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?
“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.”
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!”
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!