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.

SaveSave

How Do I Make Lodging Blocks?

Maine seaside wedding venue

Almost every wedding that takes place at French’s Point is a family affair for our clients. With such a momentous occasion to look forward to, it is very common for family to offer their assistance as wedding plans are being made. So, often times parents and other family and friends participate in the wedding planning at various points in the process. Many hands make light work, right? We find that many mothers of the bride and grooms, in particular, really want to help in some way. However, they don’t know exactly what they can do to help the happy couple with their plans, without overstepping the bounds of “helpful.” In this How Can I Help blog series, we will offer some ideas about how you can help your son or daughter and their partner with the planning. In this series, we offered ways you can assist with the Venue Search, plan the details of the Rehearsal Dinner, help coordinate the Farewell Brunch, and offer assistance on the Honeymoon Planning. This time, we will discuss how you can provide support through planning Lodging Blocks or Room Blocks at local accommodations.

#1 Where to Start: What kind of lodging do you need?

Talk to the Wedding Couple

Talk to the couple about their vision for their event related to lodging. They may envision their guests staying in the lodging at French’s Point in combination with the other area rental cottages along Hersey Retreat Road, which leads into French’s Point or they may want a combination of these rentals as well as local inns, hotels and motels.

Who Will Stay at French’s Point?

French’s Point offers 19 guest rooms in 18 suites at French’s Point. There are 12 guest rooms at The Farm and there are 6 guest suites at The Retreat including one Family Suite that has a shared bath with a room with a queen bed and a room with two sets of bunk beds. Each suite has its own private bathroom. Check out the floor plans to The Farm and The Retreat for details. We suggest you determine who will occupy these 19 guest rooms before you do anything else. Typically, the guests that are nearest and dearest to the couple stay in these rooms, ie. immediate family and wedding party. Many couples want their weekend to feel like a wedding and a reunion/vacation nicely combined. This option offers that experience.

Rentals Closest to French’s Point

You can refer to the blog post series about the Rental Cottages of Hersey Retreat Road for details about some of the rental properties closest to French’s Point. For an extended stay, house rentals offer more amenities and are more affordable that nightly properties such as hotels and motels.

Hotels, Motels, and Inns

However, some guests may only be able to come for the night or two around the wedding, so a hotel or inn property may be a better option. There is a nice portfolio of nightly lodging properties near French’s Point of varying price points and styles. We suggest the newly renovated Belfast Harbor Inn, its sister property, the Yankee Clipper, or the luxury Belfast ay Inn & Suites. These properties offer a nice spectrum of options for guests.

PRO TIP: Consider setting up shuttle transportation for the wedding day to and from these local accommodations to ensure guests can enjoy themselves and safely get home at the end of the night.

Accommodations Guide

We provide our clients with our Accommodations Guide and the Area House Rental Guide. These resources offer  information about the properties in the area that guests may have interest in reserving for lodging.

#2 Next Steps: when and how to secure room blocks

When to Block Rooms

For events taking place at French’s Point between May and October, we encourage reserving rooms no later than three months in advance. For events on long weekends, we suggest reserving them as far as five or sixmonths in advance.

PRO TIP: We suggest having lodging information on the wedding website before Save The Dates are sent, so guests can reserve their lodging and begin planning their time with you for a weekend of fun and memory-making!

 Contact the Property

Once you determine which properties you are most interested in suggesting to guests, contact the property. Most offer Room Block Rate Locks for large groups. This means they will offer a rate lock or reduced rate for rooms reserved within a room block. Some properties will offer a Room Block Hold, but will require a credit card to hold the rooms and the card will be charged for unsecured rooms once you get to the expiration date of the Room Block Contract. House Rentals do not offer holds. You can still suggest these properties to guests.

Update the Wedding Website

Add the chosen lodging options, website link, contact details and a description to the wedding website or wedding app the couple is using for their event. We recommend including a suggested date by which the lodging should be reserved.

Learn more about French’s Point, we can’t wait to hear from you!

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Wedding Day Emergency Kit Items | Photo by Kim Chapman Photography

Let’s start off by saying, we hope everything on your wedding day goes off without a hitch. However, with all of the logistics to think about, the many people participating in the event, the dresses and shoes and undergarments, not to mention the emotions involved in a wedding, it’s best to be ready in case something comes up that needs to be fixed, cleaned, pinned or replaced in a pinch.

That’s why we suggest you have a “Wedding Day Emergency Kit” close at hand. The kit should be filled with solutions for every little thing that can come up on the wedding day. Over the years, we’ve experienced several wedding day emergencies, most of which we solved with items from our trusty kit. Here are a few of the most common issues we’ve solved:

  • Soiled bridesmaids dresses (stain sticks)
  • Broken buttons (small sewing kit)
  • Unruly hair (hair spray + bobby pins)
  • Nerves (alcohol + snacks)
  • Difficult dress buttons (crochet hook)
  • Broken boutonnieres (extra pins + matching ribbon)
  • Broken hem (hem tape/double sided tape)
  • Dead cell phone battery (charger + battery boost)
  • Pet fur/traveling lint (lint roller/brush)
  • Missing vows/speech (send it to us first!)

Complete List of Wedding Day Emergency Kit Items

Here are some of the items you’ll want to stock in your Wedding Day Emergency Kit:

Allergy medicine
Antacid
Baby powder
Baby wipes/antibacterial wipes
Band-Aids
Black shoe polish
Blister treatment
Blotting papers
Bobby pins
Body lotion (for dry elbows)
Body tape to secure straps
Bottles of water
Breath mints
Bug spray
Cash
Chapstick
Clear Deodorant
Clear nail polish (for stocking runs)
Club Soda (For spot remover)
Comb/brush
Corsage pins
Dental floss/toothpicks
Energy drinks or shots
Epi pen
Extension cord and phone charger
Extra earring backs
Extra panty hose
Extra undergarments
Eye drops
Granola bars or other easy-to-eat snacks
Hair pins/ponytail holder
Hair spray
Hand sanitizer
Hand towelettes
Hem tape
Krazy Glue (for nail fixes, shoe heels, decorations, even jewels)
Lighter
Linen handkerchief
Lint roller
Makeup (for touch-ups) including face power or oil remover pads
Makeup remover
Mini first aid kit
Mini sewing kit (with needles, buttons, and white, brown, black, navy, ivory and nude thread)
Mirror
Mouthwash
Nail file
Pain reliever
Pen and paper
Pepto Bismol or Imodium tablets
Perfume
Personal medications for wedding party members
Q-tips
Razor
Safety pins
Scotch tape
Small folding scissors
Smelling salts (while we don’t expect anyone to faint, it has been known to happen)
Spot remover (we love Shout Wipes)
Stain remover pen
Static-cling spray or dryer sheets
Straws (so you can stay hydrated without messing up your lipstick)
Sunblock/sunscreen
Super glue
Tampons/sanitary napkins
Tissues
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Tweezers
Water
White and black duct tape
White chalk (to cover up any last minute smudges or smears on your wedding dress)

The most likely scenario is that you’ll plan for all possible contingencies and then won’t need to dip into your kit at all. In that case, turn your Wedding Day Emergency Kit into your Roadside Emergency Kit or gift it to a frined who is getting married after your big day.

How Can I Help: Honeymoon Planning

Honeymoon planning advice

Almost every wedding that takes place at French’s Point is a family affair for our clients. Often times parents and other family and friends participate in the wedding planning at various points in the process. Many hands make light work, right? With such a momentous occasion to look forward to, it is very common for family to offer their assistance as wedding plans are being made. We find that many mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom, in particular, really want to help. However, they don’t know exactly what they can do to help the happy couple with their plans, without overstepping the bounds of “helpful.”

In this How Can I Help? blog series, we will offer some ideas about how you can help your son or daughter and their partner with the planning. In a prior post in this series, we offered ways you can assist with the Venue Search, thoughts on how you can assist with a Rehearsal Dinner or Welcome Reception and ideas to help them plan their Farewell Brunch. This time, we invited Wendy Dessler to discuss how you can provide support regarding the honeymoon planning.

What can you do to help plan the honeymoon?

If your son or daughter is preparing for their wedding, you probably feel pulled in many directions at once. You want to help, but unless you are a professional wedding planner, you probably do not know where to begin. The honeymoon is a great starting point. This is something that should be planned early (in order to get the prices and packages that are most desired). Parents often do not realize how much they can help in this area. But once it is done, the bride and groom are elated.

Where to Start?

Ask the couple for a list of places they are considering for the honeymoon. Be sure to inquire about the budget, dates, and any special activities they really want to do. Now you can begin by researching the different honeymoon packages that are available in their selected locations. You can gather information on the weather, activities, hotel, car rental, food, and all-inclusive travel packages.

Honeymoon Account

Set-up a wedding Plumfund account. This is an account that allows friends and family to use their computer to gift money to the wedding couple or by paying for special things like airfare or special dinners. This is the trend for modern weddings. People use their online accounts because they are easier and more convenient and free for the wedding couple.

…gift money to the wedding couple or by paying for special things like airfare or special dinners.

Honeymoon Registry

Once the honeymoon destination has been chosen, you can set up the honeymoon registry. Honeyfund is the most popular online registry. This site is also free and easy to use. Much like old fashion registries, you register the couple’s actual wants and needs. If there are items that come from an actual store, you can list them. You can also list the itinerary of the honeymoon. You can list what the couple really wants to do and see and their second choice. The site can be used to pay for their suite, car rental, and special events. Guests chip in to allow the couple to live their dreams.

Guests chip in to allow the couple to live their dreams.

At the end of the day, it will be the wedding couple which decides where to go and what to do. But you can help in so many ways. The job will be a lot less stressful for everyone involved.

Every job you take on gives the couple more time and relieves them of stress and fatigue. So when you say, “Tell me if you need anything,” offer some suggestions and the couple will be so grateful for the nudge in the right direction.

This is a way you can show the people in your life that you love and support them and want to send them into their new life stress-free.

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama.com and Toweringseo.com who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

How Can I Help: Farewell Brunch

Outdoor Maine wedding venue | Emilie Inc. Photography

Almost every wedding that takes place at French’s Point is a family affair for our clients. Often times parents and other family and friends participate in the wedding planning at various points in the process. Many hands make light work, right? With such a momentous occasion to look forward to, it is very common for family to offer their assistance as wedding plans are being made. We find that many mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom, in particular, really want to help. However, they don’t know exactly what they can do to help the happy couple with their plans, without overstepping the bounds of “helpful.”

In this How Can I Help? blog series, we will offer some ideas about how you can help your son or daughter and their partner with the planning. In a prior post in this series, we offered ways you can assist with the Venue Search and also thoughts on how you can assist with a Rehearsal Dinner or Welcome Reception. This time, we will discuss how you can provide support regarding the farewell brunch.

What is a Farewell Brunch?

A farewell brunch is a great way to have some relaxed, low-key time with friends and family after the wedding reception. It’s a wonderful opportunity to thank everyone for attending the wedding before bidding them farewell. Only 27% of our clients opted to host a farewell brunch in 2016, making it the least commonly included of festivity of the weekend wedding at French’s Point. There is certainly no expectation that you should host this event as part of a wedding celebration schedule, but if you and the happy couple decide that this event should be included on the weekend wedding itinerary, there are a few things to keep in mind while planning this event.

5 Things to Think About While Planning a Farewell Brunch

#1 Mind the Guest List 

Sure, it can be tempting to invite the whole wedding party, but the truth is after hours (or days) of mingling and hosting, the wedding couple might need to catch their breath and want to relax the next day. Talk to the couple and be sure you understand their desires around this event. Perhaps you keep this event small and include only the immediate family and wedding party as a way to thank your nearest and dearest for making the wedding possible. Also, keep in mind that not all of your guests will be able to attend the farewell brunch. Many will need to hit the road to catch flights or make the drive back home. If you invite all of your guests to attend, expect 75% or fewer to attend, unless this event was included on formal invitations with an RSVP required.

#2 Consider the Time

As mentioned, some of your guests will want to get up and get on the road the day after the wedding, so consider a drop-by event that accommodates the early risers as well as the slow-to-roll guests. We find 8 a.m. to noon is a good timeframe for this style of event. Guests can come grab a bite and a cup of coffee, say good bye and head home. If you would prefer a more formal brunch with a full meal, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tends to be an ideal time for this event. If you opt for this route, be sure to include this event on your wedding website and weekend itinerary. Some host locations, and even caterers, will require a head count for an event of this nature, so this style of event may require an invitation.

#3 Set the Menu

When planning, many couples can’t imagine being hungry the day after a wedding feast, but trust us, the newlyweds and their guests will wake up the next morning feeling famished from all the dancing and energy they have exerted on the big day! So really think through the brunch menu. After a night of drinking, be sure to include good sources of protein (eggs, yogurt, and of course BACON!) and hydration (through juice, fruit and certainly COFFEE!). For a drop-by event we suggest portable menu items like delicious breakfast sandwiches, fruit and yogurt parfait cups to-go, and serve juice and coffee in disposable cups so they can take it for the road. We have had Urban Sugar bring their donut truck to serve hot, fresh donuts for a quick but delicious brunch. They were a huge hit! For a full brunch, consider either a simple buffet of quiche, cut fruit, yogurt and bagels. For a full menu for a more formal event serve eggs benedict, waffles, or blueberry pancakes, sausage, bacon, steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar, pastry, muffins, juice, coffee, and mimosas and bellinis! Certainly, either route you opt for with the brunch, no one will go home hungry.

#4 Location, location, location

You can host a farewell brunch open to the whole guest list right here at French’s Point! Or consider hosting it at a restaurant located in one of the local hotels where many of the wedding guests will stay. Both of these alternatives are convenient for the guests and easy for you. A drop-by brunch can also be hosted at Beach Rose Farm or one of the larger rental cottages. Just be sure to consider the parking limitations and be mindful of the guest count restrictions at these settings. Always check with the property owner first to get permission.

#5 Keep It Simple

Above all else, we suggest you do not worry about decor, or concern yourself with offering a fancy meal. Keep it simple, remember these tips, and have a great time!

Click here for more in our How Can I Help series. Featured photo by Emilie Inc.

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!

Craft Beer in Your Maine Wedding

Craft beer in your Maine wedding | Joanna Thyer Photography

When you think of Maine you probably think of lobsters, moose, pine trees, and weddings. What you might not think of is beer. Well, we’re here to introduce you to the thriving and growing Maine beer industry and to offer up some seasonal brews that might be a great addition to your Maine wedding.

With more than 70 brewers, Maine beer is really hopping!

There are so many wonderful ways to customize your Maine wedding, and picking out a special beer or two to serve is one of them. Serving brews that reflect the time of year is a great way to add some uniqueness to your Maine wedding.

Seasonal Beer Options for Your Maine Wedding

  • Spring: a lager or pilsner which is a lighter, easy-drinking beer is perfect for a spring wedding
  • Summer: tropical-inspired shandies or a refreshing wheat ale is perfect for the warmer months
  • Fall: a crisp seasonal-inspired ale or dark brown ale sets the tone for an autumn wedding
  • Winter: barrel aged ales and thick stouts are perfect for warming up during the colder months

Above all else, you should have offerings that reflect you! If you’re not sure what’s available, just ask your bar service provider for advice on local offerings.

Our favorite Maine Craft Breweries

Visit the Maine Brewer’s Guild to see a list of all the brewers here in Maine. The Guild also hosts many events throughout the year.  If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during one of their events, definitely check it out!

Featured image by Joanna Thyer Photography.

5 Tips for Planning a Spring Wedding

5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine

Outdoor weddings can be absolutely gorgeous, especially in Maine, where we are blessed to experience the four seasons, each with their own charm and beauty. Spring weddings, combined with the smell of fresh flowers and signs of new life, set the perfect stage to begin a new chapter of your life. Spring is considered “off-season” in Maine and is the perfect time for those who want to avoid the crowded summer wedding season. An off-season wedding sometimes means you’ll have your choice of the best of the best wedding vendors Maine has to offer. With the right planning and the following planning tips, you can set the foundation for an comfortable and charming wedding experience for your guests to talk about for years to come!

1. Be prepared to experience 4 seasons on your wedding day

Regardless of the season and location of your Maine wedding, you should always have a backup plan in the event of inclement weather. Maine weather can change with the blink of an eye and will inevitably change many times on your wedding day. In spring in Maine, it may be cool and breezy during the ceremony and a light rain might roll in before the sky opens up for a sunny, warm evening. Be prepared to work with your hair stylist for options that will brave the breeze, and offer your guests lap blankets or umbrellas for unexpected weather. Incorporate layers or fun cool weather accessories like shawls or capelettes for your wedding party to keep them comfortable during your vows. You can also add patio heaters to the ceremony and cocktail hour locations for added comfort. Expect and plan for the changes and it will make for an incredibly memorable and magical day.

Be prepared to work with your hair stylist for options that will brave the breeze.

2. Ceremony Location

Even on the best spring day, the ground will still be soft from the melting of snow and the spring rain that brings the flowers we love so much. We always encourage couples getting married at French’s Point in the spring season to use the gazebo or the oceanfront cobblestone terrace for their wedding ceremony to avoid high heels sinking into the grass. Of course, if your heart is set on having your ceremony on the waterfront lawn, many bridal and shoe shops carry the small clear discs that attach to your high heels, which allow you to walk in the shoes you love without worrying about sinking. Or have your bridesmaids stand on fabric runners or tile, which creates a very cool look for your ceremony and protects them from sinking during your vows. Another option is to ditch the heels altogether and opt for personalized rain boots or sneakers for your wedding party. In addition to comfort, you will give them a great memory of your big day to enjoy for years to come.

Ditch the heels altogether and opt for personalized rain boots or sneakers for your wedding party!

3. Seasonal Everything

From flowers and food to favors, spring is a great season in which to be married. Be sure to take advantage of locally sourced flowers – think lilies, tulips and lilacs – for your big day. Have bouquets of locally sourced, seasonal flowers adorn the dinner tables; pair seasonal vegetables with grilled chicken for dinner; and offer mini lemon tarts for dessert for a truly inspired spring wedding. Or have a Garden Party-themed reception and decorate with planters and wagons and allow your guests to take them home as favors. You can also use seed packets for seating assignments for guest to plant in their gardens at home as a way to remember your special day. Keep in mind the natural beauty that abounds in spring and just add personal touches to your décor to enhance what’s already there.

4. Bold Colors

Spring is the perfect time to get out of the dreariness of winter and add some color to your celebration. Be bold and deck your bridesmaids out in the brightest yellows, greens and blues with matching ties and socks on the groomsmen or use a traditional palette of pastels, with each special bridesmaid in a different hue. Either way you cannot go wrong incorporating some color into your day.

5. Lighting

While the days are warm, the night will fall fast. If you want your guests to enjoy the outdoors as long as possible, be sure your location has adequate lighting on an outside terrace with seating or create an area yourself with lounge furniture and bring in lighting specialists to set up some twinkle lights to brighten up the area. Guests will love the chance to mingle outside under the glow of a warm light. You could also provide a fire pit that will double as warmth and ambiance and throw in some s’mores supplies for your guests to enjoy!

Couples who embrace the season and the unpredictable weather will benefit from creating a truly unique wedding. Contact us for a tour or to reserve French’s Point for your spring Maine wedding.

Featured photo by Cuppa Photography

5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine | Rebecca Arthurs Photography
Rebecca Arthurs Photography
5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine | Cuppa Photography
Cuppa Photography
5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine | Rebecca Arthurs Photography
Rebecca Arthurs Photography
5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine | Cuppa Photography
Cuppa Photography
5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine | Haven Photography
Haven Photography
5 tips for planning your spring wedding in Maine | Christy Murray Photography
Christy Murray Photography

How Can I Help: Rehearsal Dinner and Welcome Reception

Tips for planning the rehearsal dinner and welcome reception | Mikhail Glabets Lifestyle Photography

Almost every wedding that takes place at French’s Point is a family affair for our clients. Often times parents and other family and friends participate in the wedding planning at various points in the process. Many hands make light work, right? With such a momentous occasion to look forward to, it is very common for family to offer their assistance as wedding plans are being made. We find that many mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom, in particular, really want to help. However, they don’t know exactly what they can do to help the happy couple with their plans, without overstepping the bounds of “helpful.” In this How Can I Help blog series, we will offer some ideas about how you can help your son or daughter and their partner with the planning. In our last post in this series, we offered ways you can assist with the Venue Search. This time, we will discuss how you can provide support relative to the rehearsal dinner.

Rehearsal Dinner and/or Welcome Reception?

Here are a few options to consider for wedding-related events that usually take place the day before a wedding:

  1. Ceremony Rehearsal – Typically takes an hour for the wedding couple, the wedding party and officiant to walk through the ceremony planned for the following day. It is important to keep the wedding rehearsal limited to the people involved in the ceremony to ensure questions are addressed and you can make it to the rehearsal dinner on time.
  2. Rehearsal Dinner – Can be open to just the wedding party and family participating in the wedding ceremony for an intimate affair or can be open to the whole guest list. This event typically takes place around dinner-time the night before the wedding.
  3. Welcome Reception – Typically open to the entire guest list. Allows an open arrival time over the course of 2 – 3 hours. These events often have a bar available and hors d’oeuvres or bite-sized sweet treats and take place sometime between 6 – 10 p.m. Make sure you understand the Maine laws around serving alcohol.

Questions to Ask Before Planning the Pre-Wedding Festivities

Before you begin making plans, we suggest you have a candid conversation with the future married couple and ask them about their vision of the wedding rehearsal dinner and/or welcome reception. Because traditionally the parents of the bride are the major contributors to the wedding day, it has historically been the case that the parents of the groom contribute toward the expense of the events around the rehearsal dinner. But these traditions have changed and are different for each family and circumstance. So, identifying who wishes and is able to contribute toward the cost of these events and who wishes to be in charge of planning the event is an important place to begin before planning this event.

Here are the questions you need to ask:

  • What will it look like?
  • Who will plan it?
  • Who will pay for it?
  • What is the budget?

Once these questions of have been answered, you can now begin the planning process.

Possible Pre-Wedding Day Timeline

We have had a number of clients opt to have the ceremony rehearsal at 5 p.m., and then host an intimate Rehearsal Dinner lobster bake, BBQ, or wood fired pizza party from 6 – 8 p.m. followed by a welcome cocktail reception for the entire guest list from 8 – 10 p.m. where desserts are served. I think this is my favorite combination of experiences. It gives the family and wedding party some quality time together to celebrate before they additional guests are welcomed to the weekend wedding festivities.

You can opt to host these events here at French’s Point, or you can host them at one of the alternative event locations in the area. Regardless of where you have the rehearsal dinner or welcome reception, you will want to talk about the plans with the happy couple to make sure the event is customized in a way that reflects who they are and the tone they want to set for the wedding weekend.

Featured photo by Mikhail Glabets Lifestyle Photography.