In 2017, we began hosting J1 Visa Work/Travel Exchange Students from Russia. We hosted four sweet, hard-working, dedicated girls. They joined our tiny family team that cares for the grounds and homes here at French’s Point. We had an incredible experience so in 2018, we welcomed 6 young ladies from two different Russian universities for the summer at French’s Point. It provides our family the opportunity to host these brilliant young girls, help them refine their grasp of the English language, experience the culture here on the Maine coast, make friends and see a magical part of the world. We also get to know their lovely souls, understand their world and expose our kiddos to another culture. Without these ladies, our family would not be able to be effective stewards of French’s Point. There just are not enough hours in the day for our family to do all the work that must be done for us to offer these homes to our guests. We are grateful beyond words for the opportunity to be apart of their lives and for their help and care for our family legacy. If you see that girls at French’s Point this summer, please say hello and “Spasiba”!
If you are hosting a stay at French’s Point, we want you and your family to have a smooth arrival without surprises, know what to expect while you are here, and enjoy the property to the fullest extent. As the host of a reservation at French’s Point, in preparation for your stay at French’s Point, there are a few things we want to share with you before you arrive to ensure a wonderful experience:
- Please confirm your check-in time with our office no later than 1 week prior to your arrival. We request that you as the hosts & your designated House Captains arrive an hour or more before your guests. We will confirm which member of our team will be here to greet you that day.
- A welcome area with a 2’x3’ bulletin board is provided at the entryway to both the Retreat House, Farm House & Beach House to help guests find their rooms. A map of the 14-acre property & floor plans of the houses are posted on each of these boards. Signs will help direct guests to their rooms once inside the home. We suggest posting the weekend itinerary on the bulletin board & providing a copy in your guest’s room as well.
- Please submit the room assignment list to our office no later than 2 weeks prior to your arrival. We will write the names of each suite’s occupants on the chalkboard signs which hang on the hooks on the outside of the suite doors prior to check-in. This will help guests find their rooms with ease.
- When you arrive, the main level of the Retreat House, Beach House & Farm House will be unlocked. We do not have security concerns that would require you to lock the main doors at night.
- The Catering Kitchen will be locked between the hours of 4pm-9am. However, when events are taking place, this area will be locked between the hours of midnight and 9am. If you wish to get ice or use the commercial coffee maker, please do so between the hours of 9am-4pm.
- 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.
- If you are providing welcome bags, boxes or baskets, you can deliver these to the suites upon arrival, prior to their check-in.
- When you arrive, if you have event items that need to go in the cooler, you can stock them in the walk-in cooler just outside the tent hallway and recreation room on the west side lower level of the Retreat House. This cooler is accessible between the hours of 9am-4pm, or when you have events of more than 50 guests taking place. This cooler is locked at night. Please be sure to get provisions stored in this cooler when it is accessible. Please note that late September – mid-May, we do not recommend storing flowers in this cooler because of cool nighttime temperatures.
- 9. If you need to store event décor or other items, there is room to do so in the closet near the front portico entrance. This area is not locked during the day. Store anything of value in your suite.
- If you have items to deliver to the tent, do so at check-in so you do not have to move these items twice. Keep this is mind when you are packing. We suggest labeling bags and boxes by their event location and event name/date.
- 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.
Much like our views at French’s Point, every room at this award-winning inn and restaurant has a view of the beautiful Penobscot Bay. Their double rooms boast 2 queen beds, air conditioning, a coffee maker, iron and ironing board, data ports, hairdryer, color cable television and voicemail. Their suites include all the amenities of their queen rooms but have a separate living room, two televisions, a sink, microwave oven, refrigerator, toaster and sofa. These suites have either one queen-size bed or one king-size bed. They also offer fireplace rooms that include all of the amenities of the queen rooms but have a fireplace, a balcony and a massage chair. Their Presidential Suite is a luxurious two-room suite with a 4-person hot tub, VCR, CD player, kitchen area with refrigerator, stove, microwave oven and toaster. Barry, their wonderful Innkeeper is friendly, knowledgeable and ready to assist our guests in reserving their stay. All rooms include FREE hot breakfast served in their spacious lobby complete with fireplace and sun deck overlooking the Bay and FREE Wi-Fi!
Address: 159 Searsport Ave., Belfast, ME 04915
Distance from French’s Point: 11 miles/18 minutes
Number of rooms: 83
Property Style: Inn/hotel
Restaurant on Premise: yes
Minimum Rental Duration: n/a
Contact Info: 207-338-2090; email@example.com
One of the things that our clients enjoy as part of their experience here at French’s Point on their wedding day is the space we provide on the second level of the estate exclusively for the bridal party for preparations. This collection of four rooms includes a waterfront Relaxation Room with a dining table, couches and beautiful oceanfront balcony with swings and dining tables. It also includes the Bridal Boudoir which is comprised of a Dressing Room were gowns and attire can be hung and safely stored during preparations, a Vanity where hair and make-up artists can enjoy the beautiful natural light, and a restroom. These spaces are available on the wedding day to the bridal party and they are intended to provide a relaxing sanctuary to enjoy this special time together. It also allows for rest and calm away from the hustle and bustle while the last of the details are put into place by your wedding vendor team.
As your big day draws near, here are a few things to keep in mind to maximize the enjoyment of your time in the Bridal Boudoir and Relaxation Room:
- Try your dress on at home one more time before traveling to French’s Point.
- Don’t forget to bring:
- Pain reliever
- Toiletries and deodorant
- Make-up/skin care products
- Cell phone charger
- Button up shirt
- Comfortable change of shoes
- After party attire and shoes
- Tunes are always fun as you’re getting ready! Bring your personal sound device and portable speakers. Don’t forget that charger.
- Bring your heels, dresses, undergarments and preparation bag with you to ceremony rehearsal. We will hang your dresses in the bridal boudoir to keep them from wrinkling. We recommend that you bring the shoes you’re wearing on the wedding day to practice walking down the promenade & scuff up those shiny soles on our cobblestone to prevent slipping!
- Arrive on time for your hair and make-up appointment, with dry hair and a clean, well-moisturized face.
- Instagram! Document the day and your favorite moments with #fpmaine.
- We suggest you provide beverages (water, coffee, juice) and light food during preparations. We suggest you avoid sweets and enjoy good protein to be sure everyone can comfortably enjoy this time. You will hear us say “drink water, drink water, drink water” all day long. Here are some suggestions for providers:
- Creative Catering (Delivery or pick up)- 207-567-3563
- Good Kettle (Delivery or pick up)- 207-567-2035
- Bay Wrap (Pick up only)- 207-338-9757
- Bell The Cat (Delivery or pick up)- 207-338- 2084
- There is also a Hannaford and Subway in Bucksport or Belfast.
- Note: If you are ordering meals, we suggest you do so in advance regardless of if you want delivery.
- Note: You may consider having meals delivered to the groom’s party where they are getting ready as well.
- Before you walk down the aisle, please pack up your belongings and move them to the dressing room for safe-keeping. This will make departure less stressful at the end of the night! Housekeeping staff will tidy the boudoir suite during the ceremony.
- If you’d like professional steaming services for gowns or dresses, please contact Sandi McKeen, 207-567-3477 and schedule this service no later than two weeks prior to the date you need it.
Header photo by Darling Photography
French’s Point Estate is thrilled to continue a new series of blog posts spotlighting amazing Maine wedding vendors that help to make weddings at our waterfront wedding venue not only successful but truly the embodiment of the experience our clients strive to craft for their family and friends. This series will showcase some of the best providers from our vibrant, talented, dedicated wedding industry community we are so proud to be a part of here in Maine and New England. This group of professional wedding vendors understands and adheres to our guiding principles for the service we endeavor to provide our clients: Be Responsive, Be Kind, Provide Excellent Customer Service, Provide the Very Best Product/Service. Because of these wonderful people, the celebrations here are French’s Point Estate are the stuff of which dreams are made!
I met Russ several years ago when he made the shift to focus full time on his growing wedding photography business. He made the time to come sit down and meet with me, and I was immediately appreciative that he was part of my community. In the passing years, Russ has established himself as a calm, attentive, professional, active-voice within the Maine wedding industry. Russ always has his eyes on the future and is constantly working toward not only improving himself professionally (which he certainly has done… he was named Maine Wedding Photographer of the Year for 2016 by the Maine Professional Photographers Association), but also helping to raise the bar of the Maine wedding photography community and wedding industry in Maine as a whole. His communication style is kind, patient, engaging and responsive. Those are four of my favorite traits in a wedding vendor! His partner in life and business, Liz, is a wonderful, calming voice on wedding day and she creates beautiful work as well. Individually, Russ and Liz are both talented and kind professionals. Together, they are an amazing team!
How long have you been operating your business?
We’ve been wedding photographers for more than 20 years and full-time wedding photographers for 10 years.
How would you describe your style?
Our style is that perfect blend of journalistic, artistic, and editorial, and is comprised of several “signature” shots for which we’re well-known. Part of our style is the comfort we lend to our couples, their families, and friends through our calm demeanor, experience, and personalities. We love removing the apprehensions people may have about being photographed for the course of a day. We also are very proud of how our detail planning ahead, and managing expectations, with our couples makes for very smooth-running wedding days with everything flowing effortlessly.
What lead you to photograph weddings?
Russ: years ago, just after high school, I had a camera and a co-worker needed her wedding photographed. That led to many more, and it led to my realizing I loved everything about photographing the memories of a wedding day.
Liz: I met Russ in 2012, and he introduced me to photography. I was instantly hooked on weddings!
What is your favorite moment to photograph throughout the whole wedding day?
Russ: The environmental artistic set, where we incorporate our couple into the beautiful landscape.
Liz: Moments such as when a dad presents his daughter to the groom at the ceremony.
Do you suggest having a second shooter if they are having a French’s Point wedding?
We photograph weddings (and engagements sessions!) as a team, virtually all of the time. Our clients get the benefit of having two pairs of eyes on them during every phase of their wedding day. As we like to say, a wedding consists of two key people and each deserves their own photographer, especially during first looks and the exchange of vows.
How many hours of coverage do you suggest for a French’s Point wedding?
Hours of coverage will depend on several factors. Is the couple having a first look? Does the bride and groom have a large wedding party? How many immediate family members will there be to photograph in the family formals? What is the size of the guest list? An important goal for us is to never make a bride feel hurried or stressed on her wedding day. We make sure there is time for all aspects of getting ready, bridal portraits, first look, bridesmaids photos. Plus we build in down time before the ceremony so that our brides have time to freshen up, have a snack, and relax before they walk down the aisle. Having said that, almost all of our French’s Point couples buy our 10 hour package, which allows them day-start to day-end coverage without having to rush anything to fit in.
What is your favorite day trip in Maine?
Russ: I love visiting Belfast. It’s picturesque, alive with activity, and has some of the best restaurants and bakeries in Maine. It’s a perfect day trip from almost anywhere in Maine.
Liz: I have so many favorites! One of my current favorites is Kittery Foreside, especially Wallingford Square. Fantastic restaurants, an amazing bakery, wonderful shops, and so picturesque! The fact that it’s less than an hour away is a huge bonus!