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 off season. 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 off season 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 Curtesy of Rachael Anderson Photography
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 of a reservation at French’s Point, in preparation for your stay at French’s Point, there are a few things we want share with you before you arrive to ensure a wonderful experience:
Please confirm your arrival time between 1:00-3:00pm with our office no later than 1 week prior to your arrival. Please do not be late for your check in appointment. We suggest that you arrive an hour or two before your guests so you can get unpacked and settled before you welcome the rest of your group. We will confirm with you before you arrive, who will be here to greet you that day from the property.
A welcome area with a 2’x3’ bulletin board is provided at the entryway to both the Retreat House & Farm House to help guests find their rooms. A map of the 14-acre property & floor plans of the houses are posted near each of these boards. Signs will help direct guests to their rooms once inside the homes. We also suggest posting the weekend itinerary on the bulletin board & providing a copy in your guest’s room. You can send this to us in advance and we will happily post it for you before your arrival.
Please complete the attached digital template room assignment list for both buildings no later than 1 week prior to your arrival and we will be sure these are posted on the bulletin boards. We will write the names of each suite’s occupants on chalkboard signs which hang on hooks on the outside of the suite doors. This will help them find their rooms.
Your event planner is responsible for the details & events of the weekend. We will post their name & contact information on the bulletin board in the entryway of the Retreat House and the Farm House so that your family can contact them directly with questions.
When you arrive, you will be given a key to the main entrance at the Retreat House and a key to keep doors from locking throughout the main and lower levels of the Retreat House. Your planner will also be given a set of these keys. We suggest unlocking the Retreat House doors in the morning and securing them after all guests are inside for the night. However, should your guests exit during the period of time that the doors are locked, they will not be able to reenter the Retreat House. For this reason, you can opt to forgo locking the Retreat House. We do not have security concerns that would require you to lock the doors at night. Main entrance keys are not required for the Farm House because we do not suggest locking that building at night.
The catering kitchen located on the lower level of the Retreat House will be locked. When events are taking place, this area will be locked between the hours of midnight and 9am.
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.
When you arrive, if you have items that need to go in the cooler, you can store them in the walk-in cooler just outside the tent hallway and recreation room on the west side lower level of the Retreat House. We suggest packing items to go in the cooler in a way that allowed for them to be the first unloaded from your vehicle. 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 night time temperatures.
If you need to store event décor or other items, there is room to do so in the West stairwell hallway on the main floor. This area is not secure during the day. Store anything of value in your suite.
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 in mind when you are packing. We suggest labeling bags and boxes by their event location and event name/date.
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.
Our brand-new sail cloth tent is up and gleaming in the spring sunshine today… pennants waving in the breeze. I can see many a happy celebration 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.
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
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.
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 other family?
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
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 head count. 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 head count 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 down time. 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.
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
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.
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.
the region’s rich offering of resources and activities for guests to explore.
But above all other reasons, couples choose to host their wedding with us because they can craft the timeline they envision for their events in order to achieve the overall experience they are seeking to provide for their guests. Wedding celebrations at French’s Point have the combined feel of a relaxed long-weekend vacation, with an exciting schedule of wedding-related festivities. Woven together, these two experiences create the wedding event of a lifetime for both you and your guests. Weddings here at our venue are a meaningful, personal reflection of the couples’ that create them.
Below is a sample weekend wedding itinerary. Our French’s Point staff will work in partnership with your wedding planner to help you create a customized schedule that will reflect your vision of the perfect Maine wedding experience!
Sample Weekend Wedding Itinerary
8:00 a.m. – Start the day off with a morning yoga session for the wedding party and family lead by a local instructor at the overlook Cobblestone Terrace or on the private beach at The Farm at French’s Point . Enjoy a breakfast of freshly baked blueberry muffins, local yogurt and fresh fruit awaiting you in the parlor at The Farm.
10:00 a.m. – Choose your own Maine adventure. Head out onto the Penobscot Bay on a schooner out of Belfast Harbor; enjoy golf excursions; relax at a spa retreat; explore Fort Knox Historic Site and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory; or hike one of the many trail systems in the area.
12:00 p.m. – Lunch for the wedding party and family at Young’s Lobster Pound.
4:00 p.m. – Gather your wedding party, family and anyone else participating in the ceremony for a rehearsal at the Retreat at French’s Point to work out the jitters so everyone can relax on the big day.
5:00 p.m. – Enjoy an al fresco rehearsal lobster bake, wood fired pizza, or food truck fare with family-style seating at long tables on the Cobblestone Cocktail Terrace at the Retreat at French’s Point. Give yourself some time with those closest to you in your wedding party and family, or go big and include your entire guest list in this event. You can customize this event to have photo slideshows, a personal music playlist, a fun bluegrass band, a signature cocktail, and a fire pit with a s’mores station of course!
7:00 p.m. – Open the doors of the Retreat at French’s Point to all of your guests as they roll into town from near and far with a cocktail and dessert welcome reception.
*10:00 p.m. – Guests depart to their local area lodging to rest up for the big day. Vendors begin preparing for your wedding day festivities.
8:00 a.m. – Rise and shine. Take a walk through the trails and along the shore in Sandy Point State Park. Enjoy a cup of coffee, freshly baked quiche, and fruit with your family at The Farm at French’s Point before you freshen up for the day.
9:00 a.m. – The Retreat at French’s Point opens to wedding day vendors as the caterers, florist and others help prepare your event spaces per your specifications!
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 our private second-level Bridal Boudoir and Relaxation Room in the Estate house.
12:00 p.m. – Wedding party lunch delivered to the Relaxation Room with popovers, chicken salad, and mimosas of course! The groom’s party and family can enjoy a casual BBQ lunch after enjoying some healthy competition on the recreation lawn at The Farm at French’s Point.
2:00 p.m. – The groom’s party begins preparing and dressing for the festivities. Don’t forget those wedding rings! Bridal party gets dressed and has pre-ceremony photos taken on the Relaxation Room Deck. Check out that view!
2:30 p.m. – The groom’s party arrives for pre-ceremony photos at French’s Point Estate.
3:30 p.m. – Bar begins offering thirst-quenching lemonade, infused water or iced tea while your guests begin to gather and mingle on the Cobblestone Cocktail Terrace. The music begins to set the mood.
3:45 p.m. – The ceremony bell rings out over the bay and calls your guests to the ceremony venue of your choosing: the Gazebo, the Oceanfront Lawn or Lower Level Terrace. Rainy day? Your good luck doubles as your ceremony will be moved inside our stunning Conservatory or Sailcloth Tent, both with beautiful water views.
4:00 p.m. – The moment you’ve been waiting for is here! Your ceremony will commence with that storied stroll toward your beloved.
4:30 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 bay from our signature Grand Daddy Adirondack chairs, or play a rousing game of cornhole on the oceanfront lawn.
5:20 p.m. – Before the dinner reception begins, gather your guests and snap some group photos on the terrace. This is a beautiful record of the guests who were able to join you for your big day. We’ve seen everything from jumping bridesmaids to college friends showing off their alma mater pride.
5:30 p.m. – Guests are ushered inside the beautiful Retreat house ballrooms or the Sailcloth Tent for the reception with tables set with all the details you imagined and work so hard to design.
5:45 p.m. – Before dinner, introductions of the family and wedding party followed by speeches. Cheers to the happy couple!
6:15 p.m. – Dinner is served. Enjoyed unique fare chosen by you, provided by your wedding catering partner of choice.
7:00 p.m. – Official cake cutting. Enjoy your first dance as a married couple. It’s time to boogie!
7:30 p.m. – Cake and coffee are served.
8:00 p.m. – Head outside to catch the beautiful sunset with your new spouse and photographer. We offer a variety of locations to capture this splendid light.
9:00 p.m. – Fuel the fun with delicious late-night treats like mini lobster rolls, sausage subs, pizza, or even a milkshake and cookie bar.
9:45 p.m. – One last call from the bar.
9:55 p.m. – Enjoy one last dance with your sweetie for the perfect ending to a magical day!
*10:00 p.m. – Guests move inside the Retreat house to say goodbye until tomorrow. Vendors begin preparing for the next day’s celebrations.
11:00 p.m.- Retreat to the Wedding Suite with your new spouse to reflect and celebrate this magical moment.
10:00 a.m. – Your guests can stop by the Retreat at French’s Point 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. – Check out time at The Farm at French’s Point and the Wedding Suite at the Retreat at French’s Point. Pack up your gifts and hit the road. It’s time for your next adventure!
* Due to the Coast Guard sound ordinance and zoning restrictions, outdoor activity and amplified music must cease at 10:00 p.m. Additional access time can be purchased to extend your event inside the Retreat at French’s Point without amplified music until midnight. Contact our office for details about event extensions.
You might not know this, but before French’s Point owner, Jessika Brooks Brewer, took on the stewardship of this incredible waterfront wedding venue, she was a wedding planner. Her long years of experience means she’s pretty much seen it all. In this post, she’s going to highlight the pros and cons of using seating charts, escort cards or open seating to help your guests find their seats at your French’s Point wedding reception. She’ll also offer tips for using each one, so you can make an informed decision that not only works with the flow of your wedding, but reflects your creativity and decor.
Escort cards are the most common reception seating choice.
Typically, escort cards are arranged on a table or board alphabetically by last name to guide guests or “escort” them to their assigned table. Once at the table, the specific seats can be unassigned, or there can be a preset place card designating the guest’s specific seat at the table.
Pros: Escort cards allow you to get super creative (think tiny jars of strawberry jam for a summer wedding, or fresh peaches or figs for a fall fete) with the guests’ names and table numbers of them. They can double duty as wedding favors, too! Escort cards also take very little time for your guests to locate, which moves the seating process along swiftly; a good option if you have a large guest list.
Cons: Escort cards can be time consuming to make, especially if you are into DIY wedding projects! In our experience, they’re also often left behind by guests after a wedding, which can feel like a waste of your time, energy, and money. (Unless of course you make the escort card edible, like a Clementine orange, or chocolate bar or drinkable, like a mini-champagne bottle!)
Tips: Arrange the escort cards alphabetically (by last name then first name) in advance of your arrival well in advance of your wedding day. Compare this layout to your seating chart one last time to be sure they match up and that no one has been left off the list!
Seating charts are the most formal of seating designation options.
A seating chart is a large board that lists all of the tables and which guest is setting at which table. We’ve seen creative seating charts on elegant mirrors, antique windows, and even a map of Maine! Our friend El, from El’s Cards makes gorgeous custom watercolor seating charts.
Pros: Unlike escort cards, a seating chart is only one sign (or two if you have a large number of guests) that you or your wedding planner need to design and execute. This can provide a more cost-effective alternative to escort cards. It also allows you maximum control over social orchestration of the day to ensure guests mingle, meet new people and enjoy the company of the people at their table.
Cons: Once you’ve designed and printed the chart, changes may result in either completely redoing the chart. If a guest cannot attend after sending in their RSVP and after you’ve created your masterpiece seating chart, you either have to re-do the sign or leave open seats. Also, long lines of guests can form at seating charts, while each person is looking for their table, which can slow the seating process down.
Tips: If you go this route, consider providing more than one chart to speed up the seating process and eliminate long lines. Also, arrange names on the chart by last name then first alphabetically, rather than by table number. If you go this route with your seating, be sure to have a full name for each of your guests.
Open seating plans are the most casual way to offer seating to your guests.
Open seating at your wedding is just like it sounds: you provide tables and your guests can choose any seat they like.
Pros: This seating style tends to set the most relaxed tone because guests who know each other will naturally sit together. It also requires less planning on your part!
Cons: This seating style often results in some tables with no guests seated at them and some tables with more than the ideal number of guests seated at it, as guests define where they wish to sit and sometimes pull up extra chairs from other tables. With this seating style, you have to limit your meal style options to buffet/stations, or family style dishes for guests to choose from at the table. A seated meal of this style can be costly due to additional waste and cost because the caterer has to prepare more food than needed.
Tips: If you choose this seating style for your event, opt for buffet or stations meal format. It furthers the causal vibe and reduces cost at the same time.
In the end, the choice is really yours for your special day! Which seating option do you think you’ll choose? Leave your response in the comment below. Have more questions about your French’s Point wedding, give us a call (207) 567-3650 or shoot us an email!
It’s almost June in Maine, and we are gearing up for our wedding season, starting this weekend, at French’s Point. We wanted to share this stunning summer wedding, celebrating Meagan and Jamesons’ nuptials! Our team loved working with these amazing people. There were so many special touches that made this day so special. Meagan and James had the most beautiful weather as witnessed in these gorgeous photos by our friends at Mat and Ash Photography
Thank you to all of the wonderful vendors who made Meagan and Jameson’s day beautiful:
A while back we shared the wedding video of Tess and James. Today we are excited to be sharing the beautiful images from Cuppa Photography. As you may recall, this gorgeous couple met abroad, and fell madly in love. Their wedding was full of heartfelt moments (like when she sang to him, and his toast to her) as well as a lot of fun! Check out more pictures from this wedding on our website: http://www.fpmaine.com/photos.html
Thank you to all of the wonderful vendors who made Julie and Bryan’s day beautiful: