Our Wedding Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Guest List

You’re now engaged and before you can start really planning the wedding, you and your fiance have to create the dreaded guest list so you can visit venues that will accommodate everyone and their grandma, right?! The girls at Lesner Inn know just how stressful that can be so we’re here to help you sift through exactly who to invite and how to do it!

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Write down everyone you can think of that you could ever possibly want to invite just to get all of the names out there. From old camp friends to college professors to people you spend time with regularly, think about anyone and everyone and just jot their names down to get you started.

Right: Dustin Lewis Images

Add in your parents’ friends

We all know that this is your day but parents will always want to have some of their friends there to share this joyous moment with them. Traditionally, the guest list is split three ways to where the couple gets 50% and each set of parents get 25%. This isn’t for everyone but it is a way to separate it and keep most people happy.

Start trimming

This is where it starts to get hard. At this point, you have everyone in your life and your parents’ lives on the list, but we all know that would put you way over budget. The easiest way to do this is to first cut the people you or your fiancé haven’t talked to in three years or more, then you can start making rules and actually abide by them. A couple of good rules are if one of you have never heard of or spoken to the person, cut them. If they’re a coworker and you don’t spend time with them outside of the office, cut them. Nicely remind your parents that it is your wedding and that they don’t need to invite all of their friends, so ask them to cut their list a little too. You can really hone down on your list if you follow the rules you set up!

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Above: April Renee Photography

Take a second look

Now that you’ve gotten your guest list down to a reasonable count with still having all of your friends and family on it, take another glance and make sure that every guest is a must-have. As terrible as that sounds, you don’t have to invite someone just because they invited you to their wedding or let the kids of a family come because you feel bad. Your list should include your family and friends that you absolutely could not imagine your day without and you can cut all the others. We promise, they may be upset for a second, but they will be just fine! Also, with this last step, be sure to not have any last minute add-ons. Being as straight-forward as possible without hurting anyone feelings, if you didn’t think about them the first time around then they’re probably not a must-have guest.

 

We hope that these four easy steps help you create your dream guest list so you can start the fun things like booking venue tours with an ease of mind that your guest list is already set in stone and you’re sure to fit into the venue of your choice!

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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

  • 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
  • Cross the street to have wedding photos on the sand but the safety of having a sheltered ceremony site at Lesner Inn! Photo by Beth Hamilton Photography
  • We are still in love with Sarah's wedding dress. Those sleeves! That lace! That headpiece! Photo by Kirstyn Marie Photography
  • All we can say is...😍😍 Photo by Michael & Laura Photography Dress: Wedding Atelier Lighting: Stage Right Lighting Weddings & Special Events
  • We love this epic staircase shot by Dragon Studio from Tanya & Garin's wedding day! Usually it serves as the classic Lesner Inn bridal party and family portrait area but we love when couples take a few solo shots on it too.
  • Find someone who makes you laugh like this every day 🥰🤣 Photo by Shawn Sawyer Photography
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