photos: Casey Durgin Photography and Leah Fisher Photography
When I think of Maine, thoughts turn to quaint towns on the coast and lobster. My impression of this New England state came from the fact that my parents loved the area, and we spent many summers renting lake homes for vacationing. The landscape is stunning and perfect for a destination Maine wedding!
For the couple who is thinking of going to a destination for their own wedding – or honeymoon – consider heading north to The Pine Tree State, which offers an experience all it’s own. I had the pleasure of perusing wedding venues, eating delectable cuisine and taking a few tours on a recent press trip to the state.
This ocean side city is full of history, a lovely shopping district and beautiful homes. It also offers options for couples that want either an urban feel or a private, picturesque ceremony.
Being a writer, The Press Hotel was especially intriguing. Offering interesting and well thought out touches such as a typewriter art display and wallpaper made out of rolled newspaper, this Maine hotel is housed in the former Gannett newspaper building. It offers many options for event spaces and overnight accommodations.
photos: Leah Fisher Photography at The Press Hotel
Their in house UNION restaurant offers unique, delicious fare and creative dessert options in addition to catering. My favorite spot of all was the rooftop view off of the penthouse suite, which is perfect for an intimate wedding with high impact overlooking the bustling city of Portland.
A little off of the metropolitan area sits The Danforth. With it’s luxurious accommodations, each room offers a different feel in this historic home turned inn. The space is lovely with its cascading natural light, and one of my favorite spaces was a hidden widow’s walk with a view of the ocean on the roof of the building.
photos: Greta Tucker Photography at The Danforth with Maria Northcott, Officiant
Tempo Dulu offers a variety of cuisine, and I would suggest the tasting menu, which offers a sampling of their culinary delights. Plus, their drinks arrive in style, each having it’s own creative twist. As Portland’s only luxury boutique hotel, it is perfect for an overnight stay, elopement, rehearsal dinner or vow renewal.
For those couples looking for a seaside experience, two locations come to mind. The first being the aptly named Inn by the Sea. Upon entering the hotel, the view goes straight to the ocean before you head up to your room, which includes a fireplace. So cozy! The inn itself has a lovely lawn, yet a secluded boardwalk takes you to the ocean, which houses a mile of unspoiled Maine beach.
photos: Casey Durgin Photography at Inn by the Sea
In addition, the Black Point Inn offers a sprawling lawn with an ocean view that makes for stunning photos! The inn is full of charm and tradition, and The Point Restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience along with tempting cocktail and dessert selections.
photos: Alexandra Daley-Clark Photography at Black Point Inn
For those who truly can’t decide if they want an urban or a seaside event, the perfect option just may be a rehearsal dinner and accommodations at the Portland Harbor Hotel. With luxury rooms in the heart of downtown, a picturesque ferry ride takes you to Great Diamond Island, which houses their coastal sister property – the lovely Inn at Diamond Cove. The island is full of history and views and also boasts accommodations and a restaurant for convenience.
photos: Emilie Inc. at Diamond Cove
Dubbed “The Magic City” Millinocket is a destination for couples that want a romantic retreat for either their honeymoon or wedding. Rustic, quaint cabins overlooking Millinocket Lake are available in several sizes at the New England Outdoor Center, which also offers outdoors-y types of activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, moose tours and whitewater rafting. For those wanting to brave the colder weather, the center offers snowmobiling, ice fishing and cross country skiing.
photos: T Dow Photography at New England Outdoor Center
Whether you choose to rent out the property in whole or part, a wedding overlooking Mount Katahdin is both rustic and picturesque. The on-site restaurant, River Drivers, is also ready to cater your event with finesse. A 3.5-hour drive also takes you to Portland if you would like to incorporate a jaunt to the city in your adventures.
WHILE IN PORTLAND
Portland is rich in history and beauty – both with the coastal views and lovely buildings. Besides the restaurant recommendations in Portland, there are a plethora of other activities for you and your guests to peruse during your stay in Maine.
- Easy Day – If you love bowling – or even if you don’t – a trip to this local upscale bowling alley and restaurant is a must. What a fun place for your attendants to gather or to hold a rehearsal dinner! The restaurant offers delectable delights such as lobster rolls and fun drink options. Think of this more as a great restaurant that happens to have quality, bowling lanes.
- The Maine Brew Bus – This is exactly what you think it is. A brilliant idea. Bright green buses take you from stop to stop to experience local craft breweries and wineries. Their guides are also knowledgeable about the local scene, so you are able to ask questions and get a flair for the area.
- Portland Discovery Tour – Whether you choose to tour by land or sea, this 90-minute introduction into the history of the city lets you relax and soak it in, and they have a variety of tours available.
- Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park – First lit in 1791, this beautiful lighthouse and park offers stunning views. With its history and scenery, it makes the perfect stop for visitors – and you can even get married there!
- Sea Bags – If you are doing a welcome bag for out-of-towners or looking for a fun bridesmaids’ gift, head to Portland’s downtown shopping district to the Sea Bags headquarters. These sturdy bags are made from recycled sails, and while you are there, be sure to peruse the other nearby stores.
PS. To read my personal journey on my trip to Maine, just click here.