Creating a tablescape for your wedding at Lesner Inn can seem like a daunting task, especially because most people planning their own wedding are not professionals. However, we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you follow these helpful tips and tricks!
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 Photography
Plan 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!
Creating the order of events for your wedding day is no easy task but, we’re here to help! While we believe that everyone should tailor their wedding timeline to best fit their needs, these tips should help you create the perfect timeline for YOUR wedding.
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 Images
Cocktail 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 Photography
Meal 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!
There are numerous ways to dress up your wedding venue on your special day, but one of our favorite ways are through florals! With a wedding venue like Lesner Inn, that lets the view do the talking, you really don’t need much else when choosing your wedding decor. We’ve seen some arrangements that are unique to a theme, ones that go with the season, and many that are your “classic” wedding flowers and have highlighted them below. We hope you enjoy these beauties and receive some floral pinspiration for 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 Photography
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 Photography
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 Photography
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
One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Lesner Inn is, should I hire a wedding coordinator? No matter if we are meeting with someone who’s a professional bridesmaid, has a well-organized maid of honor, or is even a wedding coordinator themselves the answer will always be YES!! A wedding coordinator, who isn’t on your guest list, will make your wedding day 100% stress free. We’re here to tell you why you absolutely need a wedding coordinator for the day of your wedding!
1. Read between the lines
A wedding coordinator, not to be confused with a planner, will ensure that everything you have planned and prepared for your wedding day is executed perfectly from start to finish. This means coordinating with each of your vendors to ensure that they are providing exactly what you were expecting. They will make sure that all of your vendors have a full understanding of the vision of your wedding and that they work together to accomplish it!
Right: Dustin Lewis Images
2. Getting down the aisle
The hours before the ceremony can be extremely chaotic at times. Between getting any late guests to take their seats, rounding up family members for the processional, and making sure not to spoil the first look between you and your fiancé there is a lot to take care of! These tasks should be designated to a professional wedding coordinator that will be present up until you walk down the aisle.
3. What if?
Something that we can safely say will haunt any couple before their wedding day are the endless “what if” scenarios. What if the cake doesn’t show up? What if my DJ goes missing? What if my bustle breaks? The scenarios are endless. Your wedding coordinator not only takes the necessary steps to prevent any of these scenarios from happening, but will go to any lengths necessary to fix them if they do!
4. You’re not wearing a watch
One of the things we can guarantee that you won’t be doing on your wedding day is keeping track of the time. That’s where your coordinator comes in. Your wedding coordinator will make sure that you are staying on schedule, so that you have enough time to hit the dance floor with your besties on your wedding day!
Above: Dustin Lewis Images
5. Set up and break-down
Probably one of the most tedious tasks on your wedding day is setting up and breaking down décor. One of the greatest things about a wedding coordinator is that they take care of this for you! At the end of the night, your coordinator will bring everything to a designated vehicle so all you have to worry about is getting it home!
We’ve seen so many couples boast about how organized they are and how many weddings they’ve been involved in, but no matter how true this may be we will never stop recommending hiring a wedding coordinator. No bride or groom wants to be responsible for the “what if” scenarios on their wedding day, and they shouldn’t have to be! A wedding coordinator is a small price to pay for a very necessary service.
Wedding favors are the perfect way to say thank you to your guests for celebrating your wedding with you. Over the years, wedding favors have made the switch from being small trinkets that will most likely end up in the trash, to food or beverage items that guests can actually enjoy! Lesner Inn is totally behind this shift in the wedding game, and we’re here to tell you about the awesome favor ideas that you can get directly from us!
Mini Champagne Bottles
We can admit that we’re obsessed with anything mini for weddings. Lesner Inn has mini bottles or cans of blue champagne, rose, and of course standard champagne that make the perfect wedding favors! The packaging is to die for, and the product is even better! If you want to personalize these adorable little bottles, just order stickers with your names and wedding date and slap them on the bottles. You’ve created hassle free favors for your guests to either take home or enjoy on the night of your wedding!
Above: David Champagne Photography
A lot of people are even using candy bars as a favor for their guests! Who doesn’t love a sweet treat for the journey home from a Lesner Inn wedding? These can be displayed as a candy bar so that guests can go up and select what they want to bring home in individual bags provided by Lesner Inn.
Above: Cute E’s Photography
If you’ve read our blog before, you’ve probably heard us preach about how awesome donuts are if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional wedding cake. Well, here we are again to tell you how amazing donuts are as wedding favors!! All you need are small boxes or paper bags for your guests to pack up a donut or two to take home after the wedding. When they’re in need of some easy hangover food the next day, all they need is to pop the box open and enjoy!
Above: Stellar Exposures Photography
Lesner Inn sure does love any type of bar, so why not a popcorn bar? Popcorn bars are such fun favors because your guests can customize the popcorn to be flavored with white cheddar or tossed with M&Ms, chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips! We even provide adorable popcorn bags for your guests to take these treats home!
Above: Dustin Lewis ImagesWe are totally obsessed with any of these favor ideas! The best part is that they are hassle free since Lesner Inn will provide everything you need, and even set it up for you!
Selecting the place where you will celebrate saying “I do” is one of the most important decisions in the wedding planning process. There are so many factors to consider that many couples don’t even think about until they’ve already reserved their wedding venue. Things like the location, what’s included for the price, and of course reviews on past couple’s experiences should all be things that you are considering when making this decision. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start in selecting your wedding venue, we hope we can help by providing some of our insights!
Location, location, location!!! This should be one of the first things on your mind when considering your wedding venue. But this doesn’t mean that you should just pick whichever venue is closest to your house. What we really mean is that the location should reflect the overall feeling that you wish to have at your wedding! How you feel when you walk into the doors of your wedding venue for the first time should be the same feeling you want to have on your wedding day!
Right: Kay De Lane Photography
Your location should also reflect the types of photos that you wish to have from your wedding. Waterfront wedding venues like Lesner Inn are the perfect setting for photos, rain or shine. However, you should also take into account your wedding venue’s proximity to other places you’d like to take photos. Whether you want a photo with your toes in the sand or to stand out in a forest of green you should know what photo opportunities are available near your wedding venue!
Above: Lia Everette Photography
Lesner Inn, we prefer to provide inclusive services so that our couples don’t have to work with 10 different wedding vendors to have their dream wedding! Things can get lost in translation when working with too many wedding vendors so, if you decide on having your wedding at a venue that only includes the space, make sure you are prepared to stay organized.
Right: Lia Everette Photography
Reading reviews from past couples and their experiences at your top wedding venues will give insight to real weddings there! If you are seeing several negative ratings, then the venue may have a few kinks that they need to work out. Wedding planning websites like The Knot and WeddingWire are great places to start when researching the best wedding venues in your area.
Above: Paige Ryan Photography
Can you imagine having your wedding at a venue where all of its event spaces are in a row of dark banquet halls where you can’t tell a stranger attending the wedding next door apart from your great aunt Susan? It makes you wish that you had enough wedding guests, and money, to book the entire venue. At Lesner Inn, we offer our couples the option to book the entire venue for a private wedding experience at a fair price! This is something that we recommend to all of our couples, especially those with higher guest counts, so that they can get the most out of their wedding day.
Above: Luke and Ashley Photography
For some people, selecting the songs they walk down the aisle to is as simple as saying “ I do”! For others, it can be a long process of overthinking song after song. We know this is such an important moment for every couple, so we wanted to help you out if you’re having a bit of a struggle choosing these songs for your special day! Check out some of our favorite processional and recessional songs that Lesner Inn couples have walked down the aisle to:
All of Me by John Legend
Amazed by Lonestar
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Chris Tomlin
Good Life by One Republic
Lost in the Moment by Big and Rich
Marry You by Bruno Mars
Take My Hand by Emily Hackett
Within You, Without You by The Beatles
You and Me by The Dave Mathews Band
Above: Cute E’s Photography
Accidently In Love by Counting Crows
At Last by Etta James
Best Day of My Life by American Authors
First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
Good to Be Alive by Andy Grammer
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by Marvin Gaye
I Do by Colbie Caillat
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
The Best if Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra
This Magic Moment by The Drifters
In addition to the above songs, we also love ANYTHING from Vitamin String Quartet for either the processional or recessional song if you’d like to give a traditional sound to your favorite modern songs!
Whether one of these songs sparked something for you and your fiancé or not, we hope you now have some thoughts on what type of songs you would like to use during the ceremony. We wish you the very best on your selection process and we can’t wait to sing along to the song you pick on your big day at Lesner Inn!