10 Reasons to Reserve a Winter Wedding at French’s Point

Winter weddings at French’s Point are unlike those in any other season. The beauty & tranquility of the season mixed the cozy interiors of our homes makes for the perfect combination for a winter wedding weekend retreat.

1. Our Three Homes

Reserve only our Retreat House with 6 suites with lodging for up to 18, or add the Farm House with 12 suites & lodging for up to 28 guests, & the Beach House with 8 suites and lodging for up to 16 guests.

Winter at French's Point

2. One Venue

The three homes can offer space for all your event gatherings all weekend. There’s no need to travel from your hotel to your ceremony then to your reception. You can plan all your weekend events in one location. From your Welcome Gathering to your Rehearsal Dinner, to your Ceremony, Reception and Farewell Brunch. You never have to leave the comfort of your weekend home.

French's Point - Winter Wedding Venue in Maine - Coastal Destination Wedding Venue - Holiday Home Rental - Weekend Timeline - Greta Tucker Photography

3. Fireplaces & Fire Pits

Cozy up fireside & reconnect with your family & friends. We have four fire pits across our grounds. There are fire places in all three homes: Four in the Retreat House, 5 in the Farm House & four in the Beach House.

French's Point Winter Wedding

4. Winter Wonderland Fun

There are endless outdoor activities for your guests to enjoy, but snowshoeing is a must! There are 100 acres of walking trails located behind the Farm House, in the Sandy Point State Park Trail System. Rent snowshoes or bring your own to enjoy the sweet smell of Maine Pine Trees as you crunch through the glistening white snow. The Farm House offers an epic sledding hill, perfect for fun for all ages. Some of our most memorable winter weekends included snowman making contests.

French's Point Wedding

5. Indoor & Outdoor Ceremony Spaces

You are welcome to get married inside our Retreat House Conservatory, with its beautiful three-sided ocean views, or adventure to our outdoor Gazebo! Just inform your guests of the space of your choosing so they can dress appropriately! Add some patio heaters, offer rolled lap blankets to keep guests comfortable, & have hot coffee, mulled cider or hot cocoa ready when they move inside after the ceremony.

French's Point Gazebo

6. Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride

As you exit your ceremony as a newlywed, hop on a horse-drawn sleigh ride to take in that special moment together and ride over the oceanfront lawn overlooking the snow-filled bay! Your guests join in during cocktail hour.

French's Point

7. Reception Space

With an open floor plan to include a double-sided bar, grand piano, Nine 12ft long farm tables, one sweetheart table, one buffet table, two large fireplaces, 100 chairs, dinnerware for 100, and a lounge, you have everything you need for your reception setup.  The space is set for 100 guests, but can be expanded with additional rentals, to accommodate up to 150 guests. Style the space as little or as much as you would like.

French's Point Winter

8. Weekend Itinerary

Review our sample Winter Wedding Weekend Itinerary for inspiration for what your Winter Wedding at French’s Point might be like & make it your own with your special touches.

French's Point

9. Conveniently Located

French’s Point is located just 40 minutes from the country’s longest heated runway. No matter the weather, your guests will be able to fly into Bangor International Airport to enjoy your weekend celebration.

French's Point Wedding

10. Affordable & Memorable

In the Winter season (the fourth weekend in October- third weekend in April), we offer the estate a much reduced rate & we do offer the individual homes independently or collectively in this season only. Contact our office for Winter Wedding Pricing.

French's Point Winter Wedding

Photography by Greta Tucker 

How Many Chairs Do I Order For My Wedding Ceremony?

When you select a blank canvas wedding venue, like French’s Point, you will need to work alongside a rental provider to streamline all your wedding weekend rentals. One of the rental items you will need to place on your order form is your ceremony chairs.

Select Your Chair Style

First, you will need to select the kind of chair that best fits the aesthetic of your venue and style of your wedding. We have found that 90% of our couples rent the White Resin Folding Garden Chairs from Wallace Events.

Choose Your Ceremony Location

Second, you will need to know which location you wish to get married at. French’s Point offers 8 different ceremony settings for you to tie the knot! Choose from the below:

The Retreat Gazebo – Seating Capacity 200+
The Retreat Oceanfront Lawn – Seating Capacity 200+
The Retreat Cobblestone Terrace – Seating Capacity 200+
The Retreat Conservatory – Seating Capacity 180
The Farm Gazebo – Seating Capacity 40
The Farm East Terrace – Seating Capacity 80
The Farm Private Beach – Seating Capacity 200+

Add Extra Chairs

Once you have chosen your ideal ceremony setting for your celebration, and chosen the chairs that best fit your space, you will want to consider the number of guests attending your celebration. If you are estimating 100 guests, you will want to reserve around 20 extra chairs on your rental order. This way you have those chairs reserved to your name in case your guest count skyrockets. You don’t want anyone to be chair-less!

Count Your RSVPs

As the wedding day draws near, and you have all your RSVPs returned to you, you will want to round up an extra 10 chairs and round to the nearest even number. When your planner sets up your ceremony chairs, you will want both sides of the aisle to have an even number of chairs. We also tell you to round up, because believe it or not, your guests never want to fill in every seat in the row! Some families have an uneven number attending.

A Helpful Tip:

To better fill every seat, we recommend assigning an usher to direct guests to the nearest open seat available when they arrive at the ceremony location.

Don’t Forget Your Ceremony Participants!

Now, if you have an officiant, singer, speaker, musician, or any special ceremonial tradition in your service, you will want to ask those who are participating if they will want a chair to sit in. Maybe you will need to sit during the reading or song, then you will want to add two or more chairs to your order, depending on the response from your ceremony personnel.

If You Chose the Gazebo at French’s Point

Lastly, if you have chosen to get married at the Gazebo at French’s Point, you not only want an even number of chairs, but you will want to keep in mind that the promenade on the right-hand side of the Gazebo can only fit 6 chairs across, and the promenade on the left-hand side of the Gazebo can fit anywhere from 6 to 10 comfortably. If you have a small guest count, we recommend 6 across on each side, if you have more than 120 guests attending, we recommend 8-10 chairs on the left-hand side of the promenade, and 6 on the right-hand side to move guests closer to the Gazebo for visual and sound reasons.

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

Tour French’s Point

Are you ready to visit French’s Point to see if it is a good fit for your gathering? To ensure privacy for our guests and families while they vacation here at French’s Point, we close the estate to tours when it is occupied. You will enjoy this same privacy during your stay with us. The best times to schedule a visit are typically Sunday after 1pm through Wednesday during our business hours (9am-4pm daily). There are some exceptions to this because our guests can extend their reservations by a night or two. This is most common over the long weekends. Sunday afternoon tour times fill quickly due to the limited weekend availability. The estate is closed to tours for national holidays of Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day when we are typically enjoying our own family time together at French’s Point.

Visit Us!

If you are planning a trip to visit French’s Point, please contact us in advance to confirm our availability and schedule a tour. We would love to pencil your appointment in and show you what makes French’s Point so special to the families that choose to celebrate here.

Can’t visit now? Check out our Virtual Tours and our Videos.

Visit:

246 Hersey Retreat Road
Stockton Springs, Maine

Email:

info@fpmaine.com

Call:

207.567.3650

A Sweet Summer Wedding in June

Carolyn & TJ

Saturday, June 10, 2017

As we begin to shift our focus to the year ahead and another wedding season of hosting beautiful milestone celebrations for our guests here at French’s Point, we can’t help but reminisce on some of the beautiful weekends and guests we hosted here on the shores of Penobscot Bay this past season.

The early-summer wedding of Carolyn and TJ remains a highlight of the summer for our tiny team. This elegant wedding included a guests list of kind, loving and thoughtful family and friends that traveled from near and far to celebrate with the happy couple. The weather that day could not have been more blessed.

In short, it was the ideal summer day for a wedding; perfectly suited to this wonderful duo. Carolyn and TJ, with help from their wedding planner, Kristin, at Beehive Creative worked to ensure the details of the event came together seamlessly and with the help of Trillium Catering, guests were well fed, always had a drink in hand, and a smile on their face. I recall being struck by the laughter and revelry which floated on the breeze along with the sweet smell of beach rose.

“I recall being struck by the laughter and revelry which floated on the breeze along with the sweet smell of beach rose.” – Jessika Brooks-Brewer

We are excited to see what the future brings this wonderful couple and were beyond honored to host and serve them here at French’s Point where they got their start in life as a married couple.

Carolyn & TJ’s Vendor Team:

  • Bar Services: Trillium Catering
  • Catering: Trillium Catering
  • Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Unknown
  • Ceremony Venue: French’s Point Waterfront Gazebo
  • Design and Styling: N/A
  • Dessert: Trillium Catering
  • Dinner and Dancing Entertainment: Double Platinum Celebrations
  • DJ: DJ Chris – Double Platinum Celebrations
  • Month of Coordinator: Beehive Creative
  • Favors: N/A
  • Fireworks: N/A
  • Floral Design: Broadturn Farm
  • Hair: Glow Salon – Kim
  • Makeup: Glow Salon – Katie
  • Officiant: Kat Logan – Friend of the Couple
  • Photo Booth: Maine to Boston Photo Booth Rental
  • Photography: Ramble Free Photo Co. – Hannah
  • Reception Venue: French’s Point Sailcloth Tent
  • Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals and  French’s Point
  • Transportation: Bo Mar Transportation and Field of Greens (Limo)
  • Videography: N/A

Do I Need Wedding Insurance?

Insurance… not one of the most exciting details one discusses when planning a wedding, but I would argue, it is one of the most important components of protecting your investment and offering you peace of mind as you plan your special celebration. I know it’s a lot to read, but take some time to carefully read this post and then talk to your insurance broker about your options, you’ll be so glad you did.

Wedding Insurance comes in two forms

  1. To protect the purchaser or related providers from exposure to general/liquor liability resulting from wedding activities.
  2. To protect the purchaser or related parties from financial exposure resulting from contracted services engaged for the wedding event.

General Liability

First Exposure

Most venues, including French’s Point, require clients to obtain general liability insurance.  This liability insurance covers you (up to a limit) if something is damaged or someone gets injured as a result of the celebration or any activities related to it. In liability exposure, the provider of the related service that caused injury (the bartender, the caterer, band/DJ, or the fireworks provider) is the first in line for exposure.

Second Exposure

At French’s Point, we require all providers on your wedding team to provide proof of liability protection for this reason. As long as the provider has this insurance, you as the client of that service, are now second in line for exposure.  This is why it is critical that not only do your vendors have liability insurance but that you have liability insurance, too.

… it is critical that not only do your vendors have liability insurance but that you have liability insurance, too.

If the insurance claim exceeds the value of coverage in the provider’s liability policy, you are now exposed for the balance of the claim and your liability insurance will cover that exposure up to your chosen limit. This will protect you from personal exposure.

Third Exposure

After you, your venue is third in line for liability exposure resulting from a claim.  French’s Point has liability protection, but we want to limit our exposure as much as possible, as should you. You can obtain general and liquor liability protection from many sources.  You can often get it as a rider on an existing homeowners or renters policy or you can get it from Event Helper. You can also obtain this coverage from our insurance partner United Insurance.

Liquor Liability Insurance

As is the case with many venues, if you are serving alcohol at your French’s Point wedding, you must obtain Host Liquor Liability Insurance for $1,000,000 of coverage for each day of your reservation. This type of insurance covers you (again, up to a limit) if someone is injured or something gets damaged due to alcohol consumption or activities related to it. For your French’s Point celebration, you must provide proof of liability insurance coverage during the service periods selected for your events to the site manager no later than 14 days prior to the date of the event.

General Wedding Insurance

I strongly encourage all couples to purchase a general wedding insurance policy to cover the cost of contracts resulting from cancellation, postponement, or to provide relief from unanticipated costs should you need to replace a contracted vendor because they cannot perform.

Unfortunately, two couples called off their wedding celebrations just shy of a month prior to their reserved dates this year (fortunately a rare occurrence for us), and neither of them had purchased wedding insurance to protect the substantial financial investment they had made into their events in the case of cancellation.  It is heart-breaking to go through a break up when you are so close to getting married, but what is even more upsetting is the fact that all the money lost could be avoided with fairly inexpensive investment in wedding insurance.

All the money lost could be avoided with fairly inexpensive investment in wedding insurance.

Policies for wedding cancelation or lost deposits are priced according to the total wedding budget. They typically start at around $100, according to WedSafe.com. The total wedding investment – how much you spend on the gown, the ring, deposits for the venue and other services, etc. – is essentially your level of risk should something go wrong. The insurance is an affordable way to obtain much more fool-proof protection.

If your wedding investment is equal to or greater than the price of your car, a relatively pricey asset for which you presumably have insurance, I encourage you to explore wedding coverage. In the end, you will likely decide that the financial risk involved justifies the expense.

Jessika Brooks-Brewer
Owner, French’s Point
Contact

 

SaveSave

SaveSave