How to Elope in Acadia National Park | Acadia National Park Elopement Photographer
In this post, you will read about:
My top tips for eloping in Acadia National Park
Ideas to optimize your outdoor elopement experience here
Ways to increase chances of privacy during your elopement
A list of online resources to start planning your Acadia National Park elopement
If you’re looking for “where to elope” in Acadia National Park, I’ve got you covered. Clients who choose this region get a comprehensive, individualized location guide that fits THEIR priorities, visions, and needs 🙂
Before we get started:
Acadia National Park: rightfully, this incredible range of land is growing in popularity for couples wanting to celebrate their marriage. And it’s freaking epic. From vast coastal views paired with rugged, rocky cliffs, all below mountainous regions, this is a dream location that truly feels otherworldly in New England. Plus, the accommodations options are diverse: from cozy airbnbs, to on-the-water resorts, to glamping, I can personally say staying here feels like I’m in another region of the world even though I live in New Hampshire. And the freaking food: all of this is so centralized in the hub of Acadia National Park.
HOWEVER, with an influx of people and elopements comes planning considerations! The last thing I want clients to feel like on their day is that they were expecting a beautiful location that is all to themselves only to be hit with tourists, noise, and feeling thiei day isn’t special. Planning TRULY is the game changer between a mediocre outdoor experience and an outdoor elopement that feels magic, one-of-a-kind, elevated, and true to the priorities of you and your partner.
Here are My Top Tips for Eloping in Acadia National Park
Do that homework 🙂
for permit requirements, park passes in advance, and other information (parking requirements, etc), head right to the Acadia National Park Service website: https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm
To expand on this, there is a standard entrance pass fee to enjoy the pristine beauty of Acadia National Park. The fee is $35 and good for 7 days! If you are traveling in a camper or parking at specific locations, there may be additional fees. The site above is where you can check it all out.
Research online first. Further questions? Send an email to the staff! Still stumped? Phone call as last resort → I can personally speak to the dedicated administrative staff, Park Rangers, and everyone else who helps maintain Acadia National Park. As is the case with most Parks and Recreation branches, there is often a high amount of work and tight resources. To help allocate the time and resources effectively, I always recommend digging into information FIRST, and reaching out only after if you’re stuck 🙂 if you do need to get in touch with staff members, they are simply lovely, informed, and passionate about what they do. You can also find contact information on the above website.
Legal documents for eloping Maine: two witnesses are required to sign your marriage license! This can be as simple as asking two people walking along the same trails you are, OR you can get the legal ish signed and done before your actual elopement day. And yes, I’m ordained, so I can marry you both and sign / mail your license off for you.
Prioritize taking care of our national parks
entrance fees help keep these lands, and the wildlife, in optimal condition 🙂 this is money well invested and goes toward continuing the preservation, protection, and maintaining of this National Park
PEAK POPULAR seasons (June-October) are obviously stunning because of that summery weather and that fall foliage, but you may want to consider if this is right for you. Want optimal privacy? Consider the offseason where there is a MASSIVE decrease in crowds
Consider the time you elope
sunrise baby!!!! Always worth it, I promise 🙂 (similarly, an evening/sunset experience will likely reduce crowd size)
If the early morning arrival or sunset experience is not for you, no worries! Partner with your photographer about developing a timeline flow that fits your priorities while also considering locations within Acadia National Park that are a bit more secluded
A top tip I give clients when eloping in Acadia National Park is to elope. On. a. Week. Day. It can be game changing in crowd size (and shopping/restaurant/hotel openings) as well as a likely more economical option if you plan on staying for an extended period (which I recommend if you can swing it…so much to see and enjoy and DO here)
Set realistic outdoor expectations
Outdoor experiences are shared experiences 🙂 we will collaborate to best plan out a (hopefully) quiet and private experience, but “rolling with it” mindset in the event of people also enjoying the scenery is a healthy mindset to have! There is never a full guarantee that others won’t be enjoying the outdoor space you choose, but there are MANY planning techniques we work on together to carefully craft a day with the highest chance of checking all your boxes, such as:
Considering the tourist peak times for your location and working around that if possible (eloping on an off season, week day, or early morning / evening)
Knowing the location well through location scouting to have nearby spots and hidden gems identified
Planning on a “just you” elopement experience? You don’t need a permit for (most) places at Acadia National Park (ANP). Thinking of an intimate ceremony? You DO need a permit based on guest size and location if you’re going beyond 10 people. ANP’s website will have this information broken down for you, and I have it, too 🙂
PLEASE wear appropriate footwear and gear
ANP is known for the stunning, jagged, cliffs that accompany the coastline. If you plan on exploring / meandering / maximizing your experience with adventure, safe footwear with traction is EVERYTHANG. There are cute options online, I promise! Plus, even with the most organized plan, weather can always change on a dime. Even bringing a backup, more traction-based pair of shoes in your car or packs could be great if you plan on doing a decent amount of walking / elevated walking or cliff walking.
Prepare for wind
Part of that crisp, ocean air we all LOVE comes with increased breezy conditions. I highly encourage a mindset of “roll with it” (aka don’t sweat the strands of hair blowing about) and incorporate some warm, fun wardrobe options! Such as a whimsical cape (think like a veil but it will add a bit of warmth and look amaze in the wind…these are super cool) and cozy blankets / jackets / wraps.
Consider the road less traveled
The hub of ANP has so many varied yet equally gorgeous options (mountains, lake, forest, ocean, etc). However, just outside the main hub of the park are some incredible sceneries that aren’t quite as popular. If you’re up for a little drive, I think you’ll be happy you did 🙂 I highly recommend doing some research on this if you’re in the beginning stages of considering Acadia National Park for your elopement or intimate wedding. If you’re booked with me, you get a comprehensive location guide to walk you through the best options for YOUR preferences and level of adventure you’re seeking
Backup location options and activities
As we know, weather can truly change at any moment. So, if considering an outdoor adventure elopement experience, definitely work together and with your photographer to nail down a great plan B spot should you need to for weather safety considerations 🙂 the great thing about Acadia is there are many beautiful, wooded, less treacherous walks should you have a rainy forecast but still want to be outside. Some Plan B ideas can include:
Your airbnb or lodging
Restaurants ; say you’ve reserved a spot for dinner, having your intimate ceremony in this location
Gazebos for some rain coverage
Pushing off your timeline a bit to let inclement weather pass; that’s another great thing about eloping… the logistical flexibility
Prioritize activities that enhance your experience
The BEST way to have your elopement and intimate wedding feel more than just a day of taking pictures is to plan and look forward to ACTIVITIES that make you feel giddy just to think about. This is your day to truly ENHANCE the celebration of your love, not a day of compromise and cutting your experience short. I PROMISE, carefully taking time to consider HOW you want to spend your time is going to elevate each moment of your elopement day. Even if you’re more lowkey and want to spend your down time snuggling up by a fire doing a puzzle, truly nothing is off limits and every bit of intention you incorporate will be a core memory for you as you look back on how you spent your elopement day basking in the present moment
Ideas on What to Do During Your Acadia Elopement:
hike (I’m biased, I know!)
picnic overlooking the coast
private chef and cozy airbnb experience
snowshoeing / snowmobiling / other epic winter activities!
work with dedicated Rangers in advance to plan / inform of the 47,000 acres park so that your visit can be as varied and enhanced as possible 🙂
sunrise and sunset adventures on mountains / open viewpoints (such as Cadillac Mountain and many other, more hidden gem spots I can help with) ; tickets are required to see Cadillac Mountain
plan a visit to Isle au Haut (island accessible by ferry with limited tourist admittance numbers, protecting the environment and enhancing everyone’s experience)
head to Bar Harbor for DELICIOUS food, quaint night life, and adorable shopping (great for your off days when exploring the area)
Online Resources to Help you Plan your Acadia National Park Elopement or Wedding
Park Entrance Pass (do this ahead of time so you can put it on your dashboard and not have to worry about purchasing one at the park!) ; cost is $35 and good for a week
These tips (and so many others) are all part of my Acadia National Park guide clients get! The main takeaway here is that prep and knowing your region will enhance every single part of your experience: from planning, to actually getting married.