Sample Winter Wedding Weekend Itinerary

Planning a Winter Wedding in Maine - French's Point - Destination Winter Wedding Venue

At French’s Point, no matter the season, each wedding hosted here is a reflection of our couples and their vision for the experience they wish to share with their family and friends. We LOVE these weddings! But we love nothing more than a winter weekend wedding at French’s Point. It brings back memories of my own winter wedding 10 years ago. Winter weddings possess a magic and beauty all their own, simply not found in any other season. Perhaps I am biased. I do think that French’s Point was made for weddings, particularly this time of year. If you are considering a winter wedding, I thought I would share a sample winter wedding weekend itinerary with you for inspiration. Put your own touches on this and make the weekend your own!

“Winter weddings possess a magic and beauty all their own, simply not found in any other season.” – Jessika, Owner of French’s Point

FRIDAY

1:00PM Check in to French’s Point! Settle into your room and take a deep breath. A festive weekend lies ahead.

2:00PM Kick off the comradery 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 grounds.

3:00PM Freshly bake snickerdoodle cookies and hot coffee make your guests feel at home.

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 party and welcome your guests to your rehearsal dinner.

5:30PM Enjoy a delicious rehearsal dinner of wood-fired pizza with seasonally-inspired flavors in the Retreat House Conservatory.

7:00PM Cuddle up around the fire pit on the Cobblestone Terrace in a cozy blanket and reconnect with family and friends while you enjoy  in cozy blanket and reconnect with family and friends while you enjoy s’mores fresh off the fire and a hot cocoa bar. 

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 sun-filled Conservatory.

9:00AM Enjoy a cup of coffee, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, 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 in front of the fireplace at The Farm House Parlor. Your ladies snuggle up in front of the fire in the beautiful, locally-made blanket wraps you gifted them for the occasion. Sit back and enjoy the hours leading up to your ceremony with those nearest and dearest to your heart.

12:00PM The wedding party lunch delivered with popovers, warm butternut squash soup & bellinis! 

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

2:00PM Here comes the bride! The Bridal Party moves to the Retreat House and has pre-ceremony photos taken on the balcony overlooking the estate. Don’y forget your wrap! 

The groom’s party enjoys the distraction of a game of poker or pool while awaiting pre-ceremony photos.

3:30PM The ceremony bell rings out over the bay and calls your guests to the ceremony location of your choosing: the breath-taking Gazebo or inside our stunning 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.

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 with your new spouse and photographer. We offer a variety of locations to capture this splendid light.

Your guests will warm up with soup and grilled-cheese passed apps 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 set for family style service and appointed with all the details you imagined for the reception.

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. A harvest-inspired menu of port wine poached pear salad with a fresh goat cheese, roasted turkey & pork with cranberry chutney served with locally sourced vegetables. 

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

6:45PM Cake and coffee are served.

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

9:50PM The Unplugged After Party begins with a laid-back vibe while guest remove 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! Take in the silent night and the view of the moonlight dancing on the water and the snow-covered fields. 

10:00PM Vendors begin preparing for the next day’s gathering. 

11:00PM Bid your guests farewell & return to your cozy room & watch the moon sparkle over the freshly fallen snow.  

12:00AM 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 stop by The Retreat House 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 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 to immortalize the experience, and hit the road. It’s time for your next adventure!

*Due to sound ordinance and zoning restrictions, all amplified music must cease at 10:00 p.m. Exterior lights extinguish at midnight when guests not occupying lodging at the estate must depart.

Welcome Centers

French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography

Welcoming Your Guests:

To aid in making the arrival process for your family as simple as possible and remove your need to check them in individually, we created Welcome Centers in the heart of each home. When you reserve French’s Point for your stay, as the host, you assign the bedrooms that your family and friends occupy. This will make the arrival process simple and offer the maximum comfort and enjoyment of the property by each guest.

As you enter the Retreat House & Farm House for your weekend getaway, you will see entryway tables, a framed floor map of the grounds, a copy of your customized room assignments, floor plans, and a bulletin board that is perfect for your sharing details of the weekend ahead with your guests and the weekend itinerary. You should include your chosen event planners contact information so guests can contact them with questions and ensure they have everything they need to be comfortable and you can then enjoy your time with your guests.

How to Assign Rooms:

You will receive a room assignment template and here are links to the floor plans on the website for both the Retreat House and Farm House. Here are the links to the virtual tour of the Farm House and the virtual tour of the Retreat House is coming this summer. The videos will be shared here and on the Retreat House page of the website as soon as it is complete.     

We will share the details of the other Retreat House enhancements in upcoming posts. We hope you love them as much as we do.

French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography
The Retreat House Welcome Center

French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography

French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography
The Farm House Welcome Center

French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography French's Point Welcome Center - Coastal Maine Vacation Rental Home Property and Destination Wedding Venue - Rachael Anderson Photography

Photography by Rachael Anderson

The Retreat House Suite 4: The Brewer Family Suite

As we do almost every winter, the season was spent completing a number of major maintenance and repair projects to keep our beautiful buildings and grounds in top working order. We also completed a major renovation to the bedroom suites on the second and third floors of the Retreat House. I shared with you the details of the newly refurbished Suite 1, Suite 2, and Suite 3, all located on the second floor, in recent posts. 

The Second Level Suite 4: The Brewer Family Suite

The second level of the Retreat House now offers four newly renovated suites with en suite bathrooms and six total bedrooms on this floor. Suite 4- The Brewer Family Suite, offers a two-bedroom configuration with a queen in one room adjoining a bunk room with two sets of bunk beds and an adjoining bath. Our family LOVES this space and we hope other big families do too. We now have four kiddos that love the bunk beds and my husband and I like the pretty little room next door. When I had my first and second babies, we lived in these suites for a time. I love thinking back to those times rocking my sweet little ones with the moon shining in the window.

We will share the details of the other Retreat House enhancements in upcoming posts. We hope you love them as much as we do.    

The Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael AndersonThe Retreat House Suite 4 at French's Point: Coastal Maine Wedding Venue and Family Vacation Home Rental - Photography by Rachael Anderson

Photography by Rachael Anderson Photography

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

French’s Point Review: Kristin & Michael

destination wedding maine

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: October 26, 2013
Reviewed On: Wedding Wire

From the Bride: “I don’t even know where to start – French’s Point was everything we could’ve asked for and more. I found them in a Destination Wedding magazine, went to the website, and fell in love. We took a lot of scary steps, planning a wedding from Texas and signing our contract “site unseen” but every risk we took was rewarded with an amazing experience from start to finish.

The staff are warm, friendly, and very attentive. I felt like we had become friends by the end of our experience, and I miss our weekly email exchanges!! Who can say that about their wedding venue contacts?!?! We did almost all our communications via email, which were always prompt and thorough. They were also great about planning conference calls to keep me on target with all the little details. Since we didn’t live in Maine, they also gave excellent vendor recommendations, and every single vendor was fantastic.

The site itself is stunning – and we also took advantage of renting Beach Rose Farm for Wednesday – Sunday. This was one of my favorite parts of our destination weekend – walking around the farmhouse watching all our closest friends hanging out, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company – and enjoying Maine as well (a first time visit for almost everyone attending our wedding)!!

During the ceremony the staff kept everything running smoothly and I didn’t have to worry about a thing. The service staff were super attentive and friendly. I had guests tell me it was the best service they’ve experienced EVER. And the food – it was not “just your typical wedding food” – it was amazing. We did the buffet and there was more than enough for everyone and plenty of variety for those of our guests with specific food requests/issues. We ended the night with the s’mores fire pit and it was a huge hit!

All in all, French’s Point was the best decision we made for our wedding celebration weekend.”

Wedding Inspiration: Unity Ceremony Ideas

maine destination wedding

With wedding trends moving away from formalities and often times outdoors, couples are no longer doing the once standard candle unity ceremony. Instead,couples are either bypassing the tradition all together to keep the ceremony brief, or adding a twist to make it more meaningful & personal!

Whether you decide to include a unity ceremony or not, here are a few ideas you can consider for your own ceremony:

 • Sand Ceremony- mixing two different colors of sand into a larger vase to be sealed and displayed. The two colors of sand will never be separate again, and neither shall you. This is also a great idea if you have children who would also like to be involved in the ceremony, they too can incorporate a color as well.

beach wedding maine

 • Wine Ceremony- mixing two of your favorite wines together and enjoying a sip or two of the new drink you formed together. (we suggest sampling the  outcome before the big day… can result in some puckering in photos)

maine wedding destination

 

Jim Kennedy Photographers

 • Breaking Bread- this would also go well with the wine ceremony. Breaking bread together symbolizes that you are now sharing your belongings and assets with one another- affirming trust in one another.

Hand-fasting- tying your hands together for the duration or part of the ceremony, this symbolizes your intent.

maine wedding venue

 

KT Merry Photography

 • Knot Tying- consider tying a knot together to have on display in your home-this would be especially fitting being married on the ocean in Maine with the nautical setting like at French’s Point!

Tree Planting- planting a small tree with soil from two locations special to you both. This may not be the best option for the lady in the white dress, but the tree will carry a lot of meaning once planted at your new home together.

maine wedding location

 

Marvelous Things Photography

• Cord of three strands- braiding three cords together to represent God,the bride, and the groom. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

destination wedding maine

 

Stacy Able Photography

 When planning your Unity Ceremony, consider what is it about your relationship that is unique to you both. Is there a way to incorporate this into your ceremony? Adding personal touches will make your ceremony one that you, your spouse, and your guests will never forget!

Visiting French’s Point: Taking the Scenic Route

maine coastal wedding

If you’re traveling to French’s Point “from away” (i.e coming from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York or New Jersey), there are many ways to get here. Of course the fastest way would be to take I-95 North to Augusta and then take Route 3 through Belfast and straight into Stockton Springs. Maybe, however, you have some time on your hands, and you prefer to take the scenic route! The scenic route, being Route 1 North, could take you from Boston all the way to Edmundston, Maine on the border of Canada! No matter where you prefer to start and finish, there are a few must-see stops along the way.

Ogunquit

Pull over to stretch your legs, and take a beautiful seaside walk along Marginal Way, a 1.5 mile oceanside cliffwalk. The walk has many beach access points as well as benches along the way for taking a scenic break.

travel to french's point from nyc

Photo via Trip Advisor

Portland

Grab food at one of Portland’s famed lunch spots, like The Front Room or Walters.  With a reputation for being a “foodie” city, there are no shortage of restaurants to dine in, no matter what type of food you’re craving. Explore the cobblestone streets of Portland’s Old Port or wander along the piers on Commercial Street to add to your site-seeing experience!

coastal maine wedding

Photo b y Everett Potter

Freeport

Only a short 25 minute drive from Portland, Freeport is a must-stop, if only to pose by the huge Bean Boot and take a look in the trout pond inside L.L. Bean. If you’re in the mood for even more shopping, Freeport is jam-packed with outlet stores of all your favorite name brands from J.Crew to Cole Haan!

maine wedding venue

Photo by e Travel Maine

Wiscasset

You haven’t truly experienced Maine until you’ve had a lobster roll from Red’s Eats. Although you may be in line for close to 2 hours, we can promise you that the roll complete with a full pound of lobster meat and a side of butter to boot is well worth your wait time!

coastal maine wedding

Photo by Barbara Stroud

Belfast

Finally rounding out your trip, make your way across the famous Penobscot Narrows Bridge and travel up 420′ to the top of the observatory! The one minute elevator ride will take you to breathtaking 360 degree views of the Penobscot River Valley! From there you’re less than 20 minutes from French’s Point, and we can’t wait to see you!

maine destination wedding

 View from the observatory – photo by Liz Kirby

Red Flags When Choosing Your Vendors : Series Part V : They Make a Bad First Impression

Maine Wedding Location | Maine Destination Wedding

First impressions are everything, especially when meeting potential wedding vendors. These are people you are inviting to attend your wedding and they will be meeting and working with your friends and family. Some vendors will get an intimate view into your life for that day and your first impression is a great indicator of how easily you can be yourself around them. Trust your gut and listen to your first instincts, if someone will be hard to work with, warning signs will start popping up when you first meet them.

In order to avoid other red flags that we’ve talked about look out for this one.

5. They Make a Bad First Impression

I can’t stress the value of a 10 minute face-to-face conversation with your potential vendors. If you can’t do it- hire a planner to help. Think of each them as people you are potentially inviting to your wedding. Because you are!

You will learn things in a ten minute conversation over coffee, or via skype or google hangout, that you will never know otherwise. Are they even willing to do it? If not, they probably aren’t willing to go the extra mile at your wedding either. Do they sound stressed out or overly negative? Do they seem well spoken and respectful? Will they be commuting from miles away? What are their plans before and after the wedding? How committed will they be to your overall vision?

You may feel like you are prying, but this is your big day and you are paying for their services. Establish high standards and you will reap the benefits of a seamless wedding. All of the vendors we work with invite these questions and enjoy getting to know the brides they work with. They will be your best friend when you need things done right on your big day.