Maine Event Planner Blog

maine wedding venues: going coastal

Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline with 3,166 off-shore islands <– the only two states the beat us out in coastline are Florida and Louisiana, that’s pretty impressive. There’s just something about the ocean that’s so magical, a view that never gets old. Let’s visit some coastal wedding venues that provide the quintessential Maine backdrop.

Samoset Resort
From their site: “Nestled on 230 oceanfront acres overlooking Penobscot Bay, the Samoset Resort offers a timeless setting for romantic Maine weddings.”

photo cred: Steven Fairfield / see more of Lindsay & Kevin’s wedding!

French’s Point
From their site: “Set on a peninsula overlooking the Penobscot Bay in Maine, French’s Point offers two year-round, oceanfront vacation rental homes available for weddings and milestone celebrations with beautifully landscaped grounds, a variety of gorgeous event spaces, and an incredible array of amenities affording our guests an unequivocal value with uncompromised privacy, in an unparalleled setting.”
photo cred: Chris Bennett Photography / see more of Natayla & Christian’s day!

Inn at Ocean’s Edge
From their site: “The Inn’s 15 acres of gardens, rolling lawns and woods, our unique infinity swimming pool, and dramatic ocean views, all come together to treat you and your wedding guests to a true Maine wedding.”

photo cred: emilieinc.com

Cliff House
From their site: “Offering panoramic ocean views, exceptional culinary selections, and more, Cliff House resort is an unrivaled setting for New England weddings. Inspiring indoor and outdoor venues—each of which feature remarkable sightlines of the southern coast of Maine—present a picturesque backdrop for luxurious & unforgettable receptions alike”

photo cred: Kim Chapman Photography

maine wedding venues: farms + barns

The first venue category we’re visiting is barns and farms — we’re big fans of the barn wedding here at Purple Orchid. Farms cover 1.35 million acres of land in Maine and provide the perfect backdrop for a wedding, farms and barns can be dressed up or down, really allowing the couple to bring their own style to life. Out are your typical thoughts of a barn – full of hay and homes to horses and sheep. In are thoughts of exposed beams, elegant light fixtures, views of rolling hills or pristine waterfront, and so much more. Below are just a few of Maine’s expansive barn venue offerings:

Marianmade Farm
From their site: “Nestled on the banks of the Sheepscot River near historic Wiscasset is Marianmade Farm. As a working lavender and flower farm, the setting brings a piece of Provence to mid-coast Maine.”

photo cred / view more of this beautiful wedding: Cait Bourgault Photography

Granite Ridge Estate & Barn
From their site: “Built on top of a mountain and surrounded by 200 private acres, the Granite Ridge Barn is a 3,500 square foot finely crafted timber frame barn featuring panoramic mountain views.”

photo cred: Kelly Carey Photography

The Barn on Walnut Hill
From their site: “…the custom-designed gardens and four green acres provide an enchanting setting for your celebration. The attached 19th-century barn and farmhouse have been painstakingly restored and renovated to capture the charm of time past while simultaneously offering modern amenities to facilitate flawless events.”

photo cred: Kerri Green

Josias River Farm
From their site: “Josias River Farm is a classic 250-year-old Maine farm situated on 20 scenic acres of forests, open fields, pastures and an apple orchard. Stone walls, rail fences and perennial beds surround our original antique cape and rustic New England barn in this relaxed country setting.”

photo cred / view more from Krissy + Melinda’s day: Alex Plus Betty

Hardy Farm
From their site: “After a complete renovation in 2013, the Links transformed Hardy Farm into a very special and unique venue for weddings and events offering an authentically historic feel, with a distinctly unique ambiance of contemporary yet rustic elegance.”

photo cred: Emilie, Inc. 

maine wedding venue week

It’s no secret that we love, love, love the state of Maine. Two of us have been lucky enough to call this place home from the start, and Meli has quickly adapted to the Maine lifestyle and now considers herself a Mainer. One of the reasons Maine is such a great place to get married is the venue options are endless – lakeside venues, coastal venues, private estates, summer camps, B&Bs, museums, barns, and farms! Throughout the past few years we have had the chance to travel to venues that fall in just about every one of these categories and we think we are so lucky to get to explore new venues each wedding season. Over the next week we’re going to take you through some of these categories and showcase real life venues and weddings to help you narrow down your venue options.

photo cred: Alexandra Roberts

inspiration: maine engagement picture locations

Another great way to explore the amazing views, landscape, lighthouses, rocky shorelines, and mountains in Maine is during your engagement pictures. Below are some fun options for you to explore!

inspiration: spring bouquets

This past week has been particularly grey. And full of rain. Hopefully these spring wedding bouquets will bring some brightness to your day.

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tips for making your wedding guest list

photo cred: Kerri Green

Time to start the guest list! You will spend a lot of time thinking about this — there’s no way around it. It can get a bit chaotic, especially if one or both sets of parents are helping plan and contribute financially. It’s important for you and your fiancé to be upfront with both families about your expectations in terms of invitees – give them guidelines and stick to them.

  • Use a collective document: the easiest way to do this is create a Google Doc that everyone has access to and divvy it up how you see fit – for example: a tab for the bride’s family, a tab for the groom’s family, a tab for friends [this can be broken down into the couple’s’ friends and family friends]. This later can become your living guest list document that houses everything from addresses to RSVPs.
  • The one-year rule: have you or your fiancé spent time with this person in the last year? Granted, if they live hundreds of miles away, or in a different country for that matter that may be tricky, think – have we had an in-depth meaningful conversation in the last year? Chances are if you haven’t done this in the past 1+ year, you won’t be in the next year.
  • Make rules and stick to them – deciding who gets a plus one, who gets the cut are just a few of the rules you may need to enforce. Ensure that all contributors know the rules and that everyone sticks to them, it could cause more drama down the line if there are exceptions being made for certain people.
  • Don’t let parents and in-laws wear you down: this can be a tricky one, especially when mom says you need to invite great aunt Linda who you haven’t seen since you were 5. If it comes down to budget constraints, be upfront and tell whoever is requesting that they are more than welcome to invite this person, but they will need to chip in for the overflow.
  • Your wedding day is about you and your fiancé, having your closest family and friends celebrate the union between the two of you, your new life you’re about to embark on – you want your attendees to have a vested interest in your life, your relationship, and your happiness. This is about the two of you, invite only those who are positive influences on your life and your relationship.

real talk with meli: After we got engaged and started thinking numbers – 120 popped into my head and sounded like a good number of people. In reality, I had no idea what 120 looked like – it wasn’t until after we started creating our list I got a sense of what certain numbers looked like in relation to our guests. Flash forward to today: we have way over that. 

crafting your wedding budget

photo cred: Alexandra Roberts

Crafting your wedding budget will at some point feel stressful and overwhelming, but it’s one of the first steps that needs to be done when planning your wedding. Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or lavish celebration, you’ll need to figure out the following.

  • Figure out who is contributing to the day – talking money with your parents or future in-laws may not be the most comfortable or or easiest thing to do, but the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can move on to the rest of your planning. Gone are the days where the bride’s family foots the majority of the bill. After you figure out who is contributing, discuss with your partner how much the two of you are comfortable putting towards the wedding.
  • Prioritize spending – what is most important to you and your partner? Is it giving your guests the most epic meal of their life? A live band to keep the party going all night? Make a short list of priorities that are most important to the two of you, this way you know where you want to devote more of your budget as well as time researching and picking out what matters to you. Create a short list on your own and then come together with your partner to see what you both came up – this is a perfect time to compromise and work together on what matters most.
  • Cost considerations – if your dream is to have a 300-person black tie affair, you’re going to have a much higher budget than someone who plans an intimate 50-person backyard barbeque, and there’s nothing wrong with either of those routes! Things to consider that will have an impact on your costs: number of guests, food service – are you thinking a 4-course seated dinner or a food truck?, location / season / day of the week – off peak times will enable you to have more negotiating power with vendors.
  • Do some quick research – are you living in New York but planning a wedding in Maine? Do some research on wedding costs in the location you’re getting married, this will better help you be realistic with your numbers.

Real talk with Meli: My fiancé and I did created a list of ‘non-negotiables’: weekend long celebration, the food, and a live band. This helped us narrow down where we would want to allocate a higher percentage of our budget and what our priorities were.

inspiration: announcing your engagement

After you’ve shared your big news with your closest family and friends, you may decide to let the rest of your social circle know by announcing your engagement to social media. There’s no better way to announce your engagement than with an instagram announcement that people will ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over. Here’s a roundup of a few of our favorites from the web!

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Did you announce your engagement on social media? Tell us how you did it!

you’re engaged, now what?

  • celebrate + enjoy just the two of you!
    • Pop some champagne! The next few hours / days are going to be a stream of phone calls, texts, and social media comments. Take some time to savor the moment with your newly minted fiancé! You both will be feeling such a high, whether you knew it was coming or not — you’ll remember this moment and those feelings for a long time to come.
  • share the news
    • Chances are you will be on an emotional high, not sure if you should laugh or cry, and certainly won’t be able to stop smiling. Time to share the news with loved ones – pick up the phone and call (or Facetime) parents, siblings, other family members, and friends before posting anything to social media.
  • think big picture
    • I can bet when you share your engagement news, people will inevitably ask “when’s the wedding?!”. While they may be jumping the gun on setting a date, you and your fiancé should begin to think big picture – what visions do you both have? What are your current tastes, dreams, and interests? At the end of the day, your wedding should reflect both your personalities, look to Pinterest for inspiration, but don’t lose yourselves or personal style.
  • set a budget
    • While not the most glamorous part of wedding planning, it’s a big factor that needs to be addressed before you can start with the fun stuff – a venue, flowers, food, etc. You and your fiancé will need to figure out how much the two of you plan to contribute, as well as any parents and/or other family members.
  • draft a guest list
    • While thinking big picture – do you envision your wedding day to be “small”, “medium”, “big”? What do those words even mean? What does 100 people even look like? Start by drafting a list – a good starting point is to create a Google Doc with three tabs – one for each family and another for friends. This is by no mean your final list – but get an idea of what your numbers look like – you’ll need this when you begin to look at venues.
  • hire a wedding planner
    • When it comes to the planning process, people will range from what the heck am I doing to maybe wedding planning is my calling – whatever camp you are in a wedding planner can help in a multitude of ways. One of the most important being – we will do whatever we can to make this process as stress-free as possible. Your wedding is the biggest day of your life, it should also be the most memorable and we are here to help.

real talk with meli: Thinking back to that day, I can still remember every emotion I felt — mainly not knowing whether to laugh or cry, and not being able to stop doing either. I can attest that numerous people will ask you when the wedding is, craft a generic response – that you’re thinking next spring or the following year. 

introducing: wedding planning with poe

photo cred: Closer North

We’re super excited to be launching a new series here on the blog documenting the wedding planning process. There is SO much that goes into planning a wedding, big or small and we want to help you along the journey. Another bonus? One of our own is in the process of planning her own wedding  – we’ll be sure to include real life situations, thoughts, feelings Meli has encountered during this process.

A snippet of topics we’ll cover:

  • Budgets
  • Guest lists
  • The venue hunt
  • Maine venues
  • Vendors
  • Invitations
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • The ceremony
  • Marriage licenses and changing your last name

Lastly, we’d love to hear from you. Are there any topics you’d like for us to cover that you’ve encountered in the wedding planning process you feel lost in, or would just love some more ideas or another point of view? Let us know!