Our Wedding Blog

8 Things We’ve Learned Since Becoming a Wedding Venue

Lesner Inn has been in business for quite some time now and we thought it would be helpful to share with you some insights that we’ve learned throughout the years of being a wedding venue! From things specific to the venue side of weddings or just some generic tips, we hope you can take at least one or two of these and use them during wedding planning!

Hiring Help for your Wedding is Important Waterfront Wedding Venue Hampton Roads (3)

You may not need a wedding planner or assistance designing your wedding, but having someone to put all the pieces together on the day of, and get you down the aisle is crucial! Enjoy the day you’ve worked so hard on planning, and spent so much money on. Let your hired vendors do what you hired them for – and hire a day of coordinator to make sure they do!

Right: Sweet Adeline by Jenn Marie

Do’s & Don’ts for Booking Vendors

  1. Do decide on your entire wedding budget BEFORE booking vendors. Once you decide on an overall budget, select your catering (sometimes your venue includes your catering). The scariest number you’ll see while planning your wedding will be from the food and beverage. About 80% of your entire budget should go towards the food and beverage, and the remaining towards other vendors such as flowers, music, photography, etc.
  2. Don’t commit to a specific date until you book your venue. Definitely come up with a season or month that you like to have your wedding but sometimes if you narrow it down to just one date, you may have a hard time finding a venue that has it available depending on how close that date it is.
  3. Do book your venue first THEN start booking other vendors based on the date that you booked your venue.

Trust Your Vendors

Once you’ve booked your vendors, be sure to actually use them and the knowledge they’ve acquired from previous weddings. Your vendors do numerous weddings a year so they are aware of how things go and the best ways to do things. Go to them for advice and listen to them if they have a recommendation for certain things to make your wedding perfect!

Wedding-Photos-On-The-Water-Lesner-Inn

Above: Paige Ryan Photography

Be Open with Your Vendors

Trusting your vendors and being open with your vendors go hand in hand. Being open about everything from the start will make the process with your vendors so much easier. Discuss with them your vision, your budget, what you would like from them the day of, and so on. If you’re not open with them, then you may not be getting the best of the best of what they can offer you!

echard_wheeler_lesner-dual-entree-plated-mealAlways Do a Tasting

You could think you have your heart set on certain food until you taste it – everyone makes things differently or you could be pleasantly surprised and love something you usually wouldn’t order. It is also important to keep your guest’s taste preferences in mind, it’s your wedding but you are hosting them and want to make sure there is a little something for everyone. Also be conscious of your guest’s dietary restrictions – if someone has a shell fish, gluten, peanut, etc. allergy that will be super helpful to tell your catering company beforehand so the meal can go as smooth as possible.

Left: Echard Wheeler Photography

Allow for Hiccups

You’ve worked really hard to plan an event, but with every event, there’s always the risk of things not going exactly as planned. That’s okay! You’re having a wedding and reception to invite friends and family to celebrate the love between you and your fiancé. So enjoy the time together and prepare to be a go with the flow sort of person for that day!

Have a Support System

As fun as wedding planning can be, it can also be very stressful. Planning an event anywhere from 50 – 200 guests is no easy task especially when you may be doing it for the first time in your life. You’ll want to celebrate with them on the good days and have their support on the more stressful days of wedding planning!

Waterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (76)

Above: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

We have truly learned a lot over the course of our years as a wedding venue! We have seen almost everything you could possibly see at a wedding and just wanted to share what we learned with our future couples! If you’re just starting out or nearing the end of wedding planning, we hope you can use these to your advantage!

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What People are Saying

  • Mr. & Mrs. John­son

    MARCH 10, 2018
    ENTIRE VENUE

    Working with Lindsey and the Lesner Inn was great! I planned the majority of my wedding from out of town and Lindsey could not have been more patient with my constant emails. The venue looked beautiful at the reception and my guests loved the views and the food. The crab cakes were everyone’s favorite. Thank you so much to the Lesner Inn team and & Lindsey for such a beautiful wedding!

  • Mr. & Mrs. Jurko

    JUNE 22, 2018
    LESNER HALL & SUNSET DECK

    I could NOT be happier with the service from Lesner Inn. Our coordinator Liz was SO helpful each time we met with her and had questions. The ceremony and receptions spaces were absolutely beautiful. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing and I would recommend this venue to anyone!

  • The Bells

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
    LESNER HALL & SUNSET DECK

    Alexis, We just wanted to say thank you for all that you did Saturday & all the planning leading up to our wedding day. We had such an amazing day! And we really appreciated you making sure we were taken care of throughout the night. You’re amazing at what you do & helped our wedding day turn out to be perfect! Thank you again!

  • Jon & Brit­tany Wil­son

    JULY 15, 2017
    LESNER HALL & SUNSET DECK

    Girls at the Lesner Inn, Wow! I can’t believe it’s been just about a year since Jon and I came through the doors and knew that this would be the place we say “I do”. You guys are awesome and made planning a breeze even for this bride who didn’t have it all together. Thank you guys so much for everything, our day was perfect!

  • Kyle & Elise Miller

    APRIL 8, 2018
    LESNER HALL & SUNSET DECK

    Lindsey!
    I am speechless! Friday was truly amazing. You went above and beyond to make our day so special! We loved every second of the night. Thank you also for the champagne glasses and kitchen towel. You are so sweet! Everyone raved about the night. You and Lesner Inn are AMAZING!
    Love you
    Kyle & Elise Miller

  • Lauren and Luis went off for a fun day at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and when they came back home, the bathroom was decorated with champagne and candles. Luis proposed in the most perfect way and Lauren couldn't help but say yes to her love ❤️💍 Photo: Shawn Sawyer Photography
  • Our next manager is Lindsey Basnight! She is a Radford Highlander and you will never see her without a cup of coffee! We are pretty sure that she single-handedly keeps Dunkin’ Donuts in business… just ask any of the employees at the Shore Drive location! Since she's lived in Virginia Beach her entire life, she's out on the water every chance she gets. You may see her catching some rays or fishing out on the bay! In 2017, we found a 6 week old kitten drowning in the Lynnhaven River and she took him under her wing and nursed him back to health. He’s stuck around and we love getting updates from her about how he is growing!
  • Rain or shine, I'll love you forever! 💕 Photo: 88 Love Stories
  • We're right on the water so why not have a boat ready on the dock for you to take a few pictures during cocktail hour?! 🥰 Photo: Courtney Timms Photography Dress: Studio I Do Bridals Virginia Beach Hair: Hair Daze Salon & Spa MUA: Dhalia Edwards Makeup
  • When you marry the love of your life you also marry into his friendships! 😂💕 Photo by: Daissy Torres Photography
  • It's been a while since you've seen the faces behind the doors of Lesner Inn so we wanted to introduce our managers! First off… our fearless leader, Alexis Hionis. Alexis is a Virginia Beach native, born and bred. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and after a short stint in the Los Angeles event industry, she returned to her East Coast beach roots. With an inherent love for all things wedding, paired with her creative energy and attention to detail, Alexis has found her home at The Lesner Inn. Since 2010, she has overseen hundreds of weddings but still hasn't grown tired of the excitement of the big day...and the wedding cakes. When she isn't in the office, you’ll find her giving back to the community she loves so much, through her nonprofit, @riseVB. Fun fact: she was recognized for her efforts in 2018 when she won Coastal Virginia Biz’s Best Local Leader Making A Difference award!
  • You are my today and all of my tomorrow 💕 Photo: Angel Eyes Photography
  • A kiss seals two souls in a moment of time 😘 Photo by: Brooke Waldroup Photography
  • $1,000 GIVEAWAY TIME In need of some holiday photos for your Christmas card, engagement photos, or just some headshots? We’ll we’ve partnered with @samiroyphoto on a special photoshoot giveaway! Open to all participants - you’ll have the chance to win a photoshoot valued up to $500 and a special $500 discount with the Lesner Inn by just following these simple steps listed below! To enter: 1. Like this photo 2. Follow both @samiroyphoto & @lesnerinn on instagram 3. Tag 3 friends 4. Extra entry - share to your Instagram story or repost and mention @samiroyphoto and @lesnerinn That's it!! The contest will run from Dec. 2-8 with the winner being announced Dec. 9th on Lesner Inn’s account!
  • There's a reason why we don't see the world in black & white! 😍😍 Photo by: Chelsie Darling Photography
  • I would thank you from the bottom of my heart but for you my heart has no bottom 💕 Happy Thanksgiving! Photo by: Daissy Torres Photography
  • Honestly...blown away at Katie's beauty 😍 Photo by Him & Her Photography
  • We can not get over this day and how perfect these photos by Courtney Timms Photography came out! When you have a good looking couple and perfect views, things come together better than you can imagine 😍 Dress from Studio I Do Bridals Virginia Beach Hair by Hair Daze Salon & Spa Makeup by Dhalia Edwards Makeup
  • From the couple to the smallest of details - don't forget to capture every part of your day! Photo by: Sami Roy Photography
  • There's no others, Like my Brothers I want by my side, As I marry my Bride. 💕 Photo by: Daissy Torres Photography
  • Lounge areas for cocktail hour are absolutely and utterly our favorite things 💕 Photo: Michael & Laura Photography Flowers: Gather Floral Lounge: Paisley & Jade Gown: Wedding Atelier
  • A vision of beauty! 😍 Photo: Sami Roy Photography Dress: Here & Now Bridal
  • The view, the bride, the groom what else can I say? Pure perfection! 😍 Photo: EyeCaptures Photography Florist: Fluttering Flowers Gown: Silk Bridal Studio
  • Sunsets out on the dock are reason enough for a kiss 😘 Photo by Skylar Wyatt Photography Gown from Silk Bridal Makeup by BlushTones Hair by Chroma Salon Virginia Beach
  • The rustic bar set up in the Waterside Deck? We think yes! 😍 Photo: Michael & Laura Photography Flowers: Gather Floral Bar set up: Lesner Inn
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