A recent New York Times article got the wedding world buzzing about a new trend: the staged elopement. Falling somewhere between a quickie wedding in Vegas and the typical all-out affair, the staged elopement is a reflection of the times. Couples who would rather avoid the stress and intense planning of a standard wedding, but who still dream of the fairytale locale and the dream dress, are fashioning a new middle ground. Rather than a last-minute scramble to the altar, brides and grooms-to-be are planning romantic getaways with music, photos, flowers and food – but no guests. If the elopement packages being offered at Maine inns and resorts are any indication, the trend has made its way to the Northeast.
Here are just a few of the spots catering to elopements:
Berry Manor Inn, Rockland: The inn will arrange for the officiant, flowers, cake, witnesses and a professional photographer. Celebrate with a meal at a downtown restaurant, and return to a room bedecked with rose petals, chocolate-dipped strawberries and chilled champagne.
Beachmere Inn, Ogunquit: Enjoy a two-night stay in an oceanfront suite, plus flowers, a justice of the peace, dinner for two at a local restaurant, and a relaxing couples massage at the inn’s spa.
Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth: In addition to two nights in a room with an ocean view, the inn’s package includes long-stemmed roses, wine and a three-course dinner. Wake up to your first day as a married couple with an in-room honeymoon breakfast.
Sebasco Harbor Resort, Phippsburg: Choose from a variety of indoor and outdoor coastal ceremony sites, and let the resort supply the officiant, a wine and cheese platter, and flowers.
Noble House Inn, Bridgton: The inn’s all-inclusive package features welcome mimosas, a two-night stay in a luxurious suite, an officiant, a bouquet and boutonniere, professional photography, a multi-course dinner and a petite custom cake. The next day, feast on a gourmet breakfast. (Ready to say “I do” right away? The inn is offering $200 off spring bookings.)