Ducktrap Retreat is one of the first places that caught my eye to say that the wedding we wanted could happen in Maine. It’s a private venue that allows you to rent the location and have guests rent out cabins. Guests aren’t required to rent them out, but it’s nice if they do. And saves money all around if we do it as a package.
The view is from the hill, and is quite far away, but still lovely.
The key to Ducktrap is its flexibility. You can really do anything, and since they aren’t a restaurant or hotel, you don’t need to “follow the rules.” One big rule that usually drives me nuts is that you can’t bring any booze you want. We love the local beers and wines, and can probably get cases for good prices, but most places require we bring a certified bartender and purchase everything directly through the vendor. (Read: HUGE markup)
We can also use the property for a good portion of a long weekend, which includes doing a breakfast on premises (they have an omelet station and grill for pancakes, etc).
Here was the tour:
Venue Rental: Depending on the weekend, it is either very cheap or very expensive. All of their prices are actually listed on their site (it’s INCREDIBLY thorough and useful!)
Lodging: Rooms are about $150 per night and you have to stay 2 nights. Since you can stay over on Thursday if you want to, really it’s a 3rd night free. And on Memorial Day Weekend (when we would look to do this), you actually buy 2 nights and get both the 3rd AND 4th nights free. Not too shabby.
Food: Food has to be brought in by a caterer, but he was telling us that one couple brought in Subway and plated it… so really it’s very flexible. And the lower cost of booze HUGELY offsets all costs that could be used for better food.
Rentals: Dishes and flatware would need to come through the caterer. Everything else is there, including the tent, tables, and chairs, which saves a lot of money.
- Options: We can do whatever we want. No rules (except that all loud music must be kept inside, see Cons)
- Food: We can bring in whomever we want
- Booze: No need to pay a middleman
- Flexibility: We can set up and break down and do all the DIY things whenever we want
- Privacy: The full retreat is ours for the weekend
- Luxury: The cabins just look and feel nice. Definitely nicer than Linekin.
- Activities: Basketball and tennis on site, lots of hiking trails, minutes from the beach
- View: It’s nice, but not nearly as nice as the other 3 venues on the finalist list
- Music: Since all music must be kept inside, and the inside has an echo, a band probably won’t be feasible in the space. Though they are fully set up for an iPod with their sound system, so that could save us some money
- Distance: It is an hour and 45 minutes from the Portland airport and a little over 8 hours from the hometown of Berkeley Heights, NJ
- DIY: No help on site. Not a thing. We would even set up the tables and chairs (or the caterer could) and cook our own breakfasts the next morning.