I've been meaning to write these since my September 4th wedding. I had such a good experience with my vendors that I wanted to be sure to spread the word! They're a little long (especially the first one), but I hope they are helpful!
Venue: Union Bluff Meeting House, York Beach, ME - A+++
To sum up our amazing experience with our venue, I'll tell you what my husband said the day after our wedding: "If Darlene asked us to be in a commercial for the Union Bluff, I'd do it for free." We cannot say enough good things about this venue. First of all, through the planning process, Darlene was a life saver. Never once did I have to wait more than 24 hours for a response to an email I sent her (even on days she was "off"). Any request I had, the answer was always “yes, we can do that.” She is a rock star wedding coordinator.
The day of the wedding, Darlene and her staff run things like your wedding is the most important wedding they have ever done. The food comes out quickly and everything moves along so that dancing time is maximized! Oh, and the food… the food. The food was SO GOOD. A few of my family members commented that the steak they had with the surf & turf was “the best steak they have ever had in their life.” I didn’t get to try any of the apps during the cocktail hour, but I hear those were good as well! Darlene had accommodated our request to customize the beers behind the bar, and it was fun to see guests walking around with all the local brews we had picked.
After the reception was over, the hotel staff accommodated our large group of guests who wanted to keep the party going (it was an Irish wedding, it wasn’t going to end at 10pm) by opening up the restaurant side for us so we basically had our own pub for the night! They let us have an Irish sing-song in there (who doesn’t bring an instrument to a wedding, right?) and kept the drinks flowing until they closed up at 1am. It was a blast and the perfect ending to a perfect day. We also had a brunch the next morning for our guests, which was a huge success and the Union Bluff kept the food coming despite the fact that twice the number of people showed up for the brunch than I thought would!
In terms of pricing, I did find that setting up our own menu a-la-carte style was much cheaper than the packages. It allowed us to have surf & turf as a menu option, which would have been prohibitively expensive at most other venues!
Obviously, the venue is gorgeous. I mean, you’re looking at the ocean. The Meeting House is a beautiful space, and the porch is perfect for the cocktail hour. The bridal suite above the Meeting House is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for getting ready in. York Beach is a great place to host out-of-town guests because you can walk everywhere and the town is so cute.
I feel like my review can’t do the amazing experience we had with the Union Bluff Meeting House and Darlene justice. Book your wedding there and you won’t regret it!
Ceremony location: Historic Meetinghouse of Wells & Ogunquit, Wells ME – A+
My now-husband and I didn’t want to have our ceremony in a church, but we were weary of risking the outdoors weather situation – I didn’t want to be disappointed in where my wedding ceremony was. Wells is a very meaningful place for us (it’s where we got engaged), but we would have fallen in love with the Historic Meetinghouse regardless! It used to be a church in the late 1800s/early 1900s, so it’s got the classic New England steeple and high ceilings. Our photographer loved how much natural light pours in as well since there are so many windows. Jane, the administrator at the Meetinghouse was a pleasure to work with and was so accommodating. She opened the space for us for our rehearsal and let us decorate afterwards. It’s a beautiful spot if you’re looking for that church “feel” of walking down an aisle but don’t want a religious ceremony.
Flowers: Blooms Flower Shoppe, Wells ME - A+
Blooms Flower Shoppe was great! I don't know much about flowers, but I gave Michelle some pictures of arrangements I liked that I found online and told her I wanted to use local, in-season flowers. With that small amount of information, she created a proposal for us that sounded great. Then, on our wedding day, the flowers were beyond my wildest dreams - It's like Michelle was able to read my mind! I loved, loved, loved my bouquet and the arrangements on the table were exactly how I pictured my wedding looking. Many guests commented on how beautiful and unique our flowers were. I'd highly recommend Blooms to any bride.
Officiant: Julie Draper - A+
Julie performed our civil ceremony and I can't say enough nice things about her. When my husband and I met her for the first time, we knew immediately that we wanted her to perform our wedding... I e-mailed her from my phone I the car leaving her house to book her! She provides couples with a really helpful book of ideas for every aspect of the ceremony. She helped us calm our nerves at the rehearsal and did a beautiful job with our ceremony. Many of our guests commented that it was one of the most personal ceremonies they had ever attended. We also had a lot of people tell us she was great because you could actually hear what she was saying - she projects her voice really well. She's just so sweet - she even emailed me last week saying she drove by our ceremony location and was thinking of us and would love to see some of our pictures. I would highly recommend Julie to any couple.
Hair and Makeup: The Roaming Artists – A+
Tina and Christina made the morning of my wedding so much fun – my bridal party and I just had a blast with them! They came to my hotel room so I didn’t have to even go anywhere! It was nice just getting to relax in the room, order lunch, and not have to stress about getting back in time. Tina did an amazing job on everyone’s hair. I was not one of those brides that knew what she wanted to do with her hair – I had no idea. I did a trial with Tina and still didn’t have much of an idea afterwards (through no fault of hers!). Yet somehow, on my wedding day, Tina was able to interpret my random thoughts about what I liked about my various trial hairdos and pictures from magazines and do exactly what I would have done with my hair if I knew what I was looking for – it turned out beautiful! It was totally “me”. She also did a great job on my bridal party, my mom, and my 5 year old flower girl! Everything was done on schedule and with plenty of laughter. She even went out and picked fresh flowers to put in my bridesmaids’ hair! Christina did everyone’s makeup, and again, I couldn’t be happier. I’m not a big makeup person, and my husband doesn’t like it either… I wanted to make sure he recognized me when I was walking down the aisle! Christina did a wonderful job making me look like the best version of myself without looking overly done-up. She did a wonderful job with my bridal party and mom as well, and made us laugh all morning. I would highly recommend the Roaming Artists to any bride – it’s your big day, treat yourself!
DJ: Doug Bounds from Fred Pappalardo DJs – A+
Doug was great! We booked him through Fred Pappalardo DJs. We met with him the week before the wedding and went over what our general likes and dislikes were. On the day of the wedding he did an absolutely great job reading the crowd and keeping everyone on the dance floor all night long! He has a great personality and does a great job getting the party going while not being obtrusive at all (I don’t like DJs that talk a lot). He worked seamlessly with the coordinator at our venue to make sure the first dances, cake cutting, etc all flowed well. And he had a smile on his face the whole time. I’d recommend Doug to any couple!
Limo: Portland Limousine Service, Portland ME – A+
Portland Limousine provided transportation for me and the bridal party before and after the ceremony. When I was shopping around for prices, they were the most reasonable. Day of, they showed up on time, the driver was really nice and knew the best way to go to avoid Labor Day weekend traffic, and they were flexible when our picture taking went later than we anticipated, requiring the limo for an extra hour – I didn’t even have to stress about it. When my maid of honor left her cell phone in the limo, they kindly mailed it back to her. I would highly recommend Portland Limo to any couple.
Guest Trolley: Ogunquit Trolley Company, Ogunquit ME – A+
Considering I booked them about a week before the wedding, Ogunquit Trolley was very accommodating and provided great transportation for my guests to and from our ceremony. They showed up on time, knew which way to go to avoid the Labor Day weekend traffic, and provided us with some great photo backgrounds right after the ceremony! Their trolleys are so cute!
Cake: European Bakery, Falmouth ME – B+
Our cake from European Bakery was absolutely delicious and beautiful as well. The only complaint we have with them is that our coordinator at the Union Bluff told us that the bakery delivered the cake very late – like, it arrived during the cocktail hour. This could have been a fluke Labor Day weekend traffic/busy wedding day situation, so I would still recommend them. The cake was delicious and much more reasonably priced than other options.
Photo booth: Parrott’s Photo Booth – A+
Parrott’s Photo Booth was a great addition to our wedding – our guests LOVED it! I booked them late in the process – about a month before the wedding I realized I had some extra money in the budget and thought this would be a fun addition. They were very responsive, offered a great price compared to other photobooth operators, and their photobooth is absolutely adorable! Dave and Janet both staffed the booth during the wedding and the props they brought for our guests to use were hilarious. The guestbook they put together as guests took pictures (allowing them to sign under their photos) is a great keepsake. After the wedding, they send us a CD with digital copies of all the photos. If you have some “fun” money in your budget, this is a great fun addition that your guests will love!