Behind The Scenes: The Talented Planner, Jennifer Zabinski.


Dear Readers:

I personally believe planners to be the unsung heroes of the events industry. I am not sure that most people know immense responsibility that falls on the head of a planner. This is especially true when planning a high profile event such as Jennifer Zabinski did for the wedding of Eric Trump and Lara Yunaska earlier this month.  Jennifer and I have a long history together and I was thrilled to be working alongside her as the floral designer for this event. I left this wedding feeling that I had gained a whole new respect for what separates a “good” planner from a “great” one.

One of the most challenging jobs for a planner is being able to to truly understand who your clients are and communicate their needs effectively to all of the vendors.  Before meeting the couple, Jennifer spoke with kind candor about the couple.  “Preston, Eric and Lara are the loveliest couple you’ll ever meet.” she said. “Lara is very real and very down-to-Earth, and what most people do not know about Eric is that he spends a lot of his time and efforts raising money for charity.”

Now, I had met Eric briefly when I designed the weddings for both his father, Donald, and sister, Ivanka, but the day of our first meeting remained a lovely surprise. I was not ready to be greeted by the charming and charismatic man that walked through door.  Lara was just as sweet and she was completely open to hearing our ideas for her wedding.


Jennifer’s instructions were clear: Though I am known for over-the-top weddings, she encouraged me to find balance in my designs in order to convey the essence of the couple; elegant and not too over-the-top.

In today’s blog, I would like to personally thank you, Jennifer. You are one of the very best in this business. You are cool under pressure, great with sharing information, and you always look out for your vendors while at the same time understanding and honoring the needs of your clients. I certainly tried to embrace your idea of the couple. Instead of using my usual profusion of flowers for the ceremony, I thought created  a gazebo that featured mostly hanging crystals.

Looking at the photo above, I would like to ask all of you what you think? Was it just elegant or did I go too over-the-top?




Photos: John Labbe

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