Fall Weekend Wedding Itinerary

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 saltwater 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

Ten Year Wedding Anniversary

“I took one look at you

That’s all I meant to do

And my heart stood still.”

– Lorenz Hart “My Heart Stood Still”

Somehow, in the blink of an eye, ten years of marriage has come to pass between my soul mate and me. Life has been so busy with four small (but growing) children, lots of family, perpetual changes and busy careers in family businesses. We don’t take the time we should to pause and honor of these milestones. I often feel too busy to breathe in these moments, let alone be still in them and soak them in. Well, this year, we decided we needed to do just that. We are learning, after all. We knew we could not take that honeymoon we have been putting off all this time. But we carved out a beautiful afternoon and made some memories together. Thank you to our talented friends for helping us feel the love and see the magic that remains and grows with each passing day: Greta Tucker Photography, Flora Fauna, Jessica Candage, Blush Bridal.

Recommended Local Lodging: Belfast Harbor Inn

French’s Point wants to make choosing your overnight local lodging accommodations easy and accessible to you and your guests looking for a place to stay in Midcoast Maine. One of our favorite Inn/Hotels near French’s Point, which we recommend to our guests, is the Belfast Harbor Inn.

“One of our favorite Inn/Hotels near French’s Point, that we recommend to our guests, is the Belfast Harbor Inn.” – French’s Point

Belfast Harbor Inn

Situated on US Route 1, the Belfast Harbor Inn overlooks Belfast Harbor and Penobscot Bay. The hotel property and rooms are recently updated and in excellent condition.  The Inn recently added an elevator to make your check-in and overnight accommodations easy and accessible! The lodging rooms are relatively large – their largest at 377 square feet! This means you don’t have to pack light when your guests are coming to stay for your destination wedding.  The very welcoming staff at the Belfast Harbor Inn offers complimentary continental breakfast. The rooms include a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, air conditioning and cable television. They have a pool and access to the rocky beach. Pet-friendly rooms are available. With 10 types of hotel rooms, your guests will certainly find it a great place to stay.  

Address:  91 Searsport Ave., Belfast, ME  04915 

Distance from French’s Point: 11.9 miles/19 minutes 

Number of Rooms: 

Property Style:  Inn/Hotel 

Restaurant on Premise:  No

Minimum Lodging Rental Duration:  n/a 

Contact Info: 207-338-2740; stay@belfastharborinn.com  

Website: http://www.belfastharborinn.com/ 

A Weekend Winter Wedding Itinerary for French’s Point

Winter Weddings at French’s Point are always a favorite of ours. Enjoy a weekend wedding celebration with family and friends, fireplaces and warm drinks! Go snowshoeing on our backyard trails, sledding, or relax on a sleigh ride with your newlywed! Whatever your favorite winter activity is, enjoy it here at French’s Point for your weekend winter wedding! Sample just a taste of what your winter wedding itinerary could look like at your French’s Point winter wedding…

FRIDAY

1:00PM Check in to French’s Point! Settle into your cozy room and take a deep breath. An incredible winter wedding weekend lies ahead.

2:00PM Kick off the camaraderie and memory-making with a snowman making contest, some epic sledding down the West slope behind the farm or a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the estate.

4:00PM Gather your wedding party, family and everyone participating in the ceremony for a rehearsal at your chosen setting to work out the jitters so everyone can relax on the big day.  Choose from a cozy setting inside the conservatory with broad views of the bay or a refreshing location at the Gazebo for a ceremony no one will soon forget!

4:30PM Meet at the bar at The Retreat for a cocktail to kick off the festivities as guests arrive for your rehearsal dinner. Enjoy the sunset from inside the warm Retreat.

5:30PM Enjoy a delicious rehearsal dinner in the conservatory.

7:00PM Cuddle up fireside around the fire pit on the cobblestone terrace in cozy blanket and reconnect with family and friends gooey delight of s’mores fresh off the fire.

10:00PM Get some rest! Tomorrow is going to be a big day.

SATURDAY

8:00AM Rise and shine, it’s your wedding day! Snowshoe the trails and along the shore in Sandy Point State Park or enjoy a morning yoga session for the wedding party and family lead by a local instructor inside the morning sun-filled Conservatory.

9:00AM  Enjoy a cup of hot coffee, freshly baked blueberry muffins, quiche, and fruit with your family at The Farm before you freshen up.

11:00AM Your wedding vendor team arrives to begin preparation at The Retreat. Pampering time begins for you and your wedding party with hair and make-up sessions with your chosen provider. Sit back and enjoy the hours leading up to your ceremony in your cozy and private top floor apartment in The Retreat.

12:00PM  Wedding party lunch delivered with popovers, chicken salad, and mimosas of course!

1:00PM The groom’s party enjoys the game on the TV in the Recreation Room at The Farm while they begin preparing and dressing for the festivities. Don’t forget those wedding rings!

2:00PM  Time to put on your gown! The Bridal Party and has pre-ceremony photos taken on the balcony overlooking the snowy picturesque estate. Don’t forget your wrap!

The groom’s party arrives to relax in the Recreation Room at The Retreat and enjoys the distraction of a game of poker while waiting for pre-ceremony photos at The Retreat.

3:30PM The ceremony bell rings out over the bay and calls your guests to the ceremony location of your choosing:

  • The outdoor Gazebo
  • The Conservatory inside the Retreat House

The moment you’ve been waiting for is here! Your ceremony will commence with that storied stroll toward your beloved through the gentle Northeast snowfall.

4:00PM  Congratulations to the happy couple! Take your first photos as husband and wife, with your wedding party and family. Head outside to catch the beautiful sunset reflecting off of the glossy ice-filled bay of the Penobscot with your new spouse and photographer. We offer endless locations to capture this splendid light.

  • Your guests will warm up with a toasty beverage in the Lounge by the roaring fire, while they mix, mingle and enjoy cocktail hour with delicious stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres.

5:00PM  Before the dinner reception begins, gather your guests in the foyer and snap some group photos from the balcony. This is a beautiful record of the guests who were able to join you for your big day.

5:15PM Guests are ushered into the beautiful Retreat House Dining Room appointed with beautiful farm tables with cascading winter greens set for family style service. All the winter wonderland details you imagined for the reception start to come to life as guests find their seats.

5:30PM Before dinner, introductions of the family and wedding party followed by speeches. Cheers to the happy couple!

5:45PM  Dinner is served! Enjoy unique fare chosen by you, provided by your wedding catering partner of choice.

6:15PM Official cake cutting. Enjoy your first dance as a married couple in the Conservatory. It’s time to boogie!

6:45PM Cake is served alongside a warm hot cocoa bar!

9:50PM  One last call from the bar. Enjoy one last dance with your sweetie for the perfect ending to a magical day!

10:00PM The Unplugged After party begins with a laid-back vibe while guest removes their shoes and relax by the fireplace in the Lounge. Fuel the fun with delicious late-night treats with the arrival of a vintage food truck serving sausage subs, pizza, or warm cookies and milk!

  • Vendors begin preparing for the next day’s celebrations.

12:00PM  Retreat to your beautiful suite with your new spouse to reflect and celebrate this magical experience.

 

SUNDAY

8:00AM  The caterer arrives to prepare for the farewell brunch.  Begin your first day as husband and wife!

9:00AM 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, or offer portable food and warm coffee to-go so guests can get on the road after they bid you farewell.

1:00PM Check-out time. Pack up your gifts, snap one last picture with the snowy backdrop 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 when guests not occupying lodging at the estate must depart.

Sweepstakes Vendor: Favors!

 Image from Lucy’s website

 at French’s Point can often be found snacking on Coastal Maine Popcorn or Lucy’s Granola. So when it came time to fill the gift bags for our upcoming Sweepstakes, including these two Maine vendors was a no brainer!

Using local ingredients whenever possible, Lucy makes, packages and ships her delicious granola from her 1840s Maine cape farmhouse. Not crazy about dried fruit or have a nut allergy? No problem! Lucy will hand craft your special order, perfectly suited to your tastes and style.

Located a few towns over from French’s Point along the coast is Boothbay Harbor, and Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. Their flavors range from traditional “Kettle Korn” to “Dill Pickle” and even “Blueberries & Cream”!

coastal maine wedding Image from Maine Coastal Popcorn Website

French’s Point Review: Laura & Michael

Kim Chapman Photography

French’s Point is lucky enough to have been awarded WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice venue in 2014! We are beyond thrilled at the honor, and have only our beautiful brides and grooms to thank. In this new blog series, we’ll be posting some of the reviews from both WeddingWire as well as The Knot to give future couples a sense of what we at French’s Point can offer for your upcoming celebration.

Wedding Date: August 16, 2013
Reviewed On: Wedding Wire

From the Bride: “Thank you French’s Point for making our wedding day AMAZING. From the beginning of wedding planning…all the way through the day of the wedding, everything was planned perfectly and carried out flawlessly. We have gotten many compliments from our guests about the delicious food, the beauty in the venue itself, and the waitstaff/bar staff who did an impeccable job. Eric and Jessika are to be mentioned because they helped us so much and a well deserving special thank you to my wedding planner Sarah who went above and beyond for myself, my husband, our wedding parties, and our guests. She gave us a stress free experience even when I was an anxious bride at times. I have received MULTIPLE compliments from guests who raved about Sarah’s professionalism and amazing job in orchestrating the days events. We really can’t say enough wonderful things about this venue and the staff! Thank you again!”