You Make Me Feel Like Danc­ing

The first dance is a long stand­ing tra­di­tion that has evolved over the years. Today, brides and grooms can select from mil­lions of songs to play dur­ing their first dance to match their per­sonal styles! With so many songs out there, how do you find one that’s just right for you and your fiancé?

Think back through­out your rela­tion­ship. Do you already have a song that rep­re­sents a mem­ory between the two of you? Many cou­ples choose songs that they heard on their first date or even a song that they first danced to when they started dat­ing. Find­ing per­sonal con­nec­tions like these will make your first dance even more spe­cial!

Another way to find the per­fect song is to find a genre or artist you both like. Hop onto your iTunes or Spo­tify account, and start explor­ing! Once you tar­get an artist, start lis­ten­ing to their music and select a song that you both enjoy. If you want to per­form a more chore­o­graphed ball­room dance, instead of a typ­i­cal slow dance, ask a dance instruc­tor what they think would work best.

View More: & Ashley Photography

Angie McPherson Photography Ciera Darian Reception-19Angie McP­hear­son Photograph

If you don’t feel like search­ing for hours for that one per­fect song, Spo­tify recently released the most pop­u­lar first dance songs in the world. There’s a rea­son why these ten songs are used so much, and it’s because the lyrics and music com­bine together beau­ti­fully to match the love you have for each other on your spe­cial day! Check out the list below:
  1. Think­ing Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
  2. At Last” by Etta James
  3. You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
  4. All of Me” by John Legend
  5. A Thou­sand Years” by Christina Perri
  6. Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
  7. I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
  8. Every­thing” by Michael Buble
  9. Bet­ter together” by Jack Johnson
  10. Amazed” by Lonestar

What­ever song you and your fiancé end up choos­ing, we know that song will hold a spe­cial place in your heart forever.

Tips for the Per­fect Cen­ter­pieces

Cen­ter­pieces can really make or break the over­all look of your wed­ding. They are the miss­ing piece that pulls your color scheme, table linens, and over­all theme together for your recep­tion! Although there’s no limit to what your cen­ter­pieces can be, we do have some sug­ges­tions to help cre­ate a mem­o­rable night and amaz­ing atmos­phere for you and your guests.

Lynnhaven Pillar with Rafia Stay within your Bud­get. Set a bud­get for how much you want your cen­ter­pieces to cost per table. Whether you’re rent­ing through the Lesner Inn or a third party com­pany, this will help you save money on your over­all wed­ding costs. Mak­ing a bud­get for your cen­ter­pieces will also help you fig­ure out if it’s worth it to try some DIY ideas for your wed­ding!

Keep It Sim­ple. Cen­ter­pieces shouldn’t dis­tract your guests from why they are at your wed­ding. They are there to add to the atmos­phere and theme you’ve cre­ated! Limit your col­ors and the amount of dec­o­ra­tions on the table to keep your cen­ter­pieces from being too busy. Your cen­ter­pieces should reflect your per­son­al­ity, but if there is too much going on, your guests may get detracted.

lantern-lesner-inn-rustic-metallic Don’t Obstruct Your Guests’ View. Between speeches, cut­ting the cake, first dances and other tra­di­tions, there are so many spe­cial moments that your guests don’t want to miss. You also don’t want to dis­cour­age con­ver­sa­tion because your guests can’t see across the table. Con­sider hav­ing small cen­ter­pieces that fall below eye level or tall skinny designs above eye level. When in doubt, test out your cen­ter­pieces at your own din­ing room table to see if they block your view!

Add Light. If your wed­ding recep­tion is at night, adding tea lights and can­dles will cre­ate a new dynamic to your cen­ter­pieces. It will also add to the atmos­phere of the room as the sun goes down out­side. If your cen­ter­pieces are water-​based, float­ing can­dles can be a great addi­tion too!

Lesner Inn Hurrican Globe Melody Gillikin Pho­tog­ra­phy Know Your Space. Although there are a cou­ple options for table sizes, our stan­dard table is an eight foot round table. Once you have your table set, there’s lim­ited space for your cen­ter­pieces before your guests feel too crowded.Your guests will be at their table for a good por­tion of the night, so you want them to feel com­fort­able the entire time! With our tables, it’s a good idea to keep your cen­ter­pieces around one square foot to reduce over­crowd­ing.

When in doubt, leave it up to us here at the Lesner Inn! We have beau­ti­ful options to dec­o­rate your tables, with the option of mix­ing and match­ing some of your favorites. All of our cen­ter­pieces are sim­ple, include light, and are the per­fect size to not crowd guests or obstruct their views. For an addi­tional cost, we can also add either sil­ver or gold table num­bers for assigned seating.Whatever you choose, don’t hes­i­tate to ask your event man­ager for our opin­ions; we all have even more detailed ideas on how to cre­ate the per­fect cen­ter­pieces!

Melody Gillikin Photography

The Ulti­mate Bride’s Day of Emer­gency Kit

After expe­ri­enc­ing count­less wed­dings, we’ve seen it all from blis­tered feet to tiny dress stains. Acci­dents hap­pen, and unfor­tu­nately, some things are just unavoid­able on your wed­ding day. Every wed­ding expert will tell you that a Wed­ding Day Emer­gency Kit is cru­cial on your big day! If you’ve never been a part of a bridal party, or even attended a wed­ding, you may be at a loss on what to put in your own kit. Here at the Lesner Inn, we’ve com­piled a list of items that can save you before and after you walk down the aisle!

The Lesner Inn’s Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Remem­ber, you know your­self bet­ter than any­one else, so some of these things might not make it into your Wed­ding Day Emer­gency Kit. It’s always bet­ter to be pre­pared than to look back and be upset that your nail pol­ish chipped right before you walked down the aisle or your eyes were red and itchy all night at the recep­tion. What’s the best part? All of these items are great to have around the house any­way, so you might as well bring them along for your wed­ding day too!

Just Breathe: For the Bride who is Strug­gling to Keep her Head above Water

You’re engaged! When is the wed­ding? What does your dress look like? Who is your pho­tog­ra­pher? Where are you going on your hon­ey­moon? The ques­tions never end! While some peo­ple love hav­ing the spot­light on them and rel­ish every sin­gle minute of the plan­ning process, we know that not every bride enjoys it. And you know what? That’s okay.

As one of our brides once told us, this process is only as hard as you want it to be. You will spend hours search­ing for the per­fect dress, writ­ing witty vows, craft­ing cen­ter­pieces, and pick­ing out a playlist. Some­times this all just seems too over­whelm­ing and you need to take a step back. Remem­ber the rea­son you are get­ting mar­ried. You are com­mit­ting your­self to your part­ner in front of your clos­est friends and fam­ily and at the end of the day, that’s all you really HAVE to do. It is easy to be swept up in Pin­ter­est boards and bridal mag­a­zines but remem­ber that in the end, this is your day. It will never be exactly like any­one else’s and that makes every sin­gle wed­ding spe­cial and orig­i­nal.

Echard Wheeler Pho­tog­ra­phy –> echard_wheeler_parr0465

If it all seems like too much and you don’t know where to start, check out your con­tract! Lesner Inn pro­vides a plan­ning guide for brides to have a check­list to work with. Your event man­ager will also help you with a floor plan and pick­ing out the lay­out of where tables need to go. Don’t be afraid to email one of the girls in our office to ask a ques­tion – that is what we are here for! We will meet with you about 3 months away from your wed­ding day to touch base and make sure things are on track. We will help you to fill out the plan­ning guide and get those pesky floor plans worked out. Then we will sit down with you two weeks before the wed­ding to final­ize these details. While it can seem over­whelm­ing when you are sit­ting up late at night furi­ously pin­ning images to a Pin­ter­est board, remem­ber that you are going to love your wed­ding day because you are mar­ry­ing the love of your life.

Don’t be afraid to take a step back from the plan­ning process and have a date night with your fiancé. Enjoy being engaged. Go to happy hour with your girl­friends and catch up on their lives. Log some time at the gym to blow off some steam. Catch up on your DVR and don’t feel guilty. Just because you are plan­ning a wed­ding doesn’t mean that you need to drop every­thing else in your life.

So…to bride who feels like she is tread­ing water and can barely keep her head above water, just breathe.

Incor­po­rat­ing More of Your Groom’s Style into the Wed­ding

It’s safe to say that new brides have been think­ing about their wed­ding day since they were lit­tle girls. Whether it’s imag­in­ing the per­fect dress, think­ing of pos­si­ble color schemes, or hav­ing a detailed Pin­ter­est board, girls know what they want for their big day. Although we’ve seen grooms who are very active with the wed­ding plan­ning process, a lot of guys just don’t get as into it as their brides do. So, how do you incor­po­rate your man’s style into your big day?

  • Food Tast­ing
  • The say­ing goes, “A way to a man’s heart is through his stom­ach.” Plan a food tast­ing with your man, so you can pick your food together! Our chef can pre­pare any­thing offered on our menus to cre­ate a fun lunch date for you and your groom. After the tast­ing, pick your favorites to pre­pare an amaz­ing menu for your friends and fam­ily!

  • Incor­po­rate His Passions
  • There are so many ways that you can incor­po­rate your man’s pas­sions into the recep­tion. If he really loves craft beer then have him select some local brews to be served at your wed­ding! Does he love his job? One of our grooms is a fire­fighter, and had some of his cowork­ers bring the fire truck to Lesner Inn before the cer­e­mony. The bridal party ended up tak­ing some amaz­ing pic­tures in front of it! Another groom is a den­tist, and took the garter removal to a whole new level with his den­tal assis­tants at his side. Adding these cre­ative per­sonal touches can really help cre­ate last­ing mem­o­ries of your spe­cial day!

    Flores Boyer at Leser Inn by Melody Gillikin
    Melody Gillikin Photography

  • What to Wear
  • Men’s fash­ion is slowly becom­ing more play­ful and fun, so why not let your groom and his boys have some fun too? A very com­mon trend is wear­ing fun socks under their dress pants. They can even play around with their attire with fun pat­terned ties and bow ties, cool pocket squares, or even inter­est­ing hats! Give your groom free reign, and he won’t dis­ap­point.

    Groomsmen socks at Lesner Inn by Tracy Sanders.jpg
    Tracy Sanders Photography

  • Groom’s Cake
  • Groom’s cakes are another won­der­ful way to show your groom that it’s his day too. A groom’s cake is dif­fer­ent from a wed­ding cake because it is designed and dec­o­rated how­ever you want, with­out need­ing to match a spe­cific wed­ding theme.This can be a fun sur­prise for your groom, or some­thing that he’s designed all on his own.

    Wed­dings today are all about rep­re­sent­ing both the bride and groom’s tastes and style rather than just the bride’s. When plan­ning your wed­ding, always remem­ber that it’s just as much his day as it is yours!

    Find us on Insta­gram

    Look­ing at venues can be a long and painful process. There are so many places in the Hamp­ton Roads area to choose from, and each offers unique ser­vices. Obvi­ously, you don’t want to have to drive all over the city explor­ing every pos­si­ble venue. So, how do you search numer­ous venues with­out dri­ving all over Hamp­ton Roads, and nar­row it down to just one per­fect venue?image2.PNG

    One social media account we are con­stantly updat­ing is our Insta­gram account, @lesnerinn. Through our Insta­gram, you can get a bet­ter idea of the breath­tak­ing views and func­tion­al­ity of the spaces we have to offer. Also, you can catch a glimpse of our favorite wed­ding moments, like first look shots or how they’ve dec­o­rated our venue. By fol­low­ing us, you will also be able to get weekly advice on how to ensure that your big day runs smoothly with our “Tip Tues­day” posts. Every Tues­day, we post a help­ful tid­bit, that we’ve learned through the count­less wed­dings we’ve image1 (3)hosted, about how to enhance your spe­cial day.

    Now maybe you want a behind the scenes look at the Lesner Inn?Thank­fully, we live in a world where every­thing is posted, hash-​tagged, geo-​tagged, and shared for the world to see. Yes, check­ing out our Insta­gram account is a great way to see what our venue has to offer, but an even bet­ter way to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have your wed­ding at the Lesner Inn is look­ing through our geo-​tagged pho­tos. This offers those spe­cial pic­tures of the groom with his grooms­men before the wed­ding, the ring bearer break­ing it down on the dance floor, and the guests enjoy­ing drinks on our beau­ti­ful decks.

    Check out the beau­ti­ful décor, fun times on the dance floor, spe­cial moments between brides and their grooms, breath-​taking views from our deck, and more by fol­low­ing us on Insta­gram!

    You’re the Glaze to my Donut

    So…not sure if you all know, but today is June 3rd, which is a kind of BIG day in the world of dessert lovers. It’s National Donut Day. So if you are as dessert & donut crazy as we are (and there’s no shame in that), we hope you enjoy today’s blog with a mouth full of your favorite donut(s).

    While the tra­di­tional wed­ding cake has not been com­pletely replaced, alter­na­tives have paved their way into the wed­ding dessert indus­try. Many cou­ples forego the for­mal­ity and cost of a tra­di­tional 3 or 4 tier wed­ding cake and opt for a fun, light­hearted and deli­cious dessert sub­sti­tute – like a tower of home­made pow­dered or glazed donuts – instead. While the donut tower may seem uncon­ven­tional, it’s a unique way to set your spe­cial day apart from the rest, and it still amuses the bouche.

    lesner inn weddings in virginia beach.jpg

    While the bride (or groom) may want the tra­di­tional wed­ding cake and/​or cake cut­ting expe­ri­ence, but the groom (or bride) yearns for the donut finale… don’t fret! Com­pro­mise is KEY in mar­riage. Top your donut cake with a top tier. This way, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds and still get the cake cut­ting pho­tographs :)

    lesner inn hampton roads wedding.jpg

    You DO-​NUT say no to a donut to-​go! At The Lesner Inn, we’ve seen donuts as a favor on a num­ber of occa­sions. It’s such a great idea! After a night filled with eat­ing and drink­ing, there’s noth­ing bet­ter to end your night or start your morn­ing with than a sweet treat. PS. How cute is the sign and the set up?! Je l’adore!

    Nick and Ashley - Dusin Lewis Photos 25.jpg
    {Dustin Lewis Photography}

    Donuts are quite the crowd pleaser. Guests (& ven­dors) are always happy when they get to indulge. Check out Danny (Astro DJ) & Dustin Lewis (pho­tog­ra­pher) enjoy­ing some Duck Donuts with the new Mr. & Mrs. Binkowski, at their wed­ding at The Lesner Inn in Octo­ber! I mean, you don’t need to twist our arms. We will never turn down a donut (espe­cially not one from Duck Donuts!

    Lesner Inn Virginia Beach Wedding.jpg
    {Dustin Lewis Photography}

    NO, thank YOU. After all, you are the glaze to my donut ;)

    Fun Sur­prises to Keep your Guests Guess­ing

    As a guest at a wed­ding, you will see the same tra­di­tions at almost every wed­ding you attend. Once you’ve seen one wed­ding, you’ve seen them all right? Wrong! If you want to keep your guests guess­ing at your tra­di­tional wed­ding, with­out the same bor­ing tra­di­tions, here are a few tips!

    lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-flower-girls 1) The pro­ces­sional
    While we love watch­ing flower girls timidly make their way down the aisle, there’s some­thing about send­ing grand­par­ents down the aisle that brings a huge smile across our faces!

    Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy –>

    2) The vows
    We love when cou­ples write their own vows! There is so much more mean­ing to your words when they are orig­i­nal, and come from the expe­ri­ences you’ve shared together!

    3) The announce­ments
    When the grand­par­ents have been seated and your vows have been said, your bridal party will be ready to take the stage and be announced to the recep­tion hall. Typ­i­cally, bridal party announce­ments will occur in pairs or, in some cases, awk­ward groups of three. How­ever many peo­ple you have in your bridal party, why not chore­o­graph a dance with the whole group!?

    4) The garter
    The tra­di­tion of the groom remov­ing the garter from under the bride’s dress is just as awk­ward for your audi­ence as it is for you, so why not roll with the awk­ward­ness and make it com­i­cal!? We loved this doc­tor rou­tine this groom pulled off with his grooms­men while find­ing his bride’s garter!

    Melody Gillikin Photography

    5) The bou­quet & garter recip­i­ents
    Pos­si­bly even more awk­ward than the groom remov­ing the garter from under the bride’s dress, is the poor soul who has to take the garter and place it under a poten­tial stranger’s dress. Instead of fol­low­ing tra­di­tion, why not reverse rolls and have the woman place the garter on a man’s leg? It elim­i­nates the awk­ward­ness and makes it a fun joke instead!

    6) After din­ner enter­tain­ment
    For all of the karaoke bar goers out there, why not bring the fun right to your recep­tion? Have your DJ pro­vide every­thing you need for some late night karaoke once all of your guests are out of cool dance moves!

    Heather Hughes Photography

    We love see­ing peo­ple go above and beyond at their wed­dings to show their guests, and us, that they know how to have fun! When think­ing about your wed­ding tra­di­tions, don’t for­get to mix it up with some of these fun surprises!

    The Late Night Snack

    Evening recep­tions offer the oppor­tu­nity to host the party of all par­ties to cel­e­brate your recent nup­tials. After a deli­cious meal, it doesn’t take long for guests to make their way to the floor for some hard-​core danc­ing. A night of swirling and twirling com­bined with the occa­sional drink through­out the night, can leave guests fam­ished and in the mood for food! In order to keep your guests mov­ing about the dance floor all night long, Lesner Inn offers late night snacks for all of your guests with the late night munchies.

    Late night snacks are a pop­u­lar trend for 2016 wed­dings, and will help your guests get the good night sleep they deserve after all of the danc­ing and drink­ing they will be doing in cel­e­bra­tion of you and your new spouse! When think­ing of what to offer, it’s impor­tant to fig­ure out whether you want to offer savory, sweet, or both to snack on at the end of the night. Remem­ber, they most likely just enjoyed some deli­cious wed­ding cake, so a lot of our cou­ples choose from our savory bites for their guests. We offer a wide vari­ety of mini snacks that will help re-​energize your guests to keep them danc­ing until the end of the party. Listed below are the var­i­ous snacks you can choose from:


    Bites: Chicken Ten­ders, Mac & Cheese Bites (pic­tured left — VA Pho­tog­ra­phy), Moz­zarella Cheese Sticks, Peanut But­ter & Jelly Sand­wiches, Mini Grilled Cheese, Parme­san French Fries, Mini Cheese Burg­ers, and Mini Hot Dogs in a Blan­ket

    Treats: Candy Bar, Milk & Home­made Cook­ies, Choco­late Dipped Straw­ber­ries, Ice Cream Sun­dae Bar, Pop­corn Sta­tion, Home­made Brown­ies, Key Lime Pie, and Apple Pie

    Although offer­ing late snacks isn’t manda­tory to make your recep­tion great, it’s an added bonus for you and your guests at the end of the night. You won’t regret pur­chas­ing these deli­cious treats from the Lesner Inn!

    If you want more infor­ma­tion on serv­ing these at your recep­tion, 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..

    Do You Need to Save the Top Tier of your Wed­ding Cake?

    As a new bride, you’ve prob­a­bly heard about all the fun wed­ding super­sti­tions. There’s every­thing from the groom not see­ing the bride before she walks down the aisle to mak­ing View More:
    sure the bride has some­thing old, new, bor­rowed and blue. Did you know there’s a com­mon tra­di­tion that deals with your very own wed­ding cake?

    When cre­at­ing the beau­ti­ful dessert for all your guests to enjoy, it’s cus­tom to save the top tier of the cake to eat one year after the wed­ding. This long­stand­ing tra­di­tion started as a way to save money. Cou­ples would save the top tier to use as the cake to cel­e­brate the chris­ten­ing of their first child. Today, cou­ples typ­i­cally pull the cake from their freezer to cel­e­brate their one-​year anniver­sary. Whether it brings good luck to eat it on your anniver­sary or bad luck to eat it early, how do you keep the cake for a whole year in your freezer?

    1.) The first option is to just not do it. Most bak­eries will recre­ate the top tier for you for an added on fee when you buy your wed­ding cake or offer a reduced price if you con­tact them again a month before your anniver­sary. One of our brides pur­chased her cake from Twisted Sis­ters Cup­cakes, and the cost of their cake includes a top tier cake to be picked up at their one year anniver­sary.

    2.) Now, if you’re ded­i­cated to sav­ing the tier there are a cou­ple of ways to keep it fresh. One way is to freeze the tier, unwrapped, until it’s frozen hard. Then, vac­uum seal it, and place it back in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it.

    3.) Another way to save it is to have a con­tainer ready at the recep­tion. As soon as you can, place the con­tainer in a refrig­er­a­tor. Once set­tled after your big day, wrap the con­tainer in tin­foil and place it in the freezer.

    4.) If you don’t have a vac­uum sealer or for­got the con­tainer, another things to do is wrap the cake in mul­ti­ple lay­ers of plas­tic wrap. Think about an unusu­ally large amount of plas­tic wrap, and start there. Then, place it in a small box or con­tainer and store it in your freezer.

    What­ever you want to do, let your event man­ager know, and we’ll help you the best we can. Whether it’s cut­ting the top tier for guests, or sav­ing it for your one-​year cel­e­bra­tion, there’s always a way to have your cake and eat it too.

    Photo credit to Ash­ley Lester Photography

    I RSVP’d, Now What?

    The invi­ta­tions have been mailed, and you were invited to the wed­ding of the year at the Lesner Inn. Look­ing at your cal­en­dar, you real­ize that you are unable to attend, and will have to RSVP “No” to the happy cou­ple. Now what? You’re prob­a­bly won­der­ing whether or not you’re sup­posed to send a gift to the bride and groom. Well, stop your won­der­ing, because we’ve found the answer.

    Although every sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent, we believe it is always best to send the cou­ple a wed­ding gift. A cou­ple plan­ning their wed­ding is usu­ally lim­ited to the peo­ple they invite. You received an invi­ta­tion because they truly wanted you to come and wit­ness their spe­cial day. It never hurts to send some­thing to acknowl­edge the rela­tion­ship that the cou­ple has with you, and val­ues enough to invite you to wit­ness them say “I do”.

    Depend­ing on the rela­tion­ship between you and the cou­ple, there are so many options of things to send. When return­ing an RSVP card, a hand­writ­ten note con­grat­u­lat­ing the cou­ple is a touch­ing way to acknowl­edge their spe­cial day. If you aren’t plan­ning on send­ing a gift from the reg­istry, tuck­ing in a gift card to their favorite restau­rant or a store on their reg­istry is a nice touch.

    If you’re plan­ning on buy­ing them a gift, start the search after you return your RSVP card. Although late is bet­ter than never, it’s best to have the gift to the cou­ple by the wed­ding day or very soon after. As for the gift, it’s cus­tom­ary to buy some­thing directly off the reg­istry. Another com­mon trend has been giv­ing money for a Hon­ey­moon Fund. What­ever it is, know that the cou­ple will greatly appre­ci­ate your gift no mat­ter if it’s mod­est or grandeur.

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