DIY Donut Wall

The ladies at Lesner Inn stepped away from our desks and picked up a tool belt for a day with this fun DIY donut wall! With one crafty manager and another mathlete, we proved that two heads are better than one. This adorable donut display wall is for rent now at Lesner Inn! Stay tuned to watch the progression of this project.


We started by sanding the plywood & wooden dowels that were cut to size for us at Lowe’s.  We decided to go with a 5′ x 3′ wall so that it can be set on a table, & 5″ long dowels so we could easily fit 2-3 donuts per peg.


The next step was staining the sanded wood.  We chose an espresso finish that we think turned out great!


After everything was stained, we did two coats, we packed everything away to dry properly & got ready for the final steps.


A lot of the tutorials that we found online said to use hot glue to put the pegs on the wall, but we’re perfectionists & chose to place wood screws through the back for a more durable option.  We perfectly measured the distance between each peg, drilled holes into the pegs so we could screw them in, & then screwed them in halfway to prepare for the polyurethane finish.


We went with clear satin so that the wall didn’t lose it’s natural wooden look.


After the donut wall was done it was time to bring in one of our talented staff members, who provides calligraphy services on the side, Michelle.  Check out her work for Zens Pens below & send her an email at if you’re interested in having calligraphy done for your wedding/event.



We’re extremely proud of how this DIY project came out, & hope you all like it!  Donuts are a great alternative wedding cake & even make great wedding favors!

If you’re a Lesner Inn couple & would like to use this awesome wall for your wedding or event don’t forget to contact us at or by phone at 757-481-1122.


Lesner Inn Open House 2019

It’s that time of year again.  The time of year where our creative and motivated event and sales managers begin planning our annual Open House!  We are so excited to kick off 2019 with some of the top wedding vendors in Hampton Roads, but the only thing that could make it better is seeing the people who make it all possible… you!  Whether your planning a big or small wedding stop by to ask us how we can make it possible at Lesner Inn.

Open House Facebook Cover Photo

Above: Stellar Exposures Photography

 Everyone in attendance is eligible to receive booking specials from Lesner Inn and participating vendors, and even win raffle prizes.  You will taste complimentary hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails while overlooking the Lynnhaven River to receive the full guest experience.  No RSVP necessary, just be sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends!

If you can’t wait until January, just give us a call to schedule an appointment!  We can’t wait to meet you! / 757-481-1122

Gifts to Give your Wedding Party

Your wedding party is a very special group of people for your Lesner Inn wedding, and we think they deserve some recognition today!  These awesome people help plan your wedding, throw you the perfect bachelor(ette) party, calm your nerves, and in some cases sacrifice a lot to be a part of your wedding day.  We realize that it can be hard to find the perfect way to say thank you, so we’ve come up with a few of our favorite suggestions!  Most of these are interchangeable between bridesmaid and groomsmen, so do whatever feels right for your group of girls or guys!

  • Afternoon-Waterfront-Wedding-Virginia-Beach-Lesner-Inn (13)Thank you cards: say thank you after special events like your engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor(ette) party, and especially after the wedding!
  • Customized flasks
  • Jewelry/cufflinks/tie/fun socks to wear on the wedding day
  • A mani pedi/spa day before the wedding
  • A bottle of their favorite drink
  • Provide food & drinks while getting ready for the wedding
  • A fun activity to do together before the wedding
  • Customized wine/champagne/whiskey glasses
  • Cigars

Right: Jared Beasley Photography

You know your wedding party best, so however you show your gratitude make sure it is custom to your relationship!  If Lesner Inn can help you accomplish anything for your wedding party, please don’t hesitate to ask!  We can’t wait to help make you and your fiancés wedding at Lesner Inn perfect!

Hurricane Florence: the wedding crasher

With the recent scare of hurricane Florence hitting Virginia Beach, we thought it would be a great idea to cover what you should do if a hurricane threatens to crash your wedding! Lesner Inn had four scheduled events to take place September 14 – 16th. However, with the media that hurricane Florence had received, all four of our weddings decided to say their “I do’s” at a later date. Now, even though the storm no longer threatens us, we are here to tell those couples that they made the right decision and to share their wisdom with you all!

1. Contact your wedding venue
Our Lesner Inn couples began contacting us on Monday about the impending storm and gathered information about cancellations and modifications that would be allowed due to the hurricane. The catering agreement that each of our clients sign covers what would happen if a natural disaster hit and states that we offer a one-time date transfer in these cases.

2. Contact your other wedding vendorsrainy-wedding-day-myth-best-wedding-photos-lesner-inn-virginia-beach-Sunset-Deck
If you are considering cancelling or rescheduling your wedding, it is best to contact each of your vendors as soon as possible. That means reaching out to all of the vendors involved in your big day and finding out their policies on cancellation or modification. Every vendor that we worked with this week to reschedule Lesner Inn weddings was more than accommodating given the threat to Virginia Beach.

Right: Echard Wheeler Photography

3. Consider your guests (and wedding vendors)
When a natural disaster occurs near your wedding venue, consider what hoops your guests (and vendors) may need to jump through in order to attend your wedding. Whether they are flying, driving, or walking across the street it is important to consider the conditions they would have to travel in. In some cases, it may be best to have them reschedule their travel plans to attend your wedding another weekend.

4. Set a deadline
With an unpredictable storm like hurricane Florence, you should set a deadline to make your decision by with your vendors. Lesner Inn allowed our clients to make their decisions by Wednesday morning, so we would hopefully have the most accurate information about the storm.

5. Follow through
We realize how difficult it must be to even consider rescheduling the day you have been preparing for so long! However, the safety of your family, friends, and wedding vendors is what is really important in making this difficult decision.

We feel for the couples that felt they needed to reschedule their wedding dates, because of the possibility of the storm hitting the Hampton Roads area. However, we are extremely grateful that they chose to think about the safety of themselves, their guests, and their vendors in the midst of chaos.

Our hearts go out to all affected by hurricane Florence, and we hope that the areas damaged receive the help they need to rebuild!


How to Create your Wedding Tablescape

Creating a tablescape for your wedding at Lesner Inn can seem like a daunting task, especially because most people planning their own wedding are not professionals.  However, we are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you follow these helpful tips and tricks!

Choose your color scheme
The best place to start is by choosing your color scheme for the wedding reception!  Some things that you should keep in mind when choosing your colors are what colors and accents are already seen around your wedding venue.  Luckily, at Lesner Inn, both of our spaces are very neutral with wooden floors and golden accents so this doesn’t require too much thought.  You should also make sure you don’t select colors all within the same hue so that you create dimension throughout the room!

Choose your linen colors
Color schemeWe know this may seem the same as tip number 1, but the way you incorporate your color scheme into your tablescape has so many variations.  Not every color that is in your palette needs to be a linen color.  For example, if you choose a color scheme like the one to the right, you should only choose two or three of the colors to be used as linens.  Choose at least one dark or bold color with a complimentary or neutral color to tie it all together!  The rest of the colors can be used in floral arrangements, menu cards, signage, and uplighting!

Create your floor plan
Once you’ve selected which colors to use for your linens, you should create a floor plan so you have an idea of the different tables you will need to linen and place centerpieces on.  If you’re choosing tables of different sizes to keep up with the latest wedding trends, we suggest alternating your linen colors to make those tables stand out.  Here is a great example from one of our favorite weddings at Lesner Inn!


Above: Echard Wheeler Photography

Plan your centerpieces
While we think floral arrangements make the best wedding centerpieces, we understand that doing this on every table can get a bit pricey.  Meet with your florist to price out the arrangements you want at each table.  If you need to cut back on your floral budget, consider doing some tables with flowers and others with floating candle arrangements, or you could mix the two like in the photo below!  You should come prepared with photos of the arrangements you like using your color scheme and make note of any must have flowers.  We hear dahlias are trending for 2019!


Above: Kelly Stinson Photography

One of our favorite things about our job is seeing all of the different color schemes and tablescapes that our clients come up with!  We understand that wedding planning can be stressful at times, but in the end we hope that the experience is as enjoyable for you as it is for us!

If you need any help planning your Lesner Inn wedding, please reach out to us at or 757-481-1122.  We hope to hear from you soon!

Wedding Timeline Tips

Creating the order of events for your wedding day is no easy task but, we’re here to help!  While we believe that everyone should tailor their wedding timeline to best fit their needs, these tips should help you create the perfect timeline for YOUR wedding.

Ceremony – Approximately 30 minutes: From processional to recessional, it’s very rare that a wedding ceremony would take more than thirty minutes.  Exceptions include traditional religious ceremonies, which can take 45 minutes to an hour.  Talk to whoever is performing your ceremony to get a more finite time frame.

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Above: Dustin Lewis Images

Cocktail Hour – Approximately 45 minutes: Immediately following your ceremony, if you are hosting your ceremony & reception in the same place, will be your cocktail hour.  This is where guests will have the opportunity to mingle, have some tasty hors d’oeuvres, and enjoy cocktails if they are being served at your wedding. During this time, the newlyweds are typically taking staged photos with their families and wedding party.  We recommend your cocktail hour to be 45 minutes to an hour long.

Announcements – Approximately 15 minutes: When cocktail hour dies down and you are transitioning to the party, most couples will make the switch with announcements.  This is where the wedding party and newlyweds are introduced to join the reception, while friends and family are at their seats hyping up the party.  Some couples introduce their families as well, but it is most common to only include the wedding party.  Announcements typically only take 15 minutes when you include having your guests be seated, lining up the wedding party, and introducing everyone by name.

First Dances – Approximately 5 – 10 minutes: After announcements, you have the choice to jump into your first dances (i.e. newlyweds & parent’s dances) or to sit down and begin meal service.  In most cases, couples choose to get their first dance done immediately after announcements, while they still have their guest’s attention.  If you don’t want to have the parent’s dances right away, then having them right after meal service creates a great opportunity to open up the dance floor.


Above: Kelly Stinson Photography

Meal Service – Approximately 20 – 40 minutes: Determining the duration of meal service depends on your guest count and type of meal.  However, most meal services don’t take more than 20 – 40 minutes for all guests to be served.  During this time, the couple is usually going from table to table thanking their guests for coming.

Toasts – Approximately 5 to 20 minutes:  Toasts are the most difficult event to set a time for, but I have never seen toasts run longer than 20 minutes.  There is no way of telling how long speeches will take, unless you ask those giving a speech to keep it under a certain amount of time.  Regardless of how long their speeches are though, we recommend having toasts towards the end of meal service.  This ensures that you have everyone’s attention and doesn’t require you to gather everyone up from different areas of the venue.  We also recommend that you do the traditional cake cutting immediately after toasts so dessert can be served as soon as possible.

After these main events, the rest of your wedding should be filled with dancing, catching up with old friends and family, tossing your bouquet, or taking photos at your photo booth!  If you plan your timeline accordingly, and have a wedding coordinator to keep you on schedule, you should have plenty of time to really ENJOY your wedding day!

We hope you found these tips useful in creating your wedding timeline.  Please contact the experts at if you have any questions about your Lesner Inn wedding in Virginia Beach!

For your Pinspiration: Favorite Florals

There are numerous ways to dress up your wedding venue on your special day, but one of our favorite ways are through florals! With a wedding venue like Lesner Inn, that lets the view do the talking, you really don’t need much else when choosing your wedding decor. We’ve seen some arrangements that are unique to a theme, ones that go with the season, and many that are your “classic” wedding flowers and have highlighted them below. We hope you enjoy these beauties and receive some floral pinspiration for your wedding day


We LOVE how perfectly Wandering Petal in Virginia Beach executed Andrea and Jonathan’s tropical themed wedding! Palms were used to create a non-traditional wedding arch for the ceremony and this minimalist wedding was made complete with white flowers tucked in big bouquets of greenery. Andrea even rocked a floral crown to show off her style throughout the night. How couldn’t this make the list of our favorite florals from Lesner Inn weddings?

Lesner Inn Wedding Sunset Virginia Beach

Lesner Inn Wedding Wandering Petal Arch

Above: Winston Veranga Photography


The simplistic beauty of Nicole and Nelson’s florals were beyond perfect for the spring palette. They worked with Kelly Gish Floral Designs to keep a subtle pastel color scheme with mostly greenery and white flowers. But these florals wouldn’t be complete without the pink and purple flowers to make things pop! These florals were absolutely flawless and as “pretty in pastel” as you can get!

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Above: Luke & Ashley Photography


Can you say GORGEOUS?! Although we’ve had many weddings since theirs, Stephanie and John’s florals are still one of our all-time favorites. The mix of deep red, white, and greenery brought everything together during their fall wedding. If you look close, you can even see that Norfolk Wholesale Florist used a number of different flowers to create a striking bouquet for Stephanie!



Above: Sweet Adeline Photography


Not everything has to have that pop of color, the green and white look is still one of our favorites too! Jordan and Stefan had a family friend use mostly greenery with a few white flowers for their wedding and, boy, did it turn out beautiful. Ironically, Stefan was from Iceland so we’re sure he felt right at home with the amounts of greenery on their big day. This classic look can’t be beat!

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Above: Dustin Lewis Images

Florals tell so much about your style and what you envision for your day, so whether you go for the themed flowers, seasonal, or classic look, the main thing to keep in mind is to choose what YOU like, then, you can sit down with your florist and go over the numerous options. We hope this helps when it comes to meetings with your florist and that you head off into the day with thoughts and dreams of your wedding florals!

Wedding Myths… BUSTED: Rain on your Wedding Day

The most common wedding superstition that we hear is that it’s “bad luck” for it to rain on your wedding day.  Well we are here to speak some truth and bust this myth once and for all by showing you some of our FAVORITE photos from rainy day weddings at Lesner Inn!  We guarantee you’ll be hoping for some rainfall at your Virginia Beach wedding!


Above: Echard Wheeler Photography


Above: Bryan Myhr Photography


Above: Luke and Ashley Photography


Above: Lia Everette Photography

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Above: Ryann Winn Photography

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Above: Kelly Stinson Photography

For more information about Lesner Inn weddings, contact us at or 757-481-1122.


Selecting a Menu for ANY Appetite

A common concern for most of our wedding and social event clients is how to offer the best menu that will appeal to all of their guest’s appetites WITHOUT breaking the bank!  Luckily, the ladies at Lesner Inn are experts in this department and our catering menu has a variety of menu options so there is something for everyone!

The Lesner Inn has three menu options for clients to choose from, this includes: plated, buffet, and stations.  Pricing varies between weddings and social events, but our tips and tricks below ring true for any type of event!

Plated Menu
echard_wheeler_lesner-dual-entree-plated-mealBefore we go into what we think works best for a plated meal, let’s first identify the three options that you have when selecting this menu option.

Right: Echard Wheeler Photography

  • Single entrée plated meal: This is one of the simplest options where each of your guests will get the same plate with the same entrée.
  • Dual entrée plated meal: This is also a simple option that also gives your guests a bit of variety.  Each guest will receive the same plate, but on that plate will be two entrées.  Who doesn’t love a little surf and turf?  No drama.  No hassle.
  • Multiple entrée plated meal: A plated meal with multiple entrees requires that you receive each of your guests menu preferences in advance, create a seating chart, have place cards for each of your guests, and select meal signifiers to identify which guests will be receiving chicken, fish, beef, etc.  Many people are deterred from this option when they realize how much more work it can be.

Only you know which of these options will work best for your guests.  The type of menu that you select is a personal preference, there is no right answer!  Plated menus are great for groups large and small but, in our experience, appeal to the majority in the form of a dual entrée meal.


Buffet Menu
When selecting a menu that will appeal to as many people as possible, our top choice will always be buffet style.  With this menu option, you are able to choose a two or three entrée buffet and allow your guests to choose what they’d like on their plate, and how much of it.  If you know you have picky eaters in the mix, we highly recommend this option!

Left: Tara Liebeck Photography

Stations Menu
Similar to buffet style, our stations menu allows your guests to walk through and select which menu items they would like on their plate.  The difference is that many of the menu options are at a chef attended station where a Lesner Inn staff member will be sautéing, flipping, or carving food right in front of your guests. Many people opt for this menu style if they prefer to dress up their buffet and of course it adds a bit of extra entertainment to the event.

No matter which menu style you choose, the catering at Lesner Inn is some of the best in the business if we do say so ourselves.  If you don’t believe us, just check out our stellar reviews on The Knot, WeddingWire, Facebook, and on our website.

For more information about events and catering at Lesner Inn, contact us at or 757-481-1122.

Top 5 Reasons you NEED a Wedding Coordinator

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Lesner Inn is, should I hire a wedding coordinator? No matter if we are meeting with someone who’s a professional bridesmaid, has a well-organized maid of honor, or is even a wedding coordinator themselves the answer will always be YES!! A wedding coordinator, who isn’t on your guest list, will make your wedding day 100% stress free. We’re here to tell you why you absolutely need a wedding coordinator for the day of your wedding!

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1. Read between the lines
A wedding coordinator, not to be confused with a planner, will ensure that everything you have planned and prepared for your wedding day is executed perfectly from start to finish. This means coordinating with each of your vendors to ensure that they are providing exactly what you were expecting. They will make sure that all of your vendors have a full understanding of the vision of your wedding and that they work together to accomplish it!

Right: Dustin Lewis Images

2. Getting down the aisle
The hours before the ceremony can be extremely chaotic at times. Between getting any late guests to take their seats, rounding up family members for the processional, and making sure not to spoil the first look between you and your fiancé there is a lot to take care of! These tasks should be designated to a professional wedding coordinator that will be present up until you walk down the aisle.

3. What if?
Something that we can safely say will haunt any couple before their wedding day are the endless “what if” scenarios. What if the cake doesn’t show up? What if my DJ goes missing? What if my bustle breaks? The scenarios are endless. Your wedding coordinator not only takes the necessary steps to prevent any of these scenarios from happening, but will go to any lengths necessary to fix them if they do!

4. You’re not wearing a watch
One of the things we can guarantee that you won’t be doing on your wedding day is keeping track of the time. That’s where your coordinator comes in. Your wedding coordinator will make sure that you are staying on schedule, so that you have enough time to hit the dance floor with your besties on your wedding day!

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Above: Dustin Lewis Images

5. Set up and break-down
Probably one of the most tedious tasks on your wedding day is setting up and breaking down décor. One of the greatest things about a wedding coordinator is that they take care of this for you! At the end of the night, your coordinator will bring everything to a designated vehicle so all you have to worry about is getting it home!

We’ve seen so many couples boast about how organized they are and how many weddings they’ve been involved in, but no matter how true this may be we will never stop recommending hiring a wedding coordinator. No bride or groom wants to be responsible for the “what if” scenarios on their wedding day, and they shouldn’t have to be! A wedding coordinator is a small price to pay for a very necessary service.


Above: Dustin Lewis Images

To learn more about Lesner Inn’s coordination services, contact us at or 757-481-1122.