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!

Make your dream listWaterfront-Greenery-Iceland-Wedding-Virginia-Beach (75)

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!

Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Venue-Lesner-Inn (16)

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!

Keep up with the latest news & industry trends! Sign up for our newsletter!

An award winning catering facility in Virginia Beach

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

  • GIVEAWAY TIME!! 💛 We have partnered with The Back Deck on a special engagement party giveaway! One lucky couple will receive a percentage off their party at @thebackdeck and an engagement basket from Lesner Inn to keep you in the wedding planning mood! You don't have to be a Lesner Inn bride to participate so be sure to tag all of your engaged friends! 🥰 To enter: 1. Like our photo 2. Follow both Lesner Inn & @thebackdeck 3. Tag 2 friends 4. Extra entry - share to your story and mention Back Deck & Lesner That's it!! The winner will be announced next Monday. 💃🏼 _ 📸: Sara Tiffany Photography
  • As always, these sunsets are complimentary with every Lesner Inn wedding 😍 • • Photo: Cortese Photography & Film
  • A big ole smooch with your best friends by your side is the perfect moment 😘 • • Photo by Cynthia Tenney Photography Gown: Ava Clara Couture Bridal Designer: Kenneth Winston Florals: Norfolk Wholesale Floral
  • Casual Sunday weddings for the win 🙌 • • Photo: Timeless Tides Photography
  • Literal tears from how cute this is 😍😭 • • Photo: Leah Ariel Photography, LLC
  • Something light, bright, and beautiful to perk up your Tuesday 😍 Photo: Skylar Wyatt Photography Flowers: Fluttering Flowers
  • Sparkler exits will never, ever get old 😍 • • Photo: David Champagne Photography Hair: The Hair Days MUA: BlushTones
  • Dad, thank you for being someone I can look up to no matter how tall I grow. Happy Father's Day! ❤️ • • Photo by Sarah Vanderford Photography
  • Can you even imagine a better view?! 😍😍 • • Photo by Luke & Ashley Photography Florals by Kelly Gish Floral Designs Dress from Ava Clara Couture Bridal Hair/MU by Haleigh’s Hair Fur from Frances Kahn
  • One of the many perks of the Sunset Deck is that it is open to the Lynnhaven River but is still covered in case of less than perfect weather! Our couples are still able to have their ceremony on the water and take pictures on the deck after with no fear of getting wet! 🤗 • • Photo: Dustin Lewis Images Bouquet: Norfolk Wholesale Floral Hair/Makeup: Makeup by Kim Porter
  • Isn't this just the sweetest sweetheart table?? 💕 • • Photo by Luke & Ashley Photography Florals by Kelly Gish Floral Designs Tableware by West Elm Bottle of Taken Wine Company Linens from Waterford Event Rentals, LLC
  • The dock outside the Waterside Deck is just the perfect spot for a waterfront kiss 😘 • • Photo: April Renee' Photography Florals: Sterling Myers Hair: Stephanie Michelle Hair MUA: Sydney Balmer Gown: Kenneth Winston
  • 🇺🇸 Happy Memorial Day 🇺🇸 • • To those who courageously gave their lives and those who bravely fight today, THANK YOU! • • We hope everyone has a great Memorial Day with their loved ones honoring our soldiers ❤️💙
  • It might have been raining before the wedding started but that didn't damper Sara and Jibri's mood ❤️ David Champagne Photography had the chance to capture a few shots after the rain stopped and look how beautifully they came out! • • Hair: The Hair Days MUA: BlushTones Bouquet: Black Iris Florist
  • Complimentary breath taking sunsets with every Lesner Inn wedding 😍 • • Photo: Who's That Girl Photos
  • "I will love you for the rest of time" ❤️ • • Photo: April Renee' Photography Florals: Sterling Myers Hair: Stephanie Michelle Hair MUA: Sydney Balmer Gown: Kenneth Winston
  • There's so many ways to decorate the Waterside Deck for cocktail hour! We love when couples change it up and allow their own vision for the room come to life 😍 • • Photo: Luke & Ashley Photography Greenery: Fluttering Flowers Lighting: Stage Right Lighting Bar from yours truly 💕
  • When the groom sees his bride walking down the isle and his instinct is to wave 😍👋 • • What would be your first instinct? Wave, cry, or smile?? • • Photo by Luke and Ashley Photography
  • Kisses are even better during your first dance 😘 • • Photo by Lia Everette Photography
  • As much as we love the water view on the Sunset Deck, we absolutely love grand staircase photos 💕 • • Photo by Luke & Ashley Photography Florals by Fluttering Flowers Bouquet by Kelly Gish Floral Designs Dress from Ava Clara Couture Bridal Hair/MU by Haleigh’s Hair
©2019 Lesner Inn Catering Club