Celebrate The Stories of My Most Memorable Weddings
A Q&A with Jennifer Zabinski of JZ Events
Jennifer Zabinski of JZ Events shares her most memorable wedding-planning moments, from welcome gifts with altitude kits at Hotel Jerome, to yoga on the pool deck for wedding guests at Malliouhana. Whether emerging trend or tried-and-true detail, the newly-engaged will want to take note of how JZ Events approaches every step of the wedding process with unparalleled creativity, crafting your special day into something that can only be described as magic.
What do you love about weddings and why?
I love the relationships and personal connections that I develop with my clients, and their families, during this momentous time in their lives.
At Hotel Jerome: What activities in the local area were unique and memorable for your guests and what special extras did you add to their experience?
The environment of Hotel Jerome, the lobby, and J Bar, really set the tone for guests to enjoy the historical charm and roots of Aspen. Then, of course, a welcome note and basket is always appreciated! One of our Aspen welcome gifts through Bundles Gift Co. included locally sourced items such as altitude kits, fresh baked goods, and Aspen kettle corn.
At Malliouhana: What activities in the local area were unique and memorable for your guests and what special extras did you add to their experience?
Guests enjoyed a morning fitness class on the beach, yoga on the pool deck, beach volleyball, a pool party with exotic floats, and games that were poolside.
Why are local experiences so popular and important for weddings?
Destination weddings provide couples and guests with more than an event; they offer an experience. When a couple selects a location for their wedding, they are inherently choosing to incorporate the scenery, cuisine, and activities of the surrounding area into their festivities. Guests love to explore the characteristics that make each destination unique.
How many activities should be planned and how do you decide upon the activities?
Activities should be planned around the events taking place. It’s important to consider the types of activities that your guests enjoy. For some groups, we recommend a ‘choice of’ two activities that occur simultaneously. One may be more relaxed, such as yoga on the beach or a bike ride through a local park, while the other activity could involve a more adventurous excursion, such as hiking or snorkeling.
What are some special things that you did at your weddings?
During a wedding weekend in Aspen last August, we planned quite a few adventures for our guests. The couple hosted a warm and inviting welcome party on the evening their guests arrived, featuring an oxygen bar for those that were still acclimating to the altitude. The next day, guests were given a choice of a morning hike or bike ride, followed by an invitation to a barbecue lunch in the park. The lunch featured lawn games, mechanical bull rides, and picnic tables that were charmingly set with bud vases full of fresh florals. The Sunday after the wedding, guests enjoyed a leisurely brunch with a backdrop of the mountains.
What are some great ways to build in moments of surprise and delight in the downtime for guests?
Welcome notes or booklets are a lovely way to introduce guests to your wedding destination. Include your recommendations on favorite places to eat, sights to see, and activities to try. This will provide your guests with a convenient list of options to explore during the downtime.
Custom turndowns, that can be worn or used, are a fun way to reveal an activity that guests will participate in the following day. Driving gloves can indicate a vintage car driving excursion; Sun hats and kaftans are lovely for a beach day; Disposable underwater cameras can nod towards a snorkeling trip, or gondola tickets can indicate a venture to the top of the mountains.
What’s your #1 recommendation for a bride-to-be as she plans a wedding this year?
Embrace and enjoy the planning process! There are times when planning can become stressful and overwhelming, however, it’s important to remember the outcome, which far outweighs any bumps you may encounter along the way.
What is the ideal size for a destination wedding?
Just as every couple is different, each destination is unique as well. There is not a specific number of guests that will make or break the success of a wedding. Rather, the ideal number of guests is contingent upon the type of wedding that the couple wants to have. First, consider the destination; research the type of venues that are available on the wedding date and inquire about their capacities. Also, consider the type of accommodation that you wish to offer your guests. Do you prefer for all guests to stay at the same property? Or are you happy to split up your guests and offer a range of lodging options at various price points? The ideal guest count will be determined by the destination, wedding venue, accommodation plan, and type of wedding experience that best represents the couple.
Photographers: Roey Yohai (Aspen) and Brian Dorsey (Anguilla).
Welcome Basket Company: Bundles Gift Co.