The small town of Camden Maine is praised for it’s unique location, mountain and sea, beautiful harbor, boutique shops and quintessential New England feeling. When I moved here from New York City, I could not believe how picture perfect Camden Maine is. The air is not polluted and you can see the stars at night. The water is clean and cold. The people are all happy to live here. All of these elements make Camden a wonderful place to host a destination wedding. The Camden Amphitheatre is a unique location for a wedding ceremony because it is a National Landmark, overlooks the ocean, is cheap to rent, and centrally located to several wedding reception and lodging locations. The town of Camden has frequently been compared to a conference center. Conference centers are designed to have all the traveler would need within walking distant to his/her sleeping arrangement. Conference centers are unfortunately usually enclosed places with few windows and lots of walls. A wedding in Camden Main is like a conference center without walls.
Each year there are more and more weddings in Camden Maine. All small towns contemplate the good and bad aspects of any business and the wedding business definitely has factors on both sides of the coin. Those that come to Camden for relaxation do not want all night partying and carousing. Loud music and late night chatter can unnerve seasonal Camden residents. The businesses in Camden that host receptions have considered this argument and have an unwritten pact to end the party at 10:00pm. There is only one location in Camden that goes until 10:30pm. The Camden Windward House Bed and Breakfast has been hosting weddings for 7 years now and there has never been a complaint of noise. The Camden Windward House location is in a beautiful historic residential location and acknowledges their neighbors by ending events at 10:00pm.
The good side of the coin is that the wedding business brings lots and lots of business to the town of Camden. The wedding business is a economic engine that has not been fully appreciated by the Camden community yet. Seeing brides run down High Street to be in time for their wedding at the Amphitheatre is priceless. The truck drivers and pedestrians all have a smile on their face after witnessing a running bride. Most weddings have more than 100 people on their guest lists. Those 100 guests all need rooms usually for more than 1 night. Those 100 guests also need to eat and of course most of those 100 guests will want a souvenir of their trip to Camden. The florists, caterers, alcohol providers and schooners all get business from the wedding activities. A popular ticket item for Camden brides is the Brides Schooner trip and the Grooms Schooner trip. Lobster and clam bakes are shared thoughout Camden for visitors.
There are some barriers in Camden regarding the expansion of this economic engine of wedding receptions. The town has made it difficult for more properties to host events. The zoning on Rt 1 is not even and spotty. In the 1980′s more and more private homes were becoming private businesses and many residents at that time set forth to implement strict guidelines that would limit business. Little by little the town of Camden is starting to see the importance of clean business. The wedding business is by far a “clean business”. The ability to use multiple vendors from different local trades in one event is beneficial on all levels. The flower farmers, the food growers, the wedding planners, the waiters and waitresses that are hired to serve, the fisherman that provide the lobsters, the boat captains that take guests for sea trips, the innkeepers that provide wonderful sleeping accommodations. The properties that host weddings are obligated to keep their properties beautiful and maintained to high standards.
I hope the wedding business will continue to grow in Camden Maine because marriage is a beautiful commitment that can now be shared by all. A Camden wedding has it all to make a romantic and memorable event. A win win for everyone involved.