Do You Need a Wed­ding Plan­ner?

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.

Hur­ri­cane Wed­ding

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!

  • Venue
  • 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!


    Keep­ing from the wind and rain with this indoor ceremony!

    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 exit
  • Strong 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!

    Favorite Fall Wed­ding Color Schemes

    While we are not quite ready to admit it, today is the first day of fall which means that the beachy blues and corals that we love so much are gone and the col­ors of the chang­ing leaves will be here to stay (until win­ter rears its ugly head at least). While you may think that you’re trapped with the sim­ple hues of red for your color scheme, we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to stick to the basics! For­tu­nately there are excit­ing ways to use dif­fer­ent hues of fall in your color scheme. In the fall, we’re sur­rounded by deep reds, oranges, and yel­lows while the col­ors of the leaves change. Of course these col­ors are expected at a fall wed­ding, but they don’t have to be your focal point. Lucky for you, suc­cu­lents never go out of sea­son. Suc­cu­lents are a plant that are beau­ti­ful dur­ing any time of year and they give you the oppor­tu­nity to choose any of the col­ors incor­po­rated within them. Let us give you one of our favorite exam­ples for a fall wed­ding. fall colorsOf course the hues of red are in there, but it has per­fectly sub­tle accents like the berries and hints of green, blue, and pur­ple in the suc­cu­lents! How could you go wrong with suc­cu­lents?? Here is another great exam­ple: succulents Another fall trend is using pur­ple and a pink­ish orange together. I know this sounds crazy, but you’d be sur­prised what fun color com­bi­na­tions you can do to cre­ate the per­fect look to your fall wed­ding. purppurporange I mean really how cool is this? Talk about inge­nu­ity!! Another fall favorite is using shades of green with neu­tral mate­ri­als like burlap. A lit­tle bit of deep reds and oranges can go a long way with a sub­tle shade of green! Check out this inspir­ing color scheme: green So if you were wor­ried about how to cre­ate a per­fectly orig­i­nal color scheme for your fall wed­ding, we hope this helped!

    5 Cre­ative Guest Book Ideas

    For many, a guest book is just another piece of clut­ter that will be stored away along with old pho­tos. But, we’re here to tell you that there are some great ways to cre­ate a guest book that you’ll want to keep around. Whether you plan to dis­play it in your home, or use it to acquire some last minute rela­tion­ship advice, here are some cre­ative ideas for your guest book:
  • Sign­ing corks
  • With the stresses of plan­ning your wed­ding, we’re sure you will go through enough wine and cham­pagne to have this guest book ready in time for the big day. Save up all of those wine and cham­pagne corks that you would usu­ally throw away and have your guests sign them. Have a sim­ple shadow box or dec­o­ra­tive vase handy for your guests to place their corks inside, and you have a cute dec­o­ra­tion for your home together that will remind you of your wed­ding day!
  • Describe the couple
  •  E J-431What to do with that old dic­tio­nary that has been replaced by the dictionary/​encyclopedia/​thesaurus that we call Google? Have your guests find a word that describes you and your spouse and sign their names next to it! This will get your guests think­ing and com­pet­ing for the best word, and if you really wanted to turn this into a fun wed­ding activ­ity, you could even send the guest with the best response home with a door prize!
  • Tree trunk plaque
  • Using a wooden plaque instead of a typ­i­cal guest book is another great way to keep your guest book as a cre­ative dec­o­ra­tion. You can find a slab of wood cut from a tree trunk at Jackson Hole Wedding | Amy Galbraith Photography via http://mountainsidebride.comyour local craft store, put a nice fin­ish on it, and have your guests sign it! Hang it in your home or place it on a table and remem­ber all of the fun you had!
  • Polaroid photo book
  • Are you plan­ning on hav­ing a phohanging Polaroid wedding guest book ideato booth at your recep­tion? Even if you’re not, we still LOVE this idea! Have all of your guests use a Polaroid cam­era to snap a pic of them­selves, place it in a photo book, and add a per­sonal mes­sage. For some extra fun place some props on a table for your guests to pose with. This will be a great addi­tion to all of the scrap books you are bound to cre­ate through­out the years and be a reminder of how amaz­ing your wed­ding day was!
  • Time cap­suleFor Time Travelers
  • They say the first year of mar­riage is the hard­est, so have your guests write a thought­ful note to you both and drop it in a “time cap­sule” to be opened on your 1st wed­ding anniver­sary! While these are just a few of the many dif­fer­ent things you can do for your guest book, we’re sure you all have some great ideas as well! Share your favorite with us on Pin­ter­est, or com­ment below!

    Cre­at­ing Your Own Pho­to­booth

    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
  • 11887213_668094903291362_133390108_n
    • 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!
    Craft a fun frame
    • 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.
    Cre­ate a sim­ple back drop
    • 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!


    Before the Aisle

    When your wed­ding day finally arrives, you get up at the crack of dawn, pop a bot­tle of cham­pagne, and begin the process of cre­at­ing that nat­ural glow that iron­i­cally requires tedious con­tour­ing. While you are being prepped and pam­pered for the big day so are your brides­maids. Even though this day is about YOU, there are many ways you can make your brides­maids feel spe­cial while prepar­ing for the aisle.
  • Pro­vide a Mimosa or Bloody Mary bar
    • Give your brides­maids the oppor­tu­nity to let loose before walk­ing down the aisle! If you pro­vide the bev­er­ages you can make sure your brides­maids can enjoy them­selves with­out get­ting out of control!
    Treat your ladies to a spa day
    • You want to make sure that your squad looks their best while they’re stand­ing by your side. Treat your ladies to a mani pedi or facial to make sure they’re glowing!
    Hire a team of beau­ti­cians for the big day
    • Every­one likes the feel­ing of look­ing beau­ti­ful with­out lift­ing a fin­ger, so treat your brides­maids to get­ting their hair and makeup done on the day of your wedding!
    Your brides­maids are an impor­tant part of your wed­ding day, so show them how much they mean to you!

    How to Repur­pose Your Flo­ral Arrange­ments

    Whether they’re pot­ted, cen­ter­pieces, or bou­quets, you will likely be using flow­ers for your décor on your wed­ding day. After the big day, most peo­ple will place their flow­ers in a vase when they get home and toss them once they’ve wilted. But, we’re here to tell you how you can keep these unique arrange­ments as keep­sakes. Here are a cou­ple of ideas on how to re-​purpose your flo­ral arrange­ments to last more than just a cou­ple of hours:
  • How to Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet11Frame them:
    • Yes you read that right! You can press your bou­quet, or at least a few of the flow­ers, and keep it in a shadow box or frame along with your save the dates or a pic­ture of you and your new spouse! If you’re not sure how to dry out the bou­quet your­self you can ask your florist to do it for you, or check out this DIY!
    Christ­mas orna­ments:
    • If you’re okay with the idea of part­ing with your bou­quet for a while then you can make Christ­mas orna­ments to cher­ish them once a year. Sim­i­lar to fram­ing your flow­ers, you can dry some of the petals, buds, and leaves and put them in an opaque Christ­mas orna­ment! Every Christ­mas, you and your spouse can have a lit­tle reminder of the day you said I do!
    • Jew­elry is a great way to make small keep­sakes that can last for­ever! Go to any craft store and pick out a sim­ple glass locket that you can arrange some small petals and buds into and cre­ate a fun neck­lace. You can even cre­ate beads from your left­over flow­ers to make neck­laces and bracelets. Check out this tuto­r­ial.
    Any of these are great ideas for a DIY gift to your brides­maids and any other women involved in mak­ing your wed­ding day spe­cial! Trust us, after hav­ing your wed­ding at the Lesner Inn, you’re going to want to have a keep­sake you can look back on!

    How to Choose Your Table Linens

    Dec­o­rat­ing your venue requires plan­ning minor details that can make or break the feel of your venue. You have to choose a theme and make sure that all of your col­ors and décor work together to cre­ate the ele­gant mas­ter­piece you imag­ined in your head. One of the most impor­tant tasks in accom­plish­ing this is choos­ing your linens. While this seems like a sim­ple task, there are many things to con­sider before mak­ing a deci­sion. Here at the Lesner Inn we want to make sure that every­thing about your expe­ri­ence is smooth sail­ing, so here are a few tips to con­sider while choos­ing your linens:
  • Know what color the chairs will be
    • This sounds a bit obvi­ous, but many peo­ple don’t pay atten­tion to what will be in the room on their big day! Know­ing whether your chairs will be black, white, or brown can help you avoid an embar­rass­ing clash of col­ors. Hav­ing black linens with brown chairs cre­ates two dif­fer­ent looks that you do not want to pair!
    Look at the floor­ing of your venue
    • If your venue is car­peted then make sure that you’re not using an over lay that are the same color as the car­pets. Coor­di­nat­ing your col­ors is great, but mak­ing your tables invis­i­ble is not the look to be going for. Also, make sure that you’re not choos­ing an over­lay that clashes with the car­pet! Beware of pat­terned carpeting!
    Keep your cen­ter pieces in mind
    • If you already know what you will be using for your cen­ter­pieces then you can think about the tints and col­ors incor­po­rated within them. For exam­ple, if you’re using flow­ers for your cen­ter­pieces, try incor­po­rat­ing the col­ors within the flow­ers onto the tables. If the flow­ers have a pink hid­den within them, you could use a pink over­lay and to make it all pop and flow together.
    Don’t be afraid to use dif­fer­ent shades of the same col­ors
    • A clas­sic navy blue over­lay with light blue nap­kins never fails when set­ting a table. It’s a time­less look that makes your tables look sleek and put together with min­i­mal effort.
    Don’t be afraid to pair dif­fer­ent col­ors
    • Pair­ing sim­ple neu­trals together can cre­ate a sleek and ele­gant look for your tables as well. Try using beige with nat­ural reds or greens. Doing this also gives you count­less options when it comes to choos­ing your centerpieces.
    Plan­ning your wed­ding day is an excit­ing expe­ri­ence for you and every­one involved. While it can seem stress­ful, ask­ing for help from your bridal party can lift some of the weight off of your shoul­ders. After all, your bridal party is there to sup­port you!11378106_1452500635062808_1932540355_n

    Take a look at some of our favorite table set­tings on our Insta­gram!

    What Types of Bev­er­ages Should You Serve at Your Recep­tion?

    When think­ing about what liba­tions to serve your guests, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber things like the time of day and day of the week you are hav­ing your wed­ding. Here’s what we think are the best bev­er­age options for your recep­tion. Mon­day through Thurs­day Evening:
    • Week­day wed­dings are not likely to have heavy drinkers who are look­ing to crowd the bar. Your guests have work the next day and are less likely to be order­ing some­thing strong that will make them late to work the next day. More than likely, your guests will casu­ally sip on a nice Chardon­nay or craft beer. So hav­ing beer and wine wFeatured imageill be just enough to keep your guests satisfied!
    Fri­day Evening:
    • T.G.I.F is a pretty uni­ver­sal feel­ing, & is applic­a­ble even on your Fri­day night wed­ding. If it’s a Fri­day night, your guests are going to be ready to indulge at the bar. They had a long week at work and are ready to unwind and cel­e­brate with you! Hav­ing a fully stocked bar with beer, wine, and liquor will keep all of your guests happy and excited to hit the dance floor.
    Sat­ur­day & Sun­day After­noon:
    • After­noon recep­tions are much more low-​key. It’s the mid­dle of the day and most of your guests won’t be hop­ing for a rum and coke at eleven in the morn­ing. At this time most guests go for a chilled white wine, espe­cially in the sum­mer. This is also a great oppor­tu­nity to have a Bloody-​Mary Bar, Mimosa Bar, or Champagne/​Prosecco Bar.
    Sat­ur­day Evening:
    • PARTY TIME! Sat­ur­day evening is party cen­tral for wed­ding goers! Your guests are expect­ing the drinks to be flow­ing and to have plenty to choose from. Have the bar fully stocked with your guest’s favorite beer, wine, and liquors. Your guests will be brag­ging about your big day for months!
    Sun­day Evening:
    • Sun­day evenings are hit or miss when it comes to the drink­ing crowd. You’ll have those guests who aren’t will­ing to believe that it’s the end of the week­end, and of course those guests who had one too many the night before and are wel­com­ing Mon­day morn­ing. We rec­om­mend hav­ing a full bar avail­able to please both sides.
    Being pre­pared for your drink­ing crowd is the best advice we can give to you while you plan what to serve at the bar. You know your guests bet­ter than any­one so go with what you feel will make sure that you and your guests don’t leave dis­ap­pointed. At The Lesner Inn, we offer 3 dif­fer­ent bars — Host Bar, Con­sump­tion Bar, or Cash Bar. So you have the option of either pay­ing for your guests or let­ting your guests pay for them­selves. We also have a num­ber of dif­fer­ent call and pre­mium brands for you to choose from. Also, because we LOVE local, you can stock your bar with beers & wine from brew­eries & vine­yards around the Hamp­ton Roads & greater Vir­ginia area!

    Mak­ing Your Own Cen­ter­pieces

    Here at the Lesner Inn, we sFeatured imageee cen­ter­pieces made at home that can bring the whole look of a wed­ding together. Things that you would never have expected to work well together can make your tables look wel­com­ing, and cre­ate the flow of your recep­tion hall. If you’re mak­ing your own cen­ter­pieces for your wed­ding day, then you’re prob­a­bly won­der­ing where to start. Here are some of our best tips while cre­at­ing the per­fect look for your guest tables: Make your col­ors flow together.
    • If you’re using a bright table linen, go with a sub­tle cen­ter­piece that incor­po­rates dif­fer­ent tints and col­ors that work well with your linens. If you’re using more neu­tral linens then you have more room to incor­po­rate what­ever col­ors you want with your cen­ter­pieces. The main goal is to make sure you aren’t using col­ors that clash.
    Keep your guests in mind.
    • Even if your cen­ter­pieces look great, it is impor­tant to think about how it will affect your guests through­out the recep­tion. You wouldn’t want your guests yelling through a for­est of hydrangeas or sift­ing through a pile of glitter.
    Sim­plic­ity is beautiful.
    • Doing the min­i­mum can still wow your guests. Flow­ers never go out of style, and who doesn’t love sand and seashells? Put these in a nice vase or mason jar, and your cen­ter­pieces are ready to go.
    Can­dles make every­thing better.
    • The nat­ural light­ing of a sim­ple tea light can­dle can make your cen­ter­pieces stand out and set a roman­tic tone for your reception.
    Don’t be afraid to experiment.
    • We all know Pin­ter­est to be the home of crafty ideas. Try break­ing apart the ideas you find on Pin­ter­est and mix­ing them together. You never know what you could come up with.
    The main goal to mak­ing your cen­ter­pieces is to have fun while doing it. Invite your friends over and see what you can come up with together over some wine and cheese.

    March Wed­dings

    You know you’re in Vir­ginia Beach when it’s not strange to be out and about in shorts and flip flops because the tem­per­a­ture has made it over 50 degrees. The antic­i­pa­tion of warmer weather is just too much to resist. It’s no secret that we all love the warmer months, and March is the per­fect time to make that tran­si­tion away from the cold. With tem­per­a­tures ris­ing, spir­its lift­ing, and excite­ment ris­ing, March may just be the per­fect month to plan your wed­ding for. I can tell you’re a bit skep­ti­cal, so here are a few of my top reasons ;)
    • $avings! As we tran­si­tion away from the cold months, March is still con­sid­ered “off-​peak” for most venues and ven­dors. This will typ­i­cally boast an over­all dis­count of 20% for you entire wedding.
    • Day Light Sav­ings: The recent switch in time will allow for a bit more day­light on your spe­cial day. That means more time for your cer­e­mony and beau­ti­ful sun­set pictures.
    • The more the mer­rier! Just as this time frame is off-​peak for your ven­dors, it will likely be off-​peak for your guests and their work sched­ules. This will hope­fully allow for them to take vaca­tion and have an awe­some time at your wedding!
    • No sweat­ing. Although a Sum­mer wed­ding has it’s upsides, their noto­ri­ous for over­heated guests and sweat spots on your fancy wed­ding clothes. There’s always some­where to cool off dur­ing a March wedding.
    • Color options are end­less this time of year. While we tran­si­tion from the cool col­ors of win­ter and move into the softer pas­tels of spring, you’re left with a palette of color com­bi­na­tions to please any and everyone.
    • While there’s a nice chill in the air, the sun is out & the flow­ers are bloom­ing. It won’t be unbear­able to take your wed­ding pho­tos out­side. So even at The Lesner Inn, you’ll get to enjoy our beau­ti­ful view of the Lynnhaven River — and show it off through your wed­ding photographs.
    • Daisies, peonies, tulips, & roses are the IN-​FLOWERS in March.
    • A March wed­ding lends itself to a very ver­sa­tile dec­o­rat­ing ideas, allow­ing you to cre­ate a very unique wedding.
    Con­sider The Lesner Inn dur­ing your venue search! & Don’t for­get to vote for us in BEST OF Vir­ginia Beach: http://​hamp​ton​roads​.com/​b​e​s​t​o​f

    More Arti­cles …

    • The Knot Best of Weddings - Hall Of Fame: Lesner Inn
    • The Knot Best of Weddings - 2017 Pick
    • The Knot Best of Weddings - 2016 Pick
    • Lesner Inn Catering Club, Best Wedding Venues in Virginia 2016
    • Lesner Inn Catering Club Reviews