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New York-Upstate

Silver Bay YMCA, Lake George- reviews or thoughts as a wedding venue?

Hi all! 

My fiance and I are about to book Silver Bay on Lake George. However, I would love to hear some input on this venue before we make the big leap and sign a contract. We also really like Top of the World and The Boathouse. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. 

Re: Silver Bay YMCA, Lake George- reviews or thoughts as a wedding venue?

  • jessb404jessb404 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I looked at all of those places as well :)  We have booked the Boathouse.  We are only having a small wedding of about 70 people so it worked out well for us.  The only thing I didn't like about Silver Bay was the alcohol issue.  The grounds are gorgeous, it was more pricey than the other venues I thought.  Good luck with your search, pm if you have any other Boathouse questions!
  • iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    We got married at Silver Bay.  We had alcohol and it was easy so I'm not sure what pp meant.  It was a beautiful venue.  It was sort of a DW for us and the only thing I didn't like was that they made our guests pay the activity fee even though they didn't have time to participate in "activities" since they were there for our wedding.

    We did the upgraded BBQ and the food was all very good (we got a lot of compliments).  The staff there was so attentive and did a wonderful job.  Their chapel is beautiful and there are so many places on site with beautiful back drops for pictures.  

    We did our RD in the boathouse at SB and they catered.  The food for the RD was really good too.

    We used Country Florist and Gifts for our flowers and they did a great job too.  

    I loved getting married at Silver Bay.  Their prices are a lot higher now than when we got married so I don't know if I'd be able to afford it now.  But I recommend it based on our experience.
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  • klibertikliberti member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My wedding is Oct 1 at Silver Bay.  I AM SO FRUSTRATED!

    I am in The Inn at Silver Bay.  When I first decided to go with Silver Bay, Erin was the event planner there.  It became very clear to me after awhile that she was distracted.  Her e-mails never made sense  and she took forever to get back to me on everything.  When I went for my food tasting (amazing BTW) she told me she had gotten a new position and someone else would be working with me for my wedding.  Enter John. 

    I thought John would be better, at first he was very responsive although not able to actually answer questions, he at least got back to me to say he was working on getting answers.  Now, once again it's been weeks since I've heard from him.  SO FRUSTRATING!!!

    I don't have a place for my guests to stay because they led me to believe there would be plenty of hotel rooms at The Inn and then they booked Siena College students there and there are literally no rooms left.  I don't want my guests staying in "camp style" or "shared bathroom" rooms. So now it looks like I have to spend extra money and get transportation for my guests to stay at Ticonderoga where there are actual hotels. 

    Also, when we met with Chris in our initial visit he made it sound like the $300-$400/hour service fee when you have alcohol was negotiable- it's not so even thought we are bringing out own wine and beer it's still more expensive then if we had gone elsewhere.

    I am still happy my wedding will be there.  It was by far the most beautiful venue we looked at.  The food is also amazing which I didn't expect because it's a YMCA camp. 

    But service wise-  they are lacking.  Believe it or not I'm a pretty laid back bride, but they are still stressing me out a little. 

    Maybe John will be better once he gets settled into this new position? 

    E-mail me if you want to talk more or have specific questions at kate.liberti at gmail.com
  • edited December 2011
    I had my ceremony at Silver Bay in October. We did book the Inn at Silver Bay for our reception, but frustration with the venue and some changes in our personal situation led us to cancel with them and host our reception elsewhere.

    Like everyone else, I love the beauty of Silver Bay. the views are gorgeous, the chapel is beautiful and you will most likely get great photos.

    But I found that dealing with the staff there is an exercise in frustration- we actually seriously discussed cancelling with them long before our financial situation forced us to do so. We were dealing with Matt, who was eventually replaced by Erin, and although both of them were nice, EVERYONE there was horrible about getting back to us. I remember one specific incident in which I sent three emails over the course of a month and no one got back to me until I called there crying. And this was about my meal contract- it's pretty hard to budget when you can't get a firm answer on what your food is going to cost!

    As far as our wedding day, they get points for still setting up the ceremony the way I wanted (with my DOC there to supervise) even though I had cancelled my reception. But Erin, who was there for the ceremony, closed up the chapel and shut off the lights seconds after the last guest exited, so we weren't even able to get pictures inside. In her defense, the ceremony did start late, but still.....

    And FYI, there are no bathrooms in the chapel. Your guests will have to walk to the Inn if necessary, which can be a pain, especially for anyone you are asking to hang around for pictures.

    ETA: Hi, Lisa! I haven't logged in for quite a while- couldn't even remember my password! Hope you and Joe are doing well!
  • julsmcmjulsmcm member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you. You have all been very helpful. Of course, I saw your comments after putting down a deposit -- now I'm nervous!
  • edited December 2011
    That was Meme's Country Florist and gifts I believe 


  • iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    @ pbakken - was that regarding my comment?  If so, we used Country Florist and Gifts in Ticonderoga - http://www.thecountryfloristandgifts.com/

    @ juls - We had a different DOC (Kim) who doesn't work there anymore and I think that SB has traditionally been known for being non-responsive but it IS such a beautiful place and they were so attentive on the day of that I decided the non-responsiveness during the planning process wasn't a big deal.  (Well, it was at the time that I was trying to reach them, but not once the wedding day came.)
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  • edited December 2011
    I spent all my summers at Silver Bay and it's absolutely amazing.  It is without a doubt my favorite place in the world.   A few things to keep in mind.

    1. Weddings there are gorgeous.

    2. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE), staff and other guests will go out of their way to be polite, kind and happy for you.

    3. If they're not as responsive as you'd like, I'd set really clear timelines in your requests.

    4. The daily activity fees, etc are something you should really encourage your guests to take part in.  Swimming in the most gorgeous water, all the boats, tennis, a gym, yoga classes, kids' day camp, they have EVERYTHING during the summer and still quite a few fun things to offer off season.

    Good luck!!  I hope you have an amazing experience. 

    (This all being said, we're actually getting married elsewhere due primarily to logistics of having primarily out of town or Capitol District guests and wanting to give people a variety of options for where to stay as well as being closer to an airport.)
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  • NukkeNukke member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Lisa and Jenni--hi ladies!  Long time no see! 

    Jenni--Please check your PM. :D

    DH and I were married at Silver Bay on October 30, 2010.  We had about 65 or 70 ppl there.  We were married in the chapel and our reception was in the Inn. It really was beautiful, and the prices (at that time) were good.  We booked well in advance, and I know it's quite a bit more expensive now--as PP have mentioned.

    Things I found difficult:

    the previous wedding cooridnator, Matt--super nice, but very disorganized.  Erin, who took his place, was a DREAM on the day

    the poor communication.  Granted, we were planning from Japan at the time via email, but it was really frustrating.  I got pissed off to the point that we demanded some discounts and got them, but it was still annoying.  They really are fantastic and attentive on the day of, however.  So fantastic--as PP said--that it pretty much makes up for all the time leading up to it during the planning

    the alcohol issue.  It ended up working out fine, and we had lots of wine and beer, but it would have been nicer if we had been allowed some sort of hard liquor.

    the lack of cell service.  On the day of, people were scrambling to find this person and that person, that having a working cell phone would have been fantastic.  The campus is so big, and people were all over the place sightseeing. 

    Things I loved:

    the food

    the price

    the beautfy of the place

    the onsite reverend was so wonderful.  He even did a pre-marrital counselling session with DH and I, and got to know us (we are from out of town--out of country, in fact!).

    the fact that all our guests could simply walk upstairs to the inn at the end of the night after drinking

    the privacy--we were married at the VERY end of the season.  There wasn't another person on the whole campus.  it was peaceful

    the kitchen staff-they were so laid back and helped us out so much.  I can only imagine how pooped they must have felt at the end of the season, but they worked really hard to make the trip special for all of our guests.

    We had our RD at Emerald's Restaurant in Ticonderoga.  It was absolutely amazing food.  I was a little worried it might be even better than teh food at the wedding.  hahaha

    Our florist--Meme's--was the biggest mistake of our wedding.  Go with who Lisa suggested--the one in Ticonderoga.  I tried booking her, but she was having some family issues at the time, and I ended up booking Meme's instead.  What a disaster. 
    Our Wedding Website
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  • iamjoesgurliamjoesgurl member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Hi Eeva!  I've never seen your pictures and the ones in your signature are absolutely gorgeous.  Your hair pic looks like it could be featured in a magazine!
    image
  • NukkeNukke member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-york-upstate_silver-bay-ymca-reviews-thoughts-wedding-venue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:124Discussion:bbd83273-50cc-44b6-b6aa-b31c2c930194Post:a3b3fadf-56e3-46f2-ab82-741d67c43597">Re: Silver Bay YMCA, Lake George- reviews or thoughts as a wedding venue?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hi Eeva!  I've never seen your pictures and the ones in your signature are absolutely gorgeous.  Your hair pic looks like it could be featured in a magazine!
    Posted by iamjoesgurl[/QUOTE]

    YGM!
    Our Wedding Website
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  • kevralkhaikevralkhai member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We were married in the chapel at Silver Bay the first weekend in November.  We had our reception in the Inn.  We could not have been happier with both venues.  And the staff was available, responsive, and very nice people to deal with.  Bobbie Jean was responsible for the food and we were pleased with her input and the final product.  We had a dessert buffet and our guests are still raving about it.

    John was our coordinator and he was always responsive and flexible to our requests. We brought in our own day-of coordinator and they seemed to work well together without any tension that we could detect.

    Silver Bay was perfect for our needs and we were treated wonderfully.


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