My name is Russ Moran. I’m the general manager here at The Vineyards at Aquebogue.
Our company is Lessings and we’re based out of Great River, N.Y. This is one of 17 of our wedding venues. This our first venue on the North Fork. We’re new owners here; we purchased the business just over a year ago.
So basically what we do here, we’re mainly a wedding venue. Our day-to-day business is either preparing for upcoming weddings on the weekend or showing the property to prospective couples.
As general manager, my job is everything. I am responsible for everything. Whether it be checking linens as they come in the door, making sure the property is clean, making sure everything is in good working order. Maintaining the facility is an enormous part of my job. We’re on 8.5 acres, so it’s a very big property and it’s a very big building. We have thousands of people coming through every year, so you can imagine the wear and tear. My job is making sure every single thing in this operation is working efficiently.
We have an outdoor ceremony space, an indoor ceremony space. We have a full floor of bridal suites available, we have an outdoor cocktail deck, which is covered with a tent.
We do approximately 120 weddings a year. In between those weddings, we also host social events during the week and in the off season.
I have been catering weddings since I was 14 years old. I had my own business for 15 years out here on the East End. I owned restaurants on both the North and South fork. I’ve hosted and catered weddings probably at most of the wineries on the North Fork. So having that experience and now coming to Lessings at this property is very exciting for me.
The Vineyards has everything the North Fork has to offer. I don’t like the term one-stop-shop, but on the North Fork we are a one-stop wedding shop, for sure.
It’s always, always, always something new. Every day, every week, we meet new people. With every wedding it’s a very, very intense endeavor. So I would say my favorite part of the job is interacting with new people, every day.