How to Elope in Maine

December 9, 2020

3 steps to eloping in Maine

Yay, you’re considering an elopement but now you’re wondering how to elope in Maine? Read on to discover the easy steps and beautiful locations that Maine has to offer for your elopement.

Step 1: Which season should you elope in?

Winter– Maine is gorgeous and quiet in the winter. It has outstanding snow conditions for winter sports and cozy romantic inns spread out throughout the state. Activities include snowshoeing, tubing, sleigh rides, snow mobiles, and gondola rides. *Some businesses close for the winter so dining and shopping options will be reduced.

Spring– After the long winter bursts of green grass start to emerge. Less crowds and weather starts to warm although it’s still a little crisp. Wildflowers start to bloom and it’s a great time to spot whales and other wildlife.

Summer- Beautiful warmth in the summer and perfect hiking weather to explore Maine’s myriad hiking opportunities. A very popular time to visit Acadia National Park and lobster shacks! Summer is the most crowded season. *Maine’s coastal waters are cool even in summer!

Fall- Insanely beautiful colors and leaf peeping opportunities. The weather gets crisp but comfortable and the whole state is really just so gorgeous. Fall is a great time to elope in Maine! *Fall peek happens at different times depending on location. Check this link out to follow the foliage.

Step 2: Pick your landscape

Maine has a variety of landcapes from the beautiful rocky coastline filled with quiant lighthouses, deep forests and the Appalachian trail. It also has gorgeous lakes, rivers, and many waterfalls to explore.

Which one do you connect with the most?

Step 3: Hire an expert elopement photographer

When you’re eloping, especially to a location that you haven’t been before it’s imperative that you hire an experienced elopement photographer.

A great elopement photographer will help you build an experience that’s a meaningful representation of your relationship by location scouting and assisting you with getting the right permits. They’ll also know all of the off the beaten path and secret locations that aren’t as popular. They might just be your most valuable resource as you navigate planning your elopement.

questions about how to find the best locations in Maine?

Where to elope in Maine?

Maine, home to the wild ocean and rocky cliffs, gorgeous lakes, forests, and islands. Maine has so many dramatic and gorgeous landscapes to choose from for your elopement. From the charming coastal towns rich with history to epic Acadia National park in Bar Harbor Maine is a great state to elope in! Primal forests and majestic mountains to glacial lakes and the coastline that launched a thousand paintings, Maine’s natural world is unlike any other. Abundant waterfalls, forests where you might spot a Moose, and a seafood lovers paradise. If you love the great outdoors and the wild and rugged beauty of the untamed coastline you’ve come to the right place for your small wedding. Let me make your elopement plan easier.

Read on to discover some of my favorite elopements and wedding locations across this big beautiful state!

Table of Contents

Maine Marriage Laws

Here is a list of requirements and documents needed to get married in Maine

  • You both have to be at least 18 years old.
  • You DON’T have to be a Maine resident.
  • There’s no waiting period and your license is valid for 90 days.
  • You must have at least two witnesses.

Important info to remember:

  • You can (sometimes) apply online but you both must appear in person with valid ID.
  • If you’ve been married before you may need to show a copy of your final judgment.
  • The signed marriage license must be mailed to the county clerk within 7 days of your ceremony.
  • You will NOT receive a copy of your marriage license after you have been married unless you request and pay for a certified copy.

You can find additional information here.

Eloping at National Parks in Maine

There are 4 National Parks in Maine.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK// APPALACHIAN NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL// KATHADIN WOODS// SAINT CROIX ISLAND
*Important to know about national parks: Campsites book up months in advance so if you’re planning on camping before or after your elopement check the websites as soon as possible

Favorite Maine woods and mountain elopement and wedding locations

ACADIA NATIONAL PARKAcadia National Park with its striking, craggy coastline protects the natural beauty of the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the United States, an abundance of habitats, and rich cultural heritage. It has all types of hikes for every athletic ability and has has been an enticing destination for travelers ever since it was first declared a national park

Closest Airport: Boston (BOS) and Portland (PWM) are the closest airports, with Boston a 4.5-hour road trip up the rugged Maine Coastline and Portland an almost 3-hour drive. You can also catch a small plane from Boston to Bangor, Maine (BGR) which is an hour from the park!

Where to stay:
Terramor Luxury Glamping Resort
Balance Rock Inn
Asticou Inn
Where to eat:
Cafe this Way
Lompoc Cafe
Mache Bistro
Important things to know:
For weddings with 10-30 people there are 12 pre-approved sites to choose from.There are lots of dog-friendly trails if you want to include your pup in your ceremony! There are 12 pre-approved areas for your elopement of up to 20 guests!
Best time of year:
Fall for mild temps, beautiful foliage, and fewer crowds. Summer is the busiest season
Permit required?
No, if up to 10 people. Yes, if 10-30 guests and costs $50

CAMDEN HILLS STATE PARKCamden, Maine’s slogan is “where the mountains meet the ocean”. My favorite hike isBald Rock Mountain which is one of the highest mountain tops in Camden Hills State Park at 1200 feet. The climb to the top is easy to moderate. One is rewarded at the end of the climb with a majestic view of west Penobscot Bay including Camden, Rockport, and Rockland harbors. 
Closest Airport: Boston (BOS) and Portland are the closest airports (3.5 and almost 2 hours)
Where to stay:
Camden Harbour Inn
Inn at Ocean’s Edge
The Norumbega
Where to eat:
Long Grain
Fresh & Co
40 Paper
Important things to know:
While it’s crowded in the summer, Camden is home to a vibrant locals community with plenty of activities to do year-round. It also has a surprising number of AMAZING restaurants to choose from.
Best time of year:
There’s beauty in all seasons but Spring-Fall if you want to avoid snow, otherwise winter is magical on the coast!
Permit required?
Unclear, more info to be found here.

BAXTER STATE PARKWhat Acadia is for Maine’s Coast Baxter is for Maine’s inland! This national park covers 200,000 acres in Piscataquis County. With 200 miles of maintained trails, 46 mountain peaks, and ridges, there are almost unlimited options for elopement locations for those who want a wildly beautiful and adventurous wedding location.

Closest Airport: Bangor, which is about an hour and a half (90 miles) away. Or Boston and do the scenic drive (about 7 hours)
Where to stay:
Camping
Cabins
Bears Den Lakeside Cabin
Where to eat:
Rivers Driver
Important things to know:
There are two entrances to Baxter State Park. The Togue Pond Gate entrance is near Millinocket and the Matagamon Gate entrance is near Patten. Millinocket is 3 hours from Portland; Patten is 3 hours and 15 minutes. Those 15 minutes will make a huge difference. 
Permit required?
Yes and they are free, apply here

BIGELOW MOUNTAINBig, challenging and beautiful, Bigelow is widely considered Maine’s second best hike behind Katahdin. With emerald ridges, deep cols (low point between two peaks) and long, two-day climbs (bring the tent). It takes 16.3 miles to go up and over Bigelow, but if you just want to hit the signature Avery Peak (4,088 feet) the trek is a shorter—if no less difficult—7.8 miles. Many people camp at Avery, which has tent platforms, the better to enjoy the amazing views at the summit of Flagstaff Lake and Maine’s Western Mountains

Closest Airport: The closest major airport is Bangor International Airport (BGR / KBGR), which has domestic flights from Bangor, Maine and is 100 miles away
Where to stay:
Tea Pond Lodge
Camping
Where to eat:

Alice and Lulu’s
Black Diamond Burritos
Important things to know:
Bigelow Mountain has a lot of strenuous hikes for the super adventurous couples.
Permit required? No

Coastal Maine island elopement locations

Here are some ideas for wedding locations on some of Maine’s most beautiful islands. For couples who feel most at home steps from the sea.

CRANBERRY ISLESAbsolutely stunning islands off coast of Bar Harbor. A truly commanding and spectacular view of Mount Desert Island and the mountains of Acadia National Park.
Closest Airport: Charles Schulz Airport (2 hours), San Francisco or Oakland (4 hours)
Where to stay:
Farmhouse on Little Cranberry Isle
Large Cottage on the Beach
Where to eat:
Isleford Dock RestaurantThe Upper Deck
Important things to know:
The islands are only accessible by boat. A mail boat, tour boats, water taxi’s and ferries from Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and Manset make regular trips to these two islands. 
Best time of year:
Weather is ideal April-Oct with the summers crowded. Winter brings very cold and snowy weather
Permit required?
No

BAILEY ISLANDOne of the truly special things about Bailey Island its accessibility by land or sea. The wonders of Bailey’s Island begin at the Cribstone Bridge—said to be the only cribstone bridge in the world. 
Closest Airport: Portland Airport (PWM) is only 17 miles away
Where to stay:
The Driftwood
House on the Sea
Where to eat:
Morses Cribstone Grill
Bayleys Lobster
Important things to know:
It’s a tiny island that only takes 5 minutes to drive across! There aren’t any large public beaches so eloping on private property or on one of their easy island hikes would be best for your intimate wedding.
Best time of year:
The warm, dry summer (Jun–Aug) is peak travel. Winter (Dec–Feb) is cold and snowy.
Permit required?: No

Off the beaten path and secret locations in Maine to elope

GULF HAGAS FALLSIncludes several waterfalls and swimming holes within the “Grand Canyon of the East”; access is via Katahdin Iron Works
Access: Moderate
MOXIE FALLS
With a spectacular near 100-ft. drop Moxie Falls is Maine’s highest and most easily accessible waterfall.
Access: Easy

BORESTONE MOUNTAIN AUDUBON SANCTUARYNear the southern end of Maine’s “100-Mile Wilderness” forest. Uncut for more than a century, its forest is unlike much of the region’s spruce-fir and northern hardwood forest.Access: Varies

RATTLESNAKE POOL
Located at Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch, this is a crystal clear and absolutely gorgeous emerald green swimming hole.
Access: Easy


Best places to elope in Maine for foodies (and Anthony Bourdain lovers)

There are so many amazing restaurants in Maine but here are a the few that Anthony Bourdain visited during an episode of No Reservations.

Js OYSTERWhere? Portland
STREET & COWhere? Portland

PRIMOWhere? RocklandSPRING CREEK BBQ

Where? Monson

Favorite Maine Airbnb’s and Glamping tents for your small wedding

Gorgeous houses on private islands, cabins in the forest, and luxury safari tents. Because sometimes you just want to step outside and have a tiny wedding a few feet away.

Northern Maine:
Under Canvas Maine
Waterfall Tiny House
Cottage on Frenchman Bay
Saltwater Farmhouse

Midcoast and Southern Maine:
Timberframe Cottage
Carbon free Treehouse
Log Cabin on Frye Island
Modern Treehouse
Private Yacht
Huttopia Southern Maine

Maine Elopement Locations

Some of my favorite elopement locations across the state of Maine

PORTLAND // KENNEBUNKPORT // ROCKLAND // BOOTHBAY HARBOR

Get inspired to elope…

Leave no Trace

No matter where you elope it’s important to abide by Leave no Trace’s 7 principles to help protect our planet and keep it safe and beautiful for future generations.

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impact
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of others

Hey, I’m Evangeline an adventurous elopement and intimate wedding photographer helping couples craft a meaningful experience for their wedding day in nature. I focus on capturing the vibe of your day with all of the little moments that you may not remember are happening and the epic landscape views all over California, Vermont, The East Coast, and beyond.

Don’t be shy. Let me help you plan the Elopement of your dreams so drop me a line and tell me what is your intimate wedding dreams looks like.

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