I had the great pleasure of officiating Courtney and Mathew's elopement ceremony at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport. With just their parents in attendance, this was a very intimate gathering. Even so, Courtney and Mathew hired Emily Elizabeth Events to help bring the vision of their wedding day to life. I always LOVE working with Emily, she's kind, calm and on top of everything. I know I speak for her clients when I sayRead More
Many of you might not know that I've been blogging for six years! I started my blog the same time I became a professional wedding officiant, back in 2011. Since then I've covered so many different topics like: wedding ceremony timeline, make sure to eat on wedding day, how to calm your nerves, where to wear your engagement ring during the ceremony, wedding vendor pricing, 10 tips for the best wedding processional, and so, so much more. I even wrote a blog post about the best Maine wedding resources to help you plan your wedding.Read More
There are so many things to do in Maine and especially in and around the population center of Portland, Maine. I live just outside Portland and go in quite often. It's one of my favorite cities (and I'm totally a country girl), because it's walkable, friendly and has some of the world's best restaurants! When friends come to visit, I give them this list of fun and interesting things to do in and around Portland. Feel free to share it on your wedding website or with your guests "from away."
- Portland Museum of Art So I haven’t personally been yet but I hear great things about it and its cafe.
- Bard Coffee One of the best coffee shops in all of Maine! The owners Bob and Carmen are two of the kindest people you'll ever meet.
- Gelato Fiasco Italian ice cream at it's best made right here in Maine. A delicious treat
- Hunt & Alpine Club Amazing cocktails, Instagram-worthy Scandanavian small plates bursting with flavor; try the popcorn and deviled eggs
- Holy Donut You CANNOT leave Portland without eating at least one (who are we kidding - JUST ONE?) of these donuts
- Victoria Mansion I haven’t been yet but it’s supposed to be really cool
- Maine Craft Distilling They have a tasting room near Coffee By Design (also really good coffee) on Diamond Street; very hip, urban local distillery (they also have a tasting room in Freeport near LL Bean)
- Peaks Island Take the Casco Bay Ferry out to Peaks (15 minutes ferry ride) and walk around the island. Lots of weddings take place at the Inn on Peaks and the Harborview at Jones Landing
- Eastern Promenade There's a lovely park right in Portland with beautiful views of Casco Bay and a little gazebo where weddings take place; while you’re on the East End of Portland, get some fries at Duck Fat!
- Back Cove trail This is a nice, flat walking path along the Back Bay gives you a different perspective of Portland
- Eventide Oyster Co. The best place for oysters evah!
- Soakology A luxurious foot soak and tea house, ahhhh!
- Press Hotel This is a hip, boutique hotel that has one of the city's best restaurants - Union Portland
- Top of the East You have to have a cocktail at the bar at the top of the Westin Hotel with the most amazing views of the entire city!
- Bayside Bowl While I haven't yet had the chance to bowl here, I LOVE bowling and this should be a blast!
- Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum Old Timey Portland charm
- Rising Tide Brewery They've got a tasting room and a great selection of craft brewed beer.
- Portland Farmers Market A year-round farmers market with over 40 farmers
- Scratch Bakery Try the Earl Grey Ginger tea and any of their amazing scones!
- Willard Beach It's walking distance from Scratch and it’s a dog beach with really beautiful views of Casco Bay
- Portland Head Light Portland’s own lighthouse. Yes, you can get married there!
I wrote this blog post about the best rehearsal dinner locations in Portland, which lists a bunch of great restaurants. I also and Maine honeymoon ideas but it might give you some other cool ideas of things to do and see while you’re here.
I am Maine wedding officiant and the author of this blog. I collaborate with my clients to craft original and deeply personalized wedding ceremonies. You can read more about my services here and here. I hope this post was useful and that you've found the wedding venue of your dreams here in Maine!
Are you getting married near Portland, Maine? If so, and if your wedding venue doesn't have the right space for it, you probably need to find a location for your rehearsal dinner. If you're getting married in Maine and you don't live here, knowing where to host your rehearsal dinner might be a challenge. So, I've gathered a list of restaurants in Portland, Maine, where you can host a gathering for your guests after your wedding rehearsal. Some of these have private dining rooms, while others have space for a big group in their restaurant.
I've added descriptions to the ones I've actually visited. Restaurants without a description have either been recommended to me or have a great reputation.
Restaurants in Portland Maine with Private Dining Rooms
- RiRa Portland - The private dining room, Harbor Room, upstairs has great light, is filled with charm an looks out over the harbor.
- TIQA - Beautiful private dining room that's decorated with mediterranean charm.
- 555 - Unique mezzanine dining room upstairs offers privacy for a small gathering. I officiated a small wedding upstairs at 555.
- Grace Restaurant - I haven't been there yet, but it's in a converted church and has a mezzanine and a large central bar
- DiMillo's on the Water - It's a floating restaurant so it's as close to the water as you can get.
- Boone's Fish House - Haven't been here yet...
- Back Bay Grill - Haven't been here yet...
- David's - Haven't been here yet...
- Bar Lola - Haven't been here yet...
- Caiola's - Haven't been here yet...
large Restaurants in Portland Maine
- Local 188 - The food is excellent and the drinks are yummy. Just so you know, it can be loud, as it's an open-concept restaurant.
- Flatbread Company - Good for a very casual rehearsal dinner (kids welcome!) and it's right on the water!
- Union Restaurant - Elegant, unique, modern decor and the food is supposed to be amazing. Good for a small party.
- Top of the East - The most dramatic views of the entire city. I'm pretty sure the entire rooftop lounge can be rented out.
Small Rehearsal Dinner Venues in Portland, Maine
- Union - In the Press Hotel with a one of Portland's best chefs
- Fore Street - Incredible food!
- Tempo Dulu - In the gorgeous Danforth Inn, where I officiated a sweet elopement
- Emilitsa - Amazing Greek food with authentic Greek wines
- Walter's - Haven't been here yet...
- Scales Supposed to be amazing seafood.
- Vinland - Haven't been here yet...
Here's another installment of Things I'm Loving! It's March, which means I'm starting to get excited about spring! The sun is higher in the sky each day, and I can't tell you the joy that brings me. Winter is ok, but summer in Maine is the BEST! And, not just because of lobster (see above), beach days, family BBQs, scenic hikes and gardening, but because it's wedding season. Wohooo! I. Can't. Wait!
- This kitchen gadget. I bought it but haven't used it yet.
- I made these and they were so crunchy and yummy! I used a different recipe, but same result.
- I basically live in these. They're sooo comfy.
- I'm having a renewed love affair with these. I especially like them when they're stale.
- This board makes me so happy that I live where I do.
- I'm binge-watching this show on Netflix, and it's inspiring me to try things I've never done (see #2 above).
- I just planted a bunch of these.
- This article, which makes my mouth water.
- I got a pair of these for free and they're so warm and cozy.
- This week. The whole thing!