I never written on the board before, but I thought I would help out anyone that's getting married at the Bourne Mansion on Long Island. We were married at the Bourne Mansion on November 14, 2009. The first time I walked into the mansion I knew it was where I wanted to get married. The entire mansion is gorgeous and I loved the fact that you have so many rooms available to you. Some parts of the mansion do look a little old and worn in during the day, but at night when they dim and add lots of candles the entire place looks magical and so romantic. I do recommend bringing more of your own candles though. They don't provide a lot. The food was absolutely amazing. During cocktail hour we had 5 different stations with multiple things available on each and 6 passed hors d'oeuvres. I had several guests tell me that they thought the cocktail hour was a buffet dinner because there was so much food. They were shocked when we went in for reception and they received an appetizer/salad, entree and dessert. I recommend doing a combination plate instead of appetizer and salad, it gives you more dancing time. I barely had time to eat my food, but several guests told me that the filet mignon was one of the best they've ever had. The ballroom was breathtaking when you first walked in. I highly recommend going with the lighting package, it really adds something to the room. All of the service during dinner and at the bars was excellent. We also had a pretzel display for when guests were leaving the mansion. This is a must, all of our guests loved and said that it was such a great touch.
Now about the Lessings staff. We booked our wedding a year and a half in advance and during that time I probably emailed Ben at least 50 times with different questions. He did email me back every time. Sometimes I wouldn't get a response until a day or two later and all of the responses were short one word answers that sometimes didn't help. One thing to realize when first working with Ben is that he is a salesman. When we were first choosing the mansion he told us that we could bring in our own wine. I didn't find out until the day before the wedding that this wasn't true. In his defense apparently their liquor license changed and you weren't allowed to bring your own wine, but he knew this months in advance and didn't tell us. We also signed a contract for 200 guests. We had our ceremony at the mansion and he told us that they could fit 200 people in the ceremony room, no problem. On my wedding day less than an hour before I was getting married I found out that the room only fits 140 people. There is another room next to the ceremony room that they open up and seat people in. This room is no where near as nice, it's where they store peoples coats! I was furious that he never mentioned this to me. He also told me that I could come to the mansion at 3pm to start taking pictures which I was allowed to do, but there was no one there. The staff didn't show up till 4pm. Steve was our maitre d'. While he was extremely efficient and worked very hard to keep us on schedule and make sure we got our moneys worth he was absolutely horrible to work with. I met with him the Wed before my wedding. We spoke on the phone and agreed on a time, I asked if I should meet him at the mansion and he said yes. I showed up at the Bourne Mansion to find him not there. When I got a hold of him I found out that he was at Timber Point and he yelled at me for being at the wrong location. Once we got to Timber Point he started going over our wedding schedule with us. He had it broken down to the minute which I appreciated. We had gone through the ceremony and cocktail hour which took about 30 minutes. When we started talking about the reception he started talking about a grand reception (buffet). I told him that we were having a sit down dinner and he said that our contract said we were having a buffet. After we both looked at the contract I realized that he had printed out the wrong one. He had been talking to me for 30 minutes about the wedding that was happening the weekend after mine! On the actually wedding day he was a lot more organized but he was horribly mean. Prior to the ceremony he had the entire wedding party, including parents and grandparents line up to walk down the isle. He literally barked commands at everyone. Just as we were about to walk down the isle we found out that one of the buses with over 20 guests had not arrived yet. Steve knew this and didn't tell us. I told him that we needed to wait for the guests and he yelled at me, saying that I was making a bad decision because I was going to lose cocktail hour time. During cocktail hour he asked me if I wanted to bustle my dress and take off my veil. I said I wanted to keep them on and he rolled his eyes and said that I would regret that. During the reception he also told me that the bustle on my dress wasn't high enough that he was going to take bets on how many people tripped over it. What was the point in making me feel bad, how was I supposed to bustle it more at that point? Later, right before my husband and I made our entrance into our reception I told my sister to take my bouquet from me once I was on the dance floor which she did. After, in front of the entire room Steve went over to her and scolded her for taking the bouquet too early. Again what was the point? It was already done. He was so mean she said she almost cried. He did do a very good job of keeping us on schedule, but every time he told us what we needed to do he barked it at us. During dinner my husband and I made our rounds and I had at least 20 different guests tell me that he was "intense" or that he yelled at them for something. The most common one was that he yelled at women for being on the dance floor without shoes on. I was mortified that I was thanking my guests for traveling to our wedding and they were telling me that they'd been yelled at by the maitre d'. When I went to throw my bouquet from the balcony Steve walked me upstairs. He used our time alone to tell me how much he hated the band and how annoying they were to work with. I obviously had picked out the band! I think Steve takes his job way to seriously and is far too stressed. I actually had to tell him to calm down at one point because he looked so stressed.
Kerry/Carrie was our bridal attendant. She was the shining star the whole night. She was there for me every time I needed something. She did everything with a smile and never seemed stressed. She even seemed to understand how much Steve was stressing me out and every time he yelled something at us she would come up after and say something nice. I loved her!
The next day every guest told us that it was the best wedding they had ever been to. They loved the location and were amazed by food. The only complaint that anyone had, including the bride and groom, was Steve.