Real Review: Heaven. Just Heaven.

Jessica & Zachary
Married on October 13th, 2018

Our October wedding at French’s Point was simply amazing. Back in the planning stages, we had plans to tour six or seven other venues, but we canceled all our other tours after we toured French’s Point because we knew we’d just seen something special and that it wouldn’t get any better.

We were right. Everything about the estate is amazing–the location, the view, the estate house itself. It’s warm, welcoming, and elegant. The staff is sweet, encouraging, communicative, and helpful. They provided us with suggestions and inspiration that made our day unique and fun.

“Everything about the estate is amazing–the location, the view, the estate house itself. It’s warm, welcoming, and elegant.” – Jessica

If you book the venue, you should also consider booking the adjacent farmhouse for your family and wedding party. It’s a quaint, cozy, and adorable place to stay, but it’s also incredibly handy to have the wedding party within walking distance of the venue. We were so happy we made the choice to book the farmhouse too!

I can’t thank Jessika and Nicole enough; they were amazing, and I get misty just thinking about what a wonderful day they helped us create. I loved everything about it! We even battled a little rain and couldn’t get married outside at the gazebo, like we planned, but it didn’t for one-second feel like a compromise to get married in the lovely estate. This place is just heaven!

Jessica & Zachary’s Vendor Team:

Bar Services: Harvest Moon

Catering: Harvest Moon

Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Dionne Entertainment

Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Venue: The Gazebo at French’s Point

Design & Styling: DIY

Dessert: The Front Porch Bakery

DJ Dinner & Dancing Entertainment: Dionne Entertainment

Event Planner: Nicole Dearing at French’s Point

Favors: Whoopi Pies

Floral Design: Flowers by Hoboken 

Hair & Makeup: Glow Salon

Officiant: Friend

Photobooth: DIY by Jessica’s Father

Photography: McCoy Photography & Artwork

Reception Venue: The Retreat House Dining Room at French’s Point

Rentals: Wallace Events

Videography: NA

Drafting Your Best Wedding Vendor Team

Planning a wedding is like picking players for an epic game of dodge ball. Did you know that couples will engage six to 18 wedding vendors for their wedding? So, if you are planning a wedding in Maine, you will need to find on average 12 providers for your event. Some of these services are:

  • Venue
  • Catering/Bar
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Wedding Coordinator
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Floral/Event Design
  • Stationary/Paper Goods
  • Ceremony & Reception Entertainment
  • Officiant
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Attire

Here are the key steps to follow to draft a kick @#% wedding vendor team:

Game Plan

Discuss and define your priorities for your wedding with your intended. My advice is to sit down with a bottle of wine, an open mind, and a stack of index cards. Create two sets of cards with a vendor from the list above written on each card. Independently, rate the vendor categories in order of importance. Place the index cards in order of highest to lowest priority on the table or floor (depending on how much wine you consume during this process). Then share them with your love and discuss. The items that you mutually rank the highest would have the greatest value. These items become your top priority. The remaining items get a value that is determined based on a mutual agreement of priority. Once you have determined your game plan, you can move on to step two.

Do you have Boosters/Sponsors?

Before you are able to start looking for your wedding vendors, do your homework and determine your budget. Typically, there are two budget numbers to identify:

  1. What are you able to spend (your maximum available)?
  2. What are you comfortable spending (what you feel is an acceptable value for the service)?

Likely you and your sweetheart may not agree on both of these numbers, but it’s important that you find common ground. Talk with your partner and look at your finances and discuss what resources you are able and willing to invest in this celebration. If family will be contributing, find out what elements they will pay for and how much they are willing to spend. Occasionally we have had an over-eager family member say “I will pay for the flowers” until they come to understand that, unlike their intimate 80-guest wedding, you plan to have 10 wedding attendants and 250 guests at your event and need bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces for all. Ultimately, this will help you save time by ruling out vendors that are not within your means.

Huddle Up

Talk to your family and friends about their own wedding planning experiences. Their wealth of knowledge may help you avoid some pitfalls along the way as you choose your vendors for your event.

Hire a wedding planner that understands your budget and priorities who can refer trusted and experienced professionals. I can’t express how helpful this is!

Talk to your wedding venue. In many cases, the venue has a preferred vendor list filled with qualified professionals whom they trust. Just be sure to ask if you are required to use these vendors or if there are any other restrictions from the venue about the vendors your hire.

So, what players have you picked for your wedding day team? If you need help finding wedding vendors, check out our list of preferred wedding vendors who we have worked with and trust or contact us. We’re always happy to help!

Featured photo by Greta Tucker Photography; Catering, cake and bar in photo by Bar Harbor Catering Company; Floral design by Flora Fauna

Wedding Planning Websites

Congratulations! Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days to pop the question. About 30,000 couples will start their lives together today. Take a deep breath and enjoy this moment. You are engaged and life feels perfect. But here are a few sites to help you avoid getting overwhelmed as your life starts changing faster than your Facebook relationship status.

Couples today have plenty of online opportunities to hone in on what they need to create their ideal wedding. While there are no replacing savvy wedding planners like the staff at French’s Point, it’s certainly undeniable that the Internet is a tremendous resource for start-to-finish wedding inspiration. Even a little while spent at quality sites can help a couple realize in detail what they had perhaps only dreamt about in the abstract. Here are a few of my favorite sites to get you brainstorming:

The Knot – This website for the eponymous gold-standard wedding magazine combines the magazine’s punchy, informative articles with simple planning tools covering everything from engagement to honeymoon. At The Knot, you can, for example, look for area vendors; watch a video about how much is too much to pay for a wedding cake; or monitor your budget, guest list, and registry. Be sure to check out the “Real Weddings” section, where you can get a ton of ideas from the slideshow profiles of readers’ ceremonies. To help you compare apples to apples, “Real Weddings” is also divided into categories like fall, winter, summer, and spring; budget; and destination.

Prepare to Wed – PreparetoWed.com is streamlined, stunning online resource that also manages to pack in a wealth of detailed advice on every aspect of the wedding ceremony. Designed by a wedding planner, Prepare to Wed offers tools to manage your guest list, budget, and other important aspects of the ceremony, and also includes an impressive archive of “Expert Advice” from top vendors working in all aspects of the wedding. The archive is searchable by season or wedding style and includes hundreds of posts on everything from whether to invite children to the wedding to what to do if it rains on your wedding day. You can even tap the archives for aesthetic inspiration by searching by the colors you intend to use at your ceremony. Be prepared to lose an afternoon sifting through this impressive resource – this is an easy site to get addicted to.

Wedding Wire – Another excellent resource for couples that includes budget, guest list, and registry planners; WeddingWire.com’s distinction is its database of 200,000 vendor reviews. Searchable by zip code and service, the reviews are done by real newlyweds who rank vendors according to quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value, and flexibility. Wedding Wire also gives out annual awards for the best-rated vendors and badges to vendors who received three or more reviews in the past year (which Wedding Wire says means the vendors care about honest feedback). Both of these badges can be found on the vendor’s profile.

Maine Wedding Company is an online wedding planning source for destination weddings and for creative couples getting married in Maine. From luxury seaside resorts to casual lobster bakes on the beach, Maine provides a unique experience for Maine destination brides and local Maine brides alike. Their featured Maine Wedding Company vendor members are exceptionally talented, setting trends and going above and beyond in service. The MWC’s network of wedding professionals stand for quality and hospitality.