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.
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.