Happy Friday!! Today I’m delighted to share with you a venue that I’ve been waiting all year to go to. On Mother’s Day I treated my mom and sister to the 2nd annual brunch at Bittersweet Barn in Freedom. Off the beaten path, Freedom is a tiny town in Waldo County close to where I grew up. For location purposes, it’s not too far from Belfast. Nestled in the back country roads is the home where my good friend Erin, owner of The Lost Kitchen, grew up. At her family home they have renovated their barn into a beautiful, quaint country venue for small weddings and parties. This place is absolutely everything you think of when you think little, country town in Maine. Seasonal flowers and branches adorn the tables, antique china, and friendly bar, and the best home cooked food you’ve ever had. The property even boasts a beautiful pond behind the barn AND a three hole golf course! Owner Deanna Richardson put out an amazing spread for Mother’s Day and this is just a tiny taste of what you could expect for more elaborate events. Do not miss your chance to check out this venue. Word on the street is that she will be holding more consistent brunches throughout the summer months, so be sure to check them out here and like their page!
These two people are so very special to me and I am proud to call them brother and mother. This weekend my little brother graduated from college and Sunday was, of course, mother’s day. I was blessed to be able to celebrate these two people this weekend and spend time with family. Conner and mom, I love you both so much and am so proud of everything that you accomplish in this life.
Your big sister and biggest daughter
Welcome to the first of a series of posts I’ll be doing in which I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite Maine wedding vendors. People ask me all the time who I like working with and what better way to share that with you then to write about it. I’ll be interviewing various professionals over the next few months that I know my clients would love. First up is Amber Small, owner of Sweetest Thing Weddings. It’s FINALLY Spring in Maine!! And if you just happen to be planning a wedding for next year, then you might be in need of the services of a great planner or designer. Amber and I got together on one of those rare gorgeous days we had a couple weeks ago (Yes! The sun was shining!) and she was tinkering in her barn (where all the magic happens). We snapped a few photos and talked all about the world of wedding planning. She is one of the best in the business and I am always thrilled when a client hires both of us! Weddings where Amber and her team are on site are a hoot to attend and we have lots of fun doing it. Check out our interview below and see more of her work here!
How long have you been planning and designing weddings?
I have been in the wedding industry for fifteen years. I started out in catering at a hotel, did that for three years and then progressed to planning. Four years into the business of weddings and learning how it all worked, I started Sweetest Thing and I’ve been running my own business for nine years now. I also do floral design and have been doing that for the past five years.
What made you want to be a wedding planner?
In catering, I learned very quickly that I thrive in chaos and I love the moments before the curtain goes up. That’s my dance permanence background. I learned the rhythm of a wedding and how to make it successful and I learned very quickly that I was good at it! And then the design aspect I feel like I’ve been doing since I was a kid redesigning my Barbie dream house all the time. I loved finding all those pieces and working it out to make something new. And honestly, I am a bit of a control freak and I really like having my hands on the design so that I can give my clients the best experience possible. What started out as planning weddings has progressed to designing the whole vision for people and that’s also why I do my own florals. I want my clients vision to be seamless and working with me through the whole process is how I get that done.
What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?
I have two. The first one is the moment that the bride or groom walks down the isle and their partner sees them and cries (and I cry) and everyone gets to experience that connection. I mean, that’s why we’re all here, right? The second is when my clients get a moment alone to see their design in the reception before it gets filled with people, seeing their vision come reality.
Your business is all about creating a unique Maine wedding for your clients. What do you think draws people here and draws them to you?
What draws people to Maine is our incredible service. We understand how to give people a great experience while they are here so that they come back again. Maine is vacationland and my clients have a connection to this state. Whether it’s going to summer camp as a kid, or taking a vacation or growing up here they find their way back to plan a wedding. What draws them to me that I am a Maine girl. I was born and raised here and I know the state really well. They like my personality and my working philosophy when our personalities click we make magic!
What’s your best piece of advice for couples getting married today?
With all the services and things available to couples these days, they don’t need to be pigeon holed into one certain thing. Sometimes couples think their design needs to fit a certain box. A “nautical” wedding that has to be red, white and blue or a “rustic” wedding that has to be cluttered with Ball jars. But that’s not the case. You can have the wedding YOU want. Know your vision, know your budget and find the people that fit both and your wedding will be amazing. And then on the day, enjoy your day! Laugh with friends, eat your food, smell your flowers and do what princess Elsa says and “let it go.”