Gracious Events Blog

Displaying Posts For: Maine


Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Gracious Events is always exploring new places wherever we go and when we find something we LOVE, we SHARE!  This past week our TEAM was in Portland, Maine excited to celebrate our long overdue company holiday outing.  We were thrilled to be staying at the newly opened Press Hotel as we’ve been fans of it!  On our travels throughout Portland we were told to go to The Holy Donut, as their donuts are amazing and made with real Maine potatoes.  Honestly, this could not have come at a better time as I recently wrote a blog about our “Top Favorite Wedding Trends For 2016” and yes, number 5 was “Donut Bars”. Clearly I felt the need to have our team further research this just to make sure we had gotten it right.  After dinner while walking back to our hotel we happened to pass by The Holy Donut and I was excited to look in because the lights were on…I thought “oh they must be making the donuts” NOPE, NO DONUTS because they were actually redoing the floors and would be closed for the next few days…the look of sheer shock and sadness on my face was undoubtedly apparent because the two gentlemen working on the floors actually opened the door.  Sadness immediately turned to happiness after finding out they actually had another location…THANK YOU GOD!

The Holy Donut was our last stop as we headed home from Portland and well worth it.  After trying the donuts TEAM GEM concluded that they were in fact, very YUMMY.  My favorites were the ginger sugared sweet potato and the sea salt chocolate. I’m a little sad because even though I bought a half dozen, they’re already gone (YUP, only lasted 24 hours), but at the same time I’m feeling BLESSED that I only live an hour and a half away from Portland, Maine!  #welovemaine #welovetheholydonut


Photo via The Holy Donut FB Exchange Street Location

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Exchange Street Location


Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Toasted Coconut with Coconut Milk Glaze


Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut and Coconut Milk Glaze


Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Chai Glazed


Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Cinnamon Sugar


Fresh Lemon (hand squeezed and zested lemon)

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Fresh Lemon (hand squeezed)


Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page

Marry in Maine Tour – Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau


Maine signs

Written by Jennifer Hansen

Growing up in New Hampshire I was fortunate enough to be on Lake Winnipesaukeee and Squam during the summers.  And when you only know lake living it takes awhile to start to like the ocean…I blame it on seaweed, cold water and the idea of unknown creatures (okay, sharks and large lobsters that may get you).  BUT fast forward 30 years and Maine is one of my top happy places!

Every time I sit on the beach in Ogunquit, Maine staring at the beautiful ocean and riding the lazy river (aka the bay side) with my kids, and brave thin skinned friends, I keep thinking life couldn’t get much better!  Well, shockingly I found it can, as I was forced out of my comfort zone and up to the Mid Coast of Maine as part of the Marry in Maine Tour the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau invited us to.

Suffice it to say, we have been lucky enough to coordinate some amazing events in the southern Maine area, but had yet to really explore the mid coast area as much as we would have liked.  This tour gave us the chance to see some old friends and finally see some of the amazing properties we hadn’t had a chance to see.

So before we put out the blogs on these wonderful properties we just wanted to recognize Holly Martzial from the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau  for putting so much time and effort into this four day whirlwind.  THANK YOU for including us on this adventure, for your well timed (and executed) agendas, for the low calorie meals and soft drinks (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and for putting together a group of women from around the country (Sarah, Jacin, Jenny, Cat and Emily I haven’t laughed that much since) that clicked from the beginning!  It truly couldn’t have been better and it’s a testament of what a good organization you are part of and your dedication to the events industry.

Thanks again Holly and I hope 3 weeks is long enough for you to recover.

FP Good Times


Black point

Next up, we are excited to showcase all the amazing properties (The Nonantum, The Westin Portland HarborviewPortland Regency, Point Lookout, Black Point Inn and the beautiful French’s Point) and show you what’s NOT in their wedding/event pieces!

{Venue Spotlight} Granite Ridge Estate & Barn

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Gracious Events had the pleasure of spending the last week touring “all things wedding” in the State of Maine.  We started out at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine for Brand Camp 2015 put on by Tide Creative.  It was an amazing experience to not only listen and learn from the incredible speakers but connect with some really FABULOUS creative professionals throughout the Wedding Industry.  Here is New England we get a lot of interest from couples wanting to plan a rustic barn wedding but depending on the barn it can come with challenges as some have been around for years and may lack certain amenities that you would like for your guests.

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GEM is so excited that we now have a NEW barn venue to share with all of  you!  While at Brand Camp we met Jill Fratianne co-owner of Granite Ridge Estate & Barn located in Norway, Maine.  Jill was so nice and shared all about the barn and how it’s actually brand new…YES you read this right, we now have a NEW barn venue in the New England to work with. Before our conversation with Jill was even over I knew I would be featuring Granite Ridge Estate & Barn in our “Venue Spotlight” this week.  There are no words to express how beautiful this venue is so I will let the photos and VIDEO TOUR be my words but wanted to share a few key points.

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•  Inside the barn
•  Wooden wedding site (onsite)
•  Classical New England white church

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•  Spacious newly constructed rustic bathrooms
•  Seating accommodations for up to 233
•  Side patio for cocktail reception
•  Panoramic mountain views
•  Ample room for dance floor
•  Wall of windows
•  28ft cathedral ceiling
•  Hand crafted timber frame Construction

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•  Outside hot tub
•  Commercial grade stainless kitchen
•  Large granite fireplace
•  18ft cathedral ceiling
•  Timber frame construction
•  Comfortably sleeps 13-18
•  Panoramic mountain views
•  128 Private Acres
•  Caretaker on-site

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 All photos courtesy of Granite Ridge Estate & Barn website

{Hidden GEM} HoneyMaker Mead

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Welcome to our {Hidden GEM} blog series, a bi-weekly post sharing all the “Hidden GEMS “ that our team has stumbled upon!

At Gracious Events we’ve had the pleasure of meeting a considerable amount of professionals across a broad range of industries.  We’re all about sharing and our travels throughout the event industry both social and corporate have granted us exposure to all things old, new, quirky, trendy and frankly good old fashion fun.


First up is HoneyMaker Mead a Sustainable Winery & Vineyard in Portland, Maine.  What we discover while attending various Bridal Events is usually “wedding industry” typical but this past Sunday in Portland, Maine at Beswoona curated bridal showcase we found HoneyMaker Wine.  Their display table immediately stood out amongst the rest with their polish colored wine bottles, elegant stemless monogrammed wine glasses and impeccable branding.



Their brand ambassadors were both friendly and knowledgable as they shared about the different wines we could try.  They explained about the Mead process and how it changes with the seasons…very fitting for a true New England Wine Company! One would not expect honey and wine to go together but we recommend you check out this {Hidden GEM} we dare you to discover the BEE to bottle process, we promise you will not BEE disappointed and as HoneyMaker says in their HIVE it is “Buzzworthy“.




If you want to take a a behind the scenes tour and tasting CLICK HERE!

2013 Pick - Best of Weddings on The Knot
Weddings, Wedding VenuesGracious Events Management, Best Wedding Planners in Boston - 2013 Bride's Choice Award Winner