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*GardenBryd* Re: Lyman

I haven't talked to anyone from Lyman since the day we sent in out deposit, which was 2-3 months ago or so.  I want to start thinking about how to decorate the place and emailed Demi a week go about visiting Lyman again, along with a few quetions, and she hasn't responded, yet.  We went over the weekend without an appointment (because she never responded) and the place was closed. *ugh*  What is wrong with her? :P  I know you mentioned that you worked with Sue more than you did Demi; I wonder if I should direct my questions to my caterer as well.. Hm...Did you do any decorations at Lyman, inside and outside?  I looked through your pictures (love them, btw!) but only saw the centerpieces.  Maybe I don't need to decorate? I was thinking of small things like hanging letters by the front door, where to put placecard, guestbook, etc..Any input would be helpful! Thanks!
BabyFruit Ticker

Re: *GardenBryd* Re: Lyman

  • edited December 2011
    Hey! Demi--oh boy. I am sorry--she takes about 2 weeks to respond, normally. Did you try calling? Sometimes she responds faster via the phone. And yes--with any questions at all, I went to my caterer (other than seeing the house); as I said, it's really important to get a good one. My caterer helped me even with where to put the placecards, what to order for linens, the timeline of the night--etc. If you don't think the caterer you hired will do that (if you have), I really suggest considering looking for a day of coordinator at least. Unfortunately, I THINK Demi is the only one who works at Lyman. (Did you read my vendor review? She actually wound up not showing up the day of. Since I'm an obsessive planner and my caterer was so good, it was fine. She sent her husband, so I think he's the only back up.)Decor: I had placecards in the ballroom, guest book in front hall (photos of both in my gallery in my sig)--no hanging laterns of anything like that. To be honest, I think too much extra stuff is just not needed--and may kind of distract from the beauty of the place/look kind of chintzy in comparison (depending)? We didn't even have to do flowers on the inside, except on the dessert place. Side note: no flames are allowed, as you probably know. 
  • edited December 2011
    I must have missed your vendor reviews!  Did you post them here?  I was away for a couple of weeks in the beginning of Sept...did you post them then or do you have it posted somewhere else?I emailed because in the past, every time I called the office, I'd be talking to the machine.  ONE time she responded rather quickly via email so I thought I might have better chances with that. lol   Did Michael show up at your wedding instead?  We actually like Michael better than Demi (I have never even talked to her before) and wish that he were the one who is in charge of  the coordination. How was he during your wedding?  I think another woman named Sharon works there, too. My FI has spoken with her before - he also seems to have better luck with catching them.   Well, it's good to know that not much is needed.  It is probably not too urgent that I see the place, then.  It's just that the majority of our event is going to be inside (we are not getting  tent) so I wanted to take a look again to see if there is any place that needs some jazzing up and if I do, I'd like to start some DIY as soon as I can.I am going to try asking my caterer and see how he responds. Thanks :D
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Yeah, posted them here!  Will again below:-Reception Site: Lyman Estate, A+. I really wanted a few things in a reception site: dancing separate from dinner (I don't like the half-empty post-dinner ballroom look), a romantic and New England-y feel, a place with a lot of flexibility, and some portion of the night outside. Lyman was and is just gorgeous. I think I looked at every mansion in the New England area, and just don't think the Lyman Estate can be beat. -Reception Site Coordinator, B-. The coordinator for the estate is a lovely person--but just wasn't as helpful as I would have liked. She didn't seem to know the answer to more basic questions (how many tables the Lyman Estate had available, etc.), and often seemed a bit out of it. On the day of my wedding, was not feeling well and sent her husband in her stead. He's worked at the estate and did a fine job, but I was really thrown off by having someone new the day of. Everything worked out fine, and she probably was indeed sick, but it was her previous lack of engagement in the process that I'm grading on. If you're doing a Lyman wedding, I would suggest hiring our caterer, Swartz Catering. I don't know what I would have done without Sue, who acted as our coordinator.-Swartz Catering, A+. I chose this caterer from Lyman's list based on the recommendation of a friend, and frankly, Sue Shapiro (head of catering) was a godsend. She acted like my coordinator and not just my caterer--she helped me pick linens, decide on the flow of the evening, coordinate with other vendors. Beyond that, the food was some of the best I've had, period--let alone at a wedding. The staff is not high school kids, but all adults, and they know what they're doing. I can't recommend them enough.-Photography: Agnieska Wormus of A Brilliant Photo, A+. Agnieska was a pleasure to work with, and especially at the time I booked her, extremely reasonable. I think her photos speak for themselves--she is a talent.
  • edited December 2011
    First, here are some additional photos:http://picasaweb.google.com/KylahGMcNeill/Wedding# (some of them overlap from photos posted before)My first reviews are below. I don't grade-inflate, and these scores accurately reflect how I feel about each vendor (and honestly, I am fairly critical). I did a ton of research on each and every vendor (here especially), booked a lot of them over a year ahead, and really had great results from almost all of them.-Hair and Makeup--Natalie and Dee at Moodz Salon in Acton, MA. Grade: A+. I absolutely loved my hair and makeup. My hair is very fine and normally impossible to work with--but Natalie worked wonders with it with my extensions. For makeup, I had a trial with someone mentioned on here who is very popular, but didn't like it. Dee did an amazing job, I thought. -Ceremony Musicians: Chuck Naviens (organ), Nick Francese (trumpet), Lauren Sprague (singer): A+ for all. So many people raved about the ceremony music--and how much ti added to have a trumpet. I played clarinet for many years, and am quite critical, but all three musicians were incredible.-Florist: Jen Cahill from Tangled Web: A+. Jen was so patient, responsive, and absolutely "got" my vision over email--and with the flowers themselves. I didn't meet her until the day, and everything was perfect. Her prices are also incredibly reasonable.-Invitations, programs, table numbers: Lindsey Ryan from Etsy, A+. I am obsessed with the designs Lindsey created for my paper products. She is the most talented graphic artist I've ever seen--and her prices are again, extremely reasonable. There was a period where she was slow to respond, but there was a family emergency--and everything go to me on time. Frankly, the quality of her work makes up for few-week response lag.
  • edited December 2011
    insane. The caterer told us in her 20 years in the business, she has never seen so many people on the dance floor AFTER we had already extended the party for an hour (and as a side note the alcohol—due to Lyman’s rules—had been stopped for an hour). When they started to play, someone turned to my brother and told him “the DJ started.” Every single song was so good that it sounded like the original—and they play a huge range of music. I am partial, but I just think bands bring an energy to a dance floor that a DJ just can’t. As far as bands go, they are fairly reasonable. As to MCing, they were perfect—Julie (the bandleader) is really funny and engaging without being cheesy. -Videgrapher (pending video), *** Osso: A+. This review is based on ***'s responsiveness, hard work, and the birth-to-wedding slideshow he did for us, which was absolutely incredible (music was perfectly timed--it was just awesome). *** has worked in the tv business for over 30 years, and doesn't market much at all, but is always booked and does incredible work for incredible prices, from everything I've seen. He said he would be there from beginning to end, and even when we extended the time by an hour, he was still there, until midnight. He seemed to be everywhere all the time--I'm not sure if he ever even took one break. He is cheerful, helpful, experienced and creative and talented. Personality-wise, he was one of my favorite vendors.-Tent Company, Peterson Party Tents: C-. I really didn't enjoy working with Peterson, one of only two companies Lyman allows on their grounds (something I fought--and lost--I wanted a Sperry Tent). They were slow to respond, very expensive (until I complained to Lyman), and just not helpful. I argued with them for months over the size tent we needed--they wanted us to get a $500-more 40 by 60, my parents wanted a 40 by 40. It wasn't until I found out from the OTHER tent company Lyman recommends that they could do a 40 by 50 (Willis--much nicer company but even more expensive)--and brought this to Peterson--that Peterson offered a 40 by 50, which was the perfect size. In the end, they also messed up our lighting, which really upset me. They did pole lighting, which I had emailed and called about about 10 times--I ONLY wanted perimeter lighting, since we were going inside at about 8PM and didn't need bright center lights. Instead, the only gave me bright, horrid, center pole lights (I had to have them turned down)--no perimeter lights at all. Anyway. No one knew but me, but it was still annoying. I will say they gave us a good discount on the tent, chairs and linens (after I complained to Lyman)
  • edited December 2011
    Oops, heer is band review again. Sorry font stinks: -Band: Modern Manners, A+. The band was insane. The caterer told us in her 20 years in the business, she has never seen so many people on the dance floor AFTER we had already extended the party for an hour (and as a side note the alcohol—due to Lyman’s rules—had been stopped for an hour). When they started to play, someone turned to my brother and told him “the DJ started.” Every single song was so good that it sounded like the original—and they play a huge range of music. I am partial, but I just think bands bring an energy to a dance floor that a DJ just can’t. As far as bands go, they are fairly reasonable. As to MCing, they were perfect—Julie (the bandleader) is really funny and engaging without being cheesy.    
  • edited December 2011
    To answer your question: Michael was good on the day, I will say--it got a bit hot on the dance floor (dancing was insane) and he brought in one of our fans from the tent--and it was totally fine. He also really stepped in, I will say, and got everything right--even in terms of lining us up for intros at the right time, etc.. It was just really disconcerting, because I wasn't even told about it, not even on the day--until I kind of realized she just wasn't there. We had worked together so closely (well, with Sue orchestrating, but at least she was at meetings)--so it was a bit crappy.
  • edited December 2011
    Wow, thanks for the reviews!  I like how you did so much research beforehand and that saves other brides (like me) some work. :P  I'll definitely have to check out at least a couple of other vendors you used.I am so glad Michael was good.  Funny how we got to know him.  We went for our Lyman tour when we were hunting for a venue, and it was my understanding that we were meeting Demi.  When we got there, she wasn't around and we saw a men running around setting up a wedding. He saw us and greeted us and I had the feeling that he gave us the tour because Demi wasn't around.  (He looked around and muttered something like, "Hm, no one is around." lol)  I am glad we met Michael, because we booked Lyman partially becuase he was so good to us.  He explained to us how the event coordinating works, showed us the paper/forms they use so in any event that someone couldn't make it, another person can quickly pick it up with no problem (I guess that's what happened to you, but it would've been nice if they had told you about it beforehand!) Bad Demi!OH, last question!  What is the lighting like inside the estate, especially the ballroom?  Would I need to use uplighting or other light sources?
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Lighting was just great, I thought--in fact, looking at photos, I feel like my band might have had some special lights. It's really classic and just lovely--see photos. I honestly wouldn't spend the money on uplighting. Everything was dim and just beautiful. Side note, though: I am not a fan of uplighting in general, ha--especially pink, etc. I just think if you're renting this gorgeous house, you should keep it classic. I feel like we're going to look back at pink uplighting and think: What the heck were we thinking?
  • edited December 2011
    I should clarify: my band might have had SOME special lights, but just around them--everything else came from Lyman's chandeliers.
  • edited December 2011
    So I'm just going to butt in :) I've been a total slacker in the reviews/pics, but I had my wedding there on Sept 6! When we first looked at the Lyman we met Cynthia, but most of the questions/planning went through Demi. I didn't deal with her too much aside from when I had a question. As with GardenByrd, my savior was also my caterer. We used Wildflour out of Charlestown...who wasnt on the list but we fought that one. My catering manager Amy had worked at the Lyman in the past with another company so that helped. Amy helped pick all the rentals (linens, dinnerware). We also used Petersons, and yes it was annoying that they were like hte only option...Willis was aweful returning calls/emails. I guess we lucked out with our tent lighting as we did have the perminter white lights, and I also rented 4 potted small trees with white lights from our florist. They were only $25/each to rent and looked great with the white lights in the tent; we had one at each corner. We also didn't decorate the inside aside from small florals on the cocktail tables and a couple on dessert table. The estate lighting was great, I dont think you'd need uplights...the chandeliers are beautiful. I never met Demi's husband! I think Demi was there in the beginning for mine but I dont remember seeing her at all later. I can help with any other questions as well :)
  • edited December 2011
    CONGRATS and welcome back! Can't wait to see photos--the siggy one is wonderful!!
  • edited December 2011
    @Gardenbryd - That's good to hear about not needing extra lighting!  That's one less item I have to worry about. @ baw - Congrats!  The pic in your siggy looks great!   Got more pictures to share?  Thank you for jumping in to give comments!  I am so surprised that you used a caterer outside of the preferred vendor list.  Seems like Wildflour's pricing is pretty reasonable, too!  We were having a hard time picking one from the list and we haven't officially signed our catering contract, yet...Hmm.. :P  I've never heard of the name Cynthia being mentioned at Lyman.  Interesting. With almost a handful of people working there, why is it to hard to get in touch with them?Thanks, ladies, you have been so helpful!  Please stick around in the coming months so you can answer more of my questions.. :P
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks girls!! I do have more pics...none of my own, I'm getting them through facebook, email...etc. So I'll work on that tomorrow :) I really want to get my vendor reviews up too. Cynthia was there on weekends when we were first visiting the Lyman but that was last year so maybe she's since left? Haven't talked with her for a long time. Well if they are not getting back to you very quickly you can always ask us for now. I'm sure we had similar questions. Yeah we started looking for caterers before we officially booked the Lyman and by then I was really happy with Wildflour and worked with Amy to get Demi to give us the okay. She was fine with it as long as Wildflour had all their paperwork up to date, and that we all had a walk through together. Demi was hesitant at first but we told her we liked Wildflour better than the ones we contacted on the list. So if you are thinking you want a caterer off the list I'd try to push it :) Seems like as long as teh caterer is cooperative with Demi she'll be okay with it.
  • edited December 2011
    Man, I wished I had pushed harder for a Sperry tent--nice work getting the caterer you wanted! Can't wait to see more pics! (I'll say it again, ha.)
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