boston public library wedding photo of toast on balcony overlooking courtyard ceremony

Boston Public Library Guastavino Room Wedding Photos: James & Victoria

Oct 2, 2023 | City Weddings, Weddings

My third Boston Public Library wedding of the season, and what an absolute gem of a couple to work with! I fell for James and Victoria at our very first Zoom meeting – or possibly earlier, when they very first reached out. They told me that their favorite things were hanging with their two hairless cats, playing video games together, and hanging on the porch in beautiful weather. I told them if they swapped hairless cats for very hairy dogs, and video games for board games, they would pretty much nail my three favorite things. 🙂

Good people are very often surrounded by other good people and their wedding party was one of my very favorites all year; their wonderful friends (and families) were hilarious and joyful and kind, and the whole day felt like I was photographing my very own inner circle. Such a treat.

I started with a few flatlay details in Victoria’s suite, then headed down to the Fairmont Copley lobby to meet with the guys. Their wonderful florist Meghan at Poppy Floral also provides the Fairmont’s flowers, and so was able to coordinate them with Victoria & James’ wedding florals which was a wonderful “easter egg” (I wonder if any observant guests noticed; either way, I loved this thoughtful detail). The guys were pretty much dressed and ready to go so we took a few portraits in the lobby and outside – where we had fun with one of the lions (you’ll have to watch the slideshow below to see one of those photos).

Back to the suite and I was greeted by one of the most hilarious scenes I’ve documented at a wedding … I won’t get into the details but there was plenty of tape involved and there was a lot of laughter. Then, it was time for Victoria to dress and see her family. I loved her first look moment with her dad, and the tears that flowed freely from that point forward. There was also a really wonderful FaceTime call with Victoria’s grandparents who were unable to travel to the wedding; it was such a lovely way to involve them in the day.

Victoria and James chose to do things their way at the Library and selected really neat spaces for their first look and portraits. For the first look, Victoria ascended the grand staircase and was met by James in the Abbey Room. There was no tap on the shoulder; he simple watched her arrive from the staircase. It was so perfectly them! After taking family and wedding party photos in the courtyard, we headed to one of their other favorite spaces, the Sargent Gallery, for some final portraits. This might be my current favorite space at the Library – it is still grand, but it is also much less photographed than many of the other spaces, and in fact this was my first year even knowing about the space!

The ceremony took place in the courtyard in front of the fountain, and was absolutely beautifully lit by Jim at CJC Lighting. He has a background in theater lighting so really understands the importance of lighting people and not just “things”. There were small bistro lights, warm uprights on the columns, and beautiful soft washes on the couple and their readers.

The ceremony was super emotional (I spotted many a tear from both Victoria and various family members) and had four short readings. Then, it was right into cocktail hour for guests while james and Victoria slipped away to sign the marriage license with their officiant, James’ aunt. They then had a toast and a wave on the balcony before joining their guests.

Dinner and dancing were held in the Guastavino room on the first floor. They chose to minimize the formalities, choosing instead to spend their time having fun with their guests. I applaud this; so many couples feel that they should include each and every tradition but it’s so much more authentic choosing the things that have meaning to you. So, there were three very short toasts, and a low-key father-daughter dance partway through dancing; the rest of the evening was spent sharing wonderful food, chatting and dancing.

Oh! And of course I can’t forget the absolutely wonderful first dance which was an amazing rendition of the final dance from Dirty Dancing, to (I’ve Had) The Time of my Life, complete with dress change and cheers in all the right places from the crowd. It was so awesome! I had a huge grin on my face for the entire dance. If I could dance, this would be my dream first dance if my husband and I were to get married all over again!

Thank you Victoria & James for an absolutely wonderful evening; I hope you enjoy your teasers!


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