Very Super­sti­tious

The first look has become a pop­u­lar addi­tion to the mod­ern day wed­ding rit­ual. Cou­ples are lov­ing the idea of hav­ing a pri­vate meet­ing with their soon to be new­ly­wed before the cer­e­mony so that they have a chance to be alone before being sur­rounded by ador­ing fam­ily and friends! At Lesner Inn, we love see­ing these sweet first looks shared between cou­ples, and here are some rea­sons why you should for­get about the age old super­sti­tions about see­ing your soon to be spouse before hit­ting the aisle:

Lesner Inn Wedding Dustin Lewis Kelsey and Blaine 4.jpg Get your tears out with­out an audi­ence
The moment of see­ing your sig­nif­i­cant other on your wed­ding day can be a very emo­tional time. By doing a first look before your cer­e­mony, it can help cut back on those pesky tears that come with see­ing each other as you walk down the aisle. If you’re an ugly crier like I am, this is def­i­nitely some­thing to con­sider! Nobody likes to remem­ber a red face and rac­coon eyes when look­ing back at their cer­e­mony pho­tos!
Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy

melody-gilkin-photography-lesner-inn-waterfront-weddings-first-look Enjoy a pri­vate moment
Your wed­ding day can be a very hec­tic day for you and your fiancé. Tak­ing the time to spend a moment together before all the chaos starts can take away some of the nerves of walk­ing down the aisle. This entire day, that took months of plan­ning and long nights decid­ing between the hazel­nut or pale dog­wood for your color scheme, is all about you as a cou­ple. That being said, it is nec­es­sary to be a lit­tle self­ish and take some time to just be together and really embrace that you’re about the spend the rest of your life with the love of your life!
Melody Gilkin Pho­tog­ra­phy

Petruzzo Photography - Waterfront Wedding- Hampton Roads - Same Sex Marriage - Lesner Inn.jpg Get planned pho­tos over with
Another major plus of hav­ing a first look is that you can take a lot of your planned pho­tos with the whole bridal party before the cer­e­mony instead of cram­ming them all in dur­ing cock­tail hour. Usu­ally the cou­ple are MIA dur­ing cock­tail hour, but being able to do most of your por­trait pic­tures ear­lier allows you to min­gle with all your guests before the recep­tion ensur­ing you have time to have a moment with every guest. Wed­ding days are packed full of numer­ous things to do so get­ting pic­tures out of the way before all of the events start really helps to keep your time­line on track.
Petruzzo Pho­tog­ra­phy

Lesner Inn fully sup­ports break­ing tra­di­tion! Every wed­ding and recep­tion we see at our water­front venue brings some­thing new and excit­ing along with it that turns into a story we get to tell our future cou­ples! When it comes to the tra­di­tion of not see­ing your soon to be spouse before the wed­ding, we say BREAK IT!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Why Hav­ing a Video­g­ra­pher at your Wed­ding is a Must!

One of the ven­dors peo­ple put the most time and thought into select­ing while plan­ning their wed­ding is the pho­tog­ra­pher. It is SO impor­tant to make sure you have a pho­tog­ra­pher that you love for your wed­ding, but why stop there? We have seen more and more cou­ples bring in a video­g­ra­pher for their big day as well! Some peo­ple may won­der if a pho­tog­ra­pher and video­g­ra­pher is nec­es­sary, but we’re here to tell you why hav­ing both is so impor­tant to reliv­ing your wed­ding at Lesner Inn!

lesner-inn-wedding-venue Get­ting to see it in action
Hav­ing still shots of all the dif­fer­ent events hap­pen­ing dur­ing your big day is great, but hav­ing some­one record every moment will bring every­thing to life. You get to actu­ally see the guest’s tears while you say your vows and see all of the laughs dur­ing the recep­tion. Hav­ing a video of all of the high­lights from your big day will allow you to relive your wed­ding day over and over again!

Kel­ley Stin­son Photography

You can’t be every­where at once
You may have some seri­ous FOMO on your wed­ding day see­ing how busy you will be with those pesky recep­tion tra­di­tions, tak­ing pho­tos on our Sun­set Deck, and going around thank­ing your guests. This is why hav­ing a video­g­ra­pher there to cap­ture all of the moments you miss is a neces­sity! There will be so many fun dances, con­ver­sa­tions, and smiles being shared between guests and hav­ing a video of it all will make you feel like you were every­where at once dur­ing your spe­cial day!

stephanieandscottbydaissytorresphotography-161 For peo­ple who couldn’t make it to your wed­ding
Unfor­tu­nately there will be guests that you invited who, for what­ever rea­son, couldn’t make it to your wedding.Having a video­g­ra­pher to cap­ture all of the pre­cious moments your friends and fam­ily would have wanted to see is a great way to make these guests feel included! You could even make them copies of the video as a lit­tle gift to show them you missed their pres­ence!

Daisy Tor­res Photography

View More: One video instead of hun­dreds of pic­tures
A huge plus of hav­ing a video­g­ra­pher is that you have one video to share with all of your friends and fam­ily instead of hav­ing to upload hun­dreds of pho­tos! It is also super easy for any of your fol­low­ers to share, or for you to send to oth­ers through email!

Luke and Ash­ley Pho­tog­ra­phy

Don’t get me wrong pho­tographs are a neces­sity to have from your wed­ding, but hir­ing a video­g­ra­pher allows you and your loved ones to truly relive your spe­cial day on the Lynnhaven River as many times as you want! So when you start to plan your big day, we sug­gest look­ing into hav­ing a video­g­ra­pher there to cap­ture every moment!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Wed­ding Recep­tion Amuse­ment

When think­ing of a wed­ding recep­tion, what usu­ally comes to mind is music and lots of danc­ing! Guests rarely expect the unex­pected, so why not be the first to show them some­thing truly unique at your wed­ding recep­tion? Over time we have seen some pretty cre­ative enter­tain­ment ideas that keeps not only your guests on your toes, but your ven­dors as well! Here are just a few of our favorites from past events.

Waterfront_Virginia_Beach_Wedding.jpg Cock­tail Hour Amuse­ment
There’s no bet­ter time to set the mood of the recep­tion than dur­ing cock­tail hour! Cock­tail hour can leave your guests stand­ing around wait­ing for the excite­ment to start. So, while you’re off with your new spouse tak­ing sun­set pic­tures on the water, enter­tain your guests with a pro­fes­sional per­former. You could bring in pro­fes­sional per­form­ers like belly, fla­menco, or fire dancers, which would set the roof on fire for your event! Your fire dancers would have to keep their tal­ents out­side though, we don’t lit­er­ally want to set the roof on fire!If you’re set­ting more of a roman­tic mood for your event, you could even have a string quar­tet, harpist, or vio­lin­ist per­form and amaze your guests! Start­ing the night off with some­thing unex­pected will def­i­nitely keep your guests guess­ing what’s next! Left: Stel­lar Expo­sures Pho­tog­ra­phy

lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-karaoke Karaoke
Another great activ­ity that will surely make your guests remem­ber your recep­tion would be hav­ing a karaoke machine! Not only is this a great activ­ity to keep your guests laugh­ing and enter­tained, but it’s also a great way to make sure every­one is inter­act­ing with one another. Some­times your guests can feel a bit weird cut­ting a rug, but who doesn’t love karaoke! Grab a friend and belt your favorite song from the lat­est and great­est hits, or the most clas­sic oldies! You wild new­ly­weds could even plan to do a funny karaoke duet, which would def­i­nitely be unfor­get­table for your guests! Right: Heather Hughes Pho­tog­ra­phy

virginia_beach_wedding Games
Offer­ing games dur­ing your recep­tion is a great way to keep some of your older guests, or any­one who doesn’t dance, enter­tained. All of the clas­sic games that we played grow­ing up like con­nect four, jenga, and chess have been recre­ated into over sized ver­sions and are such a fun and unique way to keep your guests enter­tained! Then of course there is the ever pop­u­lar corn hole, which can never be overdone!The options of games to have at your wed­ding are end­less, so have fun and pick some­thing that you know your guests would love! Left: Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy

Car­i­ca­ture Artists
Hir­ing a car­i­ca­ture artist is another activ­ity that would be a hit dur­ing your recep­tion! It’s sim­i­lar to a photo booth, but this pic­ture won’t get lost under the mounds of photo strips your guests have stashed from pre­vi­ous wed­dings!

Whether you want your guests to be enter­tained by pro­fes­sion­als, or for your guests to pre­tend to BE the pro­fes­sion­als, the pos­si­bil­i­ties of enter­tain­ment to sur­prise your guests are never-​ending! We would love to hear some of your favorite recep­tion enter­tain­ment ideas that you have seen, or have even had at your own wed­ding!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Let’s Not Make Things Awk­ward

The non-​traditional bride is dom­i­nat­ing the wed­ding scene at Lesner Inn, which brings in new vari­a­tions of the tra­di­tions we are accus­tomed to. Some­thing that we see are many of our non-​traditional brides steer­ing away from is the garter removal. Most of today’s brides are find­ing it a lit­tle awk­ward to do this in front of every­one at their recep­tion, which we can’t argue with. We hate to elim­i­nate this tra­di­tion just because of a lit­tle dis­com­fort, so if you want to still incor­po­rate the garter removal into your big day here are a few ways to help make this tra­di­tion a lit­tle less awk­ward for you and your groom!

Icing the groom
Putting an unex­pected twist on the garter tra­di­tion def­i­nitely helps take away the awk­ward­ness of it. One great idea we’ve seen is to “Ice” the groom dur­ing this time. This helps put more of the focus on the “icing” part rather than the actual garter removal! Photo by Melody Gilkin Pho­tog­ra­phy

Do it later in the eveninglesner-inn-wedding-garter-virginia-beach
One of the main rea­sons brides and grooms feel uncom­fort­able dur­ing the garter tra­di­tion is hav­ing all their fam­ily mem­bers watch­ing. So another way to avoid some of the awk­ward vibes that come with this tra­di­tion would be to do it later in the night when most of your older fam­ily mem­bers have prob­a­bly headed home already.

Cre­ate a diver­sion
To take away some of the lime light, from the groom remov­ing the garter, would be to have the bridal party do a chore­o­graphed dance dur­ing this time. Plan­ning a funny dance is not only fun for the brides­maids and grooms­men but it’s also a fun dis­trac­tion from the garter removal for your guests!

garter_lesner_inn_weddings Revers­ing the rolls
Have you ever thought about hav­ing the bride and groom to switch roles? Have the groom toss the bou­quet to all the sin­gle men and then have the bride remove the garter from the groom’s leg. This would take it from awk­ward to sur­pris­ing and funny for all your guests! Photo by Bran­don Dugan Pho­tog­ra­phy

Whether you’re a non-​traditional or tra­di­tional bride, any of these alter­na­tives to the stan­dard garter removal can bring some­thing new and unique to your wed­ding recep­tion! But don’t stop think­ing up ideas; we would love to hear your favorite garter removal sto­ries!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Fall Wed­ding Trends

When some­one says fall what is the first thing you think of? Cooler weather, Hal­loween, or pump­kin spice lattes? Here at The Lesner Inn when we think fall we think about some of our favorite sea­sonal wed­ding trends! Autumn is filled with falling leaves, pump­kin fla­vored every­thing, cozy­ing up by the fire and the list goes on and on. Hav­ing your wed­ding in the fall can be so beau­ti­ful and have such a cozy feel if you incor­po­rate some sim­ple fall inspired details. Here are just a few of our favorite wed­dings trends for the fall sea­son! Photo by Lind­say Fau­ver Pho­tog­ra­phy View More:

Fall Wed­ding Col­ors
An easy way to set a fall mood for your wed­ding would be with col­ors! One color that is a great new trend to incor­po­rate into your table cen­ter­pieces is Bronze, which adds such a chic warm aspect to your décor. Other roman­tic col­ors we love for this time of the year are deep plums and shades of cran­berry.

Pump­kin Guests Place Cards
This is such a cute idea that also adds dec­o­ra­tions to your tables. Hav­ing each guest’s name attached to a pump­kin makes place cards so less bor­ing. It’s eas­i­est if you use small fake pump­kins then they will last for­ever for your guests to keep as a mem­ory from your spe­cial day. You can also paint the pump­kins to match your décor or leave them their nat­ural color!

Spe­cialty Cock­tails
Another way to make your wed­ding have a cozy feel would be with a spe­cialty hot cock­tail. Offer­ing a spiked apple cider or a hot toddy would be a per­fect way to help your guests warm up on a cool fall day. Hot choco­late is also a favorite and would be good to have for any chil­dren attend­ing your wed­ding or for guest’s who do not drink. Photo by Erin Bonilla Pho­tog­ra­phy lesner-inn-weddings-pies

Pies for Dessert
If you don’t want to go with the tra­di­tional wed­ding cake, hav­ing a vari­ety of pies is a great way to make your wed­ding stand out and make dessert time feel like fall. Pump­kin, Apple, and Cherry are some of the clas­sic fall pies that guests would love!

We love when tem­per­a­tures start cool­ing down and we get to see the dif­fer­ent ways our couple’s per­son­al­ize their spe­cial day for the sea­son. Any of the options listed above are great and sim­ple ways to make your wed­ding per­fect dur­ing the fall sea­son, but the pos­si­bil­i­ties of ways to cus­tomize your fall wed­ding are end­less! What are some of your favorite fall wed­ding trends?!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Not Your Aver­age Bar

While you can’t go wrong with the clas­sic cock­tail bar, adding an addi­tional bar to the evening is becom­ing more and more pop­u­lar – a food bar. There are so many dif­fer­ent foods that can be brought in and set up in a beau­ti­ful dis­play for the event. Fea­ture one of your favorite foods or desserts on your spe­cial day with top­pings to match! Whether you decide to go with a food item or a dessert, hav­ing a spe­cialty food bar at your wed­ding will be some­thing that makes it stand out to all of your guests. Here are a few of our favorites!

Milk and Cook­ies
milk-cookies-lesner-innA milk and cook­ies bar is a fun and sim­ple idea for hav­ing an alter­na­tive dessert rather than your stan­dard wed­ding cake. It is also super easy to do your­self if you enjoy bak­ing (or have a fam­ily mem­ber who does)! Lesner Inn pro­vides an assort­ment of cook­ies for our milk and cookie bar with choco­late chip, m&m, white choco­late macadamia nut, and oat­meal raisin to name a few. Cre­ate a beau­ti­ful arrange­ment with these cook­ies, and include an old fash­ioned milk jug to com­plete the dis­play! Photo by Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy

Candy Apple Bar
This dessert bar is such a fes­tive idea for Fall wed­dings. It’s super easy to set up, all you need is one Crock pot with caramel and one with choco­late, and numer­ous top­pings for guests to pick from. Some of the most pop­u­lar top­pings for candy apples are things like chopped peanuts, mini M&Ms, and crushed Oreos, just to name a few! We also rec­om­mend hav­ing some sliced apples for the guests who don’t want a whole apple.

Pop­corn Bar
We love hav­ing pop­corn bars as a late night snack at Lesner Inn wed­dings! Choose between reg­u­lar but­tered pop­corn or ket­tle corn and let them do the rest! We offer but­ter­scotch chips, choco­late chips, and M&Ms as top­pings, but we encour­age you to bring in what­ever your favorite pop­corn top­ping is!

Mar­tini Mashed Potato BarView More:
Hav­ing a mashed potato bar is a fun idea that lets your guests per­son­al­ize their din­ner instead of every­one just get­ting the same plated meal. Some of the basic top­pings would be crum­bled bacon, sour cream, chives, and shred­ded cheese. And who doesn’t like some­thing served in a mar­tini glasses?! Photo by Luke & Ash­ley Pho­tog­ra­phy

Sun­dae bar
Another great dessert bar, or even a late night snack, would be to have an ice cream sun­dae bar. We offer vanilla and choco­late ice cream with a vari­ety of top­pings! Choose your favorite fla­vor, and add things like choco­late syrup, caramel sauce, rain­bow sprin­kles, var­i­ous cookie and candy bits, and chopped nuts for your per­fect ice cream sun­dae!

If you want to make your wed­ding day per­son­al­ized to taste, hav­ing a food bar is def­i­nitely the way to do it!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Hav­ing your Furry Friend as Part of your Big Day

View More: Hav­ing all of your friends there to sup­port you on your wed­ding day is some­thing that is so impor­tant to cou­ples, so why leave out your best friend – your dog? We have seen numer­ous adorable ways to incor­po­rate your furry pup into your spe­cial day that we love! Hav­ing your dog as a part of your wed­ding will not only be a mem­ory for you and your guests, but your dog will be so happy to be with you and a part of the action!
Right: Tara Liebeck Pho­tog­ra­phy

Save The Date
Hav­ing your dog as an extra model in your save the date announce­ments is a sweet way to include them for every­one to see. This is a great idea for the cou­ples that do not nec­es­sar­ily want their pet at the venue dur­ing the wed­ding or for the furry friends that might not have the best man­ners in pub­lic.

Flower Girl
This is the most com­mon way we see cou­ples includ­ing their pet but also one of the cutest! Hav­ing your dog walk down the aisle instead of a typ­i­cal flower girl is some­thing that makes your wed­ding stand out. But if you already have a flower girl in mind your dog could always be a flower girl escort and have the flower girl walk them down the aisle. Make sure to have your dog dressed for the part with extra flow­ers from the bou­quets! Bran­don Dugan Pho­tog­ra­phy

lesner_inn_wedding_dogs Ring Bearer
If you have a male dog and don’t want to make them the flower dog this is another great way to have your dog play an impor­tant role in your wed­ding. For this you can also have the flower girl walk them down the aisle, just make sure the rings are tied tight to the dog’s col­lar!

From Our Pup to Yours
Hav­ing dog bis­cuits as extra wed­ding favors for guests that also have a furry friend at home is a cute detail for your fel­low dog lovers. It is also super easy to either make the dog treats or just buy treats and wrap them up for guests to take home with them.

How­ever you decide to make your furry friend part of your big day make sure to have a trusted friend in charge of your pup and to take home at a cer­tain time in the night to make sure you and your new spouse can focus on all the fun!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Unique Guest Book Ideas

On a day that is all about the bride and groom, your wed­ding guests are the ones who truly make the day mem­o­rable. Hav­ing all of your fam­ily and friends cel­e­brat­ing with you on your spe­cial day is some­thing that you will never for­get. The days of just mak­ing every guest sign his or her name in a book are long gone, so hav­ing a fun and unique way to remem­ber every per­son that was at your big day is so impor­tant! Here, at Lesner Inn, we have seen so many cute and cre­ative ways to have your guests “sign in” so no one is for­got­ten.

1. Hav­ing guests sign bot­tles of wine
For all of our wine lovers out there, this is per­fect on so many lev­els! You and your fiancé can pick out a few bot­tles of wine to have each guest sign and write a note on with sharpies. Pick­ing out the wine together will be a fun dis­trac­tion from the stresses of wed­ding plan­ning! You can either keep it sim­ple and choose your favorite go-​to bot­tles of wine, or pick out bot­tles that have a name or label that may be mean­ing­ful to you as a cou­ple! You can then open each bot­tle on your one, three, and five year anniver­saries and rem­i­nisce on mem­o­ries with your guests on your big day while you sip on a nice glass of wine.


Echard Wheeler Photography

2. Jenga Pieces
This cre­ative idea is great for our new­ly­weds with a love for game night! Jenga is a great game to put out for enter­tain­ment while friends and fam­ily are over. Get­ting all your guests to sign or write a note on a piece will make it spe­cial every time you play!

3. Shake it like a Polaroid pic­ture
Who doesn’t like a fun selfie?! With this guest book idea you really get to see each guest’s per­son­al­ity! All you have to do it set up an area with a Polaroid cam­era and let the self­ies begin!

Eliz­a­beth Hen­son Photography

4. Advice Coast­ers
Another fun way to remem­ber all your guests on your big day would be to have spe­cialty coast­ers made with a spot for your guest to give you some new­ly­wed advice and then sign their name. This is such a fun idea because when­ever you are enjoy­ing a cold bev­er­age you can read over all of the fun advice that all your friends and fam­ily wrote!

These four “guest book” ideas are some of our favorites that we have seen from past wed­dings. On your big day hav­ing small touches such as a unique guest book can make it so mem­o­rable for your guests!

Writ­ten by: Lind­sey Bas­night
Edited by: Cayleen Javorsky

Fall Wed­dings on the Water

Sum­mer may be cool­ing down, but wed­ding sea­son is heat­ing up. Fall wed­dings are becom­ing more and more pop­u­lar with brides and grooms. Although most peo­ple think of barn wed­dings for the fall, hav­ing a fall wed­ding on the water offers so many great ben­e­fits for the bride, the groom, and their guests. Con­sid­er­ing the gor­geous views and added ben­e­fits of our venue, hav­ing a fall wed­ding at the Lesner Inn just makes sense!

Both of our spaces are per­fect for a wed­ding in any sea­son, but fall can be espe­cially beau­ti­ful! Our Lesner Hall is designed with neu­tral col­ors, allow­ing cou­ples to use linens, uplight­ing, cen­ter­pieces and more, to com­pletely trans­form the space into the per­fect fall inspired recep­tion. With the Lesner Hall comes our beau­ti­ful out­door Sun­set Deck, which allows your guests to enjoy the cool fall breeze on the water. Our Water­side Deck is a more casual space with roman­tic light­ing from paper lanterns and twin­kle lights, and rus­tic floor­boards. With just a few fall-​themed dec­o­ra­tions, you can really enhance the over­all atmos­phere of the room for your event. Open­ing the deck’s win­dows will also bring in the crisp fall air as your guests dance the night away!


Ross Costanza Photography

Think­ing of fall makes us all excited for the savory, com­fort food that comes with it. Work­ing with our chef, you can offer your guests your per­fect fall feast! An addi­tional fun idea would be to add a candy bar at the end of the night, trans­port­ing your guests back to one of the best fall hol­i­days, Hal­loween. Another fall food addi­tion would be to offer pie instead of wed­ding cake! Noth­ing says “fall” more than a home­made apple or pump­kin pie, except maybe candy apples!

FullSizeRender (1)

Kin­stler Photography

Fall weather can be great with warm days and cool nights, but it also comes with some pretty unpre­dictable weather. Although hur­ri­cane sea­son can cause some prob­lems in the Hamp­ton Roads area, the Lesner Inn offers the per­fect mix between an indoor and out­door venue for you and your guests. We won’t let the rain ruin your per­fect day!

Another fun fall addi­tion can be at your wedding’s bar! Con­sider adding some fall sig­na­ture drinks to the menu for your guests. Although our bar­tenders can make any clas­sic drink from our house and pre­mium liquors, work with your event man­agers to offer some great fall bev­er­ages. Con­sider offer­ing Spiced Rum with Apple Cider or even an Apple Cider Mimosa! Another great addi­tion for guests of all ages would be a Hot Choco­late bar. These small addi­tions can really empha­size your over­all fall theme!

If you’re hav­ing trou­ble dec­o­rat­ing, we have some great rental items to cre­ate the per­fect fall look. First, choose from our table linens to bring in your fall color scheme. Between our house and spe­cialty linens, you can choose from over 70 col­ors! With gold being a very pop­u­lar fall color, con­sider rent­ing our gold Chivari Chairs for an added pop of shim­mer on your wed­ding day. For cen­ter­pieces, our rus­tic lanterns will offer the per­fect fall flair. Add an autumn twist to our float­ing can­dles by adding small branches to the vase! We offer so many great items to rent; we’d love to help you select the per­fect ones for your wed­ding night.


Kin­stler Photography

If you’re look­ing for the per­fect fall wed­ding venue, you’ve found it at the Lesner Inn! Between our venue spaces, food and bev­er­age options, and cen­ter­pieces to dec­o­rate with, we can help make all of your fall wed­ding Pin­ter­est board dreams come true!

Choos­ing the Right Seat­ing Plan for Your Wed­ding Recep­tion

It’s safe to say that no one is ever truly pre­pared for the stresses that come from plan­ning a wed­ding. Even some of the seem­ingly sim­ple deci­sions will require extra care when you and your fiancé are plan­ning. One thing that you should des­ig­nate a lot of time to is your guests’ seat­ing arrange­ment. Before cre­at­ing your floor plan, fig­ure out which type of seat­ing arrange­ment will work best for you, your guests, and your recep­tion.

Assign­ing Guests to a Spe­cific Seat

This is the most for­mal seat­ing chart that will also take the most time on your part. This arrange­ment works best if you’re invit­ing a lot of peo­ple from very dif­fer­ent groups! You know your guests best, and assign­ing your guests to spe­cific seats allows you to sit peo­ple with com­mon inter­ests next to each other. It will also guar­an­tee that cou­ples and fam­i­lies won’t be split up. This type of plan also gives you the oppor­tu­nity to keep peo­ple sep­a­rated who may not get along. To let your guests know where to sit, cre­ate a seat­ing chart, so guests can find the right table where their place card sits!


Dustin Lewis Photography

Assign­ing Guests to a Table

This is the most com­mon seat­ing arrange­ment we’ve seen at Lesner Inn. Assign­ing your guests to spe­cific tables will guar­an­tee that par­ties and cou­ples won’t be split up, reduc­ing guest anx­i­ety! This also allows you to place peo­ple who are like-​minded together. You are able to cre­ate group tables for your fam­ily mem­bers, your friend group from col­lege, your cowork­ers, and every­one who attends your wed­ding. Set up place cards with table num­bers writ­ten on them or a seat­ing chart to let guests know what table they’re assigned! This option is also great for allow­ing guests to sit next to whomever they want at their table.

No Seat­ing Chart

Let­ting your guests have free reign on pick­ing their seats can be great, but there are some things to keep in mind when you decide to nix the seat­ing chart! You should reserve a table or two for you and your fiancé’s fam­i­lies. Par­ents and grand­par­ents want to be seated close to you, so they can see every­thing that’s going on through­out the night! Also, add extra seats to your seat­ing plan. This will help to make sure par­ties and cou­ples don’t get split up for din­ner, when there’s only one seat here and there through­out the room. Keep in mind; if you want to have a plated meal, you have to have a seat­ing chart des­ig­nat­ing which guests are at which table so we can deliver the cor­rect meal to them!

Caitlin Ger­res Photography

Ulti­mately, you want your guests to feel com­fort­able with who they’re sit­ting with at din­ner. Your tables should encour­age con­ver­sa­tion through­out the night between your guests. Know­ing your guests and the rela­tion­ships they have with one another will help you decide which type of seat­ing arrange­ment is per­fect for your wed­ding recep­tion!

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