Trend­ing in Wed­dings: Metal­lic Accents

A trend that is on the rise, and has been for quite a while, is the use of metal­lic accents in both minor and major details through­out the wed­ding. From décor to per­sonal acces­sories, metallics have been present at sev­eral wed­dings at the Lesner Inn over the past few months.

Table LinensLesner-Inn-Wedding-Venue-Metallic-Virginia-Beach.jpg
One of our favorite wed­dings was in May of 2015, where Kim­berly & James were the first cou­ple to take part in the metal­lic trend here at the Lesner Inn! Their décor fea­tured gold sequined table linens from Classy Event Rentals in our Lesner Hall, paired with flo­rals in white and shades of pink. This bride was ahead of the curve with this trend, and set the bar high for Lesner Hall events! Thank you Amanda Hedgepeth Pho­tog­ra­phy for cap­tur­ing this photo!

More recently, Sharise & Richard used a sil­ver sequin linen at their sweet­heart table for their win­ter won­der­land wed­ding! Check out this adorable photo of the cou­ple from Bryan Myhr!



lesner-inn-metallic-trend-virginia-beach-pendant-lights.jpgAt our 2016 Open House, our Water­side Deck was dressed in metallics with every­thing from the light­ing to the table décor. Stage Right Light­ing pro­vided these beau­ti­ful gold metal­lic pen­dant lights (pic­tured left) to accent the cock­tail tables in the space. How­ever, cou­ples are using rogue chan­de­liers and pen­dants as accents to any area! Hang them from the arch dur­ing your cer­e­mony, in a trendy lounge area, or even over your guest tables!

Check out the metal­lic table linens used at our Open House below, pro­vided by Isha Foss! Thank you to Matt Boozer Pho­tog­ra­phy!


Angelique & Drew used these beau­ti­ful gold metal­lic chairs for their cer­e­mony on our Sun­set Deck! These chairs are such a fun and sim­ple way to bring a lit­tle some­thing extra to your event space for much less than if you were to rent them through an out­side ven­dor! We will set them up for you in your cho­sen event space for $3 per chair! These metal­lic gold chairs even look great in our Water­side Deck! Thank you Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy!

Lesner-Inn-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-metallic-sprinkle-cakeEven wed­ding cakes are being decked out in metallics! But don’t worry, they’re edi­ble! Check out this cake from Cakes by Crys­tal!

Sky­lar Watt Pho­tog­ra­phy

Brides­maids Dresses
Metallics don’t stop with décor though! We saw beau­ti­ful metal­lic brides­maids dresses at Brooke & Kris’ May 2015 wed­ding! What a fun way to tie this trend into your wed­ding! We wish we could have worn these trendy brides­maids dresses for our friends’ wed­dings!


Table Décor
Who knew that we were trend­ing when brought gold glit­ter table num­bers and rus­tic metal­lic lanterns into the mix? Avail­able to rent at your Lesner Inn event, we’re here to help you stay on top of the lat­est wed­ding trends!

gold table number

Keep check­ing in with us to see what’s on the rise, and what’s already passed in wed­ding trends!

2016 Wed­ding Flower Trends

Well, it’s national flo­ral design day and we’re turn­ing to the top florists to pre­dict what trends we will be see­ing at the Lesner Inn in 2016! Our venue has seen over a decade of flower trends come through the doors. From the clas­sic calla lilly to brooch bou­quets, we’ve seen it all. With that said, we are REALLY excited to see what 2016 has in store. Want to know what top florists are pre­dict­ing the trends of this year to be? We have you cov­ered.

Sea­sonal and Wild Blooms
With the recent push for farm to table, we aren’t sur­prised at all by this pre­dic­tion. In the past, brides often met with the florists with a spe­cific idea of what they wanted in their bou­quet. We would see sun­flow­ers in Decem­ber and tulips in the fall – no mat­ter the sea­son, we saw every type of flower. Green­houses now allow florists to grow almost any flower at any time. But is this really what peo­ple still want? We are see­ing a rise in sea­sonal and wild bou­quets and florists are say­ing the same thing. Mod­ern brides want locally raised flow­ers and untamed arrange­ments. Keep an eye out for a more nat­ural look this year. Lots of ferns, wood­land inspired bunches, and light greens will be more in demand. Not sure what is in sea­son dur­ing your wed­ding? Check out our chart below to see what flow­ers are avail­able.

Flowers by Season

Stray­ing Away From the Round
No more bul­bous bou­quets, brides want free flow­ing flow­ers. Florists pre­dict that there will be many more cas­cad­ing bou­quets com­ing down the aisle in 2016. Arch­ing branches, sprigs of herbs and flow­ing rib­bons are all the rage right now.

Angelique and Drew by Dustin Lewis 48
Dustin Lewis Photography

In addi­tion to break­ing away from round bou­quets, brides are also break­ing away from the tra­di­tional round guest table. Fam­ily style din­ing on long farm tables, ele­gant king tables and ban­quet style guest seat­ing are asked for all the time. Inter­ested? Lesner Inn has rental tables that fit per­fectly with this trend. Sprawl­ing table gar­lands top these off nicely. Check out Isha Foss’s cre­ation in the Lesner Hall for Angelique and Drew’s Octo­ber wed­ding below.

Angelique and Drew by Dustin Lewis 73
Dustin Lewis Photography

You Can Look and You Can Eat?
The door is open­ing for more than flow­ers. Plants, herbs, berries and fruits are start­ing to make an appear­ance in today’s arrange­ments. While we don’t think walk­ing down the aisle with a cor­nu­copia of fruit is trend­ing quite yet, small touches of berries, mint, petite fruits and rose­mary are def­i­nitely on the up and up.

A Walk in the Woods
Guest tables with small pot­ted trees, ferns and suc­cu­lents are a great way to bring in nat­ural ele­ments with­out break­ing the flo­ral bud­get. Autumn and Matt’s Sep­tem­ber Water­side Deck wed­ding showed us that in the best of ways with their Sher­wood For­rest theme. What a cool way to incor­po­rate apples, moss and bare trees! The bride and groom saved some cash by pur­chas­ing all of their sup­plies from Chesa­peake Whole­sale Flower Mar­ket and with the help of Cherry Blos­som Plan­ning Fac­tory, cre­ated these awe­some accents for their recep­tion

Dustin Lewis Photography

For brides who want a more sub­tle wooded look, look at what Ash­ley and Nick did for their fall wed­ding. Kelly Gish Flo­ral Designs hit this nail on the head with their cen­ter­piece cre­ations. We love the drift­wood branch used to stage the flow­ers and greens. What a neat way to tie in surf and turf!

Sean Holder Photography

Well, there they are! We are look­ing for­ward to see­ing all of these on our tables this upcom­ing year and get­ting to work with such awe­some flo­ral design­ers again.

Navy Life to Navy Wife: How to Incor­po­rate The Ser­vice into Your Cer­e­mony

With Hamp­ton Roads hav­ing such a strong mil­i­tary pres­ence, it should come to no sur­prise that we have seen numer­ous mil­i­tary wed­dings and tra­di­tions. We know that not every mil­i­tary fiancé is well acquainted with the tra­di­tions of their sig­nif­i­cant other’s com­mu­nity, so we thought we could lend a help­ing hand to those of you plan­ning (or attend­ing) a mil­i­tary wed­ding.

What are we all wear­ing?
Dress whites? Mess Dress? Class-​A? None of this makes any sense to those of us out­side of the armed forces so let’s break it down a lit­tle. For offi­cers, evening dress is com­pa­ra­ble to Military-Weddings-Virginia-Beach-Lesner-Inn-Sunset-Lynnhaven-Rivercivil­ian white tie and tails. This is extremely for­mal attire. Din­ner uni­form – or mess dress — is sim­i­lar to civil­ian black tie. Look­ing for some­thing semi-​formal? Go for ser­vice dress whites or ser­vice dress blues. In the Navy, dress whites are worn most often in the sum­mer and dress blues are worn in fall and win­ter. Lesner Inn has seen mostly dress whites and blues but every once in awhile we have some­one step up the for­mal­ity to mess dress. Either way, we think they always look hand­some and we love a man in uni­form — espe­cially against a sun­set over the Lynnhaven River.

To glove or not to glove?
Tra­di­tion shows that all ser­vice mem­bers wear gloves – grooms­men, users, saber and sword bear­ers. The only excep­tion to this is the groom and the best man as they will be han­dling rings.

Do they still need bou­ton­nieres with their uni­forms?
No. You should not be wear­ing a bou­ton­niere on any mil­i­tary uni­form. Bud­get­ing bonus if you have a few mil­i­tary grooms­men and don’t need to pur­chase these!

Where is every­one sit­ting?
In the event that par­ents can­not attend, the bride or groom’s com­mand­ing offi­cer and their spouse may sit in the front row. If par­ents are present, the com­mand­ing offi­cer may sit close to the fam­ily. All fol­low­ing mil­i­tary guests should be seated accord­ing to rank.

Do I get a dis­count?
Yes! Lesner Inn offers 50% off of the room rental fee for all mil­i­tary wed­dings and func­tions. Being the daugh­ters of men and women who have served our coun­try, we know what you and your fam­i­lies have gone through to get to this spe­cial occa­sion. It gives us so much joy to be able to show our appre­ci­a­tion to those of you who have served our coun­try!

Let’s talk about the arch of swords
Every mil­i­tary bride is excited about this and we LOVE see­ing pho­tos of it on our stair­way and Sun­set Deck. We turned to the experts at The Knot to explain this to you:

The arch is a sym­bolic act that ensures the new­ly­wed cou­ple safe pas­sage into their new life together, but it should only be per­formed for com­mis­sioned offi­cers. As soon as the cer­e­mony is over, the ush­ers line up on either side of the aisle to the chapel steps. At the head usher’s com­mand — “Draw sabers (cut­lasses)” — the ush­ers raise their blades, edge up, into the air, care­fully form­ing an arch­way. If there are civil­ian ush­ers in the wed­ding party, they also line up and stand respect­fully at atten­tion while the arch is formed. The new­ly­weds pass under the arch­way, and at the com­mand — “Return sabers (cut­lasses)” — the ush­ers return their weapons to their sides. They then turn and escort the brides­maids down the aisle. If weather per­mits, the arch may be formed out­side the entrance to the cer­e­mony site. Though spe­cific com­mands and pro­to­col may dif­fer based on the mil­i­tary branch of the com­mis­sioned offi­cer, the arch is a mil­i­tary wed­ding tra­di­tion highlight.

Cut­ting the cake
Want the biggest slice of cake pos­si­ble? Slice it with a sword or saber. It is a com­mon mil­i­tary tra­di­tion for the bride and groom to cut the first slice of cake this way. The groom will unsheathe the sword and with his hand over the bride’s they will cut the first cer­e­mo­nial piece of cake.

What is that song that is always sung?
Go to any mil­i­tary wed­ding and you are bound to see this hap­pen. All of the sud­den, the dance floor clears, a chair is brought out for the bride and ser­vice­men gather all around her. No, this is not the garter toss – it’s time for some karaoke. Since the pre­miere of Top Gun, men have got­ten down on one knee to ser­e­nade the wife of their fel­low ser­vice­man with The Right­eous Brother’s Clas­sic “You’ve Lost That Lov­ing Feel­ing”. We love watch­ing the guys belt this one out to a blush­ing bride – it never gets old!


There are many more small tra­di­tions that vary from ser­vice to ser­vice but these are some of the more com­mon ones that we see on a rou­tine basis. When in doubt, you can always check with your local base pro­to­col offi­cer with any questions!

Step­ping Out of Tra­di­tion

While wed­ding tra­di­tions in the past seemed to be set in stone, it seems that more and more cou­ples are mak­ing it their goal to break these tra­di­tions. Things like not see­ing each other before the cer­e­mony, wear­ing a white dress, or rice show­ers upon exit are becom­ing less and less com­mon, and more fun and excit­ing alter­na­tives are on the rise. For your guests, attend­ing a wed­ding that breaks tra­di­tion gives you imme­di­ate cool points, and gives you brag­ging rights for years to come! Here are some of Lesner Inn’s favorite breaks in tradition!

Can’t See Each Other Before Ceremony

best first look - Jessica and Gary Ochs - Amanada Hedgepeth

This age old tra­di­tion dates back to when mar­riage was con­sid­ered to be more of a busi­ness deal than a sym­bol of eter­nal love. When arranged mar­riages were the norm, the bride and groom wouldn’t have even met before the cer­e­mony. The tra­di­tion of not see­ing each other was actu­ally born because the fam­i­lies didn’t want the bride or groom to back out of the “trans­ac­tion” if they weren’t attracted to each other. Side note, this is also the intended pur­pose of the veil. Makes you really sec­ond guess whether or not to par­tic­i­pate in this tra­di­tion, right? While some cou­ples have not put this tra­di­tion in the past where it belongs, many are see­ing it as an adorable photo oppor­tu­nity! It can be dif­fi­cult to pho­to­graph the moment you first see each other with a crowd of peo­ple all try­ing to see the same thing your pho­tog­ra­pher is. We love the idea of mak­ing this more of an event for the bride and groom so they have an inti­mate mem­ory of the first time they saw each other on their wed­ding day. — Photo Credit Amanda Hedgepeth Photography

Drinks Start After the Ceremony

Who decided that the fun can’t start before the cer­e­mony? When your guests begin to arrive and take their seats, why shouldn’t they be offered a light bev­er­age to get the evening started? Whether it be a cham­pagne punch, beer, wine, or all of the above nobody ever turned down a nice refresh­ing bev­er­age! If you don’t want to offer alco­hol before the cer­e­mony, you can always offer infused water, iced tea, lemon­ade, hot choco­late, or any other fun drink you can think of to start the night off right!

Flower Girls lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-flower-girls.jpg

Tra­di­tion­ally, the flower girl is a young girl who scat­ters flower petals to give the bride and groom luck in fer­til­ity. This tra­di­tion, like most of these wed­ding tra­di­tions, orig­i­nated from super­sti­tion back when the Earth was thought to be flat. We think it’s time to go out with the old and in with the new with this tra­di­tion, or in this case out with the new and in with the old? One of our favorite plays on tra­di­tion was when grand­par­ents were fea­tured as flower girls and ring bear­ers dur­ing the cer­e­mony! The crowd went wild, and we at the Lesner Inn still talk about this moment with our clients! — Photo Credit Dustin Lewis Photography

White Dress


White was adopted as the tra­di­tional color for a bridal gown in the Vic­to­rian era, as a sym­bol of purity and inno­cence of girl­hood. As tra­di­tions change, it becomes less com­mon for brides to be looked down on for avoid­ing the cookie cut­ter white dress. Instead, brides are opt­ing for gowns in ivory, nude, and even sub­dued pink. We love this break in tra­di­tion, and encour­age brides to opt for a dress they love over stay­ing within the nar­row lines of tra­di­tion! — Photo Credit Caitlin Ger­res Photography

Grooms Attire lesner-inn-weddings-virginia-beach-groom-attire

The bride isn’t the only one who is expected to fall within a tra­di­tional mold for attire. The groom is expected to wear a white but­ton down shirt, with a vest, and over­coat on the wed­ding day! How­ever, we see more and more grooms com­ing out with a more casual look, opt­ing for the but­ton down with just the over­coat or vest, or just the but­ton down with rolled up sleeves! We know this is great news for the grooms­men when it comes to a sum­mer wed­ding! — Photo Credit Ross Costanza Photography

Wed­ding Cake

When we think of a wed­ding cake, what comes to mind is a tra­di­tional three tiered cake rep­re­sent­ing the engage­ment, wed­ding, and eter­nity rings. How­ever, if you’re not a cake lover then spend­ing hun­dreds of dol­lars on a cake for the sake of tra­di­tion prob­a­bly isn’t the best way to bud­get your wed­ding. Many cou­ples are switch­ing to cup­cakes, but we’ve even seen alter­na­tives such as donuts, tiramisu, and pie! Try switch­ing it up for your sweet treat!

View More: Innn weddings virginia beach dl cake

  • Photo Credit Lind­sey Fau­vre (left) and Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy (right)
  • Throw­ing Rice

    Okay, we will admit this tra­di­tion has been long gone! But we just love talk­ing about all of the fun exits that can be done instead of throw­ing rice or flower petals! One of our favorite, and most com­mon, exits are sparkler exits! They make for such amaz­ing pic­tures! And of course we can’t for­get how amaz­ing boat exits are off of our dock onto the Lynnhaven River!


    David Cham­pagne Photography

    Tra­di­tions are just like your every­day trend, chang­ing over time with one bold move that leads the pack!

    You CAN Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: Six 2016 Cake Trends

    2016 is show­ing us at the Lesner Inn that the tra­di­tional but­ter­cream frost­ing wed­ding cake is on its way out the door. While we still love the clas­sic com­bi­na­tions of fruit-​filled cakes with fluffy icing, there are some new kids on the cake table.

    Sprin­kle Cakes

    One of the more pop­u­lar trends com­ing in wed­ding cakes are sprin­kles. Yes, the same thing that you coated your ice cream sun­daes in as a kid. We first started see­ing a rise in cakes that were coated in sprin­kles like one of our fall brides did (pic­tured above). But now we are see­ing more and more fun­fetti cakes (sprin­kles on the inside) mak­ing their way onto plates. No one ever said fun­fetti was just for kids! Lesner Inn Weddings Virginia Beach sprinkle cake
  • Photo Credit Sky­lar Watt
  • Dirty Iced Cakes

    Not every­one is as crazy about icing as we are. And now there is a solu­tion for you non-​frosting folks. Dirty iced cakes! The name is weird but the con­cept is great. Instead of two coats of icing, bak­eries stop after the crumb coat. In tra­di­tional cakes, the crumb coat serves to even the sur­face to smooth on your frost­ing – sim­i­lar to what paint primer does for walls. Be on the look­out for these as they are becom­ing ever more pop­u­lar among mod­ern brides.


    Sin­gle Layer Cakes

    While cup­cakes have been the hit of the decade, cou­ples haven’t been able to take part in the time-​honored tra­di­tion of cake cut­ting with these bite size sweets. Prob­lem solved with sin­gle layer cakes. These small cakes allow you to still have the cer­e­mo­nial slice with­out hav­ing the cost of a giant tiered cake.

    lesner inn weddings virginia beachlesner inn weddings virginia beach

  • Photo Credit David Champagne
  • Gold Leaf Accents

    Do you want a lit­tle bit of sparkle with­out going over the top? Gold leaf accents are top­ping many pop­u­lar wed­ding cakes these days. This adds a bit of flair to your cake and is a nice change from fon­dant and flowers.


    Photo credit one​fab​day​.com

    Reflect Your Personality

    We were in love with this cake from one of Water­side Deck wed­ding this past win­ter. The bride sur­prised her hus­band – who is a Mar­vel maniac — with a cake to show both sides of their per­son­al­ity. He was blown away by this cre­ation by Car­olina Cupcakes.

    lesner inn weddings virginia beach superman cakes

  • Photo Credit Emma Fair Photo
  • Break Out of the Cake Box

    No one ever said you HAD to have cake at your wed­ding. Colleen & Mark weren’t big cake peo­ple and nei­ther were Ash­ley & Nick. Colleen opted for pies for her Decem­ber wed­ding and Ash­ley brought spe­cialty donuts to a whole new level with her Duck Dough­nuts dessert table. She even got mini boxes of dough­nuts for all of the ven­dors – a sweet treat that we thor­oughly enjoyed!

    View More: Innn weddings virginia beach dl cake

  • Photo Credit Lind­sey Fau­vre (left) and Dustin Lewis Pho­tog­ra­phy (right)
  • There are so many dif­fer­ent fla­vors, styles, and types of desserts you can choose from, that it’s easy to get bogged down. Don’t let it stress you out though! In the end, pick what­ever appeals to your sweet tooth. As far as every­one else goes, lis­ten to Marie Antoinette…let them eat cake!

    Tips to Keep Your Lit­tle Helpers Calm

    We’ve all been to those wed­dings where the flower girl can’t stand still and just wants to be with her mommy. Or the ring bearer can’t stop fid­dling with his too trendy for a tod­dler sus­penders once reach­ing the end of the aisle. These things can be dis­tract­ing, and can take the focus off of your vows and the over­all ambiance of the cer­e­mony. Luck­ily, we’ve seen a thing or two, and have some of the best tips to keep all of your lit­tle helpers calm dur­ing your ceremony!

    Start train­ing early

    • While your bridal party may just need one rehearsal to get the rou­tine down, your flower girl and ring bearer may need a lit­tle more train­ing. Show them videos of other wed­dings to give them an exam­ple of how they are expected to act, or even throw a pre­tend wed­ding where they get to act out what they should be doing!

    Make sure they’re comfortable

    • If a child doesn’t like the tutu or vest you dress them up in, they won’t hide their emo­tions. So, to pre­vent a half naked or cry­ing child from walk­ing down the aisle, try mak­ing them a part of choos­ing their attire. If you give them a choice, they will be much more will­ing to cooperate.

    Give them a lit­tle some­thing to keep them occupied

    • One of the best tips we’ve heard for flower girls at the Lesner Inn, is to put skit­tles or another of their favorite can­dies at the bot­tom of the bas­ket. This gives them some­thing to work for while they’re toss­ing the flow­ers, and keeps them occu­pied and will­ing to stand still dur­ing the ceremony!

    Keep their par­ents close

    • For any of those shy or attached chil­dren, have their par­ents sit­ting towards the front so they don’t feel uncom­fort­able. A famil­iar face can always calm a child down!


    • After all, there will be cake at the reception :)

    Angelique and Drew by Dustin Lewis 18

  • Dustin Lewis Photography
  • Pre-​ceremony Cel­e­bra­tions

    We know how it is. Your wed­ding day is a cel­e­bra­tion, an all day cel­e­bra­tion, and what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate than pop­ping cham­pagne before the cer­e­mony? Well, thank­fully, we’re here to help you accom­plish all of your cel­e­bra­tion needs!

    After many long and tedious hours of test­ing out cham­pagnes from our wine dis­trib­u­tors, we have cho­sen the best cham­pagnes to get your pre-​ceremony cel­e­bra­tions going! I know, we made such a great sac­ri­fice to bring these cel­e­bra­tory drinks straight to you, but it’s the least we could do to show you all how much we love cel­e­brat­ing you and your very momen­tous occasion!

    Check out how we can help you and your bridal party cel­e­brate before the cel­e­bra­tion, by click­ing the menu below!

    Pre­cer­e­mony Celebrations

    Angelique and Drew by Dustin Lewis 75.jpg

    Thank You!

    With the year 2016 ahead of us, we would like to say a quick thank you to all of our cou­ples in 2015 who took the time to review their expe­ri­ences with us. It means the world to us that so many peo­ple felt that their expe­ri­ence was worth shar­ing with other poten­tial brides and grooms! As we reflect on 2015, we think it’s impor­tant to pat our­selves on the back for being rec­og­nized on Wed­ding Wire, The Knot, and for the first time in Vir­ginia Liv­ing Magazine!

    wedding wirethe knotVirginia Living

    The Lesner Inn has been rec­og­nized for three years in a row as one of the best venues in the Hamp­ton Roads area rated by cou­ples on Wed­ding Wire. We have also been rec­og­nized on the Knot as best of wed­dings for the past 2 years, by our past brides and grooms. Now, for the first time, we have been rec­og­nized by Vir­ginia Liv­ing Mag­a­zine as one of the top wed­ding ven­dors in Vir­ginia Beach!

    We can­not wait to see what the future holds for us, and we hope to keep these streaks going by pro­vid­ing excel­lent ser­vice to all of our couples!

    Best of 2015

    As 2015 comes to a close, we here at Lesner Inn want to take a moment to reflect on what a great year it has been with both our social and wed­ding events. We have seen some of the most spec­tac­u­lar and cre­ative uses of our spaces, most touch­ing moments, most beau­ti­ful pho­tographs, and so many other things that made 2015 at the Lesner Inn so mem­o­rable! For those of you who were mar­ried with us in 2015, we hope this first year of mar­riage has been bliss­ful and we wish you all the best in years to come, and for those of you who held a social event with us, we hope to help you host an event again in the future!

    Best Cake Display:

    • Here at the Lesner Inn we see our fair share of beau­ti­ful – and deli­cious – cakes! But, by far the most beau­ti­fully exe­cuted cake would have to be from Jacque­line and Tim­o­thy Cleary’s wed­ding! Check out this awe­some cake by Cakes by Crys­tal, and thanks to Sky­lar Watt for cap­tur­ing this gor­geous cake!
    Best cake Jacqueline & Timothy Cleary - Skylar Watt

    Best Hash Tag:

    • Com­ing up with a clever hash­tag is not an easy feat. Most cou­ples end up with a basic hash­tag like #meet­the­smiths. But Melinda Lack­ore and William Zack­owski were able to come up with the clever­est mash up of names in 2015 for the hash­tag #the­biglack­owski! If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Big Labowski then you should appre­ci­ate this hash­tag as much as we do! Great job Mr. and Mrs. Zack­owski! Thanks to Eliz­a­beth Friske for cap­tur­ing their beau­ti­ful day!
    Lesner Inn Weddings Virginia Beach

    Best Flower Girls:

    We want to hire these two as full time flower girls! They stole the show with their dash­ing escort of a ring bearer when they entered the recep­tion hall. With some liq­uid courage from the sparkling cider, they tore up the dance floor at Ash­ley and Gary Jeager’s recep­tion and showed us that lit­tle feet sure can move! Thanks to Sky­lar Wyatt for cap­tur­ing their antics all evening — they def­i­nitely won best flower girls of 2015!

    Lesner Inn Virginia Beach WeddingsLesner Inn Weddings Virginia Beach

    Best Theme:

    • Cre­ative wed­ding themes are one in a mil­lion at Lesner Inn, but Ann Marie and Brian Ambler really took their marathon theme and ran with it! Being a cou­ple who love to get their exer­cise in by the mile, Ann Marie and Brian made sure to incor­po­rate their love for run­ning into their day of love for each other. The thought and effort they put into this event makes them so deserv­ing to be rec­og­nized for the best theme of 2015! Shout out to Daisy Tor­res for cap­tur­ing these shots!

    Lesner Inn Weddings Virginia beachLesner Inn Weddings Virginia Beach

    Best DIY:

    • Ros­alie and Troy’s Pin­ter­est per­fect wed­ding set the bar high for cou­ples who love DIY projects! From the guest book to the pho­to­booth, their cre­ativ­ity and crafti­ness amazed us all. Take a peek at some of her unique touches below. Shout out to Shan­non Mof­fit for the awe­some photographs!
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  • Best Exit:

    • Boat exits are def­i­nitely the most styl­ish way to leave the Lesner Inn, and we have to give the best exit of 2015 to Laura and War­ren Adkins for this awe­some shot of our build­ing and their guests send­ing them off! Thanks to Tara Liebeck for cap­tur­ing this image!
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    Best Toast Moment:

    • Cindy was such a joy to work with in the months pre­ced­ing her beau­ti­ful wed­ding day, and the team at the Lesner Inn has noth­ing but won­der­ful things to say about her. That being said, it comes to no sur­prise that the best toast goes to Cindy & Kyle from their wed­ding last May. Cindy fell to her knees being so over­whelmed by the love her friends and fam­ily shared for her and Kyle, and we have to thank Caitlin Ger­res for cap­tur­ing this mov­ing moment!
    best toast - Cindy and Kyles Wedding by Caitlin Gerres Photo

    Best Guest Book:

    • Guest books are always a great oppor­tu­nity to show off your cre­ativ­ity at your wed­ding, and are much more than just remem­ber­ing who was there. That’s why we love how Autumn and Matt Har­vey took the oppor­tu­nity to get some last minute advice and well wishes from their guests with their “Wish­ing Tree” guest book! This cre­ative guest book def­i­nitely takes the title of best guest book of 2015! Thanks to Sean Holder for these great shots!
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  • Best Flo­rals:

    • Choos­ing your bou­quet and flo­ral arrange­ments for your wed­ding can be an essen­tial piece of décor not only down aisle, but dur­ing the recep­tion as well. Recently, many brides have been choos­ing suc­cu­lents as a part of their flo­ral arrange­ments! Suc­cu­lents truly stole the show this year when it comes flo­rals, and nobody pulled off this trend bet­ter than Ash­ley and Nick Bankowski! We have to admire how beau­ti­ful these nat­ural col­ors look together! Props to your florist Kelly Gish, and to Dustin Lewis for get­ting these beau­ti­ful shots!
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  • Best Some­thing Borrowed:

    • When think­ing about the age old tra­di­tion of some­thing old, some­thing new, some­thing bor­rowed, some­thing blue, what nor­mally comes to mind are sim­ple trin­kets that just barely make the cut. But, Erin Lang­lands’ some­thing bor­rowed stole our hearts with a touch­ing trib­ute to her mother. Erin, with just a bit of revamp­ing, wore her mother’s wed­ding dress and looked absolutely stun­ning, tak­ing some­thing bor­rowed to a whole new level! We wish you all the best in the years to come! Great shots by Ash­ley Lester!
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    Best Water­side Deck Décor:

    • The Water­side Deck is known for its casual charm, so trans­form­ing this space into some­thing more ele­gant can be a bit of a chal­lenge. But, we have to give credit to ODU stu­dent, Brooke Web­ster, for sin­gle hand­edly putting her sorority’s hol­i­day party together in our Water­side Deck at The Lesner Inn. With use of the amaz­ing linens from Water­ford Event Rentals, she cre­ated a win­ter won­der­land with sequins and cheer­ful hol­i­day décor! Thanks to Brooke, her fel­low soror­ity sis­ters & their dates were able to have an incred­i­ble night on the water! Great job Brooke!
    lesner inn weddings virginia beach waterside deck

    Best Lesner Hall Décor:

    • Trans­form­ing your recep­tion hall from a uni­ver­sal space, to a space that looks like it was cre­ated just for you on your wed­ding day takes a lot of work! It takes plan­ning, trial and error, and a lot of patience! Lucky for us, we’ve worked with some of the best in the busi­ness and have seen some of the most beau­ti­ful com­bi­na­tions of color in our Lesner Hall. Our favorite for 2015, how­ever, would have to be from Kim­berly and James Speck­hart! We love the gold sequined over­lays, and soft pink flo­rals! Great job to you and your team, and thanks to Amanda Hedgepeth for these gor­geous shots!
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  • Best Day Time Wedding:

    • Jenny & Denny’s wed­ding was, for many rea­sons, one of our favorites of the year! They tied in so many of their culture’s wed­ding tra­di­tions, while incor­po­rat­ing more mod­ern tra­di­tions as well! From a car­i­ca­ture artist dur­ing cock­tail hour, to tra­di­tional Indian dances dur­ing the recep­tion Jenny and Denny pulled off the best day time wed­ding we’ve seen in 2015! Their col­or­ful décor filled the room with so much love and joy, which def­i­nitely can be one of the many sources of the smiles across Jenny and Denny’s faces through­out the day! Shout out to Jason Jarvis for these amaz­ing photos!
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  • Best First Dance:

    • If you’re won­der­ing how to pull off the most roman­tic first dance, just ask the Johnson’s how it’s done. Sharise and Richard John­son con­tracted Stage Right Light­ing to “let it snow” dur­ing their first dance at their win­ter wed­ding. The effect was breathe tak­ing and showed us all some­thing we never thought we would see in the Lesner Hall! Way to keep us on our toes Johnsons!
    Best first dance

    Best Bad Weather Photo:

    • When Mother Nature isn’t on your side, be lucky that your pho­tog­ra­pher always is! Rain or shine, they’re there to cap­ture those pre­cious moments that you don’t want to for­get! Even with some dreary weather, Melinda and William Zack­owski were able to score this beau­ti­ful shot by Eliz­a­beth Friske and have an all-​around beau­ti­ful cer­e­mony and recep­tion with us at the Lesner Inn! Such beau­ti­ful pic­tures are def­i­nitely deserv­ing of the best bad weather pho­tos of 2015!
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    Best Sun­set Photo:

    • The Lesner Inn has a rep­u­ta­tion for gor­geous sun­sets, which obvi­ously makes for incred­i­ble pic­tures! So when it comes to choos­ing who was able to snag the most unfor­get­table sun­set pic on their wed­ding day, we have a lot to choose from! But, by far the most mem­o­rable photo from 2015 was cap­tured by Expo­sure Pho­tog­ra­phy of Amanda and Marc Foreman!
    best sunset photo Amanda and Marc Exposure

    Best First Look:

    • Best first look of 2015 has to go to Jes­sica & Gary Ochs! One of the very many rea­sons we love our job and work­ing in wed­dings is to see the grooms face after he sees his wife for the first time on their wed­ding day. This moment makes us all real­ize that true love does exist and we love to share these beau­ti­ful moments with you! Shout out to Amanda Hedgepeth for the awe­some capture!
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  • Best First Kiss:

    • The antic­i­pated words “you may kiss the bride” can strike both excite­ment and ter­ror in the hearts of brides every­where. The pres­sure is on to have the most per­fect kiss, and Caitlin and Brett Anti­nori sure make this moment look as if they had been prac­tic­ing all of their lives! These two were such a joy to work with, and we’re so happy to have had such an exem­plary cou­ple here with us! Best wishes to you both, and thanks to Alex Mor­ing for snap­ping this pre­cious moment!
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    Best Wed­ding Photos

    • Wed­ding pho­tos are one of the most impor­tant things a bride and groom will take away from their wed­ding day. From pic­tures with your squad to inti­mate pic­tures of the bride and groom they are pic­tures that you will look back on for years to come. Dustin Lewis is an amaz­ingly skilled pho­tog­ra­pher who we have the plea­sure of work­ing with fre­quently at the Lesner Inn, and he was able to cap­ture the most beau­ti­ful moments at Angelique and Andrew Mitchell’s cer­e­mony and recep­tion! This beau­ti­ful cou­ple made Dustin’s job easy, but nonethe­less deserve to be rec­og­nized for hav­ing the best wed­ding pho­tos of 2015!
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    Cham­pagne Cock­tails

    Cham­pagne and cel­e­bra­tions go hand in hand. Whether you’re cel­e­brat­ing a grad­u­a­tion, birth­day, engage­ment or mar­riage, or even just the hol­i­days there will likely be cham­pagne involved. How you serve your cham­pagne how­ever, doesn’t have to be the same old cookie cut­ter way every­one else does! Here are our favorite ways to serve cham­pagne for any celebration!


    • This mix­ture of vodka, cham­pagne, and cran­berry juice will spread some hol­i­day cheer! Serve in your favorite styled glass with ice and an orange twist on top!

    Man­darin Cocktail

    • This sim­ple cit­rus con­coc­tion will have you ready to cel­e­brate just about any occa­sion on a sum­mer day. Just mix man­darin liqueur and cham­pagne in a cham­pagne flute and gar­nish with a clemen­tine peel to get the party started!

    Iced Toddy

    • If you like apple cider and bour­bon then you’ll love this! A mix­ture of apple cider, bour­bon, all­spice dram, and cham­pagne com­pletes this fall favorite!


    • If you’re look­ing for a spin on a clas­sic cock­tail then the G&C is the per­fect cham­pagne cock­tail for your cel­e­bra­tion. Shake up some cran­ber­ries and a pinch of sugar with gin and lime juice and top it off with a splash of champagne!

    Sim­ply Sweet

    • If you love cham­pagne, but are look­ing for a fun and cre­ative way to dress it up, keep it sim­ple by plac­ing a stick of rock candy in a cham­pagne flute. It adds just a bit of sweet­ness to the bit­ter tang of champagne!


    • For a fun and fresh cock­tail just a bit of pear vodka, St. Ger­main, and cham­pagne will do the trick! Gar­nish with a pear slice and you have a refresh­ing bev­er­age to cel­e­brate any occasion!

    8R3A0373 - Colleen and Jason - Amanda Manupella

    Photo cred­its: Amanda Manupella

    Here at Lesner Inn, we love to hear what­ever cre­ative cock­tails you can dream up. If you want to spice up your cel­e­bra­tion, ask one of our event man­agers how we can make your dream cock­tail hap­pen at your sched­uled event!

    Happy hol­i­days!

    Way to Incor­po­rate Loved Ones Who Can’t Attend the Big Day

    For a num­ber of rea­sons, you may have a loved one who won’t be able to attend your wed­ding. Of course we wish they could be with us to share our hap­pi­ness, but there are many ways to feel close to these loved ones on your spe­cial day. From small trin­kets to sen­ti­men­tal dresses here are some of our most cher­ished ways to remem­ber those who can­not attend.

    Remem­brance Charms

    • If you have a favorite pic­ture of some­one you deeply care about, have a small charm made and have it attached to your bou­quet, shoes, or made into jew­elry. You could even do cuff links for men!


    • Did your fam­ily have a spe­cial song that would get every­body on the dance floor? Ded­i­cate a song to those fam­ily mem­bers who can’t attend, and invite the rest of your fam­ily in to par­tic­i­pate in the fun!

    Mem­ory Table

    • Have a table ded­i­cated to remem­ber­ing those who you and your fiancé have lost. Dis­play some pic­tures of your favorite mem­o­ries with them, or even just a sim­ple por­trait of each individual.

    Some­thing Borrowed

    • Every bride needs some­thing bor­rowed before she walks down the aisle, why not make it some­thing that has great sen­ti­ment? If you remem­ber look­ing at your mother, aunt, grand­mother, or even great grandmother’s wed­ding pho­tos and think­ing how beau­ti­ful they looked in their dress, see if they still have it. Some of the most beau­ti­ful wed­ding dresses we have seen have been restored to reflect a more mod­ern time, while still being a piece to remem­ber some­one you care about. You could even do some­thing as sim­ple as choos­ing pieces of jew­elry owned by a loved one.

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    Pho­tographed by Ash­ley Lester

    Skype Them In

    • For those friends and fam­ily mem­bers who are unable to attend your wed­ding due to sick­ness, dis­tance or deploy­ments, have some­one Skype them in for the cer­e­mony or recep­tion using a phone or tablet. There is a time and place for tech­nol­ogy at a wed­ding but we def­i­nitely give this one the seal of approval.

    We hope that all of your loved ones are able to attend your spe­cial day, but if not, smile and reflect on all of the won­der­ful mem­o­ries you’ve shared!

    More Arti­cles …

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