planning your Maine destination wedding
Coming to Maine from “away” to tie the knot? Way to go!! Wise choice!
A few years back I was a bride and we, too, had a destination wedding (we were married on St. John. I wanted a warm weather wedding and couldn’t do that here during wedding season) so this advice comes from experience.
1. ENVISION THE DAY
Close your eyes and imagine your wedding day. Are your toes in the sand, the grass, on a mountain, or at an altar? What does it sound like? Waves lapping, birds chirping, wind swirling, or is it mostly still? Do you envision yourself getting in/out of an antique car, a golf cart, a trolley, a limousine or doing everything in one place without needing to travel? How are you dressed? Sundresses and seersucker, dresses and suits, gowns and tuxes? Are you wearing a bolero/cardigan/coat or is it warm (even hot)? Where will you dance the night away? Under a tent, in a barn, at an inn or maybe a country club? LOTS to consider. Spend time choosing what fits you two best (even if you have other decision-helpers who may be encouraging you in another direction).
2. MAP IT OUT
Literally. Download a map of Maine and, if you don’t already have a favorite town or region, set to work on researching what works best for you and your group. Will your guests drive in or fly? If flying, for instance, draw a circle that encompasses an hour drive from the airport (or ~45 miles) to start checking out venues and lodging within that radius. Wedding planner Lindsey Brook Norton of L. Brook says Portland (PWM) is the most common airport requested because it’s easy to get to from a variety of metro airports.
3. COME VISIT OR HIRE A PLANNER, OR BOTH!
Once you have an idea of an area, a handful of venues you want to see (4-6) and have exhausted all online searches, plan a long weekend in Maine. Schedule tours of the venues (and perhaps even stay there overnight if your venue offers lodging, too)! We traveled to St. John, but missed a connecting flight because of weather – and subsequently the last ferry to the island – so had just a day and a half to familiarize ourselves with the island (our first time ever there!) and race through all of our choices. It was wild and so much fun. Stressful? Sure, but we went with our gut (and our budget), and got it all done! Too overwhelmed to move that quickly? Consider hiring a local wedding planner to take off the pressure and give you the inside scoop.