Your Top 5 Cater­ing Ques­tions Answered

As most of our brides know, Lesner Inn is more than just a venue – we are a full ser­vice cater­ing facil­ity. By pro­vid­ing all food and alco­hol, we take care of a big part of your wed­ding check­list. When we show new brides around the venue, we get end­less ques­tions and we thought we should share some of the often asked ones with you to help with planning!
  1. What is the dif­fer­ence between a con­sump­tion bar and a host bar?
This is prob­a­bly the ques­tion that we are asked most often. A host bar is your tra­di­tional open bar where you pay per per­son, per hour for as much or as lit­tle as they want to drink. Whereas, with a con­sump­tion bar, you pay for a set amount of alco­hol and once that is fin­ished, you can switch to a cash bar. Now depend­ing on the price of the beer, wine and liquor you are offer­ing and how much your guests drink, this could last all night or only for a few hours. It is up to you how much money you want to put toward the bar and you know your guest’s drink­ing pref­er­ences bet­ter than we do!
  1. Why should I get a food pack­age? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have an a la carte menu?
While it is true that an a la carte menu can be cheaper, you are pay­ing for a set amount of food and once it is done, that is all you are get­ting – even if not every­one had a chance to get a plate. In order to avoid this mas­sive faux pas, we sug­gest pay­ing for a food pack­age. Our food pack­ages offer an hour of con­tin­u­ous ser­vice which means we will keep cook­ing to keep up with your appetite. Lov­ing the bacon wrapped scal­lops? We are going to keep mak­ing them for that full hour so you can enjoy as many as your heart desires! Our pack­ages also include a bridal bag, a bev­er­age sta­tion of water, iced tea and cof­fee, a champagne/​sparkling cider toast, and cake cut­ting ser­vice. Some venues will charge about $2/​person just to cut your cake! We would rather save you some money and include it to cre­ate the total package.
  1. What is a ven­dor meal and do I have to feed them?
Yes! Your pho­tog­ra­pher has been with you all day while you get pam­pered and primped, your DJ has been on his feet pump­ing music for your guests, and your coor­di­na­tor has been run­ning around try­ing to make sure your grand­mother is in the right place for the start of the cer­e­mony. While you are pay­ing for their ser­vices, you want to make sure they have the sta­mina to keep up with the party. No one wants a DJ with low blood sugar or a faint­ing pho­tog­ra­pher. Many ven­dors include a meal in their con­tracts too so you need to make sure that you are ful­fill­ing all of their require­ments. Lesner Inn will make it easy on you and we can pro­vide boxed meals OR we offer guest meals for ½ price for your ven­dors. We know they deserve a quick snack on such a big day!
  1. Buf­fets, plated meals, sta­tions, heavy hors d’oeuvres…which is most popular?
Ah this one is tricky. Do you and your fiancé love snack­ing through­out the night? Then maybe heavy hors d’oeuvres is up your alley. Do you pre­fer to cre­ate your own plate and load up on your favorite dishes? Then a buf­fet or sta­tions fits you per­fectly. Or do you want to make sure your guests stay in their seats through­out the meal? Go for plated then. It all really depends on YOU. We can’t tell you what you pre­fer, this is one time where we have no pro­fes­sional opinion!
  1. I’m aller­gic to….can you work around that? My aunt is a veg­e­tar­ian, do you have any­thing she can eat?
Yes! We have seen prob­a­bly every allergy and sen­si­tiv­ity walk through our door. When you meet with your event man­ager, they can show you our veg­e­tar­ian, gluten free, vegan, and shell­fish safe options. If we don’t have a menu already made for your par­tic­u­lar request, our chef would be more than happy to accom­mo­date any aller­gies. On your big day, you don’t want to be wor­ry­ing about your guests, let us take care of it!

Obvi­ously this doesn’t cover all of the ques­tions that you may have but that is what we are here for. Feel free to call our office at 7574811122 or email us at This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any concerns!

Because 3 Days are Bet­ter Than One

How often have you heard “it’s over before you know it” or “the night flew by” from recently mar­ried cou­ples? After months or even years of plan­ning, the hap­pi­est day of your life can turn into the quick­est day of your life. But, if you’re smart, you plan to keep the party going! These days, wed­ding cel­e­bra­tions don’t last just one day… they go on for an entire week­end. Because three (or in this case, 4) days are bet­ter than one. As some­one who’s attended many of these week­end long cel­e­bra­tions, let me tell you, they’re super fun and def­i­nitely a great idea for when you have a lot of out-​of-​town guests. By hav­ing this week­end of fun, you’re giv­ing all of your out-​of-​town fam­ily and friends who came all the way out to cel­e­brate with you a chance to see you for more than just for a brief hello, and thank you for com­ing! Here’s the break down for your week­end wed­ding cel­e­bra­tion!

Thurs­day night - The Wel­come Party:

This is most often hosted by some­one in the bridal party, a fam­ily friend, or some­one in your extended fam­ily. Either way, it’s a party to wel­come all out-​of-​town guests, and get every­one pumped up for the week­end fun. They can be as casual as a back­yard cook­out, or a meet & greet at a restau­rant or bar.

back deck wedding virginia beach

Fri­day night - The Rehearsal Din­ner: Bubba's rehearsal dinner virginia beach

The rehearsal din­ner is typ­i­cally the night before the wed­ding, but the loca­tion and vibe of this gath­er­ing can range from casual to classy. We’ve had cou­ples hold this at their home with a sim­ple home cooked meal, or get together at a restau­rant to keep it stress free! Con­sider hold­ing your rehearsal din­ner at Bubba’s, a Vir­ginia Beach local favorite for seafood!

Sat­ur­day Night - Cer­e­mony & Recep­tion:

It’s show time! Say “I do” with a view in either of our beau­ti­ful spaces on the water - Lesner Hall & Sun­set Deck or Water­side Deck!

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Dustin Lewis Photography


Sun­day - The Next-​Day Brunch:

A next-​day brunch is a great time for the bride & groom to say their thank you’s & farewells again before they jet set on their hon­ey­moon. Not to men­tion, it’s a great way to cure that hang­over with some mimosas or bloody marys!

Back deck brunch wedding

We know that plan­ning a whole week­end of enter­tain­ment sounds stress­ful, but, we’ve got you cov­ered! The Lesner Inn has pack­ages if you book your wed­ding week­end with us! You could have your Rehearsal Din­ner at Bubba’s, fol­lowed by your Cer­e­mony & Recep­tion at The Lesner Inn, & your next-​day brunch at The Back Deck. We offer 5% off your food items for both Bubba’s & The Back Deck – and would dis­count your room rental at The Lesner Inn!

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact a Lesner Inn sales man­ager at (757) 4811122 or by email at This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Spring Color Palettes

Though the charm of Vir­ginia Beach lingers year-​round, along with spring comes an addi­tional burst of beauty in our Beach City. Sand pushes up on the dunes, grass returns to its nat­ural green, and the green­ery begins to boast their loveli­est buds. We can’t help but be cap­ti­vated by this city when it comes to life in the spring and now, with wed­ding sea­son in full bloom, we’re pulling inspi­ra­tion from last spring’s Lesner Inn wed­dings! If you’re wed­ding day is right around the rose bush, check out these color palettes for inspiration!


spring-weddings-virginia-beach-lesner-inn-color-palettecaitlin-gerres-spring-weddings-color-palette-virginia-beach-lesner-inn


www.dustinlewisimages.comgreen-spring-color-palette


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Win­ter Wed­ding on the Water

With the first day of spring only 2 days away, we find it fit­ting to say good­bye to win­ter by putting the spot­light on Sharise & Richard’s beau­ti­ful win­ter wed­ding on the water!


Sharise & Richard held their recep­tion at The Lesner Inn, after tying the knot at Hamp­ton Uni­ver­sity Memo­r­ial Chapel on Decem­ber 19, 2015. They rented the entire venue, host­ingLesner-Inn-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-Winter-Wedding-Waterfront-icicles cock­tail hour in our Water­side Deck, fol­lowed by the recep­tion in our Lesner Hall. Say­ing it wasn’t one of the most beau­ti­ful wed­dings we’ve seen in our build­ing would be a flat out lie. Sharise, her mother, & the team at Mor­lina Events did such a great job plan­ning every detail! Every­thing from the DIY cen­ter­pieces, to the snow that fell out of thin air dur­ing their first dance was perfection!



The cou­ple picked a palette of cherry red, navy blue & sil­ver for their wed­ding design.



Their first dance as Mr. & Mrs. was to “Let it Snow,” as snow lit­er­ally fell out of thin air – thanks to Stage Right Light­ing!

Lesner-Inn-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-Winter-Wedding-Waterfront-Snow

Mr. & Mrs. John­son were able to get a pic­ture with every guest who attended the recep­tion. How could you not be tempted to take pic­ture after pic­ture with the crys­tal back­drop pro­vided by Stage Right Light­ing, and the breath­tak­ing view from our Lesner Hall and Sun­set Deck? Not to men­tion their sweet­heart table, which was cov­ered by a glitz sequin linen pro­vided by Water­ford Event Rentals.


Lesner-Inn-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-Winter-Wedding-Waterfront-sequined

We would like to thank all of the ven­dors who par­tic­i­pated in mak­ing this event so suc­cess­ful, and we hope you all con­sider them while plan­ning your wed­ding!

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Pho­tog­ra­pher: Bryan Myhr Photography

Wed­ding Plan­ner: Mor­lina Events

Linens & Chair Cov­ers: Water­ford Event Rentals

Uplight­ing, Snow Fall, Crys­tal back drop: Stage Right Lighting

Trend­ing in Wed­dings: Lively Liba­tions

Whether or not you’re serv­ing alco­holic bev­er­ages at your wed­ding, there are so many up and com­ing trends with bev­er­ages that we hope you con­sider while plan­ning your wed­ding at the Lesner Inn! From the cer­e­mony to cock­tail hour and cock­tail hour to the recep­tion, here are our favorite trends for wed­ding libations!

Cer­e­mony

We love the idea of serv­ing bev­er­ages dur­ing the cer­e­mony, espe­cially on a hot sum­mer day! Keep your guests refreshed with a glass of iced tea, lemon­ade, or infused water while they sit on our Sun­set Deck wait­ing to greet the bride!

Or, for win­ter wed­dings, pro­vide your guests with a mug of hot cocoa while they keep warm in our heated Water­side Deck!

Cock­tail Hour

Also trend­ing in wed­dings is hav­ing mul­ti­ple sig­na­ture drinks dur­ing cock­tail hour (and in some cases for the whole evening) rather than just one or two! Sig­na­ture drinks are a fun way to pro­vide your guests with bev­er­age options they may have never tried before! It will remind them of your wed­ding every time they order it at their local bar!

Lesner-Inn-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-Specialty-DrinksHeather Hughes Photography

Another huge trend is hav­ing scotch & bour­bon tast­ings dur­ing cock­tail hour! Instead of just min­gling around cock­tail tables, your guests can pre­tend like they’re actu­ally learn­ing about fancy scotch and bourbon!

Recep­tion

When your guests migrate upstairs for the main meal, have wine brought to the table! One bot­tle of red, and one bot­tle of white will keep the class at an all-​time high dur­ing din­ner service!

Once the party really begins, show off your home­town by stock­ing the bar with local beer and wine dur­ing the danc­ing and entertainment!

lesner-inn-virginia-beach-weddings-beveragesRoss Costanza Photography

Try adding san­gria to any of these essen­tial por­tions of your wed­ding day! It can be made for any sea­son, and is such a refresh­ing liba­tion at any time of day!

Ask one of our sales man­agers how we can cre­ate the per­fect bev­er­age menu for your event by con­tact­ing us at This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 7574811122!

Top Rea­sons to Have a Brunch Wed­ding at Lesner Inn

While some may not think of IHOP’s National Pan­cake Day as a hol­i­day, we find it to be one of the best faux hol­i­days around! Break­fast is not only the most impor­tant meal of the day, but it’s also a meal where you can get cre­ative with your food and bev­er­age options! From the clas­sic break­fast of eggs & bacon to the trendy chicken & waf­fles brunch, there are so many dif­fer­ent ways to cre­ate a brunch menu. In cel­e­bra­tion of National Pan­cake Day, here are some of our favorite rea­sons to have a brunch wed­ding at the Lesner Inn!

The Set­ting
The view of the Lynnhaven River on a sunny day, from either of our decks, is so pic­turesque you will have some of the most beau­ti­ful wed­ding pho­tos to reflect on.

best-day-time-wedding-virginia-beach-lesner-inn3.jpgJason Jarvis Photography



The Cost
Typ­i­cally, hold­ing an after­noon event with us at the Lesner Inn is more cost effi­cient than hav­ing an evening wed­ding. This all depends on your guest count and the menu items that you choose, but the over­all cost is expected to be less than an evening wed­ding based on our food and bev­er­age min­i­mums!

Hav­ing a wed­ding in the day­time can also save you money on fancy uplight­ing!

The Food
Our recently updated brunch wed­ding menu has some fun and trendy brunch ideas that will have your guests think­ing you’re a break­fast genius! The sta­tions pack­age is by far our favorite, fea­tur­ing clever sta­tions like the chicken & waf­fles and break­fast taco sta­tions, and of course clas­sic sta­tions for omelets, ham & bis­cuits, and so many more!

The Drinks
Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas are arguably the smartest drink con­coc­tions ever cre­ated. Not only do they cure your rehearsal din­ner hang­over, but they get the party started all over again!

The Dessert
Instead of stick­ing to the tra­di­tional tiered wed­ding cake, you can bring donuts in as an lesner-inn-weddings-brunch-donutsalter­na­tive! We sug­gest Duck Donuts because their maple bacon donuts are just sim­ply amaz­ing! Pick up a cou­ple dozen donuts of dif­fer­ent fun fla­vors, and arrange them on a cup­cake stand!

OR why not have a cake made out of stacked pan­cakes or waf­fles? GAME CHANGER!

The Party
Just because an after­noon event at the Lesner Inn must end by 3:00 PM doesn’t mean the party has to end. Bring your guests to one of our neigh­bor­ing restau­rants, Bubba’s or the Back Deck, for your after party! But then again who said you have to use our brunch menu in the morn­ing? Break­fast for din­ner is always a good idea!

To receive more infor­ma­tion about our venue, please con­tact us at This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at 7574811122

Trend­ing in Wed­dings: Metal­lic Accents

A trend that is on the rise, and has been for quite a while, is the use of metal­lic accents in both minor and major details through­out the wed­ding. From décor to per­sonal acces­sories, metallics have been present at sev­eral wed­dings at the Lesner Inn over the past few months.

Table LinensLesner-Inn-Wedding-Venue-Metallic-Virginia-Beach.jpg
One of our favorite wed­dings was in May of 2015, where Kim­berly & James were the first cou­ple to take part in the metal­lic trend here at the Lesner Inn! Their décor fea­tured gold sequined table linens from Classy Event Rentals in our Lesner Hall, paired with flo­rals in white and shades of pink. This bride was ahead of the curve with this trend, and set the bar high for Lesner Hall events! Thank you Amanda Hedgepeth Pho­tog­ra­phy for cap­tur­ing this photo!









More recently, Sharise & Richard used a sil­ver sequin linen at their sweet­heart table for their win­ter won­der­land wed­ding! Check out this adorable photo of the cou­ple from Bryan Myhr!

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Light­ing

lesner-inn-metallic-trend-virginia-beach-pendant-lights.jpgAt our 2016 Open House, our Water­side Deck was dressed in metallics with every­thing from the light­ing to the table décor. Stage Right Light­ing pro­vided these beau­ti­ful gold metal­lic pen­dant lights (pic­tured left) to accent the cock­tail tables in the space. How­ever, cou­ples are using rogue chan­de­liers and pen­dants as accents to any area! Hang them from the arch dur­ing your cer­e­mony, in a trendy lounge area, or even over your guest tables!

Check out the metal­lic table linens used at our Open House below, pro­vided by Isha Foss! Thank you to Matt Boozer Pho­tog­ra­phy!

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Chairs
Angelique & Drew used these beau­ti­ful gold metal­lic chairs for their cer­e­mony on our Sun­set Deck! These chairs are such a fun and sim­ple way to bring a lit­tle some­thing extra to your event space for much less than if you were to rent them through an out­side ven­dor! We will set them up for you in your cho­sen event space for $3 per chair! These metal­lic gold chairs even look great in our Water­side Deck! Thank you Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy!

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Cake
Lesner-Inn-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-metallic-sprinkle-cakeEven wed­ding cakes are being decked out in metallics! But don’t worry, they’re edi­ble! Check out this cake from Cakes by Crys­tal!


Sky­lar Watt Pho­tog­ra­phy




Brides­maids Dresses
Metallics don’t stop with décor though! We saw beau­ti­ful metal­lic brides­maids dresses at Brooke & Kris’ May 2015 wed­ding! What a fun way to tie this trend into your wed­ding! We wish we could have worn these trendy brides­maids dresses for our friends’ wed­dings!

lesner-inn-weddings-metallic-bridesmaids-dresses-virginia-beach-heather-hughes

Table Décor
Who knew that we were trend­ing when brought gold glit­ter table num­bers and rus­tic metal­lic lanterns into the mix? Avail­able to rent at your Lesner Inn event, we’re here to help you stay on top of the lat­est wed­ding trends!

gold table number

Keep check­ing in with us to see what’s on the rise, and what’s already passed in wed­ding trends!

2016 Wed­ding Flower Trends

Well, it’s national flo­ral design day and we’re turn­ing to the top florists to pre­dict what trends we will be see­ing at the Lesner Inn in 2016! Our venue has seen over a decade of flower trends come through the doors. From the clas­sic calla lilly to brooch bou­quets, we’ve seen it all. With that said, we are REALLY excited to see what 2016 has in store. Want to know what top florists are pre­dict­ing the trends of this year to be? We have you cov­ered.

Sea­sonal and Wild Blooms
With the recent push for farm to table, we aren’t sur­prised at all by this pre­dic­tion. In the past, brides often met with the florists with a spe­cific idea of what they wanted in their bou­quet. We would see sun­flow­ers in Decem­ber and tulips in the fall – no mat­ter the sea­son, we saw every type of flower. Green­houses now allow florists to grow almost any flower at any time. But is this really what peo­ple still want? We are see­ing a rise in sea­sonal and wild bou­quets and florists are say­ing the same thing. Mod­ern brides want locally raised flow­ers and untamed arrange­ments. Keep an eye out for a more nat­ural look this year. Lots of ferns, wood­land inspired bunches, and light greens will be more in demand. Not sure what is in sea­son dur­ing your wed­ding? Check out our chart below to see what flow­ers are avail­able.

Flowers by Season

Stray­ing Away From the Round
No more bul­bous bou­quets, brides want free flow­ing flow­ers. Florists pre­dict that there will be many more cas­cad­ing bou­quets com­ing down the aisle in 2016. Arch­ing branches, sprigs of herbs and flow­ing rib­bons are all the rage right now.

Angelique and Drew by Dustin Lewis 48
Dustin Lewis Photography

In addi­tion to break­ing away from round bou­quets, brides are also break­ing away from the tra­di­tional round guest table. Fam­ily style din­ing on long farm tables, ele­gant king tables and ban­quet style guest seat­ing are asked for all the time. Inter­ested? Lesner Inn has rental tables that fit per­fectly with this trend. Sprawl­ing table gar­lands top these off nicely. Check out Isha Foss’s cre­ation in the Lesner Hall for Angelique and Drew’s Octo­ber wed­ding below.

Angelique and Drew by Dustin Lewis 73
Dustin Lewis Photography

You Can Look and You Can Eat?
The door is open­ing for more than flow­ers. Plants, herbs, berries and fruits are start­ing to make an appear­ance in today’s arrange­ments. While we don’t think walk­ing down the aisle with a cor­nu­copia of fruit is trend­ing quite yet, small touches of berries, mint, petite fruits and rose­mary are def­i­nitely on the up and up.

A Walk in the Woods
Guest tables with small pot­ted trees, ferns and suc­cu­lents are a great way to bring in nat­ural ele­ments with­out break­ing the flo­ral bud­get. Autumn and Matt’s Sep­tem­ber Water­side Deck wed­ding showed us that in the best of ways with their Sher­wood For­rest theme. What a cool way to incor­po­rate apples, moss and bare trees! The bride and groom saved some cash by pur­chas­ing all of their sup­plies from Chesa­peake Whole­sale Flower Mar­ket and with the help of Cherry Blos­som Plan­ning Fac­tory, cre­ated these awe­some accents for their recep­tion

Dustin Lewis Photography


For brides who want a more sub­tle wooded look, look at what Ash­ley and Nick did for their fall wed­ding. Kelly Gish Flo­ral Designs hit this nail on the head with their cen­ter­piece cre­ations. We love the drift­wood branch used to stage the flow­ers and greens. What a neat way to tie in surf and turf!

Sean Holder Photography

Well, there they are! We are look­ing for­ward to see­ing all of these on our tables this upcom­ing year and get­ting to work with such awe­some flo­ral design­ers again.

Navy Life to Navy Wife: How to Incor­po­rate The Ser­vice into Your Cer­e­mony

With Hamp­ton Roads hav­ing such a strong mil­i­tary pres­ence, it should come to no sur­prise that we have seen numer­ous mil­i­tary wed­dings and tra­di­tions. We know that not every mil­i­tary fiancé is well acquainted with the tra­di­tions of their sig­nif­i­cant other’s com­mu­nity, so we thought we could lend a help­ing hand to those of you plan­ning (or attend­ing) a mil­i­tary wed­ding.

What are we all wear­ing?
Dress whites? Mess Dress? Class-​A? None of this makes any sense to those of us out­side of the armed forces so let’s break it down a lit­tle. For offi­cers, evening dress is com­pa­ra­ble to Military-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-Lesner-Inn-Sunset-Lynnhaven-Rivercivil­ian white tie and tails. This is extremely for­mal attire. Din­ner uni­form – or mess dress — is sim­i­lar to civil­ian black tie. Look­ing for some­thing semi-​formal? Go for ser­vice dress whites or ser­vice dress blues. In the Navy, dress whites are worn most often in the sum­mer and dress blues are worn in fall and win­ter. Lesner Inn has seen mostly dress whites and blues but every once in awhile we have some­one step up the for­mal­ity to mess dress. Either way, we think they always look hand­some and we love a man in uni­form — espe­cially against a sun­set over the Lynnhaven River.

To glove or not to glove?
Tra­di­tion shows that all ser­vice mem­bers wear gloves – grooms­men, users, saber and sword bear­ers. The only excep­tion to this is the groom and the best man as they will be han­dling rings.

Do they still need bou­ton­nieres with their uni­forms?
No. You should not be wear­ing a bou­ton­niere on any mil­i­tary uni­form. Bud­get­ing bonus if you have a few mil­i­tary grooms­men and don’t need to pur­chase these!

Where is every­one sit­ting?
In the event that par­ents can­not attend, the bride or groom’s com­mand­ing offi­cer and their spouse may sit in the front row. If par­ents are present, the com­mand­ing offi­cer may sit close to the fam­ily. All fol­low­ing mil­i­tary guests should be seated accord­ing to rank.

Do I get a dis­count?
Yes! Lesner Inn offers 50% off of the room rental fee for all mil­i­tary wed­dings and func­tions. Being the daugh­ters of men and women who have served our coun­try, we know what you and your fam­i­lies have gone through to get to this spe­cial occa­sion. It gives us so much joy to be able to show our appre­ci­a­tion to those of you who have served our coun­try!

Let’s talk about the arch of swords
Every mil­i­tary bride is excited about this and we LOVE see­ing pho­tos of it on our stair­way and Sun­set Deck. We turned to the experts at The Knot to explain this to you:

The arch is a sym­bolic act that ensures the new­ly­wed cou­ple safe pas­sage into their new life together, but it should only be per­formed for com­mis­sioned offi­cers. As soon as the cer­e­mony is over, the ush­ers line up on either side of the aisle to the chapel steps. At the head usher’s com­mand — “Draw sabers (cut­lasses)” — the ush­ers raise their blades, edge up, into the air, care­fully form­ing an arch­way. If there are civil­ian ush­ers in the wed­ding party, they also line up and stand respect­fully at atten­tion while the arch is formed. The new­ly­weds pass under the arch­way, and at the com­mand — “Return sabers (cut­lasses)” — the ush­ers return their weapons to their sides. They then turn and escort the brides­maids down the aisle. If weather per­mits, the arch may be formed out­side the entrance to the cer­e­mony site. Though spe­cific com­mands and pro­to­col may dif­fer based on the mil­i­tary branch of the com­mis­sioned offi­cer, the arch is a mil­i­tary wed­ding tra­di­tion highlight.



Cut­ting the cake
Want the biggest slice of cake pos­si­ble? Slice it with a sword or saber. It is a com­mon mil­i­tary tra­di­tion for the bride and groom to cut the first slice of cake this way. The groom will unsheathe the sword and with his hand over the bride’s they will cut the first cer­e­mo­nial piece of cake.

What is that song that is always sung?
Go to any mil­i­tary wed­ding and you are bound to see this hap­pen. All of the sud­den, the dance floor clears, a chair is brought out for the bride and ser­vice­men gather all around her. No, this is not the garter toss – it’s time for some karaoke. Since the pre­miere of Top Gun, men have got­ten down on one knee to ser­e­nade the wife of their fel­low ser­vice­man with The Right­eous Brother’s Clas­sic “You’ve Lost That Lov­ing Feel­ing”. We love watch­ing the guys belt this one out to a blush­ing bride – it never gets old!

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There are many more small tra­di­tions that vary from ser­vice to ser­vice but these are some of the more com­mon ones that we see on a rou­tine basis. When in doubt, you can always check with your local base pro­to­col offi­cer with any questions!

Step­ping Out of Tra­di­tion

While wed­ding tra­di­tions in the past seemed to be set in stone, it seems that more and more cou­ples are mak­ing it their goal to break these tra­di­tions. Things like not see­ing each other before the cer­e­mony, wear­ing a white dress, or rice show­ers upon exit are becom­ing less and less com­mon, and more fun and excit­ing alter­na­tives are on the rise. For your guests, attend­ing a wed­ding that breaks tra­di­tion gives you imme­di­ate cool points, and gives you brag­ging rights for years to come! Here are some of Lesner Inn’s favorite breaks in tradition!

Can’t See Each Other Before Ceremony

best first look - Jessica and Gary Ochs - Amanada Hedgepeth

This age old tra­di­tion dates back to when mar­riage was con­sid­ered to be more of a busi­ness deal than a sym­bol of eter­nal love. When arranged mar­riages were the norm, the bride and groom wouldn’t have even met before the cer­e­mony. The tra­di­tion of not see­ing each other was actu­ally born because the fam­i­lies didn’t want the bride or groom to back out of the “trans­ac­tion” if they weren’t attracted to each other. Side note, this is also the intended pur­pose of the veil. Makes you really sec­ond guess whether or not to par­tic­i­pate in this tra­di­tion, right? While some cou­ples have not put this tra­di­tion in the past where it belongs, many are see­ing it as an adorable photo oppor­tu­nity! It can be dif­fi­cult to pho­to­graph the moment you first see each other with a crowd of peo­ple all try­ing to see the same thing your pho­tog­ra­pher is. We love the idea of mak­ing this more of an event for the bride and groom so they have an inti­mate mem­ory of the first time they saw each other on their wed­ding day. — Photo Credit Amanda Hedgepeth Photography

Drinks Start After the Ceremony

Who decided that the fun can’t start before the cer­e­mony? When your guests begin to arrive and take their seats, why shouldn’t they be offered a light bev­er­age to get the evening started? Whether it be a cham­pagne punch, beer, wine, or all of the above nobody ever turned down a nice refresh­ing bev­er­age! If you don’t want to offer alco­hol before the cer­e­mony, you can always offer infused water, iced tea, lemon­ade, hot choco­late, or any other fun drink you can think of to start the night off right!

Flower Girls lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-flower-girls.jpg

Tra­di­tion­ally, the flower girl is a young girl who scat­ters flower petals to give the bride and groom luck in fer­til­ity. This tra­di­tion, like most of these wed­ding tra­di­tions, orig­i­nated from super­sti­tion back when the Earth was thought to be flat. We think it’s time to go out with the old and in with the new with this tra­di­tion, or in this case out with the new and in with the old? One of our favorite plays on tra­di­tion was when grand­par­ents were fea­tured as flower girls and ring bear­ers dur­ing the cer­e­mony! The crowd went wild, and we at the Lesner Inn still talk about this moment with our clients! — Photo Credit Dustin Lewis Photography


White Dress

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White was adopted as the tra­di­tional color for a bridal gown in the Vic­to­rian era, as a sym­bol of purity and inno­cence of girl­hood. As tra­di­tions change, it becomes less com­mon for brides to be looked down on for avoid­ing the cookie cut­ter white dress. Instead, brides are opt­ing for gowns in ivory, nude, and even sub­dued pink. We love this break in tra­di­tion, and encour­age brides to opt for a dress they love over stay­ing within the nar­row lines of tra­di­tion! — Photo Credit Caitlin Ger­res Photography




Grooms Attire lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-groom-attire

The bride isn’t the only one who is expected to fall within a tra­di­tional mold for attire. The groom is expected to wear a white but­ton down shirt, with a vest, and over­coat on the wed­ding day! How­ever, we see more and more grooms com­ing out with a more casual look, opt­ing for the but­ton down with just the over­coat or vest, or just the but­ton down with rolled up sleeves! We know this is great news for the grooms­men when it comes to a sum­mer wed­ding! — Photo Credit Ross Costanza Photography


Wed­ding Cake

When we think of a wed­ding cake, what comes to mind is a tra­di­tional three tiered cake rep­re­sent­ing the engage­ment, wed­ding, and eter­nity rings. How­ever, if you’re not a cake lover then spend­ing hun­dreds of dol­lars on a cake for the sake of tra­di­tion prob­a­bly isn’t the best way to bud­get your wed­ding. Many cou­ples are switch­ing to cup­cakes, but we’ve even seen alter­na­tives such as donuts, tiramisu, and pie! Try switch­ing it up for your sweet treat!

View More: http://lindsayfauverphotography.pass.us/steinLesner Innn weddings virginia beach dl cake

  • Photo Credit Lind­sey Fau­vre (left) and Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy (right)
  • Throw­ing Rice

    Okay, we will admit this tra­di­tion has been long gone! But we just love talk­ing about all of the fun exits that can be done instead of throw­ing rice or flower petals! One of our favorite, and most com­mon, exits are sparkler exits! They make for such amaz­ing pic­tures! And of course we can’t for­get how amaz­ing boat exits are off of our dock onto the Lynnhaven River!

    lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-sparkler-exit.jpg

    David Cham­pagne Photography

    Tra­di­tions are just like your every­day trend, chang­ing over time with one bold move that leads the pack!

    You CAN Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: Six 2016 Cake Trends

    2016 is show­ing us at the Lesner Inn that the tra­di­tional but­ter­cream frost­ing wed­ding cake is on its way out the door. While we still love the clas­sic com­bi­na­tions of fruit-​filled cakes with fluffy icing, there are some new kids on the cake table.

    Sprin­kle Cakes

    One of the more pop­u­lar trends com­ing in wed­ding cakes are sprin­kles. Yes, the same thing that you coated your ice cream sun­daes in as a kid. We first started see­ing a rise in cakes that were coated in sprin­kles like one of our fall brides did (pic­tured above). But now we are see­ing more and more fun­fetti cakes (sprin­kles on the inside) mak­ing their way onto plates. No one ever said fun­fetti was just for kids! Lesner Inn Weddings Virginia Beach sprinkle cake
  • Photo Credit Sky­lar Watt
  • Dirty Iced Cakes

    Not every­one is as crazy about icing as we are. And now there is a solu­tion for you non-​frosting folks. Dirty iced cakes! The name is weird but the con­cept is great. Instead of two coats of icing, bak­eries stop after the crumb coat. In tra­di­tional cakes, the crumb coat serves to even the sur­face to smooth on your frost­ing – sim­i­lar to what paint primer does for walls. Be on the look­out for these as they are becom­ing ever more pop­u­lar among mod­ern brides.

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    Sin­gle Layer Cakes

    While cup­cakes have been the hit of the decade, cou­ples haven’t been able to take part in the time-​honored tra­di­tion of cake cut­ting with these bite size sweets. Prob­lem solved with sin­gle layer cakes. These small cakes allow you to still have the cer­e­mo­nial slice with­out hav­ing the cost of a giant tiered cake.

    lesner inn weddings virginia beachlesner inn weddings virginia beach

  • Photo Credit David Champagne
  • Gold Leaf Accents

    Do you want a lit­tle bit of sparkle with­out going over the top? Gold leaf accents are top­ping many pop­u­lar wed­ding cakes these days. This adds a bit of flair to your cake and is a nice change from fon­dant and flowers.

    gold-leaf-wedding-cakes

    Photo credit one​fab​day​.com

    Reflect Your Personality

    We were in love with this cake from one of Water­side Deck wed­ding this past win­ter. The bride sur­prised her hus­band – who is a Mar­vel maniac — with a cake to show both sides of their per­son­al­ity. He was blown away by this cre­ation by Car­olina Cupcakes.

    lesner inn weddings virginia beach superman cakes

  • Photo Credit Emma Fair Photo
  • Break Out of the Cake Box

    No one ever said you HAD to have cake at your wed­ding. Colleen & Mark weren’t big cake peo­ple and nei­ther were Ash­ley & Nick. Colleen opted for pies for her Decem­ber wed­ding and Ash­ley brought spe­cialty donuts to a whole new level with her Duck Dough­nuts dessert table. She even got mini boxes of dough­nuts for all of the ven­dors – a sweet treat that we thor­oughly enjoyed!

    View More: http://lindsayfauverphotography.pass.us/steinLesner Innn weddings virginia beach dl cake

  • Photo Credit Lind­sey Fau­vre (left) and Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy (right)
  • There are so many dif­fer­ent fla­vors, styles, and types of desserts you can choose from, that it’s easy to get bogged down. Don’t let it stress you out though! In the end, pick what­ever appeals to your sweet tooth. As far as every­one else goes, lis­ten to Marie Antoinette…let them eat cake!

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