Our First Wedding...

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OnTheShore's picture
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So things are all set up now for our first wedding, and the cottages are full (to capacity, ~55) with wedding guests, with another ~100 expected for the big event tomorrow...

Not enough seats for ~155 guests, maybe they have bring them down from the reception tent....

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Fantastico!

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seashanty's picture
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I love the night time picture ... love it.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I'm so glad it's working well for you! 

OnTheShore's picture
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Our third wedding in a row this month, and the final of five for our first season of weddings!

There is just something about a man in uniform; the groom serves in the Coast Guard at the station across the way from us (just out of the frame to the right):

I love this long-exposure picture of the reception tent at night that Wendy took, but she doesn't like it because it is not "realistic"

Now we transition into giving tours to wedding couples and families looking for a venue for next year....

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She's wrong. It's a gorgeous photo and you should use it in your wedding info you hand out.

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Ice
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Awesome. . . just awesome!

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seashanty's picture
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how much for the wedding rainbow?  heart

OnTheShore's picture
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seashanty wrote:

how much for the wedding rainbow?  heart

the cost for the rainbow: one thundershower

Country Girl's picture
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That's great! Did you rent the tent (chairs, tables, etc.) for the entire summer and build that cost into the fee or did you rent it for each wedding?

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OnTheShore's picture
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No, we are just renting them the lawn space -- they need to make their own arrangements for tent, furniture, catering, etc... (we could help them with that, for a fee, but they've all chosen to do it on their own). So this tent will come down on Monday and a new tent will be erected on Friday, repeat again for the next wedding... (each bride has chosen different vendors to work with, as we don't have any required or preferred vendors -- at least not yet)

edit: we do provide the porta-potties as part of our fee, so we have rented a pair for the month, with the provider stopping by each week to service them between events.

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I agree with them making their own arrangements - however would keep a list of companys which worked with your venue particular well or not just in case you are asked - maybe see if you could get some commission.

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Oh gosh, I think you are SO smart to let them do their own arrangements.  What an amazing job you have done.  Congratulations - you are helping make such special memories ♥

 

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Harborfields wrote:

No, we are just renting them the lawn space -- they need to make their own arrangements for tent, furniture, catering, etc... (we could help them with that, for a fee, but they've all chosen to do it on their own). So this tent will come down on Monday and a new tent will be erected on Friday, repeat again for the next wedding... (each bride has chosen different vendors to work with, as we don't have any required or preferred vendors -- at least not yet)

edit: we do provide the porta-potties as part of our fee, so we have rented a pair for the month, with the provider stopping by each week to service them between events.

No complaints about having to use porta-potties? We would have the same set-up here.

OnTheShore's picture
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No complaints, we are an outdoor venue, so I think they are expected. Our supplier sends us the next step up from the most basic model -- ones that have a little sink basin in them.

The one issue we have had is providing lighting for after the sun goes down, but we've now got a solution that seems to work.

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That is super Harbor, I follow you on FB and love your photos. Smiling

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Awesome job.  Congrats!

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Having made it through the summer vacation season, it seems we have now transitioned into the fall wedding season... This evening's event was treated to a rainbow:

The party is still going on as I write....

Two more weddings the next two weekends, too!

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What a beautiful venue for your wedding couples' special day! 

You must have everything covered.  So glad that it's going well for you...I have heard a lot of horror stories from innkeeper friends.

Continue joy and happiness for you and your guests!

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Incredible! Congrats on being the latest greatest venue there. yesyes

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I'm so glad you had a great first experience! It definitely is a learning experience. I know we've changed our policies or routine a few times since we've been doing them and we only do the small ones.

I'm really having fun with these weddings/elopements. It's so great to be around these happy couples. Only 1 bridezilla so far and she cancelled, fortunately!

OnTheShore's picture
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PS., let me add my thanks to all the innkeepers here for your past advice and suggestions in the drafting of our wedding contract!

OnTheShore's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

That's a huge production! Looks great. I hope everything goes smoothly and will be interested in hearing how you survived.

Everything went fantastic, and it was kind of fun for us, too. But the kudos really go to the wedding couple and their families, as our responsibilities were pretty minimal -- we are essentially just renting out the use of our lawn, pretty much everything else is up to them.

Sunday morning as I coiled up our power cords and watched everyone taking down the decorations and folding up the chairs and tables, the mother of the bride (or was it the mother of the groom?) said to me, "many hands make for light work." I replied, "You guys are incredible! Mike and Lindsay are so lucky to have the support of such wonderful family and friends!" Really, it was amazing.

The tent rental company came early this morning to take down the tent and haul away the tables and chairs, and except for the photographs, memories, and the comments from our new fans on FB, you'ld never know we'ld just had a large wedding here.

Some things we learned: (a) we need to have our trash hauler empty our dumpsters on Saturday mornings (we think that is the other day of the week that they are in our area) when we do an event like this, in addition to our usual Tuesday schedule; (b) Maybe we can park more cars here than we thought, although for this event, the couple had made arrangements for off-site parking, and rented a van to shuttle drivers to and from their cars; (c) we should probably do some more work on our electrical infrastructure to ensure an adequate power supply (no problems this time, but I can foresee future demands might be greater); (d) anxious moments as it was not until the last minute that the septic service arrived with the porta-potties we had ordered; (e) "there's an app for that" -- I found a free sound meter app for my smartphone that I can use to monitor  the sound levels to ensure that we are in compliance with our town ordinances regarding noise; (f) so much depends on the wedding party, how organized they are, and how much they have anticipated the needs of their guests. This couple set the bar pretty high!

We have another wedding (~101 guests) for this coming Saturday, and it will be interesting to see how that goes, because we were not able to offer them the exclusive rental of the whole property and will have other, non-wedding, guests in some of the cottages. So for this next wedding, the reception will be on the south lawn of our 1780 Farmhouse instead of our front lawn (although the wedding ceremony itself will still be down front).

If you will indulge me, here are a few more pictures:

http://www.pinterest.com/harborfields/harborfields-waterfront-maine-wedd...

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Harborfields wrote:

[

We have another wedding (~101 guests) for this coming Saturday,

 

Come tell us how it went when you have a chance Smiling

OnTheShore's picture
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This weekend's wedding went well, too. We had plenty of parking; they didn't generate much trash (probably because we had our dumpsters emptied Saturday morning in anticipation); since the reception was in a different spot on our property the noise pattern was a little different, certainly no worse and perhaps better than with the party out front; this group didn't seem quite as organized as last weekend's group, but in the end it all came together quite well! I was surprised to find everything all already packed up and ready for the rental company to pick up when I went out with my dog this morning at 6:30!

Pictures from the event are posted to our FB and Pin pages.

No complaints from the non-wedding guests, both sets of whom have been coming here every summer for 30 or more years.

A couple things we learned from this one: 

(a) on the south lawn of the farmhouse there is some buried ledge that interfered with driving the 42" stakes they use to stake down these big tents. Fortunately, the rental company came equipped with a hammer drill for just such an occurrence. I think in the future, if we shift the tent's position on the lawn 5 or 10 feet we can probably avoid much of the ledge. There are more under-ground utilities here, too, so in any case we do have to supervise the setting up of the tent.

(b) it was rather awkward to have the rental company setting up the tent, dance floor, lighting, etc... while we had other guests in the farmhouse. They didn't seem to mind too much, but for the future, we need to make sure that the wedding party has rented the farmhouse for Friday. This time around, it wasn't possible due to a prior reservation -- they were checking out Saturday morning, so it seemed like a wedding Saturday evening ought to be possible, but the Friday set-up is more awkward than we had anticipated.

We've got three more weddings of between 75 to 125 coming in September.

Oh, and the caterer is planning to come stay here for a vacation sometime, too!

Innkeep's picture
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I think it's wonderful that you've been able to do these gigantic weddings seemingly flawlessly, even while you're still learning the ropes.  I'm so very happy for you.

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Thank you for the update.  It sounds like things are going exceptionally well - all due to the Innkeeper's organization and time management skills, no doubt.  Congrats on two successful events!

gillumhouse's picture
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re underground utilities, we are required to call Miss Utility - the name for the utility finder service - free call and free service. They mark the location of lines with a bit of spray pint.

OnTheShore's picture
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These are our own (private) utilities (waste water lines and septic tank) so I am the one who marks the ground with spray paint (DigSafe wouldn't know where they were without asking me, anyway).

edit: but you are right, generally one should call DigSafe or the equivalent before any kind of digging project...

gillumhouse's picture
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Totally lovely!

seashanty's picture
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heart

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Beautiful!

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Wonderful! And what a beautiful setting!

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Ice
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Awesome!

gillumhouse's picture
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Great! May ALL future weddings go as well as this one.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Wonderful!

OnTheShore's picture
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What a wonderful thing, to be escorted down the aisle by your father, and your dog!

Right now the party is in full swing, and everyone appears to be having a great time. The couple really did a great job in organizing this event!

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Attention to detail - I love the basket full of umbrellas "just in case".

OnTheShore's picture
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Wish we could take credit, none of the fine details are ours... in that case it was the B&G and their families who took care of all that.

Here's the similar shot (in terms of the events) for the second wedding:

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Harborfields wrote:

Wish we could take credit, none of the fine details are ours... in that case it was the B&G and their families who took care of all that.

 

Yes, but you chose the bride and groom.  Hopefully you will continue to be wise in your choices!

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Wow!  This looks awesome!  How wonderful for you Smiling  And for your lucky guests!

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Simply magnificent! No other words describe it.

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Whoo Hoo! 

What a back drop for the alter!  yes

gillumhouse's picture
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Best to you. Wishing everything to be perfect.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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That's a huge production! Looks great. I hope everything goes smoothly and will be interested in hearing how you survived.

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All the best!

it is super duper loverly

Madeleine's picture
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Wow! And a perfect weekend, too. They got lucky!

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