Your Special Occasion. Our Beautiful Garden Setting.

Thank you for thinking of the Garden at Elm Bank and Massachusetts Horticultural Society for the upcoming event that you are planning! Our amazing location here in Wellesley and Dover, Massachusetts includes 36 acres, including gardens, open fields, and historic structures. We pride ourselves in offering a unique and remarkable experience for each event that takes place on our property.

Thank you for thinking of the Garden at Elm Bank for the special event that you are planning!

We look forward to introducing you to our remarkable property and showing you the unlimited possibilities of our unique event spaces. Our location is home to many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Bridal and Baby Showers, as well as holiday and personal celebrations!

The Garden at Elm Bank resides on Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s stunning 36-acre property located along the Charles River in Wellesley and Dover, Massachusetts. Just thirty minutes outside of Boston, our property offers twelve gorgeous display gardens and multiple event spaces to suit your event of virtually any capacity. We take pride in offering one event on the property at a time for our late afternoon and evening rentals, allowing for the most intimate experience possible.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society, founded in 1829, is the oldest, formally organized horticultural institution in the United States. Our location at the Garden at Elm Bank is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for many elements. Whether you are looking to incorporate our history or simply have a unique setting for your event, our property is the perfect backdrop.

Our variety of reception locations can accommodate seated or standing receptions of nearly any size. Whether you are looking to be exclusively indoors, outdoors, or a little bit of both, we are pleased to offer a variety of options.

As guests arrive, they are guided through the wooded driveway which leads to our complimentary parking areas. Included in all rentals is use of the gardens for photography, cocktail receptions, and for guests to enjoy freely. The tranquil atmosphere will bring your guests together as they absorb the beauty of the gardens and our one-of-a-kind property in celebration of your event.


Access to all of our twelve display gardens is included in all event rentals at the Garden at Elm Bank. Whether guests are arriving early, want to stroll through the spaces during cocktail hour, or take advantage of our unlimited photo opportunities, we encourage you and your guests to explore and make the most of every minute while on the property.


Italianate Garden

The Italianate Garden is located on the west side of the property with the remarkable Manor House overlooking its lush garden beds. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers between 1914 and 1928, this is one of just two Italianate gardens open to the public in Massachusetts. This romantic space is most often home to wedding ceremonies on the property but it is always an option for your cocktail hour too! With six different layouts available, it is sure to fulfill your dreams or an intimate, breathtaking ceremony. This garden has a beautiful bulb display beginning in mid-April and is then transformed into an annual garden with color until the beginning of November.

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Belvedere Cocktail Space

This beautiful, rustic structure provides the perfect backdrop for the outdoor cocktail reception of your dreams! The Belvedere is conveniently located steps away from Weezie’s whimsical Garden for Children, the sprawling grass paths of the Bressingham Garden and the Maple Grove, ideal for lawn games and lounge furniture. This space allows guests to mingle and explore as they enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in this unrivaled space!

Other Areas at the Garden at Elm Bank

The Garden at Elm Bank contains twelve incredible gardens, all of which are included in your rental for you and your guests to roam and enjoy. We have a combination of both perennial and annual gardens to take advantage of different colors at different times of the year. All of our gardens offer unlimited photo possibilities for parties of any size!

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Bressingham Garden


Included in your rental are two on-site staff members the day of the wedding, as well as a Dual Membership in Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Throughout the planning process, an event associate is available for any property-related questions, assisting with vendor recommendations and arranging site visits.

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The Hunnewell Building

Indoor Venue
The first of our two reception locations is The Hunnewell Building, our historic and stately carriage house. The great hall of the Hunnewell Building boasts nearly 3,000 square feet of open space and is capped with a magnificent vaulted and trussed ceiling. The interior of this building is equipped with heating and air conditioning for optimal comfort at any time of year. 
The building alone can accommodate up to 150 guests for a seated reception with dancing or 200 guests for a seated reception without the dance floor. It can also accommodate cocktail style receptions up to 300 guests.
Mid-April through Mid-November, the rental of the Hunnewell Building also includes our seasonal, attached tent which comes in great use for inclement weather, dancing or extra seating. Utilizing the tent and having a dance floor for your reception, this indoor venue can accommodate a maximum of 230 guests for a seated reception, and 400 for a cocktail reception.
Another amazing area to take advantage of is the courtyard. Adorned with bistro lights and located off of the seasonal tent, this grassy courtyard is ideal for giving guests another outdoor space to enjoy once the gardens have closed. This area is wonderful for lawn games, cigar bars, cocktail tables, or lounge furniture! You can access this area up until the end of the night!
Included in the rental of the Hunnewell Building and attached tent are beautiful, fruitwood Chiavari chairs for up to 250 guests, round tables that seat 8-10 guests each, as well as six and eight-foot rectangular tables. All other rentals such as linens, service-ware and custom furniture are provided by your caterer.
Lighting is an incredible way to transform this space and for the 2023 season, we will be including a lighting design in your rental. Inside, you will have five runs of elegant, white draping with simple, glowing bistro lights running between each drape. These dimmable bistro lights will allow the space to transform from lively and bright during dinner service to dim and dreamy as guests hit the dance floor! This stunning lighting design will be carried out to the attached tent and courtyard area too. Unique and custom lighting designs are always available too, with special coordination.
Available for rent through the Garden at Elm Bank is our 20-foot by 20-foot, mahogany dance floor which can be placed inside the building, or in the attached tent. Also available as a separate rental are LED uplights, perfect for adding a splash of color to the interior of these spaces!

Inclusions and benefits of the Hunnewell Building and seasonal three-season tent:

  • Beautiful fruitwood chiavari chairs with removable chocolate cushions for up to 250 guests 

  • 60” round banquet tables that seat 8-10 guests each 

  • Six and eight foot rectangular tables for catering and vendor needs 

  • Catering prep kitchen 

  • Seasonal coat room 

  • Restrooms facilities 

  • Heating and Air Conditioning (in the Hunnewell Building) 

  • Handicap accessibility  

  • Ample electrical access for both bands and DJs 

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The Maple Grove

Centrally located amongst the gardens and surrounded by towering maple trees is our spacious Maple Grove. With nearly 17,000 square feet of grassy lawn, this outdoor area can accommodate tented receptions of virtually any size! This outdoor venue allows for the most customization possible. From the tent itself to flooring, tables, chairs, lighting, and so much more, your wedding can be as unique as you and your partner!
We work with a small selection of expertly trained, and incredibly knowledgeable tent companies that offer modern, beautiful rentals. Please note that special coordination is required for all events in the Maple Grove due to the high level of detail and wear on the property. 

Inquire Today

Contact us today to learn more about our beautiful venue for your upcoming event!

Functions & Events Department

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What Our Clients Have to Say

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We had the wedding of our dreams in 10/1/23 at Elm Bank! It is a beautiful venue and the gardens are a lot bigger than it seems. Chelsey, Lindsay, and all the staff were wonderful to work with. We had our ceremony at the Italianate Gardens in front of the fountain and reception at the Hunnewell building. Our photos came out amazing! Our wedding day was everything we had hoped for and more.

Reviewed on 11/03/2023 

- Stephanie W
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The Garden at Elm Bank was the perfect place for our early October wedding! The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, and it felt like we were in a dream the whole time. Chelsey, our venue contact, was extremely helpful throughout the planning process. We cannot recommend the Garden at Elm Bank enough!

Reviewed on 10/29/2023 

- Shreya V
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Every staff member that we worked with went above and beyond to ensure that we were supported leading up to and on the big day! Lindsay, Chelsey, and Asia were incredible - so responsive and accommodating, including letting my dad and I have access to the venue space a few weeks beforehand to practice our dance. The venue itself is stunning, the gardens are so well maintained and full of life. All of our guests commented on how beautiful the location was. There are so many difference spaces within the venue that you can utilize to create a dream wedding. We did first looks in front of the green house, family photos along the path, wedding party photos in the garden, sunset photos along the meadow, and our ceremony was in the Italianate garden. Every backdrop was more gorgeous than the last. 

Reviewed on 10/16/2023 

- Jenelle L
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Our wedding at Elm Bank was a dream! Absolutely perfect venue. It helped that we had perfect weather, but Chelsey and our caterer William walked us through the rain plan, and they were prepared to make it as beautiful as possible. We had our ceremony at the Italianate Garden, cocktail hour through the Bressingham Garden, and our reception in the Hunnewell building and attached tent. Everything was breathtakingly gorgeous. Although Elm Bank doesn’t have a day of coordinator, Chelsey was so helpful during the planning process. She coordinated with our vendors during the weeks leading up to the wedding and answered questions when they came up. I do recommend hiring a day of coordinator to help with the flow of the event day. Elm Bank is a truly unique and perfect venue! We highly recommend it!

Reviewed on 9/10/2023 

- Leigha C
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We had the most beautiful reception for our wedding at Elm Bank last spring. It really was the ideal venue and met all of our needs- budget, capacity, indoor/outdoor, gorgeous gardens, etc etc. Our guests had a blast, we made everlasting memories, and the team was very supportive. I would seriously recommend this hidden gem to anyone!!!

Reviewed on 3/17/2023 

- Kathryn P
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What an amazing wedding venue. Lindsay kept in touch with us throughout the year and helped make our special day so amazing!!! We got married in October and the pictures were gorgeous. I just love how many different places there are to get married and so many awesome spots for pics! The whole experience was amazing.

Reviewed on 12/6/2022 

- Rachel K
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We hosted our reception here last May and it was truly my vision come true. Elm Bank fit so many of my wedding goals- budget, ambiance, indoor/outdoor, capacity, etc. We had no problem choosing from the preferred vendor team and our guests were thrilled with the food and location. My only regret is not going over budget by just a bit to really *wow* with flowers and lighting, but as the bride I’m the only who thinks that! Huge shoutout to this excellent property and team, we had so much fun!

Reviewed on 5/15/2022

- Kathryn K

Vendor Collection

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Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and to developing the public’s enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

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