In case you didn’t know, it’s really cool to be gay right now, especially in Maine. On November 6th, 2012 the Pine Tree State became the first state in the nation to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. High fives to all! Great success! Since then, Maine has (and will continue to) become a destination wedding hotspot. What does that mean for us economically? There is $16 million coming in for wedding revenue (gay or straight), $7 million in-state. That’s an increase of $3.6 million.
It also means that your dream coastal wedding isn’t so far out of reach anymore. Many wedding planners, caterers, and even churches have been opening their arms to gay marriage ever since Steven Bridges and Michael Snell became the first legally recognized same-sex marriage license at 12:25 a.m. on December 29th, 2012 at Portland City Hall. But since gay marriage previously wasn’t an option for Mainers, there are plenty of commitment-ready couples that have no idea where to start.
GayWeddingsInMaine.com is a directory based out of Portland that compiles everything from florists and entertainment to tuxedo rental and spa services, all expressly gay-friendly (but not limited to gay lifestyle) and all catering to the needs of the couple. Since its launch in mid-December of last year, the site has become one of the largest wedding directories for the Northeast, LGBT or straight.
“The goal of this directory is to provide all of the necessary tools for couples to plan their Maine wedding,” President & CEO Sid Tripp said. “And not only that, but we want to aid them in married life, after their big day.”
The highly useful site has an entire portion dedicated to celebration announcements, as well as married life services. Marriage counseling, financial planning and real estate services are just the tip of the iceberg. GayWeddingsInMaine.com has it all.
But even though legalization is still relatively recent, plenty of couples have been dreaming about their perfect weddings for years. I’m always curious about other people’s love lives, so I asked around to some of my gay pals, wondering what their perfect gay wedding in Maine would be like.
“If money weren’t an issue, my budget would first go towards flying my friends and family here and taking care of all of their expenses. That, and an open bar,” said Steven Emmons, one of the masterminds behind Portland’s branch of Guerrilla Queer Bar. “I’d want a fabulous DJ, catering with all local food, a private beach site for the ceremony, and matching white linen outfits for my ‘husbear’ and I.”
Local chef and two-time Chopped contestant Kate Squibb is badass—and also a textbook romantic. “Oh man, I’d get married out on Wolfe’s Neck Farm [in Freeport], roasting a pig outside of that gorgeous barn. I’d want a live, bluesy jug-band kind of band, and I’d get married in a nice new pair of black double-knee Carhartt overalls.” I want an invite to that shindig!
3 Businesses for The Big Day
THE BARN ON WALNUT HILL – YARMOUTH, ME
Tucked away in North Yarmouth, The Barn on Walnut Hill is a 19th-century farmhouse and barn with a beautifully rustic feel. The feel is elegant and simple, with a solid antique atmosphere. They also have a sister property, The Barn at Flanagan Farm in Buxton. Chef Mike Haimes studied under Top Chef Season Five winner Hosea Rosenberg and has set up a plentiful, locally sourced menu for your guests.
GUS & RUBY LETTER PRESS – PORTSMOUTH, ME
Just over the Piscataqua River Bridge, traditional letterpress printing has been taken to the next level. The crew at Gus & Ruby knows their stuff: “Our work ranges from country casual to city chic because our designs are reflections of our amazing clients and their love-story,” co-owner and director of client services Samantha Finigan said. “We are excited about the change in law and will continue to provide service to all couples no matter their sexual orientation! We've always believed that marriage and lifelong commitment is simply about love and should be an option for all couples.” The tailor-made design schemes are top-notch, with great color blends and hip fonts. A solid investment.
THE BOB CHAREST BAND – FALMOUTH, ME
This nine-piece function band runs the gamut of the American songbook. They can do everything from big band swing tunes to Rihanna and Gaga. The heavy vocal harmonies, a gorgeously orchestrated horn section, and creative arrangements make them the go-to for your reception.