FAQ - Jacin Fitzgerald Wedding Planner Southeast - Napa Valley - New England


1. What would you consider to be your main specialty?

Honestly, my specialty is combining the logistics of planning with design, it’s why I don’t offer just one service over another. The logistics are key in making sure the design is pulled together without a hitch – making sure the tent is large enough to hold X number of farm tables and cross back chairs, but also an emergency exit for large crowds and space for your caterers to get through to keep dinner service running smoothly. Making sure we have backup generators should the power go out, making sure we have a plan B for every plan C. One thing all of my clients say is that I am prepared but I am also one of the most laid back people you will ever meet – it’s important for me to make my clients feel at ease but also, set the tone for the rest of the vendors. If your wedding planner is running around frantically throughout the event, that energy can be contagious and makes the rest of the crowd feel anxious. I’ve dealt with moving alligators, relocating 150 guests after a 6.2 earthquake just days before a wedding, losing power on top of a mountain in Napa and bringing in backup generators – and not a single guest would know this happened unless they heard about it afterwards. That’s really important to me! I always tell people this but it truly does takes a lot to knock me over!

2. What is the difference between a designer & stylist?

I offer both services but at different stages. I’m sure there are many definitions out there but to me, a designer is one who pulls together the overall event aesthetic through the linens, rentals, florals and overall layout. As a designer, I am in charge of translating your vision, personality and style into the overall look and feel of the event through a design plan, rental orders, and a very detailed layout plan which I will provide to all of your vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page. A stylist is one who pulls together the design on the day-of. As a stylist, I am making sure your tablescapes are perfect before the guests arrive, making sure the place settings are correct, knives are facing the right way, place cards are perfectly centered to the plates, etc. The stylist takes the design plan and implements it on the wedding day, making sure everything is picture perfect and not only ready for your guest arrival but also your photographer to capture everything as we’d planned.

3. How many meetings will we have? How often will we communicate, and how? Do I pay for each meeting?

faq2We can have as many meetings as you’d like – this is something you’d voice through the initial questionnaire and we would discuss during our kickoff meeting – some clients prefer to have a bi-weekly call (in the beginning this makes sense, but once some of the larger items are checked off we don’t need to speak as often, during the “lull” phase in between). Even in the lull, though, my clients are always in the loop as to where we are in the planning process and what’s next through our checklist management and my weekly recap emails. The reason I only take on 3 weddings per year is so I don’t have to tell my clients how many meetings they are allotted – it is all dependent on your preference. Skype is always a great option to supplement the in-person meetings, too. I am very flexible based on my clients needs and look forward to our time together, but also want to make the most of this time.

4. Are you experienced with destination events?

Literally 99% of my clients are planning from afar, so I have a great deal of experience working with clients who are not in my region. I would say 75% of my weddings are destination, whether US or abroad, so I think this is one of my specialties. My biggest priority, though, is making you feel as though you are as involved (or not) as you want to be, and you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the fun “to-do’s” – like the menu tastings, linen choices, etc. My home base is in Atlanta (we just moved here from San Francisco in 2014) and my business is managed on the road, whether driving to surrounding southern cities or flying to my client’s wedding destination. I have satellite offices in New England and Napa Valley (with a strong presence in Charlottesville and Charleston) to maintain a “home base” for my clients in those areas and my location here in Atlanta serves the southeast well with most locations just a drive away and easily accessible.

5. Do you provide assistance in coming up with the colors, theme, or bridal party attire?

Oh yes – absolutely – that is all part of the design! I literally work with you from start to finish to ensure your vendor + venue choices match with the overall theme + style you’re going for. Initially I pull together a color board which is then translated to a full design plan (a binder I present to you during the tasting, typically), and a flower board, etc. I use photoshop to help you visualize what place settings will look like, what different bridesmaid color dresses would look like together, etc. Some brides have me attend their fittings to help with accessories, etc. So yes, to any extent at which you’d like me involved, I’m there!

6. Do you plan other weekend events such as pre-wedding group activities, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid luncheon, etc.?

Yes – I can (and have) pulled together the entire weekend’s worth of events, from the bridesmaid luncheon, to the rehearsal dinner, to the post-wedding brunch, to even making sure the guys bury the bourbon a month before (if the location allows) :). My fees for rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid luncheon and post-wedding brunch depend on the scope, and whether you want me planning (onsite + prep + design) or just consulting to give you ideas. Most clients have me manage their entire weekend’s worth of events to keep things running smoothly and allow them to completely unwind and enjoy, but it really is dependent on your needs and what you’re looking for, all of which we discuss in our kick-off meeting.

7. Do you offer floral design for weddings you don’t actually plan? AKA do you work with other planners + designers?

Yes – absolutely! I LOVE floral design and there are no egos involved from my end – I love to partner with other planners + stylists to bring the floral inspiration to life.

8. If you only take on 3 weddings per year, what do you do with the rest of your spare time?

Present at conferences, style and floralize for workshops, style and design editorial photoshoots for brands, mentor new and existing planners/floral designers, volunteer with local charities and most importantly – spend QT with my husband, 2 dogs, friends and family. 🙂

More questions? Please feel free to contact me!