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.

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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 :)

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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!

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{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!

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{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.

Spot­light Wed­ding: Nick & Ash­ley

Lesner Inn sees hun­dreds of wed­dings come though our doors each year and we love learn­ing the story of each bride and being a part of their spe­cial day. We don’t want to keep all of these fan­tas­tic events to our­selves and we want to share some of our favorite wed­dings with you! We sat down with Ash­ley, one of our brides from last fall who was an absolute dream dur­ing the plan­ning process, so she could share some of her expe­ri­ences with you. We loved get­ting her phone calls and all of the girls in the office were on a first name basis with her by the end of the plan­ning process. Her wed­ding incor­po­rated a lot of details about her and Nick and she had some sur­prises in store for her guests too!

1) Let’s start with a love story… how did you and Nick meet?lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-nick-and-ashley “Brace your­self because this is about to get really cheesy. Before Nick and I offi­cially met we would always pass each other in the hall­ways at school. I imme­di­ately thought he was attrac­tive but there was some­thing else about him that was mys­te­ri­ous and unique. Nick and I offi­cially met dur­ing one of our high school lunch blocks in 2007 when he asked to sit with me at my lunch table. The rest is his­tory!”

2) When did he pro­pose? “Nick and I love every­thing about Wash­ing­ton, D.C. We enjoy tak­ing trips up there to watch our favorite sports team play, the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals, or just to sight see. On Jan­u­ary 4, 2015, Nick and I went to D.C. to cel­e­brate our eight year anniver­sary at a Cap­i­tals game. Before the game we decided to walk around a bit. When we were near the mon­u­ments Nick asked if we could sit down for a minute. Being the stub­born per­son that I am, I kept say­ing I didn’t want to sit down because the benches were wet. Nick put his rain jacket down on the bench for us to sit on and asked me to put my phone down and look up. Next thing I know he asked me to marry him! I was so happy and excited that I kept star­ing at my hand in shock through­out the whole hockey game! He com­pletely caught me off guard but it was so per­fect. Shortly before our trip I had told a close friend, who was recently engaged her­self, that if Nick pro­posed I would want it to be in DC so it could not have been more per­fect!”

3) How far in advance did you start the plan­ning process? “We got engaged in Jan­u­ary and got mar­ried in Octo­ber so I didn’t have too much time to plan. We knew that it was ideal to have a full year to plan but we also knew that we wanted a fall wed­ding so we just went with it  We started the plan­ning process as soon as we got back from DC! Buy­ing a wed­ding plan­ner book was extremely help­ful because it kept me on a time­line and also brought small details up that I prob­a­bly would have acci­den­tally over­looked.”

4) Who were your ven­dors and why did you pick them? “This will be the length­i­est sec­tion because we LOVED our ven­dors. We absolutely fell in love with the Lesner Inn the minute we walked into the Open House. That’s actu­ally where we met our pho­tog­ra­pher, Dustin Lewis, too. We liked him so much that we picked our wed­ding date based off of his avail­abil­ity. We picked Danny from Astro Enter­tain­ment after meet­ing him at the Vow Bridal Event. Nick and I are both pretty shy and we loved how out­go­ing he was. Danny and Dustin are both friends so see­ing them work together at our wed­ding was awe­some. They’re so cre­ative and fun and bring good energy with them wher­ever they go. Dustin also referred us to our photo booth com­pany, SnapQube (are you see­ing a trend here?), who we adored. We still love look­ing at all of the photo strips in the album that they made for us. Water­ford Event Rentals was next door to Dustin’s office at the time so we stopped in there to talk with the girls. They referred us to Kelly Gish, who did all of our flow­ers and cen­ter­pieces. The girls at Water­ford spent so much time help­ing us fine-​tune exactly what we wanted. They truly went above and beyond any­thing we could have hoped for. Kelly cre­ated the most beau­ti­ful flower arrange­ments I have ever seen for our wed­ding. She helped us with so many design aspects of our wed­ding and we can’t thank her enough. We used Duck Donuts and Car­olina Cup­cak­ery for all of our baked goods and they were fab­u­lous. Nei­ther one of us are cake peo­ple so the donuts and cup­cakes were a per­fect fit. All of our ven­dors were awe­some and we couldn’t have done it with­out them.”

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5) What were you most excited about for your wed­ding? “Mar­ry­ing my high school sweet­heart of course! But other than that I was so excited to have almost every­one we cared about in one space. Get­ting all dressed up and feel­ing like a princess didn’t hurt. I was super excited about the photo booth, donuts, and sparklers too. Nick and I both just wanted all of our guests to have a good time.”

6) Where did you get most of your inspi­ra­tion from? “A wed­ding plan­ner was out­side of my bud­get so most of my inspi­ra­tion came from Pin­ter­est. I cre­ated sep­a­rate boards for all of the major details that I wanted to focus on. Some of the boards included signs, flow­ers, cen­ter­pieces, groom/​bridesmaid attire, etc. I would con­stantly pin away and then at the end of the week I would take a look at my boards. Even­tu­ally I saw a cer­tain style that I was con­sis­tently going back to so I deleted any pins that strayed away from that style. It sounds silly but it helped me focus. Before I started doing that my ideas were all over the place. My florist, Kelly Gish, also helped me tremen­dously. She knew what kind of flow­ers I wanted and she helped me to work my col­ors and all of the other design aspects that I wanted around that. She thinks out­side of the box and I love it.”

7) Did you have any Pin­ter­est fails along the way? “Let’s just say that things on Pin­ter­est look way eas­ier than they are in real life! I had sev­eral Pin­ter­est fails but thank­fully none that were too cat­a­strophic. The worst one was prob­a­bly my seat­ing chart. My brides­maids actu­ally put my seat­ing chart together as I was get­ting my hair and makeup done the day of the wed­ding!”

8) What advice do you have for brides who are plan­ning their own wed­ding? “I think it is very impor­tant to be real­is­tic of your bud­get and what you are capa­ble of. Don’t be afraid to call for backup or to ask your ven­dors for their opin­ion. Putting together a DIY wed­ding can be over­whelm­ing so I found it the most help­ful to break every­thing down into smaller tasks and to tackle one task at a time. It can be daunt­ing to do it all on our own but try not to get lost in the lit­tle things. Focus on the big pic­ture and don’t for­get why you are doing it all in the first place. Don’t blink because it flies by!”

lesner inn weddings virginia beach sunset bridesmaids

9) If you did it all over again, what would you do dif­fer­ently? “If I did it all over again I wouldn’t stress as much! No mat­ter what you can’t please every­one and at the end of the day all that mat­ters is that you are get­ting mar­ried! The only ven­dor related change I would make is to include a video­g­ra­pher. I thought it was some­thing we could do with­out but when they say it will be over before you know it they are not kid­ding! I’d love to be able to play it all back in slow motion.”

10) What was your favorite mem­ory from the wed­ding? “I have so many! I adored hav­ing both of our grand­mas as our flower girls. That meant more to us than any­thing. Plus we didn’t tell every­one so it was price­less see­ing everyone’s reac­tion. I also loved walk­ing into the recep­tion with my hus­band to Blink 182’s song ‘The Rock Show.’ Our first date was a con­cert and we love Blink 182. We were all about break­ing tra­di­tional rules and just hav­ing fun with every­thing!”

Stay tuned for more spot­light wed­dings as the 2016 wed­ding sea­son kicks off!

All pho­tos cred­ited to Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy!

Invi­ta­tion Edu­ca­tion

Did you just get engaged? How many peo­ple have already asked you when the big day is? From day one of your engage­ment, you will be answer­ing ques­tion after ques­tion from friends and fam­ily. And once the invi­ta­tions go out, pre­pare for more ques­tions. Here are some tips to take into con­sid­er­a­tion when cre­at­ing your invites.

What are we sup­posed to wear?

This is the ques­tion that many guests strug­gle over. Is it a sun­dress and sport coat after­noon? Or a black tie affair? There are a few ways to address this con­cern in your invi­ta­tion. The eas­i­est way is to indi­cate the attire on the bot­tom of your invi­ta­tion. A sim­ple “black tie attire”, “casual attire”, or “cock­tail attire” will do the trick. A quick Google search will give you a wide selec­tion of phrases to pick from. But for the bride who does not want to clut­ter her invi­ta­tion with lots of words, there are more sub­tle ways to get the mes­sage across. Darker col­ors are more for­mal than light pas­tels, thicker invi­ta­tions are more for­mal than thin­ner. Make sure your font reflects the over­all atmos­phere too. If you are hav­ing more of a laid back wed­ding, stay away from flow­ing scripts and calligraphy.

When am I get­ting my invitation?

Typ­i­cally guests should expect a save the date 69 months before the wed­ding (even sooner than that if it is a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding) and the for­mal invi­ta­tion 23 month prior. Lesner Inn requires a final guest count 2 weeks before the wed­ding so make sure you build in enough time to call guests who have not RSVPed yet! 3 weeks away from the wed­ding is usu­ally a safe bet.

What do we need to include with the invitation?

This is up to you. We have seen invi­ta­tions that are as sim­ple as a time, date, and place and some that have mul­ti­ple cards stuffed into the enve­lope. At bare min­i­mum, include an RSVP card along with pre-​addressed and pre-​stamped enve­lope. It is a small ges­ture but it goes a long way in mak­ing sure your guests send those cards back promptly. If you are hav­ing a plated meal with more than one entrée, make sure to allow space for menu selections.

Can my boyfriend come too? Are my kids invited?

This is always a ques­tion that brides ask us. When mak­ing your guest list, con­sider that some peo­ple may have plus ones and oth­ers may not. If your guest does not know any­one else at the wed­ding but you and your S.O., con­sider giv­ing them a plus one. The same goes for mar­ried or engaged cou­ples, they typ­i­cally will expect a plus one. As far as boyfriends or girl­friends or wed­ding dates, that is com­pletely up to you! This is your wed­ding. The kid issue is always hard to address as well. If you are invit­ing the whole fam­ily, address the invi­ta­tion to ‘The John­son Fam­ily’. If you do want their kids to attend, sim­ply address is to “Mr. & Mrs. John John­son”. Some brides will even make a polite request that their wed­ding be an adult-​only affair.

What is your wed­ding website?

In the past few years, we have seen a HUGE increase in cou­ples with wed­ding web­sites. For non-​millenials, it may seem a lit­tle silly but wed­ding web­sites are a great way to present guests with infor­ma­tion instead of answer­ing text mes­sage after text mes­sage. You can include your reg­istry, cer­e­mony info, hotel blocks, and a lit­tle more infor­ma­tion about the bride and groom. Many guests enjoy get­ting to know your sig­nif­i­cant other before watch­ing you walk down the aisle to a stranger. Give them some fun facts so they get to know your loved one a lit­tle bet­ter.

But how do you tell guests about this? You can pub­li­cize it on your Face­book, include it on your save the date or even send a small card with the web­site in your invi­ta­tion enve­lope.

More ques­tions? Talk to your sta­tion­ary com­pany! We guar­an­tee they have heard every ques­tion in the book!

10 Things to Do With Your Wed­ding Dress After the Wed­ding

The first dance is over, the hash­tag is no longer trend­ing and the wed­ding album has finally been printed. Now what do you do with your dress? You always have the option of pre­serv­ing your dress to save it for your daugh­ters or grand­daugh­ters. But what if it won’t fit them? What if you have boys? What if it is no longer in style? For those of you who don’t think preser­va­tion is in you gown’s future, here are ten dif­fer­ent ways to reuse or recy­cle it.

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Erin (right) took her mother’s wed­ding dress and revamped it for her Lesner Inn cer­e­mony & recep­tion — Ash­ley Lester Photography

Dye it

Many dresses these days could be short­ened or altered to turn them into cock­tail dresses but we have to ask…where is every­one wear­ing these white dresses? You can’t wear it to a wed­ding so unless you make a habit of attend­ing black tie galas, it would be hard to sport again. Con­sider dying it a fun color or the clas­sic black.

Have a pro­fes­sional pho­to­shoot

You could always do the trendy “Trash the Dress” ses­sion but what about a thank you to your par­ents if they paid for the big day? Take cues from a group of sis­ters who all got together in their wed­ding dresses for a pro­fes­sional photo shoot for their par­ents as a show of grat­i­tude. All 5 sis­ters zipped their dresses back on to doc­u­ment a moment that their mom and dad will cher­ish for­ever.

Rachel Blackwell Sisters Wedding Dress

Rachel Black­well Photography

Donate the dress

For the altru­is­tic bride, con­sider donat­ing your dress. We have rounded up 3 great char­i­ties that accept pre-​worn wed­ding dresses for you to con­sider. Brides Across Amer­ica – Donates dresses to mil­i­tary brides Every Girl’s Dream – Pro­vides dresses to brides under­go­ing finan­cial hard­ships in the South­east Michi­gan area Wish Upon A Wed­ding – Grants wed­dings and vow renewals to cou­ples fac­ing seri­ous ill­ness or life alter­ing cir­cum­stances

Chris­ten­ing Gown

If you plan on bap­tiz­ing your future chil­dren into your church, con­sider turn­ing part of your dress into a chris­ten­ing gown for them. You can use it for your big day AND their big day!

Every­day Wear

No, we don’t mean wear it to work. Though that could be fun too… What about tak­ing the skirt of your dress to a seam­stress and have it tai­lored into a fun tulle skirt? You could knock your husband’s socks off on your anniver­sary with a flirty, fun fash­ion piece. Bonus points if he rec­og­nizes it.

Put it around your neck

There are plenty of ven­dors online who will turn a small part of your dress into a pen­dant for a neck­lace. Check out The Lace Stu­dio on Etsy!

Christ­mas Orna­ment

Remem­ber the spe­cial day every Christ­mas by tak­ing a scrap of lace or a part of your veil and memo­ri­al­ize it in a glass orna­ment.

Sell it

If your dress is still styl­ish, take it to your near­est bridal con­sign­ment store to make back some of your money. Shops will accept dresses as long as they are in good con­di­tion and have been pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned. You can recoup 50% of their sale price if it sells! For Vir­ginia Beach brides, check out Silk Bridal for a fan­tas­tic selec­tion of gen­tly used and run­way dresses.

Cre­ate a garter or bou­quet bind­ing

For mom’s who have daugh­ters that can’t wear a fam­ily dress, you can cre­ate a garter for them or use some of the fab­ric to wrap the stems of her bou­quet. That checks some­thing old off of the list!

Donate it to a the­ater

Many high school and pro­fes­sional the­aters will gladly accept a dress to expand their cos­tume depart­ment. And how would it be to see your dress take on a whole new life?

Your wed­ding dress will always be spe­cial to you but being able to cre­ate a keep­sake, earn some cash back, or make someone’s dream come true can be even better!

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!


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!




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