Em and I just got back from our short, but sweet, honeymoon and went back to the grind yesterday. The wedding was, with no hyperbole whatsoever, pretty much as perfect as can be. The only thing that really was a bit awkward was people getting there early and not wanting to sit outside on a crisp October day while simultaneously the reception hall crew didn't want them in the big room while they were setting up. But this was all easily remedied by a quickly opened open bar in one of the side rooms. :)
Because everything went so well, I wanted to throw a couple props out to a few of our vendors who were so wonderful and helpful on our big day.
1) West Sayville Country Club - One could recommend this on the location and price alone given that, while it's not as elegant as some of the other Lessings venues on Long Island, it still provides a beautiful view of the bay and is considerably cheaper. But the real reason to go with West Sayville is because of their sales manager, Stephen Braun, who is not only one of the most professional, helpful and organized people I've ever met, but he and his staff made putting everything together incredibly easy and took a lot of stress off us on the day itself. He also went out of his way to let us personalize our menu (extra passed apps, less chafing dishes, top shelf liquor of specific brands), but he also spent several hours with us on multiple days to go over everything and get everything right. You can't put a price on that kind of attention, but it was worth it's weight in wedding cake. Going to have a LI wedding? Go with West Sayville, absolutely. Additional big props to Dawn, the maitre d’ at our wedding, who was as fabulous and organized as Steve. The day simply wouldn't have happened if she wasn't there directing everything.
2) A Starry Night - Gabriela was our DJ from A Starry Night, a Manhattan based DJ/Live Music company that also handles weddings on Long Island. We booked Gabriela early (actually she was the first person we called) because she handled my brother's wedding two years ago in Manhattan and was simply fabulous. Our wedding was no different. Everything we wanted her to play, she played. Everything we didn't want her to play she didn't (buh-bye, Chicken Dance). We also needed a microphone for our outside ceremony that she graciously supplied. She was professional and a complete delight to work with and I can't recommend her enough. You can check out her bio here along with all the other Starry Night DJs.
3) Laura Ryan Photography - We haven't gotten back our photos yet from Laura, so this is a bit of an advance plug. But she was such a delight to work with and has such a large portfolio of wonderful brides and grooms, I have no doubt they're going to be spectacular. Laura actually had her own wedding at West Sayville on 07/07/07, which is how we found her, so she knew all the best places to take photos backwards and forwards. We really lucked out with the weather, so she took us down to the marina to get a few sweet shots in the remaining sunlight of the day. Highly recommended, especially if you choose West Sayville. She also has a blog you can check out and comment on.
4) The Boathouse B&B - Okay, this isn't one of our wedding vendors, but it is THE best B&B we've ever stayed in. Our room had a gas fireplace, hot tub and balcony overlooking the water. That alone is terrific, but it's really the little details that made it an incredible stay. The fridge, microwave, sink, glasses for wine, cheese board and knife, a corkscrew and ice bucket - all small things that made our stay perfect. We had brought a bottle of wine and some snacks up for our first evening after the drive, planning to relax in the tub and unwind. It was like everything was set up perfectly for us.
And the breakfasts were fabulous too. Joe and Patti run the place - Joe greets and brings coffee while Patti cooks. Every meal had a fruit starter (we had strawberries and cream, honeydew melon, and yogurt and apples), a main course (breakfast "pizza" with scrambled eggs and bacon over flatbread, a fried pancake with sauteed peaches and apples and a fritatta with hash browns and patty sausage) and a fruity, frozen palate cleanser for dessert. Twas interesting conversation too, since breakfast was only served at one time (9am) , forcing everyone to sit down together in sort of a little social experiment. There were a pair of Australians staying there so we asked them what they thought of the American election. Sparked some very fun discussion.
The Boathouse is also only a ten minute walk from the historic Sagamore Hotel and has an agreement with the place so guests can use the Sagamore facilities (mainly the gym and pool) with a card Joe and Patti provide. It also gives you 10% off any of the other Sagamore services (restaurants, spa, gift shops). We ate at the Grill steakhouse one night (the Trillium restaurant was sadly closed for a private party) and had cocktails on the Veranda. Very cool.
I can't recommend The Boathouse enough. It's not cheap, especially in season, but well worth every penny. And Joe and Patti were simply a delight as our hosts. If you're ever looking for a getaway in upstate NY, check and see if they have any availability.
Lastly, in case you're curious, we do have two sets of wedding photos already online by a couple of our terrific shutterbug guests. Now it's back to the grind again, although it's so nice not to have to talk about wedding planning anymore. Only one more month until the LOST Season 4 DVD! :)