Top 10 Maine Wedding VenuesWords by J Sandifer
Photos courtesy of emilie inc. photography
On the southern border of my state, just over the Piscataqua River Bridge, a large sign greets visitors: “Welcome to Maine: The way life should be.”
The way life should be. It’s Maine’s slogan and it’s also why we’re such a beloved destination wedding destination. Maine makes the nearby feel exotic – though we’re just a short trip from Boston, New York and other major cities, Maine feels worlds away from those hectic lifestyles thanks to the beauty of our landscape, the slower pace of our day and the affordability of our vendors.
There are about 9,000 weddings each year in Maine. Mainers are known for their creativity and independence and the state welcomes a diverse spectrum of wedding celebrations, from classic and elegant, to natural and rustic. Whether a lavish affair or a simple gathering, any kind of wedding feels right in the state nicknamed “Vacationland.”
Brides who love nature are drawn to Maine’s stunning, pristine landscape which includes 3,200 miles of coastline, hundreds of lakes and ponds and peaks which rival any in the region. The natural splendor creates endless opportunity to ski, hike, kayak and sail, among other adventures. Complementing the beauty is a quaint local culture anchored in tradition – communities are often small, close-knit and centered around marine and forest industries. But, old-fashioned doesn’t mean backwards. Take, for instance, the local, sustainable foodie scene which includes chefs like Sam Hayward and Rob Evans, recognized by the James Beard Foundation as among the most innovative in the region. Still not convinced? How about this: Maine has great bang-for-your-buck. Prices for wedding vendors, food and venues tend to be much more affordable here than in places like New York City and Cape Cod. The way life should be, indeed.
Hidden away as we are in the most northeastern point of the country, we have preserved the simple virtues of devotion to community and family, honest work ethic and dogged respect for the environment. Weddings here are built upon this foundation – the pillars, arguably, of lifelong romance – and guests and wedding parties often return home from "Vacationland" feeling centered and rejuvenated.
Top wedding venues in Maine
Where are the best places to get married in Maine? From sea-spritzed Acadia National Park to the tangle of our evergreen forests, it all depends on your vision. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Migis Lodge
Since 1916, Migis has opened its doors to guests seeking a step back from the world in a tranquil location. Their luxurious Main Lodge and 35 cottages are nestled amidst 125 acres of pine forest stretching along 3,500 feet of Sebago Lake shoreline
in southern Maine.
Consider southern Maine’s coastal gem, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm. Make a little history of your own on their property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Newagen offers a spectacular location for your intimate wedding on the water’s edge with a quintessential lighthouse, coastal islands and the crashing surf of the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop.
French’s Point is a private estate offering timeless elegance for life’s paramount events. Located on Penobscot Bay on the tip of a private penisula surrounded by breaking waves, boreal waters, manicured gardens and acres of Maine’s wild beach roses.
Just south of Camden cradled between lush green hills and the blue waters of Penobscot Bay, lies the Samoset Resort. Take in the beauty of the scenic Maine coastline, enjoy cocktails and companionship on their luxurious lawn and dance the night away in one of their grand ballrooms.
Inn by the Sea can accommodate weddings for up to 150 people in their ocean-view rooms or tented on the lawn. With spectacular views from all function locations, Inn by the Sea provides a dramatic and memorable backdrop for weddings.
An exquisite 1887 Maine barn and farmhouse which marries rusticity with refinement and provides a setting which is at once simply elegant and elegantly simple.
Infused with fresh ocean breezes, Maine island charm and native wildflowers, surrounded by summer island warmth, fall foliageor softly falling snow, there are few backdrops more idyllic than Peaks Island on Casco Bay.
The circa 1856-57 church building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the few surviving examples of early Gothic Revival style in Portland. Simple beauty, sublime space and superb food make Grace the perfect spot to hold a wedding in the city.
10. The Colony Hotel
Spectacular ocean views, natural beauty, cool sea breezes, the sound of the sea and a sense of history distinguish The Colony Hotel’s weddings. The historic hotel is within walking distance of the charming village of Kennebunkport.
Planning a wedding in Maine couldn’t be easier than with these local resources: Real Maine Weddings magazine covers the ins and outs of the wedding world here and can be shipped all over the country. The Portland CVB is a great resource for speaking with someone passionate about Maine weddings in person, so ask for Celeste (visitportland.com). We also have our very own online wedding guide with The Maine Wedding Co (maineweddingguide.com) and for visual temptations of weddings on the coast make sure to check out the Maine wedding blog loveandlobster.com!
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