We know there are a million questions that come up when planning a wedding. No matter where you’re at in the process, there will always be more questions that pop up when you meet with a new vendor, a relative gives advice, or sometimes even your guests will have a question. Here at Lesner Inn, we try to answer them throughout the planning process, but we’ve also come up with a list of our most frequently asked questions! Happy reading!
Can I have a tasting of my menu before my event?
Absolutely! Tastings are included for the couple but, cost $30 per person for any additional persons. Tastings include your choice of 4 appetizers & 3 entrees. Our chef requests two weeks’ notice for tastings & we typically host them Wednesday – Friday. Weekend tastings are based on our event schedule & our chef’s availability.
Do I need to get a planner or a day of coordinator? Is that what my venue manager does?
Your venue manager’s main focus on the wedding day is the food, beverage, & venue. She will make sure that everything is running smoothly on the catering side as well as making sure everything in the building is stocked & prepared correctly for your event. We recommend hiring a planner or day of coordinator to help you with the details of the day as well as making sure your ceremony runs smoothly. Lesner Inn has an in house day of coordination service that can be added to your contract as late as your 90 day meeting. Trust us, you won’t regret having someone to assist you on the big day!
Above:Jason Jarvis Photography
Do I need a wedding hashtag?
No, it is not necessary. We love when couples create their own personal hashtag so that they can see photos that guests take at their event but Lesner Inn also has a hashtag. Follow #lesnerinnweddings for lots of wedding inspiration! Also make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest.
Why can’t I schedule my rehearsal until 2 weeks before my wedding?
Lesner Inn hosts nearly 150 events a year & we try our best to make sure each couple gets the time frame that they want for their rehearsal. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a time until two weeks prior to your wedding. We do accept last minute events, so we must keep our schedule open until two weeks before your event in order to best fit the needs of all of our clients. Fear not though! Rehearsals are very easy in our ceremony spaces & can be replicated in another space if we cannot accommodate your ideal time frame.
What do I do if I have a last minute guest addition?
Let your event manager know ASAP. We need your final guest count two weeks prior to your event & any additions after your final meeting will incur a $50 late fee.
Something has come up & we need to move or cancel our event. What do we do?
Let your event manager know ASAP. We understand that things happen & sometimes everything doesn’t go as planned. However, there is a cancellation fee & a date change fee since your event was blocking us from booking that space & time. Please see your catering agreement for more information regarding these fees.
Right: Jenn Marie Photography
Do I need to tip the staff who will be working my event? What is the 20% service fee?
The service fee pays for the hourly wage of ALL staff working your event – dishwashers, prep cooks, chefs, bussers, food attendants, parking attendants, managers, etc. Tipping is entirely optional, but it is a nice way to acknowledge & thank the staff who worked your event. Either way, we will divide the money left at the bar & distribute it to the bartenders, food attendants & bussers.
Do I need to do anything after my event?
Relax! Weddings are a lot of work & you deserve a break. Once you are ready to tackle your to-do list, the first thing you need to do is send thank you notes & write reviews. Thank you notes should go to anyone who gave you a gift, helped with wedding preparations & to your vendors. You should also hop on The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook or Google & leave a review for your vendors! Think back to when you were booking your own wedding & all of the reviews that you read to help you make your decisions. Leave one about your experience too!
Why do I have to make place cards for a plated meal?
For a multi-entrée plated meal, we will need you to provide place cards for each guest so that our staff knows who will be getting which meal based on the signifier (Ex. “F” for fish or “C” for chicken in the bottom corner of the place card). We request that all meal signifiers be on the front of the place card so it is easier for our event staff to read. We will also a need a breakdown of which meals go to each table to help expedite service in the kitchen. (Ex. 4 chicken & 5 fish at Table 1, 6 chicken and 4 fish at Table 2, etc.).
Am I limited to two meetings after my booking?
No, you are more than welcome to call or email us with questions you may have about your event at Lesner Inn. The two meetings are based around your payment schedule to make your life easier during the planning process! Our office does operate by appointment, so if you know that you will be in town and would like to come by, please make sure to call ahead.
Can I have a sparkler exit?
Yes! We love sparkler exits but request that they only occur outside of the building & not on the docks. Many of our couples use the parking lot on the side or in the front of the building for their sparkler exits. Please make sure to bring a bucket of sand or water to extinguish the sparklers.
Above: Kirstyn Marie Photography
Do I have to use the vendors on your list?
In short, no. We only require you to use Lesner Inn for all of your food & beverage – with the exclusion of your dessert. We understand that is a specialty creation! We do like to provide you with a list of preferred vendors because these are trusted professionals that we truly enjoy working with & know you will too! There are lots of other great vendors out there though & we are always excited to work with someone new.
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.
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!
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.
Above: Stellar Exposures PhotographyEveryone 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!
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
We 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 PhotographyOne 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!
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.
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!