Wedding Registry vs. Honeymoon Fund

There’s so many things that you plan for when you’re planning a wedding. Most of them having to do with vendors, décor, and timelines, but you also are planning for your life after the big day as well! Creating your registry is one of the biggest tasks of planning for you and your fiancé to make sure you’re all set in your home once you get back from the honeymoon. Another trend that we’ve seen hop on the table in the past few years is the honeymoon fund, so we wanted to take a second and look at the difference between the two to help you choose which one you’d like to make for your wedding day!


Above: David Champagne Photography

Wedding Registry

Store registries are wonderful for couples who are just starting their lives together and need anything and everything for their new home. You can wander through multiple stores scanning away for the registry because you may not have everything you need one of you have been on your own for quite a while. Store registries are the best of both worlds because couples can not only scan things they want for their homes and get exactly what they want, but they can also put gift cards on the registry for any future purchases they might not think of right away. This even helps out guests who wait until the last minute (c’mon, we all have those friends!) because even if everything else on the registry is bought, they can buy a gift card and they know you will still get something you want for your future house!

Honeymoon fund

The other type of registry that couples have fallen in love with over the years is the Honeymoon Fund. It’s perfect for couples who may already have a house because they don’t need the all of the homey things, but they would love a little help paying for their Waterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (83)honeymoon after the big day! It’s one of the best things to not have to worry about paying for an expensive vacation right after a wedding, so why not let your guests help out a little?! And, if you happen to get more than you need, then you can even use some of the fund to pay for other things you would like as well!

Right: Jessica Boudreaux Photography


If you’re still teeter tottering on which one to create for your wedding, you can always give the option of both! With either one you choose, you’re going to be getting the presents for the house or the present of a paid in full honeymoon!


Feature Guest: Astro Entertainment

As you know, we love to bring other vendors on to our blog to share their side of the industry with you! We reached out to the amazing Astro Entertainment to see what they have to say about the event industry. We hope you enjoy their take on all things entertainment!

We know you do more than just DJ, so let us know all of your services!

Astro offers a wide variety of services! We have Event Planning, Photo Booths, Lighting, Casinos, Decor, Game Shows, Concessions, Blow Up Movie Screen, and more!

Do you have a favorite rental that you wish every couple would get for their wedding?

Our favorite rental has to be uplighting! Uplighting is a room decor game changer! It is such an important room enhancement.

If you had to pick two songs that are must-haves at a wedding, what would they be?

Hmmm…2 songs….I’d have to say a good Sinatra ballad (“The Way You Look Tonight”) and a fun crowd sing along, maybe “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey…always a fun way to end the night!

Below: Dustin Lewis Images

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Why do you think that a couple should have a DJ instead of a live band?

DJ’s offer an endless variety of song selections whereas a band only knows what they know. Also, the DJ never stops for a break so the energy level never goes down.

What is your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?

My favorite thing about working in the wedding industry is every weekend is something different….you always leave an event learning something new or meeting a new vendor. It’s extremely rewarding being part of a team that helps bring someone’s special day to life!


Astro Entertainment certainly does bring someone’s special day to life with all of their services! If you’d like to inquire about their services, you can find them at or reach out to us and we can get you in contact with them!

The Best Time To Book Your Wedding Venue

Booking your wedding venue can be one of the most fun things in the process because that’s where all of the planning starts, BUT, we also know it can be one of the most stressful. You’re not only trying to find the perfect venue, you’re also trying to set a budget while making sure you are able to book a date that works for both you and your fiancé. Lesner Inn couples book at totally different points in the planning process but we wanted to share some insight on two aspects of booking your wedding venue that will help you figure out exactly what the best time is to actually book!

What months book the quickest?

When you think of “wedding” season, most people think of Spring, Summer and Fall, and we see this come to life every year as we normally have May, June, and October fill up Winter-Wedding-Stylized-Shoot-Lesner-Inn (38)the fastest. Although those are still the popular wedding months, we have recently been seeing more and more couples book November weddings as well. November is beautiful here in Virginia and, even though it is considered a Fall month, it is normally still warm enough for outdoor ceremonies. So, if you’re yearning for a “wedding” month, then you may want to think about booking as soon as you’re 100% ready!

Right: Luke and Ashley Photography

How far in advance should couples book?

We see most of our couples book about a year out, however, if there’s a specific date that you want, then we always say to book sooner rather than later. We’ve had couples book as far as two years out and as short as two months out, so it really just depends on if you want a specific date and how fast you want to say “I do”!

10 Tips for Your Wedding Day

You’ve probably read almost every book, signed up for every newsletter, and downloaded a calendar for wedding day prep and tips, but you can always use more insight – right?! Well Lesner Inn has done the research from previous brides and thought of some ourselves to share with you, so be sure to keep these in the forefront of your mind as you awake on the best day of your life!

VB Military Bride and Groom Lesner Inn

Get plenty of rest the night before

We all know how fun the rehearsal dinner can be and that you automatically want to start celebrating with your family and closest friends but tomorrow is your big day! You’ll thank yourself when you wake up on your wedding day with plenty of beauty sleep!

Let your bridal party love on you

It’s your day, right?! The one day that gets to be all about you and your fiancé so don’t feel bad if you let your bridal party take care of you all day long! They love you and want it to be just as perfect as you do! Virginia Beach Wedding Venue Lesner Inn (26)

Pamper yourself

Make sure to pamper yourself as well! Take some time in the morning and drink your cup of coffee with as much cream as you desire, take a warm shower, lather up with lotion, or do whatever your heart desires. Today is a day where the pampering never ends!

Calming scents

Start the morning with your favorite candle or burn incense to get the mood right for you and the bridal party. Soak it all in and let the fun begin!

Sounds in the background

Just the same, create a playlist or turn on Spotify and just let it play! Music in the background is a must to keep the party going before it actually even starts!

Pop the bubbly

Once you feel like you’ve had enough cups of coffee to get you through the day, don’t be afraid to pop the champagne, crank up the music, and start celebrating! It’s a day to remember so why not start off the celebrations with some champagne!

Take some photos before the ceremony

You’ll have so much more time to spend with your guests during the reception if you take some of your pictures before the ceremony. Even if you want to stick to seeing your fiancé for the first time down the aisle, you can still get all of the other photos out of the way!

Don’t forget to eat

You’ll hear this a million times and we’ll tell you again! Whether you’re too excited to eat before the ceremony or wanting to thank everyone for coming afterwards, make sure you grab some food during cocktail hour or sit down for a minute to take a bite of your meal. If all else fails, just ask your caterer to box up your dinner so you can dive in at the hotel!

Spend the night with your new spouse

The day will be filled with your bridal party, family and friends, but don’t forget to spend a few special moments as newlyweds. You’ll want memories of not only having fun with your guests, but also spending time as a couple!

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Remember to soak in the moment

Take a moment to look around the room at the reception and think about how much each person means to you. It may be the only time in your life where all of those people are in the same room and you’ll want to remember that feeling when you start out the journey of marriage together!


Hopefully, these tips can help you stay calm and enjoy all of the happiness on your big day! Just remember, at the end of the day, it’s about you and your fiancé starting a new life together and celebrating that by creating memories surrounded by the people you love!

8 Things We’ve Learned Since Becoming a Wedding Venue

Lesner Inn has been in business for quite some time now and we thought it would be helpful to share with you some insights that we’ve learned throughout the years of being a wedding venue! From things specific to the venue side of weddings or just some generic tips, we hope you can take at least one or two of these and use them during wedding planning!

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You may not need a wedding planner or assistance designing your wedding, but having someone to put all the pieces together on the day of, and get you down the aisle is crucial! Enjoy the day you’ve worked so hard on planning, and spent so much money on. Let your hired vendors do what you hired them for – and hire a day of coordinator to make sure they do!

Right: Sweet Adeline by Jenn Marie

Do’s & Don’ts for Booking Vendors

  1. Do decide on your entire wedding budget BEFORE booking vendors. Once you decide on an overall budget, select your catering (sometimes your venue includes your catering). The scariest number you’ll see while planning your wedding will be from the food and beverage. About 80% of your entire budget should go towards the food and beverage, and the remaining towards other vendors such as flowers, music, photography, etc.
  2. Don’t commit to a specific date until you book your venue. Definitely come up with a season or month that you like to have your wedding but sometimes if you narrow it down to just one date, you may have a hard time finding a venue that has it available depending on how close that date it is.
  3. Do book your venue first THEN start booking other vendors based on the date that you booked your venue.

Trust Your Vendors

Once you’ve booked your vendors, be sure to actually use them and the knowledge they’ve acquired from previous weddings. Your vendors do numerous weddings a year so they are aware of how things go and the best ways to do things. Go to them for advice and listen to them if they have a recommendation for certain things to make your wedding perfect!


Above: Paige Ryan Photography

Be Open with Your Vendors

Trusting your vendors and being open with your vendors go hand in hand. Being open about everything from the start will make the process with your vendors so much easier. Discuss with them your vision, your budget, what you would like from them the day of, and so on. If you’re not open with them, then you may not be getting the best of the best of what they can offer you!

echard_wheeler_lesner-dual-entree-plated-mealAlways Do a Tasting

You could think you have your heart set on certain food until you taste it – everyone makes things differently or you could be pleasantly surprised and love something you usually wouldn’t order. It is also important to keep your guest’s taste preferences in mind, it’s your wedding but you are hosting them and want to make sure there is a little something for everyone. Also be conscious of your guest’s dietary restrictions – if someone has a shell fish, gluten, peanut, etc. allergy that will be super helpful to tell your catering company beforehand so the meal can go as smooth as possible.

Left: Echard Wheeler Photography

Allow for Hiccups

You’ve worked really hard to plan an event, but with every event, there’s always the risk of things not going exactly as planned. That’s okay! You’re having a wedding and reception to invite friends and family to celebrate the love between you and your fiancé. So enjoy the time together and prepare to be a go with the flow sort of person for that day!

Have a Support System

As fun as wedding planning can be, it can also be very stressful. Planning an event anywhere from 50 – 200 guests is no easy task especially when you may be doing it for the first time in your life. You’ll want to celebrate with them on the good days and have their support on the more stressful days of wedding planning!

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Above: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

We have truly learned a lot over the course of our years as a wedding venue! We have seen almost everything you could possibly see at a wedding and just wanted to share what we learned with our future couples! If you’re just starting out or nearing the end of wedding planning, we hope you can use these to your advantage!

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!

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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!

Behind the Scenes of Wedding Coordination

One of the many services that we highly recommend for your wedding day is a day-of wedding coordinator. It will take a tremendous amount of stress off your shoulders the weeks leading up in the little details and keep you from worrying when your big day arrives! Luckily for our couples, Lesner Inn offers day-of coordination and we want to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes of what we do to make sure your day goes off without a hitch!


Above: Paige Ryan Photography

Wedding Day Prep

This will start anywhere from 2-4 weeks out from your wedding date going through all of the nitty-gritty details of a detailed timeline, vendor information, floor plans, décor, and much more relating to the ceremony and reception. After the final meeting, we will finalize all details with your vendors and help you through rehearsal so all goes perfectly on your big day!


It’s your wedding day!! Taking all the stress off of you on this day is our number one priority. We are there to review the site beforehand for proper set up, ensure all personalWedding-Venue-Virginia-Beach-Lesner-Inn (29) décor is set, distribute and pin the wedding party and special guest flowers, cue music and manage processional/recessional, and direct guests to the cocktail hour space. All of this will allow you to enjoy time before the ceremony with your wedding party and have everything start your dream day off without a hitch!

Right: Dustin Lewis Images


After the ceremony, we are there the rest of the night to be the liaison between you and your vendors, ensure the timeline is followed accordingly throughout the night, and send you off as newlyweds. We will be busy assisting the venue manager with anything they need, preparing the wedding party for the grand entrance, and assisting your DJ/band with the grand entrance, toasts, cake cutting, and any other special events. After you’re off as a married couple, we will ensure that all personal décor is broken down and, along with your gifts, are put into the car of your choice!

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Above: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

Your wedding day will fly so make sure you’re taking in every moment! Let us take care of the details the day-of so you can enjoy your day with your family, friends, and new spouse. We hope this sneak peek into our day-of wedding coordination lets you see just how much help hiring a coordinator can be and helps take a just a little bit of stress off your shoulders!

2019 Wedding Trends

2019 is here and we want to let you know about 7 of the biggest trends you’ll see this year! We’ve all had dreams about what our weddings would look like and have thoughts on how we want to make it come true, but let us give you even more inspiration! The best part is the girls at Lesner Inn can help make all of these dreams come true! Just ask us about our wedding design services and we’d be more than happy to make your vision come to life. Now sit back and let us tell you about the biggest trends for your 2019 wedding!


Velvet will continue to be used throughout this next year. It was a staple at some weddings last year, but will become more prominently used in a lot of weddings in 2019. The great thing about velvet is that it can be used in all seasons depending on the color you choose!

Edgy weddings

This will be the year of moodier accents. We started seeing the darker images with a lot of contrast in 2018 and this trend will only continue to grow. Couples are loving the edgy look that this style of photography gives so expect to see more throughout this year!


Above: Lia Everette Photography

Personalized place settings

This trend will be seen more in smaller, intimate weddings, but it’s so cute that we hope to see it the bigger receptions as well! Instead of place cards, couples are writing notes for each guest and placing it at their seats. How adorable would it be to receive a personalized note from the bride and groom?!


This might be one of our favorite trends!! This will definitely be making more of an appearance in 2019, especially during the cocktail hour. 2018 weddings started this trend of bringing the indoors out if they had an outdoor cocktail hour and it’s such an elegant idea! Be on the lookout for more of these seating areas throughout this year!                      Above: Luke and Ashley Photography


This starting making its way into weddings last year and minimalism in décor and design has no intention of going anywhere. The smaller color schemes and minimal decor that View More: are loving not only create for a little less hassle with design but it also allows for a very natural look for their big day!

Banquet tables

Banquet tables have always been a staple at weddings and they will continue to be a big part of 2019 weddings. A lot of people do opt to just having round tables, but banquet tables are something to definitely think about during the planning process as they’re a big favorite for your day!

Left: Stellar Exposures

Bringing the outdoors in

We started seeing more and more couples using greenery at the end of 2017 and well into 2018 and we will see this throughout this year as well, but we will also see couples using grasses in their décor! How fun is it that they’re bringing in natural elements inside to their reception space?! We can’t wait to see this more in 2019!

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Above: Jessica Boudreaux Photography


YES to all of the trends for this year!! We are so in love with the minimalist, natural, edgy feel that we’re going to be seeing a lot of in 2019. We think that staying up with the trends are vital to making your day the best so we hope this list helps even just a little bit on honing down on the vibe for your wedding!

Best of 2018

It’s that time of year again where we sit down and reminisce on all of wonderful 2018 Lesner Inn weddings! We tend to think that we have the best job in the world because we get to be a part of some of the most touching and fun moments of peoples’ lives and this past year has been no different. We have laughed, loved, and even cried with some of our couples, and we wish you all nothing but happiness in your future! Now let’s dive into looking back at some of our favorite moments of the year!

Best Cake

There were so many to die for cakes, but this cake whipped up by Incredible Edibles was definitely our favorite for 2018! It mixed Meagan and Nicholas’ color scheme and a classic white cake perfectly!

Photo: Nikki Ahrens Photography

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Best Cake Smash

Speaking of cakes, Tara and Steven were so amusing during their cake cutting! Steven didn’t have a chance at any sort of shenanigans once Tara smashed a whole piece of cake in his eye!

Photo: Sara Hupfer Photography

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Best Bridal Bouquet

Norfolk Wholesale Florist, you are unbelievable!! We absolutely adored everything about Alexis and Scott’s wedding details and the floral arrangements brought their wedding together like a gem.

Photo: Kelley Stinson Photography

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Best Squad Pic

This was one for the books! Bringing back the good ole’ days from JMU, all of the grads hopped in with Courtney and Tim holding the school’s flag for one epic squad photo!

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

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Best Personal Touch

Another college is making an appearance as best personal touch in our favorites for this year! Tiffany and Cody both went to Virginia Tech so it’s only fitting that their “His and Hers” drinks for the wedding be the Orange and Maroon Effect!

Photo: Lia Everette Photography

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Best Theme

Even if you’re not into Harry Potter as much as Lauren and Chris were, you still have to admit this is the best themed wedding of the year! We just couldn’t get enough of the Marauder’s Map and those shoes that Lauren rocked all night!

Photos: Renee Jean Photography

Best theme

Best Exit

This moment just makes our hearts burst with joy! We’re so glad that Paige Ryan Photography captured the laughter after Elise and Kyle’s sparkler exit so perfectly! What a way to end a perfect night!

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Best Dessert Bar

When Kerry told us she was doing a spread of donuts for her dessert along with cake, we just knew that it was our favorite dessert bar of 2018! Kerry used stands to display the donuts, but we even have a donut wall you can rent to have a different look for your dessert display!

Photo: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

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Best Ring Bearer

Hands down, Michelle and Dennis had the most ADORABLE ring bearer in 2018! We knew as soon as they told us they would be having their pup in the wedding that he would be the best ring bearer. It was all eyes on the pup until the bride walked down the aisle!

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

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Best Flower Girl

If this flower girl doesn’t make you smile, we’re not quite sure what will! From the moment we saw her with curlers in her hair until she was sleeping on her mom’s lap at the end of the night, she melted our hearts the entire night!

Photo: Kelsie McNair

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Best Rainy Wedding

Rain isn’t normally what couples dream of on their wedding day but Tiffany and Cody didn’t let a few showers keep them down. They even took advantage of the fact that the Sunset Deck is covered and got their waterfront photos in after the ceremony!

Photo: Lia Everette Photography

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Best First Dance

Janette and Ben had taken ballroom dancing lessons specifically for their first dance and had a whole number prepared for this moment! When they came in for their rehearsal the day before, they headed to Lesner Hall for one last practice run and let’s just say it didn’t go as smoothly as the wedding day. We saw Ben come down the staircase with a bloody nose from one of Janette’s flying elbows, but they sure did nail it on the wedding day! The magical dance definitely wins best of 2018!

Photo: Erika Mills Photography

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Best Bouquet Toss

Brook had us rolling with laughter during her bouquet toss! The single ladies were ready from the get go for this moment and, as you can tell, it was a fight for the bouquet! Brook’s face during it all was priceless and we’re so happy that Chelsie Darling Photography captured the best bouquet toss of 2018 so perfectly!

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Best Garter Toss

Anthony’s garter toss quite literally won best garter toss of 2018! One of his friends was head over heels for the garter and made sure no one else caught it!

Photo: CHSH Photography

Best garter toss

Best Kiss

SWOONING!! Kerry and Josh hopped over to Chick’s Beach to get some photos at their favorite place and we fell in love with this shot. We just had to name it best kiss of 2018!

Photo: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

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Best Candid

Loving the fact that DJ Hype put Rachel in control for a song! She chose her favorite so she could sing and dance the night away. Hands down the best candid of 2018!

Photo: Echard Wheeler Photography

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Best Party Crowd

What a crowd!! Jordan and Stefan’s guests did not sit down all night! It cracked us up when the DJ even got in on the fun and busted a move on the dance floor! This crowd definitely wins best party crowd of 2018!

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

Best party crowd

Best Unity

This wooden box and hammer may not look like your typical ceremonial unity but during Rachel and Steve’s ceremony, their loved ones placed letters in it for the newlyweds to read on their one year anniversary. They then nailed it shut to open back up 365 days later! When we saw this happening during the ceremony, we fell in love and knew it was the best unity in 2018!

Photo: Beth Hamilton Photography

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Best Guest Book

We felt like we were dreaming when Nikki and Ryan told us this would be their guest book! They contacted a company to have them create a canvas of what the exact star alignment would be of the night they said “I do”. Because this was a first for us, not to mention SO cute and clever, we had to name it best guest book!

Photo: Ryann Winn Photography

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Best First Look

Michelle and Dennis were so adorable just being themselves and their first look was definitely our favorite. Maybe it was because we adored them or maybe it was because Dennis looked so smitten at his bride when she spun around on the Sunset Deck. Either way, it’s definitely the best first look of 2018!

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

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Best DIY

Emily put her artistic side to work for her card box and look how precious it turned out! It was the perfect accent to her minimalist yet colorful décor. Her creativity hands down won her best DIY of 2018!

Photo: Kayla Mackenzie Photography

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Best Décor

It’s truly is a difficult task to choose just one wedding with the best décor because it all blows us away! We couldn’t bring ourselves to choose just one this year so we have a tie!

Nicole transformed Lesner Hall into a vintage wonderland with old books, bronze and purple vases, satin linens and lace runners on the guest tables. She even added a floral flare to her cake and sweetheart table to make sure they popped! Falling in love with this décor and choosing it as one of the best decors of 2018 couldn’t have been easier!

Photo: Dustin Lewis Images

Best decor

Ah, give us all of the greenery! Kelly’s décor was our other absolute favorite of 2018. She perfected the mix of bohemian and garden vibes and we can’t get enough of it! Everything about Kerry and Josh’s day was beautiful and the décor was just the icing on the cake!

Photo: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

Best decor 2

To our 2018 couples and all of the vendors that came through our doors this year, THANK YOU for making this a year to remember! Everything we do literally could not happen without you, and we’re so excited to see what 2019 has in store!

Couple Spotlight: Kerry & Josh 10.13.2018

Kerry and Josh tied the knot at Lesner Inn on a breezy, October Saturday afternoon while their guests gazed upon the Lynnhaven River. The whole day, from décor to their first kiss and dance to an endearing streamer exit, it was a dream! We could not ask for two more genuine and loving people to work with throughout the planning process and the day of their wedding. We just adore couples like Kerry and Josh, and we hope you enjoy their story and insight on wedding planning as much as we do!


How, when, & where did you meet?

We met in August 2017 at Eagles Nest Virginia Beach (RIP!). I was having a girls’ night out after a concert and was not interested in meeting anyone that evening. But Josh was persistent and thankfully our friend Carnesha told him to keep trying to talk to me – When he asked me to go to the beach for our first date that sealed the deal! He had no idea I pretty much live on the beach in the summer when I’m not at work.

Dating can be awkward, do you have any funny stories from when you first started dating?

I think the night we met was pretty awkward!    Waterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (48)

Tell us your engagement story?  When did it happen?

A few months before Josh’s 31st birthday I asked him if he wanted to plan a trip for his birthday or stay in town – He was adamant about throwing a big party, so we ended up planning this massive Fourth of July themed event (his birthday is in April). His entire family – cousins, aunts, uncles, his brother, and parents – were coming in from out of town for it too. The entire time we were planning I kept saying to myself “Wow this is a lot for celebrating a 31st birthday!” But it turned out he had planned the entire thing to be a surprise engagement party – I had no idea this was happening until I brought out his cake and he looked so nervous because he was about to propose! It was so much fun to be able to celebrate our engagement with our family and friends that day along with his birthday.

What made you pick Lesner Inn as your wedding venue?

The Lesner Inn had the exact look and feel we wanted for our wedding day – The water views throughout the venue are outstanding and the interior décor is bright, warm, and inviting. We wanted to host our wedding in a space that would be beautiful on its own without having to bring in a ton of extra decorations and Lesner Inn was perfect for this. Also not to be missed, the staff at the here was phenomenal. From the first email to the rest of our planning process, all of the ladies were extremely professional, prompt, and fun to Waterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (26)work with!

What additional vendors did you choose for your wedding day, and why?

One advantage for us in choosing the Lesner Inn is that we didn’t have to wrestle with coordinating a bunch of other external vendors – Pretty much everything we wanted was with the venue. One additional service we did add was the day-of coordination service. This was a lifesaver! Liz was outstanding and made sure everything on our big day went off without a hitch – She kept everything on schedule and kept us informed, but we never felt rushed. It really allowed us to enjoy our wedding day to the fullest.

What décor & other design aspects of your wedding were most important to you? 

We wanted our wedding décor to be simple, bright, and to allow our love and the blessing that marriage is to be the focal point of the day. Since the Lesner Inn already had amazing views and a great base for décor, we only needed to bring in a few more items to complete this vision. 

Waterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (44)Did you have a theme for your wedding?  If so, how did you select it?

No theme in particular – We just wanted to keep everything light, bright, and airy.

What unique details did you add to your wedding?

One of my favorite details was that we had all of the groomsmen, ushers, and Josh wear American Flag socks. We also had our ring bearers dress up with cute American Flag bowties to really tie in the Fourth of July details from our engagement to the wedding day.

I wanted to have a hand in creating something for our day, so we ordered our flowers through Costco and my mom, grandmother, and I spent the day before our rehearsal dinner putting together the bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. This brought in a handmade touch to our décor (and also was a great way to save money on florals!)

What were you most excited for your wedding day?

Our Chaplain was wonderful to work with and we felt extremely fortunate that he was able to officiate our wedding – We spent a lot of time with him leading up to the weddingWaterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (55) preparing and getting excited about the opportunity to stand in front of God, our closest family, and friends to dedicate our lives to one another. We were also excited to see how all of our planning would come together for a great day of celebration! Most of our family lives out of state, so having the chance to see everyone at the same time was also really special.

Do you have any advice for couples who are planning their weddings now?

Wedding planning is as stressful as you allow it to be. The amount of decisions that need to be made can be overwhelming at times; however, it helps to have a support system during the planning process. Staying organized helps a lot as well! The best piece of advice we can offer other couples is to not lose site of the bigger picture. Your wedding day will go by extremely quick, but the life and love you build together will last a lifetime and that is something to be celebrated every day.

Waterfront-Virginia-Beach-Wedding-Lesner-Inn (52)

Wow!! Kerry couldn’t be more right. Planning a wedding can be stressful IF you allow it to be. Always remember the bigger picture that, at the end of it all, you will be married to your best friend and that is one of the greatest joys of life!


Photographer: Jessica Boudreaux Photography

DJ: Astro DJ

Hair/Makeup: Best Faced Forward

Transportation: Horseless Carriage Limos

Gown: Studio I Do Bridals

Florals: DIY