Our Wedding Blog

Behind the Lens with Cat DeLine Photography

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This year, the Lesner Inn has gotten to meet so many wonderful wedding vendors who are not only kind but also SUPER passionate about their couples and the wedding industry in general. One of those people being our new friend Cat DeLine from DeLine Photography! We met Cat last year in November during a wedding. It was quite funny as when we kept seeing this small person strapped with two cameras on her sides doing the funniest poses and zooming around to capture our couple throughout the wedding.

Then she sent her sneak peek gallery literally the NEXT DAY and our mouths just DROPPED! They were so good that they even got published in numerous online wedding magazines! In fact, EACH WEDDING she has done at the Lesner Inn has been published online and we’re so happy to have someone like Cat on our vendor list for couples to work with, so keep on reading to get to know Cat and some advice she has when it comes to finding your photographer and your timeline!

Photo: DeLine Photography

Meet Cat

How did DeLine Photography start?

DeLine Photography started after I was unable to get hired as a military spouse in a new state. We lived in Hawaii, I loved landscape photography, so my ‘Chip Gaines’ husband suggested I try taking photos of people. The rest is history!

If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be & why?

Excited, Caring, and Funky! I think life is too short but to not be excited about what you’re doing and where you’re going. Caring, because my main goal is to make life more human, by showing compassion and a caring nature in whatever I do. Funky, well because why not?!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my photography inspiration from my environment. I like to feel what’s happening, see the details and capture a wedding day as someone who lived it.

A lot of our couples LOVE incorporating their furry family members for their big day & you’re a dog mom yourself– what’s it like working with animals & how do you incorporate their furry friends in their photos?

Furry babies are my favorite, well second only to grandparents! The key to incorporating your fur babies? Snackos! I know exactly how to win over a fur baby and its yummy treats and extra love! Another important item to mention, your photos with your fur baby won’t be perfectly posed, they’ll be of you loving them, their big smile with that tongue out, and how you all look happy together.

Photo: DeLine Photography

How would you describe your sense of style when it comes to photography?

Fun, Vibrant, and a little funky! I’m not the perfectly posed photographer, I want my couples to feel like the happiest version of themselves on their wedding day, not like a robot model. I spice it up with custom posing and prompts to get my couples out of their heads and into the moment together.

You can only leave your house with 3 things – what are they & why?

    1. Phone because what if I need 911 or my fur babies decide to do the cutest thing?
    2. A hell yeah attitude. Life is far too short to not live it excited for what you’re doing.
    3. Music! Music is a huge motivator, mood changer, and all around must for me!

Photographers spend a LOT of time with the couple of their big day. How do you get to know a couple before their wedding?

By the time my couples work with me I’m like an old friend, additional bridesmaid, or that cool cousin you love hanging out with. I do this by simply getting to know them from the moment they inquire. Every couple who books with me has a meeting with me so they can get a feel for my personality. I believe vibing with your photographer’s personality is a huge factor in booking a wedding photographer. I mean who wants to spend 8 hours of their biggest day next to a stranger? Not me!

Cat’s Advice

Photo: DeLine Photography

What advice can you give couples who are still looking for their wedding photographer?

Do not wait. I’m already half booked for 2022. Good photographers rarely have last minute availability.

What advice do you have for couples to get comfortable in front of a camera?

Don’t focus on the camera, focus on the moment. Think of portraits as more of a date night, than those stiff department store photos you did as a kid! A little six pack of beer or a bottle of wine can also calm some of the camera jitters! The biggest tip for being comfortable on your wedding day, add engagement portraits to your wedding collection. This way you’ll already know what to expect with your photographer.

How many hours do you recommend for a photographer?

At least 8 hours, it’s the most well rounded coverage from final getting ready to reception.

How far in advance should couples book their photographer?

1 year to 1.5 years out. Like I mentioned earlier – the sooner the better. Most of my couples will book me as their second vendor after their venue.

How far in advance should couples do their engagement photos?

This depends, if you need save the dates, 6-8 months out. If you’re simply documenting how cool you are now for your future children, what ever time of year fits your vision.

Photo: DeLine Photography

What advice do you have for couples who are debating between a first look or not? Do you recommend them?

Do what your heart tells you. I’m a romantic, I’ll never push a couple to do a first look if they don’t love it. I do recommend first looks if one of you is shy (it’s not always easy to have emotion when 150 people are looking at you) and it’s a great way to have a special moment with just the two of you before you’re surrounded by all that love!

What 2021 trends are you seeing already?

Small or no bridal party! PARTY like is 1999 again baby!! People are ready to be sweaty on the dance floor and I’m here to capture it!

What do you wish more couples would do for their big day?

Schedule 30-45 mins for couple portraits. Why so long? It’s the one time of your day 150 eyes won’t be on you and just the two of you can let that ‘Holy smokes we’re married’ feeling sink in. It’s simply a sweet intimate moment for the two of you.

A Season for Every Bride (May 1 – May 18, 2021)

You’ve been working on the “A Season for Every Bride” campaign with the Lesner Inn and so many wonderful vendors in the wedding industry. What made you say yes & what does this campaign mean to you?

Kim told me she would lock me in a closet if I didn’t! Hahah I kid, I kid! Kim’s the absolute best!

Simply put, every bride should feel like the true goddess they are on their wedding day! Showcasing vendors who are passionate about doing just that is exactly where I want to be. Each of the hand selected vendors is passionate about creating wedding dreams into reality; from your hair & makeup, to decor, to lighting, your dress, to even your tent and table rentals, it takes a village of the best to make your dreams come true. We’re all lucky enough to do it every weekend.

Photos by DeLine Photography

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What People are Saying

  • Mr. & Mrs. Horne

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
    ENTIRE VENUE

    We had such an amazing wedding at the Lesner this past weekend. With all of the hurdles we had to go through with COVID protocols, Alexis, Kim, and Lindsey went above and beyond to make our day feel normal- and it was PERFECT! They were so attentive to detail and helpful with things I had not thought of during the planning process. They took care of every detail and we had nothing to worry about on the day of Our wedding except showing up. I even had some last minute changes to decor that they were able to help with. The food was amazing and the view is seriously one you can’t beat. The sunset deck is Covered, so some rain is not a total game changer- but it also gives the guests a nice break from the reception hall (which is inside), which made our guests comfortable with spacing out during these times. Luckily our weather was perfect and the photos are literally amazing- there is no better view in Virginia Beach. I would highly recommend the Lesner for a 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

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