House Captains

French's Point House Captains - Coastal Maine Weddings - Vacation Rental Home - Photography by the Light and Color

French’s Point is a family-owned and operated vacation rental home. We kindly ask that you care for our home as you would your own during your stay, and return the home to us at check out as you found it upon check in. Because the estate has two homes and 14 acres, and to make the time here more comfortable and enjoyable for your group, we suggest that Hosts select a resident from each of the houses to be the “House Captain”. This House Captain will be a point person for guests with questions, will help relay information to help enjoyment of the property, and help ensure rental terms are followed. Here are a few points of information the House Captains should know in preparation for your stay:

  1. The House Captain is the primary point of contact for the guests within the house if they have questions about the weekend activities. They are a point of contact with the Hosts, the wedding planner, and French’s Point family. They assist guests in finding their rooms at check in and answering questions about the homes, relay the details of the weekend’s events, and assist in a smooth check out process. There is a binder located on the main level of each building with the welcome information and an area Resource Guide. There are floor plans in the Welcome Center of each home with room assignments as well.
  2. We ask that the House Captain arrives at check in with the hosts of the stay so we can address questions and help familiarize you with the home before the remainder of the guests arrive to the estate. Please confirm this time with your hosts.
  3. Please help keep guests mindful of the 10pm-9am Quiet Hours at the Retreat House and 9pm-9am Quiet Hours at the Farm House. During quiet hours, all guest activity and sound must be contained within the buildings by 10:00PM. All fire pit use and outdoor activities need to cease by this time.
  4. Guests can park their cars in front of the homes to unload, but vehicles should be moved to designated parking areas during your stay.
  5. During events where there is a bus on site that is providing shuttle service, we ask there be no cars parked in the front of the Farm House along the road. This area will be bus parking only.
  6. Please share with guests that if they leave their rooms or common areas vacant for a long period of time, all windows and exterior doors need to be shut. Maine weather can change quickly. We also ask guests to please turn off all lights and AC units when the room is not occupied to help conserve energy.
  7. During your stay, all trash from both the Farm House and the Retreat House needs to be taken to the dumpster. The dumpster gets emptied on Thursdays. We suggest doing a daily walk-through of the common areas of the building you are staying in to ensure it stays clear of clutter throughout the duration of your stay.
  8. French’s Point recycles redeemables (bottles & cans with a ME redemption label only). Please separate these items only from your trash. Inside the homes, containers are marked for collection of Redeemables in the kitchen and common areas. During your stay, please place all redeemable (Bottles & Cans with a ME redemption label ONLY) in the barrels to the right and left of the dumpster inside the enclosure. If you are the House Captain at the Farm House, these Bottles and Cans can be placed within the receptacles within the tree hollow along the road side. If these receptacles fill during your stay, please bring the load down to the dumpster enclosure. If bottles and cans do not have a ME redemption sticker, please place them in the dumpster.
  9. During your stay, cardboard can be disposed of in the designated receptacle near the dumpster enclosure. Please do not leave cardboard in any other area.
  10. At check out, please return all furnishings, games and equipment to their original locations, & remove all food & personal effects. Bed linens & towels will be removed by house keeping.
  11. At check out, all dishes need to be put away or in the dishwasher at departure.
  12. At check out, all keys and chalkboards need to be returned to the suite doors.
  13. At check out, all trash, cardboard & redeemables should be removed to the dumpster enclosure.

Please read through our Welcome Information and our Check Out document. Should you need assistance related to our facilities, please contact us during our office hours (9am-4pm) by calling 207-567-3650. In the case of emergency, please call the same number. Our office line is forwarded to a mangers phone after hours. We occupy an office located on the lower level of the Retreat House near the Catering Kitchen. For assistance during your stay, please ring the doorbell outside the kitchen, email us at [email protected], or give us a call.

 

Photography by The Light & Color

Fall Weekend Wedding Itinerary

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

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 salt water 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

8 Reasons to Choose a Blank Canvas Wedding Venue

Haven Photography - French's Point Retreat House Blank Canvas Wedding Venue Coastal Maine

Wedding venues in Maine are numerous and varied in the settings, amenities, and offerings. There are seaside resorts, rustic mountain top lodges, simple lakeside summer camps, storied social halls, grand historic homes, traditional New England Barns and Farms. The range in formality of these options is VAST! In Maine, couples planning wedding nuptials have the benefit of a large and varied pool of options. That is one of the wonderful things about planning a Maine wedding…. There is a location for any couple that wishes to marry here in Maine!

Traditional Venues like resorts and inns offer their event locations by the day or by a number of hours and may host more than one event or wedding per day unless you buy out the lodging for the weekend. Typically, full service venues require you to use their food and beverage services with a minimum to meet for these services, choose specific vendors for event from their preferred vendor list and may require a room block requirement be met. Weddings at this style of venue tend to afford simple planning because events follow a fairly standard timeline and pace over a single day.

In contrast, Blank Canvas Venues like private homes, barns and camps tend to offer the complete location by the weekend from Thursday-Sunday. The end result of a wedding at a Blank Canvas wedding venue is anything but a cookie cutter celebration. Many of this style of venues have some onsite lodging but not all. Most of these venues offer a preferred vendor list, but you can choose your own vendors. These venues appeal to couples with an independent streak and a desire to craft their own celebration that allows them to share what they love most about Maine with their family and friends.

So how do you know if a blank canvas venue is right for you? There are many reasons why couples choose a blank canvas venue over a traditional venue for their wedding celebration. Each couple that makes this choice in venue style prizes these nine things above all others when they are planning their wedding weekend:

Cuppa Photography - French's Point Blank Canvas Wedding Venue on the Coast of Maine - Vacation Rental and Wedding Venue

Quality Time

With use from Thursday-Sunday, you will have more time to have a quality exchange with your guests that have traveled to join you and celebrate. By creating the opportunity to interact with your guests over several days instead of one 6-10 hour time block, you take pressure off yourself, you immediate family that may be hosting this event with you, and setting ales harried pace for yourself and your loved ones. It is likely that you will not have to run from table to table at the reception to be sure to thank each guest for coming on your wedding day should you choose to go Blank Canvas!

 

Privacy & Intimacy

A wedding at a blank canvas venue where your family, friends and your chosen vendors are the only ones about, really allows a very different level of privacy and intimacy than a resort venue. At a Blank Canvas Venue, you run no risk of bumping into another bride on your wedding day because her wedding is just a few doors away. You will not have random guests watching your wedding ceremony from their lounge chair at the pool in their bikini or speedo.

Emily Delameter Photography - Blank Canvas Wedding Venue in Maine - French's Point Retreat Ceremony and Reception

The Whole Place is Yours!

For that reason, you can typically choose where you host your various wedding weekend events with more freedom than that of a TV. Once you rent the venue, you have access to all the spaces offered at the venue in that given time, so location feels more like your home away from home!

 

Going With Your Own Flow

At a Blank Canvas Venue, there are likely some limits to the hours you can host your event, as is the case with any venue. But you can be certain, that at a BCV you can craft a timeline that suits your flow for the day with more freedom than a Traditional Venue. This allows you to spend the time on the things that matter to you most… You want an hour and a half for cocktail hour so you can partake in this after your wedding photos are complete, you can do it! You want 3 full hours on the dance floor to dance your heart out to your incredible band, you can do that too!

Emily Delameter Photography - Dancing at the Reception at French's Point Tented Estate

Define Your Own Traditions 

Weather you go the traditional route, or wish to forge your own way, you have the choice to decide at a BCV. There is no expectation that you make any traditional moment, part of your wedding.

 

Unique Reflection of You 

At a BCV, you can make the experience you offer your guests specific and meaningful to because each part of the weekend. Not a fan of the bouquet toss or dollar dance, skip them and spend more time chatting around the fire pit enjoying a hand crafted s’more or breaking out your best dance moves.

 

Budgetary Control 

BCV offer the benefit of more control over the wedding budget. With no food or beverage minimum to meet, or 50+ lodging block to buy out as is often the case with a TV. At a BCV you choose the priority of where wish to invest your wedding budget based on your mutual vision. If you want a kick butt band, but are not prioritizing gourmet faire, you can invest your money in the band. If an open bar is a key element in your event, but you are not focused on an over the top floral design, invest in the bar. Obviously, planning a wedding and working within a budget is all about making choices. At a BCV, you have the opportunity to make more choices.

 

Draft Your Own Vendor Team

Maine is blessed with the asset of an incredibly talented, dedicated, abundant wedding vendor community. At a BCV, you can pick a vendor team that suits your priorities, vision and budget that will help you create your vision of the weekend.

A Blank Canvas Venue is going to offer you a very different outcome for your wedding as compared to a Traditional Venue. Almost always, BCV weddings offer hybrid experience with a bit of a wedding, a reunion and a vacation all mixed together, for more fun and more vivid memories for all.

Kelci Alane Photography - French's Point Retreat Estate House on the Ocean in Maine

 

Including Pets In Your Maine Wedding

Emily Delamater Photography - Pets in your Maine Wedding at French's Point on the Coast of Maine

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 other 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.

Pets in Your Coastal Maine Wedding at French's Point | Emily Delamater Photography
Emily Delamater Photography
Adorable dogs in Maine weddings | Cuppa Photography
Cuppa Photography
Dogs and Pets at Your Maine Wedding at French's Point | Cuppa Photography
Cuppa Photography
Dogs and Pets at your Maine Wedding at French's Point | Kelci Alane Photography
Kelci Alane Photography
Adorable Dogs and Pets at Your Maine Wedding at French's Point | Mikhail Glabets Photography
Mikhail Glabets Photography
Dogs or Pets in your Maine Wedding at French's Point | Christy Murray Photography
Christy Murray Photography
Dogs at a French's Point Coastal Maine Wedding | Michele Stapleton Photography
Michele Stapleton Photography
Adorable Dogs and Pets at Your French's Point Coastal Maine Wedding | Michele Stapleton Photography
Michele Stapleton Photography

How Early Should I Book My Wedding Venue?

book wedding venue

Couples often ask me how early they should book their wedding venue. Of course, this all depends on a number of factors:

  1. How long would you like the engagement period to be?
  2. Do you have life commitments (school, work, vacation, moving, home purchase) that need to be factored in to your timing?
  3. Do you have a preferred season or special date on which you wish to be wed?
  4. And related to the date, what kind of experience are you looking to offer your guests attending your wedding and what seasonal aesthetic are you seeking for your celebration?

Once you have decided on these factors, consider this timeline before you book your wedding venue and set the date for your French’s Point wedding.

Before You Choose Your Wedding Date

Planning a wedding takes a lot of time. First, you and your fiancé need to agree on your priorities and wedding budget. Then the bulk of active wedding planning can be achieved within three to four-months of the wedding with the guidance from an experienced, professional wedding planner. Additional time for planning can be necessary for guests traveling to your destination wedding, to arrange flights, travel and lodging. So, considering how much time it takes to plan the wedding, may determine how far in advance you reserve your wedding venue.

Dates from June to October fill quickly, so…reserve your wedding venue as soon as you [can]!

Dates from June to October fill quickly, so if you are committed to one specific date or dates in this window, you would be best suited to reserve your wedding venue as soon as you know your date works for all the key parties for your celebration. Our typical clients book on average between two years to nine months before the wedding, with most booking 14 months prior to their date. As you can see, they booked their wedding venue quite early on in the planning process.

If you want to know if your wedding date is available at French’s Point, give me a call at (207) 567-3650 or send me an email at [email protected]!

Featured photo by Sharyn Peavey Photography.

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Tips for a Successful Wedding Weekend

Maine wedding officiant | French's Point Vendor Spotlight: A Sweet Start | Haven Photography

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.

6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast

6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography

Congratulations, you have been selected to give a toast at your friends’ wedding! Are you nervous? You shouldn’t be. It’s an honor to be asked to toast the wedding couple and you’re probably being asked because you’re one of the most important people in their lives. We’ve seen hundreds of toasts here at French’s Point, so we’re offering you a few simple tips to help you know how to give the best wedding toast that will resonate with the couple and their guests long after the glasses have clinked.

1. Plan ahead, don’t wing it

Whatever you do, plan ahead. Spend ample time considering what you want to say and how you want to say it. You’ll have only a few minutes to make a point, so focus in on something specific that you want to note – the way the relationship has made your friend happier, for example.

2. Keep it short

Most people will lose focus with anything longer than 3 minutes so try to keep your toast between 2 – 2.5 minutes. It’s long enough to get your point across but not so short that it’s awkward. Keep in mind that less is more, so edit out unnecessary language or redundancies.

3. Follow the 3-part rule

Writing a great wedding toast is just like any other writing piece: you need an outline.

Introduction – Introduce yourself and explain how you know the couple. Chances are that you do not know all of the guests in attendance, so it’s helpful to start out by introducing yourself and interesting to describe your relationship.

Body – Tell a short story or give an example that epitomizes their relationship. Think about topics like: How did they meet? Where did they meet? Who introduced them? How did you know they were destined for marriage? How did they get engaged? Sometimes telling the arc of their love story works great!

Conclusion – Close with your well wishes for the couple. Make your closing personal, use a poem, a quote or song lyrics; something that translates the love you have for them and their commitment to each other.

4. Don’t get too personal

Be sure to avoid inside jokes that no one will understand. Also, definitely avoid any intimate details from their past that might embarrass them or cause them (or their family members) to feel uncomfortable. After all, this is their big day and you want nothing but happiness and laughter!

5. Do speak from the heart

Remember that being asked to make a toast at a wedding is a wonderful honor. Speak with warmth and kindness and from the heart and your toast is sure to be wonderful!

6. Remember to make a copy

Whether it’s the full toast or an outline of your thoughts, definitely have something in writing to guide you as you speak. If speaking in front of a crowd is not your thing, you’re not going to want to add pressure on yourself by trying to memorize your speech. Even the best public speakers use notes to help keep them on track, so you should, too.

Delivering a reception toast can be intimidating, but remember this is a loving environment and your job is to show your affection for the couple. That’s it! Look at the person or people you are dedicating the toast to, speak directly to them, and remember to talk slowly and clearly. After all, everyone wants to hear what you have to say. You’re the toastmaster!

All photos by Emily Delamater Photography

6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography 6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography 6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography

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6 Best Lawn Games for Weddings

Top 6 favorite wedding lawn games | Photo by Maine Photo Company

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.

Top 6 favorite wedding lawn games | Photo by Emily Blake Photography

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.

Top 6 favorite wedding lawn games | Photo by Maine Photo Company

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 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.

Deciding to do a First Look at French’s Point?

Deciding to do a First Look at French's Point | Rebecca Arthurs Photography

Traditionally, many efforts have been made to keep the couple from seeing each other on the wedding day prior to the ceremony. Even though so many wedding traditions have fallen by the wayside, this tradition remained. However, in recent years, we have seen a major trend shift in the approach to wedding photos that has increasingly caused this age-old tradition to loose footing as well. We have seen the emergence of the “First Look” photo session before the wedding ceremony takes place. The “First Look” is a term photographers use to describe when the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony in a private setting and it is captured on film for posterity. With a “First Look,” the photographer will stage a moment, usually in a beautiful, scenic, private spot, where they’ll capture you and your sweetie seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day, freshly dressed in your wedding attire. At French’s Point, this usually happens an hour or two before the ceremony and is followed by a series of photos of just you and your intended. Sometimes even the wedding party will be photographed before the ceremony, just after the first look.

There are so many amazing spots here on our property to stage a “First Look,” or a private session like this between just the two of you and the photographer, and then eventually, your immediate family and wedding party. A recent couple chose to have their first look on the Relaxation Room balcony on the second level overlooking Penobscot Bay, while another chose to have it on the beach down by the ocean, and another staged their first look on our overlook terrace at Beach Rose Farm, and another under our wedding tree. When you come for a visit, you’ll see how many stunning options you have to choose from to customize your “First Look” experience.

It is important for each of our couples to decide what is best for them. Everyone has different expectations, personalities, visions of their wedding day, and other wedding day logistics to consider when making the decision about whether or not to have a First Look. In order to help you make the decision that’s right for you, we’re laying out what we see are the pros and cons of a First Look.

4 Pros of a “First Look”

  1. It’s a beautiful, intimate moment for you two to connect before the ceremony without anyone watching. For people who don’t like being the center of attention, this can ease that stress.
  2. It can make you more relaxed during your ceremony because the anxiety of seeing each other for the first time has already elapsed. And a more relaxed ceremony is always a good thing.
  3. In order to prepare for the First Look, you’re in your wedding outfit early, which means the wedding will likely start on time. Most weddings start late due to it taking longer to get dressed than was allotted for, so having a “First Look” means you’ll be all dressed up and ready to go well in advance of the ceremony.
  4. If you get a lot of photos taken before the ceremony, you’ll have fewer to take afterwards, which means you’ll be able to relax with your guests and enjoy the cocktail hour. Cheers!

A “First Look,” is the right choice for some of our clients, but not for all. There are certainly reasons to forgo the “First Look.” Since I was married here in 2008, I can share with you why I felt that not having a “First Look” was the right choice for me.

5 Cons of a “First Look”

  1. There are only so many surprises in life… why not forgo the “First Look” and enjoy the surprise and delight of that first moment when you walk the path toward your beloved… speaking from first-hand experience, that memory will burn brightly for years to come, charged with much excitement, love and anticipation.
  2. Sometimes traditions are wonderfully sweet, as is the case with not seeing your future spouse on the wedding day before the ceremony. I feel that not having a “First Look” is one tradition that is often times, very well suited to clients that choose French’s Point for their wedding. This is because we offer such dramatic ceremony locations and entrances… there is nothing that surpasses the beauty a stroll down our 250 foot promenades.
  3. You have more time to prepare before the ceremony and can actually start this process a bit later in the morning if you forgo the “First Look.” The end result is a more relaxed preparation period and more time to enjoy the company of your wedding party. This is of particular importance for anyone who chooses to have a large number of attendants, as you will need to allow more time for hair and make-up services.
  4. You run a greater risk of your ceremony starting late if your “First Look” starts late which can also make the time before the ceremony more stressful.
  5. There is an increased likelihood that your early-arriving guests will catch a glimpse of you before the ceremony if you have a “First Look.”

Another Option

If you forgo a “First Look” because for you the cons outweigh the pros, consider a “First Touch.” This is when the photographer stages a moment for the two of you to be photographed touching backs, holding hands on either side of a door, or partition between you, or blindfolded and hugging but not actually seeing each other. Fun, right? I have seen some very sweet moments this year where clients have chosen to exchange and read love notes to each other on the opposite side of the door while holding hands. So sweet!

However you choose to embrace these ideas is up to you. We, here at French’s Point, strongly encourage you to personalize your wedding in whatever ways make sense for you and your sweetie.

Featured photo by Rebecca Arthurs Photography

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Are You Inviting Children To Your Wedding?

Maine wedding venue

Mr. Haack Photography

One of the important things to sort out when you begin to plan your wedding is whether or not you will include children in the festivities. About 20% of the couples we work with opt not to invite the younger set. It’s all up to your vision of your perfect day, of course. But for the majority of you who do want to include children, I have a few suggestions.

First of all, in my experience, as long as kids aren’t bored and hungry they tend to be great guests. The key is to know your audience — preteens and teens have very different interests and behaviors than kids 10 and under. And babies of course come with their own set of challenges.

For babies, we suggest that you have a dialogue with the parents about what kind of assistance they want and need. At French’s Point we can provide childcare from local sitters, but most parents don’t feel comfortable passing a baby off to an unknown babysitter and will keep them throughout the wedding. A private space for nursing moms is a very popular offering right now to accommodate guests who probably wouldn’t attend if they couldn’t bring their baby. Sometimes nannies accompany parents staying for a whole weekend, so make sure your facility is ready to accommodate those extra guests. Speaking of advance notice, if certain guests will need baby food make sure to alert your wedding caterer. At French’s Point, for example, we make fresh baby food but we have to know ahead of time in order to have it ready.

For children 3-10 years old, French’s Point recommends local babysitters that come to our site and look after the children. Because kids at this age have a lot of energy, we also help couples offer activities during the cocktail hour like bubble rooms and bouncy castles on the lawn. The key with this cohort is to make sure the kids are not only occupied but also fed with food that they like. That’s why, after activities during the first half of the cocktail hour, we recommend feeding children during the second half. In our experience, delay a child’s regular mealtime at your peril — a hungry child can cause plenty of disruption during a celebration. Finally, after the kids have played and eaten, it’s important for them to have a place to crash. We often organize a monitored “nap area” for kids. This allows them to enjoy the wedding and stick to their regular routine without pushing their limits.

 

And what to do about the tweens and teens? This set is the easiest to manage because they usually want to be a part of the day with the grown-ups. For the tweens (11-13), we set up a movie screen on the lawn or offer “mocktails” at the bar. But, in general, you can bet the tweens and teens will be on board for the grown-up activities.

When all is said and done, whether or not to include children in your wedding is a matter of personal preference. Our clients often tell us that some of their most cherished memories from their wedding came from impromptu things children did.