If you're getting married in the Portland, Maine area and you're thinking of hosting your rehearsal dinner in Portland, why not stay in town and enjoy some delicious cocktails with your guests. Showing you guests a good time in the port city makes for a fun wedding weekend.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)
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!
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.
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!
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...
have you ever visited portland, maine? here's a great little video titled "mini maine." it was shot with a regular lens and then edited in post-production. it looks like they used an effect called tilt-shift, which is an actual lens but can also be done by editing. the tilt-shift effect makes things look like minatures and i have never seen it done so well in a video as in this one of portland. i'm also a huge fan of time-lapse photography! enjoy!
this video was created by little big world who has a bunch of other videos like this from locations around the world!
this was a fourth of july wedding to remember. janice and michael and their friends and family all came to maine to celebrate their marriage. the theme of their wedding was eat, drink and remarry! this is the first time i've actually choked up during a ceremony. they welcomed folks to speak during the wedding and the speeches were so heartfelt and genuine, i couldn't help but tear up. i feel really honored to have been a witness to their wedding.
the wedding took place at the exquiste restaurant five fifty-five in downtown portland, maine. the food was exceptional! if you go, you MUST try the lobster mac and cheese, it's crazy good! my husband and i ate dinner there after the ceremony and am so glad we did. i had poached salmon with bok choy and fennel foam that was the perfect combination of flavors. we had their house-made salted caramels for dessert, and i can't recommend them enough. in fact, skip all the other desserts and cheese and just get a double order of the caramels, you will not be disappointed!
This past weekend was amazing. I performed Jen and Matt's wedding on the windjammer FRANCES out on Casco Bay right out of Portland, Maine. There are so many things I want to tell you about this adventure, but I must start with this: I am so honored to have facilitated the union of these two people. No two people are more meant for each other. They have an easy sweetness and a very fun-loving spirit as a couple. AND I love their families!Read More