Venue Spotlight: The Dane Estate

The Dane Estate

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to coordinate Lorie and Artug’s wedding at the beautiful Dane Estate at Pine Manor College. While this was the first time we planned an event there, we hope it won’t be the last! The staff was fantastic to work with, the grounds are absolutely gorgeous and the historic mansion is filled with charm. Just minutes from Boston, this venue is the perfect spot for your next intimate event.



In 1891, “Roughwood” as it was first named, was built and owned by Major William Cox and is now known as The Dane Estate at Pine Manor College. The mansion was built along with two gatehouses, the stable, a barn, a greenhouse and chicken houses. In 1904, the Dane family purchased the estate and all its buildings, and over the years acquired additional land until the estate totaled 120 acres. A wing containing a music room was built in 1909, with the addition of an organ loft in 1916. The estate was designed in the Richardson style of architecture, which is a freer interpretation of the Queen Anne or Old English style and was established in the United States by Henry Hobson Richardson near the end of the 19th century.

A close friend of the Dane family, Professor James Arnold of Harvard University, who established and gave Boston the botanical park known as the Arnold Arboretum, oversaw the planting of shrubs and trees. The only major face-lifting of Roughwood took place in 1951 when the large, planted circle with its dirt and gravel drive was replaced by millstone and paved with cobblestone, which had been removed and discarded from Boston streets after having been used originally as ship ballast. This was necessitated by the demand for automobile parking in lieu of horse drawn carriages. Essentially, the property remained intact until it was acquired by Pine Manor College in 1962.



The event spaces in the mansion are comprised of the Ferry Foyer, the Foyer Terrace, the Moncrief Library, the Music Room (Founder’s Hall) and Founders and Commencement Lawns. As you arrive through the grand entrance of the Foyer, take a moment to observe the granite and red polished marble fireplace, dark oak paneling, carved and gilt detail and French doors leading to the terrace which have never been changed. Before heading into the Library, be sure to hang your coat in the hidden room to the right of the main entrance. At one time this room was used as a walk-in-safe, tucked securely behind the mahogany paneling, however it is now used as a coat room.


Off the foyer is the elegant Moncrief Library, the former library of the Dane Estate. Its carved fruited and matchbook paneling of Circassian walnut and period-style furnishings make it ideal for small receptions, cocktail hours, and ceremonies.

In the English Georgian Founder’s Hall, a carved double staircase descends to a generously proportioned fireplaced room. Oak-paneled walls are set below a beamed and gilt ceiling. Jutting stone casement windows and teak flooring add to the grandeur.


The gorgeous Founder’s and Commencement lawns are both fantastic options for an outdoor ceremony or can also hold a tent if planning an event with more than 100 guests.


Vendor Information

Pine Manor College features its own in-house catering with Dane Estate Catering. No outside food and beverage is allowed with the exception of kosher meals (provided by Catering by Andrew exclusively) and wedding cakes. Wedding cakes are included in the wedding packages and provided by a partner bakery.

The Special Events Department can provide you with a preferred vendor list for all other vendors or you can bring in your own. All outside vendors must provide proof of liability insurance.


Rental Information

The Dane Estate Wedding Packages Include:

  •     Historic setting with 60 acres of wooded estate for photography
  •     Private Bride’s and Groom’s dressing rooms
  •     Complimentary bottled water for the bridal party
  •     Five hours of guest time, two hours of set up and one hour of clean up time in your function room
  •     Stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres for one hour
  •     Three-course plated or buffet meal including artisan bread, coffee and tea service
  •     Waitstaff and culinary staff fees
  •     Wedding cake, plated and served with coordinating accompaniments
  •     Elegant floor-length table linens in your choice of white, ivory or black
  •     Three votive candles for each guest dining table
  •     Wedding rehearsal prior to event day
  •     Complimentary parking










Contact the Department of Special Events for more detailed information and to book your next event: or 617-731-7639.

Happy Planning!

The Swank Team



Vendor LOVE: Simi Rabinowitz Photography

Simi Rabinowitz Photography

Simi Rabinowitz
We first met Simi in 2012 when he photographed Chris and Ange’s gorgeous wedding at Glen Magna Farms. He captured their big day perfectly, taking advantage of all the beautiful mansion has to offer. We look forward to working with him again in the future! Read on to learn a bit more about Simi and how he got started!


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lexington, Mass so I’m a local boy.

How long have you been in business and how did you get started?

I’ve been shooting weddings for 7 years now. I fell in love with photography back in high school and for a long time only shot nature images. I took some photo courses in college and then after college went to Montana for a summer to study nature photography and then Maine back in the summer of 2006 to study photography as well. While in Maine I met a woman from Boston who shot weddings and when I came back to Somerville in the fall of that year I assisted her on some gigs. It was a lot of fun and after a year I decided to jump into the business as well and the rest is history.


What’s your favorite part of your job?

Well I have to say I really love constantly shooting in different venues and interesting places. I’m big into traveling, but now that my wife and I have two kids we don’t get to do that too much anymore. But I’m constantly discovering new, awesome spot through this job. There are so many cool mansions, inns, and hotels in the area – and people really have weddings in all kinds of spaces. I’ve shot on the beach and in backyards, in small restaurants and even in a bar once. I get to go to the Cape and Vermont and Western Mass – its pretty cool and shooting in different spots all over is great for keeping my creativity growing.


How would you describe your style?

My goal is to tell the whole story of the wedding day in the most real way I can with an unobtrusive approach focusing on candid moments. I find that staying out of the way and allowing everything to happen naturally is the best way to capture the raw emotion and joy I always witness on a wedding day.  And I love photographing the small details of the day and the quiet, sometimes overlooked moments – those make for some of my favorite pictures.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Probably slurpees and really any frozen soda drink from 7-11 or some other gas station/truck stop type of place. As I get older they seem a little more disgusting but I still make the occasional “slurpee run”. Definitely that started in college and got worse after when I went on a bunch of road trips across the country and gas stations were often the only choice for food and drink.

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What’s your favorite quote?

Anything from Seinfeld.

What makes you unique in your field?

I really love creating what I think of as environmental portraits where the couple is of course a part of the image but the landscape around them is showcased in the most beautiful way possible and I believe my background in nature photography allows me to do this very well. Its something I try to do in all of my weddings and engagement sessions. I also believe I have very strong anticipation skills which helps me capture the emotion of the day. Reactions to toasts or jokes or stories, quick glances between a bride and groom – many things on a wedding day happen in a split second but I’ll be there to get the image.


What is the best piece of advice you can give to a couple?

The best thing I can say is that you have to relax and enjoy every moment because it goes by fast. Don’t take up any of the time worrying. I remember before my own wedding my wife getting pretty nervous about how would they know when we’re ready to eat, how will they know what music to play, etc. – but then everything ran so smoothly and on the day we realized everyone there that we hired had done this so many times before, they had it down. Just enjoy your day, celebrating with friends and family, eating, drinking and dancing – and from my perspective that’s what makes for the best pictures.

See more of Simi’s work here.


The Swank Team