Fea­ture Guest: Water­ford Event Rentals

We are total fanat­ics when it comes to blog­ging about the wed­ding indus­try & giv­ing our own insight, but we also love to give some insight from other ven­dors who spe­cial­ize in dif­fer­ent aspects of wed­dings. We want you to get to know the whole pack­age when it comes to plan­ning or design­ing your wed­ding, so we have asked Water­ford Event Rentals to be a fea­tured guest on today’s blog! Sit back & read about all of the won­der­ful things they have to say about their side of the indus­try!

Wedding-Decor-Boho-Chic-Lesner-Inn-Virginia-Beach.jpgOf every­thing you have avail­able to rent, what would you say would help spruce up a wed­ding recep­tion the most & why?

As lit­tle as it seems, nap­kins are a huge part of wed­ding décor! May sound silly, but they’re in every pic­ture of the table-​scape & can add a pop of color, fun print or just a lit­tle tex­ture to the table. Nap­kins are an easy, bud­get friendly addi­tion that can make a dif­fer­ence, even if the client is using linen that their venue pro­vides!

Right: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy

What items do you pro­vide for clients to rent?

We are a full ser­vice linen rental com­pany that spe­cial­izes in all­l­lll things linens! We of course offer the basics, but we have a big selec­tion of spe­cialty & even cus­tom print linens. We’re always will­ing to order in some­thing new! Not only do we spe­cial­ize in linens, but we also rent chairs & plate charg­ers. We have gold, mahogany & white chi­avari chairs, as well as white resin fold­ing chairs. We also have both resin & glass beaded charg­ers. We are cur­rently expand­ing our inven­tory, so stay tuned for our newest addi­tions!

Would you say chair sashes or cov­ers are nec­es­sary?

Chair cov­ers & sashes are def­i­nitely impor­tant, but totally not a must have! We may think dif­fer­ently though ;) Let’s say there are 15 tables & 150 guests. A table linen will only be on 15 of the tables, while a chair sash will be on 150 chairs. Makes such a big­ger impact to the room!

Have you seen a trend in a spe­cific type or color of linen?

All the neu­trals! We see a ton of ivory, blush & gold… but we’re totally not mad about it! Such a roman­tic color scheme that doesn’t seem like it will ever go out of style. Add a pop of sequins in there & call it a day!


Above: David Cham­pagne Photography

Blush-Boho-Wedding-Trend-Lesner-Inn-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Venue.jpgWhat is your favorite part about wed­dings?

Hard­est ques­tion ever… but we LOVE see­ing the room trans­form! Walk­ing into a com­pletely empty venue & walk­ing out a few hours later with light­ing, linens, flo­rals, music, etc., it’s such a sur­real feel­ing. Know­ing that Water­ford has made a small impact in someone’s BIG day is such an amaz­ing feel­ing. Def­i­nitely will never get old!

Left: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy

We couldn’t agree more! We love see­ing our wed­ding venue trans­form into each couple’s dream & see their eyes grow wide when they see their designs come to life. We adore Water­ford Event Rentals & work with them all through­out the year, so if you love what you read today, con­tact them directly or ask us how to get in touch with them so we can help your wed­ding vision come true!

Lesner Inn’s Annual Open House: Fea­tur­ing 2018 Wed­ding Trends

Just like fash­ion, wed­ding trends are ever chang­ing & some­times it is hard to know if some­thing is hot or “so 2017”. The team at Lesner Inn wants to save you the leg­work & give you the top trends for this com­ing sea­son, straight from us in the know! We were able to show­case many of these trends at our open house on Jan­u­ary 28th, but in case you missed it, here are some inspir­ing pho­tos to show why you should incor­po­rate these trends into your upcom­ing wed­ding!

No longer for just the kitchen & bath­room, mar­ble is mak­ing its way into the wed­ding scene in a big way! From charg­ers to flo­ral vases, there are many ways to incor­po­rate mar­ble into your tablescape. You can even break out of the box & incor­po­rate mar­bled swirls into fon­dant for your cake or back­grounds for your invi­ta­tions! We decided to use a mar­bled linen from Water­ford Event Rentals, & even had mar­bled menu cards made from Paper Dolls Design for the place set­tings!

View More: http://stellarexposures.pass.us/openhouse18

These break­fast treats aren’t going any­where any­time soon. Cou­ples began to offer dough­nuts as an eco­nom­i­cal dessert option a few years ago & it is still going strong. Whether you dis­play these on a dough­nut wall or on per­son­al­ized plat­ters, guests will go nuts for sug­ary sweets! Add edi­ble glit­ter as a sweet & sparkly treat!

Bold Flo­rals
Rose bou­quets may be a clas­sic, but flo­rals with bold & excit­ing col­ors are being seen more often in the wed­ding scene! Add a pop of color with a pro­tea or ranun­cu­lus bloom & let your flow­ers do the talk­ing! Win­ter berries were added to this bou­quet from Wan­der­ing Petal for a touch of some­thing unique!


Deep Reds & Roman­tic Tones
For that roman­tic feel, you can’t go wrong with a deep red to com­pli­ment nat­ural tones. We have seen this color pop up in linens & brides­maid dress options & can’t get enough of it. We com­pli­mented our mar­bled & gray linens with bur­gundy nap­kins & bold red flo­rals!



We have to say that this is our favorite so far. Remem­ber the trendy wooden wel­come signs of the past? In 2018, you should be wel­com­ing your guests into your wed­ding with a trans­par­ent acrylic wel­come sign or mail­ing them a mod­ern laser engraved clear invi­ta­tion. We used trans­par­ent acrylic stands to hold up dec­o­ra­tive man­zan­i­tas, but another great idea is using a trans­par­ent table for your sweet­heart or cake tables. You can even spice these up by putting uplight­ing under­neath of them!

Cop­pers & Golds
This might be linked to the Moscow Mule craze, but we don’t hate it! Cop­per flat­ware, cop­per cake top­pers, cop­per jew­elry, cop­per table num­bers, cop­per chargers…the oppor­tu­ni­ties are end­less! Of course, gold tones in gen­eral aren’t going any­where!!


Wreaths & Hang­ing Décor
View More: http://stellarexposures.pass.us/openhouse18Not just your mama’s door décor any­more! We are see­ing so many flo­ral hoops & wreaths, adorn­ing wed­ding arches, entrance­ways, & even see them sus­pended above tables. These can be full of sim­ple green­ery or they can have elab­o­rate flo­ral focal points. We love what Wan­der­ing Petal did with this hang­ing piece over our head table!

We are so happy that we were able to show­case many of these 2018 trends at our open house! With the help of some of our favorite ven­dors, were were able to demon­strate what a real wed­ding with us would look like! As always, we would love to meet any of you newly engaged cou­ples! Whether you’re local or live across the coun­try we hope to have the oppor­tu­nity to be a part of your wed­ding day! Give us a call at (757) 4811122 or send us an email at This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more infor­ma­tion about our wed­ding & recep­tion ser­vices!

Thanks to Stel­lar Expo­sures Pho­tog­ra­phy for doc­u­ment­ing our 2018 Open House!

Thought­ful & Even Use­ful Favors

One of the many perks of going to a wed­ding are the favors that you get to take home. A lit­tle thank you from the cou­ple is super sweet, but it can be stress­ful on the new­ly­weds if they don’t know what to give or how to keep the cost low. To help with some ideas, we’ve put together a list of five thought­ful & even use­ful favors that your guests will love & won’t break the bank!

Koozies Koozie_wedding_Favors_Lesner_Inn_Virginia_Beach_Reception_Venue.jpg
We’re sure you’ve seen these at a wed­ding you’ve been to recently. They’re a huge hit with the guests & most likely will be used again! These work for both bot­tled & canned bev­er­ages, so you don’t have to worry about only some of your guests enjoy­ing them. Best of all they can be pur­chased online at a fair price if you order them in bulk!
Right: Lee Yen Pho­tog­ra­phy

Who doesn’t love an extra pair of shades? If you’re hav­ing an out­door wed­ding, you can order cus­tom sun­glasses with your name & date on the side for your guests to wear. For most web­sites, it only takes a few min­utes to cus­tomize the sun­glasses & they get shipped right to your home!

This one might seem a lit­tle pecu­liar at first, but it is such a unique idea! To cut back on cost you can make these favor your­self! All you need to do is put ground cof­fee in lit­tle bags & time them off with a tag. Try com­ing up with some­thing fun to make your guests smile when they go to use the cof­fee after the wed­ding like, “Love is brew­ing”. You can even make a few bags with decaf­feinated cof­fee for those peo­ple who don’t drink caf­feine!

Below: Kelly Marie Photos

Budget_Friendly_Wedding_Venue_Virginia_Beach (15).jpg

Candy bar
Nor­mally, cou­ples will have the tra­di­tional cake & maybe a few other desserts for the recep­tion, but the candy bar is becom­ing increas­ingly pop­u­lar as not only a dessert, but as favors. This is prob­a­bly one of the eas­i­est & most cost effec­tive favors that you can give your guests. All you have to do is buy the candy & to-​go bags, use a few glass jars & bowls, & there you have it! It’s an easy, fun, & inex­pen­sive favor that keeps giv­ing even after they leave the wed­ding! To make it even eas­ier, Lesner Inn can cre­ate your candy bar for you!

These lit­tle plants are so trendy right now! Every­one loves extra décor for their house, so this is a per­fect favor for your guests that won’t go to waste. You can save some money by get­ting faux suc­cu­lents or you can get live ones for a cou­ple more bucks!

Below: Erika Mills Photography


These are just a few ideas for dif­fer­ent, use­ful, & low-​cost wed­ding favors for your guests. You will love how easy & cost effec­tive this gifts are, & your guests will love that they get to con­tin­u­ously use them after they leave the party! There are a lot more options if you’re up for hav­ing a non-​traditional favor, so just keep look­ing or head over to our Pin­ter­est page to get some more ideas!

Wed­ding Vocab­u­lary Guide

We at Lesner Inn, we know that some­times wed­ding plan­ning can get stress­ful & a bit con­fus­ing since you & your fiance prob­a­bly haven’t planned a wed­ding before. Since it may seem like we are speak­ing a com­pletely dif­fer­ent lan­guage, Lesner Inn made a glos­sary of some of the most com­monly used wed­ding indus­try words to help slim down that con­fu­sion between you & your ven­dors!

Bus­tle: After you’ve flaunted your train dur­ing your water­front cer­e­mony & for por­trait shots, it’s time to pin that train up & dance the night away! “Bus­tle” is just a fancy way to say that you’re pin­ning your dress’ train up, so that it doesn’t drag on the floor & get dam­aged.

View More: http://stellarexposures.pass.us/rebmanwedding1

Above: Stel­lar Expo­sures Photography

Cake Cut­ting Ser­vice: After the cer­e­mo­nial cake cut­ting by the cou­ple, your caterer will cut the rest of the cake & serve it to the guests to enjoy. Lesner Inn includes cake cut­ting ser­vices & even lets you decide whether you would like to dis­play the sliced pieces of cake, or if you would like our staff to pass them to your guests.

Cake Cut­ting Set: This one is so sim­ple, yet can be so con­fus­ing. The cake cut­ting set is the knife & serv­ing piece that you use to cut & serve dur­ing the cer­e­mo­nial cake cut­ting for you & your spouse. Lesner Inn has a house set for you to use, but some cou­ples pre­fer to pur­chase their own or even will use the ones their par­ents used on their wed­ding day!

Charg­ers: These may look like fancy plates, but they are actu­ally used as table­top dec­o­ra­tion & are placed at the table set­ting before china are put on top of them. Don’t be the one who acci­den­tally takes this plate up to the buf­fet… talk about social sui­cide.

Cock­tail Hour: This is the period of time (not always an hour) between your cer­e­mony & recep­tion where your guests have an oppor­tu­nity to min­gle with one another & enjoy cock­tails & hors d’oeuvres. It is most com­mon that the new­ly­weds will take wed­ding pho­tos dur­ing this time with their fam­ily & bridal party before being announced into the recep­tion.

Lesner Inn -4-4.jpgDay of Coor­di­na­tor: A day of coor­di­na­tor (not to be con­fused with a wed­ding plan­ner) is basi­cally a wed­ding assis­tant who takes over once the wed­ding is a few weeks away. The coordinator’s main focus is to con­firm the details that you have planned with your ven­dors & to tie up any loose ends. They will also be there for rehearsal & the day-​of your wed­ding to make sure every­thing from set-​up to over­all exe­cu­tion goes smoothly. Lesner Inn offers day-​of coor­di­na­tion & wed­ding design ser­vices to our cou­ples, so feel free to reach out to us for more details!

Left: Brit­tany Sue Pho­tog­ra­phy

Food & Bev­er­age Min­i­mum: This is the amount of money that you are required to spend on all food & bev­er­age items. This amount varies from venue to venue but is always the amount that you will be meet­ing, & pos­si­bly exceed­ing, for any sort of food & bev­er­ages for your guests.

Hors D’oeuvres: This is just a fancy word for appe­tiz­ers. They are made for every­one to enjoy dur­ing your cock­tail hour, which Lesner Inn includes the hor d’oeuvres for in our base pric­ing!

Matron of Honor: Most peo­ple know that brides have a maid of honor & grooms have a best man, but brides can also have a matron of honor. This brides­maid is just as spe­cial as your maid of honor, but the title changes since she is already mar­ried!

Mem­ory Table: Just like any other side table, this one is com­pletely optional for the cou­ple. This table nor­mally holds pic­ture frames of loved ones who have passed away, so they can be remem­bered on your spe­cial day.

Toast: These are short speeches to the bride & groom gen­er­ally done by the best man & maid/​maitron of honor. Of course, there are oth­ers who can do them like the father of the bride, sib­lings of the bride or groom, or any­one who is spe­cial to you! Regard­less of who speaks, toasts are gen­er­ally done with cham­pagne which Lesner Inn pro­vides for each guest!

Wedding Toasts Champagne Virginia Beach Lesner Inn Waterfront Budget.jpg

Above: Vin­lu­ain Photography

Venue Man­ager: A venue man­ager is there the day-​of your wed­ding to make sure all runs smoothly with the venue & the food & bev­er­age side of things, if they do in house cater­ing like Lesner Inn does. They will make sure your floor plan is cor­rect, any sort of décor items rented through the venue are set, & that the time­line for all food & bev­er­age is fol­lowed accord­ingly. At Lesner Inn, you will always have a venue man­ager on site the day of your wed­ding, but they do not act as coor­di­na­tors with your other ven­dors or per­sonal details.

Wed­ding Plan­ner: Your wed­ding plan­ner will be there through­out the entire process from choos­ing your venue & ven­dors to say­ing “I do”. They will help with design­ing your wed­ding, choos­ing ven­dors & final­iz­ing con­tracts with them, & set­ting up & man­ag­ing the details of your wed­ding on the day of. They will also be there the day-​of from start to fin­ish to make sure things go smoothly & that every­thing is han­dled cor­rectly. Lesner Inn offers wed­ding plan­ning to all of our soonly weds, so if you’re look­ing to sit back through the plan­ning process & have a stress free wed­ding day, then our wed­ding plan­ning ser­vice is the way to go!

We want to make the wed­ding plan­ning process as stress free as pos­si­ble, so we hope this glos­sary of “wed­ding words” helps out! Of course, there are many other terms we use that may be a lit­tle con­fus­ing, so just reach out to us if you need some insight!

Bud­get Tips for your Big Day!

We know that most engaged cou­ples are on a bud­get. Of course, the bud­get varies from cou­ple to cou­ple but we see that most cou­ples tend to have a num­ber that they would like to stick below. With that in mind, we have come up with some handy tips to make sure you & your fiancé have a beau­ti­ful wed­ding, but stay within the bud­get!

A major way to cut the cost of your wed­ding is to cut your guest list. I know, I know, you want every fam­ily mem­ber & every friend you’ve ever met to come spend this spe­cial day with you, but this is one of the eas­i­est ways to cut costs if you’re try­ing to stay within a bud­get. You can also look into hav­ing your wed­ding dur­ing the off-​peak sea­son. There are plenty of days in the early win­ter & spring months that would be beau­ti­ful for your big day! Off-​peak months dif­fer for each venue, but at Lesner Inn our off-​peak months are Jan­u­ary – March & Novem­ber, so start think­ing out­side of those “nor­mal” wed­ding months!

View More: http://elizabethfriskephotography.pass.us/lesner-inn-style-shoot

Eliz­a­beth Friske Photography

Another idea for cut­ting costs & stay­ing within your bud­get is to use in-​season flow­ers. Talk with your florist to see which flow­ers match your col­ors, but are still in sea­son. You never know, you may be sur­prised with some gor­geous flow­ers you never heard of! You can also dis­cuss using more green­ery than flow­ers for cen­ter­pieces & arch décor. Green­ery is gor­geous & is a per­fect go-​to when you want to cut flow­ers, but still have stun­ning designs!

Noth­ing is trend­ing more right now in the wed­ding indus­try than a DIY wed­ding for cou­ples with a wed­ding bud­get. We know that you obvi­ously can’t DIY every­thing, but there are a few things that you can DIY to keep costs low. Using wine bot­tles as vases for your cen­ter­pieces can be so cute & inex­pen­sive (try dip­ping them in paint or glit­ter to match your color scheme)! DIY the seat­ing chart or wel­come mes­sage by find­ing an old win­dow, mir­ror, or chalk­board to write on. If you’re up for it, you can make all of your own signs so your guests are turn­ing every cor­ner to see your cre­ativ­ity! These are only a cou­ple of ideas, so hop onto our Pin­ter­est board to see what other DIY projects catch your eye for your wed­ding day!

Caitlin Ger­res Pho­tog­ra­phy

Want pretty sta­tion­ary but your eyes grew wide at the cost? Think about mak­ing your own Save the Dates & Invi­ta­tions! This can be a super fun way to pull out your artsy side & cus­tomize your sta­tion­ary. Don’t think you’re cre­ative enough to make your own? There are plenty of web­sites that offer tem­plates that you can use for a much smaller dol­lar amount than going through a com­pany. You even get the perk of print­ing your own sta­tion­ary & not have to wait for it in the mail! Save even more money by hav­ing your guests RSVP on your wed­ding web­site or an app instead of pay­ing for all of paper & postage for the responses!

Reach Out to Tal­ented Friends & Fam­ily
If you have any friends or fam­ily mem­bers that are tal­ented in pho­tog­ra­phy, bak­ing cakes, or some­thing else related to a wed­ding, you can keep costs low by hir­ing them instead of a pro­fes­sional! On the con­trary, we know you want to save money but just keep in mind that if you’re super picky about some­thing (which you’re allowed to be, because it is your wed­ding), then you may want to leave the ven­dor work to the pro­fes­sion­als. Of course, if you’re totally con­fi­dent in your friend or fam­ily mem­ber because they’re spec­tac­u­lar at what they do, then def­i­nitely ask them to help out to save some money! At Lesner Inn, we have a pre­ferred ven­dors list that we give to each of our cou­ples, but we always make sure you know that you can use whomever you’d like for their ven­dors, so a friend or fam­ily mem­ber is always an option!

You may not be able to use all of these ideas, but you can use one or two or even think of some of your own to stay within your bud­get! There are so many ways that you can save a few bucks but still have a beau­ti­ful wed­ding. The most impor­tant part is that no mat­ter if you go over bud­get, take some “tra­di­tional” things out to save money, or don’t have pro­fes­sional ven­dors, at the end of the day, you get to marry your best friend & that’s what you will remem­ber the most!

Best of 2017!

We’ll be hon­est. We think that we have the best job on Earth because every day is a party at Lesner Inn! Every Mon­day, we meet to recap the weekend’s events & have been keep­ing a run­ning list of some of the most mem­o­rable wed­dings of 2017. At the end of each year, we sit down to go over all of these lists & pick our favorites to share with you, our past, present, & future couples!

We hope you enjoy scrolling through some of the most beau­ti­ful, touch­ing & even com­i­cal moments from Lesner Inn over the past year!

Best Some­thing Old

As the say­ing goes, you must have some­thing old, some­thing new, some­thing bor­rowed & some­thing blue on your wed­ding day. Court­ney nailed it with her some­thing old by alter­ing her mother’s wed­ding dress for her own wed­ding. Her mom did not get to see the dress until the day of & the result gave us all chills!

Below: Love Sim­ply Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Some­thing Borrowed

Con­tin­u­ing along the path of some­thing old, new, bor­rowed & blue, Liz’s some­thing bor­rowed pulled at our heart strings when she wore a bracelet from each of her grand­moth­ers. We love that she tied in both sides of her fam­ily on her wed­ding day!

Below: Beth Hamil­ton Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Some­thing Blue

Eliz­a­beth made sure not to for­get a sin­gle bit of blue on her wed­ding day & we loved her take on a coastal wed­ding. They even kicked off the day with blue cham­pagne!

Below: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best-Cake-Waterfront-Venue-Lee-Yen-photographyBest Cake

This amaz­ing cre­ation by Whipped Up by Mimi quite lit­er­ally takes the cake for the year! We see so many dif­fer­ent styles of cake but we were head over antlers for this rus­tic naked cake. Oh & those antlers…they’re pure white choco­late!

Right: Lee Yen Pho­tog­ra­phy

Best Cake Smash

Tim & Kate cracked us up from day one & that didn’t stop after they said “I do”! These two have such a laid back style & didn’t feel the pres­sure of wed­ding plan­ning one bit. Kate clearly wasn’t wor­ried about what Tim’s white shirt would look like after she smashed cake into his face, and we found it hys­ter­i­cal!

Below: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Dessert Alternative

Amanda & Surge aren’t big cake peo­ple so, instead of a tra­di­tional wed­ding cake, they brought in Con­fetti Gelato! We knew that we loved this sweet cou­ple but, when they told us that they were skip­ping the cake & going for gelato instead, we knew that they were meant to roll with the coor­di­na­tors at Lesner Inn!

Below: Wasin French Pho­tog­ra­phy


View More: http://ashleypetersonphotography.pass.us/cammaratawedBest Cake Topper

Justin & Ariel weren’t mess­ing around when they picked out their cake top­per! We got such a kick out of this one that we had to award it best cake top­per of 2017!

Left: Ash­ley Peter­son Pho­tog­ra­phy

Best Bridal Bouquet

Kelly Gish, you are the florist of the year with this incred­i­ble bou­quet! We loved Nel­son & Nicole’s color palette for their wed­ding & the flow­ers were just the cherry on top of a beau­ti­ful day.
Check out those small pops of pur­ple
nes­tled in the arrangement!

Below: Luke & Ash­ley Photography

Best Cer­e­mony

It’s rare that a bride & groom can sur­prise us with some­thing new, but we are pretty sure that this is our first cou­ple to get mar­ried ON the water. Mor­gan & Jake sailed out into the Lynnhaven River with their imme­di­ate fam­i­lies to tie the knot while their guests enjoyed cock­tail hour in the Water­side Deck. This beau­ti­ful moment is def­i­nitely the most unique cer­e­mony of 2017!

Below: Lee Yen Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best First Look

Mike, you HANDS DOWN had the best reac­tion of any groom see­ing his bride for the first time when Alishia walked down the aisle. We are so glad Dustin Lewis cap­tured this moment!

Below: Dustin Lewis Images


View More: http://kellydierphotography.pass.us/lesch-wilson-bridal-partyBest Kiss

The moment that we saw this photo, we knew that it had to be awarded the best kiss of 2017. We love that this grooms­men got down on his hands & knees to give Jonathan a boost to his bride!

Right: Kelly Dier Pho­tog­ra­phy

Cutest Ring Bearer & Flower Girl

Alright, so these two actu­ally weren’t from the same wed­ding but we were so taken with them that we had to award them cutest ring bearer and cutest flower girl. Kayleigh & Wayne cre­ated this “Ring Secu­rity” badge for this lit­tle guy to make sure that every­one knew what his main job was. And even though it took a lit­tle nudg­ing from their coor­di­na­tor, Kyle & Amy’s flower girl strut­ted her stuff down the aisle once she real­ized that she was the cen­ter of atten­tion!

Left: Jason Jarvis Pho­tog­ra­phy - Right: Dragon Stu­dios

Best Décor

Style Events did it again with one! Meghan & Craig had a beau­ti­ful wed­ding with long ban­quet tables, stun­ning linens from Water­ford Event Rentals & roman­tic flo­rals from Palette of Petals. Their use of cre­ative floor plans & float­ing flo­rals on the arch wins them the best décor of 2017!

Below: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Theme

We will be the first to admit that we were a lit­tle con­fused when Tim & Kate told us that theme of their wed­ding was going to be Amer­ica. But these two are the goofi­est, most fun-​loving peo­ple so we knew that we were in for a treat. They tied the knot on Memo­r­ial Day week­end & requested that all of their guests wear white with patri­otic flair, had Statue of Lib­erty cen­ter­pieces, & danced to God Bless the USA for their first dance while their guests sur­rounded them wav­ing Amer­i­can flags. Hands down, the best theme of the year!

Below: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Sta­tionery

One of the parts of the plan­ning process that we rarely get to see is the invi­ta­tion suite. Every once in a while though, a cou­ple will bring them in so the photographer’s can snap a few pho­tos of them. We loved Nel­son & Nicole’s trendy invites with the agate tex­tured back­ground!

Right: Wasin French Pho­tog­ra­phy

Best Tra­di­tional Wedding

We see all sorts of fam­ily, reli­gious & cul­tural tra­di­tions at Lesner Inn. This year we were lucky enough to be able to learn about the Ben­gali cul­ture dur­ing Trina & Greg’s wed­ding cer­e­mony. They incor­po­rated both of their tra­di­tions into their mar­riage cer­e­mony & you can read much more about the tra­di­tions and cus­toms in their wed­ding spot­light here!

Below: Chelsea Ander­son Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Exit

Oh hello beau­ti­ful Lynnhaven River! We love when cou­ples uti­lize the water for a boat exit or entrance &, even though it was a misty day, Thomas & Lau­ren still sailed away in style. This boat exit won the best exit of 2017!

Below: Dragon Stu­dio


Best-First-Dance-Ballroom-Lesner-Inn-Virginia-Beach-Reception-Kelly-Marie-Photography Best First Dance

Tyler & Rachael’s first dance gave us all the feels & when we saw this photo from Kelly Marie, we knew that they stole the spot­light for 2017. What is bet­ter than a hand­some man in uni­form spin­ning his new wife around the dance floor?

Right: Kelly Marie Pho­tog­ra­phy

Best-Sunset-Lesner-Inn-Virginia-Beach-Winston-Veranga-Photography.jpgBest Sun­set

Lesner Inn is FAMOUS for the epic sun­sets that you can catch every evening from the venue. While there were 365 con­tenders, Jon & Andrea win the award for the best sun­set photo of 2017!

Left: Win­ston Veranga Pho­tog­ra­phy

Best Party Crowd

Every­one looks for­ward to a wed­ding for the drink­ing, danc­ing, & love. Jor­dan & Nicole’s guests were no dif­fer­ent but these guys REALLY came to party! Check out the top right photo, even Grandma got in on that open bar action!

Below: David Cham­pagne Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Dressed

This cat­e­gory is a lii­i­i­it­tle deceiv­ing, but it is going three years strong now! We aren’t quite sure what makes guests want to strip down on the dance floor, but any­one who does def­i­nitely deserves to win best dressed!

Below: Dragon Stu­dios


Best-Rainy-Wedding-Rainy-Weddings-Bryan-Myhr.jpgBest Rainy Wedding

Rain on your wed­ding day isn’t what most cou­ples hope for, but some­times Mother Nature has another idea in store for us. Kent & Haley rolled with the punches so well when it started to pour right before their cer­e­mony, but luck­ily our Sun­set Deck is cov­ered so you can still have your out­door cer­e­mony, even with a lit­tle inclement weather. Because of their pos­i­tive atti­tudes all day, they get the award for best rainy wed­ding of 2017!

Left: Bryan Myhr Pho­tog­ra­phy

Best Grooms­man Photo

Guys can be goofy… but this crew really had us gig­gling! We love that they took pos­ing into their own hands by steal­ing the bridesmaid’s bou­quets.

Below: Jason Jarvis Pho­tog­ra­phy


Best Squad Pic

Amanda & Matt got busted with their squad when the First Land­ing State Park rangers jumped in on the action. Noth­ing says a party like some flash­ing lights & sirens!

Below: Dustin Lewis Images


Best Per­sonal Touch

Jamie & Jill hid a lit­tle per­sonal touch inside of their wed­ding dresses. Here is what they told us when we asked about these blue hearts:
One thing that we decided to do was cre­ate our own lit­tle memo­ri­als for those who couldn’t be with us on our spe­cial day. Jill’s father passed away sev­eral years ago, so she cut a heart out of one of his blue shirts… and, Jamie’s grand­fa­ther had passed away in Feb­ru­ary, so she cut a heart out of one of his favorite jean jack­ets. We pinned these inside our dresses – as our some­thing old and some­thing blue.”
You can read more about their wed­ding on their wed­ding spot­light.

Below: Valerie Betz Pho­tog­ra­phy


2017 came & went so quickly, & we can­not thank the peo­ple & ven­dors we worked with this year enough for mak­ing our wed­dings such a suc­cess! We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store, & to meet all of the won­der­ful, beau­ti­ful cou­ples who will tie the knot at Lesner Inn with us in the years to come!

Wed­ding High­lights: Amanda & Matt 8.5.2017

Sunset-Deck-Ceremony-Lesner-Inn-Virginia-Beach.jpgAmanda & Matt got mar­ried at Lesner Inn on August 5, 2017 on our Sun­set Deck. The ladies at Lesner Inn had the plea­sure of coor­di­nat­ing their wed­ding, where we had a great time get­ting to know them & their fam­i­lies! After learn­ing a lit­tle bit more about them, we love how much of their wed­ding details match up to the details of their love story! We hope you enjoy the details as much as we did!

How & when did you meet?
We met the sum­mer before my third year of phar­macy school. I was meet­ing a friend at the bar and her boyfriend invited Matt. As we started talk­ing, I tried to describe this amaz­ing drink I had just dis­cov­ered– a Mar­garona. We decided to order a round of mar­gar­i­tas and coro­nas at the bar to make our own. Lit­tle did I know that the mar­garita need to be frozen to pre­vent spillage. I spilt it all over the bar. For months, Matt had me listed as mar­garona in his phone.

How & when did you get engaged? (We know, this story is so sweet!)
We got engaged in Jamaica in Octo­ber 2016. Matt was wait­ing for the per­fect time to pro­pose. It rained every evening we were there. We were walk­ing to din­ner one night, umbrella in hand, when he pulled me aside. I was walk­ing fast in an attempt to get to din­ner (I really love food). He finally grabbed my arm and said “If you would just slow down for a minute, I’m try­ing to ask you to marry me.”

What made you pick Lesner Inn as your wed­ding venue?
I knew I wanted to get mar­ried on the water, but I didn’t want the unpre­dictable weather to be a fac­tor. The Lesner Inn had amaz­ing reviews. It turned out to be the per­fect loca­tion. We were able to have the ceremony/​reception at the same loca­tion. The food was phe­nom­e­nal and the views were amaz­ing.


What ven­dors did you choose for your wed­ding day & why did you choose them?
  • Pho­tog­ra­phy– Dustin Lewis- A friend rec­om­mended him. He had pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence pho­tograph­ing at the Lesner Inn, and great reviews. He was so easy to work with and our pho­tos were stunning!
  • Mary’s Flower Works- Another rec­om­men­da­tion from a friend/​family mem­ber. She did an amaz­ing job.
  • Astro DJ- Astro DJ had great reviews. They were quick and respon­sive to emails. They even let one of the guest sing karaoke to “ICE, ICE, Baby”.
  • Flaw­less/​Blush­tones- I researched hair and makeup artists for months. This was one of the more impor­tant details to me. They had great reviews. I knew after the hair/​make-​up trial, that I had cho­sen correctly.

Margarita-machine-wedding-signature-drink-Lesner-Inn-Virginia-Beach.jpgWe LOVED your Pitts­burgh cookie table! What is the story behind this tra­di­tion?
My hus­band is from Pitts­burgh. I’m not sure of the ori­gin of the tra­di­tion, but a true Pitts­burgh wed­ding is not com­plete with­out dozens of home­made cook­ies. Matt’s mom came down a week early to get all the bak­ing done.

What was your favorite detail (big or small) from your wed­ding & why?
Rent­ing a mar­garita machine. Our sig­na­ture drink was the “Mar­garona”, and our guests loved it.

What made you decide to use a steel drum band for your cer­e­mony & cock­tail hour enter­tain­ment?
I wanted to cre­ate a “beachy” vibe. The sound of steel drum bands reminds me of the Caribbean.


How did you han­dle the stress of wed­ding plan­ning? Were there any hic­cups along the way?
I am a type “A” per­son. I sat down and cre­ated a list of every­thing that need to be done and sched­uled time each week to com­plete the task. Most of the wed­ding plan­ning was done in a cou­ple of months. This allowed me to focus on the small details. We had one hic­cup the day of. The shut­tle bus for­got to pick up the guests. Luck­ily Cayleen and Alexis were able to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion. I highly rec­om­mend a day of coor­di­na­tor for this exact sit­u­a­tion.

Is there any­thing that you wish you had done dif­fer­ently or that you had thought of in advance?
I wouldn’t change a thing.

What advice would you give other cou­ples get­ting ready to plan their wed­ding?
Stay orga­nized and book ven­dors as soon as pos­si­ble. Remem­ber, some­thing is bound to go wrong the day of, but in the end it won’t mat­ter.

What great words of advice! Even if you do every­thing right in the plan­ning process, just remem­ber you can’t always expect the unex­pected. All you can do is roll with the punches, and make sure that you hire the help of coor­di­na­tors to han­dle any issues that may arise!

Pho­tos by Dustin Lewis Images

Wed­ding High­lights: Court­ney & Justin 10.28.2017

Court­ney & Justin said “I do” at Lesner Inn on Octo­ber 28, 2017 with fam­ily & friends all around. The year before the wed­ding, we spent a lot of time get­ting to know them, laugh­ing with them, & help­ing to plan their big day. Now they are back from their hon­ey­moon enjoy­ing life as Mr. & Mrs., & we just couldn’t wait to share their story with you!

How & when did you meet?
Waterfront Wedding Venue Virginia Beach (25).jpgJustin and I met at Old Domin­ion Uni­ver­sity in the fall of 2007. I reached out to my friend, who was also Justin’s col­lege room­mate at the time, because I was in des­per­ate need of tutor­ing for an account­ing class. Justin wasn’t great at math — but with his charm­ing per­son­al­ity we hit it off!

How & when did you get engaged?
We got engaged at the Old Domin­ion Home­com­ing game on Sep­tem­ber 24, 2016. Justin wanted to pro­pose right where it all began! He popped the ques­tion in front of the “Big Blue” lion statute. We were met with applause and cheers from fel­low Mon­archs who were there cel­e­brat­ing the “big game.” ODU even posted the news on their Face­book page!

Why did you pick Lesner Inn for your venue?
We looked at other venues but when we arrived at Lesner Inn we knew this was “it”! The loca­tion pro­vided the per­fect atmos­phere for us to say “I do”!

What out­side ven­dors did you use & why did you choose them?
We had amaz­ing ven­dors that truly made our day so spec­tac­u­lar!
  • Our pho­tog­ra­pher, Dustin Lewis, was rec­om­mended from the Lesner Inn “pre­ferred ven­dor list”. After meet­ing him, we knew his per­son­able approach to pho­tog­ra­phy and artis­tic vision would be the per­fect match for us.
  • Our video­g­ra­pher, Intel­lect Media, we met at a bridal show. After look­ing at sam­ple videos online from sev­eral dif­fer­ent ven­dors, the pro­duc­tion qual­ity of Intel­lect Media’s video was rem­i­nis­cent of a big-​budget Hol­ly­wood film. After meet­ing with both Mar­cus and Eric, we knew their pro­fes­sion­al­ism and knowl­edge of their craft would be the per­fect way to cap­ture our love story on our spe­cial day.
  • I met our florist Deb­bie from Flut­ter­ing Flow­ers at a bridal show also. Her flair for flo­ral arrange­ments and gen­teel per­sona was a win­ning combination.
  • Based off of the rec­om­men­da­tion from sev­eral ven­dors we sought out Deb from Incred­i­ble Edi­bles for our cake. We went into the cake tast­ing and Deb was so accom­mo­dat­ing and help­ful in decid­ing what “sweet treats” we would offer our guests.
  • We knew from the begin­ning we wanted Astro DJ to pro­vide the enter­tain­ment for the evening. Rod­ney Charles had been a DJ for a friend’s wed­ding the year prior. His style and choice of music meshed per­fectly with our idea for a “great night”.
  • I met Water­ford Event rentals at a bridal show. After meet­ing with Rebecca who was so help­ful and kind, I knew that I had to use some of their beau­ti­ful linens to “com­plete” my wed­ding look!
  • I met Soirees by Lau­ren at a bridal show. I hired them for day of coor­di­na­tion and they helped me to feel like a guest at my own wedding!
Waterfront Wedding Venue Virginia Beach (30)

What was your vision for your wed­ding day & did it change through­out the process? If so, how?
The vision for my wed­ding day was to have a beau­ti­ful, fun-​filled day that I would not for­get! Through­out the process, some of my ideas changed slightly — but over­all, I kept my “end frame” in sight which was to focus on mar­ry­ing my best friend and cel­e­brat­ing one of the best days of my life!

Did you have a theme? If so, how did you choose it?
Our theme for the wed­ding was “Old Hol­ly­wood”. We chose this theme because Justin is a huge fan of films (he has a col­lec­tion of over 1800 blue rays) and I love any­thing glam­orous and from that era. We used cin­e­matic ele­ments such as each table was a name of a film, hav­ing a “pop­corn” bar, etc. Our col­ors were black, gold, ivory, and blush to bring in those “Old Hol­ly­wood” ele­ments.

Waterfront Wedding Venue Virginia Beach (49)

What were you most excited about for your wed­ding day?
We were most excited to have all of our fam­ily and friends in one room to help us cel­e­brate this huge mile­stone in our lives.

Waterfront Wedding Venue Virginia Beach (54)Were there any per­sonal touches that you put on your wed­ding day that were really spe­cial to you?

On our cake, we had two brooches that were from each of our grand­moth­ers who had passed away. We were very close to them so this was a way of hav­ing them there. We also had our grand­par­ents wed­ding pho­tos on the cake table as a trib­ute to them.

Are there any funny or silly moments from your wed­ding day or the plan­ning process that stand out to you?
Every­one danc­ing and enjoy­ing the music at the recep­tion to include two elderly fam­ily mem­bers groov­ing on the dance floor with their walk­ers.

What advice do you have for other cou­ples plan­ning their wed­ding?
Our advice is to enjoy the “jour­ney” of wed­ding plan­ning. It is easy to get caught up in the stress and “per­fec­tion” that a wed­ding has to be but remem­ber the most impor­tant thing is that you are get­ting mar­ried. No one will notice if the dec­o­ra­tions are not in the right order or if a bow is not cor­rect, what your guests will take away from a wed­ding is the over­all feel­ing of fun and enjoy­ment they expe­ri­enced.

Waterfront Wedding Venue Virginia Beach (12).jpg
They def­i­nitely hit the nail on the head with that advice! Plan­ning can become stress­ful if you let it, but just enjoy­ing every bit of the process is what makes it so fun. At the end of the day the most impor­tant thing is that you are mar­ry­ing your best friend sur­rounded by the peo­ple who love you most!

Pho­tos from Dustin Lewis Images!

How to Make the Most of Your Wed­ding Web­site

Every­one is online nowa­days. Whether it’s social media, com­put­ers, or smart phones, we all spend a decent amount of our days on our phones & online, so why not have your wed­ding details on a wed­ding web­site? It’s is an easy, & gen­er­ally free, way to give your guests some details that you won’t put on your invi­ta­tions. The web­site is more than just throw­ing up some pic­tures & telling your guests when & where the wed­ding will take place. Get into it & get the most out of your web­site so your guests know all the details!

Basic Essen­tials
Date, time & loca­tion! Even though you may put this infor­ma­tion on your invi­ta­tions, it’s always a good thing to put these basics on your web­site too in case some­one loses the invite. You can even be super nice & put maps or write out direc­tions for your guests if you’re feel­ing up to it!

Lesner-Inn-Wedding-Website-how-to-diy-weddings-virginia-beach.jpg Your Story
We love these!! Although not every­one will read the full story, the guests who do will love to read about all the lit­tle details through­out your love story. How you met, how the rela­tion­ship grew, & of course how he popped the ques­tion! The roman­tic pic­ture you paint will get all of your guests so excited for your big day!
Right: Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy

Presents, presents, presents! Where to get them though? Putting your reg­istry on your web­site is such a help when peo­ple are shop­ping around for your wed­ding present. Although you never want to make it seem like your guests are oblig­ated to bring a present, you can dis­creetly put a link to your reg­istry on your web­site so your guests can have easy access to it.

View More: http://stellarexposures.pass.us/beachball17 Logis­tics
Attire & accom­mo­da­tions! Every guest always asks “What should I wear to the wed­ding?”, so make it a lit­tle eas­ier for them & sug­gest some things that could go with your wed­ding theme. If you’re hav­ing a rus­tic, relaxed wed­ding, you could sug­gest jeans or if it’s more glam­orous, let them know to wear a more for­mal out­fit. Also, if your guests desire to stay overnight before or after your wed­ding, let­ting them know of nearby hotels can be a huge help to them. This keeps them from bug­ging you about where is the best place to stay or hav­ing to do all of the research them­selves. Another idea is to block off rooms at a local hotel for your guests & let them know that it’s already been done for them!
Left: Stel­lar Expo­sures

Online RSVP
This is some­thing that is pretty sim­ple to set up and can be a huge help to your guests who don’t always respond in a timely man­ner through mail. Some of your guests may also pre­fer the con­ve­nient, cost-​efficient way to RSVP.

Using your wed­ding web­site effec­tively will take so much stress off of the plan­ning process! The lit­tle details will be at your guests fin­ger­tips, leav­ing you to worry about the big details at Lesner Inn!

How to Pre­pare for ALL of Your Ven­dor Meet­ings

When plan­ning your Lesner Inn wed­ding, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that your ven­dors are not there to make deci­sions for you. We love to offer sug­ges­tions when asked but, unless you are deal­ing with a wed­ding plan­ner, it is not our duty to make the big deci­sions. We’ve recently pub­lished a blog to help you pri­or­i­tize when you should book each of your ven­dors, but let’s take a closer look at what comes after book­ing these ven­dors!

Every vendor’s plan­ning process is dif­fer­ent, but here are some of the best tips to make sure that you are pre­pared for every plan­ning meet­ing up until your wed­ding day!


At Lesner Inn, we have two plan­ning meet­ings after book­ing. The first will take place 90 days from the event, and the sec­ond will be two weeks out. If your wed­ding venue is doing your cater­ing, this is some­thing that you will need to con­sider before these meet­ings.
  • 90 Day Meet­ing: It is best to go into this meet­ing with at least an idea of details like your menu, floor plan, linens, rental décor, and guest count. If you have decided that you want a buf­fet, but can’t decide if you would like to serve beef or fish with your chicken entrée then this is also a great time to sit down for a tast­ing! We also ask that you have a gen­eral idea of your time­line at the 90 day meet­ing. Although we know that this will change sev­eral times after you meet with each ven­dor, we like for you to have a real­is­tic idea of when food is served at Lesner Inn, and the amount of time that it will take from your evening so that this infor­ma­tion can be relayed to your other vendors.

  • Final Meet­ing (2 weeks from wed­ding): Your final meet­ing is where all final details and changes must be made to the work­ing con­tract. Keep in mind that some of your ven­dors may require for you to pro­vide a meal for them, so make sure to relay this infor­ma­tion to us at this time!


Plan­ning with your pho­tog­ra­pher includes mak­ing deci­sions such as the amount of time they will stay to take pho­tos and what types of pho­tos and poses you are inter­ested in tak­ing. If you’re unsure of how to respond to these ques­tions, here are some sug­ges­tions on what ques­tions to ask your­self before going into the meet­ing:
  • What is my time­line on the day of, and where is every­thing happening?
  • What do I want my pho­tog­ra­pher to cap­ture on my wed­ding day? (Ex: Get­ting hair & makeup done, pre-​ceremony bridal party pho­tos, sunrise/​sunset, first look, cer­e­mony, first dances, cake cut­ting, recep­tion danc­ing, spe­cial exit, etc.)
  • Where do I want pho­tos to be taken on the day of? If you want pho­tos on Chicks Beach at Sun­set then not only should your pho­tog­ra­pher know, but also your venue/​caterer, and MC so that the event can flow seam­lessly with no gaps or wait­ing around.
  • Who do I want pho­tos with? Make a list of spe­cific peo­ple that you want pho­tos with to make sure that your pho­tog­ra­pher will be able to check them off as they go.
  • What kind of pho­tos do I want most? (Can­did, posed, group shots, etc.)


Your florist is going to be inter­ested in sev­eral aspects of your wed­ding design, and you may be over­whelmed with the amount of details they will need. Here are some of the top­ics you should be ready to dis­cuss with your florist:
  • What is your color scheme?
  • What linen col­ors are going to be on the tables?
  • Are there any spe­cific types of flo­rals that you want to be included?
  • Will you be pro­vid­ing your own vases/​other containers?
  • What kind of bou­quet do you want for you & your brides­maids? If you’re unsure, then check out this blog from Inside Weddings!
  • Are there any spe­cial guests to receive corsages/​boutonnieres?
  • How many tables need to be decorated?
  • What would you like for your arch to look like?


Whether you’ve hired a DJ, band, or ukulele player, they’re going to want to know the type of music you will want played dur­ing the con­tracted time. This includes let­ting them know that you DO NOT want the “Chicken Dance” played at any time through­out the event. Addi­tion­ally, they will need to know your time­line, names of any­one being announced, spe­cial dances/​games for dur­ing the recep­tion and the songs that you want played for each, etc. Don’t for­get that 9 times out of 10 your musi­cal enter­tain­ment will also be the MC for the event.


Obvi­ously this is going to be one of the most enjoy­able plan­ning meet­ings because you get to taste a bunch of sweet treats! Make sure that you are ready to dis­cuss any intri­cate designs that you want for your cake, so that your bak­ery can know what you are expect­ing.

We hope that you are enjoy­ing the plan­ning process and that you keep in mind what this cel­e­bra­tion is all about! Noth­ing is bet­ter than the day you get to walk down the aisle and enjoy a beau­ti­ful event with your friends, fam­ily, and new spouse!!

The Rehearsal Run­down

We hear it all the time. A few months before a wed­ding, a cou­ple will anx­iously call us ask­ing what time their rehearsal is, when peo­ple should get in town, and when they should sched­ule their din­ner. We under­stand that coor­di­nat­ing flights, travel arrange­ment and sched­ules can be hec­tic so we are here to help! When you book your wed­ding at Lesner Inn, you are guar­an­teed one hour for your rehearsal how­ever, we can­not sched­ule the date and time a year out from the event. Why not? Let us explain.

Let’s say you are get­ting mar­ried on Sat­ur­day night and want to have your rehearsal on Fri­day night at 6:00 PM right before your din­ner at 7:30 PM. If we have a wed­ding start­ing at 6:00 PM on that Fri­day night, we unfor­tu­nately can­not have two events going on in the same space at once. But fear not! The Water­side Deck and the Sun­set Deck are the same lay­out so you always have the option of using one of the decks for your rehearsal shortly before the other event begins.

We know that not every sin­gle cou­ple is com­fort­able rehears­ing in a dif­fer­ent space and we com­pletely under­stand! We try our best to make sure that you get the ideal space and time but some­times, rehearsals have to be around 3:00 PM or ear­lier. This is actu­ally a bless­ing in dis­guise though! If you have a local bridal party, they don’t have to take too much time off of work. If your bridal party is from out of town, then they have the option of going to check into their hotel, show­er­ing, and relax­ing from their big day of travel before the rehearsal din­ner. Win-​win all around!

The last option is to have your rehearsal off-​site. If you are hav­ing your rehearsal din­ner in a place with a large open area, you can eas­ily repli­cate the cer­e­mony space with your bridal party. Thank­fully, the hard­est part of a rehearsal is mak­ing sure that the first per­son knows where they are walk­ing. Every­one else just has to fol­low suit! Your wed­ding plan­ner or day of coor­di­na­tor will be a big help dur­ing this time to explain the flow of the cer­e­mony and answer any ques­tions that you or your fam­ily may have.

If you ever have any ques­tions about book­ing your rehearsal or your rehearsal din­ner with Lesner Inn or one of our sis­ter restau­rants, please don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact one of our sales managers!

View More: http://taraliebeckphotography.pass.us/angelique

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