Social Events

Thank you for thinking of The Gardens 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 Gardens 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 Gardens 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.

The Gardens

Access to all of our twelve display gardens is included in all event rentals at The Gardens 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. 

The Italianate Garden 

The Italianate Garden is located at the west side of The Gardens at Elm Bank 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 eye-catching space is most often home to cocktail receptions or ceremonies on the property.  

Weezie’s Garden for Children

Recently renovated, Weezie’s whimsical children’s garden is home to countless cocktail receptions. With unique features such as rustic towers and our signature oversized Adirondack chair, this phenomenal space allows guests to mingle and explore as they enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in this unrivaled space!  

Other Areas at The Gardens at Elm Bank 

Beyond the Italianate Garden and Weezie’s Garden for Children are many other spaces for photographs as well as your guests to roam freely and enjoy. The Bressingham Garden and Trial Garden are often incorporated into events as welcoming spaces for your guests as they arrive at The Gardens at Elm Bank. All of our gardens offer unlimited photo possibilities for groups of any size! To learn more about our other gardens, please visit the link, here. 

Reception Spaces

The Hunnewell Building 

Our largest, indoor reception location is the Hunnewell Building, our historic and stately carriage house. The great hall of the Hunnewell Building boasts nearly 3,000 square feet of event 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. 

From mid-April to mid-November, the rental of the Hunnewell Building also includes our attached three-season tent which comes in great use for inclement weather, dancing or extra seating. Utilizing the three-season tent and having a dance floor for your reception, this indoor venue can accommodate a maximum of 225 guests for a seated reception, and 400 for a cocktail reception. 

Below you will find inclusions and benefits of the Hunnewell Building and seasonal three-season tent: 

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, the possibilities are limitless. 

We work with four 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 high level of detail and wear on the property. To learn more about our tent and rental companies, please visit our Vendor Collection 

The Crockett Garden 

Located between the Maple Grove and the Education Center is the Crockett Garden. This quaint patio space is ideal for groups under 50 guests for a seated reception, or as large as 65 guests for a standing reception. Surrounded with seasonal color, the Crockett Garden has ample shade at most times of day from the beautiful Maple trees which surround the space. This garden is ideal for daytime bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, and small celebrations. Included in the rental of the Crockett Garden are the items you see below. 

The Cheney Room 

On the first level of the Education Center, the headquarters for Massachusetts Horticultural Society, is the Cheney Room. This space is named after the original resident of Elm Bank in the late 19th century, Benjamin Cheney. This space overlooks the beautiful Trial Garden and Hartley Botanic Victorian Loge, and can comfortably accommodate up to 50 for a seated reception. This space is often rented in conjunction with the Crockett Garden and can be used in the event of inclement weather. Below you will find a list of what is included in the rental of the Cheney Room. 

The Parkman Room 

Also located on the first level of the Education Center is the Parkman Room. This is the larger of the two spaces located in this building. The Parkman Room can comfortably accommodate up to 70 for a seated reception and offers vistas of the Education Center Courtyard and the serene greenery of The Gardens at Elm Bank. Below you will find a list of what is included in the rental of the Parkman Room. 

Inquiry Form

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

Functions Department
functions@masshort.org
1-617-933-4921

Director of Events
Kayleigh Tosches
ktosches@masshort.org
1-617-933-4921

Functions Department Assistant
Mary Kate Knight
mkknight@masshort.org
1-617-933-4982

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