For a number of reasons, you may have a loved one who won’t be able to attend your wedding. Of course we wish they could be with us to share our happiness, but there are many ways to feel close to these loved ones on your special day. From small trinkets to sentimental dresses here are some of our most cherished ways to remember those who cannot attend.
- If you have a favorite picture of someone you deeply care about, have a small charm made and have it attached to your bouquet, shoes, or made into jewelry. You could even do cuff links for men!
- Did your family have a special song that would get everybody on the dance floor? Dedicate a song to those family members who can’t attend, and invite the rest of your family in to participate in the fun!
- Have a table dedicated to remembering those who you and your fiancé have lost. Display some pictures of your favorite memories with them, or even just a simple portrait of each individual.
- Every bride needs something borrowed before she walks down the aisle, why not make it something that has great sentiment? If you remember looking at your mother, aunt, grandmother, or even great grandmother’s wedding photos and thinking how beautiful they looked in their dress, see if they still have it. Some of the most beautiful wedding dresses we have seen have been restored to reflect a more modern time, while still being a piece to remember someone you care about. You could even do something as simple as choosing pieces of jewelry owned by a loved one.
Photographed by Ashley Lester
Skype Them In
- For those friends and family members who are unable to attend your wedding due to sickness, distance or deployments, have someone Skype them in for the ceremony or reception using a phone or tablet. There is a time and place for technology at a wedding but we definitely give this one the seal of approval.
We hope that all of your loved ones are able to attend your special day, but if not, smile and reflect on all of the wonderful memories you’ve shared!
When planning your wedding, you will likely have a set budget for the event. But, as many brides will tell you, there are some things worth spending some extra change on.
- Like all things related to your wedding, you should do your research on this. Check reviews, pictures, blog posts from photographers, etc. to get a feel for what the venue is all about, and how it can make your wedding day the most special day of your life. It’s best to rely on sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire when looking for the experiences of other brides. Keep in mind that your venue will be your most valued expense, especially if you’re looking for perks like a waterfront view and excellent food and beverage options.
- While some of you may be thinking that your dress should have precedence over your photographer, you’ve probably never seen bad wedding photos. A great photographer can make a $100 dress look like a $1,000 dress, and can make a rainy day look like a mystic scene from a Nicholas Sparks movie. Keep this in mind before you decide that a few mediocre shots of you and your new hubby will satisfy you on the happiest day of your life!
Tara Liebeck Photography
- Whether you hire a DJ or band for your reception entertainment, make sure you do your homework on the best entertainment for your style of event. Ask other brides in the area who they booked, look up local reviews, or even search on YouTube to see them in action. Getting the best entertainment you can afford could even get grandma out on the dance floor!
- Yes of course the dress made the list, but trust us when we say that the expenses listed above are 100x more important than having a designer dress. We can guarantee that you will remember having a great time because of the venue, entertainment, and amazing pictures to show from it, but when you look back ten years at your dress you’ll likely ask yourself what you were thinking!
- Your décor should not be what’s breaking the bank for your event. Here at the Lesner Inn we offer an assortment of complimentary linens for your tables, and after that it’s all about the centerpieces and place settings. Your overall cost for making the space look reception ready should be minimal, especially if the space is beautiful without all of the additional glitz and glamour.
Amanda Hedgepeth Photography
If you don’t know what to tackle first in your quest for the perfect day, we highly suggest hiring a wedding planner. Check out our blog Do You Need a Wedding Planner? to find out if you should add this expense to the list!
Wondering what to do the day after your wedding reception? Here at the Lesner Inn, we love brunch and have a great assortment of brunch items to kill that wedding party hangover. Plan a next-day brunch for your close family and friends to attend. This will also give all of your family and friends a chance to say their goodbyes and well wishes before traveling back home, or before you make your way to your honeymoon haven for the following weeks. Here are some of the necessities to have the perfect brunch after your wedding reception:
Mimosas & Bloody MarysEveryone knows that no brunch is complete without these crowd favorites! Not only are they the trick to killing any hangover, but they’re just plain delicious! Have these stocked at your bar to get your brunch started off right!
Steak and EggsHave you ever wondered why steak and eggs is such a popular brunch combination? Well aside from being the best pairing of foods since peanut butter and jelly, steak and eggs contain large amounts of B12 vitamins which is an essential vitamin that alcohol exhausts from your body. This is why no brunch is complete without this magnificent pairing of breakfast and dinner items.
FruitAfter a night of drinking, fruit is the perfect way to bring some of the other essential vitamins that crept out of your system, back in. Have lots of fruits with vitamin C available for your guests to liven up their day!
CarbsThere’s nothing better than a piece of toasted, buttered bread or a heaping plate of crispy, salted home fries to top off your brunch experience. Everyone needs carbs the day after drinking and there’s nothing to be ashamed of!
When planning your next-day brunch, don’t forget this key piece of advice. Nothing you eat counts the day after a night of partying!
If you’re interested in hosting a brunch the day after your wedding reception, birthday, or any other excuse to get your friends and family together, contact one of our sales managers to get more information!
While you’re not exactly expected to present favors at your wedding, doing so can be a nice way to say thank you to all of your guests for attending. Here at the Lesner Inn we’ve seen all types of favors ranging from sweet treats to kind mementos. What you choose to do is entirely up to you, but here are some of our favorite favors from 2015!
- If you’re familiar with Duck Donuts, then you understand why donuts are at the top of our list. Create a crafty display of all sorts of donuts for your guests to take home and enjoy after the festivities are over. Check out this display from a wedding we hosted last weekend!
- Who doesn’t love candy? Whether it’s chocolate, sour gummies, lollipops, or anything else you can think of your guests will love a bag of sweet treats to go! Check out this awesome candy bar from earlier this year!
- Okay we get it, we LOVE sweets! But how cute is this s’mores display?
- You can never really have too many cups! Why not give your guests a gift that will remind them of your big night every time they’re sippin on the drink of their choice!
- I know succulents sound like an odd thing to be trending, but check out Pinterest and see just how many weddings feature succulents in their bouquets, center pieces, and even as favors. Check out this adorable little favor from the other weekend!
When choosing your wedding favors, just remember they don’t have to be some extravagant gift that your guests will keep forever. Keep it simple and just show them how much their presence meant to you!
One of the inevitable questions we hear at the Lesner Inn while talking to clients is, do we need a wedding coordinator? And while we could go on for hours about why a wedding coordinator can save your life, we simply say that while you are not required to have one, we highly recommend it. A wedding coordinator handles all of the potential disasters that would leave you paralyzed, and all of the minor details that you would never even think to confront. They tell you all of the do’s and don’ts, and help to ensure that everything looks just as you had hoped it would on your big day. They know what works, and what doesn’t, and they are able to prevent disasters before they even happen. I know I’m basically describing a super hero, but that’s basically what they are when it comes to your wedding day.
Some of you may be having a small, low-key ceremony and reception, in which case you may feel that you don’t need anyone to help you direct or set up for the occasion. In this case, if you’re extremely organized and have a great group of bridesmaids to help you plan and create the perfect feel for your event, you may not need a wedding coordinator. But what many don’t consider is the seemingly simple act of walking down the aisle. You need someone to be available to tell you when it’s go time, which is where a coordinator would come in extremely handy.
For anyone having a large-scale event, we HIGHLY recommend that you have add the expense of a wedding coordinator to avoid the potential consequences of taking matters into your own hands. With having so much going on, you will need someone to handle the extra stresses and details.
While the staff at Lesner Inn is more than happy to help you with anything you may need, our main objective is to ensure your food is coming out on time, drinks are flowing, and that everything is set to make your taste buds explode! With all of this on our plate, it’s impossible to fill the role of a wedding coordinator as well.
If your budget doesn’t have room to squeeze a wedding coordinator in, ask a friend or family member to fill their place. Before asking this of someone though, make sure they have some sort of background handling a major event, or have at least attended a wedding or two. We work with family members frequently, and while they may not be Batman, Robin always ends up coming through.
With hurricane Joaquin making his dramatic exit from the east coast, we reflect on the problems that occurred, and the solutions to those problems. If you’re planning a wedding close to hurricane season, there are some things to consider and be prepared to deal with if a hurricane (or other poorly timed weather disasters) muck up your wedding plans.
Here’s a shot of our last minute “barnyard” wedding!
If you plan to have your wedding outdoors, keep a close eye on the weather. Heavy wind and rain can easily knock out the barnyard wedding that you had hoped for. If the weather doesn’t look favorable, call around to other venues in the area and find out their availability, it’s always good to have a backup. We were able to help a bride in need this past weekend when Joaquin flooded her barnyard wedding!
Also, if your venue has an outdoor deck for the ceremony and an indoor space for the reception, make sure your venue coordinators have a plan of action if the wind and rain get too bad to continue with an outdoor ceremony. Luckily, our Lesner Hall is large enough to set up a ceremony as well! Grand exitStrong winds can easily mess up the sparkler exit you had planned, so be prepared to have an alternative that won’t be smothered by the wind. Glow sticks have a similar affect that sparklers would in an image. In any event, you should always be prepared to handle anything life throws at you. Here at the Lesner Inn, we’ve seen it all, and luckily we have a great staff who is always on their toes!
Having a photo booth is a great way to get some fun and goofy pictures at your reception in addition to the essential kissing in the sunset pictures that your photographer will inevitably be taking. However, renting a photo booth can be a pricey addition to the overall cost of your event. But, have no fear, creating your own photo booth is a low stress project that you can have fun with while sipping on your favorite Chardonnay. Here are some of our favorite ideas to create your own photo booth: Find goofy props
Keeping from the wind and rain with this indoor ceremony!
Craft a fun frame
- Over sized sunglasses, feather boas, and fake mustaches are just a few of the goofy props your guests can pose with at your DIY photo booth. Hit the dollar store, thrift store, or the back of your closet and see what you can find. Your guests will thank you for the hilarious photos later!
Create a simple back drop
- If you’re crafty, or can safely operate an exacto knife, check out this DIY project with foam boards. Over sized frames are becoming increasingly popular to pose with and can be a fun addition to your photo booth.
- No photo booth is complete without a back drop, and creating one is certainly not an impossible task. Check out these 15 DIY photo booth ideas.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out this DIY photo booth back drop at the Lesner Inn!