Fall Weekend Wedding Itinerary

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:

Thursday

  • 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.

Friday

  • 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 House where you can take in the foliage views of the bay.
  • 8:00 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast of freshly baked apple spice muffins and hearty oatmeal awaiting you in the parlor at The Farm House.
  • 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 cuisine, prepared by your chosen catering partner in the Retreat House 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 House Lounge.
  • 10:00 p.m. Get some rest! Tomorrow is going to be a big day.

Saturday

  • 7:00 a.m. Rise and shine, it’s your wedding day! Take a walk through the trails in the Sandy Point State Park and enjoy the beautiful foliage and smell of saltwater and pine.
  • 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 in the Top Level Apartment Parlor of the Retreat House. Sit back and enjoy the hours leading up to your ceremony surrounded by the ones you love.
  • 12:00 p.m. Wedding party lunch delivered with curried pumpkin soup and apple salads. 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.
  • 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, Lower Level Terrace or East Overlook Terrace. Offer locally made wraps to keep them cozy while you say your vows.
  • 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.
  • 12:00 a.m. Bid your guests farewell and 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.

Sunday

  • 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.
  • 12:00 p.m. Sit in the Grand Daddy Adirondack chairs on the Bluff Path one last time to soak it all in.
  • 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 Chris Bennett Photography

Real Review: Recommend without Reservation

My husband and I got married here in July, and could not be more thankful we chose French’s Point. From the very beginning to end, the owners and staff were exceptionally professional, organized, and available for suggestions, questions, and concerns. Most importantly, they are genuinely kind-hearted people who don’t just run a business — they clearly find joy in serving their clients.

The venue itself is exactly as pictured — views are breathtaking, the property is beautifully maintained (by the entire family and is overall just… so peaceful.)

We rented both the Farm House & Retreat for the weekend and all our guests couldn’t stop raving about the accommodations, quality of service, and venue as a whole. We recommend it without reservation!

Supplies for Your Stay

To maximize the enjoyment of your stay, we suggest you and your guests bring the following provisions:

 

Attire:

We suggest:  

  • Dress in Layers (Maine weather tends to change over the course of the day)
  • Wedge Heels or Flats
  • Sneakers
  • Rain Coat/Umbrella & Boots
  • Wind Breaker
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses

Suites:

Bedrooms:

We Provide:

  • Bed Linens, Pillows & Duvets
  • Air Conditioning
  • TVs & Roku Sticks with Hulu Live
  • Chalkboard Signs with Guest Names on Suite Doors
  • 5 Hangers

We Suggest:

  • Welcome Letters
  • Welcome Baskets

Note: We are not responsible if your guests do not log out of their personal accounts on our Roku sticks. Any charges that are made on the Roku will be charged to the client.

 

Toiletries:

We Provide:

  • 1 Hair Dryer in Each Suite
  • Shampoo/Bodywash
  • Conditioner
  • Handsoap
  • Bath Towels, Hand Towels, Wash Cloths & Makeup Wash Cloths

We Suggest:

  • Sun Screen
  • Bug Spray
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Bathroom Baskets or Welcome Bags

 

Laundry/Cleaning:

We Provide:

  • Detergent
  • Dryer Balls
  • Bleach Cubes
  • Stain Remover
  • Iron/Board
  • General Cleaning Supplies: Cleaner, Vacuum, Mop, Broom
  • Trash Bags

We Suggest:

  • Steamers
  • Sewing Kit

 

Food/Pantry:

We Provide:

  • Dishware & Silverware
  • Pots & Pans
  • Standard Small Appliances
  • Coffee Maker, Keurig & Tea Kettle
  • Dish Soap
  • Detergent Cubes
  • Drying Towels

We Suggest:

  • Disposable Dishware & Cutlery
  • Food, Snacks & Beverages
  • Food Supplies
  • Coffee, Tea & K-Cups
  • Paper Towels

Note: The kitchens have residential-size refrigerators, so we suggest that guests store beverages on ice in coolers on the decks/porches. A list of local grocery stores & farmer’s markets can be found in our Area Resource Guide.  

If you would like to have prepared food delivered during your stay, contact your caterer or reach out to Eileen at Creative Catering at 207-567-3563. This service requires advance reservation. 

 

Grill/BBQ Lawn:

We Provide:

  • Grill & 1 Propane Tank
  • Charcoal Grill
  • Lobster Boiler
  • Grill Utensils
  • 6 Picnic Tables

We Suggest:

  • Charcoal (we do not provide any charcoal)
  • Disposable Tin Pans/Platters

 

Coffee Stations:

We Provide:

  • Coffee Maker
  • Keurig
  • Tea Kettle
  • Mini Fridge
  • Note: There is one of each of the above in each Coffee Station in the Retreat House & in one each Residential Kitchen

We Suggest:

  • Disposable Coffee Cups (with covers)
  • Stir Sticks
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Creamer
  • Sweetener

 

Entryway/Welcome Center:

We Provide:

  • Floor Plans
  • Map of the Property
  • Area Resource Guide
  • Bulletin Board
  • Guest Room Assignments

We Suggest:

  • Weekend Timeline Printout
  • Weekend Contact List Printout

 

Grounds & Leisure Activities:

We Provide:

  • 3 Bikes
  • 3 Helmets
  • 5 Fire Pits
  • Corn Hole
  • Giant Jenga
  • Croquet
  • Bocce Ball
  • Badminton
  • Volley Ball
  • Spike Ball
  • Horseshoes
  • Access to 100 Acres of Walking Trails

We Suggest:

  • Kayaks, Life Jacket, Paddle Board, Golf Clubs, Bike, Helmet
  • S’mores Supplies & Sticks
  • Camera, Journal, Book or Magazine
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Beach Towel
  • Cooler for Beverages
  • Umbrella
  • Flash Light/Lanterns/Head Lamp
  • Bug spray & Sunscreen

Check In For Your Stay

If you are hosting a stay at French’s Point, we want you and your family to have a smooth arrival without surprises, know what to expect while you are here, and enjoy the property to the fullest extent. As the host of a reservation at French’s Point, in preparation for your stay at French’s Point, there are a few things we want to share with you before you arrive to ensure a wonderful experience:

  1. Please confirm your check-in time with our office no later than 1 week prior to your arrival. We request that you as the hosts & your designated House Captains arrive an hour or more before your guests. We will confirm which member of our team will be here to greet you that day.
  2. A welcome area with a 2’x3’ bulletin board is provided at the entryway to both the Retreat House, Farm House & Beach House to help guests find their rooms. A map of the 14-acre property & floor plans of the houses are posted on each of these boards. Signs will help direct guests to their rooms once inside the home. We suggest posting the weekend itinerary on the bulletin board & providing a copy in your guest’s room as well.
  3. Please submit the room assignment list to our office no later than 2 weeks prior to your arrival. We will write the names of each suite’s occupants on the chalkboard signs which hang on the hooks on the outside of the suite doors prior to check-in. This will help guests find their rooms with ease.
  4. When you arrive, the main level of the Retreat House, Beach House & Farm House will be unlocked. We do not have security concerns that would require you to lock the main doors at night.
  5. The Catering Kitchen will be locked between the hours of 4pm-9am. However, when events are taking place, this area will be locked between the hours of midnight and 9am. If you wish to get ice or use the commercial coffee maker, please do so between the hours of 9am-4pm.
  6. Keys to each guest room will be in the keyhole upon check-in. If an additional set of keys is needed for guest rooms, please contact our office during business hours.
  7. If you are providing welcome bags, boxes or baskets, you can deliver these to the suites upon arrival, prior to their check-in.
  8. When you arrive, if you have event items that need to go in the cooler, you can stock them in the walk-in cooler just outside the tent hallway and recreation room on the west side lower level of the Retreat House. This cooler is accessible between the hours of 9am-4pm, or when you have events of more than 50 guests taking place. This cooler is locked at night. Please be sure to get provisions stored in this cooler when it is accessible. Please note that late September – mid-May, we do not recommend storing flowers in this cooler because of cool nighttime temperatures.
  9. 9. If you need to store event décor or other items, there is room to do so in the closet near the front portico entrance. This area is not locked during the day. Store anything of value in your suite.
  10. If you have items to deliver to the tent, do so at check-in so you do not have to move these items twice. Keep this is mind when you are packing. We suggest labeling bags and boxes by their event location and event name/date.
  11. If you would like to have items shipped to French’s Point for your stay, please ensure that they are received by our office no sooner than the Monday prior to your arrival date due to our limited storage. Please send tracking information to our office and advise us if you are expecting a package or mailing during your stay and by what means it is being sent. You can mail items to French’s Point 246 Hersey Retreat Road Stockton Springs, ME 04981 ATTN: Your Name. Please note that USPS, UPS and Fed-Ex deliveries typically arrive between 2pm-5pm Monday-Saturday. Items delivered after our office closes will be delivered to you the next day.

We look forward to hosting your family and friends during this special time. Thank you for choosing French’s Point.

The Retreat House Suite 4: The Brewer Family Suite

The second level of the Retreat House now offers four newly renovated suites with en suite bathrooms and six total bedrooms on this floor. Suite 4- The Brewer Family Suite, offers a two-bedroom configuration with a queen in each room with an adjoining bath. Our family LOVES this space and we hope other families do too. When I had my first and second babies, we lived in these suites for a time. I love thinking back to those times rocking my sweet little ones with the moon shining in the window.

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

Photography by Greta Tucker

The Retreat House Top-Level Apartment: The Brooks Family Nest

As we do almost every winter, the season was spent completing a number of major maintenance and repair projects to keep our beautiful buildings and grounds in top working order. We also completed a major renovation to the bedroom suites on the second and third floors of the Retreat House.

The Top Level Apartment

We updated and refurbished the Top-Level Apartment in the Retreat House to offer it as a cozy nest to guests, with an impressive view of the bay. My parents, Bob and Bonnie made this apartment home for eight years. They hosted many a family dinner, had slumber parties with their grandchildren in the large closets under the eaves of the roofline that they dubbed the “Hobbit Holes” and rested their weary heads after long days of love poured into the property. They loved the gentle breezes, the sound of the rain on the roof and the incredible sunrises and sunsets. My mother lovingly refers to this space as “The Nest”. I think this name is quite appropriate. This winter, they moved just down the road to the Beach Rose Cottage located next to the Farm House with my sweet Grandmama, making way for guests to enjoy this charming apartment.

The privacy that this space offers will give our bridal parties a place to gather, relax and prepare on the wedding day with an open concept kitchen, dining and living space and a waterfront fireplace parlor with a beautiful deck with broad ocean views which is perfect to enjoy a wedding day brunch and watch as the setting below comes to life for your wedding. Just inside from the balcony, the parlor has beautiful natural light and is the perfect place for your hair and make-up artists to set up shop on your wedding day. In the parlor is a tiny sink which was my grandfather, Edgar’s. He loved antiques and saw the beauty in the forgotten. It is a sweet little detail in this space. There are two large, elegant king bedroom suites on this floor as well with sitting areas, beautiful bathrooms and private balconies looking to the east and west. You are going to love the cozy setting, gorgeous views and soothing privacy that the top floor offers you and your nearest and dearest!

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