Recommended by 100%
Cathy · Married on 10/10/2010
Dawn is the most amazing person to work with. She is extremely creative, flexible and professional all while being very personable, warm and friendly. Our wedding would not have been as spectacular without Dawn and the Distinctive Occasions team. Every single detail was flawless. Dawn's dedication to our wedding made the day not only more special, but care free. Dawn and her staff are the most amazing and pleasant people I have worked with in a very long time. I would recommend Distinctive Occasions for any event as Dawn and her team make everything they do special.
Rebecca · Married on 11/10/2018
Hire Dawn as soon as possible!
Dawn was absolutely fantastic throughout the whole wedding planning process! She gave us guidance and recommendations when we asked for it, and was great at helping us incorporate our own ideas in as well. Day of could not have gone smoother because of her and her team. We didn't even know when things went wrong because to us, the whole thing was perfection. She even helped my sister/MOH surprise us with a gospel choir during her speech! I highly, highly recommend hiring Dawn as early as possible during your wedding planning - you won't regret it!
Alli · Married on 11/10/2018
Echoing my sister's review of Dawn. She's incredible! Dawn helped me pull off a surprise for my sister at her wedding, and was enthusiastic about helping make the wedding even more special for the couple. She was very responsive, provided great recommendations, and handled the execution of the surprise. You can tell she's a pro. Highly recommend!
Christynne · Married on 06/17/2017
I can't say enough about Dawn and her assistant Jordan. There is NO way we could have had the wedding of our dreams without the two of them. My only regret is that we didn't hire them sooner to help with more of the planning process!! Dawn was there for the entire rehearsal and helped organize everything that evening so the "Big Day" would go off without a glitch. Our wedding day was amazing, and we were actually able to ENJOY it because Dawn and Jordan were so attentive in every way. Jordan even took care of our puppy after the ceremony and dropped him off at Doggie Day Care for us! Dawn was extremely responsive to every email and phone call during the entire process, and seemed to be two steps ahead of us at every turn. As we look back on our wedding day, we can't thank Dawn and her team enough for making it one of the best days of our lives. We could not have done it without them!
Justin · Married on 05/30/2015
Cannot recommend Dawn and her team more highly. We were working from out of town and had trouble initially finding a planner we liked, and we feel very lucky to have found Dawn. Below was our e-mail to her shortly after the wedding.
"Wow!!! That was an amazing weekend - thank you so much! Not only did everything go off incredibly smoothly but all of the little touches (e.g. the coins on the notes, the flowers, candles, lighting, picture board) added up to an incredible and extremely memorable event. Everyone, including us, was blown away. We appreciated everything you did for us wholeheartedly - it is rare to find someone with such a great combination of creativity and organizational skills - we feel very lucky to have gotten to work with you."
Jackie · Married on 06/28/2014
Dawn and her team were amazing. They were so easy to work with and knew exactly what I wanted. Our wedding day was perfect and our reception was more beautiful than I could have imagined, all thanks to the hard work of Distinctive Occasions. I can't thank them enough for making our wedding dreams come true and I'd recommend them to anyone!
User4202359 · 2+ years ago
Working with Distinctive Occasions was one of the BEST wedding decisions we made! We worked with Gina at the Wedding Planning Lite level. From the very start, Gina was responsive, professional, accessible, and very much on top of the details, scheduling, etc. We are fairly detail-oriented, and Gina kept us calm and put us at ease whenever we got overwhelmed by logistics and such. Gina, Jordan, and Dawn accompanied us to meetings with our venue and advocated for us when necessary. It was such a relief to know that we had them working with us to ensure that everything was exactly what we wanted. They also ran our rehearsal, which was unbelievably helpful and made the experience much less stressful. I can't imagine our wedding day without them--from corralling the boys to keeping an emergency kit to making sure we ate something before the ceremony--Gina, Jordan, and Dawn were integral to the overall success of the event and allowed myself, my husband, and mom to totally relax and enjoy the day.
Gina, Jordan, and Dawn are an absolute pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Distinctive Occasions- they are true professionals and will reduce your wedding-related stress by about 1000% :)
Michelle · Married on 05/24/2014
Dawn is absolutely the most attentive and organized planner I have ever met. You would have thought that I was her only client; she was always there for me and put up with me asking tons of questions and being a bit of a control freak. I had to plan my wedding from Madison WI, my wedding planning occurred well I was moving to Madison from Minneapolis, starting a new Job and buying a new home. Without Dawn there is no way that I could have gotten everything done she recommended vendors, who were absolutely the best of the best!! The day of our wedding Dawn and her team, Jordan and Sandy, we amazing. Every wedding has their story and ours was, the night of the rehearsal dinner I burnt myself in the middle of my forward. Dawn reassured me that all would be fine and to contact our make-up artist, Michelle Sperazz, that night to give her a heads up and that she would cover it, well she did no one knew what I did the night before. Then after pictures my Matron of Honor's zipper completely broke, her entire dress in the back was left open, do not trust Jcrew's quality (but that is another story). Dawn didn't panic at all, even though she only saw this once before. Her Intern Sandy had a fashion back round and jumped into sew her back into her dress. Our guest had no idea that this was all occurring and my Matron of Honor went on to have an amazing and fun night. I am not a girly girl who ever dreamed or envisioned what my wedding would be like; all I wanted was a fun and classy event. Dawn made this happen from the Save the dates, to the invitations, all stationary the day of the wedding to the flowers, cake and color scheme. Every guest comment on how beautiful everything was, in fact 3 weeks after the event myself and my mom are still getting calls commenting on how wonderful and fun that night was. We cannot thank Dawn enough and whether you are an out of town bride or a local bride you should reach out to Dawn!!!!! Thank You Again - Michelle & Joe Garvey
User2518656 · 2+ years ago
Distinctive Occasions did a phenomenonial job with not only our wedding day but the whole weekend! Dawn and her team helped to plan our rehearsal dinner and Sunday brunch for our 268 guest list. Everything went perfect, not one hiccup! Everything was on schedule and organized. While during the planning process everything was so quick and her experience in the business helped out so much! She knew so much and where to go! All the vendors she choose were perfect!! We couldn't have asked for a better person to work with to plan our wedding! Our wedding at Holiday Valley was a dream!!!
lara · Married on 07/26/2013
The BEST decision we made in our wedding planning (aside from of course marrying each other:-) was hiring Distinctive Occasions, Dawn and her team are amazing. They thought of all the details we missed (there were a lot!) and every little element of the timeline (but not in pushy way). They were on top of the whole day quietly behind the scenes. We had chosen to do a later evening cocktail reception at restaurant/bar that hadn't done a wedding yet (and we had over 100 people) with a private cake baker. This meant someone had to make sure all the vendors (including rather extensive decorations, flowers, cake and uplighting) were where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be and they did it perfectly. In addition there was a wedding right before ours at our venue( a screw up on the part of a former employee of the venue that couldn't really be helped) and they turned the place around in no time for our wedding. Lastly and maybe most importantly they kept us on schedule, as in telling the ladies to start getting dressed, have some champagne (stop drinking champagne:-), eat something, all the stuff that needs to happen to "get you to the church on time" would NEVER have happened without them...really, and they did it so nicely. All we felt was that the wedding just "happened" and we got to enjoy every moment without worry, truly because of Distinctive Occasions, we are so grateful!!!
User2741302 · 2+ years ago
EXTRAODINARY!...Hiring Distinctive Occasions to do a full coordination for my daughters wedding was the best vendor decision we could have ever made! At first I went online and read some reviews... Distinctive Occassions was 5 out of 5 on every review... I shared it with my daughter... we interviewed Dawn... my daughter and she conntected and it was the best deicision we made. Dawn and her team are a 5+! It's a fact that stress does build up no matter what when planning, but Dawn made it painless. No matter what your budget is Dawn is worth every penny! Even on a very small budget, she can pull a vision together and somehow make it more perfect than you can even dream of. She skillfully guided us through every aspect of the planning process and I am so thankful for her. Her ideas and knowledge far surpassed anything that we could have done on our own, and I completely believe that she is one of the main reasons that my daughters day was so special. Not only is Dawn an amazing wedding planner, but she is also an amazing person. I recommend Distinctive Occasions to everyone no matter if it's a Wedding, Special Event or Corporate Event, Dawn can do it all!
Karie · Married on 09/29/2012
Gina and Jordan are amazing!
I can not imagine our day going as smoothly as it did without the help of Gina and her assistant Jordan. I am a very crafty bride and while i needed less help with the "look" of the wedding, I was so happy to have help making sure everything went along with my vision. All I had to do on my wedding day was show up- the girls did the rest! I can not say enough good things or recommend distinctive occasions more! THANKS SO MUCH!!!
Heather · Married on 07/07/2012
We originally hired Dawn to help us plan our ceremony since we wanted an outdoor location and we lived out of town. We ended up switching our reception hall only a few months away from the wedding date to a place where we could have a ceremony outside on the grounds. Through all of this, Dawn was fantastic with recommendations and very flexible. She helped us search out many outdoor locations, even in the middle of winter, and was available to us via email or phone whenever we needed her. She was incredibly responsive and really understood what we were looking for. She also had fantastic recommendations for vendors, and we used several of them. Every single vendor we had worked out wonderfully, and she picked vendors that fit our price range too. We saved a substantial amount of money because of this. Dawn was also very helpful with coordinating all of our vendors. She helped us by having face to face meetings with them when we were out of town, she ensured all of the pricing was correct and that we had paid everyone on time. She obviously has a great professional relationship with all of the vendors we met, who reassured us that we had chosen the best wedding planner we could have. Our only mistake was not hiring dawn from the very beginning. Our wedding simply would not have been as phenomenal as it was without her! We couldn't recommend Dawn, and distinctive occasions more.
This became most apparent to us during our wedding rehearsal and on our wedding day. Dawn and Jordan, her assistant, we're absolutely awesome. They were able to coordinate the rehearsal so everyone knew what to do the night before. On the day of the wedding, one thing I was not worrying about was whether or not everything would go smoothly because Dawn just had everything planned out and ready to go. They were key in keeping me calm that day, and for that I cannot thank them enough.
It was also great knowing that as we planned our wedding, no matter what aspect of it we were working on, Dawn was there to answer all of our questions and think of many of the important things that we might not have thought about, but that made our wedding day go flawlessly. Before we hired Dawn we were on the fence on whether or not to hire a wedding planner at all, but it was definitely worth it and one of the best decisions we made.
User2524118 · 2+ years ago
Dawn and the staff at Distinctive Occasions were amazing! Because of them, our wedding day exceeded our expectations! They made the day stress-free, so that we and our families could enjoy every minute of the day. They are professional and very detail oriented. I would definitely recommend them to any newly engaged couples.
nina · Married on 10/22/2011
I have never been so pleased with a contracted service in my life. My wedding wouldn't have been half as amazing as it was without Distinctive Occasions!! Dawn helped me with planning/coordinating services every step of the way and her vision for decor was breathtaking. I can not think of one thing I was not more than pleased with! I will recommend them to anyone planning a special event. Thank you Dawn and Distinctive Occasions!
Ashley · Married on 10/15/2011
Working with the Distinctive Occasions team on our wedding was a joy! Dawn has wonderful visions and suggestions, and her contacts are equally as helpful and lovely to work with. I strongly recommend Distinctive Occasions for your special day!
Steve · Married on 09/10/2011
It's impossible to say anything negative about Dawn and her team. They were there to help us plan the wedding and calmed my wife down during the process. Very helpful, informed, and we didn't have to worry/think about a thing on our wedding day -- we simply got to enjoy it. Highly recommend.
Ellen · Married on 06/11/2011
I don't know how we could have planned our wedding without the help of dawn and her team. From the very beginning of the planning dawn was always filled with ideas and had countless recommendations for vendors. We had a non traditional Armenian/Jewish wedding, and Dawn was a huge help and maintained her professionalism even when different languages were being spoken, and requests made that she may never have heard of before. The wedding day itself was perfect - any small issues that arose were immediately taken care of by dawn and her team. We (the bride and groom) didn't even find out about any issues until the day after the wedding. I'd highly recommend Distinctive Occasions for wedding planning services!
Jill · Married on 10/10/2010
Dawn and her team at Distinctive Occasions were amazing, I highly recommend them to plan your wedding. We had the most amazing wedding day all thanks to the Distinctive Occasion team.
Lindsay · Married on 09/18/2010
As an out-of-town bride, I used Distinctive Occasions as way to help tie things up the last month before the wedding and then to help things run smoothly on the day of the wedding.
I am so glad that I did this because I was actually able to enjoy my wedding day. Dawn, the owner, is professional, super nice, very quick to respond to my emails, and took care of any and all problems on the wedding day. She is not pushy at all, but is quick to stick up for her client if there are any problems with vendors. I also hired her to design my wedding programs and menu cards... she was able to coordinate them with my invitations and they totally exceeded my expectations.
On the day of the wedding, there was a problem with the band payment, but Dawn took care of it because she didn't want to bother me at the wedding. I didn't even know about it until a week later! Also, I started to panic a little before walking down the aisle, especially when a bee got stuck in my veil!.... but there was Dawn, picking the bee out of my veil for me and easing my anxiety. She is the girl you want with you on your wedding day!!!!
The price they charge is more than fair and I actually wish I would have hired her sooner because it probably would have saved me a lot of hassles beforehand.
Would I recommend Distinctive Occasions for brides-to-be?... Without a doubt!!!!
A · Married on 09/11/2010
There were a lot of decisions we had to make in planning our “dream” wedding and choosing Dawn with Distinctive Occasions was definitely the best decision we made as it made all other decisions that much easier.
We were married early September 2010 in a beautiful outdoor courtyard ceremony with the reception immediately following in the indoor ballroom at the venue. What we thought would make our wedding particular challenging was that we both live in Los Angeles and the wedding would be in my home town of Buffalo, NY. Coordinating with vendors, making decisions on the spot, site visits, etc, were just not quite possible. We needed someone who could guide us through the process who we trusted to make decisions that would reflect us as a couple on our behalf in the event we were not there. We were so fortunate to find this in Dawn at Distinctive Occasions.
Being that we do live in LA, we and our guests have begun to grow accustomed to lavish weddings with seemingly infinite budgets. This budget was not quite in our cards. Instead of blindly throwing money around, Dawn was able to direct our resources to basically get the most bang for our bucks. In the end, to sum up the words of our out-of-town guests accustomed to these extravagant weddings, we heard plenty of, “this was by far, the best wedding I’ve ever been to” and, “I’ve NEVER had so much fun at a wedding” or how about, “I have never seen such a beautiful wedding in my entire life.” As for us, this truly was the most wonderful day of our lives and we owe it all to Dawn.
Dawn’s level of professionalism, expertise, and organization made everything go by without a hitch. We followed Dawn’s checklist in the months leading up to the wedding and by doing so, we never felt overwhelmed, or that things would not get done. Being that we could not meet quite a few of the times in person, we set up numerous meetings over the phone to discuss decisions that should be made and what was next in line to do. Throughout all of this, Dawn always kept careful notes and never missed anything. When planning a wedding, it’s easy to have all these wild ideas but to bring these ideas down to earth and successfully implement them takes the work of a true expert which we were so fortunate to have found in Dawn. As things got finished on the task list, Dawn would check it off the list. By doing so, we never felt lost or misguided. The path was as clear and we knew exactly what needed to be done to get from planning stage to the wedding day. To be a successful coordinator, meticulous organization is an absolute must and Dawn’s organizational abilities were just PERFECT.
Vendor management is such a hugely important job in putting together a wedding. Dawn’s ability to do so was amazing. Everything from the tables and chairs, to the florist (Flowers by Johnny), to the photographers, to the various music acts (we had a bunch), to the transportation were all perfectly handled and managed by Dawn and her staff leading up to the wedding and most importantly, during the wedding so that we did not have to worry about it. Dawn made sure that everything that was supposed to be done was done. I can see it easily being overwhelming dealing with so many vendors, but, Dawn takes the worry out of it.
No matter how organized and professional the coordinator should be, I think it is equally important to have a creative vision and to understand the vision that we (the clients) have. We really felt like Dawn was instantly able to relate to us and understand what we wanted no matter how off-the-wall some ideas were or how much additional work would have to go into it. She was always receptive to our new ideas and always had new fun ideas to go over with us.
Even though this statement is probably not true in all cases, I think it’s important to note. For other coordinators we considered, we noticed A LOT of individuals who have been doing this too long of a time. While that is great and all, what we found was the inability of other coordinators to think outside the box. It’s important to have fresh ideas of today and tomorrow, not the ideas of 20 years ago. She thinks like us and can relate to us but still has a firm understanding of proper etiquette and wedding customs. She keeps current on all the relevant wedding trends across the country and is always willing to try new things. A wedding should NEVER be a cookie-cutter type of event and Dawn makes sure to make the wedding a true reflection of us and add that element of beauty and grace to the event that on our own, we just would not be able to do.
I know cost is one of the biggest decisions in planning a wedding. We found the cost of Distinctive Occasions to not only pay for itself, but, to end up being a cost SAVINGS in the end. Here’s why: Dawn knows all the vendors, all the costs, all the people, everything! Right off the bat, Dawn was able to bring in some vendor or some innovative ideas that ended up saving us A TON of money. After the wedding was done, just for fun, we added up what those misc savings were and they ended up being greater than the cost of Distinctive Occasions – officially making it the best decision of the wedding!
With all of the out-of-towners at our wedding (more than half) and all of the custom extra stuff we threw in, this would be considered by most, a very logistically complicated wedding. On our own or with any other coordinator for that matter, this would have NEVER worked. It was amazing to see Dawn and her staff on the day of the wedding making sure everything went on without a hitch. Dawn’s day-of staff was absolutely wonderful in every way. They were able to spread out and ensure that every detail was tended to and everything was covered to ensure perfection. I’m sure that with any big event like ours, there would always have to be hiccups BUT, we (the bride and groom) were not aware of ANYTHING going wrong. I guess in the end, that’s what makes Dawn and Distinctive Occasions so valuable. We were able to enjoy our amazing day without being bogged down by problems, issues, or anything else. It was incredible to see the day go by without any incidents that we were aware of. We kept asking ourselves, how can everything be so perfect? Well, it takes very competent individuals managing all the small details and working their tails off to ensure that we and all of our guests have the most fabulous times of our lives.
Dawn is ethical, hard-working, creative, organized, knowledgeable, relevant, and an absolute pleasure to work with. With the greatest confidence and without any hesitation or doubts, we would recommend Dawn and Distinctive Occasions to anyone getting married or planning any type of event. This decision of hiring Distinctive Occasions made our wedding exactly what a wedding should be: the most amazing day of our lives!
If you have any questions about our experience with Distinctive Occasions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at zais2AThotmail.com.
Thanks for reading and happy wedding!
Abby & Zack
Kate · Married on 09/05/2010
Dawn was absolutely great! Our wedding had a lot of details, including two ceremonies. Dawn took all of our details in stride. She was extremely well organized, patient with out last minute decisions and changes, and she remembered every last detail we had planned. Her assistants were equally great and helpful. I would definitely recommend Distinctive Occasions to anyone planning an event. Thanks Dawn!
Jennifer · Married on 08/21/2010
My husband Ryan and I have nothing but praise for the outstanding work done by Dawn and Distinctive Occasions. She was nothing short of amazing when we struggled to find a ceremony location, the reception venue closed on us, and even when I was just plain stressed out-- I could go on and on. My wedding day was unbelievably stress-free, and I can say without a doubt that I could not have done it without her. I'm still hearing from friends and family how they've never seen a wedding as beautiful and elegant as ours. Dawn executed my every thought and vision flawlessly. I highly recommend Distinctive Occasions for help in planning any event!
Jill · Married on 07/04/2009
We can’t thank Dawn enough for everything she did for us. We honestly couldn’t have done it without her. She made a stressful thing (planning a wedding) a lot less stressful!
User2558379 · 2+ years ago
We used Distinctive Occasions for our weekend planning. I can't say enough good things about Dawn and her team, my only wish - we used them to plan the entire wedding. They were so spot on and made wedding weekend run so smoothly!! I would recommend them to anyone, even if you think you don't need a wedding planner, trust me, you do. Its the best $$ we spent on any of our vendors!!!! They will keep you on time, help you with those little things you wont think about till they pop up, manage your vendors, they help with the run through at the Church (I would have no idea!!), they deal with any issues (which if there were issues, I have no idea what they were because Dawn must have taken care of them), they really made my day wonderful. I can't thank them enough!!
If you are considering using Dawn and team, do it. I promise you will no regret this decision in your wedding planning!! And your mom will too - she will be able to enjoy your beautiful day!!