• Tamara Merri

Acadia National Park Elopement | Ainsley & Mike

Updated: Apr 8

Acadia National Park Elopement

Acadia national park elopement

Elopement Planning

Ainsley & Mike came to me not knowing whether they wanted a traditional wedding or to elope. They had already gone and toured wedding venues but felt like the production of weddings and being the center of attention weren't the direction they wanted to go in.

So we started brainstorming what their day could look like if they decided to elope; what part of the country speaks to them, what season, what do you want to do, how many people? They were planning on only having their parents so anything was fair game without a larger guest list. They was sure from the beginning of chatting that they wanted to stay in New England and mentioned the idea of something cozy like their friend's cabin Maine. Ainsley is an avid runner and loves to hike so I knew an adventurous elopement could be her speed!

After talking with Ainsley about what sets her soul on fire we somehow got onto the topic of watching the sunrise and I mentioned that Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the first place in the country to see the sunrise. From that moment our sites were set on planning her elopement in Acadia! While their eventual ceremony was not at sunrise (and ceremonies aren't allowed at sunrise or sunset on Cadillac Mountain), we chose the most perfect spot for them: the rocky coastline across from the Gorham Mountain Trail. This spot is very accessible as it is just a short walk from the road. It looks very similar to Otter Point. There is a parking lot nearby but they opted to have a shuttle drop them off as to not worry about parking - soooo smart, especially during peak season! Since they had less than 10 guests total, a permit was not required to secure their ceremony spot or time. However, we did have to reserve a pass to drive along the road since the pandemic was restricting access. If you plan to visit while the pandemic is still ongoing, make sure to plan ahead!

Fun fact: I also got married in Acadia! Here's the blog I wrote about the planning process + timeline of booking vendors if you'd like more insight on what it entails.

Their Elopement Day

We started the day with them getting ready separately at their hotel in downtown Bar Harbor; the Ivy Manor Inn. Aquene with the Glow Method did the ladies flawless makeup and Ainsley did her own hair. It was a rainy morning but the drizzle couldn't dampen their spirits. Since they planned to take the shuttle together into the park we did their first look outside of the Ivy Manor, with the fall's red ivy as their gorgeous backdrop. When we left to take the shuttle into the park... the rain stopped! The shuttle dropped us off at Gorham Mountain Trailhead and we walked across the street to the rocky coastline of Maine. Ainsley had visited the park the day before to scope out where they wanted their ceremony so we walked the short distance to a clearing between two trees where you could see the water crashing along the rocks behind them.

Gorham Mountain Trail Ceremony

Ainsley's dad walked her down the trail which was the perfect natural aisle. Only their parents and dog were the only people in attendance... unless you count the rainbow that showed up just as Ainsley was walking down the aisle.

Their ceremony beautiful, short, and sweet. My fiance Paul officiated their wedding which consisted of sharing their love story and a ring warming ceremony before exchanging rings and sealing the "I dos" with a kiss. Their adorable black lab Josie was such a good girl sitting by their feet the whole time. Luckily, dogs are allowed in Acadia National Park as long as they're kept on a 6 feet leash at all times! While we didn't have the best weather for their elopement, the constant drizzle made sure that the rainbow stayed around for the duration of their ceremony!! We were all in awe and I couldn't stop taking pictures!

Jordan Pond at Acadia

We explored the coastline at Gorham Mountain Trail for a few photos before hopping in the car and going to Jordan Pond. Jordan Pond is a super popular spot in Acadia. We knew it would be busy, even during the rain, so we planned to just take a few iconic photos before heading on our way. We originally planned to hike North Bubble afterwards and enjoy the sunset from the summit, but the weather progressively got worse. Not only did the rain pick up, but so did the wind and the chill came with it. So while I was researching our plan B, Ainsley turned to me and said "hey - want to just to go the bar instead?". Ummm hell yea - it's your day let's do whatever you want!! The best part about eloping is there were no guests to attend to, no party to have to go to, no plans to abide by! It's possible to make game time decisions for what you actually want to do in the moment. So we headed to the same Irish bar we went to the night before when celebrating their "rehearsal dinner"; Leary's Landing! After bar hoping for a bit the rain stopped and we goofed off in Agamont Park in downtown Bar Harbor while the sky turned cotton candy pink behind them to end their photo coverage.

Vendor Team:

Wedding Dress: BHLDN

Makeup Artist: Aquene with The Glow Method

Hair: DIY

Flowers: DIY from Trader Joes

Getting ready location: Ivy Manor Inn right in downtown Bar Harbor

Ceremony spot: Gorham Mountain Trail in Acadia National Park

Photo locations: Rocky coastline in Acadia, Jordan Pond, Agamont Park

Behind the scenes video

Photos from their Acadia National Park Elopement

Ivy Manor Inn in downtown Bar Harbor, ME

wedding rings on a rain soaked deck railing

wedding dress reflection in mirror with black walls

bride doing her own hair the morning of her wedding

dog with flower collar for wedding

mom helping bride into wedding dress

bride tapping groom on shoulder during first look outside Ivy Manor Inn in Bar Harbor, ME

groom looking adoringly at bride during first look

candid photo of couple outside Ivy Manor Inn

the coast of Acadia National Park with Rainbow

father of bride crying while he walks her down the trail aisle

bride walking down aisle made out of a trail for elopement


related blog: Mount Willard Elopement


elopement at gorham mountain trail with rainbow behind them

bride smiling during wedding ceremony

elopement ceremony with dog

black and white close up photo of ring exchange

couple celebrating after elopement on coast of Maine

Are you interested in eloping in Acadia National Park or somewhere else in New England? Let's chat about what you envision your day to look like and make a game plan for your elopement! Contact me today.

Related Blog : How to Plan an Elopement at Acadia National Park

couple with rainbow at gorham mountain trail elopement

couple with rainbow at gorham mountain trail elopement

family photo after elopement with dog

elopement photo acadia national park

couple walking on rocks at gorham mountain trail at Acadia National Park during their Elopement

rocky coastline of Acadia National Park on Gorham Mountain Trail

officiant signing the marriage license with bud lights

elopement photos at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park in Maine

elopement at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park

Related Blog : Sarah + Nate Acadia National Park Elopement

bride and groom at Jordan Pond for elopement photos

bride and groom at Jordan Pond for elopement photos

bride standing on side of road showing off her hiking boots

bride kissing groom on cheek