Destination: Fun!

Need a place to get hitched? Scenery, ambiance, and adventure come with the territory at these New England spots.


new england wedding venues

ISLE STYLE: Newly hitched at Peaks Island House; Photograph by Emilie Inc. Photography.

Dreaming of a city-centric wedding? Maine may not be the first place that comes to mind. But those looking to host an urbane event—minus urban hassles—would do well in Portland. Just two hours from Boston, on the southern edge of Maine’s scenic midcoast, the city has seamlessly transitioned from old fishing town to thriving burg-of-the-moment. Its streets are jammed with galleries, boutiques, coffee houses, and an astonishing number of acclaimed restaurants dishing up everything from fresh lobster rolls to French fries crisped in duck fat. Despite the recent trendiness, though, Portland remains a down-to-earth place—and a perfectly low-stress wedding destination.

new england wedding venues

Outside the Portland Regency Hotel, a former armory building.

For location, it’s hard to beat the 95-room Portland Regency Hotel (207-774-4200,, a repurposed 19th-century armory in the heart of the revitalized Old Port district. It’s just steps from buzzed-about foodie destinations (and great rehearsal dinner options) like Fore Street (207-775-2717, and Five Fifty-Five (207-761-0555,, both of which serve contemporary New England fare heavy on seafood and local produce. Meanwhile, the nearby Portland Harbor Hotel (207-775-9090, offers luxe bedding; champagne and strawberries; and a garden terrace perfect for vows.

new england wedding venues

Rehearsal dinner choices abound in the Old Port district; Photograph by Sean Alonzo Harris.

Of course, there’s no escaping Portland’s maritime roots, and nautical charm abounds on Peaks Island (just a 20-minute ferry ride from downtown Portland). A casual, open-air ceremony at Peaks Island House (207-766-4400, the and a tented soiree at the Inn on Peaks Island (207-766-5100, keep the attitude low-key, as does a menu of fresh, frills-free seafood. Better yet, its proximity to the city means guests can enjoy the great outdoors—and a few after-hour cocktails at one of Portland’s many pubs.         

– Brigid Sweeney