Daydreaming of a NH Seacoast wedding? February can be the most challenging month to grasp at memories of summer. Between snow storms, black ice and painfully short days the times of chirping crickets, rain drops pattering on the roof and an endless amount of adventuring to be done can seem like a truly distant dream.
However, February is the month of love. The kind of love you grab on to, confirm while consuming a bit too much chocolate and plan on for a lifetime. Yup, it’s engagement season! According to Facebook, outside of the holidays, Feb 14th is the most popular time to pop the question, which officially makes this time of year wedding planning season!
So put your thinking caps on, and discover why the 13-miles of NH’s Seacoast is hands down one of the most stunning and versatile places to plan your I do’s!
7. You get the best of both worlds!
With the ocean always at your toes, there’s ample spots for the country feel too, from Applecrest Farm (Hampton Falls, NH) overflowing with orchards, a country store, a delicious farm-to-table Bistro and, yes, even a wedding venue, providing the perfect backdrop for a countryside celebration. If you’re seeking a more historic-chic setting, head to downtown Portsmouth where charm, bright lights and historic architecture are always present along brick-lined sidewalks. New Castle’s Wentworth by the Sea offers rocky shorelines with vast options ranging from their historic buildings to tented receptions on the golf course (and even honeymoon options.)
Looking for a non-hotel modern location? Check out Portsmouth Harbor Events Center at Portwalk Place, the very definition of historic meets contemporary in the city’s hippest new area.
Or stay historic with the Moffatt-Ladd House, a quaint New England estate with gardens, a barn-style warehouse and abundant intimacy right in the downtown district.
6. Amazing local talent!
The Seacoast has been a long time hub of creative minds, from artists in the mills to brew masters and floral experts.
Want to get creative? Check out Wanderbird Floral’s sustainable and unique arrangements using locally sourced, seasonal inspiration! Or Exeter-based Cymbidium Floral.
Looking for a live band for your NH Seacoast wedding? Choose from acoustic guitarist Rob Thomas to bring you down the aisle or the funky hip-hop beats of Harsh Armadillo’s 9-piece band to bring guests to their feet. Go classic with the Groovemaker’s 4-piece rock/Motown band, or rely on Dover local DJ Nate Downs for pure entertainment all night long.
5. Great for out-of-towners!
The Seacoast is a New England destination. Take advantage of hassle-free travel via Manchester, Portland and Boston airports, Amtrak, C&J bus lines and Interstate 95. This is a place friends will carve out some extra time for!
From Coastal exploring up Route 1 to Perkins Cove, Kennebunkport and beyond, to historic tours of downtown Portsmouth’s Strawbery Banke, or Fort Stark, the options are endless! Enjoy waterfront views from brunch at MC Perkins Cove, or eat with the hip locals at STREET. Stroll through the quaint village of Kennebunkport with Wine Wise Events and enjoy acooking class at Table or the Stonewall Kitchen headquarters in York, Maine. Stay in Portmouth for a chef’s tasting at Ristorante Massimo, roam the streets with window shopping along Congress Street, hop the Heritage or the Thomas Leighton and cruise the famous Isle of Shoals. Splurge for a spa day at the Wentworth, or a mani pedi at our favorite, all-natural nail salon, Buff and File. Venture North to the Nubble Lighthouse, or explore the exhibits at Rye’s Seacoast Science Center.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, rent kayaks from Portsmouth Kayak Company, or take a SUP tour with Portsmouth Paddle Co. Embark on a 2 hour car ride and enjoy a day in the NH White Mountains or bike the East Coast Greenway from the Mass border to Portsmouth.
Feel free to bring the pup! You’ll find plenty of outdoor eateries, accommodations at The Port Inn, and The Hotel Portsmouth, the Pierce Island dog park, pet friendly State Parks and Granite State Whale Watch in Rye!
4. Live Free or Die!
You may have heard, but we’re happy to confirm that it’s true, New Hampshire is tax-free! While you might think this is ideal for shopping the outlets and boutiques, it’s also ideal for one of the largest purchases in your adult life – your wedding! Wedding vendors won’t be charging you sales tax, so what you see is what you pay for! All the more reason to shop local and have some money left over for the honeymoon!
Connect with Gus and Ruby Letterpress for your invitations and place cards. If you’re looking for some cute and colorful accessories to add a festive flare to your wedding, look no further than Fancy Face Studios.
Amy Dutton Home in Kittery just launched an online wedding registry to enhance your home with high-quality furniture and accessories for your new life together. Also across the border are brothers Seth and Tony who have a fantastic local selection of beer and wine at Spruce Creek Provisions.
Plan a ladies’ day with Janegee, a mother/daughter skin care lab offering customized spa services. Then sign up for the experienced team at Making Faces to nail down your glamorous look for the big day!
Make Madeline’s Daughter your first and last stop for a wedding dress, and boys, head straight to Sault to achieve your wedding day look with ease and fun! Hit up Leander at The I Do Scene for help planning all the rest!
3. Keep the party going!
With so many people traveling from out of town, make it a weekend long celebration. Hit the town Friday night car-free for an entertaining tour of the city, from award winning Portsmouth Brewery to the famous martinis and local music of The Red Door, there’s plenty of options no matter your style. Catch live music on the patio of Portsmouth Gas Light, practice your dance moves to local bands at Ri Ra, or sample some martinis by the firepit on the waterfront deck of Martingale Wharf.
2. You can’t beat the food!
New England is famous for gastronomic pleasures, with the freshest lobster, seasonal farmers’ markets and culinary explosions at every corner! The Seacoast is ripe with mouthwatering goodness, from ice cream filled Popovers to fresh pressed juices and clay oven pizzas. Want more ideas? Check out Edible Seacoast!
From the Green Elephant for the vegan, to Brazo’s Brazillian and Jumpin’ Jays Fish Café, there is something for everyone. Want to get out of town? Check out The Bistro at Applecrest Farm or Exeter’s Blue Moon Evolution. Plan your rehearsal dinner at Mombo Restaurant across from Prescott Park.
Let your wedding menu be a true Seacoast work of art with the White Apron caterers, The Kitchen or a mobile clay oven from Flatbread! And don’t miss out on Hippie Chick Bakery for an ultimate cake & dessert experience (allergy friendly options)!
1. It’s New England!
While this may seem too obvious to be the #1 reason to have your wedding on the Seacoast, it really must be mentioned how amazing an area this realy is. Don’t let the short 13 miles of seacoast fool you. This place packs a wallop! It truly shines in the summer with perfect sun-drenched warmth during the day, cool breezes at night, a palette of blues glistening in the sun, delicately manicured gardens and fresh sea smell permeating the air, making a seacoast wedding feel like pages from a storybook. You’ll meet a lot of friendly people who love being active, appreciate this uniquely beautiful area, and who are excited to give a helping hand whenever you may need it! Flanked by the Piscataqua River, rocky Atlantic beaches and stretching to the White Mountains, it’s a quick 45 minutes to the bustle of Boston and a true oasis along I-95.
Want more advice on planning you NH Seacoast wedding?
Reach out to Kate & Keith Photography and sign up for the Seacoast Lately newsletter! There’s a world of discovery under every unturned stone, and we’d love to share our passion for this great place with your friends and family!
Co-written by Kate & Keith Photography and Seacoast Lately! NH Seacoast Wedding
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