Kristen Poliquin and Matt Tifft knew from the start they didn’t want to carry any debt from their wedding into their marriage, so they originally envisioned a simple pig roast at an outdoor reception.

All that changed when Kristen, a nurse, and Matt, an officer with the Auburn Police Department, both attended an underage-drinking conference held at The Green Ladle, part of the Lewiston Regional Technical Center at Lewiston High School.

“With Matt being a police officer, he really didn’t want to have the responsibility of having alcohol served at the reception,” noted Kristen. “Heaven forbid, someone would get into an accident after our wedding.” With the Green Ladle coming under the auspices of the Lewiston School Department, that wasn’t even a possibility.

The couple already knew the quality of the food from having attended the conference, and further investigation led them to the conclusion it was the “best deal you could imagine,” Kristen said.

Their reception turned out to be the first at the Green Ladle. “You pay for the food and the gratuity, but with that we had air conditioning, bathrooms and a changing area, and the food was great!” Kristen added, Although the couple planned for 135 well-wishers, the hall will accommodate 225.

“We had the whole day open and could get in the night before to decorate and stay as late or come in as early as we wanted,” she said.

Instead of alcohol, Kristen and Matt opted for a “dry bar” set up in one corner of the reception room where festive “mocktails” could be ordered. Kristen said she purchased the ingredients for the mocktail bar, but if she could do it over, she would let the Green Ladle staff handle that detail. “I think they would have done a better job,” she confessed.

“We had a ton of options for food, and we could have made it even more classy by adding just $2 per plate, but we chose seafood newburg, chicken cordon bleu, rosemary crusted roast beef and haddock,” she recalled. We also had a choice of salads, two vegetables and a starch.” Kristen noted that she could have opted to have the wedding cake baked there on the premises, but she chose to go with a cake from Heather’s Bakery.

The Tiffts couldn’t say enough to describe the wonderful reception experience they had with the Green Ladle.

“They even offered to put the centerpieces together for us, although we chose to do that ourselves,” Kristen pointed out. They did, however, arrange some of the flowers. “The students (who serve as wait staff and servers) have a lot of pride, and they’re very professional. They seemed pleased to be there. I wouldn’t hesitate a minute because they’re high school kids – they were great!”

As Edward Little High School’s student resource officer, Matt knew and recognized some of the students in the program. “The staff was very accommodating and took a lot of the burden off us,” he said. “It was affordable, and they took care of everything. There are lots of things that add up that we didn’t have to think about, like linen and china. It was all supplied.”

The Tiffts said although they loved the food and everything about the reception, seeing their families and friends all together to celebrate with them was the greatest gift of all.

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