Featured Textile Partner: Molly Hutchins of On Board Fabrics

There is nothing more important to me than family. But right after family, comes the priority of partnering with and supporting small, family-owned businesses in Maine that help us ensure our guests enjoy the best of what the state has to offer. When we renovated the Retreat House this past winter, we teamed up with some of my favorite Maine makers. I wanted to share these special people with you because without them, the Retreat House project would not have been successful.

Did you know that both homes at French’s Point offer custom bed linens & textiles, proudly made in Maine?

In 2014, when we updated bedroom suites located inside the Farm House, we partnered with our friend Molly Hutchins of On Board Fabrics to make the perfect duvet covers, pillow shams and decorative pillow shams for our beds. There are 14 beds in the Farm House, so this was a fairly sizable undertaking, even in the offseason. I got to know Molly thought that process and I can tell you with complete honesty, she is a pro. She can troubleshoot, problem solve and calculate so fast, that my poor little layman’s mind simply can’t keep up. We loved the bedding so much that when it came time to update the rooms in the Retreat House, I went straight to Molly (in the offseason of course).

Molly made two sets of pillow shams for the eight guest rooms. She made decorative pillows too. Molly made the beautiful velvet curtains in the top floor apartment, and suites 1, 2, and 3. We are talking hundreds of yards of velvet here, which I learned can be hard to work with. Molly also covered all the cushions for the built-in benches and church pews on the main and lower levels of the Retreat House. She also made gray cushions for the new lounge furniture my father made on the upper level of the Retreat House terrace and the East Overlook Terrace at the Farm House. Now guests can find a comfortable seat to take in the views inside AND outside! With her help, we chose very neutral and soothing fabrics that tied beautifully with the architectural elements of the homes. And they are gorgeous, and the craftsmanship is unparalleled.

Molly, her husband Glan, and their employee Melissa all tackled this big project with dedication and zeal that I am quite confident can only be found here on the coast of Maine. You can visit On Board Fabrics website, or follow Molly on Facebook. She’s a hoot! On Board Fabrics barn is located on Route 27 leading to Boothbay, at 660 Boothbay Rd. Edgecomb, Maine. Tell Molly that Jesse sent you!

Photography Courtesy of Rachael Anderson Photography

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.

Sail Cloth Tent

Our brand-new sail cloth tent is up and gleaming in the spring sunshine today… pennants waving in the breeze. I can see many happy celebrations enjoyed in the shade of this beauty. Thank you to our friends at Wallace Events for ensuring that our tent is always clean and secure and our guests are comfortable.

Including Pets In Your Maine Wedding

You invite all of your nearest and dearest to celebrate your wedding festivities, have you considered including your four-legged pet friends as well?

We are pet-friendly at French’s Point and would love for you to bring them along to be a part of your Maine wedding! Dogs are always a welcomed addition to the big day, and many times they play an important role in the wedding party: carrying a sign or acting as an usher or ring bearer.

Things to Think About When Including Your Pets

  1. First of all, make sure your venue allows pets – French’s Point allows well-behaved pets that are current on their immunizations, are crated when left alone in our lodgings and have a handler.
  2. Then consider how you want your pet to participate in your ceremony. Do you want him to have a central role? As in walking down the aisle as a flower-bearer? Or do you want her in the audience with another family?
  3. Once you’ve figured out what role you want your pet to play, you need to find someone to be in charge of him. This person will walk him where he needs to go, hold onto his leash during the ceremony, and, most importantly, take him elsewhere to discretely do his business if nature calls. Keep in mind that a guest who acts as your pet-wrangler won’t be able to really relax and enjoy your wedding, so consider hiring a pet sitter.

When deciding whether to include a pet, you and your partner should be honest about the risks. Dogs bark, cats can cower or hiss, pigs snort, and as I’ve already mentioned, any pet could make a mess at the worst, possible time.

Still, with a little planning and some practice, a well-behaved pet can make a memorable and adorable addition to the ceremony. And for plenty of pet-lovers, it’s not a question of whether or not to include your best friend in your wedding, it’s simply a matter of how best to make it happen!

“For plenty of pet-lovers, it’s not a question of whether or not to include your best friend in your wedding, it’s simply a matter of how best to make it happen!” – French’s Point

Check out some of our past canine guests below.

Featured photo by Cuppa Photography.

Tips for a Successful Wedding Weekend

Weddings are among the few events in our lives when nearly everyone we know and love is gathered in one place. That’s why so many couples are extending their weddings beyond the ceremony and reception to include a full weekend of fun and events. Welcome receptions, farewell brunches and group outings give everyone more time to reconnect and savor the celebration.

Planning a multi-day event comes with some additional considerations:

Head count. When brides and grooms invest time and effort into planning a long weekend of wedding events, attendance rates tend to rise. Guests seize the opportunity to both celebrate with the happy couple and enjoy a mini-vacation or family reunion. At French’s Point, guests often fill the time leading up to and following the main event with jaunts to Bar Harbor, gallery tours in Belfast and other excursions. Only about 10% of invited guests decline to attend single-day events at our estate (lower than the national average), and even fewer RSVP with regrets for multi-day weddings.

Budget. Hosting an event over several days does add to expenses, but the largest budget driver is the headcount. Plan well ahead to nail down the final guest list with enough time to make adjustments. If more people decline than you anticipated, use the savings to plan a bonus event, like a welcome cocktail reception, or add a new element to a meal, such as hors d’oeuvres.

Lead time. Give guests as much advance notice as possible if you’re asking them to travel more than an hour, especially on holiday weekends when competing vacation plans are likely. Send out save-the-dates when you have a general idea of the weekend’s itinerary, and ideally also a wedding website with travel, accommodation and activity information. A good rule of thumb is to send out invites 120 days ahead of the wedding and give guests 6 weeks to respond, giving you a final headcount a comfortable 30 to 60 days prior to the event. Keep in mind that “fringe guests” — the ones couples feel obligated to invite but don’t expect to show up — might be more likely to attend after perusing an appealing itinerary for weeks in advance.

Itineraries. We recommend leaving 40% to 50% of each day open to give guests a mix of scheduled events and free time. While your wedding party may have additional obligations, your guests will appreciate unstructured pockets of time to browse art galleries, charter a schooner, go for a hike, or indulge other interests. Guests making the special effort to attend with children, especially, will be grateful to sneak in naps and downtime. Post suggested activities to your wedding website or pop a list in guests’ welcome bags.

Juggling act. Planning a full weekend of events can prove challenging for even the most organized brides. Consider delegating some peripheral events or activities to a planner or family member. After all, your guests have traveled a long way to see you. Devote your time to loves ones, not checklists.

6 Best Lawn Games for Weddings

There is no better way to spend a sunny afternoon on the coast of Maine than being outside enjoying the fresh air and ocean views with a cold beverage, good company, and healthy competition playing lawn games. It’s also a fun addition to your wedding day! The expansive waterfront lawn at French’s Point offers ample space to set up games for friends and family during cocktail hour and into the evening. Everyone loves a little friendly competition!

Our 6 Favorite Lawn Games for Weddings

1. Croquet

Croquet is a great way to meet new people. Pair up friends of the wedding couple to get people mingling with each other. This will pay off during the reception when people feel comfortable letting loose and having fun.

2. Bocce Ball

Bocce is a game that will bring together your family across generations. Older family will have great stories of playing the game before it was a popular game for the whole family.

3. Ladder Toss

Ladder Toss is a lawn game played by throwing bolas (two balls connected by a string) onto a ladder. The game was formally known as “Horsey Golf” when it was first created, don’t ask us why.

4. Horseshoes

All you need are four horseshoes and two stakes for hours of fun! This game is fun for all ages because it’s so simple. Divide guests into two teams to see who can throw the best ringers!

5. Corn Hole

Corn hole is a game that everyone can play. Even the kids will be able to play this game with simple instructions and easy to track scoring.

6. Lawn Jenga

Have a crafty friend who wants to help out with the wedding? Have them make a giant Jenga set. The anticipation of waiting for the tower to fall makes for a lively lawn game.

Lawn Games at The Farm at French’s Point

If you reserve The Farm at French’s Point, guests staying there will enjoy access to the large recreation lawn during their stay. The Farm at French’s Point rental includes the following games:

  • Horse Shoes
  • Croquet
  • Bocce Ball
  • Bad Minton
  • Volley Ball

There is plenty of space around the recreation lawn at The Farm, so bring your favorite lawn games from home for everyone’s enjoyment all weekend long!

Featured photo by Maine Photo Company.