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Rockland: Maines BestKept 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 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 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 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.
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, 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 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 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 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 hundred 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 ten- minute drive from the others.
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 a bay."
· One of the most popular venues is the non-denominational 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 larger party.
· 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.
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 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 destinations.
Basically, they meld art and words to create an unusual travel story, which generates interest, particularly because of the fact that each painting appears to have been 'custom made' for the story ? original story and original art.
You can view all of their articles and art work on sketchandtravel.com.Norm and Lily have collaborated with several Convention Bureaus and Public Relations Companies visiting many romantic travel destinations, resorts and inns throughout the New England States and Florida.
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