Home-Away-From-Home : Our Accommodations

wedding in maine

We can think of no better way to enjoy Maine than to stay at French’s Point in elegantly appointed rooms just steps from where you’ll exchange vows. With the ability to accommodate dozens of overnight guests, French’s Point offers a unique opportunity to gather friends and family on our private grounds along Penobscot Bay.

For up to 30 friends and family, we also offer the historic Beach Rose Farm House, located next to the Estate. Beach Rose is the oldest wooden structure in Waldo County, built by Col. Benjamin Shute in 1764, and we’ve carefully restored it to its original elegance, which includes shining wide plank floors, dramatic hand-made ceiling beams, and five fireplaces.

Beach Rose sits on eight and a half acres along Penobscot Bay that are perfect for lounging with loved ones. The property includes gas and charcoal grills, gas lobster boiler, and six 12-foot long picnic tables. Sip cocktails on the west-facing cobblestone terrace overlooking the Beach Rose blueberry fields and fruit orchard, lounge beside the fire pit on the east-view terrace, or saunter down to the property’s private sandy beach.

Besides the Estate and the Farm, a handful of small cottages within walking distance are also available for rent.

Our comfortable on-site accommodations are a hit among our former clients, who often say one of their favorite parts of their wedding was the chance to stay close to their most beloved guests. So when you choose French’s Point, we hope you also take advantage of our unique home-away-from-home accommodations.

map for wedding

What Makes French’s Point Unique Series : Part One : The Ocean View

Sunny summer coastal French's Point wedding | Nadra Photography

Distinction makes all the difference when it comes to picking a wedding venue. We at French’s Point think our spot is as unique as they come, and in this series we’ll briefly touch on a few of our favorite, special things. First up, the view.

What Makes French’s Point Unique: The Ocean View

French’s Point sits on a private peninsula in mid-coast Maine with 15 acres between our two properties, Beach Rose Farm and the Estate.  The beautiful grounds are covered with beach roses (Rosa Rugosa) planted by my mother, and a 280-degree, unobstructed view of the Atlantic Ocean and Penobscot Bay.    Our property faces south, with a view across Penobscot Bay to Fort Point State Park with its lighthouse and tall-ship moorings. To the east, you can see the tip of Verona Island in the distance, and to the west our guests love to watch beautiful sunsets over the cove.

Our bay is relatively serene — we don’t have the bustle of frequent commercial or pleasure craft, only a few slow-moving sailboats and tall ships.  The ocean gives off a wonderful, salty aroma that mixes with the sweet beach rose, our own special scent. French’s Point is so close to the water that we end up with a salt wash – a film of salt settling on our bay-facing windows.

The view is the primary reason, beyond our service, that couples choose French’s Point. We are one of the few private locations on the coast of Maine that host events so close to the sea.

Planning Your Maine Wedding : Part III : The Ceremony

maine wedding location

 

photo by emilie inc

This is the third installment in our five-part series based on the wedding planning guidance that we offer our clients at French’s Point. In this series, I provide tips on central concerns like budget creation, vendor selection, timeline management, the ceremony, and set-up, addressing each topic in the order that I typically address it with the client. Last time, we discussed vendor selection. In this post, we’ll look at how to plan your ideal ceremony.

A lot of people tend to focus their planning on the reception, but the ceremony is the first experience for you and your guests, and it can really set the tone for the entire event.

The most important decision when it comes to the ceremony is the choice of officiant. At French’s Point, we work with a handful of officiants that we know are great at listening to our clients’ needs and they tailor the ceremony to suit the couple they are working with. On the contrary, there are also officiants who do what they do on a regular basis and don’t tailor their service to the client… their service is cookie cutter in style. I personally think it’s very important that the officiant and the couple work together since the ceremony is so central to the celebration. Even if religion and faith are not a focus or priority for the couple and you want to keep things short and sweet for the sake of your guests, the ceremony can still be meaningful.

Captain Barnes, a local master mariner, is one of my favorite French’s Point officiants. Captain Barnes will sit down with clients over a glass of wine and and get to know them. He’s a justice of the peace so he can make your ceremony as personal as you want; with readings, the story of how you met, or thoughtful notes to honor family members who are not present. The Captain’s been marrying folks for more than 30 years, and he’s a real pro, an eloquent speaker, and the kindest of men!

Besides selecting the officiant, it’s important to make sure that there is a balanced beginning, middle, and end to the ceremony, and that the ceremony follow the traditional sequence even if it doesn’t include all of the elements. The schedule guests will expect is introduction of the bride and groom, exchange of vows, exchange of rings, and introduction of the couple.

You’ll also want to consider how long you want the ceremony to be. If it’s outside and the weather is very hot or very cold, keep it short and sweet. In fact, even on a perfect day you still have a short window before you lose some people’s attention. Ideally, procession to recession should be about 30 minutes or less, including all of the elements that are important to you. Remember: With ceremonies, brevity is best.

Planning Your Maine Wedding : Part I : Nailing Down The Budget
Planning Your Maine Wedding : Part II : Vendor Selection

 

 

Maine Wedding Venue Map

map for wedding

For those of you wondering what the French’s Point property looks like, check out this new map we’ve developed of the grounds. You can see the ocean borders the property on three sides, which makes for stunning panoramic views of the bay. We have a spot along the water on the east side for tables and kayaks, two tree swings overlooking the grounds, and a new patio on the north side for cocktail hour and other gatherings.

Hersey Retreat Road ends at French’s Point, which means the traffic here is limited to those entering or leaving the property. The property is consequently very serene and secluded.

You can see from this map that Beach Rose Farm and the Estate both have nice, expansive lawns and just enough distance between the two buildings for some distinction in case guests want to mellow out at one location and go wild at another. The main gazebo, on the Estate property, is our most popular site for the wedding ceremony as it sits right along the south shore along Penobscot Bay. The white pathway from the Estate often functions as the central aisle during the bridal procession.

Finally, to the northwest, notice how close Sandy Point State Beach is to the property. Sandy Point is a 100-acre nature preserve with opportunities for swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing. It’s a great retreat for anyone looking for a brief escape.

This aerial view details how French’s Point is charming and private but also versatile enough to offer plenty to do for guests of all ages. We believe we’re blessed at French’s Point to have such beautiful grounds and historic buildings to bring wedding dreams to life.

Also check out some other maps we have produced:

Getting to French’s Point
French’s Point: A Home Base for Coastal Excursions

Wedding in Maine things to do roundup!

We have been posting things to do in the area for our Maine wedding guests and decided to do a roundup of them in one post!

You might have heard the old Maine expression, “You can’t get there from here.” Or, pronounced with a proper Down East accent, “You cahn’t get theyah from heeah.” Fortunately, the saying’s more humorous than it is accurate – you can get to plenty of places from French’s Point.

We’re situated at a handy midway point between Midcoast Maine’s most famous hotpots. To the south, Rockland beckons with fantastic waterfront events including the Maine Lobster Festival and the North Atlantic Blues Festival, as well as dozens of specialty stores and the nationally recognized Farnsworth Art Museum.

Just up the road, Rockland’s sister town of Camden earns its nickname as the “Jewel of the Maine Coast” with one-of-a-kind boutiques and sweeping views from atop Mount Battie in the surrounding hills. Together, the two locales draw thousands of visitors each year.

To the east of us is the Maine coast’s other renowned tourist destination: Bar Harbor. A seaside town of rocky cliffs and bustling shops, Bar Harbor inspires Maine’s postcard image, serving as a gateway to the wilds of Acadia National Park.

Make French’s Point your home base for exploring both Rockland-Camden and Bar Harbor, and don’t miss the less publicized gems in between. Stroll the historic red brick downtown of Belfast and take in an art exhibit, or view pristine historic homes on the elm-lined streets of Castine. Slightly inland, the village of Blue Hill, which takes its name from the blueberry-covered mountain rising above it, draws hikers, kayakers, sailors and other outdoor enthusiasts.
For a bird’s eye view of all these sights, take an invigorating one-minute elevator ride to the top of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory. From 420 feet up, you’ll come to appreciate the region in a whole new way.

See for yourself why so many refer to the Midcoast as “the real Maine.”

Maine Wedding Venues : To Tent or Not to Tent

It’s common for people who come to Maine for a destination wedding to consider renting a tent. This is because there aren’t many venues very close to the water that can accommodate an entire guest list in one room. At French’s Point, we do in fact have a gorgeous reception hall along the water with a capacity of 250, so we don’t see as many tents as some other locations might. But still, for some of our clients a tent is an important part of their wedding aesthetic. Those clients who do choose to tent typically use a local company called Sperry Tents. Sperry is based in Portsmouth and in our experience provides top-notch service and products that are crucial when a reception’s success depends on a temporary structure like a tent. But more on Sperry later.

When considering whether to tent keep in mind that though you might think a tent can save you money, there are quite a few related expenses. After all, most of us will want more than just a tarp thrown over some support poles. You’ll need glassware and linens and tables and chairs, everything that’s required to build a reception space out of nothing. You’ll need people to set-up the tent or, if you choose to do it yourself, you’ll need to factor in that added stress and time. Finally, vinyl and frame tents can require a liner and other creative tricks to dress up the metal frame and that can be expensive.

If you do want to tent, make sure you choose your type of tent carefully. Sperry’s tents are made of sail cloth, which breathes very well and which strikes a bright white, nautical profile that looks right at home on the ocean, particularly with the wooden center poles that are reminiscent of ship masts.

If your tent doesn’t breathe, say it’s made of humidity-trapping vinyl, a warm day can make for a sweltering reception. On the other hand, if it rains, water can easily puddle in the center and create a mud trap unless the land is graded and drained properly or you have opted to rent a floor for your tent.

With all of these variables, it’s perhaps no surprise that the price for a tent runs the gamut. Frame tents for 100 guests can be as little as $4,700 for the tent, all related reception rentals, and a DIY set-up, but a Sperry tent with a full floor, installation, and an on-site technician to manage the tent throughout the festivities can cost as much as $15,000.
So, to tent or not to tent? If your answer is yes, remember to choose your tent and your tent company carefully. I love tents, they’re beautiful and a lot of people are drawn to them, but they take a lot of extra effort unless you’re using a really good provider and a really good product.

Jessika Brooks Brewer
CEO
Contact

Real Maine Wedding : Martha and Eliot on Memorial Day Weekend

Photographer : Michelle Turner Photography
Ceremony Site: Fort Knox Historic Site
Reception Site: French’s Point Estate
Guest Accommodations: Belfast Harbor Inn
Family Accommodations: Hersey Retreat Cottage and Charming Maine Beach Cottage
Officiant: Stephen Tracey
Tent:  Sperry Tents
Floral Design: Branch Pond Flowers & Gifts
Ceremony Music: Opus Trio
Reception Music:  J. Biddy
Fireworks: Central Maine Pyrotechnics
Hair: Lisa Nichols Salon
Makeup: From This Day Forward
Shuttle Transportation: Country Coach Charters
Wedding Gown: Sandi McKeen Couture
Food: The Good Kettle

Martha and Eliot are pilots and met at the Brunswick naval air station, living apart for years, they will now be stationed together in VA. Their amazing French’s Point weekend included a real Maine wedding lobster bake, an elegant cocktail hour on the terrace after the rehearsal dinner, heartfelt speeches, a canon firing during the ceremony at Fort Knox Historic Site, handmade signs, antique cars and trucks, sparklers and fireworks! Maine wedding photographer Michelle Turner did a fantastic job capturing the details and feeling of the weekend for the couple!

Beautiful Photography by Michelle Turner