Here in Maine, Fall wedding celebrations have become increasingly common, and now rival the summer season for the most sought-after wedding dates. We’re seeing the same trends here at French’s Point. Our seaside location makes us the perfect spot to take in the crisp salt air and brilliant fall foliage that autumn in Maine offers.
According to The Knot, the traditionally popular month of June still attracts a sizeable 13% of annual US wedding celebrations with its lush, vibrant florals and beautiful weather and comfortable temperatures. But the Month of October now comes in third, hosting 12% of all weddings annually with it bright foliage and lovely weather. November is also rising in popularity here at French’s Point for the same reason.
It’s easy to see why so many couples choose a fall event. Steaming mugs of hot apple cider, cozy conversations by the bonfire, impromptu games of flag football, and hay wagon rides evoke their favorite and memorable fall experiences. A long, fall weekend makes for a relaxed, unhurried celebration. It’s no wonder couples are choosing to get married in Maine at this time of year.
Sample Fall Maine Wedding Weekend Itinerary
Here’s one sample itinerary that will keep your guests well fed, comfortably cozy, and thoroughly entertained while they enjoy all the quintessential elements of fall in New England:
- 12:00 p.m. Get your marriage license from the Stockton Springs town office between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. to make it official! The Town Office is not open on Friday.
- 1:00 p.m. Check in to French’s Point! Settle into your room and soak in the salt air and scenery.
- 6:00 p.m. Fire up the barbecue grill and enjoy burgers and brats and sample fall-inspired local beers like Marshall Wharf Brewing Company’s Danny McGovern’s Oatmeal Stout, Geary’s Autumn Ale and Shipyard Pumpkinhead with your family and friends as they roll into town to join you for the weekend .
- 8:00 p.m. Cuddle up fireside and reconnect around one of the many fire pits at the estate. Enjoy the warm, gooey delight of s’mores fresh off the fire.
- 7:00 a.m. Start the day off with a morning yoga session for the wedding party and family lead by a local instructor in the sun-filled Conservatory at The Retreat.
- 8:00 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast of freshly baked apple spice muffins and hearty oatmeal awaiting you in the parlor at The Farm.
- 10:00a.m. Choose your own Maine adventure! Excursions to the top of the tallest bridge observatory in the Northeast at Penobscot Narrows Observatory for spectacular leaf peeping with tours of the nearby Fort Knox historic site. Enjoy a tour of one of the many local wineries and breweries. Explore a pumpkin patch or pick-your-own apple farms.
- 3:00 p.m. Ceremony rehearsal. Gather your wedding party, family and anyone else participating in the ceremony for a rehearsal at your chosen setting to work out the jitters so everyone can relax on the big day.
- 4:00 p.m. Sip Autumn-inspired cocktails on the terrace and enjoy sunset hayrides through the fields and orchard with your guests.
- 6:00 p.m. Host a family style harvest dinner on long farm tables, with wood-fired food sourced from local farmers and fishermen, prepared by your chosen catering partner in The Retreat dining room in front of the fireplace.
- 8:00 p.m. Cap off the night with hot toddies and warm apple cider enjoyed in front of the fireplace in The Retreat lounge.
- 10:00 p.m. Get some rest! Tomorrow is going to be a big day.
- 7:00 a.m. Rise and shine, it’s your wedding day! Take a walk through the trails and enjoy the beautiful foliage in Sandy Point State Park.
- 8:00 a.m. Enjoy a cup of coffee, freshly baked quiche, and fruit with your family at The Farm at French’s Point before you freshen up.
- 9:00 a.m. Your wedding vendor team arrives to begin preparations at The Retreat at French’s Point.
- 10:00 a.m. Pampering time begins for you and your wedding party with hair and make-up sessions with your chosen provider. Sit back and enjoy the hours leading up to your ceremony in the many private suites in The Retreat.
- 12:00 p.m. Wedding party lunch delivered with popovers, chicken salad, and mimosas of course! The groom’s party and family can enjoy a casual lunch on the barbecue lawn after enjoying some healthy competition with a game of flag football on the recreation lawn at The Farm.
- 2:00 p.m. The groom’s party arrives at the Recreation Room at The Retreat to work out those nerves with a game of pool or darts, or watch the game of the TV. Don’t forget those wedding rings! Bridal party gets dressed and has pre-ceremony photos taken on the balcony overlooking the estate. Room for pre-ceremony photos at The Retreat at French’s Point.
- 3:00 p.m. A bluegrass band sets the mood as guests arrive by trolley to mingle and enjoy hot mulled cider on the terrace.
- 3:30 p.m. The ceremony bell rings out over the bay and calls your guests to the ceremony location of your choosing: the Gazebo, the Oceanfront Lawn or Lower Level Terrace.
- 4:00 p.m. Congrats to the happy couple! Take your first photos as husband and wife, with your wedding party and family. Your guests will mix and mingle while they enjoy cocktail hour with delicious drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the terrace, take a stroll on the bluff path, take in the commanding view of the foliage on the shores of the bay from our signature Grand Daddy Adirondack chairs, or play a rousing game of cornhole on the oceanfront lawn.
- Before the dinner reception begins, gather your guests and snap some group photos on the cobblestone terrace. This is a beautiful record of the guests who were able to join you for your big day.
- 5:00 p.m. Guests are ushered inside the beautiful and cozy Retreat House Dining Room or the Sailcloth Tent Structure for the reception with tables set with all the details you imagined.
- Catch the beautiful sunset with your new spouse and photographer. We offer a variety of locations to capture this splendid light of the setting sun and rising Harvest Moon.
- 5:20 p.m. Before dinner, introductions of the family and wedding party followed by speeches. Cheers to the happy couple!
- 5:40 p.m. Dinner is served! Enjoy unique fare chosen by you, provided by your wedding catering partner of choice.
- 6:30 p.m. Official cake cutting. Enjoy your first dance as a married couple. It’s time to boogie!
- 7:00 p.m. Cake and coffee are served.
- 9:55 p.m. Enjoy one last dance with your sweetie for the perfect ending to a magical day!
- 10:00 p.m. Move the party to The Retreat House to enjoy an unplugged after party with a laid-back vibe. Fuel the fun with delicious late-night wood-fired pizza with fall flavors like roasted butternut squash and ricotta, and spicy sausage and apple. Snuggle in front of the fire as you recount the adventures of the day.
- 11:30 p.m. One last call from the bar.
- 12:00 a.m. Retreat to your beautiful suite with your new spouse to reflect and celebrate this magical day. Vendors begin preparing for the next day’s celebrations.
- 8:00 a.m. Enjoy your first cup of coffee as a married couple as you enjoy the sunrise over the bay from your private balcony. The caterer arrives to prepare for the farewell brunch.
- 9:00 a.m- 11a.m. Your guests can stop by The Retreat Dining Room one last time to say goodbye and enjoy a farewell brunch before heading home. Enjoy a beautiful, hearty buffet for a more formal affair, or offer portable food and coffee to-go so guests can get on the road after they bid you farewell.
- 1:00 p.m. Check out time. Pack up your gifts, snap one last picture to immortalize the experience, and hit the road. It’s time for your next adventure!
*Due to the Coast Guard sound ordinance and zoning restrictions, all amplified music must cease at 10:00 p.m and exterior lights extinguish at midnight.
Featured photo by Michelle Turner Photography.