We have compiled our list of the "Top 25 Most Viewed Vendors" on our directory for 2015. Analytics showed that these vendors collectively logged more than 60,000 visitors in 2015.
The list includes a diversity of wedding related services & professionals, reflecting the unique & varied needs of our wedding traffic in 2015. The list includes 11 elegant reception venues, 2 exceptional wedding planners, authentic & iconic Maine canvas seabags, 2 nationally renowned jewelry designers, 2 award winning photographers, a highly in demand DJ, a family building coach, Maine’s largest and most revered florists, a legendary candy purveyor, innovative bartending service and a beautiful bridal boutique.
We are constantly looking at visitor trends and crunching our analytic data to help our discerning visitors get the best information from our directory to make their “Big Day” special.
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In the course of running two very busy Maine-based wedding directories, we have couples from all over the country ask us to recommend “Maine things” that will make their weddings extra special. Often times they are looking to tie in a beautiful Maine wedding venue ~ a gorgeous mountain setting or rustic rocky island locale, with locally sourced foods & craft beers, along with a myriad of the little touches that are specific to Maine. They realize that as locals, we know Maine better than any national directory ever could.
Our directories hold hundreds of listings on thousands of ideas, inspirations & details that will make any Maine wedding in 2016 awesome.
Here's my list of the top 5 details your 2016 Maine wedding is craving.
1. Authenticity & Uniqueness
As you work with your wedding planner, designer or creative friends, come up with a Maine-based design that is representative of you as a couple. Take an inventory of the “Maine things” you love to inspire a design that is truly authentic to you as a couple. We tell couples that if we take the brides and/or grooms out of the wedding and inserted another couple, it should no longer make any sense. When that happens, you know you are on to something special. Maine is the perfect place for this to happen.
2. Craft Cocktails
No one ever said "I loved the wedding band but really wished there were less interesting cocktails." It is never -- I repeat, never -- a mistake to splurge on the bar. If your budget allows, talk to our expert mixologists to design custom cocktails for your guests -- down to the shape of the ice that goes in to the glass. Your guests will be talking about that for years. If your budget is more limited, do a little online research and come up with some signature drinks that match your style and color scheme -- most caterers and hotels don't charge extra for this if you use readily available ingredients. Maine-made craft beers & spirits are really hot right now and are great ways to get your guests out on the dance floor.
3. Great Entertainment
The best thing is ~ you don't need a huge budget to make a big impact on your entertainment. Instead of hiring any DJ, look for one who includes a percussionist to play along with the music ~ so you get more of a live band experience. Or have your wedding party & selected family members perform a killer dance routine or hire comedians or professional dancers to kick off the reception with a short performance. If your ceremony venue allows it, consider something remarkable for your ceremony as well….maybe hire a gospel choir or a local glee club, to sing at the ceremony. Barber shop quartets, acapella groups, acoustic Spanish guitar, flute & harp, break dancers, jazz hands, flash mob dancers, chorale groups & choruses are all great possibilities to consider.
3. Non-Traditional Wedding Parties
There is no rule that all of a bride's or grooms best friends need to be women or men around their age, so why leave out your best bud who happens to be male or female or is 30 years older than you are. I love the idea of forgoing the traditional bridal party altogether and instead inviting all your best friends to get ready with you the morning of the wedding -- you can even provide professional hair and makeup services for them - and then recognize them in your program. They can ride with you to the ceremony and then can take their seats in a reserved row behind your family. Brides and grooms are slowly starting to embrace this idea and overall their friends have been thrilled to be a part of the big day.
5. Tap Snap Phototainment
TapSnap is so much more than a photo booth, it’s an experience to remember. It’s the next generation in event entertainment.
TapSnap gives your wedding guests unforgettable moments. It inspires laughter and provides an exciting alternative to the dance floor. The entire family can fit in the picture because TapSnap is an open-air photo booth – one that’s perfect for people of all ages and abilities.
Your guests can get creative, decorating their photos with digital props, drawings and personal messages congratulating you on your special day. They can share their photos on Facebook, email them to friends, or print them out as a memento of your big day. TapSnap is like a guestbook with a huge boost of personality, and photos. When the wedding is over, you can use TapSnap to create a scrapbook of memories ranging from touching to hilarious.
Even loved ones who can’t be at the wedding in person can watch the reception in real-time with SnapCast through any web browser.
Best friends, sisters, childhood confidants, your bridesmaids are ladies from all walks of your life! And they are standing next to you while you embark on this new chapter!
One of the most important things to splurge on for your wedding is a wedding photographer. You will want to have great pictures to look back on and smile. More than likely your wedding photographer will have tons of poses for you to do, but it’s totally acceptable to bring in samples of your own. Here’s a look at creative wedding poses for brides & bridesmaids.
All too often, the wedding party gets bogged down in big day B.S. and forgets the most important ingredient of an awesome wedding (besides love, of course!): fun.
One way to increase your matrimonial fun quotient? By goofing off and letting loose with your bros. Below are 6 wedding party photo ideas your groom & groomsmen will definitely want to steal.
Pick a First Dance Song That Moves You
Let Hollywood inspire you! The best romantic movies almost always have a gorgeous song you can dance to, such as “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” from “Twilight” or “There You’ll Be” from “Pearl Harbor.” Perennial first dance favorites also include “At Last” by Etta James, “Crusin” by Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis, “Just My Imagination Running Away With Me” by Gwyneth Paltrow & Babyface and “I love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis.
Flightless Bird, American Mouth
By: Iron & Wine
There You'll Be
By: Faith Hill
Pearl Harbor Soundtrack
By: Etta James
By: Gwenyth Paltrow & Huey Lewis
Just My Imagination Running Away With Me
By: Gwenyth Paltrow & Babyface
I Love You Always Forever
By: Donna Lewis
Now In A Minute
Writing your own wedding vows is a very personal, heartfelt & reflective task. This is the part of your wedding ceremony where you sum up what the love of your life means to you. Your vows should do two things ~ tell your family & friends the depth of your commitment, and be a love letter to the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with. If you are intent on writing the perfect wedding vows, keep these 12 tips in mind and you just might melt the heart of your soul mate even more than you already have...
Some ceremonies and religions don’t allow you to use personalized vows. Be sure that you are allowed to write your own vows first
Writing your own vows doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember that nobody is expecting a Pulitzer version. The sooner you start the more eloquent they will be. So, stop procrastinating and start writing now so you say exactly what you mean from your heart
Are you writing your vows alone or are you writing them together? More & more couples write their vows together to ensure they are pleasing to hear, especially if either one has trouble putting their feelings on paper
Allot some alone time for yourself to collect your thoughts. This will help to provide clarity and open your mind to happy memories with your soon to be spouse
Keep in mind that you’re not writing a novel. An outline can help you know where to start, what to say and when to say it. Put your vows down point-by-point first, and then elaborate.
If you're not comfortable coming up with something unique, classic romantic vows are a great starting point to build on and change up to make your own
Allow yourself ample time to think up the words & feelings that you want to convey. Don’t let this be a difficult task ~ brainstorm with your future spouse, family members or friends.
Read your vows out loud several times. Keep an overall tone consistent ~ whether you’re going for touching, sentimental, humorous or a mix. Know the mood you want to set and make sure it’s reflective of your relationship
Books, poems and other resources are great starting points. They will offer a variety of ideas to consider for your vows. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by the works of others
You’ve invited all of the most important people in your life to your wedding. Your family and friends want to experience first hand your love and hear the sweet details
Pace yourself when reading your vows. Stay away from awkward sentences and clumsy writing. If you are aiming for sentimental and touching or even funny; get your timing right
Practice out loud and really listen to yourself. This can be a huge help for anyone writing their own vows ~ because you won’t know how they sound until you hear them with your own ears
Remember, you are saying these special words to the love of your life, your soul mate, your best friend, the one you laugh with ~ so by all means have your serious and romantic parts, but definitely throw in some fun stuff, too
If you haven’t already noticed, weddings and bridal parties are getting fairly gender fluid these days, so bridal bouquets for grooms might not be terribly traditional but it’s not all that unusual.
Flowers for grooms have typically been limited to boutonnières, but with gay marriage hitting the scene, I’m actually hoping for a surge in nicely arranged wedding flowers designed specifically for men. Not that all gay grooms will opt to carry a bouquet, but I have seen enough videos of flower-friendly men tossing their bouquets ~ to know that some do. It’s not for me to decide ~ but straight grooms can carry wedding bouquets if they want to ~ the standard ‘to each their own’ applies to everyone these days. Grooms can take things to the next level by carrying a bouquet ~ I love the idea of contrasting a masculine tailored suit with a traditionally-feminine bridal bouquet.
I’m envisioning plenty of colors, with more bronzes and deep purples come to mind, though there’s no reason why a groom marrying a groom couldn’t carry white, pink or yellow wedding flowers if he wanted to.
I imagine the groom’s bouquet would be rather smallish, a simple bunch of hand-tied flowers and greenery… maybe roses, or maybe something in blue.
I’d avoid a cascade of flowers, simply because those might look out of place with a tux. I like the idea of hand-tied white lilies, with some pink stargazers.
In the not so distant past, standard fare for weddings was heavy prime rib or greasy roasted chicken. Fortunately, today's weddings cater to many people of various culinary tastes and diets, and now couples and their foodie guests expect more upscale and creative cuisine to be rolled out for today’s wedding receptions.
I have carefully chosen a handful of the more popular trends in 2015 & 2016 for creative, healthy and crowd pleasing wedding cuisine. Turning favorite foods into bite-sized adventures can add a touch of whimsy to any reception.
More & more couples are forgoing high price tags for their weddings by choosing to celebrate at less expensive times of day. Brunch-themed weddings are a big hit with those who would much rather dine on a stack of pancakes than a dish of pasta. Omelet stations, croissants and a bevy of other breakfast table fare can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Everyone knows that good things come in small packages, and when it comes to miniature versions of trendy foods, you just can’t miss. Gone are the large meals that filled guests to the point of bloat. Now, they would much rather munch on smaller bites of their favorite dishes. How about a piece of meatloaf topped with whipped mashed potatoes? A cherry tomato with a small piece of mozzarella cheese makes a mini caprese salad.
Just the name sounds exotic! Dim sum allows guests to sample different foods without filling up. Carts of dumplings and other small plates of appetizers can be wheeled around so everyone can choose what they want and what they want to avoid.
Instead of passed foods or buffet stations, couples are opting to make food an experience for guests. An oyster bar with a chef serving fresh seafood or a dessert master whipping up flambé is a feast for the eyes and mouth.
Rustic and informal weddings have grown in popularity. Rather than food being brought to the guests or participants lining up in buffet lines, family-style dining allows guests to share conversation and pass the peas at the same time. Larger, rectangular tables allow more guests to sit with one another and serve themselves food from community plates located in the center of the tables.
People love comfort foods, but now gourmet comfort foods are shaking up wedding receptions. Mac-and-cheese with Gouda and Brie or chicken potpie with a puff-pastry crust are a few offerings that add a touch of glamour to down-home cooking.
Keep guests on their toes with various meal stations. A bountiful display of artisanal cheeses, fruits and breads will be a cheese lover's dream. These stations also can be appetizing focal points around the room and ensure all guests get a bite of what they like best, while visiting with other guests.
Food-forward wedding couples are offering guests mouthwatering appetizers matched with a cocktail. A slider and a craft beer or a dumpling and a shot of saki are examples of this trend.
Chances are one or more people attending the reception will be on a restricted diet for health or weight reasons. Rather than punish these guests with dining on side dishes and patchwork vegan meals, more & more couples are building entire offerings around popular vegan and gluten-free foods.
Instead of a multi-tiered cake or the cupcake fad that is starting to fizzle, couples are now opting for something new. Desserts that mimic the look of cake, but aren't quite that combination of sponge and frosting are trending. Crepes, pies, cookies, and doughnuts are acceptable and can add a creative spark to the cake-cutting ceremony. When offered along with dessert stations, guests can certainly get their fill of sweet delights.
"Today’s newly weds are getting creative with their food and beverage options at their weddings. As a welcome surprise, guests never know which culinary wonders they will encounter as they gather to wish the newlyweds well."
I've always loved the idea of a wedding signature drink. I see it as a delicious opportunity to personalize your party & delight guests. Pick a drink that stars your favorite liquor, matches your color scheme, or just sounds delicious. A bonus for the budget-conscious: Instead of offering a full bar, consider featuring a curated selection of the bride and groom's favorite wines and craft brews paired with a simple cocktail. Bring the signature cocktail out to start the evening off, or reserve it as a complement to the formal toasts. By following this method, you will be able to limit the amount of the budget spent on liquor while still offering your guests something special and out of the ordinary.
"On your special day, and each anniversary to come, toast your future with a cocktail that was created just for you on you wedding day."
In a large pitcher, whisk together prosecco and limoncello.
Serve over raspberries, garnished with mint, if desired.
3 cups prosecco, chilled
1 cup limoncello liqueur, chilled
1 cup frozen raspberries
6 sprigs fresh mint
Add all ingredients together in a punch bowl or large vintage jar. Serve with an antique silver ladle.
You can double & triple the portions – just remember it’s a one-to-three ratio with the white wine & Fresca.
1 bottle of white wine
3 cans of Fresca
cut up or whole pieces of fresh or frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, grapes, etc).
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice; shake
then strain and serve either straight up in a martini glass or over ice.
1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. blue curacao
1/3 oz. grapefruit juice
1-2 splashes simple syrup
Baby strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, mint, cilantro, rosemary, edible flowers and anything else to your liking.
Use your favorite fruit & herbs to make summer drink ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and server over ice. Garnish & rimmer: white sugar, fresh rosemary sprigs, rind of one lemon.
1.5 oz your favorite gin
1/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz limoncello
1 tsp. honey
Splash of soda water
Combine all ingredients and serve over ice.
1 oz Skinny Triple Sec
1 oz gold tequila
juice of half a grapefruit (1/3 cup)
juice of half a lime
1/2 cup sparkling water
Alcohol. The word normally evokes a reaction of some sort, whether or not you let it show. You love it or hate it, can take it or leave it, or are for or against it. Like wine and beer, you like it or you don’t. Deciding whether or not to serve alcohol at your wedding reception or other big event is usually not the tough question. Whether you’re just budgeting or actually purchasing it on your own, the tough part is deciding what to serve and how much of it. Fortunately, the numbers that will help you plan already exists.
I love anything unique and unexpected. But getting caught up in the wedding industry day in and day out, it can be hard to get that “Ah Ha” moment. What I really want to say is, Yeeees! That is so awesome! Can I have that at my make believe someday wedding, pretty pleeeease? I’ve scoured the web and can wholeheartedly say I found the SIX greatest, insanely fun wedding ideas. I know you will agree.
Get your Grandmas to toss the flower petals. An adorable and fun way to include them in your wedding day!
This method of dining is making a comeback for wedding receptions because of its wonderfully intimate feel and budget friendly price tag
Pros: Budget Friendly, Encourages conversation and interaction among guests, Great option for pot luck style weddings or self-catering bride and grooms.
Cons: Not all caterers offer this dining style so be sure to check beforehand.
Show your individuality with a single perfect orchid, feather or shell, the right shade of silk ribbon to bind the flower, or a pearl button pin to secure it. The ultimate goal of the boutonniere is to complement your significant other and his or her look. Choose small flowers or items of interest with a big presence. Here’s a perfect opportunity to “Think Out of the Box” on your big day!
Originating in 1673 France, and literally translated as the “Sweet Letter”, the billets-doux is an old fashioned & romantic way for you to let your bride or groom know you are thinking about them at that particular moment as they pin their boutonniere on. The hand-written note should be given to the florist ahead of time to be placed with the boutonniere. Write what you’re thinking about him or her on the letter yourself; it could be of a memory of when you first met, an unforgettable date, or just the little things that you love about them.
The recipient will be very moved when he or she reaches for their boutonniere and sees this special note from their cherished wife- or husband-to-be.
Be sure to have two boutonnieres made – identical ~ or go for something totally different. One version gets worn during the ceremony and through the majority of the reception. After hugging a few hundred people, inevitably the flower will be battered and bruised.
Have the spare handy (store it under the cake table for easy access), pin the fresh one on and you’ll be as good as new. Maybe you surprise everyone with a second boutonniere that has sentimental value i.e.: a locket with a wedding photo of your parents or a memento of your new life together.
There are few things better in life than living in Maine. Yes, life is good here. We enjoy the four seasons with gusto. For those of us who live on the coast, the weather is an ever-changing part of our daily routine, so everyday brings a new sense of adventure.
With all of that raw nature constantly nipping at our heels, Mainers by default are a ruggedly versatile and fiercely independent lot, able to keep a sense of good humor about them as a Nor’easter in the winter or a hurricane in the summer is blowing the barn doors off their hinges.
Mainers don’t take themselves too seriously, and laugh wholeheartedly at the bountiful Maine humor that surrounds us and permeates our daily lives. We get downright giddy when it comes to others oohing & aahing over our beautiful state, and appreciate it immensely if others relish the unique and the sometimes strange world of Maine we call home.
Buzzfeed knocked us out with joy on how much they get Maine, poking fun at the quirky downeasters we call friends and neighbors.
It gives me great delight to share these delicious takes on Maine, the weird & wonderful way life should be.
Read the full list of 39 Reasons Living in Maine Ruins You For Life on BuzzFeed's website.
Read the full list of The 25 Best Parts About Being From Maine on BuzzFeed's website.
This photo embodies the spirit of our website. We at GWM work every day to make your special day as joyous as this happy wedding scene.
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