We head to northern New England to plan a destination wedding.
If lighthouses and lobsters are high on your wedding wish list, a Maine wedding may be just the ticket. Both the supremely upscale “Kennebunks” (Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel) and cool, gay-friendly Ogunquit have positioned themselves as alluring backdrops for coastal nuptials.
Located just under two hours from Boston, the Kennebunks offer sheer New England elegance — its shores lined with impressive mansions. Kennebunk’s Lower Village & Kennebunkport’s Dock Square are ideal setting for an ocean-side extravaganza. Among the area’s ideal wedding locations is The Nonantum Resort. Located along the Kennebunk River, it offers beautiful water views, award-winning cuisine and even dancing under the stars.
On the cake front, Let Them Eat Cake and Confection Art are two of the most beloved bakeries in the area. Trusted local florists include Blooms and Heirlooms, Brenda’s Bloomers and Fleurant. For pre-wedding pampering, grab your groom and best men and head over to The Village Salon and Day Spa or the Spa at Rivers Edge. Looking for a memorable scene for your photos? Line up the wedding party at the Goat Island Lighthouse, an iconic landmark established in Cape Porpoise Harbor in 1833. Local photographers Patrick McNamara Photography, Russell Caron Wedding Photography, and Kim Chapman Photography are three of the best in town.
Meanwhile, Ogunquit has been a safe haven for the LGBT community for over a century, since Perkins Cove was established as an artist colony there in the late 1880s. The motto of the town is “Beautiful Place by the Sea” and (with three and a half miles of pristine, white sandy beaches) it’s certainly apt.
If you’re looking for a place to have a cocktail in the days leading up to the wedding, try Front Porch Piano Bar or Maine Street. And don’t forget to explore The Marginal Way — a picturesque path which starts on Shore Road near School and Cottage Streets. This old Indian trail hugs the margin of the ocean between rocky cliffs and spills out onto Perkins Cove beach. The gay section of the beach is located just a tenth of a mile north of the main beach.
What kind of venues are on the menu? The Cliff House Resort & Spa, operating since 1872, is one of the area’s best. Spread out over 70 ocean-front acres, it includes rooms that can accommodate up to 225. Their Ocean Terrace, with the roaring surf in the background, is a beautiful spot for vows.
Culture-minded couples might consider the gorgeous event facilities of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. The unique wedding location offers sculpture gardens, galleries and a sprawling private lawn by the sea. The OMAA collection includes an extraordinary examples of the work artists associated with the legendary Ogunquit Art Colony. The Velveteen Habit restaurant — with a stunning acre of Great Lawn overlooking a quaint Kitchen Garden — is another great option for an intimate reception, rehearsal dinner or morning-after brunch.
On the cake front, bakeries are plentiful in this wedding hotspot. Bread & Roses is known for simple, delicious cakes like their “Erin’s Wedding Cake” — yellow butter cake with raspberry mousse and white chocolate buttercream. Calluna Fine Flowers is one of the most trusted flower and gift shops in town; its owner, designer Heather Battagliese, has been adding accents of natural beauty to memorable local occasions over the course of the past 17 years.
Local photographer Jennifer Goolkasian is a trusted, local, go-to shutterbug and the principal wedding photographer of Aphrodite Wedding Photography. Consider venturing out to one of Maine’s many lighthouses for wedding photos that capture the local flavor. Cape Elizabeth’s Portland Head Light, arguably the area’s most photographed lighthouse, was commissioned by George Washington and built in 1791 — the first lighthouse built under the nation’s new government. Cape Neddick-Nubble Light, Goat Island Light, Wood Island Lighthouse and Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse are also great places to scout for a perfect seaside backdrop.
Last modified: March 16, 2018