French’s Point – The Perfect Place for Your Intimate Micro Wedding

There has been a recent movement toward smaller, more intimate weddings and we are fully on board! We recently hosted our very first wedding of 2020 (thank you COVID-19) with a guest list of just 42 people. As I was saying goodbye to the newlyweds at the end of their stay, they extolled the virtues of the tiny fete and how incredible it was, and how much their guests loved it too. It reminded me how beautiful these micro weddings are and why the outcome of choosing to host one in lieu of the typical wedding of 100-200 guests, is such an incredible gift to both the couple and the guests.

Quality Time
A smaller guest count, with the celebration stretched out over the full weekend gives our couples, their friends and family more opportunity for fun & to relax, have a meaningful conversation (or two), and really soak in the experience. From our observation over the last twenty years hosting celebrations, our couples with guest counts of larger events (100+ guests) tend to feel the pressure on the demands for their time. They are pressed to be good hosts and connect with their guests and also be present for the events. The more guests, the more time needed to attend to them. We see our couples who choose to craft smaller celebrations, really get to enjoy it and in turn, they will remember it more clearly, and so will your guests. We really want this for you because we know how important it is in the end.

Money
For some of our very favorite weddings, our clients have chosen to spend their wedding budget over a smaller guest count, but really have done it beautifully & thoughtfully to make the guests feel valued and appreciated. Of course, you can spend less on a wedding with fewer guests, or you can spend the same budget on a smaller number of people and really do it up! Either way, a smaller guest count affords more control over the budget.

Capacity
Though the estate has the capacity to host events of up to 200 guests in prime season (when our tent is in place), and 150 guests in the offseason, it beautifully hosts more intimate groups of 30, 50, or 80 people without leaving these tiny groups feeling lost in a vast, vacant space. This is due to the layout of the spaces and the fact that they are homes, not large commercial ballrooms. Additionally, with our three homes and 26 guest suites, we can lodge 26-62 guests right here on-site, turning the estate into your private compound for the weekend. With additional air BnB’s within walking distance of the estate that can accommodate an additional 60+ guests within walking distance, you can take over the Point for the weekend.

Variety
French’s Point offers many different picturesque locations to host your various weekend events large or small.  But we have some really sweet spaces that are more ideally suited to a smaller group of 30-50.  An intimate wedding could look like this:

  • Thursday- casual welcome BBQ on the Farm House Lawn with a friendly competition on the Recreation Lawn
  • Friday- Rehearsal dinner cocktails on the Farm House East Overlook Terrace with a lobster bake dinner served on the Farm House Beach
  • Saturday- Ceremony at the Retreat House Gazebo, Cocktail hour on the Retreat House Promenade Lawn and Dinner and Dancing under the stars on the Retreat House Cocktail Terrace

Of course, we have many beautiful rain locations if your alfresco events have to be hosted inside.

We know if you host an intimate/micro wedding, you will be so happy with the experience in the end.

Touring French’s Point

Touring venues have traditionally been part of the process of planning a wedding. Vetting a venue by seeing it in person is part of due diligence, to ensure you find the best fit for your needs and eliminate any unknowns that might pose difficulties down the road. French’s Point clients are almost always planning a destination wedding, not a local celebration. For this reason, visiting the estate before reserving often presents a challenge to them. Additionally, our couples are often in the midst of other major life events while planning their wedding, such as buying a home, completing their residency or law school, or living/working abroad. This also limits their ability to visit in person.

In recent years, with the aid of technologies, the need to tour French’s Point before reserving has become unnecessary. We offer a few technology-based aids to assist in experiencing the estate, without visiting:

Virtual Tours
We have wonderful Matterport Virtual Tours of the home that allow for 3D viewing by floor and room. You can essentially “walk” through each space and spin around.
The Retreat House
The Farm House
The Beach House- coming soon!
The Tent

Floor Plans
Each home and the tent have a page dedicated to them on our website with a list of amenities by home, floor plans and gallery of images. The floor plans are also helpful in getting you oriented with the space.
The Retreat House
The Farm House
The Beach House
The Tent

FaceTime Tour
We are happy to schedule a FaceTime tour. Jessika will walk you through the homes much like she would if you were here in person.

We hope you find these tools helpful & fun. Reach out and schedule your FaceTime or in-person tour with us now.  We would love to meet you and show you what the estate has to offer for your celebration.

Robert-Willard Harris Brooks & Andrew Bradford Foyer Bar

The Robert-Willard Harris Brooks & Andrew Bradford Foyer Bar located in the heart of the Retreat House got some attention last winter.  We added new bar stools on the Lounge side of the two-sided bar area.  We love their driftwood-like aesthetic and the contrast they provide against the rich mahogany Douglas Fir board and batten paneling and trim throughout the Retreat House.  The stools are very comfortable, setting the scene for relaxed bar-side banter over your favorite beverage.   The bar offers a wine cooler and two bar sinks.  The copper brewmeister in the center of the foyer side of the bar is a relic of bygone days, but it adds to the character of the bar.  

In 2006, I dedicated this space to two fine gentlemen that enjoy a good drink from time to time: my baby brother Robert-Willard Harris Brooks and his childhood friend who lived in the summer, two cottages down from us, Andrew Bradford.  As boys growing up on the Point, these two always entertained themselves easily, most often in their father’s and grandfather’s workshops.  They were always building something… a hideout, a treehouse, a potato gun!  They shared tools, focus, ingenuity and a zest for finding trouble. Their antics kept most of the neighborhood entertained and on alert.  They always had a little twinkle in their eye when the inspiration struck to create something together.  They always reminded me of two tiny, salty pirates, always on the hunt for their next adventure and treasure.  Some thirty years later, both grown men have gone on to found their own companies.  

My brother Rob is a professional sailor, but he is an accomplished engineer with a company called Triton Products that manufactures from molds, custom fending systems originally for the marine industry.  The company now applies its work in composites for specialized goods across other industries. When we restored the Retreat House in 2005, Rob came to our aid in fabricating all of the exterior patio railings on property.  Rob welded each post and hand-tied each rope railing to help keep our guests safe and keep the location looking beautiful.  The result of the work is an aesthetic that is quite at home on the ocean offering a nautical feel.  

Andrew is an architect by training and master furniture/cabinet maker who owns Bradford Designs.  When it came to building a bar in the middle of the main floor of the Retreat House, we asked Andrew to create one that looked as though it had been here for ages, but would also be functional. During the demolition process before the building of the bar, we found two bottles of whiskey in the walls, left by the original builder in 1909.  It was as if the building was saying “a bar would be just perfect, right here.”  Andrew imported Douglas Fir from Oregon for the bar and other areas of the Retreat House that needed this wood to carry the original details throughout the large house.  The bar is sealed with a clear coat of marine-grade epoxy, a fitting finish since the interior or the Retreat House feels like a tall-masted schooner.  

We see Rob and Andrew rarely these days as their careers have limited their time at the Point.  But each of them will always have a stool waiting for them here in the Retreat House because we could not have finished these projects without them.  

We will share the details of the other Retreat House enhancements in upcoming posts. We hope you love them as much as we do. 

Robert-Willard Harris Brooks & Andrew Bradford Foyer Bar Robert-Willard Harris Brooks & Andrew Bradford Foyer Bar

Photography by Greta Tucker 

Crystal-Lynn Conservatory

The Crystal-Lynn Conservatory located on the main level of the Retreat House, received updated furnishings last year to include two refinished church pews for seating (they were original to the house when the church previously owned the property), two antique side tables and four velvet chairs.  This space can be used for ceremony or cocktail seating, depending on your vision for this space.  Chairs can be added to this space to offer a rain location for the ceremony that will not disappoint.  With three-sided water views of the bay, the sun-filled room is an ideal spot to host your ceremony.  This room can also offer cocktail seating with the addition of a few bistro tables, or it can provide dance floor space.    

When I first began my stewardship of the estate, it was with a heart full of memories of my older sister and cousins here at the Retreat House.  As children, we ran along the shore looking for the perfect skipping stones, played hide and seek in the woods, and picked blueberries in the field around the homes.  At this time, the church-owned the property and they hosted summer camps each year and retreats and they offered rental of the property to families for reunions and weddings. Our summer jobs we working for the caterers who fed guests.  My older sister Crystal-Lynn was seven years my senior.  She had big, bright, vibrant dreams of hosting her wedding here.  In the quiet of our room, she shared a little notebook with little snippets of her vision of this celebration.  I loved, adored and admired my big sister, so I could easily see her plans come to life in my imagination.  Sadly, my sister passed away at a young age.  In a way, each wedding that takes place here is the fulfillment of little girl’s dreams and a gift to my heart.  When we renovated the Retreat House in 2005, the Conservatory with its remarkable views and gorgeous light was dedicated to Crystal and her dreams.    

Crystal-Lynn Conservatory Crystal-Lynn Conservatory Crystal-Lynn Conservatory Crystal-Lynn Conservatory Crystal-Lynn Conservatory Crystal-Lynn Conservatory

Photos by Greta Tucker 

Farm House BBQ Lawn & West Overlook Terrace

Just behind the Farm House, overlooking the west slope and the Sandy Point State Park that wraps around the estate is a wonderful little BBQ Lawn and the West Overlook Terrace. These casual spaces are ideal for small groups to gather.

This spring we painted our five 12’ long x 44” wide picnic tables white. They can seat 12 guests each. This lawn is just outside the Farm House kitchen and parlor. It is equipped with a gas grille and tank and a propane boiler with a big pot for boiling corn, lobster, clams, mussels or crabs. We also have a small charcoal grille if that is your preference. We supply a tank of propane and you supply the charcoal and replacement tanks during your stay. Thursday night BBQ dinners are a popular event out here. As family and friends roll into town, you can host a casual dinner.  We suggest having events catered so that you don’t have to lift a finger and you can visit with your guests. Creative Catering is a local caterer that can provide fully prepared meals or simply provide the food (burgers, brats, hot dogs) ready to go on the grille, along with the prepared sides, salads and desserts. Guests have also had Uproot Pie Company come with their portable pizza oven parked at the bottom of the slope and serve pizza with farmers market-fresh ingredients. I love the owner Jessica and her pizza even more!

On the West Overlook Terrace, we added a high BTU propane fire pit. The smoke from the old wood-burning fire pit blown by the wind used to drive guests off the patio. This new fire pit solves this problem and is surrounded by rocking lounge chairs that overlook the Recreation Lawn, a garden pool, the organic garden and orchard and offers ocean views peeping through the 100+ acres of wooded walking trails in the Sandy Point State Park.

In late April, our family took in the first of the warm afternoon sunsets from the BBQ lawn with a delicious dinner at the picnic tables together, after a very long day of landscaping on our third pre-season work weekend to get the grounds ready for the families joining us this year. It felt so good to feel the sun on my skin and see the beautiful (albeit dirt-streaked) faces of my family around the table together. I hope your family enjoys this space as much as mine.

We will share the details of the other winter enhancement projects in upcoming posts. We hope you love them as much as we do.

Photography by Greta Tucker

10 Reasons to Reserve a Winter Wedding at French’s Point

Winter weddings at French’s Point are unlike those in any other season. The beauty & tranquility of the season mixed the cozy interiors of our homes makes for the perfect combination for a winter wedding weekend retreat.

1. Our Three Homes

Reserve only our Retreat House with 6 suites with lodging for up to 18, or add the Farm House with 12 suites & lodging for up to 28 guests, & the Beach House with 8 suites and lodging for up to 16 guests.

Winter at French's Point

2. One Venue

The three homes can offer space for all your event gatherings all weekend. There’s no need to travel from your hotel to your ceremony then to your reception. You can plan all your weekend events in one location. From your Welcome Gathering to your Rehearsal Dinner, to your Ceremony, Reception and Farewell Brunch. You never have to leave the comfort of your weekend home.

French's Point - Winter Wedding Venue in Maine - Coastal Destination Wedding Venue - Holiday Home Rental - Weekend Timeline - Greta Tucker Photography

3. Fireplaces & Fire Pits

Cozy up fireside & reconnect with your family & friends. We have four fire pits across our grounds. There are fire places in all three homes: Four in the Retreat House, 5 in the Farm House & four in the Beach House.

French's Point Winter Wedding

4. Winter Wonderland Fun

There are endless outdoor activities for your guests to enjoy, but snowshoeing is a must! There are 100 acres of walking trails located behind the Farm House, in the Sandy Point State Park Trail System. Rent snowshoes or bring your own to enjoy the sweet smell of Maine Pine Trees as you crunch through the glistening white snow. The Farm House offers an epic sledding hill, perfect for fun for all ages. Some of our most memorable winter weekends included snowman making contests.

French's Point Wedding

5. Indoor & Outdoor Ceremony Spaces

You are welcome to get married inside our Retreat House Conservatory, with its beautiful three-sided ocean views, or adventure to our outdoor Gazebo! Just inform your guests of the space of your choosing so they can dress appropriately! Add some patio heaters, offer rolled lap blankets to keep guests comfortable, & have hot coffee, mulled cider or hot cocoa ready when they move inside after the ceremony.

French's Point Gazebo

6. Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride

As you exit your ceremony as a newlywed, hop on a horse-drawn sleigh ride to take in that special moment together and ride over the oceanfront lawn overlooking the snow-filled bay! Your guests join in during cocktail hour.

French's Point

7. Reception Space

With an open floor plan to include a double-sided bar, grand piano, Nine 12ft long farm tables, one sweetheart table, one buffet table, two large fireplaces, 100 chairs, dinnerware for 100, and a lounge, you have everything you need for your reception setup.  The space is set for 100 guests, but can be expanded with additional rentals, to accommodate up to 150 guests. Style the space as little or as much as you would like.

French's Point Winter

8. Weekend Itinerary

Review our sample Winter Wedding Weekend Itinerary for inspiration for what your Winter Wedding at French’s Point might be like & make it your own with your special touches.

French's Point

9. Conveniently Located

French’s Point is located just 40 minutes from the country’s longest heated runway. No matter the weather, your guests will be able to fly into Bangor International Airport to enjoy your weekend celebration.

French's Point Wedding

10. Affordable & Memorable

In the Winter season (the fourth weekend in October- third weekend in April), we offer the estate a much reduced rate & we do offer the individual homes independently or collectively in this season only. Contact our office for Winter Wedding Pricing.

French's Point Winter Wedding

Photography by Greta Tucker