On the coast of Maine, you'll find a park full of beautiful sunrises, towering granite cliffs, and miles of rocky shores. Acadia National Park is the perfect place for any couple who wants their wedding day to be an experience full of adventure and beautiful landscapes. If you're considering an adventurous day, this guide will tell you everything you need to know to plan an Acadia National Park elopement!
Here’s what’s in this Acadia National Park elopement guide:
- Step 1: Should You Elope in Acadia National Park?
- Step 2: Choosing a Date for Your Acadia National Park elopement
- Step 3: Finding a Maine Acadia National Park Photographer
- Step 4: Acadia National Park Elopement Locations
- Step 5: Getting Legally Married When You Elope in Acadia National Park
- Step 6: Planning Your Acadia National Park Elopement
- Acadia National Park Elopement Packages - Ready to Elope?
Should You Elope in Acadia National Park?
The day you say "I do" to your best friend should be about your love for each other - it's okay to put yourself first! The expectations of planning a wedding have made getting married kind of scary, and deciding to do it your own way can be hard. But, your wedding day should be all about you, and if you want your day to be bigger than making seating charts and planning a menu that makes everyone happy, eloping might be right for you.
So if you’d rather say your vows surrounded by the beautiful nature of Acadia National Park instead of surrounded by 200 of your “closest” friends and family, I'll stand by you when you make the decision to elope. Eloping is about more than just running off to get married - it's about planning a day that's everything you ever dreamed of!
Choosing a Date for Your Acadia National Park Elopement
Now that you've made the decision to elope, you'll want to think about setting a date. While you don't need to have the exact date when you look for a photographer or videographer, it's good to have an idea of what season you'll want to experience when you elope at Acadia National Park.! Keep in mind that booking a photographer or videographer for "off-dates" is easier - a lot of people choose to have their wedding on a Saturday, so your photographer or videographer will probably have more availability on the weekdays.
When you're thinking about what you want your elopement to look like, you'll want to consider a few things - knowing about the weather for each season and how to avoid crowds can make a big difference in your elopement experience.
The most popular time to visit Acadia National Park is summer. The weather is warm, making it the perfect weather for hiking and exploring the park. Peak season is July and August so if you want to avoid crowds, consider a sunrise or sunset elopement.
Fall in Acadia National Park means that the trees are changing colors, making for gorgeous landscapes that bring people from all over to see the cliffs covered in oranges and reds. The best time to visit in the fall is the two weeks after Labor Day, when the weather is still nice and the trees have already begun to change colors - there are usually less crowds, too.
The off-season in the park is winter. It gets pretty cold and snowy, so a lot of the roads and activities are closed around this time of year. This is a good time of year for an elopement at Jordan Pond - it freezes and the snow-covered cliffs around the pond are beautiful.
Spring is a nice time to visit the park to avoid the crowds, but the weather can still be a bit cold. If you're set on a spring elopement, shoot for a date that's in May or early June to avoid the crowds and (hopefully) find some warmer weather.
Finding an Acadia National Park Elopement Photographer
Once you've thought about when you want to elope, the next step is to contact an Acadia National Park elopement photographer. Booking your photographer means you'll have someone who has probably planned a few more elopements than you have, and they’ll be able to help you plan the wedding day of your dreams!
My job as your elopement photographer and videographer doesn't begin on the day of your elopement - from location recommendations to getting your permits, I'll help you plan a day that's perfect for you and your partner.
Acadia National Park Elopement Locations
After couples book me for an Acadia National Park elopement, the next step is to decide on a place to tie the knot. You can choose pretty much anywhere in the park to have your ceremony, so you can decide if you want to elope on a cliff with miles of ocean in the distance, on a rocky beach during sunset, or beside a pond formed by glaciers. To give you a few ideas, here are a few of the best places to elope at Acadia National Park.
While you won't find any actual otters at Otter Cliff, the view is "otter-ly" astonishing. Standing 100 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, this towering pink granite cliff is the perfect spot to have your ceremony. To get there, head down Park Loop Road to the Otter Cliff Overlook, it's very easy to get to, which means that it's a very popular spot for visitors to go to - it can get pretty crowded here, so if you want to say "I do" at the edge of Otter Cliff, consider eloping at sunrise or sunset. If heights aren't your thing or you just want to elope with the Otter Cliff in the background, head to Boulder Beach, only about a quarter-mile north on Park Loop Road.
Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the east coast. At a towering 1,527 feet above sea level, this granite summit is a popular destination for anybody who visits Acadia National Park. From mid-September to mid-March, Cadillac Mountain is the first place to see the sunrise in the United States, which makes for a pretty amazing elopement story. If you want to avoid crowds, Blue Hill Overlook is a great option for a sunset elopement - it's one of the many overlooks going up Cadillac Summit Road!
To get to Cadillac Mountain, you can take the 2.2 mile hike up the mountain from Park Loop Road - this hike is pretty strenuous, taking you up a 1,463 foot elevation gain, but the views are absolutely incredible. Another way to get to Cadillac Mountain is to take the 3.5 mile road up the mountain, but if you want to take Cadillac Summit Road between May 25 and October 22, you'll need to get a vehicle reservation. Since it's a popular location, you'll want to make sure to make your reservation as soon as it's available. The road usually closes for the winter, so be sure to check if it's open!
Rocky cliffs and ever-changing trees surround the crystal clear waters of Jordan Pond. With plenty of hikes and places to stop to say your vows, you'll have no problem finding the perfect place for your Acadia National Park elopement. While Jordan Pond is beautiful at any time, it's even more stunning during the fall when the colors of the changing trees reflect on the pond's glass-like surface. You can take Jordan Pond Path around the pond, or hike the Bubbles to see the pond from a distance.
Getting Legally Married When You Elope in Acadia National Park
Now that you've decided where you want to say your vows, we'll talk about what you have to do to make it official! I'll go over all of the permits, licensing, and fees that come along with getting married at Acadia National Park.
Acadia National Park Wedding Permits
You can't just walk into any national park to declare your love - most of them require a permit. If your ceremony has less than 10 people (including you, your partner, and any vendors or guests), you won't need a permit to get married at Acadia National Park. All you'll have to pay for is the $30 7-day park pass for your car. Another option if you're particularly adventurous, and like to visit national parks often, is to get the America the Beautiful Pass - it's $80 for an annual pass and you'll get access to every national park in the country!
In addition to your entrance fee, if you have more than 10 people for your ceremony, you'll need to apply for a permit. You have to apply at least 10 business days in advance, but I recommend applying earlier to make sure you don't run into any hiccups in the process. You'll have to print and mail your application along with the application fee of $50, paid by check or money order.
Acadia National Park Marriage License
Getting officially married in Maine means that you have to do a little bit of paperwork. If you live in Maine, you'll have to apply for a marriage license in the county that one of you lives in, but if you're traveling to Acadia National Park for your elopement, you can go to one of 4 offices that are close to the park depending on where you decide to have your elopement - Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, or Winter Harbor.
In every county in the state of Maine, you'll have to fill out an "Intention of Marriage" application - it has to be notarized so if you decide to fill it out ahead of time, don't sign it until you get to the office. When you head to the town office, you'll need to bring your ID and the $40 filing fee for your license. There's no waiting period in Maine, so once you pick up your license you can have your ceremony anywhere you want!
When you elope, you're required to have an officiant and two witnesses sign your license. Once you've returned the completed marriage license, you're officially married!
Planning Your Acadia National Park Elopement
When you decided to elope, you already broke all the rules of a traditional wedding, so don't let anything hold you back! Your elopement isn't just a moment, it's an experience - and there are tons of things to do at Acadia National Park to make your elopement the best day ever.
There's no "recipe" for how an elopement in Acadia National Park should go, so whatever adventure you choose to have is exactly how you should spend your day. If you want to spend your day watching the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain, go kayaking on Jordan Pond just before you say your vows, have a picnic on the beach at Echo Lake, go stargazing as newlyweds, or really anything else you can imagine, let's make your day magical and all about you!
Acadia National Park Elopement Packages - Are You Ready to Elope in Acadia?
If you're ready to plan the elopement of your dreams, I'm ready to help you make your dreams come true! Your love is unique, so your wedding day should be the same! My Acadia National Park elopement packages are created to help you plan the perfect day that's all about you. On top of documenting all the moments that make your day special, I'll help with location recommendations, tips and advice, things to do, and more!
If you're ready to plan your elopement or want to learn more about my Acadia National Park elopement packages, contact me, and we'll talk about your dream wedding day!