Rockland: Maine’s Best Kept Secret for A Wedding Destination
In 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
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 town’s 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
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
It 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,
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
bridesmaid’s 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
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
twenty- nine, and if you add the other three inns,
Old Granite Inn,
Waterman House & Gardens, and the
Lakeshore Inn, you have a total of forty- four rooms to call upon. All
total with roll-aways and cots you could conceivably accommodate about one
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 ten- minute drive from the
What 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
One of the most popular venues is the
Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel, set atop a rock ledge overlooking
unbelievable lush gardens. The chapel can seat fifty, however, there are
other spots nearby where you can exchange vows that will accommodate a
Don’t 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 Lighthouse
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.
A UNIQUE GIFT
If you 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. From their arrival on Friday evening until they depart on
Sunday, groups of 4 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.
Directions To Rockland
Rockland-Thomaston Area Chamber Of Commerce
Maine Marriage License Requirements
The Historic Inns Of Rockland
A great place to pick up some excellent wines produced
in Maine is
Cellardoor Winery & Vineyards located in nearby Lincolnville.
sandwiches, soups, breads and pastries check out
Atlantic Baking Co. You won’t be disappointed.
Norm and Lily Goldman are a unique husband and wife
team, writer and water colorist, who write and paint about romantic
to TravelLady Magazine