Just Engaged-- York Beach Wedding Questions!

Hi Everyone!

I've been lurking around these boards but this is my first post! WOO!

My fiance and I got engaged over Columbus Day weekend, and we're starting to plan our wedding! YAY (although... it's a little overwhelming)!!! We had talked about it before, and decided that we wanted to have it in York Beach. I've vacationed there every summer with my family, and he has come with us since we started dating. We're from right outside of Boston, so we're hoping to get that destination wedding feel, but still have it be convenient for guests :)

Is there anyone out there who is planning/already had their wedding in York? We've met with York Harbor Inn, Blue Sky/Atlantic House, Stage Neck Inn and Union Bluff Meeting House, and I think Union Bluff is the only place in York that has the capacity to (comfortably) fit our first-draft guest list (around 165-170). We would love some suggestions or reviews! The places are already booking for 2013, so even though I didn't want to rush, we have to make a decision soon for the reception site.

Also, what are your experiences with ceremony sites and officiants? We're debating between having an outdoor ceremony or a Catholic ceremony in one of the churches (since we can't have a Catholic ceremony outside Frown ).

We're just sort of jumping into the planning, so any advice is appreciated! THANKS! :)

Re: Just Engaged-- York Beach Wedding Questions!

  • hcorr34hcorr34 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Congratulations on your engagement! 

    I have nothing to share about York - hopefully someone else around here can help.  This board has been a bit slow lately...I hope someone can answer your question!

    As for your ceremony, I think you and your FI need to really think about what you want for your ceremony.  10 or 20 years from now, will you regret not having it in a church?  Are there any important people in your lives that will be really upset if you don't have it in a church? 

    There are definitely a lot of pros and cons to getting married outside and using an officiant of your choice.  Getting married with a beautiful backdrop was something that was really important to my H when we were in the planning stages.  Personally, I could have done without the stress of the weather, but in the end, it was a gorgeous summer day for us.  Our officiant was also someone who we knew (he's a Notary) and the ceremony was really personal.  You can also look into having someone close to you become ordained.  You would then have full control over the entire ceremony and it would be really personalized. 

    If you decide to go with an outdoor ceremony, make sure you have a Plan B (unless you don't care if people have to sit in the rain). 

    Good luck!
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  • HE&MEHE&ME member
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I know there are some beautiful Catholic churches in that area, and it sounds like it might be a more meaningful ceremony to you, so you probably want to check some out.  If you do decide to get married outside, I know someone who was married in the park across the street from York Harbor Inn and it was very nice.  I would also recommend Captain Ken Barnes as an officiant if you go that route.  He does a fantastic ceremony with a lot of thought put into it for the two of you, and he also plays Bagpipes if that interests you!  Good luck with your search!
  • raedowningraedowning member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    We got married in Portsmouth in August.  York was our first choice.  Union Bluff is gorgeous, however with all the venues in the area and Summer being the high-season,  it all came down to the 2-night minimum factor on hotels that drove us to Portsmouth. 

    I did find out after we booked our venue in Portsmouth, that the Viewpoint was available for ceremonies/receptions.  It overlooks Nubble - and if you've ever looked over the water behind Fox's then you must have seen this place!  Websites are below.  I recommend their Facebook page for pics.  We loved the pictures so much on their sites that we had to stay there for our honeymoon.  We're already looking forward to going back next year for another week!  Let me know if you have any questions.!/media/set/?set=a.290618867616146.83798.165080626836638&type=3
  • Caitriona36Caitriona36 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Congrats on your engagement! My husband and I had our wedding at the Union Bluff in September and we cannot say enough good things about it! Darlene, the coordinator there, is simply the best in the business. During the planning process, she always responded to emails very quickly, and on the day of the wedding she runs the whole show like a pro. I never realized how important the wedding coordinator was until I had my own wedding - Darlene made sure everything flowed easily so that we had as much time for dancing as possible! She even went out of her way to come over to us during dinner and show us an email my aunt from Ireland had sent to the hotel, and then sent my aunt back a picture of us dancing! 

    The food was UNBELIEVABLE - many of our guests said it was the best steak they've ever had. I did find that doing everything a-la-carte rather than the packages was cheaper. 

    Seriously, I cannot recommend it highly enough. As my husband said after the wedding, "If the Union Bluff asked us to be in a commercial, I'd do it for free." 

  • nikkitabanananikkitabanana member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for your ideas! Having our ceremony outside is really important to us; I guess we would just like it to be more personal and less strict than most Catholic weddings we have been to, but more religious than your standard civil ceremony. I suppose with our officiant we can customize it to our liking with readings, music, etc.

    raedowning: Thank you for that website!! I had no idea that they did wedding ceremonies, and the pictures seem perfect. They will actually be at the Wedding Showcase in York that I will be attending this weekend, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they offer.

    Caitriona36: I think Union Bluff is the venue that's on the top of our list. I have heard from other people that the food is amazing, and that's one of my top priorities! I'm going to send you a PM if you don't mind.. I have a few more questions! :)

    Does anyone have any recommendations for other vendors (photgraphers, cakes, djs, hair, makeup, and whatever else I'm forgetting)? It's hard to get an idea just from looking at the websites. I want opinions from experienced brides! :)
  • Caitriona36Caitriona36 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    @nikkitabanana - feel free to send me a PM, I'd be happy to answer any questions about the Union Bluff! As far as vendors go, I had a great experience with all but one of mine and am going to try to post reviews his week on this board. We didn't use it, but the Union Bluff has a beautiful outdoor ceremony spot. We used Julie Draper as an officiant and she was amazing - so many of our guests commented that our ceremony felt really personal. She was so sweet!
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