Maines Best Kept Secret for A Wedding Destination
by Norm Goldman
Artwork by Lily Goldman
2004, Rockland, Maine celebrated its 150th anniversary, yet
very few in the past would have ever considered it to be a place
for a vacation, let alone a romantic getaway experience or wedding
destination. Perhaps, this is a draw back to the time when visitors
would experience the unpleasant whiffs emanating from the SeaPro
fish-rendering plant. In fact, it was not uncommon to hear the
jingle: "Camden by the Sea, Rockland by the Smell."
All has now changed in Rockland as SeaPro, along with the towns
two sardine-packing and other fish processing plants, have departed
along with their odors. There is now a handsome harbor- front
with a walking trail extending over four-miles connecting several
points of interest as Snow Marine Park, Harbor Park, where the
annual Maine Lobster Festival is held, Rockland Fish Pier, Coast
Guard Pier, Maine State Ferry Service Terminal, North End wharves,
Marie H. Reed Memorial Park and the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.The
latter two are often venues for some spectacular wedding ceremonies.
The city is also home to The Historic Inns Of Rockland, a consortium
of six independently owned inns that are dedicated to historical
preservation, as well as providing their guests with a memorable
experience within a locale that has reinvented itself as a mecca
for the arts and outdoor activities.
In addition, three of these inns, LimeRock Inn , Berry Manor
Inn and Captain Lindsey House have created a sub-consortium
that inter-change and leverage their facilities offering a combined
wedding venue that take full advantage of their unique attributes.
As all are in walking distance of one another, you can avail
yourself of anyone of them for the rehearsal dinner, afternoon
bridesmaids tea, wedding reception, and any other functions.
The gorgeous outdoor gardens of The LimeRock Inn make it an
ideal choice to exchange vows providing plenty of space to move
around. The stately Berry Manor Inn with its drawing room, spacious
parlor, dining room, and grand stairway, all presenting a Victorian
flair, make this inn a most attractive wedding venue. You can
even engage the services of Captain Ken Barnes to perform the
wedding ceremony. He and his wife Ellen are owners of the Captain
Lindsey House. The intimacy of the Captain Lindsey House, that
incidentally resembles a European style hotel, along with the
Barnes wonderful collection of décor, relics, and
authentic antiques acquired during their many years of travel,
will surely provide the wedding guests with some interesting
topics for animated conversation.
The combined number of rooms of these three inns is 29, and
if you add the other three inns, Old Granite Inn, Waterman House
& Gardens and the Lakeshore Inn, you have a total of 44
rooms to call upon. All total with roll-aways and cots you could
conceivably accommodate about 100 guests. What is also noteworthy
is that all, with the exception of the Lakeshore Inn, are in
walking distance of one another. It should be mentioned that
the latter is within an easy 10-minute drive from the others.
Outdoor and Chapel
is also interesting about these inns is their close proximity
to many outdoor venues where wedding ceremonies can be celebrated.
Here is a sampling:
- As mentioned
above, the Marie H. Reed Memorial Park and the Rockland
Breakwater Lighthouse, is a very popular wedding venue
offering spectacular panoramic ocean views of mountains, islands,
Penobscot Bay, as well as schooners, island ferries, fishing
boats depart and enter the harbor. There is also a small sandy
beach leading to the historic Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.
- Mt Battie,
located in Camden Hills State Park offers spectacular
views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands. During
the autumn the foliage is breathtaking. If you are in the
mood to add a little poetry to your ceremony, it should be
pointed out that the famous poet and playwright, Edna St.
Vincent Millay, who was born in Rockland, was inspired by
the view from the summit of Mt. Battie when she wrote her
poem "Renascence" which opens
All I could
see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
are looking for that special gift for the bride, mother
and daughter getaway, mother-in-law, or wedding attendants,
the Lakeshore Inn, a member of the Historic Inns of Rockland,
offers a reasonably priced Ladies Only Spa Weekend during
the months of Mid-October through June.
arrival on Friday evening until they depart on Sunday,
groups of four to eight ladies experience a wonderful
line up of mind and body presentations with learning sessions
with spa treatments that include facial, massage, manicure,
pedicure and paraffin wax treatments. In addition, owner
Pam Masson serves mouth-watering gourmet meals.
of the most popular venues is the non-denominational Vesper
Hill Childrens Chapel, set atop a rock ledge overlooking
unbelievable lush gardens. The chapel can seat 50, however,
there are other spots nearby where you can exchange vows that
will accommodate a larger party.
- Dont forget
to check out the Merryspring Horticultural Nature Park
with its herb and rose garden, the Perennial Border, and the
Birds and Bees/Winter Color Garden. In late summer, the 250-foot
long annual border is the star of the show, with some flowers
blooming well into October.
- Last but not
least are the many lighthouses that attract couples
from all over the globe. There is the Rockland Breakwater
Lighthouse, the Owls Head Lighthouse and the Marshall Point
In order to reach
these various venues and at the same time keep the wedding party
together, many couples rent a trolley from the All Aboard
Trolley Company. In addition, the trolley provides you with
the added feature of having some great photo opportunities.
No doubt, with all of these resources available and a little
imagination, weddings in Rockland Maine can easily compete with
the best of them at any other destination. One last important
mention, in most instances it is necessary to contact the officials
of your chosen venue in order to arrange a date and time for
the celebration of your wedding.
For More Information
Area Chamber Of Commerce
Gardens & Parks:
Food & Wine:
- A great place
to pick up some excellent wines produced in Maine is Cellardoor
Winery & Vineyards located in nearby Lincolnville.
- For delicious
sandwiches, soups, breads and pastries check out Atlantic
Baking Co. You wont be disappointed.