1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hi, I'm Dionne Washington, founder and Creative Director of Dionne Events. My love for wedding planning began over 8 years ago when I helped a close friend plan her wedding for fun. She and her family were so impressed with how organized I was that they recommended that I try to do this professionally. At the time, I was working full time at a local University while putting myself through undergraduate studies and raising three young children. It was my children that truly motivated me. I hated my 9-5 and I would only have just a few small hours a day with them before they had to go to bed on school nights. They deserved more time with their mom and I needed more time with my children. So I took a leap, and I started Dionne Events in 2016 with the full intention to make this company my livelihood and my pathway/journey to more time with my family.
2. What's your experience as a wedding planner? How many weddings have you planned?
I truly enjoy wedding planning. Many of my friends ask me, "Dionne do you ever stress out over your client's wedding?" Of course, I have my stressful moments but I think in my 8 years of planning I have seen a lot and not much scares me anymore. I don't mind if a "hiccup" happens - it is my job to fix that hiccup and do it without not taking any attention away from our clients. In 8 years, I have planned 45 weddings, 8 birthdays, and 5m nonprofit fundraiser events.
3. What sorts of services do you offer (month-of coordination, full-service planning, or à la carte planning)?
We offer elopements, month-of coordination, partial and full-service planning.
4. How do payments work (a percentage of the wedding budget, a flat fee etc.)? What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?
When you are ready to make your investment, we require 50% down no matter what package you select and a signed agreement.
Here are our packages:
Brides Best Friend: $500
Month of Coordination: $1800
Blissful (Partial Planning): $2500
Forever (Full Planning) : $3500
Timeless (Full Planning and Shower or Bachelorette Planning): $5500
5. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?
I have three associate planners:
Lindsey, Annie, and Jamie! They are amazing and two of them will accompany me at your wedding. All three of them will help me help you plan your wedding with ease.
6. What happens if you're sick or otherwise unable to be there on the day of the wedding?
This is why I am always so grateful for:
Lindsey, Annie, and Jamie. :) They can pick up where I left off and have access to all planning files.
7. How many meetings will you have with the couple and how will they be involved?
Depending on the package, we can meet as little as once a month or as much as weekly. Most of our couples like being involved and we welcome that! We also love planning with mothers and mothers in-laws! We are planners, but it takes family and friends who are close to the couple that can play a critical and important part in the planning process! Also, all of our clients have access to our partner Aisle Planner's software! This is something you can only get through a professional planning company.
8. Will you handle the invitations, from wording and ordering to the addressing and mailing? What about guest list coordination and RSVPs?
We love invitations and we design stationary suites from wedding invitations, rsvp cards, tent cards, menu cards, table numbers, etc. We will also manage your rsvp returns in our Aisle Planner software.
9. Do you handle rentals? Will you coordinate delivery, arrival and set up times with the photographer, the florist, the musicians and the caterer/banquet manager?
We handle all vendors, bartenders, banquet managers, florists, etc.
10. Can you create a timeline that tells everyone involved in the planning process (other pros, members of the wedding party, to-be-weds and families) what to do and when to do it? How will you make sure everyone sticks to the schedule?
Yes. We create our timeline in our professional planning software Aisle Planner.