Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Bailey Island Library Hall!

I have always been interested in wedding planning. Usually just on the side and for fun, a favorite past time of my old roommate and I. We'd find a good movie to put on, and watch it together while looking for and then sharing cool wedding stuff we found. I'm not the most knowledgeable about Maine weddings, but I know a decent amount. So I had a challenge ahead of me when I got engaged: picking a venue. Multiple nights went by of spending hours online looking through ideas and at examples of other peoples' weddings.

I had tried thinking of a million different options, and they all seemed perfectly acceptable and easily friendly with some proper tweaking. But none of them had that "This is it!" wow factor. None of them felt like home. Which was funny,since I primarily looked at places near the homes of our families. And then I read a post on Offbeat Bride (one of the only reasons why I'm sane and calm for this process!) about unique places to have weddings. One couple in particular caught my eye, with their library wedding. I loved the look of it, but more over, I loved how they thought of it. Both avid book fans, they explained their way of choosing a venue, considering that if there were a natural disaster and buildings or places were destroyed, that it would be devastating if the library were ruined.

So I asked myself "What do he and I love more than anything?" and the answer was clear. Literature and language. The entire reason we even met was because of a German class that we took for fun, and all the books on our shelve back this idea up. We love reading together and to each other, as well as separately. Words are the ultimate bridge to cross to explain ourselves to the world, and both of us are enthralled with that. So I started looking for libraries. About an hour later, I found it. There was no doubt. It was the Bailey Island Library Hall, off of Harpswell, Maine. Quaint and white on the outside, it had all the delicious feeling of a vintage location, plunked down into our modern civilization. But the inside opens up into a creamy, charming yellow; with hardwood floors, a working fireplace, and a giant window seat!

My only issue with it was finding the information or pictures. Not many weddings take place there, and even fewer receptions. It's very difficult to find pictures, and when you do, it's even more difficult to capture the sizing and feel of the building from them. The pictures of the few other couples who have had their weddings there are of the couples and their guests, as they should be. But for a girl on a fact finding mission, this was just not enough. Desperate to book this place from what I knew, I set out to contact the people in charge. Finding a post about it on a wedding officiant's blog A Sweet Start, I was able to both read about the hall, and find the contact information for the woman who is in charge of events there. Her name is Diane Gagne, and can be reached at (207) 833-6305 as I found out (the post about the Library Hall can be found here :] ).

A few months passed since booking the hall, and the invoice for its fee came in. As it turns out, it is $350 for a deposit (which will be returned after your event if everything is cared for and left as it was found) and $700 to rent the hall, which is a good price for an adorable venue. They also have the option available to rent dishes and silverware at an extra cost. Before signing and sending in a check, I wanted to swing by and make sure that was the place. While parking was limited, there was no mistake. The front was a smaller, but tidy yard of lush green grass, and a stone path lead up the center to the front of the hall. The porch is a few broad steps that give way to three sets of french doors, flanked on either side by sweet benches. Inside, the hall is roughly (and we measured using my fiance's height, and at his volunteering having him slide across the floor, so keep in mind that it's a very rough measurement!)24' by 36', not counting a small stage area at one end.

The entire place has hard wood floors, and these cozy yellow walls. The ceilings are high, with small ornamental windows on the top to let the light trickle in. The walls are lined in book shelves that take up most of the space from floor to ceiling, and the end opposite the stage has a long window seat near the working brick fire place. The kitchen, running almost as long and about 7-10 feet wide housed a six burner stove and a hefty oven; as well as a lot of counter space and a sink with two bays (if my memory serves me right).It was perfect.

I was so happy seeing it in person, and there wasn't any doubt in my mind that this is where I wanted to get married. Luckily, my fiance smiled at me, and agreed that he felt the same way. It's funny how so frequently the things we know the best bring the most comfort when seeing them again for the first time in a while. Yet every once in a very blue moon, you can see something for the first time, and know that you and it are the same.

Below are many pictures, as I wished there were more when I was scouting this place out! If you have any questions about the place, contact me, and I'll answer what I can! :)

The back of the building, which has ramps!

The mighty kitchen!

The bathroom! Cute as it is (and trust me- it is!), be warned that for weddings of 60 people or less the bathroom on site is fine. However if you guest list is looking like somewhere between 60-100, there will need to be a portalet brought on site, and two if it's over 100. Just something to think about! :]

These are pictures of the little stage area on one end of the hall. Please excuse the random table in front! :)

The hall itself:

The outside:

All in all, it was a great trip to a beautiful place. I can't wait to get married there! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Calling All Ideas for Honeymoon Registries!

Yes, the wedding is still seven months away. And yes, the honeymoon isn't until summer 2013. But I like looking around now, because you can never be too prepared! ;) Brenden and I had a couple ideas kicking around for a honeymoon. He wanted Sweden, Iceland, or Labrador. I wanted Spain, Ireland, or Hungary. Then we remembered we're broke, and set our sights to something more reasonable.
... Yeah. We're that broke. So we remembered an old favorite! Prince Edward Island, Canada! My parents and I went there for about six years in a row in the early 2000s. It's been six years since I've been, and I've been itching to get back. It's perfect in that sort of charming folksy way. I mean, they have a Potato Museum! How can anyone in their right mind pass up a place whose website logo is "Have you ever seen a giant sculptured potato?" (a website that can be found here!). And it's just about as magical as it sounds. But P.E.I is much more than giant potatoes and Anne of Green Gables. It's the raspberry cordial, the rolling hills, the tiny amusement park Ferris wheel that when stopped at the top allows you to see all the way to the ocean. It's all the nooks and crannies of the island that I've come to know and love, and all the things I didn't appreciate before because I was fourteen and couldn't be bothered with anything that didn't involve my music and finding a boyfriend (yes, we all go through that phase!). But I'm so excited to relive the simplicity and beauty of the island as an adult, especially with my love. Hence, what we want instead of a traditional registry is a honeymoon registry. I'm the youngest of four kids, and Brenden's an only child, so we have all the apartment stuff we could possibly want, except a good crepe pan and a nice knife block (always good ideas!). We want to go on a honeymoon that's special to us, and possibly not have to harvest our organs to do so. So I've been researching some honeymoon registry ideas, like Traveler's Joy, Honeymoon Pixie, and Honeymoon Wishes. So my question is this for anyone who has any input, comments or experiences: 1.) Is there such a thing as a free honeymoon registry (i.e. no fees of any kind) 2.) If there are, how would you rate these services? 3.) If not, which registry would you most recommend? Thanks guys! I'll keep you posted! :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Outfit Adventure Continues! Part Two- Find the Shoe!

I hadn't felt this way in a long time. I had given up hope in this kind of romance. I tried and tried to put it out of my mind, but I couldn't ignore the truth. Those champagne-gold strands the just tied the whole thing together, and that gorgeous,rich, brown tone. I knew I had to have the shoes. I first saw the shoes when my freshman year roommate sent me the link to the Poetic License website. Browsing through their adorable and unique shoes (which can be found here for anyone interested), I was impressed. I'm more of a high-tops kind of girl, and hadn't been thoroughly invested in heels in many years. But then I saw them standing there(cue Beatles reference!). And just as a woman overtaken with a silly romance of childhood, I was overwhelmed by those sweethearts.
See? They're adorable in that odd kind of way, right? Well I just knew that they needed to be mine! We're having a late November wedding, and our color scheme is basically a Reese's sort of deal- mostly browns but rich accents of yellows and oranges. So I saw these, and knew the search was over. Well, sort of... Finding them was the end and the beginning all in one. As luck would have it, by the time I went to buy them, Poetic License no longer had the brown shoes anymore, only carrying grey and mint (which you should still check out, because they're adorable! here is the link!:] ). So my trek across the wilderness of the internet began. I looked everywhere for these babies! I googled them in just about every way imaginable! "Brown Backlash Poetic License" , "Poetic License Overstock", "Brown Backlash size 7"; but no dice, and more importantly, no cute shoes to be found. Everywhere I looked, they were all sold out. I even found one where they weren't sold out entirely, but only had size 6 and size ten. And yes, I briefly contemplated practicing foot binding to make it work, but thankfully decided against it. (Crazy cute shoes do crazy things to people! It's like cabin fever, but weirder!) I was utterly discouraged, resigning myself to sign up on the mailing list in case they were ever back in stock. Then later, wading through the sea of google pages (where almost none of the results remotely match- success! A small shop by the name of Monogram Magic by B.B. made my dreams come true! A pair of brown Backlash Poetic License shoes, size 7, just looking at me- begging. I almost peed my pants with excitement, and then after gaining a modicum of control over myself asked the inevitable "So what's the catch?". After scouring the site and others for review of the shop's performance, I couldn't find any. There is the monogram of a tiny blue ribbon on the bottom of the shoe, but other than that, it was exactly as its original. So I did it. I took a chance, and ordered from them(which for all interested, they have a lot of cute shoes, and can be found here :) They didn't have a place where I could leave a good review, so this is the best I can do!). About a week later, my shoes came in. The verdict? outstanding! They were just as pictured, and they fit perfectly!I was so impressed and so elated, and the only fault I have with them is that I am tempted to wear them every time I open my closet! So moral of the story? Knowing what you want is sometimes the hardest part. But after you know, hold on tight and never stop looking for the solution! :)