Jenna Laine Weddings: Our Summer Interns

Today we wanted to introduce you to two new faces you will see in our office this summer! We have Jessica and Kathleen interning, and we couldn’t be happier to have them. Our internship program offers an opportunity for college students to gain exposure to event planning and design. They work directly under Jenna and Leslie and gain all kinds of experience from office duties to vendor communication to graphic design to working a wedding weekend. It has been so helpful to have them this summer so far, as it has been so busy! We wanted to share more about the two sweet girls we have this summer, so we sat down and asked them a few questions. See some of their answers below and be sure to say hello when you see them in our office!


Jessica:

School – Auburn University

Major – Public Relations

Hometown – Fairhope, AL

Favorite part about a wedding day? My favorite part about a wedding day is watching everything that we have been working on for so long fall into place perfectly for the bride and groom on their big day. Planning a wedding takes so much hard work that is done behind the scenes and even though I am only an intern, it is so rewarding to watch all of our hard work pay off and come together like we hoped.

Favorite wedding trend? My favorite wedding trend for right now would have to be the first look with the bridesmaids. Although the wedding day is mostly meant for the bride and the groom, I think it is important to fill your special day with meaningful moments with the people who have been by your side through it all and not to mention, who have helped you dream of this day since you were a little girl.

Dream vacation? My dream vacation would definitely be to Greece. I would love to go sailing in their clear blue water as well as eat all of their tasty foods.

Favorite thing about your college experience so far? My favorite thing about my college experience so far is the independence that I have developed through school, Greek life and friendships. I definitely feel more in control of my life and what each day consists of, which I love.

3 things you can’t live without? The three F’s – Friends, Family and Food

Favorite food/Netflix show/candy? At the moment, my favorite food would have to be flaming hot Cheetos. My favorite television show of all time is One Tree Hill. My favorite candy is airhead extremes.

Favorite thing you have done so far at Jenna Laine Weddings? My favorite thing I have done at JLW would be assembling wedding invitations. I love looking at all of the different designs, logos and fonts and how they correlate together in a way that represents both the bride and the groom.


Kathleen

School- The University of Alabama

Major- Hospitality

Hometown- Mountain Brook, AL

Favorite part about a wedding day? My favorite part about wedding days is getting to see each bride and groom’s personality show throughout the details of their wedding. From the moment she walks down the aisle to their first dance song every detail shows something about what makes this day special to them and I love getting to be a part of that.

Favorite wedding trend? My favorite wedding trend would have to be the signature drink. A signature drink is another way to incorporate personal details into a wedding day. Guests love it and the bride and groom get to sip on their favorite cocktail all night- what could be better?

Dream vacation? My dream vacation would be spending two weeks in Hawaii and boating around to each island.

Favorite thing about your college experience so far? My favorite thing about college so far has been the friendships I’ve made through my sorority. I have so many friends from different states and I’ve I loved getting to see their cities as well as show them mine.

3 things you can’t live without? Family, Friends and Desserts

Favorite food/Netflix show/candy? Mac and cheese. Sour patch kids. One Tree Hill.

Favorite thing you have done so far at Jenna Laine Weddings? My favorite thing I’ve done so far at JLW has been the catering tasting at The Grand Hotel. They have incredible options available and watching the bride and groom choose what their guests would eat on their wedding day was really special.

Meet Leslie

Leslie grew up in Helena, Alabama and graduated from The University of Montevallo with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics. After teaching High School math for two years she and Justin, who is active duty Coast Guard, were married and began moving with the military. The first station was Charleston, SC where Leslie was able to intern with one of the city’s most exclusive wedding planners. Knowing that this was the career path she wanted to pursue she applied and was hired on as an associate planner with a company in the next duty station of Key West, FL. After a four year tour there, the Coast Guard brought the Gilberts to the eastern shore where she joined the Jenna Laine Weddings team. 

Leslie and Justin live in Fairhope with their three children, Cohen (4), Kerrigan (2) and Baylor (8 months), and two dogs, Ace and Maggle. When not planning, Leslie can be found at home playing in the yard with the babies, or on a weekend getaway to see friends and family.

Photography Credit: Aimee Reynolds Photography

What advice would you give to brides?

Be honest and open about the budget- Planning will be a much smoother process if you have been honest about your budget and what aspects of the wedding are most important to you. Wedding vendors aren’t trying to swindle you (despite what you read in online articles) and if you have a good planner on your side you can likely avoid some back and forth, and stress by being upfront about your expectations.

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor wedding receptions?

Outdoor! I love the unpredictability and the ability to make the space your own. Everyone interprets the space differently and you aren’t usually boxed into the “normal” by the walls and outlets an indoor venue provides.

What detail do you feel is most overlooked by brides?

Trash-It’s not a glamorous answer but practically, every party creates trash. It’s important to have a conversation ahead of time with your vendors as to where that trash will go and who is responsible for it at the end of the evening. This can also extend to your bridal suite, a lot of brides use the honeymoon suite in the morning to get ready and then end up coming back to a room that has junk everywhere, designating a person to straighten up after you clear out for pictures will really help you enjoy the honeymoon suite that night.

What’s your favorite trend of 2018?

My current favorite wedding trend is bold colors-the jewel tones- with simple architectural details in bronze or gold. I love to see an unexpected linen and colorful flowers and bridesmaids dresses that actually have the couple’s personalty versus a “safer" option.

Meet Jenna

Owner and Executive Planner of Jenna Laine Weddings, LLC

Jenna Laine Rachal grew up in Fairhope, Alabama. She graduated from Bayside Academy and attended Auburn University. She then graduated from Auburn in May 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and certification in event planning then moved to New York just a few weeks later. While attending Auburn, Jenna worked under the marketing and events director at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art for three years, which is where her love for wedding and event planning began. In New York, Jenna interned and worked with several top marketing and event producers, one of them being event designer Matthew Robbins Design. In late 2012, Jenna moved home to Fairhope to open Jenna Laine Weddings, LLC., formerly known as Weddings and Events by Jenna Laine. Her first year in business Jenna planned 8 weddings, now almost six years later Jenna Laine Weddings produces around 50 beautiful weddings a year!

What’s your favorite part of planning a wedding?

My favorite part of planning a wedding is the design. I love making each event unique and special for our clients. My favorite design element is the tablescape. I love a full place setting, custom place cards, a beautiful centerpiece and glowing candle light. I also think a patterned linen really goes a long way in elevating the overall wedding design.

Favorite wedding trend for 2018?

I think 2018 has brought a lot of texture and color to tables. The linens have beautiful patterns and feel, such as velvet, one of my favorites. I have also seen a lot of colored tapered candles, you can’t go wrong with a standard ivory or white, but adding even a subtle grey really adds to the overall look of the table.

Most overlooked detail?

Lighting and a stage facade are my two biggest details I always try and get brides to work into their budget. Lighting can really change the entire feel of a room. Just adding soft amber lights around the edge of a ballroom can transform the space into a more intimate setting. Also, pin spotting your centerpieces and focal points, such as floral chandeliers or the cake, really make those elements pop, especially in photos.

A stage facade can come in many forms. You can rent a simple white facade or go with a ‘living’ boxwood facade or something patterned. Any of these options help to dress up the dance floor and hide the bulky black stages. At first thought you may not understand the necessity of a stage facade, but when you get your photos back you will.

What do you do when you aren’t planning weddings?

When I’m not planning a wedding I can usually be found at home or walking in our neighborhood with my 3 (almost 4) year old daughter Maddie, and husband Josh. My husband is a firefighter, which puts him out of the house for 24 hours or sometimes 48 hours at a time, so when he is off shift and I am home I try and close the computer and enjoy our time together. We live near several playgrounds, so most afternoons we take a family walk to the park or down to the water.