When Jill Remy was in elementary school, she wrote, “When I grow up, I want to be a birthday party planner.” Three years ago, right before she launched her own business doing just that, her mother found and presented this foretelling bit of writing to Jill.
In the very short time since, Jill has become one of the most sought-after party planners in Santa Barbara. Case in point: She’s been in charge of the weddings for two daughters from the Grassini Family Winery — the first featured in Martha Stewart’s Weddings magazine, the second in Pacific Weddings — and she’ll be supervising a third this September. “It’s such an honor when a family asks you do not just one but, imagine, three weddings!” beams Jill.
I’ve attended two weddings coordinated by Jill, and found that she brings out the personality of the bride and the groom so organically and vividly in the proceedings. She attributes that to her sociology degree from UCSB, a background that also helps her deal with stressful situations. “Weddings should be a fun thing for the parties involved,” she says. “I make sure that there’s no stress in the process whatsoever.”
Jill seasonally helps SBIFF as our events manager, and she handles multiple parties, ranging from a 2,000-person opening party to simultaneous cocktail receptions — always remaining cool as a cucumber.
As for her own wedding — she’s holding out for Bradley Cooper — it will be a 50-person max affair, for she plans to have control over every detail herself, and wants to enjoy it all.
This wedding planner extraordinaire answers the Proust Questionnaire.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Something Maya Angelou once said has always stuck with me: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What is your most marked characteristic?
Being calm is my superpower, especially at events when we are on to Plan B or C. Superficially, my bright red hair, and not washing it as often as I should.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Building my little business and watching it grow and become successful so quickly has been pretty amazing, especially since I never imagined having my own company. Also, when people in their career search reach out to me for mentorship, it makes me feel good that I have something to give back to help others get to where they want to go.
Who do you most admire?
My mom, who always made me feel like I could do anything, taught me to be calm, and who also made me oldest in a family of five, so I attribute my organization to that.
What do you like most about your job?
Getting to meet with and work with so many different people, both clients and vendors. Managing my own schedule. Seeing events start as an idea and come to fruition after months of planning.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being able to help those around me and make someone else’s day/life/moment/event better. And wine in sweat pants with friends.
What is your greatest fear?
Becoming a crazy old cat lady. I’m allergic though, so I think I’m safe. Also, I’ve had nightmares about showing up to my own wedding with a faux flower bouquet and a jean skirt.
What is your greatest extravagance?
The Jenny Schatzle Program. I’ve got to work my stress out somehow. And it’s not going to be at your event. And I have to work off the wine.
What is your current state of mind?
Work work work work work. It’s wedding season!
What is the quality you most like in people?
What is the quality you most dislike in people?
Lack of communication.
What do you most value in friends?
That quality where you can speak to them once every six months and it’s like time never passed. Support, those you can call no matter what, for the silly stuff and the heavy stuff, at any time of day. Those that love you for you no matter what, even if you are in completely different places in your life. No drama.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Irregardless, when I am trying to make a point, which isn’t even a word, so obviously I use it too much. Literally. Also, emoji’s. X-)
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be amazing at calligraphy! Also I wish I was better at techy stuff.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Indecisiveness in my personal life. I make decisions and plan things for clients all day long, so don’t ask me where I want to go to for happy hour. I have no clue.
Where would you most like to live?
I can’t imagine anyone picking anywhere other than Santa Barbara, unless it’s a second home of course. I’ve left twice and come back twice, so for now anyhow, so blessed that S.B. is my home base.
What is your most treasured possession?
Time, which is not really a possession but something that I try to never take advantage of, and never seem to have enough of.
Who makes you laugh the most?
My nephews and all of the littles in my life. They are pretty ridiculous and have no filters. Funny hearing things through kids views. Oh to be young again.
What is your motto?
Love is all you need. You have to love what you do, have self love, and spread the love.
On what occasion do you lie?
Well, I’m in the events industry, so if you are a client of mine, likely I have left out pieces of information on event days. Most hiccups are need to know, and you are paying me not to need to know.