorporating Irish traditions in their wedding so below is a photo of the flower arrangement. While this one was used at the church, I have seen these also used as centerpieces for tables at wedding receptions.

The wedding ceremony was at Holy Family Church.

Steve stands before his groomsmen, awaiting patiently as Mary walks down the aisle.

Mary’s sisters watch as she gets married during a full Catholic mass

A bagpiper awaited for the newlyweds to exit the church. he played during the receiving line.

massachusetts wedding bagpiper bag piper

The wedding reception was held nearby at Duxbury Bay Maritime School located at 457 Washington Street
Duxbury, MA 02332 (781) 934-7555

Before the wedding, Mary had sent me snapshots of the wedding reception venue as it was just being built. The smith building at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School is part of a state of the art facility directly on the water. It made for picturesque views of colorful trees in the distance, while sailboats dotted the bay under the blazing sunset. If you are looking for a unique location outside of Boston, or are considering a destination wedding but don’t want to deal with traffic in the cape cod canal tunnel or want to go far for a Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard Island wedding, Duxbury is a perfect option.

With the bay as a backdrop, Mary and Steve braved the brisk seaside breeze and the result was an memorable set of seaside wedding photos.

After cocktail hour, the newlyweds enlisted Silent Chef for a french style dinner service. with all the weddings I have photographed over the years, this was my first wedding I shot that was served in this manner. French style dinner service offers waiters that bring a large presentation dish of the food (whether soup, salad or entree) to the guests. often, the waiters continue to refill the large dish until the guest indicates they are done.

Mary and Steve thanks for selecting me as your wedding photographer! I had so much fun shooting your wedding!

Wedding Vendors that were used include:

Wedding DJ: Beat Train Productions: Beat Train Productions is one of my favorite Boston wedding DJs.
Wedding Caterer: Silent Chef
Wedding Cermony Venue: Holy Family Church