My Maine Wedding: Four Seasons of Celebrations
No doubt about it, Maine is the perfect location for a summer wedding. But the state is also a beautiful destination for a fall, winter, or spring ceremony.
No doubt about it, Maine is the perfect location for a summer wedding. But the state is also a beautiful destination for a fall, winter, or spring ceremony. Here are four weddings that prove it. For more Maine wedding ideas from these couples and others, visit www.mainevows.com
Jessika Brooks and Frederick Brewer
The Retreat at French’s Point, Stockton Springs,
February 9, 2008
Jessika Brooks always knew that she would get married at French’s Point. She is the
retreat’s owner, after all, and she spent every summer of her childhood there. But what she didn’t know was that she would end up celebrating in the dead of winter. The result was a unique fairy tale celebration that rivals any summer soiree. Because of the cold weather, the couple was inspired to incorporate distinctive touches like lanterns instead of flowers for the bridesmaids, fire pits on the patio, and a heated outdoor tent that emitted a warm glow. The couple topped it all off with a sleigh ride: “We rode the sleigh right after the ceremony, just to have a minute to ourselves to really savor what we had just done. After we finished riding, the sleigh gave rides to guests during the cocktail hour.” The take-away? Keep your mind open to the off-season in Maine. “I think people should really consider off-peak season,” insists the bride, who helps plan up to fifty weddings a year at French’s Point. “Vendors are hungry for business, so it’s a great time to save some money. And Maine is quite beautiful in the winter months — you have the winter canopy as the backdrop.”
Highpoint: The groom surprised the bride with fireworks.
Obstacle: Brrrrr! Local seamstress Sandi McKeen crafted a full satin and alpaca wool cape for the bride, matching capelets for the bridesmaids, and scarves for the groomsmen.
The Maine Touch: Biscuits from caterer Michael Gagné paired with Memories Made in Maine blueberry marmalade.
Christina Belknap and Matthew Corbett
Kingsley Pines, Raymond
May 31, 2008
For many people, Maine means childhood memories of summer camp, but for Christina Belknap and Matthew Corbett, camp took on a whole new meaning last May when they celebrated their wedding at Kingsley Pines in Raymond. “The best part about the camp setting was the amount of inclusion it allowed for,” describes the bride. “We had 150 guests total, and 130 of them stayed at Kingsley Pines for the whole weekend.
Family and friends with small children who may not otherwise have come were able to come and bring the kids — and the kids had a fantastic time, as did their parents.” Guests had access to all eighty acres of the camp on Panther Lake, plus all the traditional camp activities from tennis to swimming. For the bride, the lake was the best amenity. “The water sports were my favorite part. Being a Mainer, I love to be towed behind a boat on any array of different contraptions, and this one was an inflatable bench of sorts, which could hold nine people at a time.”
Highpoint: The “rehearsal dinner” took the form of a softball game, barbecue, and bonfire the night before the wedding.
Obstacle: A big wedding means lots of kids. The camp provided counselors to oversee a separate dinner with activities while the adults dined, toasted, and danced.
The Maine Touch: Local disco funk band Motor Booty Affair got guests dancing.
Jennifer L. Graver and J. Benjamin Nevius
Bar Harbor Inn, Bar Harbor
August 30, 2008
Jen Graver and J. Benjamin Nevius of Pennsylvania never doubted that Maine was the perfect destination for their August wedding. “It was only a question of what beautiful area of the state to choose,” recalls Jen. “After touring Bar Harbor and the beautiful inn on the waterfront we knew we had found ‘the one.’ ” The wedding was more than they could have hoped for. “The bridal party’s walk down the aisle was heralded by nearby seagulls,” she says. “A schooner came into the dock behind our bridal arch while we were saying our vows. The whole experience was surreal!” But the picture-perfect weather and scenery weren’t the only factors drawing this travel-loving duo to Maine for their big day. “Quite a few guests planned ahead and turned the trip into their week-long summer vacation,” explains Jen. So did the bride and groom: “We went hiking through Acadia, ate some more delicious seafood in town, and capped off our Sunday evening with a hilarious comedy show at Improv Acadia. On our way back home we stopped in Freeport to shop at the famous outlets.”
Highpoint: The post-reception sunset schooner cruise.
Obstacle: Too sunny? Parasols provided protection with style.
The Maine Touch: Sea Dog Blue Paw Wheat Ale on tap and a cake from Janice Strout of Celebration Cakes.
Allison Kelly and Nicholas Charles
September 27, 2008
“Rustic elegance.” That’s what Canadian Allison Kelly and Maine native Nicholas Charles had in mind when they set their sights on Saddleback for their fall wedding. This outdoorsy couple was looking for a symbolic setting to tie the knot. “The mountain in the background was impressive and comforting and offered us the natural beauty that we love about Maine,” says Allison. “It was special to Nick because he grew up skiing at Saddleback. It was significant to both of us because a few weeks earlier we had hiked both Saddleback and the Horn, checking off two of the four-thousand footers in Maine.” A Maine autumn offers more than just smaller crowds (aka more booking flexibility) — in truth, many Mainers secretly prefer this spectacular season to high summer. The newlyweds share these sentiments. “We love the feel and smell of the air in the fall and, of course . . . the foliage!” Maine’s mountains provide endless opportunities to make any wedding weekend unforgettable. Just ask the groom, who on the morning of the ceremony caught two brook trout.
Highpoint: The mountain: it’s a great place to go hiking and leaf peeping.
Obstacle: Watch out for moose — the couple had one extra-uninvited guest on the night of the rehearsal dinner.
The Maine Touch: After enjoying Carrabassett Pale Ale, guests were sent home with chocolate covered blueberries and Maine apple jelly.