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Acadia National Park elopement- plan a wedding in Bar Harbor


One of the most beautiful places to elope in Maine is Acadia National Park, full of rocky coastlines, towering pines, and picturesque views. The park has so many perfect locations to host a small ceremony, but you’ll want to do your research first. There’s a bunch of factors to consider to figure out the locations, permits, and accommodations, so we created this post to help you with planning your Acadia National Park Elopement. You got this, and it’s going to be so good.

A gentle PSA from us: Please, please make sure you work with a photographer who knows Acadia well. This park is unique in its one-way roads, permit-allowed locations, and safety areas and having a photographer who has lots of experience in the park makes your day so much easier. If you’re interested in working with us for your celebration, head over to our contact page to learn more about how we can help capture your Acadia elopement.  

Pick your location:

When it comes to and Acadia elopement, you’ll want to narrow down the location options for your vows. There’s a wide range of spots that offer a different vibe. Some of our favorites are:

  • Otter Point Overlook- towering rock cliffs overlooking the sea (for the adventurous! Limited number of guests allowed by the park for safety reasons)
  • Jordan Pond- small beach-front view of the pond with the Bubbles mountains in the background (best for elopements of just the two getting married)
  • Seal Harbor Beach- sandy beachfront surrounded by trees and great sunsets
  • Ship Harbor Trail- trail through the woods to the coastline (usually much more private but involves a bit of walking)
  • Sand Beach- beautiful beach spot good for larger (30 person) gatherings, can be touristy so plan this for the off-season
  • Cadillac Mountain- elope on top of a mountain that experiences the first rays of sunrise on the east coast. Don’t want to hike? You can drive up. Note the reservation policy below.

Get your passes and permits:

If you’re having an elopement in Acadia National Park, you and your guests will need to have park passes to enter. Passes can be obtained at the gate, or purchased ahead of time. Learn more here. We suggest getting yours ahead of time so you can avoid the lines during the busy tourism months!

Note that if you plan to do something on Cadillac mountain, you’ll need to reserve a specific time slot (if it’s between May-Oct). You have to do this ahead of time to grab a good time and pay a small $6/vehicle fee that is separate from the cost of your park pass. You can grab a timespot here.

Couples having an Acadia National Park elopement or wedding will need to apply for a permit to have the ceremony in the park. If you have a group larger than 10 people, the park has a limited list of specific areas you can conduct your ceremony. We’ve vetted a lot of these spots and are full of ideas on which ones work and which ones should be avoided. You can learn more about permits and the larger group locations here.

When picking your location for your Acadia elopement, think about the scenery you want to highlight, but also keep in mind it’s accessibility. Some locations require hiking, some don’t. If not every guest is able to make one of the more adventurous spots, there’s plenty of easy locations that require minimal effort. 

Consider alternate ideas

There’s also some incredible Air BnB options around Bar Harbor where you can host your small celebration. We’ve done an elopement where the guests were able to use the backyard that overlooked the ocean for their ceremony spot, and then hosted a beautiful small reception on the lawn and in the home.

Or, like the photos here from this Acadia National Park elopement, opt to get ready and do first looks/family photos at an Air Bnb rental, and then head to the park for your vows. After you enjoy adventuring through the park, meet the group at a local restaurant to celebrate.

Get your marriage license

Even though you’re getting married in Acadia National Park, you’ll still need to apply for your marriage license in your home town, if you’re from Maine. If you’re from out-of-state, you’ll need to apply for a license in any Maine town. The license is valid for 90 days from the date the intentions are filed. For out-of-towners, if you’re flying into Portland, Maine as part of your travels, Portland City Hall is a great option.

Who can marry you

Maine is pretty specific about who can marry you. Below is the official list from Maine.gov

  • Ordained ministers of the gospel
  • A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body
  • Judges or justices (residents of Maine only)
  • Lawyers admitted to the Maine Bar (residents of Maine only)
  • Licensed Marriage Officiant – Search for Maine Marriage Officiants by Location or Name

Wanted your friend or family member to do it? Fear not, we know how you can make that happen. Reach out to us directly for our info on that.


If you’re eloping in Acadia National Park, you’re going to need 2 witnesses to sign your marriage license. When you work with us, we can be those people. Otherwise, you’ll want to be sure to have at least two other people present to be able to sign your marriage license.

Consider the weather

The weather around Bar Harbor can change pretty quickly, so it’s a good idea to pack for different conditions just to be safe. Fog is also frequent around here, but we love the magic it adds to a story.


Acadia National Park is near plenty of hotel and restaurant options for you and your guests. Here’s some of our favorite local spots to enjoy your time there.

Places to stay for your Acadia National Park elopement

Salt Cottages– These super cool cottages are really close to Acadia National Park and beyond charming. Perfect for renting near each other to keep your elopement guests close by for the weekend.

The Claremont Hotel– Trendy lux hotel with colorful vibes, this place is super photo-worthy. Have your reception celebration dinner at Batson River Fish Camp down on the water, it’s superb.

Under Canvas Glamping– Imagine glamping with your intimate guest list after your Acadia National Park elopement. This spot is gorgeous and allows you to enjoy the beauty of Bar Harbor, in style.

Restaurants – Bar Harbor Area

The Travelin Lobster – You have to have a Lobster Roll while you are in Maine.There are so many great ones that you really can’t go wrong. The Travelin Lobster is a really great stop for lunch. 

Bar Harbor Lobster Pound– A must visit. The real Maine lobster experience. 

Batson River Fish Camp– Beautifully decorated with a killer view, this restaurant is a great spot for small bites and cocktails that will have you ordering more and more. A super photo worthy dining experience, inside and out.

Mainly Meats – A good BBQ place at a brewery just a bit outside of Bar Harbor. They are known for their blueberry beer. It is a super relaxed atmosphere, all of it is pretty much outside and we bring our dog there whenever we go. 

Bar Harbor Cellars – Not far from Mainly Meats is Bar Harbor Cellars. A great spot to hang out and try wines. They have a pizza place and a coffee shop in the same compound. 

Project Social – Great food, cocktails, and a really awesome Maine beers list. You can sit in their outdoor garden area with your dogs. We would suggest making a reservation if you can.

Fogtown Brewing – Be sure to go to the one in Ellsworth. Not too far of a ride. That location is a dog friendly beer garden with pizza. Try the “Night Nurse.” It is one of our favorite stouts.

Bottom Line

Acadia is one of the best places to elope for that quintessential Maine vibe and a day of adventure. After a little research and pairing up with a vendor team that can help you through the process, you’ll be celebrating your love in one of the most beautiful places in the world. To learn more about partnering with us for your Acadia National Park elopement, visit our contact page and we’ll hop on a call to talk more.  

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