Maine

Southern Maine Wedding Help (Please!)

Hi everyone!

I am recently engaged and am just starting to look for a venue. Very overwhelming and exciting at the same time! Luckily enough, my father is a chef and can cater the event--but I have yet to find a venue that I like that allows outside caterers! Any good places? The Irish and Italian Heritage centers in Portland allow them, but I just hate the way they look and I don't want to spend a lot decorating. I'll use all the money I would have saved on catering on decor and it just won't make any sense. We are looking at inviting approximately 65-75 people (I know already that a few definitely won't or can't come).

My favorite place I've seen (only online, not in person) is the Red Barn at Outlook Farm. I love the idea of a November wedding with lots of clear lights and candles as the decor. The prices are steep though and my father can't cater it. Anyone know if they will do special packages, such as just heavy hors d'oeuvres rather than a full sit-down meal?

Sorry if this is rambling! Again, I'm very excited but completely overwhelmed! Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

Re: Southern Maine Wedding Help (Please!)

  • hcorr34hcorr34 member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Congratulations! 

    If you like the rustic look, The Portland Company has a few different rooms and I believe they allow you to bring in your own caterer.  They don't have many photos online, but if you contact them, they will send an email with a ton of photos of their different rooms.
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  • ValerieHyattValerieHyatt member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you for the reply! Building #6 looks rustic and I live in South Portland so it's very close! I appreciate the help :)
  • edited December 2011
    This might not be so close, but we have rented Ski Esta in Newry.  It' s a private house (mansion) overlooking Sunday River Ski Mountain. We have the same amount of guests as you and there is enough room indoors for the ceremony and dinner for that many people.  It is stunning just as it is so it would need no decorations.  Your father could cater and you could supply your own alcohol.  If you're ok traveling a bit, check it out.
    Married 9.4.11
  • ValerieHyattValerieHyatt member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Wow, Ski Esta is beautiful! Do you mind if I ask you some questions about it concerning price and/or policies since you've already booked it? You can PM me the answers if you want. I would just want it for the weekend of our wedding (in the fall of 2012). Do they care if you bring your own alcohol? I'd love to get married in front of the fireplace, but I'd have to hide the kitchen with some drapes or something. How do you plan to utilize the space? Or are you having the ceremony outside? Sorry for all of the questions!
  • edited December 2011
    Have you looked at Cliffside Lodge in Poland?:

  • edited December 2011
    Sure, no problem!  They do rent for just weekends, and they do not care if you bring your own alcohol. In fact, they do require you to get liquor liability insurance as part of the agreement to have a special event in the home.  It is part of the additional charge, which I believe was around $650 on top of the home rental fee.  Don't quote me though, I rented the home almost 2 years ago.  :)   For rental rates, you can email the owner, Sophia.  She is great and very helpful.  You can also go on Home Away dot com and find the home and I believe they have rental rates posted there.  Don't forget the home has 10 bedrooms, so it can be lodging for many of your guests as well! 

    As far as set up, I don't think in front of the fireplace would work with that number of guests, especially when you consider the dining room will be set up for dinner.  Although if you really wanted to make it work, I'm sure you could.  We are hoping to be outside on the deck for our ceremony, but our "rain plan" is to get married in the great room.  We would stand in front of the floor to ceiling windows and there would be an aisle for me to walk down.  I would either come in from the front door, or come down the stairs.  If you google "skiesta weddings"  you can also see pictures of how people have set up their ceremonies. 

    Any other questions, just fire away!
    Married 9.4.11
  • ValerieHyattValerieHyatt member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I LOVE the Great Room! I found some pictures, and I really like the way one couple set it up. It seems so elegant and casual at the same time, which is exactly what I am looking for! I sent the owners an e-mail and hopefully I will hear back from them soon. The rental rates on that website seem reasonable--$1400-$2300 per night. It would be cheaper than renting a venue in Portland or southern points and there's furniture and lodging included! Do you know if there are hotels in the area? I know some people would not want to stay at the lodge. I imagine the younger people will be more into that than some of my older relatives.

    Do you plan on bringing pets? I want to have my FI's younger brother and sister (they will be 12 and 10 at the time of the wedding) to walk our beloved Maltepoo down the aisle in a doggie t-shirt tux!

    Edit: Do they enforce their minimum night stay? We really only need it for 2 nights and they say on their website that you have to stay for 3. However, on the booking calendar there are several weekends which are blocked off (just two nights)
  • edited December 2011
    Yes, there is the Jordan Grand Resort just a few miles away and they will do a room block for you.  Skiesta allows pets too, and actually have a dog shower in the garage.  :)  There are also plenty of homes to rent in the area that are fairly reasonable.  We are having our wedding over Labor Day Weekend and, for example, a one night at the Jordan Grand is around $140 or $420 for 3 nights.  We were able to find a 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom home for guests to share that works out to $280 for the 3 nights. 

    Just so you know, you will have to rent some tables, linens and chairs for your number of people and delivery was more than we expected.  But if your father is a caterer, then I would think he has connections and can help.  While there is furniture in the house than can be used, it's not enough for that many people. 

    Oh, and the house is even more amazing in person.  The views are breathtaking and I cannot tell you how excited people are for the movie theater, game room, and multiple jacuzzis!
    Married 9.4.11
  • ValerieHyattValerieHyatt member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oops! I edited my post before seeing your reply! Do you know if they enforce the minimum night's stay? We really only need it for two nights and it would be nice to save the $1400-$1800 to use toward linens, tables etc.
  • edited December 2011
    I believe they will rent for 2 nights only, but I'm not 100% sure.  They may make exceptions for events.  We have the house for a week (we've built it into part of our honeymoon) so I wasn't concered with the minimum nights.  Let me know what Sophia says. 
    Married 9.4.11
  • ValerieHyattValerieHyatt member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    OK, she is willing to rent for two nights during the mid-week (if we got married on 10/11/12), but I still think it may be out of my price range. If I factor in the stay, plus the event fee, plus having to rent tables etc., it's more than I can afford :( She was very quick to respond to my e-mail and very helpful with all of my questions. Luckily I don't have to decide on a venue right away so I can think and try to find ways to save more money.
  • edited December 2011
    Yes, Sophia is great!  She was very helpful and is very quick to respond.  Don't forget that the house also provides lodging for 8 sets of adults (and two kid bedrooms that could house adults as well).  Maybe some people would be willing to "pay" to stay in the house vs renting a room elsewhere???   If people would have to pay to stay in the area anyway, it may help offset some of your cost?  Good luck with the research and with deciding on which venue is right for you.  Feel free to throw out any other questions you have!  
    Married 9.4.11
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