Massachusetts Horticultural Society
Historical indoor & outdoor venue nestled on 36 acres, including 8 gardens
Mass Hort - The Gardens at Elm Bank
900 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482  | map
Services: Ceremony, Reception
Catering: Outside vendors welcome
Maximum capacity: 225
 
 
 
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4.8 out of 5.0
4.8
out of 5.0
Quality of Service:
 (4.9/5.0)
Responsiveness:
 (5.0/5.0)
Professionalism:
 (5.0/5.0)
Value:
 (4.3/5.0)
Flexibility:
 (4.8/5.0)
 
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4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Private User 4 Reviews
Elm Bank at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society was the perfect place for our wedding. It was absolutely gorgeous, everyone that we worked with was so easy to work with and incredible friendly and helpful, Erin especially is great. The space really is a blank canvas, which we absolutely loved. It was a little pricey for the rental, as well as all of the other things that you have to get to go along with it (catering, linens, etc), but it is far from a cookie cutter venue and you can really customize it to have exactly what you want for you wedding. Absolutely beautiful and really unique venue. :)
Wedding: Recently Married
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0
Elm Bank at the Mass Horticultural Society is one of the most stunning wedding venues I've ever seen. My husband and I fell in love with it at first sight and we knew we had to get married there! It fit the casual elegant vibe we were hoping for perfectly. If you are up for a bit more work than a more typical venue or country club it can really be amazing. There was a bit of a turnover with wedding coordinators during our engagement but they remained responsive and professional. A list of recommended vendors is provided. You are stuck a little with transportation because there is a bridge to the venue with a weight limit- I would have preferred to use larger buses but we had to do 2 trips with a 28person bus. Your choice of caterer can guide you through most of the other rentals needed as this venue really is a blank slate. The gardens are so amazing. We had our ceremony in the Italiante Garden, which was really romantic. Cocktail hour was also outside in Wheezies Garden and guests could stroll from there to the carriage house on site for our reception. This building is beautiful and includes a permanent tent in the back where we sat a few tables and the bar. We fit 165 people comfortably. It looked even better where we did uplighting! If you are looking for a garden venue there is no place more beautiful around.
Wedding: 08/23/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Private User 2 Reviews
Elm Bank is not only one of the prettiest venues in Massachusetts but the staff on site was always helpful during the planning phase but even more helpful the day of. Jen, the event coordinator, was so organized and responsive, anytime I had a question she would email back same day. The gardens were amazing for cocktail hour and the carriage house and tent were ideal for the reception dinner and dancing that came after. I honestly recommend the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, it was truly a beautiful event, I wouldn't have picked any other site.
Wedding: 1+ year ago
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  3.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
My wedding was in May at Elm bank in Wellesley, MA. Jen, the function manager was amazing. She was extremely prompt in her emails to answer questions, offer suggestions and really help in any way that she could. The gardens are beautiful and the carriage house and tent are equally impressive. The only negative would be for $6,000 to rent the venue - you have the opportunity to pick from a handful of caterers. We found them to be pricey and not exactly what we were looking for. To hire a catering company off of the list, there is an additional charge of $1,000. All in all though, it was a beautiful venue with amazing staff. If I could do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing. :)
Wedding: 05/25/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
We had a great time working with the crew from Mass Hort. Our wedding was beautiful, and the great thing about this venue is that you have a lot of freedom.
Wedding: 10/20/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.4 out of 5.0
4.4/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  2.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Anonymous 5 Reviews
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is a stunning place to hold your wedding and reception. My fiance and I are not religious people at this point in our lives and so decided we should have our wedding ceremony outdoors. We could not have picked a more perfect New England venue than Elm Bank! Our guests were shuttled from downtown Boston through picturesque Wellesley and into the Reservation - during beautiful fall foliage. The grounds are immaculately maintained and inviting. The functions staff, namely Jen Courtney, are great to work with - Jen is extremely responsible, responsive, and helpful with all things wedding planning. It also helps that Mass Hort keeps a list of trusted caterers and other vendors on hand, and they actually re-evaluate the vendors EACH YEAR to ensure that couples getting married at Elm Bank are getting set up for nothing but the best in terms of service. I loved that as a venue, I simply paid a fee to them and had a reliable and trustworthy point of contact through the process - from there, we basically got to do whatever we wanted! We hired our caterer, brought in our own alcohol, rentals, DJ, florist, you name it - they had a list of prior partners on hand for us, but ultimately we could have chose whomever we wanted. The only down side is that the cost is a bit much for "just" a venue (especially if you are going to be doing the Ceremony in a church, say, and the Reception at Elm Bank). However, the ambiance is so remarkable and memorable for your guests, and as a couple, you will be treated with utmost respect, attention, and professionalism that it made the cost burden a lot more bearable. You and your guests will have great memories of your event at Elm Bank!
Wedding: 2+ years ago
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  3.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
Jen Courtney, the Functions coordinator at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, was a joy to work with. Even when we were not yet "clients" in our early stages of wedding planning, Jen treated us kindly, with professionalism, and promptness. The venue itself is breathtaking - guests will enter off of Route 16 in Wellesley to a long, winding drive lined with Elm trees and finally arrive at the parking lot where they can walk to any number of places where your Ceremony and Reception take place. We had both our Ceremony and Reception there and it was extremely easy for our guests - as well as for me planning it! Booking with Elm Bank is costly - don't get me wrong - but it comes with a dedicated coordinator (Jen), who yearly updates a list of only the best (seriously, they have all brides audit the vendors each year and only the best make the 'cut' to the next year) vendors listed and available for working with you on your wedding. This means that you will have your choice (and a big choice - there are tons of options!) of caterers (the biggest influence on your day) that know Elm Bank, Jen, and have done many events at the venue in the past. this also includdes trusted limo/transporation vendors, florists, design/up-lighting vendors, DJs, and an online group of current and previous "Elm Bank Brides" who can give you insight as to what to do, etc. Our wedding was in October and we had beautiful foliage and didn't do anything in terms of flowers for our Ceremony (in the Italianate Garden). The Hunnewell Carriage house is the most charming place to hold a Reception; our guests "oooh'd" and "ahhhh'd" at the entire venue all night long and we are still receiving compliments for how nice it was and well it highlighted New England (since most of our guests were from California and Minnesota). All in all, Elm Bank is a fantastic wedding venue - especially if you want to have your Ceremony & Reception in the same location. Jen is a fantastic point of contact!
Wedding: 10/13/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
I got married at Elm Bank this past Saturday. As we sit in the airport waiting for our honeymoon flight, I'm still marveling at how wonderfully the day went. Before, during, and after the event, Jen was a joy to work with. She was consistently responsive with all questions, large and small. I have been consistently impressed by the value - it's pretty impressive that all of the gardens plus the Hunnewell building were included in the rental! The grounds and property are very well-kept as well - everything looked organic yet immaculate the day of the wedding. I can't imagine having our wedding anywhere else!
Wedding: 08/25/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
My husband and I recently had our wedding at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and we cannot say enough great things about this venue. First, the grounds are absolutely beautiful and incredibly well kept. The gardens really have an elegant, yet whimsical feel to them, which we fell in love with. We had our ceremony in the gardens and our reception in the carriage house, which had a/c and really high ceilings, and looked modern and recently updated. There was also a really nice tent attached the carriage house, where we put our bar, and were able to set it up similar to a lounge. They were great about having us bring in vendors to decorate both the carriage house and tent just as we wanted it. The tent was also a great back up plan in case it did rain, but fortunately we were able to have the ceremony outside as we had planned.

Secondly, the Functions Manager, Jen, was absolutely wonderful to work with. She was super responsive, sweet, and very easy to get in touch with. Jen was very knowledgeable about many different vendors in the area. I always felt that she made it a priority to address any questions or requests we had in a timely manner. She went above and beyond to make things easy for us in terms of our planning!

The day of the wedding, there was a staff member there to assist. He was so helpful throughout the day between bringing older guests around from ceremony to reception in golf carts and different things that arose. He was willing to help with whatever we needed!

This was the perfect place for us to have our wedding! Our guests seemed to love it too! Throughout the wedding, our family and friends kept coming up to us and asking us how we found this place, telling us how much they loved it and how beautiful and unique it was. Our experience with this venue was amazing from start to finish! I would most definitley recommend the Massachusetts Horticultural Society!!
Wedding: 08/18/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
This site is a gorgeous place to have a wedding reception. We set up the Honneywell building, the tent attached, and the space right outside the Honneywell building in a lounge type of seating - with couches and Indian Khattlas everywhere. It was really picturesque.

Throughout the process of trying to pull this vision of a wedding off, the staff at MASS Hort - particularly Jenn Courtney - was phenomenal. Jenn is really accommodating and will try to do her best in helping you achieve your vision. On a number of occasions, she helped hook us up with the right vendors and even called them back to ensure everything was in order. This is not what typically venue vendors do, unless they are being paid. Jenn has a really respectful and humane way of dealing with you; and that's not often the case in this kind of business.

I would do a wedding at this venue a hundred times over.
Wedding: 07/15/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.9 out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  4.5
  • Flexibility:  5.0
We couldn't have been happier that we chose to have our wedding at Elm Bank! It is SUCH a special venue - our guests are still talking about how gorgeous and special it was! We were a little nervous that with 225 guests it would be a tight fit, but everything fit perfectly. We held the ceremony in the Italiante Garden and then seated guests in both the Carriage House and tent for the reception, with the band and dance floor right in the middle of the Carriage House. It didn't feel crowded at all - except, happily, on the dance floor! Elm Bank does take a little more effort and cost than a hotel or another full service venue because you do have to bring everything in - but it is 100% worth it to have such a special wedding! We also can't say enough about Jen Courtney - she was so organized and responsive and just such a pleasure to work with!
Wedding: 07/01/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
We just had our daughter's wedding at Elm Bank and there aren't enough superlatives to describe what a beautiful site this is to hold a wedding. From our first visit to the wedding weekend, the functions manager responded to all of our questions and followed up in a timely manner. We had a fall wedding and the grounds were a glorious backdrop to our outdoor ceremony. We had a large tent in the Maple Grove which was the perfect site for the vision my daughter had for her wedding. However, I have been to Elm Bank during every season and the grounds are always beautiful. There is ample parking and it is easy to find from anywhere in the Boston vicinity. We had out-of-town guests at two nearby hotels.
Wedding: 10/22/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
I can’t say enough wonderful things about Elm Bank and Jen Courtney! The venue speaks for itself…we wanted a very quintessential “New England in the Fall” location and Elm Bank certainly fit that bill. The ceremony could be basically anywhere on the grounds, and there were different options available due to the unpredictable nature of New England weather. Jen took accommodation and patience to a new level. There are so many unknowns and so many vendors to deal with for a wedding like ours (in a tent…in October) and Jen took the reins to ensure everything went smoothly leading up to, during, and after the wedding weekend. Our wedding was sandwiched in between a weekend of torrential downpours and a (very) early snow storm and they made all efforts to make sure there was no mud or dirt or leaves near the spaces we were using. Jen allowed us to bring items the day before the wedding to store on-site and leave them there until the day after the wedding. Everything she, and the staff, did to help made a tented wedding for 200 people seem manageable!
Wedding: 10/22/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
Elm Bank is a beautiful landscape of gardens, flowers, plants and green space right in the middle of Wellesley, MA. Jen Courtney worked with me as the contact person; she was awesome, always quick to answer my questions and get back to me with details and info. It is a beautiful setting and they are very flexible with how you use all the space. lots of parking, lots of room, convenient to nearby hotels, access for handicapped people, and a great staff who took care of everything. Amazing place for a wedding!
Wedding: 10/02/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  3.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
Great venue with lots of options! Perfect for any size wedding from 50 people to 200. Jen Courtney is the event coordinator and was wonderful - super helpful and responsive - always willing to help out and be creative. All of my guests raved about the venue and how wonderful everything was - we used the Italianate garden for our ceremony, the children's garden for cocktails and the carriage house for dinner and dancing. Just a great venue with lots of history and charm.
Wedding: 09/24/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.8 out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
We were so happy to have our daughter's wedding ceremony and reception at Elm Bank on Sept. 4th. It really was the most beautiful, perfect place to host a wedding, and was exactly what we wanted, after looking at 15 possible wedding venues. We were also lucky with the weather, which was also perfect for the outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. We loved the variety that Elm Bank offered - ceremony in the Italianate Garden, cocktails and appetizers in Weezers Garden, dinner and speeches in the Carriage House, and dancing, dessert and bar in the tent. It worked so well to have the band, DJ and dancing in the tent, which is attached and open to the Carriage House. That way, people could back and forth between the two spaces, for either quiet conversation or loud music and dancing.
Jen Courtney at Elm Bank was a pleasure to work with from beginning to end. She dealt with all our questions and concerns in a most timely manner, and was happy to go along with our requests and suggestions. We had a few tense moments with Hurricane Irene, which hit Elm Bank exactly one week before the wedding, and knocked the power our for a number of days. However their staff and volunteers were on hand to do a major cleanup of the grounds and everything was beautiful for the day of the wedding. The staff were accommodating as well, staying a little later than anticipated when we had a delay with our shuttle bus. Someone even offered to open the Carriage House up the next day, so we could return to pick up a number of items, so we wouldn't have to take everything directly after the wedding.
I agree with the other reviewers that the Carriage House building does need to some decorating, and additional lighting to create the look you want, but it was easy to do with flowers, candles, colorful table settings, and of course, enhanced lighting and swags hung from the ceiling. Also there are a number of additional costs on top of the standard rental fee, so we suggest asking about these so you know what you're getting into.
All in all, however, I would totally recommend Elm Bank as the perfect spot for an indoor/outdoor wedding!
Wedding: 09/04/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
 
 
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4.8 out of 5.0
4.8
out of 5.0