For couples planning a destination wedding in Maine, it doesn't take long to discover that its beauty and recreational offerings are multifaceted. Not to mention, it is one of the few U.S. wedding destinations that is consistently alluring no matter the season. From the crashing waves and rocky beaches to the tranquility of pine fringed islands, a wedding in Maine can be spent amid the backdrop of a four-star seaside resort or tucked-away in a cozy chalet in the White Mountains.
Popular Destination Wedding Locations in Maine
Beach Bliss: Coastal weddings are Maine's main attraction. However, with so many bays to choose from, it's hard to know which one fits your wedding theme best. If you envision a wedding by the sea in an elaborate seaside estate, then Kennebunkport is the bay of choice. Home to the Bush family compound as well as the Seashore Trolley Museum, guests can ride in an enchanting rowboat after enjoying a few days antiquing and dining at world-class restaurants. For a quintessentially cozy wedding, head further east to find a handful of enchanting beaches and sailboat-dotted bays like Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, or Camden.
Mountain Magic: You don't have to tie the knot in the Mile High City or even near the Smokeys to have a forest-flanked wedding. Western and Northern Maine sometimes get forgotten as amazing destinations because of popular interest in the coastal appeal of this area. But keep in mind that the White Mountains and the surrounding lakes (there are thousands of them) are the perfect backdrop for a romantic sunset affair at a rustic cabin or secluded cove. If you have an outdoorsy crew, perhaps you should plan your event close to Baxter State Park where guests can whitewater raft and salmon fish during downtime.
It's Not New York, It's Simply York: York Harbor boasts some of the only sandy beaches in all of Maine. In addition to its stunning seaside nomenclature, it also offers views of one of the most famous lighthouses in the state, Cape Neddick. Aside from amazing shopping and deep-sea fishing for your wedding guests to enjoy, the restored colonial buildings and quaint inns make this destination more than a wedding site; it's your favorite beach read embodied.
Nuts and Bolts: Basic Destination Wedding Info
Fees: If neither parties are residents of Maine, then you must apply (in person) for a Maine marriage license at least one month prior to the wedding at any municipal office in the state. After doing so, you can marry in any city you choose. The fees for the marriage license registration are $15.00 a person. You must also request a copy of the marriage certificate with the city's municipal clerk and those cost $7.00 a piece after the wedding is complete.
Seasonal Situation: Spring weddings here tend to be moody - it can be sunny one day and rainy the next - but the views are still stunning. July and August are the most popular months to wed in Maine. However, September through October still see fairly mild weather and beautiful foliage for photos. A winter wedding will be the most economical and you can still choose a venue that allows you to enjoy the coast view - just be sure to wear layers and provide your bridesmaids with a pashmina scarf or shawl.
Find other Maine wedding planning resources here.