Maine Made Gifts: Dean’s Sweets

We are so blessed to live in Maine, and not just because of the warm, sunny summers and the picturesque white winters, but because Maine is home to a large number of talented crafts people and artisans like weavers, potters, soap makers, chocolatiers, woodworkers, and jewelers. In every shop in every town, you’ll see incredibly-crafted, unique Maine-made products.

Since many of our couples wish to surprise their wedding guests with welcome bags and/or favors of authentic Maine made products, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Maine made gifts in this blog series. Of course, many of these handcrafted items would make wonderful bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts as well as gifts for parents of the wedding couple. For guests looking for a unique and meaningful gift for the lovebirds, you will find gift inspiration in this series, too.

How did the business start and who are the owners?

Dean’s Sweets started as a fun and less-than-serious endeavor in 2004 when Dean Bingham made a batch of rum truffles to give away as gifts to friends and family. Kristin, who had just recently graduated with an MBA, joined the picture at the same time. Things didn’t get too serious too quickly, but eventually Dean and Kristin designed the product, the packaging, and the website. And got married. Thus, Dean’sSweets was born.

After chocolatiering in their home in Portland, Dean’sSweets moved to its first commercial kitchen and store front in 2008. Though a little more serious now, Dean still makes all the truffles, caramels, and other chocolates, and Kristin still co-conspires on the business side.

Describe the products you sell (including how they’re made, if applicable).

Dean’s Sweets is known for its Maine-made, hand-dipped chocolate truffles, caramels, and buttercreams. We use only natural products, no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and never any nuts. We use local ingredients whenever possible, for example, we use Coffee by Design in our coffee truffles and espresso buttercreams. We use Kate’s Butter in our caramels. Our maple truffles are made with Maine organic maple syrup. Our Needhams have a touch of Cold River (Maine potato) vodka. The chocolate stout, uses local brew Allagash Black.

In addition to being nut-free, most truffles are gluten free, and several are dairy free (which also makes them vegan).

Who typically enjoys your products?

People of all ages and all backgrounds enjoy our chocolates. Whether someone is coming in to our store to purchase one or two truffles to eat on the spot, or sending an assortment to a friend across the country, the chocolates are fresh and luxurious. Our highest compliment is when visitors come to our store and remark on the high quality of our chocolate. They say our chocolate compares with the best they’ve had in Paris or Belgium. We strive to make every bite a truly rich and memorable experiences.

Our truffles also make great favors or sweet-table treats at weddings and other celebrations. And we’ve heard that the chocolates are never left behind at the end of the evening, so brides and grooms are advised to keep a few tucked away for themselves. Dean and Kristin had their chocolate at their own wedding, now ten years ago.

What’s the best way to purchase them?

Dean’s Sweets can be purchased online at www.deanssweets.com or at our store at 475 Fore Street, in Portland.

What’s your favorite thing about Maine?

My favorite thing about Maine is how authentically friendly everyone is. People greet one another, make time for one another, and are kind to each other. There’s nothing better anywhere.

Owner(s) Name: Dean & Kristin Bingham

Business Name: Dean’sSweets

Address: 475 Fore Street

City/State/Zip: Portland, ME 04101

Phone: 207 899-3664

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.deanssweets.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeansSweets-7548246108/

Pinterest:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deanssweets/

 

Black Ties and Tales

Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan

Real Maine Wedding at French’s Point

Ashleigh and Josh had a beautiful, summer black-tie wedding filled with love and lots of wagging tails here at French’s Point! The cuteness of their tiny attendants was only matched by their sweet pooches who sauntered down the aisle in celebration of their marriage. Ashleigh and Josh included all the things that meant the most to them on their big day, as a result, their wedding was truly their own.

Thank you to the wonderful team of vendors which brought this vision to life. We wish this wonderful couple a life filled with love and big, wet kisses and fuzzy snuggles.

Bar Services: The Bar Association
Catering: Blue Elephant Catering and Events
Ceremony Venue: French’s Point Waterfront Gazebo
Dessert: Sweets by Sue
Ceremony, Dinner + Dancing Entertainment: Double Platinum Celebrations
DJ: Double Platinum Celebrations
Event Planner: Blue Elephant Catering and Events
Floral Design: Flowers by Hoboken
Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Green with Envy
Lighting: Event Lighting Concepts
Officiant: Ericka (the groom’s sister)
Photography: Bethany & Dan Photography
Reception Venue: French’s Point
Rentals: Wallace Events + French’s Point
Transportation: NorthEast Charter & Tour Co.

Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan Elegant black tie seaside Maine wedding | Photo by Bethany and Dan

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Sunny Summer French’s Point Wedding

Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography

Caitlyn and Mike’s sunny, summer French’s Point wedding was the celebration of marriage of two of the kindest souls. They met in law school and took time to carefully plan their wedding and craft the custom wedding experience they were seeking. Their family and friends enjoyed the beautiful, sunny, Maine summer day. Their ceremony at the gazebo was simply beautiful. The sweetest flower girl, cutest little gang of ring bearers, and one adorable pooch preceded the bride! It was one of our favorite moments of the day. During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed the culinary delights of 111 Maine, sipped cocktails, rocked on the terrace enjoying the views, and played games of corn hole. The reception was hosted in the nautical sailcloth tent where they ate, danced, and laughed the night away under a clear, star-filled sky. This joyful celebration was expertly orchestrated by Refinery Events. We loved working with the wonderful vendor team Caitlyn and Mike assembled which brought their vision into reality.

Bar Service and Catering: 111 Maine
DJ: Sirois Sound Production
Day of Coordinator: Refinery Events
Floral Design: Flora Fauna
Hair and Makeup: Glow Salon
Photo Booth: Sirois Sound Production
Photography: Nadra Photography – Leigh Doran
Reception Venue: French’s Point
Rentals: Wallace Events + French’s Point
Transportation: NorthEast Charter & Tour Co.
Videography: Drew Buerhaus Film

Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography

Romantic Maine Wedding of Mallory and Matthew

Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography

Mallory and Mathew had the most beautiful summer day to celebrate their 7-year romance here at French’s Point. This warm summer day coupled with all the energy they poured into making sure the details of the event were just right, resulted in a memorable, meaningful, wonderful experience for the couple, their family, and their friends.

One of the moments that resonated with me, as a romantic at heart, was their reading of love letters with a door between them. They could not see each other, but they heard the love-filled words and felt each other’s presence. This enabled them to honor one of my most favorite traditions: the first time they laid eyes on each other that day. Mallory appeared at the top of the promenade to enter the ceremony and meet Mathew who awaited her to start their next adventure together.  It was an honor for our family to host this celebration.  A life filled with joy, love and commitment lies ahead.

Photography: Esra Y Photography
Venue: French’s Point
Catering: Big Cat’s Catering
Bar: Maine Mixologist
DJ: Bouchard Sound Services

Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography
Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography Coastal Maine Wedding | Esra Y Photography

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All Kinds of Purple Wedding of Courtney and Ben

For Ben and Courtney’s French’s Point wedding wedding, I had the pleasure of connecting with an experienced party planner: the mother of the bride!  She had spent some time planning, organizing, sourcing and executing other celebrations, so I knew it would be great to work with her on Ben and Courtney’s wedding!  We communicated many times during their wedding planning which made the process of handing things over to day-of wedding coordinator, Wendy Caron from Dragonfly Services, a breeze.

Pops of purple, handmade ceremony program fans, handmade ceremony doors (by Courtney’s Dad!), an embroidered love note on Ben’s tie from his bride, pretty personalized dress hangers for all the ladies, new shades for the guys, cute “getting ready” shirts for the bridesmaids and flower girls…they thought of everything!

From the family made signs to all the creative props, we really enjoyed seeing the wonderful pieces come together for an epic party.  Mike from High Tech Entertainment kept the party going while 111 Maine kept the food coming.  We are so glad we had Wendy Caron to keep everything organized!

All of us here at French’s Point were so excited to see the photos from Ashley & Sierra Photography. We can’t wait to see what Zach from Nova Design Group produces for their wedding film!

Bar Services: Downeast Bartending
Catering: 111 Maine
Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Opus Trio
Ceremony Venue: French’s Point Waterfront Gazebo
Design and Styling: N/A
DJ Dinner + Dancing Entertainment: HighTech Entertainment
Favors: Chocolates
Fireworks: N/A
Floral Design: Chapel Hill Floral
Hair: Kim Doll
Linens: Wallace Events
Makeup: Riley Hutchinson
Officiant: Matt Hubbell – cousin of the bride
Photo Booth: N/A
Photography: Ashley & Sierra Photography
Reception Venue: French’s Point
Rentals: French’s Point + Wallace Events
Transportation: N/A
Videography: Nova Design Group
Wedding Coordinator: Dragonfly Services

Fourth of July Pinwheel Wedding Celebration

Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography

If you’re looking for some fun and festive Fourth of July wedding inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Real French’s Point couple, April and Michael, got married over Fourth of July weekend and incorporated the patriotic, red, white and blue theme into all aspects of their wedding. From her star necklace to the chevron stripes on the tables, they truly embraced the holiday spirit! But the most charming accent were the pinwheels. The groomsmen wore pinwheel boutonniere and the bridesmaids carried pinwheel clusters rather than flowers. What a clever twist on the Independence Day tradition. We know you’ll find this real Maine wedding inspiring and fun!

Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography Coastal Fourth of July wedding inspiration from real French's Point Maine couple | Christy Murray Photography

 

10 Wedding Tips for a Fabulous Maine Wedding

Tips for a fabulous outdoor Maine wedding at French's Point, a coastal event venue in Midcoast Maine | Haven Photography

#1 Discuss Your Vision

Sit down with your sweetie before you begin planning and discuss your vision of the wedding weekend and prioritize the elements for your wedding together before you do ANYTHING else.

#2 Add a Line to Your RSVP Card

Include a line on your RSVP cards for guests to write in their chosen lodging location. This will provide valuable information when it comes time to set up shuttles and for delivery of welcome bags.

#3 48 Hours of Mindful Nutrition and Wellness

To be and feel your best on your wedding day, we cannot stress enough the importance of preparing in the 48 hours prior to the big day. Get a massage 48 hours prior to the wedding. This will allow time for the redness caused by increased circulation to dissipate, and the toxins to flush from your body. Get lots of sleep in the days leading into to your wedding weekend. Stay on your normal exercise schedule. It will help give you the energy you need to be on top of your game. Be mindful to drink lots of water and limit alcohol before the big day. Eat good quality forms of protein that will give you the balanced energy to sustain you throughout the day and night. Take the time to meditate or just spend a few moments alone soaking in the beauty and emotion of this experience. You will be so glad you did.

#4 Hire a Wedding Planner

Hire a wedding planner to assemble your wedding vendor team and manage all the details of your celebration to bring your vision of this event to life. They will help you create a weekend of meaningful experiences for your guests and allow you to be present to enjoy the event. I cannot stress the value and importance of this enough.

#5 Ask Yourself These Questions

Think about the kind of experience you want to create for your guests and consider this as you make choices about your celebration. Your wedding guests are those people you hold most near and dear, and those relationships you value above all others. Consider their comfort when you draft a timeline.

  • How long will they sit in the sun for the ceremony?
  • Can they hear you as you say your vows?
  • Is there a sound system to ensure this?
  • Are your guests safe?
  • Can your elderly grandparents comfortably walk to the ceremony site or do they need a golf cart ride to chauffer them around?
  • Is the food good, plentiful and memorable (guests remember food more than almost any thing at a wedding)?
  • Are beverages (alcoholic, non-alcoholic and above all else, water) readily available?
  • Are they waiting in long lines for drinks?
  • Are your tiny guests safe and occupied?
  • Did you provide a sitter so parents can relax a bit?
  • Did you provide some activities such as bubbles, air planes, balls or hula hoops to help get some of that post-ceremony wiggles out?
  • Is the music good?
  • Are your guests going to want to dance?
  • Will they be able to hear each other over the music comfortably?
  • Do guests have time to explore the area and see and feel the things that makes Maine and New England special to you?
  • Did you create a list of places to go and things to do for them to consider while here and post on your wedding app or website?
  • Did you allow down time and opportunity in your weekend to visit and relax with your guests?

#6 Create an Emergency Kit

Don’t forget your emergency kit.

#7 Pen a Love Letter

Take the time to pen a love letter to give to your intended before the ceremony. It will set the stage for an even more magical ceremony.

#8 Have a Bustler!

Make sure your wedding bustle is strong and someone knows how to do it beside you. You cannot successfully bustle your own dress while in it!

#9 Forgo the Veil?

If you choose to wear a veil for your ceremony at French’s Point, consider the breeze and keep the veil shorter than finger-tip length, or better still, forgo it all together.

#10 Consider your Shoes

You want to keep in mind you will be on your feet for a few hours. Those beautiful stilettos might look divine for the ceremony, but they will kill your feet and sink into the lawn making it challenging to walk for photos. Have a change of shoes at the ready like espadrilles or flats for photos and the reception. No one can really see your shoes under your dress, so better to be comfortable than suffer through the reception. Save your feet for dancing!

Featured image by Haven Photography.

What to Pack for a Destination Maine Wedding

What to Pack for your Maine Wedding | Photo by Rebecca Arthurs Photography

If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.

There’s an old saying in Maine, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. The weather here in coastal Maine can range from tank tops to sweater weather in a matter of a few hours. This unpredictable weather makes packing for a wedding in Maine tricky. You’ll need to plan for warm summer days and cool coastal evenings, when the sun goes down. Here are our suggestions for making your trip here a comfortable one. Take a look at this packing list to ensure sure you’re prepared for any kind of New England weather.

Maine Wedding Weekend Packing List

  • Sun Protection – Outdoor receptions on the ocean in Maine are beautiful, but the sun’s reflection off the water can do a number on your skin and eyes, so be sure to pack hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and long sleeves. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get a sunburn on a cloudy day, so remember to wear sunglasses and sunscreen every day while you’re here. If you plan on being outside, especially during peak exposure hours between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., be sure to don the proper attire. The weekend itinerary will likely involve outdoor activities all weekend and so it’s best to be prepared!
  • Appropriate Clothing – The coast of Maine offers a wide variety of things to do, from hiking in Acadia, sailing on Penobscot Bay, to lazy days at the beach. It’s important to come prepared with the proper attire for days spent exploring and evenings spent enjoying dinner and cocktails with your loved ones. Be sure to pack sneakers, hiking boots, windbreakers and beach gear for the daytime adventures. Of course, you’ll want to pack appropriate attire for the more formal wedding events like the rehearsal dinner and wedding day. Regardless of the dress code at the wedding you’re attending, guys should pack a sport coat or sweater and ladies should bring a light coat or wrap in case there is a chill.
  • Appropriate Footwear – Here at French’s Point we have so many outdoor ammenities: beautiful oceanfront lawn, a gravel bluff walk, a rocky beach path, along with our cobblestone terrace and grassy lawn by the wedding gazebo. You’ll want to bring along appropriate footwear to navigate all of these diverse surfaces.
  • Camera, Go-Pro, Art Supplies, Journal – Whatever your go-tos for preserving memories, be sure to bring them along. Maine offers some of the best natural beauty on the East Coast and your weekend of events is going to create everlasting memories, be ready to capture them!
  • Map/GPS – From secret beaches, to amazing views, to quaint restaurants, you will be surprised at what you will find when you aren’t looking. Maine is a great place to get lost. So bring your map and GPS, but be willing to toss is aside at some point during your visit. If you have time during your vacation, get out and explore Maine!
  • Bike, Kayak/Canoe, Golf Clubs – With hundreds of parks, trails, lakes, courses and miles of coastline, there is plenty to do and see here in Maine. Bring along any of the recreational equipment you use to enjoy the outdoors. If you’re able, add a few days onto the beginning or the end of your visit, so you have plenty of time to experience all Maine has to offer. It’s not often that you get to visit Vacationland, be sure to make the most of it!

We look forward to hosting you here at French’s Point. Give us a call to schedule your tour of our estate.

Featured photo by Rebecca Arthurs Photography.

Our Nautical Sailcloth Tent

Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Mikhail Glabets Photography

It’s here! Our beautiful nautical sailcloth tent is up and the 2017 wedding season is upon us.

Come for a visit to see this beauty in person. We won’t be offering weekend tours once wedding season gets underway, so call to schedule your visit before May 15, 2017: (207) 567-3650!

 

Featured photo by Mikhail Glabets Photography.

Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Cuppa Photography
Cuppa Photography
Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Christy Murray Photography
Christy Murray Photography
Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Emily Blake Photography
Emily Blake Photography
Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Emily Blake Photography
Emily Blake Photography
Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | CA Smith Photography
C.A. Smith Photography
Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Emily Delamater Photography
Emily Delamater Photography
Nautical sailcloth tent at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Emily Delamater Photography
Emily Delamater Photography

Fabulous Fall French’s Point Waterfront Wedding

Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography

We had the honor of hosting the beautiful and memorable fall wedding celebration of Natalya and Christian here at French’s Point. It’s hard to believe it only took them six months to plan their destination wedding weekend filled with fun activities, interesting dialog, delicious food and refreshing drinks for just over 100 of their closest friends and family members! They embraced the autumn weather by having their ceremony at the waterfront gazebo followed by a romantic photo session on the private beach. As the late afternoon sun streamed in, the lovebirds and their guests enjoyed their wedding reception in our elegant waterview ballroom. With the help of Wedding Planner Kristina Slocum, from Purple Orchid Events, and the incredible vendor team they assembled, every detail of the weekend unfolded just as they envisioned it would. We’re delighted they chose French’s Point as the backdrop for their destination Maine wedding!

Catering and Bar Services: Bar Harbor Catering Company
Ceremony and Cocktail Music: The Waiters
Ceremony Venue: French’s Point
Design and Styling: n/a
Dessert: Whole Foods
Dinner and Dancing Entertainment: The Waiters
DJ: n/a
Event Planner: The Purple Orchid
Favors: n/a
Fireworks: n/a
Floral Design: Broadturn Farm
Hair: Aphrodite Salon
Helicopter: Owned by couple
Makeup: Bridal Beauties
Officiant: Friend
Photo Booth: n/a
Photography: Chris Bennett Photography
Reception Venue: French’s Point
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Young’s Lobster Pound
Rentals: Wallace Events
Transportation: n/a
Videography: n/a

Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography
Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography

Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography Real French's Point oceanfront Maine wedding | Chris Bennett Photography