How, when, & where did you meet? We met in high school my senior year. He was a junior and the new kid at school. The first time I talked to him was when we were in the halls and we were both wearing moccasins and I said, “Hey! Nice shoes!”
Dating can be awkward, do you have any funny stories from when you first started dating? On our first date, we went to the movies and he paid for a second movie in 3-D so we could stay longer, but I still had to end up leaving early.
Tell us your engagement story? When did it happen? Nicholas popped the question when we were in Smithfield by the water on November 5, 2017.
What made you pick Lesner Inn as your wedding venue? The view! It was absolutely beautiful.
What additional vendors did you choose for your wedding day, and why? I chose Incredible Edibles Bakery for the cake because we loved how we got different flavors for each tier without an extra charge since we had our reception at the Lesner. We also used Mary Pollock for our florist. She is a family friend and AMAZING!
What was your vision for your wedding day? Elegant and happy. And it totally was!
We loved your Pittsburgh Cookie Table! What inspired it? My family is from Pennsylvania and at all of their weddings up north they have cookie tables so we wanted to keep the tradition alive!
What were you most excited for your wedding day? Being with everyone I love!
How did you handle the stress of wedding planning? Were there any major hiccups along the way? It was a lot to handle but I got all the big things done early which helped a ton. Our wedding also had to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Florence. But it worked out and the Lesner Inn and all of our vendors were able to reschedule only a few weeks out. It was amazing!
Do you have any advice for couples who are planning their weddings now? Enjoy it. It is one of the most exciting times ever so take it all in! Ask for help if you can not handle something! Look around a lot on your wedding day. There is so much you will miss! Also, ladies, put your toss garter on right before the toss so it is not sweaty! :)
From the very beginning of the planning process to the end of your wedding day, look around and take it all in. It is the most exciting day of your life!
Photographer: Nicki Ahrens Photography
• “You are capable of amazing things”
• “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within”
• “Focused. Intelligent. Motivated. Oh, and cute.”
• “Life is tough, my darling, but so are you”
• “Don’t let anyone ever dull your sparkle”
• “Turn your dreams into plans”
• “She believed she could, so she did”
• “The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence”
• “Chin up princess, or the crown slips”
Pictured right: Cortese Photography & Film
And one of our personal favorites: “Today know that YOU are good enough. Stop worrying if you are pretty enough, strong enough, rich enough, smart enough…You must KNOW that you are ENOUGH. Don’t let negative thoughts have power over you…Take a deep breath and know that you matter and you are enough.”
Planning an event of anywhere from 50 – 200 people is not easy, especially when it’s one of the biggest days of your life, so we get it! It can be very stressful trying to make sure everything looks perfect, your guests are pleased, and you don’t pull your hair in the midst of it all. It may get hard, but it will all be WORTH it when you kiss for the first time as newlyweds, and we hope this little list of motivational quotes help you get through it all!
The ladies at Lesner Inn stepped away from our desks and picked up a tool belt for a day with this fun DIY donut wall! With one crafty manager and another mathlete, we proved that two heads are better than one. This adorable donut display wall is for rent now at Lesner Inn! Stay tuned to watch the progression of this project.
We started by sanding the plywood & wooden dowels that were cut to size for us at Lowe’s. We decided to go with a 5′ x 3′ wall so that it can be set on a table, & 5″ long dowels so we could easily fit 2 – 3 donuts per peg.
The next step was staining the sanded wood. We chose an espresso finish that we think turned out great!
After everything was stained, we did two coats, we packed everything away to dry properly & got ready for the final steps.
A lot of the tutorials that we found online said to use hot glue to put the pegs on the wall, but we’re perfectionists & chose to place wood screws through the back for a more durable option. We perfectly measured the distance between each peg, drilled holes into the pegs so we could screw them in, & then screwed them in halfway to prepare for the polyurethane finish.
We went with clear satin so that the wall didn’t lose it’s natural wooden look.
It’s that time of year again. The time of year where our creative and motivated event and sales managers begin planning our annual Open House! We are so excited to kick off 2019 with some of the top wedding vendors in Hampton Roads, but the only thing that could make it better is seeing the people who make it all possible… you! Whether your planning a big or small wedding stop by to ask us how we can make it possible at Lesner Inn.
Above: Stellar Exposures PhotographyEveryone in attendance is eligible to receive booking specials from Lesner Inn and participating vendors, and even win raffle prizes. You will taste complimentary hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails while overlooking the Lynnhaven River to receive the full guest experience. No RSVP necessary, just be sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends!
If you can’t wait until January, just give us a call to schedule an appointment! We can’t wait to meet you!
- Thank you cards: say thank you after special events like your engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor(ette) party, and especially after the wedding!
- Customized flasks
- Jewelry/cufflinks/tie/fun socks to wear on the wedding day
- A mani pedi/spa day before the wedding
- A bottle of their favorite drink
- Provide food & drinks while getting ready for the wedding
- A fun activity to do together before the wedding
- Customized wine/champagne/whiskey glasses
You know your wedding party best, so however you show your gratitude make sure it is custom to your relationship! If Lesner Inn can help you accomplish anything for your wedding party, please don’t hesitate to ask! We can’t wait to help make you and your fiancés wedding at Lesner Inn perfect!
1. Contact your wedding venue
Our Lesner Inn couples began contacting us on Monday about the impending storm and gathered information about cancellations and modifications that would be allowed due to the hurricane. The catering agreement that each of our clients sign covers what would happen if a natural disaster hit and states that we offer a one-time date transfer in these cases.
2. Contact your other wedding vendors
If you are considering cancelling or rescheduling your wedding, it is best to contact each of your vendors as soon as possible. That means reaching out to all of the vendors involved in your big day and finding out their policies on cancellation or modification. Every vendor that we worked with this week to reschedule Lesner Inn weddings was more than accommodating given the threat to Virginia Beach.
Right: Echard Wheeler Photography
3. Consider your guests (and wedding vendors)
When a natural disaster occurs near your wedding venue, consider what hoops your guests (and vendors) may need to jump through in order to attend your wedding. Whether they are flying, driving, or walking across the street it is important to consider the conditions they would have to travel in. In some cases, it may be best to have them reschedule their travel plans to attend your wedding another weekend.
4. Set a deadline
With an unpredictable storm like hurricane Florence, you should set a deadline to make your decision by with your vendors. Lesner Inn allowed our clients to make their decisions by Wednesday morning, so we would hopefully have the most accurate information about the storm.
5. Follow through
We realize how difficult it must be to even consider rescheduling the day you have been preparing for so long! However, the safety of your family, friends, and wedding vendors is what is really important in making this difficult decision.
We feel for the couples that felt they needed to reschedule their wedding dates, because of the possibility of the storm hitting the Hampton Roads area. However, we are extremely grateful that they chose to think about the safety of themselves, their guests, and their vendors in the midst of chaos.
Our hearts go out to all affected by hurricane Florence, and we hope that the areas damaged receive the help they need to rebuild!
Choose your color scheme
The best place to start is by choosing your color scheme for the wedding reception! Some things that you should keep in mind when choosing your colors are what colors and accents are already seen around your wedding venue. Luckily, at Lesner Inn, both of our spaces are very neutral with wooden floors and golden accents so this doesn’t require too much thought. You should also make sure you don’t select colors all within the same hue so that you create dimension throughout the room!
Choose your linen colors
We know this may seem the same as tip number 1, but the way you incorporate your color scheme into your tablescape has so many variations. Not every color that is in your palette needs to be a linen color. For example, if you choose a color scheme like the one to the right, you should only choose two or three of the colors to be used as linens. Choose at least one dark or bold color with a complimentary or neutral color to tie it all together! The rest of the colors can be used in floral arrangements, menu cards, signage, and uplighting!
Create your floor plan
Once you’ve selected which colors to use for your linens, you should create a floor plan so you have an idea of the different tables you will need to linen and place centerpieces on. If you’re choosing tables of different sizes to keep up with the latest wedding trends, we suggest alternating your linen colors to make those tables stand out. Here is a great example from one of our favorite weddings at Lesner Inn!
Above: Echard Wheeler PhotographyPlan your centerpieces
While we think floral arrangements make the best wedding centerpieces, we understand that doing this on every table can get a bit pricey. Meet with your florist to price out the arrangements you want at each table. If you need to cut back on your floral budget, consider doing some tables with flowers and others with floating candle arrangements, or you could mix the two like in the photo below! You should come prepared with photos of the arrangements you like using your color scheme and make note of any must have flowers. We hear dahlias are trending for 2019!
Above: Kelly Stinson PhotographyOne of our favorite things about our job is seeing all of the different color schemes and tablescapes that our clients come up with! We understand that wedding planning can be stressful at times, but in the end we hope that the experience is as enjoyable for you as it is for us!
Ceremony – Approximately 30 minutes: From processional to recessional, it’s very rare that a wedding ceremony would take more than thirty minutes. Exceptions include traditional religious ceremonies, which can take 45 minutes to an hour. Talk to whoever is performing your ceremony to get a more finite time frame.
Above: Dustin Lewis ImagesCocktail Hour – Approximately 45 minutes: Immediately following your ceremony, if you are hosting your ceremony & reception in the same place, will be your cocktail hour. This is where guests will have the opportunity to mingle, have some tasty hors d’oeuvres, and enjoy cocktails if they are being served at your wedding. During this time, the newlyweds are typically taking staged photos with their families and wedding party. We recommend your cocktail hour to be 45 minutes to an hour long.
Announcements – Approximately 15 minutes: When cocktail hour dies down and you are transitioning to the party, most couples will make the switch with announcements. This is where the wedding party and newlyweds are introduced to join the reception, while friends and family are at their seats hyping up the party. Some couples introduce their families as well, but it is most common to only include the wedding party. Announcements typically only take 15 minutes when you include having your guests be seated, lining up the wedding party, and introducing everyone by name.
First Dances – Approximately 5 – 10 minutes: After announcements, you have the choice to jump into your first dances (i.e. newlyweds & parent’s dances) or to sit down and begin meal service. In most cases, couples choose to get their first dance done immediately after announcements, while they still have their guest’s attention. If you don’t want to have the parent’s dances right away, then having them right after meal service creates a great opportunity to open up the dance floor.
Above: Kelly Stinson PhotographyMeal Service – Approximately 20 – 40 minutes: Determining the duration of meal service depends on your guest count and type of meal. However, most meal services don’t take more than 20 – 40 minutes for all guests to be served. During this time, the couple is usually going from table to table thanking their guests for coming.
Toasts – Approximately 5 to 20 minutes: Toasts are the most difficult event to set a time for, but I have never seen toasts run longer than 20 minutes. There is no way of telling how long speeches will take, unless you ask those giving a speech to keep it under a certain amount of time. Regardless of how long their speeches are though, we recommend having toasts towards the end of meal service. This ensures that you have everyone’s attention and doesn’t require you to gather everyone up from different areas of the venue. We also recommend that you do the traditional cake cutting immediately after toasts so dessert can be served as soon as possible.
After these main events, the rest of your wedding should be filled with dancing, catching up with old friends and family, tossing your bouquet, or taking photos at your photo booth! If you plan your timeline accordingly, and have a wedding coordinator to keep you on schedule, you should have plenty of time to really ENJOY your wedding day!
We LOVE how perfectly Wandering Petal in Virginia Beach executed Andrea and Jonathan’s tropical themed wedding! Palms were used to create a non-traditional wedding arch for the ceremony and this minimalist wedding was made complete with white flowers tucked in big bouquets of greenery. Andrea even rocked a floral crown to show off her style throughout the night. How couldn’t this make the list of our favorite florals from Lesner Inn weddings?
Above: Winston Veranga PhotographySpring
The simplistic beauty of Nicole and Nelson’s florals were beyond perfect for the spring palette. They worked with Kelly Gish Floral Designs to keep a subtle pastel color scheme with mostly greenery and white flowers. But these florals wouldn’t be complete without the pink and purple flowers to make things pop! These florals were absolutely flawless and as “pretty in pastel” as you can get!
Above: Luke & Ashley PhotographyFall
Can you say GORGEOUS?! Although we’ve had many weddings since theirs, Stephanie and John’s florals are still one of our all-time favorites. The mix of deep red, white, and greenery brought everything together during their fall wedding. If you look close, you can even see that Norfolk Wholesale Florist used a number of different flowers to create a striking bouquet for Stephanie!
Above: Sweet Adeline PhotographyClassic
Not everything has to have that pop of color, the green and white look is still one of our favorites too! Jordan and Stefan had a family friend use mostly greenery with a few white flowers for their wedding and, boy, did it turn out beautiful. Ironically, Stefan was from Iceland so we’re sure he felt right at home with the amounts of greenery on their big day. This classic look can’t be beat!
Above: Dustin Lewis ImagesFlorals tell so much about your style and what you envision for your day, so whether you go for the themed flowers, seasonal, or classic look, the main thing to keep in mind is to choose what YOU like, then, you can sit down with your florist and go over the numerous options. We hope this helps when it comes to meetings with your florist and that you head off into the day with thoughts and dreams of your wedding florals!
The most common wedding superstition that we hear is that it’s “bad luck” for it to rain on your wedding day. Well we are here to speak some truth and bust this myth once and for all by showing you some of our FAVORITE photos from rainy day weddings at Lesner Inn! We guarantee you’ll be hoping for some rainfall at your Virginia Beach wedding!
Above: Echard Wheeler Photography
Above: Bryan Myhr Photography
Above: Luke and Ashley Photography
Above: Lia Everette Photography
Above: Ryann Winn Photography
Above: Kelly Stinson Photography
The Lesner Inn has three menu options for clients to choose from, this includes: plated, buffet, and stations. Pricing varies between weddings and social events, but our tips and tricks below ring true for any type of event!
Before we go into what we think works best for a plated meal, let’s first identify the three options that you have when selecting this menu option.
Right: Echard Wheeler Photography
- Single entrée plated meal: This is one of the simplest options where each of your guests will get the same plate with the same entrée.
- Dual entrée plated meal: This is also a simple option that also gives your guests a bit of variety. Each guest will receive the same plate, but on that plate will be two entrées. Who doesn’t love a little surf and turf? No drama. No hassle.
- Multiple entrée plated meal: A plated meal with multiple entrees requires that you receive each of your guests menu preferences in advance, create a seating chart, have place cards for each of your guests, and select meal signifiers to identify which guests will be receiving chicken, fish, beef, etc. Many people are deterred from this option when they realize how much more work it can be.
When selecting a menu that will appeal to as many people as possible, our top choice will always be buffet style. With this menu option, you are able to choose a two or three entrée buffet and allow your guests to choose what they’d like on their plate, and how much of it. If you know you have picky eaters in the mix, we highly recommend this option!
Left: Tara Liebeck Photography
Similar to buffet style, our stations menu allows your guests to walk through and select which menu items they would like on their plate. The difference is that many of the menu options are at a chef attended station where a Lesner Inn staff member will be sautéing, flipping, or carving food right in front of your guests. Many people opt for this menu style if they prefer to dress up their buffet and of course it adds a bit of extra entertainment to the event.
No matter which menu style you choose, the catering at Lesner Inn is some of the best in the business if we do say so ourselves. If you don’t believe us, just check out our stellar reviews on The Knot, WeddingWire, Facebook, and on our website.
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