Let’s Talk Floor Plans

We know that we fall in the rare category of people who truly enjoy a good floor plan. When we see a couple that has really nailed their table arrangements, our hearts flutter. But…we know that it isn’t so easy for everyone. One of the more difficult things that a couple has to do before their wedding is figuring out their floor plan. Oftentimes you don’t have your RSVPs back until a month before your wedding. This leaves you with very little time to decide if your conservative Uncle Tim is going to love or hate the chance to sit with your fiancé’s free spirited sister for dinner at an intimate family table. So let’s talk floor plans.

The first major David-Champagne-Photography-20170129-0163decision you need to make is if you will be having a seating chart or not. Cocktail style receptions (with limited seating to encourage guests mingling) don’t need one because not everyone will have a seat. If you aren’t having a cocktail style reception, but still don’t want to deal with a pesky seating chart, you can go rouge and let guests pick their own seats. (This doesn’t work for a plated meal though!) If you decide to do this, we recommend putting a few extra seats out that way your college friends aren’t pulling chairs from every table so that all 12 of them can sit together. We also recommend making sure to mark a reserved section for family. Since they will be taking formal pictures with you and your significant other after the ceremony, you want to make sure that your guests haven’t taken all of the seats close to the action. Nothing is worse than seeing a family member pushed to the back of the room because they didn’t get in early enough to reserve themselves a seat.

David-Champagne-Photography-20170129-0029If you decide that assigned seating is for you, you have to decide what kinds of tables you will be using. Our standard tables are 72 inch rounds which comfortably accommodate 10 guests but can squeeze up to 12. Keep in mind that if you will be using chargers in your décor, we recommend staying as close to 10 guests as possible to allow for more space for the chargers and flatware.

Another option you have are king tables or long banquet tables. These are great ways to create a unique layout and also allows for you to put more people together. We often see couples that opt for a sweetheart table (just the two of them) and use a long banquet David-Champagne-Photography-20170129-0047table for their bridal party instead of splitting them up. Banquet tables and king tables are also great for larger families so that they can all sit together too! This is a great way to make sure all of your family feels honored without having to worry about splitting them into smaller groups.

Looking for something other than rounds or long tables, or even something to go along with these tables? Square tables really help to create a visually interesting space. They can accommodate 8 – 12 guests and are very trendy in weddings lately. No need for all of your tables to match either – mix it up with all of these options to best fit different groups of guests!

Just remember, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that your guests are at your wedding.

Photography: David Champagne

A Friendly Reminder to the Stressed Out Bride or Groom

You’re engaged! When is the wedding? What does your dress look like? Who is your photographer? Where are you going on your honeymoon? The questions never end! While some people love having the spotlight on them and relish every single minute of the planning process, we know that not every bride or groom enjoys it. And you know what? That’s okay.

As one of our brides once told us, this process is only as hard as you want it to be. You will spend hours searching for the perfect dress, writing witty vows, crafting centerpieces, and picking out a playlist. Sometimes this all just seems too overwhelming and you need to take a step back. Remember the reason you are getting married. You are committing yourself to your partner in front of your closest friends and family and at the end of the day, that’s all you really HAVE to do. It is easy to be swept up in Pinterest boards and bridal magazines but remember that in the end, this is your day. It will never be exactly like anyone else’s and that makes every single wedding special and original.
If it all seems like too much and you don’t know where to start, check out your contract!

Lesner Inn provides a planning guide for couples to have a checklist to work with. Your lesner-inn- wedding-virginia-beach-waterfront-sunset-best-wedding-venue-hampton-roadsevent manager will also help you with a floor plan and picking out the layout of where tables need to go. Don’t be afraid to email one of the girls in our office to ask a question – that is what we are here for! We will meet with you about 3 months away from your wedding day to touch base and make sure things are on track. We will help you to fill out the planning guide and get those pesky floor plans worked out. Then we will sit down with you two weeks before the wedding to finalize these details. While it can seem overwhelming when you are sitting up late at night furiously pinning images to a Pinterest board, remember that you are going to love your wedding day because you are marrying the love of your life.

Don’t be afraid to take a step back from the planning process and have a date night with your fiancé. Enjoy being engaged. Go to happy hour with your friends and catch up on their lives. Log some time at the gym to blow off some steam. Catch up on your DVR and don’t feel guilty. Just because you are planning a wedding doesn’t mean that you need to drop everything else in your life.

So…to bride or groom who feels like they’re treading water and can barely keep their head up, just breathe.

lesner-inn- wedding-virginia-beach-waterfront-sunset-best-wedding-venue-hampton-roads-married

Wedding Highlights: Angela & Jeff – 11/26/2016

About the Bouleys:

Angela & Jeff met through mutual friends on an intLesner-Inn-Sunset-November-Wedding-Virginia-Beach-Waterfront-Receptionramural kickball team in April of 2014.  While they didn’t make it to home base after the first kick, this couple sure has proved that they are meant to be!

 “We found love on the kickball field. Although it wasn’t that easy.”

As it usually does, it all started with a little small talk.  They found out where each other were from, their common interests, and hobbies, and found themselves talking intently about sports.  It was then that Jeff said a nearby waiter walked by and told him “you better not let her go man”… clearly this waiter knew a blossoming relationship when he saw it.

Angela and Jeff saw each other frequently in their circle of friends through events unrelated to kickball, but it was Angela who made the first move.  She went out on a limb, and sent Jeff a text asking him to go to the beach.  Being their first time without a “chaperone” Jeff was nervous.  But their day at the beach went so well that it led to dinner later that night!Lesner-Inn-Sunset-November-Wedding-Virginia-Beach-Waterfront-Reception-2

At dinner, Jeff wasn’t feeling well so he decided not to order when the waiter asked what he would have.  The night continued and they went their separate ways.  When Jeff woke up, he was feeling worse than he did the night before, and had to go to the hospital.  He was hospitalized for a week, but was still sick for weeks after he was discharged.

While Jeff was sick, he felt that he had ruined him and Angela’s time together.  But, his future best man Nick gave him some great advice and told Jeff to give her a call to let her know how he was doing… and the rest is history!

Jeff proposed in between the sand dunes at the Outer Banks in April of 2016.  Then, on November 26, 2016 they celebrated their marriage at Lesner Inn!

About the Wedding:

Angela and Jeff’s ceremony was Lesner-Inn-Sunset-November-Wedding-Virginia-Beach-Waterfront-Reception-6held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
in Norfolk, followed by the reception at Lesner Inn.  After making their grand entrance, they moved right into their first dance as husband and wife and – with the help of a talented violinist – danced to a rendition of Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love”.

Not wanting the formality of a plated meal, Angela and Jeff opted for our Sea Breeze Stations so that guests could help themselves to a hearty salad, martini mashed potato Lesner-Inn-Sunset-November-Wedding-Virginia-Beach-Waterfront-Reception-3bar, carving station, and a crab cake station. Obviously supplemented by sweets from our great friends – Urban Cupcakes.

The night went on with a full open bar for this party crowd, and the dance floor was never empty with Cheap Thrills on the mic!  With a full dance floor all night, the party didn’t stop until their bubble exit on the grand staircase.

Check out some of the talented vendors below that made their dream wedding come true:Lesner-Inn-Sunset-November-Wedding-Virginia-Beach-Waterfront-Reception-8

Venue & Catering – Lesner Inn
Day of Coordination – ABC Coordination
Photography – Dee Akright
Transportation – Legacy Limousines & Luxury Coaches
Florist – Norfolk Wholesale
Cake – Urban Cupcakes
Entertainment – Cheap Thrills
Photobooth – The Traveling Photobooth

Fall 2017 Weddings!

Apparently spring is creeping up rather than springing upon us this year, & while it is hard to imagine bypassing spring & summer it is time for us to get serious about fall!  By now you have your bridal party accounted for, vendors selected, & party pants ready for the big day!  But, before you can say your “I do‘s”, you have to make one more commitment… & that’s to your color scheme.

Our favorite way to stay up to date with upcoming color trends is through pantone.com.  Here you will find the hottest trends for every season, & even know the highest trending color of the year, which  you can see here!


We LOVE the mixture of pastels & deeper purples & blues coming into play this fall, and hope to see how you use these colors for your fall wedding at Lesner Inn!


Echard Wheeler Photography

The Under $10K Club: hosting a wedding at Lesner Inn for $10,000 or less!

Being one of the top wedding venues in the Hampton Roads area, we see couples walk through our doors with budgets & guest counts all over the spectrum!  One of the most difficult tasks when working with these couples is reminding them to be realistic when it comes to their menus & guest count.  Thankfully, we’re experts on that particular subject & know how to work the system.  That’s why we’ve put together a few of our favorite examples of what a wedding at Lesner Inn can give you & your guests for $10,000 or less!

Friday Evening Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Waterside Deck
50 Guests

$6,164.50 – See how we did it!

Friday Evening Ceremony & Reception
Off-Peak Season
Lesner Hall & Sunset Deck
100 Guests

$9,564.50 – See how we did it!

Saturday Afternoon Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Waterside Deck
50 Guests

$7,283.50 – See how we did it!

Saturday Afternoon Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Lesner Hall & Sunset Deck
100 Guests

$9,798 or $9,294.50 for Military couples – See how we did it!

Saturday Evening Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Waterside Deck
100 Guests

$9,692 – See how we did it!

Sunday Afternoon Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Waterside Deck
100 Guests

$8,904.60 – See how we did it!

Sunday Afternoon Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Lesner Hall & Sunset Deck
150 Guests

$10,000.13 – See how we did it!

Sunday Afternoon Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Entire Venue
100 Guests

$10,141.50 or $9,532 for Military couples – See how we did it!

Sunday Evening Ceremony & Reception
Peak Season
Lesner Hall & Sunset Deck
150 Guests

$9,984.50 – See how we did it!


So, when it comes to planning an entertaining & elegant wedding day with your closest family & friends, while keeping costs low, make sure you contact one of our sales managers by calling 757-481-1122 or by emailing us at info@lesnerinn.com!

Top First Dance Songs of 2017

Whether its rock & roll or blues, classical or country, r&b or reggae, or any other genre of music you can think of, the song that you and your fiancé choose as your first dance can determine the mood of your wedding reception.  There are no rules when it comes to selecting this song, in fact we had one of our awesome Lesner Inn couples dance to the instrumental music from their favorite Star Wars movie this past year!  Considering there are no rules, many couples have trouble selecting the song for their first dance, so we thought we would help out by compiling a list of our all-time favorites, new & old:

10. I’ve Had the Time of My Life – Jennifer Warnes & Bill Medley

9. Kiss Me – Sixpence Non the Richer

8. Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi

7. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

6. The Story – Brandi Carlisle

5. Photograph – Ed Sheeran

4. You & Me – Dave Matthews Band

3. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Frankie Valli

2. Everything – Michael Bublé

1. Fresh Eyes – Andy Grammar


The song that you share with your loved for your first dance should be one that you treasure forever, so make sure it’s a good one!  We would love to hear your first dance story, so share your first dance song with us below!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Lesner Inn!

Happy first married Valentine’s Day to all of the AMAZING couples that tied the knot at Lesner Inn this past year. Your marriage is celebrated everyday but today, we are all celebrating a little harder for you!



Echard Wheeler Photography

View More: http://lukeandashleyphotography.pass.us/david--amanda

Luke & Ashley Photography


Heather Hughes Photography


Mike Francher Photography


Nancy Wiley Photography


Kayla Belle Photography


Kayla Belle Photography


Hampton Roads Photography


Echard Wheeler Photography


Alena Waskey Photography


JP Photography


Heather Hughes Photography


David Champagne Photography


Caitlin Gerres Photography


Melody Gillikin Photography


Amanda Manupella Photography


Angie Mcpherson Photography


Elizabeth Henson Photography


Hope Everlasting Photography


Curvy White Dress Photography


David Champagne Photography


Dee Akright Photography


Echard Wheeler Photography


Modest Monkey Photography


Captured Moments Photography


Jessica Ryan Photography


Jason Jarvis Photography


Jason Jarvis Photography


Radiant Photography


Melody Gillikin Photography


Rachel Taylor Photography


Bryan Myhr Photography


Daissy Torres Photography


Cindy Cerda Photography


Dustin Lewis Photography


Gianna Demeritte Photography


Mike Topham Photography


Mr. Sykes Photography

View More: http://joseyhartphotography.pass.us/shultzwed

JN Hart Photography


Amanda Robbins Photography


Melissa Bliss Photography


Dustin Lewis Photography


Dustin Lewis Photography

View More: http://elovephotos.pass.us/hannah_logan_married

E Love Photography


Brandon Dugan Photography

View More: http://elizabethfriskephotography.pass.us/christina_and_anthony

Elizabeth Friske Photography


Petruzzo Photography


Bryan Myhr Photography


Abbie Rae Photography


David Champagne Photography


Jared Beasley Photography


David Champagne Photography


Dustin Lewis Photography


Elena Skaya Photography


Caitlin Gerres Photography


Robert Hamm Photography


Daissy Torres


Tracey Sander Photography

View More: http://bethhamiltonphoto.pass.us/shannonanddoug

Beth Hamilton Photography

View More: http://stellarexposures.pass.us/melendezwedding

Stellar Exposures Photography


Dee Ackright Photography


Summer Gibbs Photography


Kelly Stinson Photography


Daissy Torres Photography

Cost Saving Tips for Your Lesner Inn Wedding

It’s no secret that a wedding is a large & worthwhile investment! Between all of your vendors, food and drinks, décor, and favors it doesn’t seem like you have much room left for a honeymoon fund. Thankfully, there are so many ways to save money while still having your dream wedding at Lesner Inn! Details like centerpieces, desserts, or even the time of day or month of the year that you get married at Lesner Inn are all key ways to keep more of that green in your pocket, instead of your vendor’s.

Florals & candles - Beth Hamilton Photography.jpgFloral Arrangements

One of the first and easiest ways to save money is by talking to your florist! People don’t realize how big of a dent floral arrangements can make in a budget, but using flowers that are in season for your wedding is one of the easiest ways to minimize that cost! Another great way to save money on florals is by using more greenery in your arrangements! Not only will you be saving money by using more greens in your arrangements, but you’ll also be a part of one of the biggest trends for 2017 weddings! So when talking to your florist, make it all about the greenery with hints of your favorite in-season florals for your wedding!
Beth Hamilton Photography



Another great way to save money is by being realistic with your cake. Skip having the multi-tiered cake and opt for a smaller cake to be used for the traditional cake cutting. You then can do something simple like a sheet cake, cupcakes, cookies, or even donuts as dessert for your guests! You are still able to celebrate the traditional cake cutting ceremony, while giving your guests the option of more than just the traditional almond cake.
Hope Everlasting Photography

Military Couples

Virginia Beach is a huge area for military couples, so of course we here at Lesner Inn offer a military discount to thank you for your service! Plenty of other vendors will offer some sort of military discount as well, and all you have to do is ask!


Time of Year

They say timing is everything, so when trying to cut back wedding costs think off season! Here at Lesner Inn, off peak months are January, February, March, and November. Couples often choose their wedding date based off of the weather, but what is the real difference between October & November, or March & April? You may be saving a few degrees, but in the end we live in one of the most temperamental areas in Virginia and the most beautiful day of the year could end up being in one of our off-peak months!

ODonnel.Skalak Sunset Photo - Mike Topham Photography.jpg

Mike Topham Photography

Day of the Week

With any venue you look at, hosting a wedding on a Saturday evening will always be the highest cost. Naturally, it is the most popular day of the week to get married because of friends and family who will need to travel to make it to the event. But, if you and your closest family and friends are local, having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, or even a week day, can greatly decrease your estimated cost!

Daytime VS. Evening

Most couples prefer having an evening wedding, but by adjusting the time of day of your wedding you could save big bucks! This also depends on your estimated guest count and the menus you choose though. If you don’t have a preference on the date and time of your wedding, and are on a budget, a great way to select the date and time of day is by first selecting your menu for food & beverages.  Once you find out how much you are estimated to spend on food & beverage, contact one of our sales managers at info@lesnerinn.com to see what season and time of day would work best to keep you at the lowest estimated cost.


Amanda Robbins Photography

Lesner Inn Weddings

Choosing Lesner Inn as your wedding venue is another huge cost, and headache, saver. McAloon.Haas - Luke & Ashley Photography.jpgWe offer either ceremonies and receptions, or just receptions if that is what you prefer. All of our packages include tables, chairs, china, glassware, flatware, use of the space for a minimum of three hours, and linens! Some of our packages even include table décor like chargers, centerpieces, table numbers, and more! This saves you the time and energy that it takes to find vendors to provide all of these things, as well as the cost of having them come to set it all up on your wedding day!
Luke & Ashley Photography

These are some easy ways to cut back on wedding expenses, but there are so many other ways to save money while planning your big day. Think outside of the box and be open to other options while making wedding decisions and you’ll be surprised how much money you can save!

Best of 2016

As we begin 2017, we want to take a moment to look back on all the fantastic weddings and events we had in 2016 here at Lesner Inn. We got the opportunity to work with some of the best couples, see some of the most touching moments, and so many other things that made 2016 so unforgettable! For all of our 2016 Lesner Inn newlyweds, we hope your big day was everything you dreamed of here at Lesner Inn and that your first year of marriage was nothing less than perfect.  We wish you so much happiness in 2017 and for the years to come in the future!

Best First Dance
Modest Monkey Photography

With the legalization of same sex marriage in June, we have to celebrate this beautiful couple!  Michelle & Erin shared their first dance to “The Story” by Brandi Carlile and had us all in tears!  We still get goose bumps just thinking about their first dance, which is why they take the title of best first dance!





View More: http://lukeandashleyphotography.pass.us/david--amanda

Best Party Crasher
Luke & Ashley Photography

Amanda and David took the term wedding crasher to a whole new level when their prehistoric visitor showed up. Having this stag guest show up during their reception definitely won them the best party crasher of 2016!

Best First LookHampton_Roads_Wedding_First_Look.jpg
Hope Everlasting Photography

Sometimes the sweetest first look isn’t shared between couples, but with other important people in your life. Witnessing Marissa’s father’s reaction to seeing her before walking down the aisle definitely proved that to be true! This reaction scored Marissa and her father the best first look of 2016!




wedding_lesner_inn_garter-tossBest Garter Toss
Melody Gillikin Photography

People think that doing the garter removal in front of all their family and friends can be uncomfortable but Allie and Adam showed us how to put a funny twist on it! Having the groom and groomsmen dress up made all the awkward vibes fly out the window, which is why they won the best garter toss of 2016!

Best Outfit
Dustin Lewis Photographybest-dressed

When preparing for a wedding, the most important thing a guest asks themselves is “what should I wear?”  Lucky for this guy, he found the perfect outfit.  Even though his seductive little wardrobe change didn’t happen until later in the evening, we give him props for such a bold and fashion forward ensemble.  This guy took the naked fashion forward to a whole new level, which is why we are awarding him best outfit of 2016!


Best Grooms Cake
Angie McPherson Photography

Not many of our couples still honor this pastime but if you’re a Steel Magnolias fan, you know the tradition of a groom’s cake all too well. We have to say, this cake is MUCH better than a red velvet armadillo cake. The award for best groom’s cake goes to Cierra for this awesome cake for her husband!


Best Candid
Echard Wheeler Photography

Brittany and Rocky’s wedding here at the Lesner Inn was beyond a dream! Seeing how these two acted together all night was so sweet. Props to Echard Wheeler Photography for capturing this candid photo of them during their reception, which was why they won best candid picture of 2016!




Best Rainy Day
Echard Wheeler Photographylynnhaven_river_rainy_wedding

The old wives tale states that rain on your wedding day mean that you will have good luck for years to come. It also means that you are an awesome couple with an awesome photographer who will (quite literally) weather the storm for the best shot. We are in LOVE with this picture of Emily and Chris on their wedding day – nothing could get them down!


Best Personal Touch
Elizabeth Henson Photography

Chelsea and Andrew share a strong love for the finer things in life…like long walks on the beach, candlelight dinner and Pixar movies. Do you see the subtle nod to Toy Story in this photo? We nominate them for best personal touch in a Lesner Inn wedding for 2016!

                                                                                                        WatersideDeck_Virginia_Beach_Wedding.jpgBest Waterside Deck Wedding
Caitlin Gerres Photography

From the moment we started the planning process with Alicia, we knew that this girl was going to pull off one heck of a wedding! They tied the knot in Ghent and came to celebrate their new marriage with all of their family and friends on the Waterside Deck at Lesner Inn. With hints of navy blue, blush and gold, their wedding was the sweetest, most elegant Waterside Deck wedding. For that reason, they win best Waterside Deck wedding of 2016!

Best Wedding GameLesner_Inn_Wedding_Game.jpg
Daissy Torres Photography

Most of the time, a lot of the guests at a wedding are only close with either the bride or the groom. Stephanie and Scott made sure all of their guests got to know them a little better by playing the shoe game during their awesome August wedding. Best wedding game goes to y’all… and now we know who is the better cook!

virginia_beach_wedding_flowergirlBest Flower Girl
David Champagne Photography

The wedding is all about the bride and groom…unless you have a flower girl that total steals the show! This little princess melted our hearts and takes the cake for best flower girl of 2016!


Best Cake Cutting
Daissy Torres Photographywedding_cake_virginia_beach

Amy & Francisco were one of our favorite couples to work with!  Their easy going and fun loving attitudes were always welcome, even though 90% of our communication was over phone and email!  Being such a playful couple, it came to no surprise when they started smashing cake in each other’s faces after they cut the cake.  This intense showdown definitely takes the cake for best cake cutting of 2016!

wedding_exit_hampton_roadsBest Sparkler Exit
David Champagne Photography

Lealet and Reden ran off into the night after this stunning sparkler exit. Did David Champagne catch the perfect moment or what? These two stole the show with this sparkler exit and it was definitely the best one of 2016!

Best Wedding CakeVirginia_Beach_Wedding_Cake.jpg
Beth Hamilton Photography

We have a little bit of a sweet tooth. Okay, A LOT of a sweet tooth. Buttercream, almond, fondant, chocolate chips, red velvet, sprinkles..you name it we love it. After seeing countless wedding cakes this year, we have to award Shannon and Doug best cake of 2016. Steven Siccone did an AMAZING job with this creation and it looked (almost) too good to eat!





Best Smile
Dustin Lewis Photography

Your wedding day is the happiest day of your life therefore, the day you should be smiling the most. Blaine took this to heart and didn’t stop grinning the whole day! It helped that his bride, Kelsey, looked simply amazing. Dustin Lewis captured it perfectly during their first dance…best smile of 2016 goes to Blaine!

Best Sunset PhotoView More: http://stellarexposures.pass.us/melendezwedding
Stellar Exposures Photography

Lesner Inn is FAMOUS for the amazing sunsets that your guests can catch during cocktail hour. 365 sunsets of 2016 and we think that this one takes the cake. And to top it off, the most beautiful couple got married on this day! Amanda from Stellar Exposures wins the award for the best sunset picture of 2016!


Best Party Crowd
Dustin Lewis Photography

Best Party Crowd of 2016 goes to Melanie and Steven for throwing this great wedding last May! We hope your weekend is filled with even half the amount of fun and partying that this reception had!

Best First Kissfirst-kiss-option
Elena Skaya Photography

Ah, the perfect first kiss. This one was a tough one and truthfully, all first kisses are the best kisses but we did have to pick a winner. Michelle and Tanner get the award for the Best First Kiss of 2016! As soon as they were pronounced husband and wife, Michelle and Tanner embraced and sealed the deal with a big ol’ smooch in front of all of their family and friends. You can even see Michelle smiling in this photo during the moment!

Thank you to all of our wonderful 2016 couples!! May every year of marriage be just as magical as the first!

Spring 2017 Weddings

As most of us anticipate the snow plow that is the winter season, for some it’s time to pack away their snow gear and think ahead to warm and sunny days.  Yup, it’s time to start planning for those spring weddings!  If you’re not sure where to begin in the planning process, the best place to start is selecting your color palette.  From here you can select your stationary, linens, florals, cake, and any other wedding day essentials!  Check out the Pantone palette for spring 2017:


2017 Color of the Year – greeneryNot only is Greenery featured in the spring palette, but this bright and inviting green will be seen at weddings of all seasons at Lesner Inn throughout the year of 2017!  Consider how this tone can work for your wedding in any season!!!