{review} Dreamstyle Weddings

Planner: Dreamstyle Weddings | Florals: Blooms & Flora | Venue: Earth to Table Bread Bar - Guelph | Photography: Becky Lynne Photography

A passion for planning, exceptional organization and services that go above and beyond make Dreamstyle Weddings a top planner in Southwestern Ontario.

Party planning is in Danielle Deebank’s blood. So when she had the opportunity to start her own wedding planning business, she didn’t think twice. She immediately went full force, opening Dreamstyle Weddings and offering her stress-free planning services to brides and grooms across KW.

It’s Danielle’s inherent love for both event planning and creating the ultimate wedding day that truly comes across in her work. For Danielle, making sure that you actually enjoy your wedding day, worry-free, is the ultimate goal. And she’s willing to do whatever it takes to help your wedding go off without a hitch. Let us explain…

Personally Speaking

You could say that weddings run in Danielle’s blood. Growing up, her Grandmother owned a Bridal and Dressmaking Shop, sparking Danielle’s deep love for all things wedding. “I used to try on all the shoes and make veils out of tulle. Weddings have always had a special place in my heart.”

Maybe only second to her love of weddings, Danielle’s other passion has always been for event planning. From stag and doe’s and showers to anniversary parties and family vacations, over the years, family and friends could count on Danielle to be at the forefront of any organized event, playing a crucial role in making everything come together.

Needless to say, when Danielle got engaged, she was beyond ecstatic at the prospect of planning her own wedding. She laughs, “My husband I and were dating almost eight years when he finally proposed. I was that girl who had started planning my wedding before I had the ring. I always dreamed about how my wedding would be.”

During the planning process, a friend asked Danielle if she needed an extra hand, “Although I didn’t think I needed the help at the time, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I was that she was there. If there was anything that went wrong she was there to tackle it, to keep things organized and let me enjoy every minute of my day.”

It was during her own planning process that Danielle realized that she was meant to help other brides plan the perfect wedding. “I already had a love for weddings and a love for planning. It only made sense to me to combine the two.” Two weeks later, Danielle registered her business and enrolled in The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada’s Certified Wedding Coordinators Course (she has been WPIC certified ever since, even becoming a WPIC Alumni Kitchener/Waterloo Regional Representative, responsible for the continuing education of other certified wedding professionals in this region). “I feel that since I was fortunate enough to see the value in having a wedding day coordinator for my own wedding, I can easily relate to couples that are unsure if it is right for them.”

And so, in September 2008, Danielle officially opened Dreamstyle Weddings- and her business has been steadily growing ever since. “Most of my clients are referrals from past couples or guests at weddings that I have planned and had the opportunity to see firsthand how I work.”

A passion for planning

After so many weddings, Danielle still has that same passion for weddings that she had while planning her own, “My clients inspire me. There is something contagious about watching two people in love. I love the feeling of being able to manage the vision of my clients and witness the love shared on their wedding day. There is nothing more satisfying than the joy on their faces when their wedding day runs smoothly and without any stress.”

Shanna Durski booked Dreamstyle Weddings’ partial planning services for her August 18th, 2012 wedding day. She told The Ring, “Danielle was absolutely amazing. The organization skills that she possess’ are absolutely amazing. She is always calm and collected which is great when dealing with a bride. [On] the wedding day I did not wonder once what was going on. I was just able to focus on me and my bridesmaids.”

Amy Atkinson agrees. When we asked her for a favourite memory of working with Danielle for her September 19th, 2009 wedding day, she came back with several! “Before I walked down the aisle, Danielle inserted Kleenex in the back of my bouquet which I didn’t think I’d need, but I did! Right after we got married, I looked over at Danielle to see her tearing up – it was really sweet and made us feel really special. After the ceremony, she had water ready for my husband and I before and after pictures were taken. Someone brought us over a bottle of champagne to toast after our pictures were taken. Danielle rushed over, opened it, and poured it into all of our glasses. She then took all of the glasses as we prepared to walk into the hall. Every once in a while I’d look over at Danielle, and she’d give me reassuring smile or thumbs up – it made me relax and enjoy every moment of our day.”

A constant education

Since the wedding industry is constantly changing, with new trends and styles popping up all the time, Danielle says that keeping up with new trends is essential for any planner, “It is so important to consistently be updating knowledge, attending workshops to learn new skills and meet other industry professionals. This not only helps to stay inspired but also allows me to build great relationships which can in turn help my clients.”

With that said, Danielle attends as many conferences, seminars and shows as she can each year. She also enrols in different courses, not only for planners, but in several aspects of the industry. This not only keeps her well-rounded, but lets her learn how other vendors work as well.

Among Danielle’s many certifications: Destination Wedding Coordinator Certification, Sandals Certified Specialist, Gay Wedding Institute Certification, Floral and Décor Design, Dining Etiquette, Emergency First Aid and CPR-B training.

From favours to the honeymoon

Danielle’s services are not limited to planning the wedding. As a Destination Wedding Coordinator and a Sandals Certified Specialist (among other travel-related certifications), she works with a local travel agency and can assist couples with their destination wedding and honeymoon planning.

Danielle is also a distributor for wedding favours and accessories. She explains, “This not only allows me to provide discounts to my clients but I can also source out special and unique wedding details for my clients. I can often help find special or custom items to match their theme.” This includes items like your favours, guest book and your cake!

A dream wedding for any vision

Although Danielle has worked with many personalities, budgets and wedding visions, she describes her clients as fun and easy-going. “I can without a doubt say that I have been very fortunate to have met some of the best clients.”

With that said, Danielle is very flexible and can adapt to any client’s wedding day vision. “I want my clients to feel at ease and am very dedicated to making sure that I provide reassurance and support to my couples.” In fact, Danielle truly enjoys working with different backgrounds, styles and budgets because it helps in her continuous growth as planner, “There are always new things to learn in this industry and I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from my clients.”

For example, Danielle’s expertise can accommodate traditional, simplistic or celebrity-style weddings. She admits that there are some traditional elements that she appreciates in a wedding, but sees lots of room for customization. “I enjoy planning weddings with couples that have a unique vision. Don’t want a traditional cake? Use stacked cheese wheels! Want an alternative to a traditional guest book? Rent a photo booth! The possibilities are endless.”

A common misconception when working with a wedding planner is that couples give up control of their wedding plans. For Dreamstyle Weddings, this is not the case, “We work closely with you to guide you along the way, and answer any questions you have.”

Brides Love…

Danielle admits that planning weddings isn’t as glamorous as it is sometimes portrayed to be. That’s why her incredible organizational skills and detailed approach to planning are so critical in her success, “You really have to have a passion for weddings. Staying organized and being flexible allows me to provide my clients with outstanding service.”

“My itineraries are very organized and detailed. I always carry the plan for the day, the hourly weather forecast, all vendor contacts, emergency contact numbers and any other specific information for that wedding and a wedding emergency kit that I add to after each and every wedding.”

A unanimous favourite thing among past brides is that Danielle truly makes each client feel like they are her number one priority. “I don’t treat their day as just another wedding. I am excited to be included in their day and do whatever I can to make sure it goes as smoothly and seamless as possible.”

“I pour my heart and soul into every wedding. I make sure that I am flexible and able to give my couples the support they need every step of the way. I take the time needed to make sure I have all information and details. I have created many templates and checklists to ensure that clients have an easy process to follow and that I get all the information that I need to create their wedding day itinerary.”

Recent bride Amy Atkinson says Danielle was key in making her wedding day everything she had dreamed of. “I loved working with Danielle. She really makes you feel that your wedding is her number one priority. The day of the wedding she is right there when you need her. She has everything you need (emergency wise) not only for the bride, but for the bridal party and family. My father needed hair spray and a comb after the ceremony before the reception and she even had a men’s comb ready to go. She did his hair for him! We still giggle about that. Danielle becomes a friend in the process and keeps in touch with you afterwards to see how your married life is going.”

Packages & Pricing

Danielle has several packages to choose from, however, she is happy to customize her packages to suit any client. To give you an idea, here’s a breakdown of the standard options…

Consulting: This is perfect for clients just looking for a little direction or who have encountered a few roadblocks along the way. This service can be used at any point in the planning process. Dreamstyle Weddings can help with getting started/staying organized, planning checklists, budget creation, theme development, or anything else couples are finding stressful or overwhelming. Fee:  $150 for the first hour, $50 per hour thereafter.

Wedding Day Management: This is designed for couples who want to plan their wedding themselves but really want to enjoy their day and leave it to a professional to handle the logistics. Couples that book this package are looking for someone to manage details of the day so they can see their vision come to life without having to do the work themselves. We work very closely with their chosen vendors to create a team that will manage your day so you don’t have to. Fee:  $900 +HST

Three Month Countdown and Wedding Day Management: This package is designed for couples that have started the planning process themselves but feel stressed or overwhelmed or are looking for some planning advice as their wedding date approaches. Dreamstyle Weddings assists with organizing everything you have planned so far and determines what needs to be done. This package also includes Wedding Day Management. (See above) Fee: $2000 +HST

(If less than 50% of your vendors are secured, consider the Full Planning option below

Full Planning and Coordination: This package is designed for couples who want stress free wedding planning and is usually booked fairly early in the planning process or with only a few details confirmed. Ideal for couples that feel they don’t have much time, Dreamstyle Weddings provides direction throughout the entire process so you can focus on what’s important. They help you prioritize tasks and keep you on track. This package includes (but not limited to) unlimited email and phone support, monthly meetings, checklists and timelines for wedding details, budget preparation, theme development and vendor management, This package also includes Wedding Day Management. (See above)

Fee: Flat Rate to be determined based on size and details of wedding (minimum $3,000+HST)

Destination Weddings and Honeymoon Planning: Danielle can help you plan your dream wedding away or help with the details of booking your honeymoon. Working with a local travel agency allows Danielle to not only plan your Destination Wedding, but track all your travel details.

Fee: Contact Danielle to set up a meeting to discuss your destination wedding or honeymoon.

Walking you through it

The best way to get in touch with Danielle is to send her an email or via the contact form on her website. Danielle also welcomes phone calls but says that email is easier as it allows her to answer all of your questions/concerns in writing, “You have something to reference until we are able to set up a face to face meeting. I am always available to my clients.

After your initial email/phone conversation, you’ll schedule an initial meeting with Danielle. This meeting is complimentary and allows you to get to know each other. During the conversation you’ll discuss dates and any planning you have done so far. Danielle will ask questions like, “What services are you looking for?” “What stresses you out about your wedding?” “How can I help?”

Once you decide if you are a good fit for each other, you’ll discuss the services you need for your wedding day. Danielle can answer any questions you may have, you’ll browse her portfolio and discuss the details of your contract.

Next, you’ll receive a detailed quotation/contract that you can review and return when you feel confident in booking Dreamstyle Weddings.

Amy Atkinson remembers her meetings with Danielle, “Danielle took the time before we signed a contract to discuss my wedding ideas, questions, and concerns. She spent a lot of time getting to know me and my husband and gave us many options to work with. No other planner took as much time with us before we signed. My husband also liked that she asked for his opinion and wasn’t just speaking directly to me. If you meet with Danielle or speak with her on the phone, you can see and feel her dedication to making her clients happy.”

Wedding Day Management clients will receive a planning timeline and checklist to keep them on track. Danielle gives this to clients in advance so they can keep track in detail (we LOVE this!). This working document is later used to help create the wedding day itinerary. Danielle also suggests that couples forward vendor information/contracts as they book it so that she can assist with questions or any additional information. Four to six weeks prior to your date you will sit down again to review all planning information.

Full/Partial Planning clients start the same way as the Wedding Day Management package, but in addition, a meeting schedule is created for key items that need to be reviewed. Together you will determine what is already taken care of and what is left to be booked. Danielle is also able to help with any aspect of your wedding (budget, theme, vendors etc).

On your wedding day, Danielle is often involved in some of the minor set-up and so, she makes sure that she is onsite well in advance of the ceremony start time. She will check in with couples to make sure the key items have not been left behind (rings, veil, shoes etc) and that everyone is feeling relaxed. She also checks in with all of the vendors as they arrive and answers any questions they may have.

Depending on the size or complexity of your wedding, Danielle may have an assistant with her. All assistants are fully aware of the logistics of the day and work with the detailed itinerary that Danielle creates with her clients.

Prior to the ceremony, Danielle is there to make sure that everything is running smoothly- ensuring that the floral delivery is correct, checking in with the wedding party, coordinating the timing of the processional and any other pre-ceremony details that need to be taken care of.

After the ceremony, Danielle is there to oversee the reception- making sure that the venue is ready for guests, working with the DJ and/or MC and caterer to ensure that everything goes smoothly, and any last minute details that pop up.

One of our favourite things (among many) about Dreamstyle Weddings is that they don’t limit the hours they work on your wedding day. They are present throughout the entire reception to make sure that the bride and groom have nothing to worry about. They are available to call cabs for intoxicated guests, ensure guests are aware of shuttle plans and they can make sure that the couple and their guests have a “go to” person if needed.

Danielle says that after the wedding, she often stays in touch with the couples she works with, “I am fortunate to remain friends with some of our past clients. I always look forward to meeting for coffee after they get back from their honeymoon to chat about their day and see some of the photographer’s photos. I am also thankful for the opportunity to plan other special events for some clients after their wedding and often receive referrals to other weddings, showers, birthday/anniversary parties.”

Details, details, details…

  • Danielle has worked with budgets from $20,000 to $100,000. However, most clients have budgets that fall within the $25.000 to $35,000 range.
    •    HST applies to all fees.
    •    A deposit is required for all packages (amount is based on package selected).
    •    Months to book ahead: 6

Consulting: Can be used at any time throughout the planning process

Wedding Day Management: It is best to book as early as possible for availability. However, it can be booked within months of the wedding.

Full Planning: It is best booked immediately. “It makes the most sense to have access to your wedding planner for as much time as possible. Typically booked a year or more in advance but it is sometimes booked when couples become overwhelmed after they start the process on their own.”

Contacting Dreamstyle Weddings

Danielle Deebank at Dreamstyle Weddings can be reached by email at danielle@dreamstyleweddings.com or by phone at 519-362-5436. You can also visit Dreamstyle Weddings online at http://www.dreamstyleweddings.com.

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