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Wedding bells are still ringing

5 min read

I do love nothing as much as you.” ~William Shakespeare

Two years ago as COVID-19 was moving through our beautiful part of the world, it also brought on numerous cases of “wedding bell blues,” for couples who wanted to marry in 2020. Some postponed their nuptials, rescheduled for 2021 or 2022, or chose to elope instead.

In 2021, according to the website, https://wedding.report, there were 8,962 weddings in Maine in 2021 and the average cost was $20,898. This year, according to the planning site The Knot, 2.6 million weddings are predicted nationwide. And according to The Wedding Report, Maine is projected to host over 11,000 ceremonies in 2022.  

Three large and longtime venues in the Boothbay region for saying “I do” are the Spruce Point Inn, Newagen Seaside Inn, and Linekin Bay Resort. Each of these three locations offer stunning views of Linekin Bay and/or the Atlantic Ocean – a big draw during this time of “destination weddings.” Yes, there are many other delightful venues in the region to marry, and for a complete list, visit the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce’s website, www.boothbayharbor.com/weddings-in-boothbay.

The Spruce Point Inn Resort & Spa has been the venue of hundreds upon hundreds of weddings in the Boothbay region. Why? At 88 Grandview Drive in Boothbay Harbor the Inn property looks over Linekin Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean making for a view that is grand indeed!

Many a wedding ceremony and reception has been held on the Grandview Deck over the decades, but even the Spruce Point Inn was affected by the pandemic that hit us in March 2020.

General Manager Harper Sibley said it was the cause of 31 wedding postponements and one cancellation in 2020. Of the postponed weddings, 29 were moved to 2021 and two others rescheduled for 2022.

Spruce Point Inn will host nearly 60 weddings this season, 29 of which were originally planned for 2020. Sibley says the focus is on wedding weekends. The intention is to create a seamless and stress-free weekend for the couples from the rehearsal dinner to the farewell luncheon on Sunday.

“It’s a time of connectivity for the guests many of whom may not have seen each other much due to the pandemic. Because of this renewed focus, we’re intentionally limiting the number of weddings we’ll host this season compared to previous years,” said Sibley. “Postponing one of the most important celebrations in a couple’s lives was certainly disappointing for all involved, but our team strives to worked closely with every couple to alleviate the stress from the situation. At Spruce Point Inn, all of our guests become part of our family and part of a long-standing tradition – and we aim to treat them as such. We’re honored to be a part of their story.”

Couples can choose from a variety of locations for their nuptials and reception; info is on the Inn’s website: https://www.sprucepointinn.com.

Newagen Seaside Inn on Southport Island at 60 Newagen Colony Road and offers 20 acres of oceanfront property. On the website Destination I Do, Newagen was listed #3 on its top 10 Maine wedding locations list.

The Inn’s Wedding Coordinator Maura Nicholson said 20 weddings were postponed in 2020. Nineteen of those were held in 2021 were those postponed ceremonies; and the last rescheduled for this year.

“When we opened for our first wedding weekend in May 2021, there was a limit on the indoor capacity. However, by the end of June we were able to hold events with 150 guests indoors,” Nicholson said. “We worked closely with couples, ensuring that we took ample precautions to make sure that they, and all of their guests felt comfortable for the duration of their stay.”

Newagen hosted 15 exclusive wedding weekends in 2021 and others that were scaled down celebrations. Nicholson noted that elopements were very popular last year.

Nicholson said 2022 booked very quickly and as of April, there were 19 weddings scheduled; Newagen is open for 22 weekends each season.

Find out more: https://newagenseasideinn.com.

Linekin Bay Resort’s wedding planner Melissa Nein says this year the resort is “filled to the brim with a full schedule of weekend weddings as well as many mid-week smaller weddings and elopements!”

Nein recalls 2020 as an “incredibly stressful and uncertain time, so to be honest, much of it is a blur of emotional emails and multiple daily phone calls with brides, grooms, and often their parents as well. I believe the cancellations began the end of March/beginning of April and we had seven weekend weddings and three smaller midweeks that canceled outright. Other couples scaled down guest lists to meet the CDC’s maximum limit on gatherings or postponed until 2021.

“In 2021 the state-mandated gathering limits were lifted after our first wedding weekend – we followed the state guidelines on this and did not implement our own,” said Nein. “We had 15 weekend weddings last year and of those, five were 2020 postponements; and two postponed from 2021 to this year.”

“Other than following safety protocols to the fullest, we did not take a blanket approach to how we dealt with weddings,” Nein explained. “Each one is a unique and very emotional major life event for these couples and their families, and we tailored the final outcome specifically to each one.”

Visit https://linekinbayresort.com for more information.

Boothbay Railway Village Museum

But what if you’re a bride that wants to design the entire event – ceremony to reception – yourself? What if the only thing you really need is the venue, Boothbay Railway Village Museum (BRVM) might be just the location you’re looking for! The Village Green holds up to 300 people – at a maximum. Included in the rental fee is use of the Spruce Point Chapel and the Town Hall (seats 110).

Five couples chose to hold their weddings there this year. Lori Reynolds, director of Marketing and Events at BRVM said there are a half dozen or so per season. There was one in July, one is on for September and there are 2 in October. Great. So, what’s the draw?

Reynolds says many of the couples booking the Village either love trains and/or all things vintage. Speaking of vintage, the Rolls Royce from BRVM’s antique car collection can be rented as well as the train!

“The biggest draw for couples marrying here is they can make the ceremony, the reception, their own,” Reynolds said. “And, since the pandemic people want to be outside, with a little distance. Couples have set up old fashioned games, including cornhole, for the reception.”

BRVM offers catering packages through Mine Oyster Catering & Rentals. If a setting that marries the past with present day appeals, look no further. Reynolds says every couple has “absolutely loved having their wedding here.” For more information, and to find out why, visit https://railwayvillage.org.