We continue following the wedding plans of Maine transplant Jen Pepper.

Maine wedding venue search<br><a href=http://www.emilieink.com target=_blank>Jen Pepper</a>

In my last installment of wedding planning sneak peaks, I shared a little about how I searched for possible venues on my trusty laptop. After all, it’s hard to envision a summer ceremony when everything outside is covered in a blanket of white. With a short list of possible venues we started picking up the phone and sending out emails, making everything start to feel a little more real.

When we first visited Portland I picked up gobs of tourist brochures from our hotel lobby. You know the ones about the botanical gardens, Kittery Outlets, and whale watching adventures. There was one, though, that caught my eye featuring two large schooners and advertising for short day tours aboard these beautiful vessels. I joked with Matt at the time, long before we were engaged, that if we moved here we would have to be married on a boat. We both thought it would be kind of cute, very “Maine,” and a little out of the box which is perfect for us. After our engagement I mentioned this conversation, half jokingly to Emilie, and she immediately thought of The Portland Schooner Company. We typed them into Google and discovered the same beautiful photo I had seen on that brochure from the hotel. I sent off a quick email and discovered their private trips fit perfectly into our budget… and the amazing captain could also perform our ceremony out in the coastal waters of Maine! We booked it the same day. We’re getting married on a boat!!! Now to find a place to get out of the sun for our reception…

First up was Bistro on the Marsh in Kennebunk. We discovered this breathtaking restaurant and grounds while we were attending the Portland Bridal Show. This place seemed perfect for us. The decor in this gem of a space was a little eclectic but still had room for us to make it our own. They also have beautiful grounds, perfect for an on-site ceremony or even a tented reception. It really is a great place for a small wedding. Our guest list was bit too small to realistically meet their food and beverage minimum, and we already had a ceremony location. While this didn’t end up being the right spot for us, this would be an amazing all in one location for a wedding under 120 guests.

The next venue we checked out was The Barn on Walnut Hill. The moment I saw their website, I knew this was it! A beautiful rustic barn, a magnificent white farm house, lush lawns for cocktail hour surrounded by grand trees. This place was enough for me to cancel the schooner and have the whole event here. Included in the rental costs you get full use of the grounds and the farm house (which sleeps 13) for 4 days. But sometimes your dreams don’t always go hand in hand with your budget.

The last place we decided to take a peek at was The Portland Company. A waterfront complex near the Old Port, the Portland Company has a small marina, a few offices and the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. They also have two loft-like spaces they rent out for events. We took a look at the room the call “A Room with a View” with beautiful wood floors, rustic ceiling beams, and windows that overlook the Casco Bay. There was something about this place that reminded us of Brooklyn, where we spent the last few years together, yet had a wonderful Maine vibe. We also loved that it was a completely raw space that we could design however we saw fit. And the icing on the cake? The Schooner where we would be tying the knot, could dock at their pier so that our guests could walk right into the reception. And of course it fit into our budget. Bingo.

Our date is booked, the deposits are in the mail and now we can start to dive in to the details…

Posted in Inside Peek

(2) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

  1. Love and Lobster
    06/04/2011 at 11:45 am Permalink

    Love it! I know what you mean about looking at things covered in snow when your wedding will be held in warmer weather. My fiance and I put down a deposit on a location in January, but the wedding is in September. Glad you were able to find something that fit your style and your budget. Looking forward to reading more about your planning. Your postings are really helping us plan our Seacoastal wedding <3


  1. [...] had no idea that creating “The List” would become such a fiasco. We are having a fairly small wedding…