Three Amazing Wedding Venues in Portland, Maine
Whether you prefer to say “I do” high above the city or down by the harbor, weddings in this urbane destination are all about the views.
Delivering the latest in style, inspiration, helpful tips and tricks, and everything else you need to know to plan the perfect New England wedding.
These days, you can’t throw a bouquet in the Old Port without hitting a summer bridal party or a couple of autumnal honeymooners. Over the past few decades, Portland has undergone a true renaissance, becoming a foodie destination as well as a magnet for sophisticated weddings. “I used to think, ‘Who would want to get married in Maine in November?’” says local planner Emily Hricko, owner of Emily Elizabeth Events. But she’s recently come around to viewing the city as an all-season destination. “Fall is sweater weather, coffee-shop weather.” Guests can stroll the cobblestone streets before settling in for a picturesque wedding on the harbor at the Ocean Gateway, an indoor venue with a wall of windows and a sleek, industrial vibe.
Of course, nothing says Portland like the quaint, historical Old Port, and no venue showcases it quite like the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa’s breezy rooftop, where you and your nearest and dearest can watch the sun set over the city skyline from the spacious wooden deck in warmer months.
If an urban wedding isn’t your style, you don’t need to roam far to experience Maine’s bucolic farmland and enchanting forests: The Barn on Walnut Hill, located just 25 minutes from Portland, offers manicured grounds with rolling green fields for an outdoor ceremony, and the 19th-century post-and-beam barn looks downright ethereal when dressed with twinkling lights for the reception. The Casco Bay islands, meanwhile, are just a hop, skip, and 20-minute ferry ride from Portland. Mini-moon, anyone?
head count Up to 250 seated
price Starting at $3,000, plus food and drink
Portland Regency Hotel & Spa
head count Up to 150 seated
price Starting at $57.95 per person
The Barn on Walnut Hill
head count Up to 150 seated
price Starting at $10,500, plus food and drink
• • •
“I have always said that Portland is a mini San Francisco. It has a quaint, cool vibe, with great food, great art, and culture—there’s a little bit of everything here.”
Emily Hricko, Emily Elizabeth Events
• • •
Old-fashioned elegance meets modern amenities at the Danforth. Built in 1823, the Federal-style mansion’s stately brick exterior belies the contemporary design within. When they’ve finished exploring the galleries of the nearby Arts District, guests can take in the views from the rooftop cupola, or retire to one of the renovated guest rooms, most of which boast working fireplaces.
Portland’s newest tourist attraction is Thompson’s Point, where old brick warehouses are gaining new life as hip businesses migrate from downtown to the riverside location. Round up your crew for a concert at the sprawling development’s grassy outdoor venue, or stop in for a wine tasting at Cellardoor.
Known for their silky texture and innovative flavors, the Holy Donut’s potato-based confections are a local favorite. Even wedding-cake purists can get behind a stack of vanilla-glazed or maple-bacon treats on the dessert table.
Everyone’s heard of Maine wild-blueberry pie, but did you know that whoopie pies are also a Pine Tree State delicacy? Baked in nearby Freeport, Wicked Whoopies’ versions run the gamut from classic to creative (pumpkin for fall, strawberry for summer), and can be personalized with ribbons and custom message tags.
Treat your bridal party to a funky prewedding fete at the Oxbow’s Portland tasting room, where you can feast on fare from a local caterer of your choice while sipping one of Oxbow’s award-winning, yeast-forward brews, beloved by beer snobs and casual drinkers alike.
Consider the Mini-Moon
A 20-minute ferry ride will transport you to Peaks Island, an idyllic destination close to bustling Portland yet seemingly miles away.
Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the Atlantic at the quaint Inn on Peaks Island, then spend the day soaking up the small-town charm on bikes (rented at Brad’s Bike Rental & Repair) or horseback (day tours available through Horse Island Camp). More adventurous couples will love paddling around the inlets and jetties of the scenic coastline on a Maine Island Kayak Co. guided tour.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, make like the locals do and head to Down Front for heaping cones of blueberry-crumble frozen yogurt.
For more venue inspiration, take a peek at our guide to New England’s top celebration spots.