Founded by award-winning, multi-published planner and designer Dionne Washington, Dionne Events was born on January 1, 2015. With over eight years of event planning experience, Dionne decided to leave the planning company she was working for and branch out on her own. In just a short amount of time, she's won Best of The Knot, her work's been published in magazines, an international newspaper, and several blogs. Read on to learn more about Dionne's wedding planning journey and her favorite Aisle Planner features!
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
I started planning events for friends and family over eight years ago. When I began planning these events, I had no experience, but I was a very organized person and that was my saving grace! After these events I was approached frequently with feedback from the attendees that I was very good at event planning and that I should do this for a living. I kept working my 9-5 job (the bills had to get paid) and continued with event planning on the side.
Why did you start Dionne Events?
In May of 2015 I decided to leave my full-time job and work for myself. Since that time, the Dionne Events Team has become an international, published, and award-winning business. I put every ounce of energy into my business and worked very diligently to make sure all of my clients are pleased with me and my staff. I believe what set us apart from others is our dedication to each client and our great attention to detail. Our clients rely on us to make sure all T's are crossed and all I's are dotted. So we spend a lot of time prior to any event—planning, negotiating contracts, and hosting many meetings to make sure everything's been addressed. Clear communication with your vendors is one of the most important things to have as a planner/designer.
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
No more mason jars please!
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?
I always tell our clients, Aisle Planner is us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…just in the form of an amazing software. We love Aisle Planner and all of the features it has to offer our clients and our team. We all stay organized, informed, and communicate well through the platform. It's our saving grace and we won’t ever stop using it! I've been using Aisle Planner for at least four years and I'm so pleased with the growth of this platform and all of the amazing features it has and continues to develop.
What's your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
The timeline. I love it!
If you weren't the Founder of Dionne Events, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
Career wise, I'll always do something that's service based. So, I'd be a full time WNBA and NBA agent traveling the world meeting amazing talent and helping them achieve their goals. Working and traveling, you can’t beat that.
What are three things you never show up without on event day?
- Timeline: Can’t miss a moment!
- Cell Phone: Communication is key.
- Emergency Kit (I cheated with this question. I have a lot in my kit!)
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
Listen more than you speak. When a couple is meeting with you, typically they're at a place that they already recognize they need your help so you don’t need to “sell yourself.” You'll have much more success going into a consultation or meeting with a client all ears. Let them release all their questions, thoughts, ideas, and frustrations with you. Then speak.
What’s your trademark in the client or event experience?
Flower walls. I don’t know how they became our trademark as we've only done a handful of them. But lately, we've received more inquiries on flower wall work than ever before.
Is there anything you're particularly excited about working on this year?
I'm excited to work on more styled shoots as well as help plan two international weddings that are taking place towards the end of this year. More details to come about these projects via our social media channels!
Just for fun
Three things you wouldn't board a plane without?
My air pods. neck pillow, and cell phone.
I’m dying to take a trip to…
Italy! I want to taste real Italian food and drink real wine.
Dogs or cats?
If you owned a restaurant, what food would it serve?
Creole. My grandmother is Creole so it would be in honor of her.
What skill would you like to master?
Playing the guitar.
What song do you know every word to?
Ha! So many! One of my favorites is Time of Our Lives by Ne-Yo and Pitbull. Great end of the night song for weddings!
Favorite book of all time?
Fearless Success by John Foley.
Non-work related hobbies?
I'm a hot yoga practitioner. In fact, I'm heading to Hot Yoga right after this interview! Yoga helps me in so many ways but Hot Yoga is such a great detoxifier and working in the event industry, you have the blessing of trying lavish yummy foods, so I try to stay on top of my yoga.
On my days off you can find me…
In yoga class, walking or hiking with my family, or donating my time to a local non-profit based in Phoenix, AZ called Project Roots. They specialize in growing fresh food at local farms and giving that food away to those in need.
If you catch me out and about I’m always wearing…
My sunglasses! You need those in the beautiful sunny state of AZ!
Want to see more from Dionne? Check out her website dionneevents.com!
Hero photo courtesy Andrew Jade Photography