Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Some companies are getting a little creative and finding new ways to breathe the breath of life back into a lean office party. We have a group that is using the night of their Holiday Party to host a fundraiser. This is a great way to have fun and help out a charity at the same time.
If you have not yet booked, or even started planning your Holiday event, give us a call. We are anxious to help you get creative and have a great night celebrating the people you work with without spending so much money that you all feel guilty the next day.
A catered event at our venue, the Danforth can be more reasonable than you may expect. Our space is stunning, our food is delicious, our staff is warm and accomodating. We can take all the work out of your event, so you truly can be a guest at your own party!
We can be reached at 207-879-8755
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The other interesting note is that the keys to success from a man's point of view, are the exact steps to create a wonderful experience that a planner would emphasis!
This is from the Wedding of Mitch and Molly, from Mitch's eyes.
Your friends and family want to help. I felt a little weird soliciting a friend to act as our officiant, but he was honored beyond measure to play such an important role in our marriage. We got him some nice gifts for his efforts and he truly seemed to feel like we didn’t owe him anything. Same thing happened with our musicians — they were just psyched to set up somewhere and play for someone they cared about. You wouldn’t get that with professionals. Don’t be afraid to reach out and see what people might want to do for you! You may be surprised.
Get creative when hiring vendors. We couldn’t have been happier with the services all of our vendors provided (Molly will go into detail about this in a later post). And all of them charged much less than the going rate. Why? Our photographer was superb, and has plenty of experience shooting weddings, but since she’s still a college student she charged us a low rate (we asked for less postproduction work than usual). The DJ was the host at a pub trivia host I attend each week. He’s a professional with plenty of experience, but since I went to him directly and not through a company, he gave me a good deal. And despite what the terrifying, monolithic floral industry would have you believe, you really can get great flowers from an independent florist working out of her home. With minimal effort, and some networking, you can save thousands of dollars on your vendors.
Take pictures before the ceremony. This was the smartest thing we did. I know some people have a superstition about the bride and groom seeing one another before the ceremony, but that’s nonsense. By getting the pictures out of the way early, we worked out most of our nerves. More important, we had much more time to spend with our guests. We even dropped in on the cocktail hour. I’d hate to have missed all that time to be taking pictures.
Put your own stamp on it. Every wedding does most of the same things, but that doesn’t mean you have to do those things the same way you’ve seen them done before. Plan your wedding in a way that reflects your personality! We had a few surprises throughout the evening: Molly’s dad handed me a fake dowry when he was giving her away. When we were introduced at the reception, Molly and I ran around the room high-fiving people. And we had an ice cream sundae bar in place of cake. I’m not saying you should do these things specifically. But look at what opportunities you have to put your own stamp on the event. That’ll make it memorable for you and your guests.
Pay as much up front as possible. I can’t overstate how good it feels not to have any debt hanging over us as we begin our marriage. We cut costs in every way we could, and we also made sure to pay however much we could at every step of the way. We didn’t have to, in most cases, but you don’t want all those bills coming due at the same time. Nor do you want to put stuff on the credit card and have it building up interest while you’re trying to enjoy your honeymoon. This is true not just for weddings, but for every major purchase in your life. (Here I should mention that we were fortunate to have some significant financial assistance from our families, which I know isn’t always the case for people.)
Have awesome friends and family. I guess this is luck of the draw more than anything. But it sure helps!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The grande dame of the historical Portland Maine Inn scene the Danforth Inn, located in the Olde Port district of Portland, is the most recent addition to the family of Bed and Breakfasts owned by Kimberly Swan of the Swan Agency, Bar Harbor, Maine. We are thrilled to offer Portland this beautiful venue for intimate, elegant and contemporary events.
Currently closed for renovations, we plan to open to the Public by May 15th.
An ongoing supply of updates will be available here, and also on the Danforth Inn Blog, and also via our page on Facebook entitled: Danforth Inn.
We look forward to carrying on the rich history of the Inn both as a Bed and Breakfast, and stunning backdrop for many of life's most celebratory occasions.
Monday, March 16, 2009
An article in Portland's Maine Sunday Telegram bears out what many wedding vendors have been seeing in their businesses in the last couple years.
Brides and Grooms aren't letting the recession get in the way of their once in a lifetime special day.
Being posh and and excessive may be out of vogue in every other area of life right now, but lavish, over the top weddings are still very much the norm.
Many brides, and many parents see the Wedding Day as an opportunity to share with family and friends and focus on all that life has brought them...not what the economy may have cost them. I think this is a wonderful reflection on the human spirit. A Wedding is a symbol of all that is new and full of hope. If there is any day in your life when you feel it is wrong to skimp, it is your wedding day. That being said there are still many practical steps you can take to remove the unnecessary expenses from your budget. That is where an accomplished wedding planner comes in. A good wedding planner is well versed in cutting out the unneeded items, and focusing on the important items that will truly capture all that the bride and groom want to share with their guests about who they are.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Our form of celebration of "Open that Bottle Night 2009"
was a subdued one.
The challenge was not only to find a delightful bottle of wine to mark the evening, but a light wine to accompany a healthy, recovery producing meal. I decided on a butternut, white bean and kale soup with a fried goat cheese garnish. There is a surprising little twist in this recipe of an unexpected bite of tart and salt with the addition of kalamata olives. I love the contrast....I believe the jury is still out with Marc.
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 gloves minced garlic
3-4 cups 1" chopped butternut squash
1 red bell pepper in 1" dice
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups kale, thick stems removed, and sliced into thin slices
1 TBL dried rubbed sage
1 -15 oz can cannellini beans
3/4 cup kalamata olives, halved
freshly grated Romano cheese
Fried Goat Cheese:
one small log goat cheese
1 egg, beaten with small amount of water
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs seasoned anyway you like
1/2 cup safflower oil
Saute onions for about 5 minutes in olive oil, then add garlic and peppers, sauteeing for 5-8 more minutes. Add in squash, stirring for 5 minutes. Add small amount of salt and pepper at this stage and half of sage. Pour in broth, to almost cover vegetables, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, remove cover and simmer for 10-15 more minutes until vegetables are tender. If you like a thicker stew, use a potato masher to rough mash some of the vegetables at this point. Add in kale and cook for 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Add beans, olives and sage, cooking for 5 more minutes. Check seasonings at this stage.
Slice log of cheese into 1/4 " slices, using a wet knife. Re wet knife for each slice to get a nice clean piece of cheese. Let come to room temperature. Whisk egg and add a small amount of water. Dip cheese in flour, tap off excess, dip in egg and bread crumbs, and repeat the egg and bread crumb stage so you do a double dip. This is one time it is OK to double dip. Heat oil just until a drop of water skips around the pan and carefully add half the slices of cheese. Cooking time completely depends on how thick the slices are. Cook till golden, use two small offset spatulas to turn and then remove cheese to paper towel lined plate.
NOTE: Do not add fried cheese to stew until just time to serve. The breading immediately starts to soak up all the lucious broth in the stew.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I am a little fickle when it comes to baking. I'll work on a recipe, make it often and keep tweaking...and then suddenly forget about it and move on to something else. Quite a while ago I had been working on an oreo recipe that I was pretty happy with, but it never quite got there....then like the weather in Portland...something changed and they fell of my radar. Thanks to Smitten Kitchen they popped back into my mind while pondering how to console myself in the kitchen during our latest snow storm. Ahh...problem was too much sugar in the actual cookie. Oreos are actually not very sweet, and just a tad salty. Back to the kitchen I went and quickly whipped up a batch....and they ARE quick to make...so for all of us instant gratification people, this is sweet news! Initial reviews have been very good....one of my wonderful housekeepers here at the Inn promptly announced that they were much better than the real thing because the filling is flavorful and not so waxy...and my darling of sweets, my king of all things baked is in love, love, love with this new version. His greatest critique was just that he felt too guilty to eat the whole lot in one sitting.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (don't substitute!)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt...plus a tiny pinch
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons rooms temperature unsalted butter
1 large egg,room temperature
1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In food processor bowl (can use mixer...but this is SO fast!) mix flour, cocoa, baking soda,
and baking powder, salt and sugar. Pulse to mix thoroughly. While pulsing, add butter, and then the egg. Continue processing till dough comes together in a mass.
On a parchment lined cookie sheet, take teaspoons of dough and roll to a ball, and then with moist hand, flatten slightly to get that oreo look as they bake. Use two sheets doubled up if you don't have air pans.
Bake for 9 minutes, and rotate halfway through. Check....don't over bake!
Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
Place butter and sugar in mixing bowl, and whip until light. Add low speed, add sugar and vanilla gradually. Whip on high for 2-3 minutes until nice and fluffy.
Using a pastry back with a 1/2" star tip, pipe on a good sized dollop of filling on half of the cookies (flat side). You have enough filling for a rounded size teaspoon worth on each cookie to get a nice generous filling.
Top with the flat side of the the other half of disks, matching like sizes up together.
This is a cookie that benefits from a smaller size when you are preparing them for baking. Too much dough, and they don't look like their namesake
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Patrick Groleau is someone I feel honored to be able to call my friend, as well as a trusted vendor. I have watched him on the event site working with people, in a very quiet, almost unassuming way. Not at all like any photographer I have ever worked with, he has a gift for catching the real moments, not the orchestrated ones. His candid shots seem to look like they are too good to be candid, and his shots that are posed, don't appear to be. He is watching several things at once when working...he is watching the timeline, the flow of the day, the light, the mood and bringing it all together to create a photograph album that will speak to a bride and groom for all their days.
When I asked Patrick to give me a little bit of a bio...I found myself smiling as I read how he became entranced by photography...it is very much the same path that I became entranced with cooking. He with his Dad, and I with my Father's Mother.
I've decided to put what he sent me here in full...in his own words because they truly capture Patrick and what he is all about. Please do visit his website whether or not you are looking for a wedding photographer. If you are shopping for photography services, you will find that not only is Patrick very reasonable, he is indeed fair. That is a rare trait among professional photographers these days. Patrick...here's to lots more weddings together! (yes.....I'll save you some lobster....)
... first memory of photography is one of standing tip-toe atop a stool in a pitch dark room ... once my father had immersed the paper in the tray full of smelly developer and turned on the faint yellow safelight, i was allowed to grab hold of the edge of the table and hoist myself up so that i could better watch the magic as the image he had exposed in his camera earlier in the week was slowly brought to view by the chemicals soaking the paper ... then, after the stop bath and fixer and two long sessions in the wash tanks, i was allowed to squeegee the pictures and place them in the drying racks ...
... later, much later, via some sort of under-the-table barter, he provided me with a cardboard box filled with rolls of outdated kodak print and agfa color slide films ... i can remember the day my ma came into my room and, after looking at the pictures i'd pinned up on the walls, asked, "these aren't the pictures you showed me, where are all the good ones" ... i pulled open one of my desk drawers and pointed to several envelopes, "those're the good ones" ... she peered again at the pictures on the walls, noticing that alongside each was a photograph cut from a magazine ... "what're these pictures" ... "those're all pictures from national geographic, ma, mine are all the ones i messed up taking" ... she stared at her seemingly crazy, son, "why don't you put up all the nice ones you've taken" ... "because i won't learn anything from them, ma ... i want mine to be as good as the ones in the geo" ...
... that's how i started ... later, after much reflection, i learned that i'd taken to photography because it so perfectly complimented my vision ..
Monday, February 16, 2009
While looking for some information on entertaining with lobster to promote the hard working men and women that provide live Maine Lobster for a living, I came across this idea, and just could not resist sharing it....
Monday, February 9, 2009
MeLiving.com has great ideas for making your Maine Wedding Proposal something to remember forever.
Now that you have found your perfect partner, you want to make sure the surroundings are as perfect as the moment.
Visit their site for some wonderful ideas to make your proposal as unique as your love.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
There's nothing about you that is average. You strive to show your personal style in every aspect of your life. Then why oh why would you settle for the main stream style in your wedding dress? There are some designers out there now that will spin you right back on your heels with their edgy styles, totally off the beaten path, and oh, so beautiful. What a great way to support the efforts of the Indie designers than to choose one of their artful creations to walk down the isle in?
I am blown away by the work of Chrissy Wai-Ching. Her innovative, cutting edge style just rocks me. I find myself returning to her web site again and again just to have another look. She uses hand-dyed silks and customizes each dress to accentuate the style and curve of each bride.
kt Jean is a custom designer of couture design. Her work is pictured above. She is taking limited orders for this year, and can be contacted through her web site for orders.
While searching for truly unique options, I was so pleased to stumble across a blog that is all about Etsy designers for brides! You absolutely must visit the shop of London Demimonde
Another great option is to visit a recyled wedding shop as a commitment to sustainable living. Pre Owned Wedding Dresses has been around helping brides find the dress of their dreams and a far smaller price than a new designer gown. Remember your local thrift shops, Ebay, Goodwill and Second Hand Stores for the opportunity to find an amazing dress.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
That in and of itself can be terribly stressful and frightening, especially in today's economy when we are all just doing well to get by week to week.
The very first thing you want to do is set up a separate savings account just for your wedding. Many couples start two accounts at this point, one for the wedding and another for the honeymoon. I posted recently about registering online for your honeymoon while you are filling out you other gift registry options. This is a great idea to offset those honeymoon related costs. Distinctive Honeymoons, Honeymoon Wishes and The Big Day are three main sites to choose from.
Your savings account should be with an online bank that pays high interest rates, like ING Direct. The great thing about these type of banks is that they don't have as much overhead as a brick and motor bank, so they have higher interest rates and they let you automatically transfer money out of your checking account and into a linked savings account with no fees. The goal you should have in mind to effectively save at a fairly rapid rate is to have 10 to 20 percent of each paycheck deposited into this account. This amount is based on having just about 12 months worth of saving. If you have less time, obviously you need to save at a much high rate per paycheck.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sometime you stumble across the best idea and are shocked that you didn't already know about it! I came across the greatest idea, and I just can't believe I had never heard of it before. I had a bride ask me not too long ago about feeling reluctant about registering for a pretty big ticket item for her wedding. I was thrilled to be able to tell her about a site that makes that much less stressful! Felicite is an independent site that allows you to register for items from ANY web site. Guests are then able to contribute any amount that they are comfortable with toward those items that you have requested. When the purchase price has been met, the website places the order, and the item is shipped directly to you.
Don't forget your groom! He may patiently attend you while you peruse the isles of the local department store and may even drive the cool scan gun for a few hours while you choose your special dishware, flatware and glasses, so give him a little something to get excited about by having him register at Lowe's or Home Depot. He will be pretty darn happy to be opening a power tool or two at your couple's shower! Remember....those power tools are going to shape up your new place!
For the couple that already has it all and wants to just skip the whole registry idea.....why not have your guests contribute to your honeymoon instead? Distinctive honeymoons, Honeymoon Wishes and The Big Day allow guests to contribute to funding certain aspects of your honeymoon like a romantic dinner, or scuba lessons. What a fun concept in wedding gifts.....your guests will feel like they are contributing to your most special memories, not just an appliance.
There are a lot of options that allow you to customize your registry just the way that will work the best for both you and your groom.
"My parents are paying a large portion of our wedding, but do I have to heed their input on plans, and how do I get what I want with my Wedding Planner and still make my Parents happy?"
Well, yes....you do have to listen to your parents' wishes and input on wedding plans when they are contributing toward the cost of your wedding. Some parents will be very hands off and the sky may be the limit. Occasionally parents will set a spending limit ahead of time, and how you spend within that budget is up to you. Most often, however, parents want a say in how their hard earned money is spent, and rightfully so. Many times your Mother and maybe even your Father will have had their own vision of your wedding day for many years, and are anxious to recreate the picture in their minds.
Early on is the best time to start conversations with your parents and in-laws to be regarding who will be contributing, how much and in what way. This is one time when money is not a tabu subject! To get everyone on the same page early on...and to keep them there will be a wonderful exercise in the communications skills that will serve you well in marriage. It is ok to take notes and then read everything back to everyone present after agreements have been made. This is help keep everyone on track and everyone sure of what is expected of them.
So, how do you get financial assistance from your family, and still get the wedding YOU want? Again...communication is the key. Compromises on non-key components of your day will go a long way to placate those that are helping to pay the bulk of the expenses. Believe it or not...this is the great time for a Wedding Planner! Your Wedding Planner will have experience in mediating between deciding parties for a wedding, and will be on YOUR side...(never a bad thing!) Having a mediator will allow you to take a step back and disengage from the up close and personal emotions that can get involved when you are trying to communicate your wishes, feeling strongly and unable to find the words to come across as neutral.
A sticking point can come when the Wedding Planner is someone hired by your family member and not you. We recommend trying to field that part of the budget on your own, but even if someone else has paid for that service, A great Wedding Planner will make it clear that she/or he works for the best interests of the bride and groom first and will always take into account the feelings and budgets of all the parties involved.
If your parents and/or in-laws to be are paying for the entire event, why not ask them which components of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception they would like to oversee, and then supply them (or have your Wedding Planner supply them) with your three top choices for each vendor for them to choose from. This way you are assured in getting vendors that are a good fit for you, and your parents will have an active role in the decision making process. A little creativity goes a long way to help everyone feel involved and your wedding remain....your wedding!
In the meantime, I have gotten some emails with questions relating to Wedding Planning.
Recently I was asked if themed weddings are a thing of the past...are they kind of lame...is anyone doing them?
Themes are great! One of the most wonderful things about a themed wedding (or any event) is that it helps to keep you on track. Without the focus of a theme to concentrate on, brides many times find themselves getting into the store and going wild buying everything they see that they like, with the hope that they will find a way to "fit it in". If you know that you are getting married by the lake and have always had a love of the outdoors and lakeside lifestyles...you will be looking for items to showcase that. Mini adirondack chairs as place cards, family pictures on your annual vacation in rustic branch frames as a welcome to the place card table, and perhaps you will ride away from your reception in your very own getaway canoe! What you won't be doing is buying reams of orange ribbon because it is on sale, and crystal vases because they are on closeout, and sticking them in a closet to never use again.
Beyond the financial benefit, themes allow you as a couple to celebrate your personalities. Many guests will not know both of you, and a theme that means a great deal to you both will help all the guests see into your world and know you better. I managed several weddings last year that were based around music. The couples had a great love of music in their lives, as did many of their friends. Both weddings had a great deal of music by friends and family in their ceremony and in their receptions. Both by the performers and by their musical choices...you felt that you really knew both the bride and groom by the end of the day. Sometimes the season will lend itself to a natural theme. Using the seasons as a guide will help those that are ecologically concerned about a leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible as well.
The obvious choice for Coastal Maine weddings is a seaside theme. This is something that is always beautiful, fresh and elegant when done correctly. A summer's worth of beach combing will bring you all sorts of lovely ideas and items to be used throughout your reception and ceremony.
Be sure to share your personality with your wedding planner early in your relationship. The more she knows about you, your joys, your passions, your hobbies and your history, the more she can work with you to create a day that is completely and beautifully a reflection of you and your husband to be.
We had a great "coming out party" at the Portland Wedding Show a few weeks ago. Since then we have been fielding calls and questions from people that are starting to hear about us. "So what are you....really?" Is the question we have been getting most often.
We are an event and catering management group that is made up of an eclectic group of women from several professional backgrounds. What we have in common is a love of entertaining and a passion for creating beautiful events. I have been in the event and catering business for decades and have had probably equal experience both in the front and the back of the house. I am a chef by trade and have also assisted countless brides through their planning process. Through my experience as a caterer, I have learned as much what NOT to do, as what to do. They are both equally important.
One of my convictions is that brides realize that a wedding planner that comes as part of the package from a venue or caterer, is really not what you are looking for. These coordinators, as talented as they may be, can never be solely looking out for your best interests. They are by their job descriptions looking out for their venue or business. You deserve and and need your own advocate. An independently hired wedding planner that will get to know you and your dreams, that has the passion and experience to make those dreams happen within your budget is what you need.
Pomegranate Parties also has the exclusive use of the fabulous Pomegranate Inn for both day and evening events. Due to the intimate nature of the Inn, we do request that for evening events the Inn is booked as a whole. Pomegranate Parties also makes use of the stunning surroundings of the Brunswick Inn on Park Row for events in the greater Brunswick area. I am especially thrilled to be able to offer both the services as event planners and our catering expertise to bring you truly a well rounded service experience. Whether you are planning an intimate cocktail party in your home, or a bridal tea and looking for a unique backdrop, we can assist in making it a memorable, beautiful and delicious experience. Please call us today at 207-772-1006. We look forward to hearing from you. Cheers!