The Best Wedding Rain Plan!

Rain on your wedding day does not have to be the end-all of your wedding day excitement! Here are some fun rainy-day features you can bring to life during your wedding weekend in case the rain intimidates you just a little bit!

Clear Umbrellas!

In the chance of rain, order some clear umbrellas for your wedding party to take around the property! Have your first look under a shared rain-drop-coated umbrella. Make sure to get one for your photographer and videographer as well!

 

Colorful Boots!

Skip the heels and transition your bridesmaids into a colorful rain-booty that matches their gowns! Rain boots are the perfect wedding gift for your bridesmaids and you should treat yourself to a pair too!

Rain on Your Wedding Day | Hailey Tash Photography

Indoor Ceremony!

I know what you’re thinking… who wants to get married inside when you can get married outside? The bonus to getting married at French’s Point is that it has the perfect indoor ceremony option. Inside the Conservatory, you and your guests will still have a 280 degree view of the ocean. You can decorate the stairs with greenery, swag and candles. As your wedding party enters through the double doors, you can make your own grand entrance down the estate staircase, only to see the look of your loved one standing in front of the ocean-bay windows.

Dim the Lights!

Rainy days aren’t always darker days, but when they are, it’s the perfect chance to dim all the chandeliers in the Retreat House, turn on the fireplaces, and cozy up around the indoor bar with a specialty cocktail in hand!

Rainy Day Pictures!

With your colorful booties and your double-wide clear umbrella, you can go anywhere! Head down to the beach and take your Oceanside pictures you have been dreaming of! You may think the clouds are a bummer, but trust us, the photographers are so excited about the cloudy-day lighting! No glare, and the perfect white backdrop to your already perfect day! And when the sun sets over the West, take some back-lit, drizzly, nighttime photos! They are always a one-of-a-kind!

Ocean Fog!

On the Coast of Maine, when there is precipitation in the sea air, the fog will roll over the bay, in the morning or all day. But when it does, take an opportunity to take photos walking the bluff path! Just look at how amazing the fog looks rolling up behind this couple! 

Greta Tucker Photography

Double Rainbow!

When the rain clears and the sun shines through the clouds, take a moment to look at the double rainbow stemming from North to South on the Penobscot Bay! It’s a photo opportunity you won’t want to miss! 

Rain on your wedding day

Beautiful Up-do!

If you had plans to wear your hair down, you might want to consider a beautiful up-do if there is rain in the forecast! Work with your hair dresser during your hair and makeup trial to try it both up and down! You will never know it rained if you go with it up!

Rain on your wedding day

Photography by:

Rebecca Aurthurs Photography, Greta Tucker Photography, Hailey Tash Photography & Michelle Turner Photography

How Many Chairs Do I Order For My Wedding Ceremony?

Brendan Bullock Photography - French's Point - Family Vacation Home Rental - Maine Wedding Venue

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 isle 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.

Food Trucks at French’s Point

Food Trucks at French's Point - Maine Wedding Venue - Maine Food Truck - Fishin Ships - Rachel Buckley Wedding Photography

Couples are always looking for ways to make their wedding weekend experience fun, memorable and unique. Because weddings are so trend influenced, the food truck movement has made it’s way into the wedding weekend at French’s Point too. We often get the question “Can we use a food truck for our wedding weekend at French’s Point”. Our answer is, sure you can.  But here are some things to consider first:

Food Truck Logistics

First, food trucks are not caterers in most instances. They do not handle setup or breakdown during events, they do not buss tables, clean up waste, manage rentals, or communicate with the rest of the event team like a caterer would. Therefore, the responsibility of these tasks will then fall to your planner. For this reason, a food truck should certainly be discussed with your planner first before they are hired.

How Many Food Trucks Do I Need?

Secondly, food trucks can put out a large volume of food in a short period of time, but not in the volume needed in the time allowed at a wedding celebration. In our experience, we feel you will need one truck for every fifty guests you are serving, in order to put out the correct volume of food in less than one hour of service time. If you have 150 guests to serve, then three food trucks should be hired. Each food truck is different and some have more wedding event experience than others, so you should discuss this and your timing expectations with the food truck directly.

Our Stand-out Food Truck Providers

Third, not all food trucks have experience in providing service for wedding weekend events, or have experience here at French’s Point. Here is our list of stand-out food truck providers:

Urban Sugar

  • Donuts!
  • Great for Breakfast catering or afternoon snacks

Uproot Pie Co.

  • Wood Fired Pizza & Farm Fresh Salad
  • Lunch or Dinner

Saltbox Cafe

  • Gourmet Breakfast Sandwiches & Wraps, and lots of other options for Lunch & Dinner
  • Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Fishin Ships

  • Delicious Fish & Chips, Fish Sandwiches & Fries
  • Lunch or Dinner

Food Truck Locations at French’s Point

Fourth, when you decide to work with a food truck, you need to consider which location at French’s Point you wish to utilize and your poor weather plan for your events:

The Farm House Private Beach

            The Farm House West Slope Lawn(next to the Farm House Gazebo)

            The Retreat House Portico (direct access to the Main Entrance)

            The Retreat House West Side Porch (direct access to the Lounge)

            The Retreat House East Side Porch (direct access to the Dining Room)

The Retreat House Sail Cloth Tent

When Should I Have a Food Truck During My Wedding Weekend?

Lastly, food trucks are a great accent to the celebration, but we have found that it is best if they are not the primary caterer for your wedding day.  Here are some examples of where and when a food trucks has created a successful & memorable moment at French’s Point:

  • Urban Sugar Donut Truck & Espresso Dave’s parked out near the Retreat House West Side Porch on Saturday morning
  • Uproot Pie Co parked near the gazebo at the Farm House West slope Lawn serving up their delicious pizza for a casual Thursday night welcome dinner after a rousing afternoon of games on the neighboring Farm House Recreation Lawn.
  • Saltbox Café parked out near the Retreat House Portico serving up their amazing breakfast sandwiches & burritos for a Sunday morning farewell Brunch.
  • Fishin Ships parked down near the Retreat House Sail Cloth Tent for an casual rehearsal dinner on Friday night.

We hope that these details are helpful when you are considering a food truck as part of your wedding festivities.

9 Things To Do After You’re Engaged

Just Engaged Tips - Maine Weddings

Maybe you’re newly engaged, or perhaps you expect your special someone might pop the question any time. Here’s what to do after you say “Yes!”

1) You’re Engaged, Soak It In

Take the time to soak in the moment and revel in the love and joy of this special moment. This is the only time you’re going to experience being engaged, so savor every second.

2) Share The News

Make the time to share the big news about your engagement with your nearest and dearest over a phone call, FaceTime or Skype. To avoid hurt feeling, don’t share the news on your social streams until you’ve told those closest to you.

3) Get Engagement Ring Insurance

Get insurance for that beautiful engagement ring.

4) Set Priorities

Sit down with your beloved over coffee or cocktails and discuss the vision of your wedding experience. Determine your mutual priorities before you start scheduling tours or making plans. Place the things you agree on at the top of the list and come to an agreement of the placement of the other items on the list. You will be so glad you did.  

5) Define a Wedding Budget

Talk with the members of your tribe that may be contributing financially to the celebration and define the level of investment you are comfortable making in this experience. This will allow you to shop more effectively for wedding day partners and save you lots of time as you go.

6) Draft Your Guest List

To know if your venue will work within your budget, you will need a solid guest list first. Do this before you begin your venue search.

7) Set the Date

Identify your availability, preferred season, and dates to celebrate.

8) Book Your Venue

Once you have considered your options and confirmed they are within budget, it’s time to reserve your venue.

9) Hire a Wedding Planner!

Hire an experienced wedding professional to bring your wedding vendor team together and bring your vision to life.

Featured photo by Cuppa Photography.

How Early Should I Book My Wedding Venue?

book wedding venue

Couples often ask me how early they should book their wedding venue. Of course, this all depends on a number of factors:

  1. How long would you like the engagement period to be?
  2. Do you have life commitments (school, work, vacation, moving, home purchase) that need to be factored in to your timing?
  3. Do you have a preferred season or special date on which you wish to be wed?
  4. And related to the date, what kind of experience are you looking to offer your guests attending your wedding and what seasonal aesthetic are you seeking for your celebration?

Once you have decided on these factors, consider this timeline before you book your wedding venue and set the date for your French’s Point wedding.

Before You Choose Your Wedding Date

Planning a wedding takes a lot of time. First, you and your fiancé need to agree on your priorities and wedding budget. Then the bulk of active wedding planning can be achieved within three to four-months of the wedding with the guidance from an experienced, professional wedding planner. Additional time for planning can be necessary for guests traveling to your destination wedding, to arrange flights, travel and lodging. So, considering how much time it takes to plan the wedding, may determine how far in advance you reserve your wedding venue.

Dates from June to October fill quickly, so…reserve your wedding venue as soon as you [can]!

Dates from June to October fill quickly, so if you are committed to one specific date or dates in this window, you would be best suited to reserve your wedding venue as soon as you know your date works for all the key parties for your celebration. Our typical clients book on average between two years to nine months before the wedding, with most booking 14 months prior to their date. As you can see, they booked their wedding venue quite early on in the planning process.

If you want to know if your wedding date is available at French’s Point, give me a call at (207) 567-3650 or send me an email at [email protected]!

Featured photo by Sharyn Peavey Photography.

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Tips for a Successful Wedding Weekend

Maine wedding officiant | French's Point Vendor Spotlight: A Sweet Start | Haven Photography

Weddings are among the few events in our lives when nearly everyone we know and love is gathered in one place. That’s why so many couples are extending their weddings beyond the ceremony and reception to include a full weekend of fun and events. Welcome receptions, farewell brunches and group outings give everyone more time to reconnect and savor the celebration.

Planning a multi-day event comes with some additional considerations:

Head count. When brides and grooms invest time and effort into planning a long weekend of wedding events, attendance rates tend to rise. Guests seize the opportunity to both celebrate with the happy couple and enjoy a mini-vacation or family reunion. At French’s Point, guests often fill the time leading up to and following the main event with jaunts to Bar Harbor, gallery tours in Belfast and other excursions. Only about 10% of invited guests decline to attend single-day events at our estate (lower than the national average), and even fewer RSVP with regrets for multi-day weddings.

Budget. Hosting an event over several days does add to expenses, but the largest budget driver is the head count. Plan well ahead to nail down the final guest list with enough time to make adjustments. If more people decline than you anticipated, use the savings to plan a bonus event, like a welcome cocktail reception, or add a new element to a meal, such as hors d’oeuvres.

Lead time. Give guests as much advance notice as possible if you’re asking them to travel more than an hour, especially on holiday weekends when competing vacation plans are likely. Send out save-the-dates when you have a general idea of the weekend’s itinerary, and ideally also a wedding website with travel, accommodation and activity information. A good rule of thumb is to send out invites 120 days ahead of the wedding and give guests 6 weeks to respond, giving you a final head count a comfortable 30 to 60 days prior to the event. Keep in mind that “fringe guests” — the ones couples feel obligated to invite but don’t expect to show up — might be more likely to attend after perusing an appealing itinerary for weeks in advance.

Itineraries. We recommend leaving 40% to 50% of each day open to give guests a mix of scheduled events and free time. While your wedding party may have additional obligations, your guests will appreciate unstructured pockets of time to browse art galleries, charter a schooner, go for a hike, or indulge other interests. Guests making the special effort to attend with children, especially, will be grateful to sneak in naps and down time. Post suggested activities to your wedding website or pop a list in guests’ welcome bags.

Juggling act. Planning a full weekend of events can prove challenging for even the most organized brides. Consider delegating some peripheral events or activities to a planner or family member. After all, your guests have traveled a long way to see you. Devote your time to loves ones, not checklists.

6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast

6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography

Congratulations, you have been selected to give a toast at your friends’ wedding! Are you nervous? You shouldn’t be. It’s an honor to be asked to toast the wedding couple and you’re probably being asked because you’re one of the most important people in their lives. We’ve seen hundreds of toasts here at French’s Point, so we’re offering you a few simple tips to help you know how to give the best wedding toast that will resonate with the couple and their guests long after the glasses have clinked.

1. Plan ahead, don’t wing it

Whatever you do, plan ahead. Spend ample time considering what you want to say and how you want to say it. You’ll have only a few minutes to make a point, so focus in on something specific that you want to note – the way the relationship has made your friend happier, for example.

2. Keep it short

Most people will lose focus with anything longer than 3 minutes so try to keep your toast between 2 – 2.5 minutes. It’s long enough to get your point across but not so short that it’s awkward. Keep in mind that less is more, so edit out unnecessary language or redundancies.

3. Follow the 3-part rule

Writing a great wedding toast is just like any other writing piece: you need an outline.

Introduction – Introduce yourself and explain how you know the couple. Chances are that you do not know all of the guests in attendance, so it’s helpful to start out by introducing yourself and interesting to describe your relationship.

Body – Tell a short story or give an example that epitomizes their relationship. Think about topics like: How did they meet? Where did they meet? Who introduced them? How did you know they were destined for marriage? How did they get engaged? Sometimes telling the arc of their love story works great!

Conclusion – Close with your well wishes for the couple. Make your closing personal, use a poem, a quote or song lyrics; something that translates the love you have for them and their commitment to each other.

4. Don’t get too personal

Be sure to avoid inside jokes that no one will understand. Also, definitely avoid any intimate details from their past that might embarrass them or cause them (or their family members) to feel uncomfortable. After all, this is their big day and you want nothing but happiness and laughter!

5. Do speak from the heart

Remember that being asked to make a toast at a wedding is a wonderful honor. Speak with warmth and kindness and from the heart and your toast is sure to be wonderful!

6. Remember to make a copy

Whether it’s the full toast or an outline of your thoughts, definitely have something in writing to guide you as you speak. If speaking in front of a crowd is not your thing, you’re not going to want to add pressure on yourself by trying to memorize your speech. Even the best public speakers use notes to help keep them on track, so you should, too.

Delivering a reception toast can be intimidating, but remember this is a loving environment and your job is to show your affection for the couple. That’s it! Look at the person or people you are dedicating the toast to, speak directly to them, and remember to talk slowly and clearly. After all, everyone wants to hear what you have to say. You’re the toastmaster!

All photos by Emily Delamater Photography

6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography 6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography 6 Tips for Giving the Perfect Wedding Toast | Emily Delamater Photography

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Do I Have to Assign Seating at my Wedding?

Nautical escort cards at coastal Maine wedding venue | Cuppa Photography

You might not know this, but before French’s Point owner, Jessika Brooks Brewer, took on the stewardship of this incredible waterfront wedding venue, she was a wedding planner. Her long years of experience means she’s pretty much seen it all. In this post, she’s going to highlight the pros and cons of using seating charts, escort cards or open seating to help your guests find their seats at your French’s Point wedding reception. She’ll also offer tips for using each one, so you can make an informed decision that not only works with the flow of your wedding, but reflects your creativity and decor.

Escort Cards

Escort cards are the most common reception seating choice.

Typically, escort cards are arranged on a table or board alphabetically by last name to guide guests or “escort” them to their assigned table. Once at the table, the specific seats can be unassigned, or there can be a preset place card designating the guest’s specific seat at the table.

Pros: Escort cards allow you to get super creative (think tiny jars of strawberry jam for a summer wedding, or fresh peaches or figs for a fall fete) with the guests’ names and table numbers of them. They can double duty as wedding favors, too! Escort cards also take very little time for your guests to locate, which moves the seating process along swiftly; a good option if you have a large guest list.

Cons: Escort cards can be time consuming to make, especially if you are into DIY wedding projects! In our experience, they’re also often left behind by guests after a wedding, which can feel like a waste of your time, energy, and money. (Unless of course you make the escort card edible, like a Clementine orange, or chocolate bar or drinkable, like a mini-champagne bottle!)

Tips: Arrange the escort cards alphabetically (by last name then first name) in advance of your arrival well in advance of your wedding day. Compare this layout to your seating chart one last time to be sure they match up and that no one has been left off the list!

Seating Chart

Seating charts are the most formal of seating designation options.

A seating chart is a large board that lists all of the tables and which guest is setting at which table. We’ve seen creative seating charts on elegant mirrors, antique windows, and even a map of Maine! Our friend El, from El’s Cards makes gorgeous custom watercolor seating charts.

Pros: Unlike escort cards, a seating chart is only one sign (or two if you have a large number of guests) that you or your wedding planner need to design and execute. This can provide a more cost-effective alternative to escort cards. It also allows you maximum control over social orchestration of the day to ensure guests mingle, meet new people and enjoy the company of the people at their table.

Cons: Once you’ve designed and printed the chart, changes may result in either completely redoing the chart. If a guest cannot attend after sending in their RSVP and after you’ve created your masterpiece seating chart, you either have to re-do the sign or leave open seats. Also, long lines of guests can form at seating charts, while each person is looking for their table, which can slow the seating process down.

Tips: If you go this route, consider providing more than one chart to speed up the seating process and eliminate long lines. Also, arrange names on the chart by last name then first alphabetically, rather than by table number. If you go this route with your seating, be sure to have a full name for each of your guests.

Open Seating

Open seating plans are the most casual way to offer seating to your guests.

Open seating at your wedding is just like it sounds: you provide tables and your guests can choose any seat they like.

Pros: This seating style tends to set the most relaxed tone because guests who know each other will naturally sit together. It also requires less planning on your part!

Cons: This seating style often results in some tables with no guests seated at them and some tables with more than the ideal number of guests seated at it, as guests define where they wish to sit and sometimes pull up extra chairs from other tables. With this seating style, you have to limit your meal style options to buffet/stations, or family style dishes for guests to choose from at the table. A seated meal of this style can be costly due to additional waste and cost because the caterer has to prepare more food than needed.

Tips: If you choose this seating style for your event, opt for buffet or stations meal format. It furthers the causal vibe and reduces cost at the same time.

In the end, the choice is really yours for your special day! Which seating option do you think you’ll choose? Leave your response in the comment below. Have more questions about your French’s Point wedding, give us a call (207) 567-3650 or shoot us an email!

Featured photo by Cuppa Photography.

Nautical escort cards at coastal Maine wedding venue | Rebecca Arthurs Photography
Rebecca Arthurs Photography
Gold & silver escort cards at coastal Maine wedding venue | Mr. Haack Photography
Mr. Haack Photography
Nautical escort cards at coastal Maine wedding venue | Darling Photography
Darling Photography
Travel inspired escort cards at oceanfront Maine wedding venue | Cuppa Photography
Cuppa Photography
Escort cards at elegant Maine wedding venue | Hailey & Joel Photography
Hailey & Joel Photography
Nautical escort cards at elegant Maine wedding venue | Michelle Turner Photography
Michelle Turner Photography

Resource Guide for French’s Point Couples 2017

Here at French’s Point, our main goal is making sure you have the wedding of your dreams. This isn’t just something we say, we actively work to ensure that you have everything you need to organize and produce a wedding celebration that your guests will enjoy and that ultimately reflects who you are as a couple. To that end, we’ve created this detailed resource guide with 25 pages packed with useful area resources for your enjoyment and information.

25 Pages of Midcoast Maine Resources

In our Resource Guide for French’s Point Couples, you’ll find the following.

  • Restaurants
  • Family entertainment
  • Schooner and sailing adventures
  • State Parks
  • Golf courses
  • Ferry services
  • Art galleries and museums
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Beer and wine tasting rooms
  • Nature centers
  • Lighthouses
  • Outdoor recreational activities like: biking, canoeing, and kayaking
  • Other recreational activities like: zip lining, climbing, whitewater rafting, and yoga
  • Fishing
  • Horse stables and carriage rides
  • Spas and salons
  • Airports
  • Transportation services like: limos, busses, taxis and rental cars
  • Hospitals
  • Moorings and yacht clubs
  • Farmers’ Markets and grocery stores

We’ve tried to anticipate all of your needs and have gathered all of that information into a downloadable resource guide. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to make your French’s Point wedding amazing!

5 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Maine wedding catering and Maine wedding planning advice

At French’s Point, we understand that our couples are seeking customized, meaningful, personal celebrations. For this reason, we encourage you to assemble your own dream team of wedding vendors to create the event that brings your wedding dream to life. Your wedding caterer is a key member of your wedding team. Food is a very memorable part of the wedding experience for you and your guests. The food and drink for your wedding reception will probably consume a large portion of your wedding budget, so you want to invest this money wisely. Remember, these costs compound with each guest you include in your celebration.

For couples new to planning an event like a wedding, catering costs can be a bit challenging to untangle because each caterer frames their pricing differently and includes different items in the standard pricing.

For couples new to planning an event like a wedding, catering costs can be a bit challenging to untangle because each caterer frames their pricing differently and includes different items in the standard pricing. Many include a cost of food in the “per-person” price of the food and will charge separately for staff/service, tax, gratuity, rentals and administrative fees, while for other caterers the “per-person” cost includes these additional fees. This makes it very difficult to really get a handle on the total costs and make an apples-to-apples comparison between providers.

The top 5 questions you should ask your wedding caterer.

1.  Do you have the necessary licenses required by the State and Town where we’re hosting our celebration?

It is important for you to know if your caterer has the proper permits to provide service at the venue hosting your event. You can also ask the venue for a list of the required licenses and permits. You can get this information at the city hall or town office where you’re getting married. Ask your caterer for a copy of the permits and licenses to keep with your wedding contract.

2.  Do you have full liability insurance and liquor liability insurance if you’re providing alcohol for my events?

As the host of the celebration, making sure that your caterer has sufficient liability coverage is crucial in limiting your own liability exposure. This is an even more significant issue if your caterer is providing alcohol and service for your events. Ask for a copy of their insurance policy for your file and be sure to check effective dates.

3.  What is your specialty and your preferred format of service style? What makes you special?

You want to be sure you are interviewing caterers that can provide your preferred style of service (buffet, sit-down dinner, etc.) effectively and that the quality of the food is in line with your vision as well. Not all caterers provide the same style of service or excel in the same areas of food service. Asking them up front what their specialty is can be a very helpful tool in determining if your principals and vision align with theirs.

4.  Are you a full service caterer?

At venues such as ours, a “Blank Canvas Venue” which allows you to choose you own catering partner, it is a key element of success to be certain that the caterer will not only provide excellent food, but that they will provide the staffing and service to handle set-up of the reception rentals as well as clean-up of the catering and food service rentals at your event. For instance, food trucks are a recent trend at weddings and they can be fun, but some foods truck caterers don’t include set-up, bussing, or break-down of rentals in their services. The same is true of a more traditional caterer. Food is only part of the equation. Service, in my opinion, is equally or more important than the food itself in the overall experience the caterer is providing to you and your guests.

5.  What is the average price range for your service at my venue and does it include food, service, staff, rentals, tax, gratuity, travel and all other fees?

Catering companies all structure their costs differently. As we mentioned above, some caterers will lump related costs (food, beverage, service) together under a per-guest price. Other companies will give you a per-guest price for food and/or beverage and then a flat fee for service/staff and another flat fee for rentals. Almost always, these costs are pre-tax, which is 7% on food and bar products only (service, rentals, or other service charges are not subject to tax) and pre-gratuity, which is typically 15-22% in Maine on the food and beverage costs only (there should not be gratuity on service, rentals, travel fees or other service charges).

Another key element in your overall catering cost is rentals. Will your caterer need to rent service trays, tray jacks, water pitchers, salt and pepper shakers, coffee station supplies, plates, silverware, linens and glassware or other catering equipment to provide your chosen meal in your chosen setting? This can be a significant and key contributing cost for your event so do not overlook it!

To ensure you partner with the very best caterer for your wedding, I cannot stress enough the importance of gathering clear information from the caterers you are considering . You want to avoid surprises, so ask these key questions before hiring your wedding caterer so you know exactly what to expect on wedding day.

By Jessika Brooks-Brewer, French’s Point Owner

Have more questions about this important topic or ready to book your tour? Contact us, we’re here to help!

Featured photo by Darling Photography.