I planned my wedding reception at Lakeland manor, and I’m glad I did. Nicole, and Shawn are a miracle from god. My coordinator and decorator flaked on me two weeks before my wedding! What do you do when that happens?
When I contacted Nicole and told her what happened she told me she’s got it. She not only put together what she knew, and what the coordinator sent her, but she sat down with me and made sure I felt 100% assured every detail of my wedding was met. Her right hand Shawn was right along side her making sure he had everything correct, and that he knew our every detail. When it came down to the wedding day Nicole came down to the church to make sure that the ceremony was flawless, and made sure the reception room was perfect for me.
When we got there Shawn walked me through the hall, and made sure everything was exactly how I wanted it. As the guests arrived, and the night went on he made sure my vendors followed my timeline and that I didn’t have to worry about a thing. It was a magical night for me, and I can’t thank them enough for helping me enjoy such a stressful start to my beautiful night.
This is the only place I recommend for your wedding. This is only the kinda attention to detail a one room venue can give to you, and I appreciate it more than I can say.
I could not be more impressed with Lakeland Manor. This venue is the most affordable venue my fiance and I found, and we were so impressed with everything it came with!! An appetizer, 2-meat buffet, standard bar, dessert table, and a late-night snack. The food is AMAZING. My guests could not stop raving about the quality and taste of the food. I was extremely impressed with the service of the staff. Our dinner was prepared and brought to us. The staff happily prepared other dinners to our guests who had food allergies. I would 100% book with Lakeland Manor if I had to do it all over again. Nikki and Shawn were so easy and delightful to work with!
It’s been just over a year and I can’t express how happy we are with Lakeland Manor and how easy and painless they made our wedding! We talk about our memories and the way we were made to feel like part of the family! We felt genuinely cared for and every monotonous detail were made easy! Everybody talks about how stressful it is planning a wedding and I feel like ours was taking care of and we could enjoy ourselves the minute we met Nicole and the staff! We checked out at least 20 venues beforehand and decided to have a mini destination wedding here from Ypsilanti. We had family travel from all over southeast Michigan and everyone was in awe of the area. 10’s across the board for everything and everyone Nicole recommended from hotel to D.J.! Save yourself the stress of picking what color napkins and let Nicole and staff handle it! The Royal Wedding was half of what I felt ours was! Thank you Nicole and Lakeland Manor for the memories!
P.S. I could go on for hours about the food and desert and booze!
The place was small and cozy. The staff was fantastic. The food was a little salty, but it had a different twist which was quite interesting and tasty. I am going to try some of these at home. I was truly impressed with the wait staff, the way the would see an elderly person with their hands full with a plate of food they would come help. It was a very nice intimate setting.
My husband and I had a wonderful experience with Lakeland Manor. We had a larger wedding reception (over 200 guests), and we are so happy with how smoothly everything went. Nicole and Dominique and the exceptional staff are extremely organized and professional. We were able to enjoy our wedding reception and spend time with our guests. Everything was set up so elegantly and we received many compliments on the beautiful venue and the food. We are very appreciative of the service we received and we highly recommend!
I have been to three different events at Lakeland Manor, and each one is better than the last. I adore their food, their professional staff, and Dominique. Dominique took time out of a party to get my little cousin some milk, she didn’t have to do that for me. She’s the sweetest.
Their food is some of the best I’ve had in a banquet hall, and even a restaurant. Chef Paul’s appetizers are beautiful, flavorful, and beautifully presented. His chicken is tender, and packed full of flavor. I can’t wait to attend the next event at Lakeland Manor.
I recently attended a wedding at Lakeland Manor and I loved the reception. They have an amazing venue, great staff, and delicious food. I was very impressed with the whole night, and loved the delicious midnight snack. I hope I get an excuse to come back to Lakeland Manor in the close future.
I recently had my wedding here, and I can tell you Lakeland Manor is absolutely beautiful. The service, and ambiance here is perfect, and I'm so glad Dominique oversaw every detail of my reception.
It doesn't have your typical hall food either. Their food is flavorful, and made with care. My menu was spinach pies, tobasco shrimp, coconut shrimp, an assortment of mini quiche, chicken and beef satay, and lamb chops. Everything was so good. Everybody raved about the Tabasco shrimp, and the flavors of the chefs sauce. Not to mention the lamb chops were tender and juicy.
I can't wait to attend another function here, just to have some more of their food.
Mad props to the staff at Lakeland Manor.
My wife, and I, attended a wedding over the weekend, we received such unbelievable service it was seriously the best wedding I personally have ever been to. The food was great but the service was insane. We had Kenny as our waiter for our table he was on point all night long.
The Bartenders were funny and kept the party jumpin.
Keep doing what you’re doing Lakeland!!
Lakeland Manor made my Wedding Reception A beautiful experience. The chicken picata was the best I've ever tasted. The dessert table was heavenly and wedding cake was decorated beautifully and all the food was outstanding. Shaun was an amazing help with planning and easing all my worries of how the table set up and color theme would go. The venue is absolutely beautiful and the wait staff was very helpful from beginning to very end of our event. Can't say enough wonderful things about how well my Wedding turned out at Lakeland Manor!!
I recently attended my friends bridal shower. All I can say that it was absolutely amazing.
Lakeland Manor hosted her event in their one room. Myself, and the other guests, couldn’t help but notice how beautiful and updated the room was. The staff was kind and attentative, and made sure to work with my friend hand in hand so she never had a lift a finger during her event. Chef Paul’s Salmon was delicious, not fishy whatsoever, and was served in this delicious burblanc sauce. The vegetables, pasta, even the salad was all amazing. It was refreshing to see a place that delivered such good food, and made my friends day perfect.
I attended a wedding on 10-20-2018. The service and quality of the menu was Outstanding. I have never attended a wedding with white glove service like Lakeland Manor does. The food was talked about at the wedding and is still being raved about. It wasn't even my wedding and I felt like a princess with the way that they treat you. It has been a long time since I attended a wedding that literally had a 5 course meal. All the way from the cheese tray, veggie tray, hot appetizer, Italian wedding soup, to the 2 different kinds of pasta and the chicken marsala that was out of this world amazing. I wasn't only impressed with the 5 course meal but with that fact that they did family style for 200 guest under 40 minutes. To say the least I recommended Lakeland Manor.
I attended a wedding on 10/20/18, and couldn’t have had a better time.
Their one, and only, room was decorated beautifully, and I was blown away by all of her gorgeous flower centerpieces. Their was a delicious cheese and veggie tray, along with Italian Sausage with roasted peppers and onions as we arrived at the hall. Shortly following the speeches we were ready for a Family Style dinner. We were served Italian Wedding Soup, a house tossed salad, two pastas (Alfredo, and marinara), Chicken Marsala, Roast beef, green beans, and garlic roasted Redskins. Everything was so delicious, and I was amazed they served such an array of food In 40 minutes.
Not only was the floor staff phenomenal, Liz, the bartender, was so professional and kind throughout the night. Every staff member treated me like it was my wedding, and I haven’t experienced that at any other place before. Let’s not forget about the coney station, and pretzels with dips, as a midnight snack! I enjoyed my friends wedding so much, and wanna thank Lakeland Manor for everything they did.
Chef Paul cooked for my brothers wedding last weekend on 10-19-18! From the start of the planning he was amazing and made sure all needs were met. The food was amazing and everyone was catered to from appetizers to the main course. Amazing job and would highly recommend!!!!!
Lakeland Manor is a great facility, very clean, and they give back to the community which is an added bonus! We attended a fundraiser here for my son's hockey team, the staff was wonderful and the food was yummy! Thank you!
Listen, I've been doing business with Lakeland Manor for 20 years and they have never once disappointed me. They have the most amazing food, welcoming staff, and incredible owners. Their staff is the most professional staff I've ever dealt with and their owners are the most kind-hearted people I've ever met. They always succeed at making everyone happy. They are always accommodating to each and every persons needs, and they are always willing to make the changes that you need. Their service is by far the best in St. Clair Shores!
It is an amazing location! They have renovated the place before we had our wedding here and everything is brighter and looks very new. Dominique was awesome and gave us a tour for the place and answered all our questions. We had a taste testing of the food beforehand and picked our menu. The staff and the chef were very helpful the night before the wedding and helped us set up the favors, welcome sign and cake table. The chef made an amazing meal and the fruit table was amazing with different designs on the watermelon and variety of fruits. Great place and gave us memories that we will keep forever.
My wife and I had both our wedding shower and wedding with Lakeland Manor and they were both amazing. We could not have asked for anything better. Chef Paul's food is absolutely delicious and his desserts are off the chain incredible. We had everything customized for our wedding and everything turned out amazing. The best part of our events was how welcoming the staff made my family feel. We are hoping to be booking with them again for our baby shower!
I cannot express the gratitude I have towards Lakeland Manor for making my day amazing! I had no idea of what I wanted for any aspect of my wedding. Thank God for Nicole and Dominique who helped me pick out everything from napkin colors to a DJ all the way down to a perfect hotel! They are the most patient and sincere people I've ever met. Without them I would've had absolutely no clue what I was going to do.
Lakeland Manor is definitely the best venue in Saint Clair Shores! My fiancé and I were there for an event this past weekend, and everything from the food to the staff was AMAZING! It’s a one room facility, so you don’t have to worry about other parties going on. It’s very personal. We loved it so much that we booked our wedding for next year! Thank you Lakeland Manor for never disappointing!
We held a fashion show. The entire staff was accommodating and friendly. They were able to set things up for us and made room for changing area. Probably not their bread and butter, but we're able to adapt to our needs. Family owned and operated for years and they know their business well. Food was good, served family style. However we have eaten there before, buffet style, sit down, whatever it's why we go back. Over and over again. Don't be fooled by the imitators, Lakeland Manor is one of a kind.
But don't just believe me, find out for yourself.
Absolutely amazing venue! I'd give it 100 out of 100 if I could! The staff was amazing anything we needed they were waiting to deliver. We had nearly 200 people at our wedding and wasn't even close to capacity, we danced and sang the night away it went by too fast. And then there was the food all I can say is oh my god. I've already gone back for my wife's birthday to get the special pasta! We LOVE it! Nicole is one of the nicest/funniest/caring people I have met in my life. I don't feel I need say more. Get their and check it out I guarantee you'll love it!
My husband and I were absolutely BLOWN AWAY by our entire experience with Lakeland manor. We had our wedding reception here and the service was incredible. The servers and the bartender Liz was so friendly and did an amazing job. Several guests said the food was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding, and I have to agree! Thank you Nicole and the staff for the amazing experience.
This place is amazing. Beautiful throughout the entire facility. The food was excellent, from the soup to the pasta and then the delicious Baked chicken. The staff was very fast, professional and friendly. Over all this is place has what you're looking for. Check them out u won't regret it.
After having my wedding reception at Lakeland Manor I highly recommend them. The staff and servers were very nice and professional. The food received many many compliments! The event planners truly cared. They worked with our budget, offered a lot of helpful advice, and made the process of planning our reception less stressful. I also think it’s a plus that they only hold one event at a time - their focus is on your event and not spread over multiple ones
My husband and I used Lakeland Manor for our wedding reception last October and we were so pleased. When our journey first started looking for the perfect banquet hall We Called and set up a tour with Dominique I could not have been more happy with how everything turned out. Dominique and the rest of the staff went above and beyond to make sure our day and every detail was perfect. The food was amazing and the talk of the wedding up until now. I would highly recommend this venue to anyone looking to get married or have a party.
Had my wedding there this past weekend. Could not have had a better experience! Food was the best catered food I ever had. Wait staff was very polite and attentive. Owners are so nice, very family oriented. HIGHLY recommend!
We had my brother's "Celebration of Life" at Lakeland Manor a couple of weeks ago. Everything was perfect from the time we were greeted at the door, to walking in to a beautifully decorated room, to the excellent food. The owner and the staff were so helpful, always asking if we needed anything. I got so many compliments from our guests, everyone was very pleased. I would definitely recommend Lakeland Manor for any of your needs. Nicole and her staff do a wonderful job!
Our server Eric was amazing, he was very attentive and nice. I have been working in the business a long time and it was an awesome experience. Food was good and I am very critical of the food at establishments. Thank you so much.
I was at Lakeland Manor this past weekend for a luncheon and I have to say the food was excellent and the service was outstanding. We are an older group of people and we really appreciated the service. Our waiter Eric was kind enough to get us our beverages from the bar and even help us through the buffet. I'm happy to see that Customer Service is still a priority to the Staff and Management at Lakeland Manor.
I'm 15 months late on this review, but I suppose late is better than never. My then fiancee and I had our hearts set on a destination wedding, but wanted to look locally before we committed to anything else. In the end, we looked at one venue and one venue only, Lakeland Manor
Lakeland Manor had been both our families' favorite restaurant for years. The food is spectacular, and reason enough to book Lakeland. The building itself is beautiful, and dresses up very well. The venue was very accommodating when it came to photographs before the reception, and the service staff was excellent.
I can't say enough good things about our wedding experience with Lakeland Manor. There is no place I would have had my wedding reception.
What can we say?? Amazing! Outstanding! Delicious! Beautiful! Creative! Just some of the feedback we received from our wedding guests. From our initial meeting we know we were in the best of hands with Nicole and Lakeland Manor. You did more than design an unbelievable menu, you actually orchestrated our entire affair from decor to entertainment.
We went with Pro Dj!!! That in conjunction with your delicious and beautifully presented cuisine, along with just about the nicest and most professional staff one could ask for. Our friends continue to reference the food as some of the best they have had. All of this was only possible due to your commitment and true understanding and desire to make each event you do memorable! We can’t thank you enough. Nicole you and your staff far exceeded our expectations, and that’s not a simple task !!!
We can’t wait to collaborate with Lakeland again for our next party!!!!!!
The Scott Family
Recently had a bridal shower at Lakeland for my fiance. The venue itself is beautiful, clean, and amazing. The service itself is excellent, the event organizer, the employees, and everyone else did such an awesome job helping me and my fiance out in planning every last detail about this very important event. The wait staff was very tentative, courteous, and kind, they attended to all our needs and as well as the guests needs.
We were so excited to have our family reunion party at Lakeland Manor.
I was overcome by the amazing food and unparalleled service we received the other night.
It was truly a stroke of luck that my neighbor, Jeremy, recommended Lakeland as the perfect place for us to come together after 15 years!
Here’s to Lakeland Manor for making everything picture perfect.
We are definitely looking forward to coming together again for our next reunion.
Was part of a wedding that held the reception here afterwards. I was blown away by the employees here. All of them went above and beyond my expectations. Very hard workers ensuring that the night went on without any issues. They are also very easy to talk with, and hold a conversation. If I had to make any plans for a big event, I'd definitely be doing it here. I highly recommend anyone to stop in a check out the place. You won't be disappointed.
Great place, great food, & great people! The staff are amazing and really took good care of us from start to finish with our wedding planning. We had an in-house ceremony there with the reception immediately after, everyone was so accommodating and made sure we were happy with our big day! The wait staff during the entire night was excellent! Highly recommend!!!
I absolutely love Lakeland manor! The owner and manager were so sweet and helped me with everything I needed! The service was outstanding! I was so stressed about my wedding and they helped me with all of my needs. The employees were absolutely outstanding they were so on top of it! My wedding was the happiest day of my life because of Lakeland manor! Lakeland manor is top notch and I recommend Lakeland for any kind of party’s!
Lakeland manor is fabulous and I was so happy I went there for my wedding. I have been there one time before this and I was so exited to have my wedding there after that! My wedding was amazing because of Nicole and the employees! I’m so very happy about my wedding and I hope everyone goes there for their wedding.
I was at Lakeland Manor this weekend for a retirement party, The food and staff were both excellent. I was very impressed with not only the professionalism of the staff but also the cleanliness of the entire establishment the foyer is absolutely gorgeous the floor is like nothing I have ever seen.
My church’s annual worship event was amazing here. The place easily accommodated 200 people, were very helpful with last minute issues, and had amazing food with every plate hot and fresh! We can’t wait for the opportunity to hold another event here.
All around best place for any event! Food is out of this world and the staff will go above and beyond to make any of your wishes come true. I have booked many parties in the hall and have had them cater out for me. I have never been disappointed. I also have never received so many compliments on how delicious the food is.
Lakeland Manor is the best venue to have any kind of function at. They are on top of their game they have 1 of the best managers, best chef, and excellent wait staff not 1 bad thing can be said about this place comes highly recommended!!!!!
This weekend I attended my nieces wedding. It was nothing short of beautiful. The service was spectacular throughout the evening, but the food was the cherry on top.
I can’t stop thinking about the salmon with a very delicious burblanc sauce, the fresh veggie medley, Alfredo with mushroom ravioli, and the tender roast beef. Everyone keeps talking about how delicious the food was, and I can’t blame them.
Thanks for making her special day perfect.
The food, service, and one room venue are out of this world. They made one hot mess, of a birthday party planner, survive impressing their picky parents. Dominique, and Nicole, are the best people any budding bride to be, or woman planning a party, could ever ask for.
We love you guys!
I attended a 40 year reunion at Lakeland Manor and it was the best time ever. The food was delicious and the staff was so attentive and kind. I would highly recommend Lakeland for any event that you are looking to have.
I have been booking events and gatherings here for over 40 years. They have always had the best food!! No matter the menu, never a disappointment!! The staff is always very polite and friendly. Newly decorated and oh so beautiful!!! Family owned and operated. Wonderful people!! I highly recommend this place!!!
They have the BEST food in the world! Jim is amazing and i love going over there every year for Harper Cruise! Place is BEAUTIFUL and definitely in my mind for future parties! Thank you so much for the wondeful hospitality
Lakeland Manor was the perfect venue, I just had my wedding Oct 5 2019 and EVERYTHING was perfect between Nicole (catering manager) Jim (owner) and everyone else I had no stress, Food was beyond amazing and Nicole heard I didn't eat because everyone wanted to chat( family wise) she packed up dinner and dessert, her staff helped me set up and take down they interacted so well with my kids it's was AMAZING, everything was over the top clean, dance floor, bar, bathroom, front lobby. It was an amazing stress free day with lakeland's whole team ♥️
My daughter wedding was here and the food was delicious, especially the chicken picante. The staff were very friendly and polite. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a hall or banquet center.
Don’t laugh at me, but my nephew had to help me post this review.My niece had a wedding, and I was blown away by Lakeland manor. She was given everything she wanted, and more, and was happy how perfect her day was. The bartender was cool, and treated our family like a million bucks. I have no complaints about this venue, the food, or the service. From one happy, simple ,Uncle, thanks for what you guys did. Especially Nicole, Dominique, and Shawn. You guys rock!
I attended my friends wedding last weekend. Lakeland manor went above and beyond for my friend, not to mention she never had to worry about a thing. Dominique was a gem, and hung out with my 5 year old son during the ceremony. As a mother, I appreciated her kindness more than she knows. The service was perfect, and the staff tended to anything we needed throughout the night. As far as the food I enjoyed the delicious chicken Marsala, the salmon in a bur-blanch sauce, fresh vegetable medley, and mashed potatoes in a brown sauce were to die for. I loved everything that night, and my friend enjoyed herself.
I am gonna recommend this place to everyone!
The service and quality of menu was outstanding! For my daughters Graduation the food was talked about during and well after the party. Such an awesome selection to choose from. I definitely felt catered too! With no question Chef Paul and Lakeland will be my only choice for future events! You will not be disappointed :)
There’s nothing more terrifying than attending your daughters wedding. You’re giving away your little girl, and nothing will be the best for her. Well I was very impressed with Lakeland manor. They treated my daughter as if she was part of their own family. When she had her first dance they made sure the lights were turned down, and she didn’t have to ask them a thing. The food was amazing, almost as good as my wife’s cooking, and they had some of the best chicken I’ve ever had. I don’t talk much, and I don’t post reviews much, but Lakeland Manor deserved it. Thank you for all you’ve done.
I have been attending events in Lakeland for many years now. Great professional people and very nice facility. The managers and the crew are always very helpful. Food is delicious, well presented and plenty. Thank you for continuing to do such a great job for so many years.
I delivered a wedding cake to Lakeland on Oct 26 2019, and had the honor of meeting Chef Paul . He guided me back into the kitchen with the cake and the place was spotless! I was in the food industry for nearly 10 years, and i can honestly say I've never saw a kitchen this clean 2 hours before a service. Luckily i know the bride and was invited to the reception. The food prepared by Chef Paul was so delicious and flavorful!!!! If I ever return to the food industry, I know where I will be applying!
Lakeland Manor is a wonderful hall to have an event, or to attend an event. The food is out of this world. I have never had better food anywhere else (don’t tell my mother). The service is a breath of fresh air. The staff does a wonderful job at making you feel important and cared for. The one room venue is a nice touch as well, as that adds to the feeling of importance for the event. The up lighting in the room is also very nice, and I like how it changes color along with the bass of a DJ system. The hall itself is very aesthetically pleasing. The foyer is beautiful, with the fountain and the granite tile especially. It was a very clean hall, with no stains, debris on the floor, or anything of such nature. Overall, it is a wonderful venue, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wishes to book an event.
For our wedding my Husband and I chose Lakeland Manor and they are amazing to work with! The person we worked with was Dominique who is one of the hardest working individuals you will meet and always will have your best interest and will make sure your day is as special as you always wanted and dreamed it would. Lakeland Manors building speaks for itself. Our wedding was August 17, 2019 and some of my friends and family still tell me how stunning, amazing and Outstanding the food at Lakeland Manor is. I knew from the moment I stepped foot into Lakeland Manor and saw the Magnificent Foyer Floor, Waterfall and spoke with Dominique I knew that Lakeland Manor was the place we would use for our reception I promise you will be as happy as we were to use them! One of the biggest things you will do when preparing either for a wedding or any type of special event is making a decision on the hall and Lakeland Manor made it so easy and Stress Free!!!!! Thank you for making our wedding like a Princess Fairy Tale.
I had my wedding there last year and I just recently had my baby shower and OMG IT WAS AMAZING!!!!! The owner and chef were so kind. I requested to have a gluten free meal and a gluten free dessert for myself and they accommodated me so well! I had white tablecloths and blue and pink napkins. I absolutely loved the Bloody Mary and mimosa bar. Lakeland Manor is by far the best hall I've ever been to. They surpassed all of my wants and needs and were with me for every step of the way! I cannot wait when the baby's born and I can have all of his birthday parties and celebrations there.
Hi my husband (now deceased) & I had our wedding at Lakeland Manor on September 12, 1975...it was the most beautiful, perfect fairytale night! We had approx.150 guests and everyone complimented how everything was perfect, food, set up, servers, everything! It was truly a fairytale evening and I can't be more pleased to hear you have continued the perfect fairytale dream for so many others! If my husband were here today we would come see you in person and thank you for all that you did for us and continue to do for others all these years!I your the best!
The best compliment that you can give any establishment is a positive review or simply Word of mouth I cannot say enough wonderful things about this establishment this place is first class all the way the food the staff. Having to postpone my wedding during this horrible time in the world has been one of the hardest things that I have had to do Lakeland Manor has made it effortless not only did they transfer my date they made dinner for my husband and kids numerous times in the last month, Because I like so many others am a front line worker I am a nurse and have taken on numerous shifts so that I can fight this horrible virus along side my co workers. You truly realize the integrity and the heart of people when crisis happens all I can say is thank you
Mr. Nahra, Dominique and Chef Paul for standing on the front line with us and letting us know that united we stand. Thank you from my family to yours.
Can we start off with the girls that bring the food out to your car they are the sweetest, they all have masks and gloves on and are just so polite. Not only does the food taste absolutely wonderful, but the bags and how everything is packaged is so nice for the price of $11.60!! I will be ordering again tonight I am thinking chicken cordon Bleu!!! Thank you Lakeland for offering meals like this!!
OMG IS ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT THERE INDIVIDUAL MEALS !! The portions are huge the food is amazing the staff is professional from right up till I pick up my meal they are masked gloves and my meal is packaged to perfection and with the added touch of a beautiful thank card says a lot.
We had our event catered out due to the pandemic the food was delivered safely by the staff wearing gloves and masks and set up beyond my expectations and of course the food was amazing my guests are still talking about it .
I ordered my pick-and-go for my family for to enjoy and I am impressed with Lakeland Manor. Between the customer service over the phone, the fair prices, and how they got my food order perfect. The person who brought out my order had a mask, and gloves on. Made sure to put my order in the trunk to have a contactless pick up. It also comes with a nice thank you card. My family really appreciates everything they do for every order!
Keep these fine folks in mind ahead of your next holiday party or dinner. In lieu of our regular Thanksgiving family gathering we all chose to order LM’s feast and divide it among a couple of our homes. From the turkey and fixings down to the pumpkin pie, everything was excellent, well packaged, simple to heat up, and tasted amazing. They helped make this year’s non-traditional Thanksgiving feel (and taste) a lot more like we had been hoping for, and *way* easier!