Beyond the Bush family compound (a.k.a. Walker’s Point); beyond the couples in khakis sipping gin and tonics; beyond the souvenir-stuffed business district, Kennebunkport, Maine, has a coastal allure perfect for outdoor celebrations.
After doing the requisite drive-by of the ridiculously ornate Victorian home dubbed the "Wedding Cake House," treat your wedding party to a rehearsal dinner at the White Barn Inn’s restaurant. Housed in a 180-year-old barn, the spot boasts an award-winning menu of New England cuisine. For your reception, the gazebo at the Colony Hotel features 180-degree views of the Atlantic; snap post-ceremony shots in the immaculate organic gardens. For indoor events, the ballroom at the 125-year-old Nonantum Resort holds 200 guests. Guests can happily nosh on Goldenrod saltwater taffy favors (made in neighboring York); those with sea legs can venture out on lobster boat tours and sailing excursions. Having enjoyed a few days of alfresco dining, antiquing, and gorging on seafood, you’ll vow to return to Maine’s coast every anniversary thereafter. –B.S.
Venues: The Colony Hotel, 140 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport, 207-967-3331, thecolonyhotel.com; the Nonantum Resort, 95 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport, 207-967-4050, nonantumresort.com.
Rehearsal Dinner: White Barn Inn Restaurant, 37 Beach Ave., Kennebunkport, 207-967-2321, whitebarninn.com.
Local Planner: Diane York, 29 Oregon St., Portland, 207-773-7170, dianeyorkweddings.com.
Photographers: C. A. Smith Photography, 207-967-0500, casmithphotography.com; David Murray Weddings, 207-967-9040, davidmurrayweddings.com.
The Upper Cape
A beachside affair is a no-brainer for weddings on Cape Cod (and yes, the region hosts thousands of these every summer). But there’s another way to charm the heck out of your guests—without getting sand between their toes.
The Upper Cape (the area bounded by Plymouth, Falmouth, and Sandwich) is peppered with farms and country inns. Gather your bridal party for a wedding getaway at the Overbrook House, an eight-bedroom 1920s home in Buzzards Bay. Here, salt-tinged breezes mingle with the scent of herbs wafting in from an organic farm; with a pool, tennis courts, and a dance hall straight out of Dirty Dancing, it feels like summer camp. Raise a tent on one of the 22-acre property’s fields for the big day, and play up the rustic theme by hanging a clothesline between two giant pines and attaching your place cards with clothespins. Or, head to Bourne Farm in West Falmouth, which has 49 acres of trails, plus a field overlooking Crocker Pond. Set up a lemonade stand to greet guests as they walk down the path to your outdoor ceremony. Still got your heart set on the beach? The tent-covered deck at Mashpee’s Popponesset Inn overlooks Nantucket Sound. It’s as close as you can get to the water without getting soaked. –J.S.
Venues: The Overbrook House, Buzzards Bay, 617-593-7954, overbrookhouse.com; Bourne Farm, 6 North Falmouth Hwy., North Falmouth, 508-548-8484, saltpond.info/weddings; Popponesset Inn, 252 Shore Dr., Mashpee, 508-539-8350, newseabury.com.
Rehearsal Dinner: The Flying Bridge, 220 Scranton Ave., Falmouth, 508-548-2700, capecodrestaurants.org/flyingbridge.
Local Planner: Allison Wildes Liset, Elegant Engagements, 508-369-7444, capeweddingplanner.com.
Photographers: Bello Photography, bellophoto.com; Romana Vysatova, 617-290-3905; Kristin Young, 508-563-6301, kristinyoungphotography.com.