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    Why get married in Portsmouth

    Striking Seaside Views

    Portsmouth’s beautiful scenery — complete with quaint harbors, historic brick-lined waterfronts, forested lakes, wild marshlands, and, of course, stunningly vast beachscapes — add effortless elegance to your big day while serving as terrific backdrops for photos.

    Savor the Seafood

    Lobster rolls, anyone? Some of the freshest seafood around is plucked right out of these waters, so if you fantasize about a raw bar at your cocktail hour, then Portsmouth will put the surf in your surf-and-turf dreams.

    Tempting and Tax-Free

    Portsmouth is totally void of any sales tax, which could certainly work wonders for a couple’s wedding budget. Planning your wedding here means having a bit more wiggle room to treat yourself and your guests.

    Old World Enchantment

    Settled in 1623, Portsmouth is the third oldest city in the nation. Walking its cobblestone streets, the city’s historic homes and buildings give you a sense of stepping back into days of yore — what could be more romantic than escaping to a simpler place and time?


    Portsmouth has a humid continental climate with moderately warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation is frequent.


    Spring in Portsmouth brings average temperatures in the mid 30s to mid 50s.


    Summers are wet, with daily highs in the 70s.


    Falls are filled with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Average temps range from the low 70s to upper 40s.


    Winters are cold and snowy. Daily highs are around the freezing mark.

    Most popular wedding styles in Portsmouth

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    Your Wedding Ceremony

    There should be no truer reflection of who you and your love are as a couple than your wedding ceremony. From the words that are uttered by your wedding officiant to the music played by local ceremony musicians, these details give your guests an inside perspective of your life together as you’ve grown as a couple. Make sure your message is memorable by coordinating with these key vendors that create the inner workings of your ceremony.

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    Officiants and Ceremony Musicians

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    Your Wedding Reception

    Your vows have been spoken and your newlywed portraits have been taken, now let’s get to the real fun of your wedding day! Portsmouth wedding caterers will deliver a fabulous meal while your wedding DJ switches between dinner music to rocking tunes to get the party started. There’s no need to stress about the timeline and flow of the evening — your wedding planner has it all covered.

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    Portsmouth Reception Vendors

    From the Borrowed & Blue Blog

    Your Rehearsal Dinner

    Your rehearsal really holds two purposes. First, of course, is to shake off the wedding jitters by practicing your moves for your big walk down the aisle. Second is the dinner that follows — you’re welcoming and extending a “thank you” to your wedding party and VIPs for taking the time to be a part of your special day. Choose a great restaurant in Portsmouth or intimate event space to host your Portsmouth rehearsal dinner and all you need to do is celebrate and get excited for all that is to come.

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    Your Farewell Brunch

    Don’t let that leftover champagne from your reception go to waste — use it in the mimosas you’ll be serving during your day-after brunch. It's the perfect way to bid your friends and family adieu, and Portsmouth offers a number of restaurants that can accommodate a large number of guests for a farewell brunch. Everyone will appreciate being able to spend just a few more precious moments together before you depart for your honeymoon.

    Trust Us: Wake Up, Eat Here

    Wedding Welcome Bag

    Wanna cement your status as the best wedding host? We have just the strategy: greet your out-of-town guests with a wedding welcome bag packed with your favorite local goodies and some essentials they’ll need to get through the the weekend, like personalized sunglasses for your beach wedding, a hangover kit, and a map of the city, for example. It’s the best way to say “hello” besides personally knocking on each hotel room door upon their arrival.

    Wedding Favors

    There’s no such thing as showing guests your appreciation too many times. One of our favorite ways to do this is with thoughtful wedding favors that your friends and family can pick up on their way out of the reception venue. We love it when couples offer favors that reflect their wedding destination, love story, and personalities, so for Portsmouth, consider things like local baked goods from a favorite shop in Market Square, a personalized koozie for all that craft beer you’ll be serving, or some locally roasted coffee! Your options are endless, so get creative.

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    Guest Activities

    Don’t worry about guests getting bored in Portsmouth — just make sure they explore it. With homes dating back to the 1660s, historic home tours are a huge favorite for visitors. A visit to this seaport town is incomplete without a trip to Prescott Park — go for the stunning array of flower gardens, stay for the food, wine, and music festivals. Of course, you’re in a coastal town, so encourage your guests to get out on the water to whale watch, go fishing, or take a boat tour. Or maybe you just want a beer? Brewery tours are a great way to explore the craft beer scene. And these are just a few suggestions. Read up on how the New York Times spends 36 hours in Portsmouth and recommend your favorite activities to guests so that they can get the most out of their trip.

    Places to Visit

    Restaurant Recommendations

    Welcome to seafood heaven. If your mouth waters at the thought of lobster rolls and fresh-caught seafood, then Portsmouth is definitely right up your alley. Make sure your guests eats their way through this seaport town at the best restaurants in the area. Suggest a few of your personal favorites by including them on your wedding website or within your invitation suite and watch them fall in love with the local culinary scene. Check out TripAdvisor for the best restaurants in Portsmouth.

    Accommodations Recommendations

    Providing your loved ones with affordable and convenient accommodations suggestions is a must on your wedding to-do list. They will so appreciate you taking the time to make their trip planning a little bit easier. Recommend a few great hotels and inns that will make them feel like family. Consider going the extra mile by securing room blocks so that friends can be close to one another — and it might even score them a discount.

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    The Bachelorette Party

    You'd be lying if you said you haven't been mega excited for your bachelorette party since the day you said "yes!," and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a bachelorette weekend in Portsmouth. Maybe it’s the tax-free shopping, maybe it’s the gorgeous waterfront views, maybe it’s the food — whatever it is, we can’t get enough of this seaport town. Gather your best girls, stock up on some bubbly, and spend the weekend soaking it all up.

    The Bachelor Party

    The seacoast town has what it takes to make any guy’s dream bachelor party a reality. The guys will have no shortage of activities to partake in when they host a bachelor weekend in Portsmouth: think brewery tours, rounds of golf, and deep-sea fishing. Let’s be real — besides the end result (getting to marry the love of his life), the groom will probably say the bachelor party was the best part of the wedding planning process!

    Your Engagement Session

    Engagement photos have become so popular these last few years that we’ve started to see Portsmouth wedding photographers add them to their packages. We figure there are two goals to a session: first, to get to know your wedding photographer of choice so when the big day rolls around, you’re familiar with their working style. Second, to hopefully score some cute snaps of the two of you to use for the guest book or save-the-dates. Plus, it’s great to have a few more professional photos that are a little more casual than your wedding photos. These four wedding engagement shoot locations around Portsmouth are worth taking a peek at when figuring out what kind of backdrop you want for your own session.

    Major Annual Events to Consider

    The good news is that you’ve chosen a vibrant, scenic, and seriously fun location to gather your nearest and dearest on your big day. Congrats! The bad news? Your wedding location is so awesome that it draws a crowd for reasons other than your nuptials all year long. When selecting your wedding date, be sure you know what other activities are happening in the area that might put a cramp in your party’s style. We’ve gone ahead and done the legwork for you, so check out the annual calendar of major Portsmouth events and add them to your radar.

    Local Online Resources

    Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Portsmouth, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry:

    Tips from local pros

    Choosing Your Portsmouth Wedding Vendors

    With our comprehensive list of local wedding pros, we're here to help you put together an all-star team to bring your vision to life.