Weddings in Maine on a Budget: Wedding Planning Guide

by | Oct 10, 2023

weddings in maine on a budget

If your heart is set on celebrating your special day amidst the breathtaking beauty of Maine, but your wallet is urging some caution, fear not! This is your ultimate guide to planning weddings in Maine on a budget.

This guide will arm you with the know-how to identify and prioritize essentials, research effectively, and adopt clever cost-cutting strategies.

Now, let me illuminate your path as you navigate the exhilarating journey of organizing a memorable yet affordable wedding in Maine.

Prioritizing Your Wedding Essentials

Allocating your budget to the essentials when planning a wedding on a budget is a critical first step. Consider the elements most important to you and your partner, and focus on those. Some essential factors to consider are:

  • Wedding planning assistance
  • Culinary creations
  • Photography services
  • Venue location

Wedding packages accommodate various budgets and expectations, with Maine weddings being significantly more cost-effective than those in other renowned wedding destinations like Boston or Long Island.

Various factors heavily influence the overall cost of a wedding. The type of wedding, the number of guests, and the planned activities all play pivotal roles in determining the expenses involved.

Prioritize these factors to ensure your Maine wedding is both affordable and unforgettable.

catering centerpiece at a maine wedding

Researching Affordable Options

To orchestrate a flawless Maine wedding within your budget without compromising on quality, it is pivotal to conduct thorough research and explore affordable options meticulously. Various resources are available, including websites like Here Comes The GuideWedding Spot, and Visit Maine. These websites provide lists of affordable wedding venues in Maine, pricing information, and reviews.

Real Maine Weddings offers a section specifically for affordable wedding venues in Maine.

Conducting comprehensive research on your options will enable you to identify the perfect venue, ideally located and well-suited to your budget and vision. This guarantees a flawlessly executed and memorable event.

Keep Your Guest List Intimate

Your wedding guest list significantly influences your budget. An extensive guest list increases costs for catering, venue size, and decorations, while a reduced list can help minimize expenses and create a more intimate atmosphere.

Start with immediate family and closest friends when creating your guest list. Avoid succumbing to pressure to invite acquaintances, distant relatives, or those with whom you are not well acquainted by focusing on a specific word: connection.

A beautiful lake wedding in Maine can be an ideal setting for a more intimate guest list. Focusing on close relationships not only underscores their significance but also fosters lasting memories with the people who are most important to you.

small intimate wedding gathering

Maine Wedding Venues on a Budget

Finding the perfect venue for your budget-friendly Maine wedding can be daunting. However, plenty of options are available, from rustic lodges to nontraditional venues, that can cater to various budgets and preferences.

This section delves into numerous cost-saving measures to make your venue more affordable in Maine.

Pick an Off-Peak Time of the Year

Choosing an off-peak time of the year for your Maine wedding can result in significant savings. Off-peak seasons in Maine include spring (March to May) and winter (December to February). September, October, and November are the new rage as these times of the year offer breathtaking backdrops with fewer tourists and lower venue prices.

However, weighing the potential disadvantages of planning a wedding during off-peak seasons is essential. These may include:

  • Unavailability of specialty vendors or their charging of higher rates
  • Difficulty of attendance for guests necessitating travel
  • The weather may prohibit outdoor ceremonies
  • Maine has a “mud season” in early spring

Weighing up the pros and cons of off-peak seasons enables you to make a well-informed decision that aligns with your budget and preferences. See when to get married in Maine: Four Seasons of Weddings.

When to get married in Maine? Fall wedding photo with orange/yellow leaves

Skip Saturday

Opting for a weekday wedding can help you save on venue costs. Saturday weddings are more expensive than weekday weddings because Saturdays are the most sought-after day, and venues and vendors often charge higher rates for their services on this day.

Days from Monday to Thursday are considered non-peak days and are more cost-effective compared to weekends.

Due to reduced demand, wedding venues and suppliers often offer lower rates for mid-week weddings. Limited venue availability may be a factor, but selecting a weekday for your wedding can result in significant savings.

When planning a weekday wedding, consider the following tips to help save money:

  • Investigate venues that offer discounts for weekday weddings
  • Explore nontraditional venues such as rustic lodges and countryside retreats
  • Utilize local vendors and services
  • Request assistance from friends and family

Considering these factors and making suitable arrangements allows you to craft a beautiful and memorable wedding while staying within your budget.

Nontraditional Venues

Nontraditional venues can offer unique and affordable options for your Maine wedding. Consider cliffside resorts, wooded retreats, oceanfront B&Bs, and historic homesteads as possible venues.

When selecting a nontraditional venue, consider the aspects that reflect your personality and interests, the picturesque surroundings of the venue, zoning regulations, the history and appeal of the venue, and the availability of wedding vendors in the vicinity.

Choosing a non-conventional wedding venue in Maine presents several advantages, such as:

  • The capacity to craft a one-of-a-kind and remarkable experience
  • Greater liberty in personalization
  • Lower expenses in comparison to customary event spaces

However, there may be some disadvantages, such as less predictability and reliability than traditional venues.

Thoughtful deliberation and comprehensive investigation can assist you in discovering an ideal nontraditional venue that aligns seamlessly with your budget and vision.

Rustic Lodges and Countryside Retreats

Rustic lodges and countryside retreats in Maine can serve as budget-friendly venue choices. Some options include:

Rustic lodges in Maine may be more economical than traditional wedding venues, with rental fees ranging from $2,450 to $6,000. In contrast, conventional wedding venues can be more expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $18,000.

old saco inn wedding lodge

To decorate a rustic lodge for a wedding on a budget, consider utilizing the following elements for rustic charm:

  • Wooden signs
  • Hay bales
  • Watering cans
  • Tin buckets
  • Chalkboards

Incorporating wood slices can be a versatile and cost-effective way to decorate. Branches or bark can be used to add a natural touch. Additionally, wood ladders or shelves may be employed for displaying decor items.

Maine barn wedding venue decorated

By thoughtfully choosing and utilizing these elements, you have the power to craft an enchanting and welcoming ambiance for your wedding celebration, all while staying within your budget.

Intimate Spaces for Smaller Celebrations

Intimate spaces for smaller, cost-effective celebrations can be found throughout Maine. Some intimate wedding venues include:

The average costs of smaller venues in Maine can range from $5,000 to $14,000 or more, depending on the venue and additional services provided. However, more affordable options are available as well.

weddings in maine on a budget

Choosing a smaller venue may provide several benefits, such as:

  • Lower rental fees
  • Lower food and beverage minimums
  • Flexibility in catering options
  • Potentially reduced costs overall

Additionally, smaller venues may include amenities such as linens, tables, and wait staff, eliminating the need for additional rentals and saving costs.

By selecting an intimate space for your wedding celebration, you can create a memorable experience for your guests while staying within your budget.

Friends or Family Willing to Host

Friends or family members who may be willing to host your wedding can provide a unique and cost-effective option. There are countless benefits to choosing a friend or family member’s home as the venue for a wedding celebration:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Intimacy
  • Adaptability
  • Allowance of animals
  • Quality time with cherished ones
small intimate wedding ceremony on the waters edge of a private maine lake

However, planning parking at a residential wedding venue is essential to ensure a seamless experience for your guests. Options may include:

  • Directing guests to self-park at a nearby location and walk a few blocks to the venue
  • Utilizing on-street parking
  • Arranging for a parking lot some distance away and providing shuttle minivans, a school bus, or a coach to transport guests to the venue
  • Examining the feasibility of valet parking or hiring cabs for convenience

Weighing the pros and cons of hosting your wedding at a friend’s or family member’s residence, coupled with appropriate planning, can lead to a beautiful and memorable wedding within your budget.

See a private lakeside wedding I photographed in Southern Maine.

Cost-Saving Tips for Weddings in Maine on a Budget

Discover multiple cost-saving strategies to transform your dream wedding into a reality. We provide valuable insights on making your Maine wedding more affordable:

  • DIY décor
  • Digital invitations
  • Potluck-style catering or food trucks
  • Simplifying drink options
  • Considering bridal consignment
  • Utilizing local vendors and services
  • Requesting backup from friends and family.

DIY Décor and Centerpieces

diy wedding centerpiece with bottles and flowers

Creating your décor and centerpieces can save on expenses and add a personal touch to your wedding. Some economical DIY décor ideas include:

  • Crafting paper flowers
  • Assembling a vintage family photo display
  • Suspending string lights overhead
  • Adorning with bunting or banners
  • Employing white or tinted paper lanterns

Additionally, consider dollar-store DIY wedding decorations for even more cost-effective options.

For DIY wedding décor and centerpieces, materials such as:

  • Vessels like baskets, barrels, and trunks for display
  • Table linens, chairs, napkins, and place cards
  • Wooden planters for holding flowers or greenery
  • DIY floral garlands, twisted candles, and paper bouquets
  • Material table runners, greenery table runners
  • Lavender rustic centerpieces
  • Wooden elements for a rustic touch

Using these materials, you can craft stunning and personalized wedding decorations that fit within your budget.

diy wedding centerpiece

Digital Invitations

Using digital wedding invitations can help cut down on paper and postage costs. Platforms that offer digital wedding invitation options include:

The cost of sending regular wedding invitations can range from $600-$1200 for 100 invitations to $100 for unlimited digital invitations.

Electronic invitations can save money for a wedding by eliminating the costs of paper, printing, and postage, making them a cost-effective choice for your special day.

digital wedding invitation

Potluck-Style Catering or Food Trucks

Potluck-style catering or food trucks for your wedding can provide affordable and unique dining options.

Potluck-style catering offers cost efficiency, a greater range of dishes, and a more remarkable and distinctive experience for guests. To organize potluck-style catering, make sure to:

  • Request dishes from guests that fit within a particular theme or cuisine
  • Communicate dietary restrictions and preferences to ensure a variety of options for all guests
  • Provide clear instructions on how much food to bring, as well as proper labeling and serving utensils
wedding potluck

Hiring food trucks can add excitement and diversity to your wedding menu while saving costs. Some benefits of food trucks include:

  • Lower prices compared to traditional catering
  • Flexible menu options
  • Quick and convenient service

When planning to hire a food truck for your wedding, it’s important to consider the event’s location and logistics carefully. This will ensure a seamless delivery and setup experience, making your special day even more delightful and stress-free.

Some Maine-Based Food Trucks that do Weddings Include:

With these alternative catering options, you can curate an unforgettable dining experience for your guests, all while remaining cost-conscious.

maine wedding food truck

Simplify Drink Options

Simplifying drink options can reduce beverage expenses at your wedding. Strategies for streamlining drink options include:

  • Provide bottles of wine at each table instead of an open bar
  • Supply your own alcohol for a cash bar
  • Offer beer and wine only instead of a full bar
  • Serving only a few signature cocktails
  • Consider having a dry wedding

Some cost-effective beverage options for weddings include:

  • Margarita: Marital Margarita – A classic margarita with a wedding twist.
  • Mojito: Mint to Be Mojito – A refreshing blend of mint, lime, sugar, and rum.
  • Mai Tai: Mai Tai the Knot – A tropical cocktail with rum, lime juice, and other flavorful ingredients.
  • Bellini: Wedding Bell-ini – A delightful mix of peach purée and Prosecco.
  • Rosemary Gin Fizz: Just Rosemarried Fizz – A combination of gin, lemon juice, rosemary, and soda water.
  • Lemon Raspberry Prosecco: Raspberry Romance A fruity and bubbly mix of prosecco, lemon juice, raspberry liqueur, and fresh raspberries.

By offering a limited selection of drinks or incorporating only a few signature cocktails with wedding-themed names, you can keep costs low while providing delicious options for your guests.

maine wedding cocktails

Consider Bridal Consignment

Exploring bridal consignment shops can help you find budget-friendly attire for your wedding. Hem And Veil in Portland, ME, offers wedding dress consignment.

The typical price range in Maine bridal shops is between $800 and $1400. You can find beautiful and affordable wedding attire without sacrificing quality or style by considering bridal consignment.

wedding dress shop in maine

Utilizing Local Vendors and Services

Utilizing local vendors and services can help you save money on your wedding. Some locally owned and operated businesses in Maine to consider for your special day include:

By supporting local businesses, you are contributing to the community and may also be able to negotiate better deals or discounts. Plus, choosing local vendors often means they are familiar with the area and can provide valuable insights and recommendations for your wedding.

maine wedding dj

Request Backup From Your Friends and Family

Involving your friends and family in various wedding roles can help save on expenses and make the planning more intimate and unique. It’s a heartfelt way to include those close to you in your big day and show them how much they mean to you.

To seamlessly integrate loved ones into your wedding preparations, consider these guidelines:

  • Match roles with each individual’s talents and passions
  • Clearly explain the role and what it entails
  • Give them the option to select roles they’re enthusiastic about
  • Respect their schedules and commitments
  • Express gratitude for their contributions and dedication

By collaborating with your loved ones, you can design a wedding that’s both memorable and personal. You’ll craft experiences of love, joy, and unforgettable moments together.

bride and groom first dance at a Maine barn wedding

Some roles your friends and family can take on to lower overall expenses include:

  • DJing the reception
  • Acting as an officiant or MC
  • Taking photos from start to finish
  • Catering or preparing special dishes
  • Baking the wedding cake
  • Offering their property as the wedding venue
  • Creating unique decorations or favors
  • Creating bouquets out of wildflowers
  • Providing transportation for guests
  • Assisting with setup and cleanup

What About a Payment Plan?

If you’re struggling to pay for certain wedding expenses upfront, consider setting up a payment plan with vendors. Many vendors may offer the option to pay in installments instead of one lump sum. This can alleviate financial pressure and allow you to budget more effectively.

Additionally, some venues may offer a delayed payment option where you can reserve the date for a small deposit and pay the remaining balance closer to the wedding date. Feel free to inquire about payment options when discussing prices with vendors.

At Catherine J. Gross Photography, we understand that weddings can be costly. Still, we are committed to helping couples stay within their budget while capturing the special moments of their big day. 

With our flexible payment options, you can secure your wedding date by paying only 30% upfront. You have the option to evenly distribute the remaining balance over time, minimizing financial burdens and seamlessly mapping out your special day.

budgeting wedding on calculator

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, planning a budget-friendly wedding in Maine requires careful research, prioritization, and creativity. By exploring affordable Maine wedding venues, enlisting the help of friends and family, and implementing various cost-saving measures, you can create the wedding of your dreams without exceeding your budget. Your special day in the picturesque landscapes of Maine can be both unforgettable and financially feasible.

Let us help you make your wedding dreams a reality at Catherine J. Gross Photography! Remember, it’s not about how much money you spend, but the memories you create with loved ones on your special day that truly matter. So feel free to get creative and think outside the box when planning your budget-friendly wedding in Maine. Cheers to a beautiful and unforgettable celebration!

Are you interested in learning more about our services, including wedding photography packages and pricing? Contact us today to book a consultation, and let’s start planning your dream wedding together!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of a wedding in Maine?

On average, couples in Maine spend just under $30,000 on their wedding, making it the 25th most expensive state in the US. With prices well below the average of $42,000 for a Manhattan wedding, a destination wedding in Maine is a more affordable option for couples tying the knot.

What is a reasonable budget for a simple Maine wedding?

A modest wedding in Maine typically costs between $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the venue and guest count. With careful budgeting and keeping expenses under $20,000, couples can create a stunning and unforgettable wedding experience without incurring excessive costs.

Is $ 5,000 enough for a wedding?

By prioritizing and streamlining different aspects of your wedding, like opting for a more budget-friendly venue or private property and carefully curating the guest list, you can craft a stunning and unforgettable occasion while staying within your financial means.

Consider implementing cost-saving strategies like DIY decorations or utilizing local vendors to stay within your budget. So yes, $5,000 is enough for a wedding with proper planning and prioritization.

How can I save money on my wedding guest list?

Keep your guest list intimate by focusing on immediate family and closest friends to save money on your wedding.

Catherine Gross

Catherine Gross


My name is Catherine and I specialize in wedding photography and videography in Maine and the rest of New England. From the rugged New England coast to the scenic interior views of lakes and mountains, I will be there with you every step of the way to capture all the special moments.

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About Me

Catherine Gross
Bold, personable, and whimsical are three words that adequately describe the works of art captured behind the lenses of Maine wedding photographer Catherine J. Gross. Every interaction, session, and experience holds an element of uniqueness, as Catherine captures the moment before her with a keen understanding that every moment or person in life is unique and special.

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