Best Maine Wedding Photographer Joshua Atticks Wedding

Destination Portland

Planning an Elopement in Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine - relaxed, friendly and stunningly beautiful.

You couldn't of picked a better place to share and create what will be some of your most cherished memories of your life. You will want to come back and maybe you'll even settle down here. You might just love this place that much. Here is how to plan your elopement in Portland, Maine - from a photographers point of view.

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In this article I will try to breakdown the process of how. I've received a lot enquiries from brides wanting to make Portland their destination but don't know where to start. Well, if this is you, your in the right place. I'll do my best to lay out all I know as a resident photographer local to the area.

****Map of Portland***

Where to Stay

Do you want to be in the city or coastal?

If your coming to Portland Maine to elope than then you will need to decide where you want to land as your base. You can either do a charming hotel or inn by the sea or stay in or around the lovely cobble stoned streets of Portland's Old Port. Ocean and beach resorts will be a short ride from the city (10-15 minutes) and will have a more upscale resort feel with beach access, open lawns and onsite dining. The Old Port is the original part of the city and is known now for it's gorgeous working port, old brick buildings, great shopping and vibrant culinary scene. Portland is known for having some of the best dining offerings in the United States. There are many hotels and small elegant inn's throughout the area. A short walk west form the Old Port and you'll find yourself in Back Bay. This is where some of Maine's best breweries and fermentarians have set up shop with welcoming outside and indoor tasting rooms all along the streets. Check out Lone Pine and Austin Street breweries if you like New England craft ales. If you like beer and food, you're in the right town.

The two charming hotels by the sea I recommend is either The Black Point Inn in Scarborough or The Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth. Those are my two favorites and I imagine both are at the same price point but each offers a completely different feel. The Black Point Inn takes you back to an older time with it's antique elevator, old wood floors, grand hallways with a large wraparound porch overlooking the rocky coast. It's lovely! The classic cozy feel, historical features and stunning grounds on the tip of Prouts Neck completes the package for the perfect all in one marriage location. Be sure to check out the Cliff Walk while there for some of the most stunning raw coastal views in the area.

If your looking for the green grass, perfect lawns, plush rooms, great food and a gorgeous beach (that is also pet friendly too) then The Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth is your place. It's certainly one of my favorites! I always enjoy shooting there because the rooms are always so nicely furnished with huge windows allowing gorgeous natural light to enter. The "Inn" is really a luxury coastal hotel nestled in Cape Elizabeth, just 10-15 minutes by care into Portland. Just around the corner from the hotel in the same town is Fort Williams Park. As you read on I will discuss this wonderful place in detail soon.

Hotels and Inn's in Portland

Portland Regency Hotel - In the middle of the Old Port, a short walk to the working port, near all the restaurants. Beautiful hotel with a stunning roof top deck with city views.

The Press Hotel - Swanky and sophisticated. I love the decor in this hotel, especially the antique typewriter in every room. The location is at the top of the Old Port and is easy walking distance to just about anywhere in the city. The penthouse has rooftop access which is gorgeous day and night.

The Weston - On busy Congress Street in the middle of the city. The decor is elegant especially in the higher end rooms where you will often find floor to ceiling windows. The ballroom is huge but windowless and made for an all night party. On top of the hotel is the Top of the East, a fun bar with 360 views of Portland.

Hilton Garden Inn - Great location close to the busy port and eastern prom. It's just what you would expect from a Hilton Garden Inn.

The Francis - A gorgeous historic boutique hotel on Congress Street. It's a 10 minute walk up hill from the Old Port and is right in the middle of the city. There are loads of restaurants, coffee shops, concert venues all around.

The Pomegranate Inn - Located in the west end of Portland in a quant brownstone neighborhood is this artsy little inn. It's a short walk to Congress street and a 20 minute walk to the Old Port. Parking is easy and the little neighborhood shops and restaurants that surround it make it a real gem.

Ceremony Sites

Most couples come to Maine to be married surrounded by the scenery. Here's some of the best places local to the area:

Fort Williams Park

Fort Williams Park is located in Cape Elizabeth and about 15 minutes from the Old Port. It is one of the most popular destinations for all those new to the area. The park offers loads of variety from the tree lined promenades, a small beach, trails, rocky cliffs, old forts from WWII and an amazing lighthouse (Portland Headlight). Parking is easy and dogs are welcome. It is open from sunrise to sunset, year round. I highly recommend this Fort Williams as a place to check out (or get married!) when visiting Portland.

Any of the three local lighthouses

  • Portland Headlight
  • Spring Point Breaker Light
  • Bug Light

*****Map of Lighthouses*****

The Eastern Prom

Located a short uphill walk from the Old Port is the Eastern Prom. The views of Casco Bay are breathtaking from this high vantage point showing off all the islands dotted throughout the bay. At the top is Fort Allen Park which is nicely landscaped and has a gazebo in the center. Just below the promenade is the eastern beach and narrow gauge railroad tracks.

Mackworth Island

Mackworth Island is about 10 minutes from Portland and accessible from a quarter mile causeway off rt. 1 in Falmouth. There is one road in and a parking lot while the rest of the island is free to roam with walking trails around the parameter. The photographic possibilities are everywhere with wonderful views of Casco Bay all the way around. There are beaches, a forest area, an old concrete pier and a village of ferry houses. Dogs are welcome.

Kettle Cove Beach

Located in Cape Elizabeth (15 minutes from Portland) is this little gem of a beach, lawn and rocky coast. There is a small parking lot next to the picnic area with the beach just below. There are also loads of walking trails located in the wooded area behind the beach. The beach and lawn faces south making sunset ceremonies here perfect.

On Top of a Roof

Bayside Bowl is the spot with one of the nicest roofs and views of the city. It's a bowling alley, revamped with a retro modern feel. Has a bar and food on the roof, string lights and even an old Airstream camper in the middle.

On the Water

The Frances is a beautiful schooner available for private hire. There is nothing quite like a sunset sail and wedding ceremony overlooking Casco Bay and all the islands.

Beaches

  • Higgins Beach
  • Ferry Beach
  • Kettle Cove
  • Scarborough Beach

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