This past summer while photographing a wedding at the Bradley Estate, the director mentioned that Meryl Streep had recently filmed a movie there. Pretty cool right? Definitely not something we hear every day! We asked around a bit more and found out that a new adaptation of Little Women was being filmed throughout the Boston area.
If you you haven’t seen Greta Gerwig’s Little Women movie yet, you should! If you have seen it, or have been researching gorgeous wedding venues near Boston, there’s a good chance you’ll recognize several of these photos. From the south shore to the north shore, Boston has a variety of historical wedding venues. While we watched Little Women, we were blown away by how familiar the locations were!
Little Women, which earned six Oscar nominations, takes place in the mid 1860s. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 book, the film is set in Massachusetts, New York, and Paris. Given the local ties Alcott has to the area, director Greta Gerwig said that it was essential that the film be shot near Boston.
The coolest thing about using these historical sites in the movie was that the filmmakers didn’t have to alter them at all. As soon as you walk into these estates, it feels like stepping back in time. Whether it’s the castle setting at the Crane Estate or the authentic 1860s interior at Aunt March’s (Meryl Streep) house, these locations have been preserved so well that they worked perfectly for the film.
Here is a list of 5 Boston area wedding venues that can be seen in Little Women:
- The Crane Estate
- The Lyman Estate
- The Bradley Estate
- Fruitlands Museum
- Arnold Arboretum
Take a look at some of these amazing wedding venues in Little Women!
The Crane Estate
We are lucky to photograph several weddings a year at this unbelievable venue and the ocean views never get old. The Great House on Castle Hill is instantly recognizable and has been featured in a few other films as well. Gerwig used the property on the Crane Estate as the Paris location in the film. The estate has several beautiful gardens. One was used when Amy is lounging in the garden painting and chatting with Laurie. Nearby Crane Beach was the location of the beach scenes where Jo takes Beth to get well. Below, Amy tells Laurie that she has turned down her fiancee’s proposal of marriage.
The Lyman Estate
The Lyman Estate was the first location in the film that we instantly recognized. The porch pictured below was used in the early in the film. Jo and Laurie escape the New Year’s Eve festivities and go outside to dance together. Since we recently photographed a wedding at the Lyman Estate, we couldn’t help but remember walking around on that same porch! The indoor ballroom was also used as the location for the New Year’s eve scenes. Hear the director talk about this scene in the video below.
Director Greta Gerwig discussing the dancing scene filmed at the Lyman Estate.
The Bradley Estate
The Elenor Cabot Bradley Estate was used as the home of Aunt March, and then later in the film as the school that Jo opens up. This is one of the many historic properties in Massachusetts managed by The Trustees. The Trustees is a nonprofit group that manages more than 100 historical sites throughout the state. They do such an incredible job at all of their properties and it’s always a pleasure to work with them. The film wraps up with a birthday party that takes place in the back garden. Having photographed weddings at the Bradley Estate this past summer in that same garden recently made and so cool to see!
There are a few exterior as well as interior shots here at the home of Aunt March (played the the one and only Meryl Streep). When we were there last year we definitely noticed the amazing wallpaper and it was so cool to see it in the film!
Several outdoor scenes were filmed at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA. Situated high on a hill, this wedding venue offers spectacular views that feel so quintessentially New England. The yellow farmhouse on the property was also used as Meg’s (Emma Watson) home after she is married.
According to the New England Historical Society, Alcott actually lived in that same farmhouse when she was just 10 years old.
The Arnold Arboretum in Boston was portrayed as Paris during an early scene in the film. We have spent time at this amazing botanical park for outdoor engagement sessions. This spot has a woodsy park vibe while still being in the middle of Boston. The Globe reported that scenes filmed here occurred on the same day of Red Sox World Series Parade in 2018. It was the first major movie filmed in the arboretum. For a comprehensive look at the filming in the arboretum, check out the Harvard Gazette’s story behind the scenes.
For more information on locations used in the filming of Little Women, the Boston Globe put together a comprehensive list here.