*This is a paid post from an APW Sponsor*
Y’all. Sometimes it’s not worth getting complicated. We’ve talked many times on APW about how important it is to have someone else in charge of the logistics of your wedding day… someone who is NOT you (or your mama). Sometimes you have a friend do that, sometimes you hire someone. (And honestly, if you can make it work? Hire someone. Then go pour yourself a glass of wine as a reward.) But the trick to hiring a wedding planner is, in a word, sanity. You want someone who is awesome and skilled, but you also want someone who’s not upselling you on chairs and trying to get you to have goldfish in your centerpieces. (I’ve for sure been at the dead-goldfish-centerpiece party, and it’s… troubling.) If you’re in Southern California, as of today, your lady is Allie at Pop The Champagne. Allie is an APWer, a wedding graduate, and has worked with lots of you guys (and you love her).
Lemmie break this down for you. Allie’s DOC rates start at $550 (I know. $550 AMERICAN DOLLARS. This is crazy-time amazing pricing.) DOC+ rates start at $900. And here is where it gets almost absurd. Her full planning prices (that is, yes, hiring someone to plan that baby for you) start at $1,995. I can guarantee you that these rates are not going to last, and you should book Allie probably yesterday. But lets get down to brass tacks.
What does Allie do anyway and why is she so awesome? She:
- Breaks down wedding planning into bite-size chunks, giving you monthly to-do lists and easy to understand tasks.
- Takes the heat when you want something different than your mom… just blame it on the wedding planner. She can take it.
- Works with other amazing vendors to piece together a day that is unique and special—staying on time and on budget.
- Spends hours on research and emails back and forth with vendors so you can spend your time doing more important things like studying for finals, or Karaoke at the bar.
- Knows when to root you on with your wacky ideas and when to reel you in when you get complicated for no reason.
- Will remind you that every fancy centerpiece, photobooth, and signature cocktail in the world don’t compare for a second to the awesomeness of being married at the end of the day. That is all that matters.
- Will organize the shit out of your wedding day to make sure it runs like a well-oiled matrimony machine.
And then there is Allie’s philosophy. I’m going to let her preach it:
I have spent my whole career working in hospitality and events, but when planning my own wedding in 2010, I fell in love… not necessarily with the business and crazy WIC vendors that try to talk you into things you don’t believe in… but the actual weddings. I will never judge you for crazy ideas or tiny budgets. I will be totally honest and simplify things when possible. I love the craziness of the wedding day most of all and have been known to take a shot with the bride and shake my thang on the dance floor.
As a former APW bride I think I have a unique perspective when it comes to working with APW readers—I get it. I understand your challenges and am on your team. My business philosophy is simple, whether I am helping plan from day one or just there doing day-of coordination, I want to make things as easy on the couple as possible. Every couple is different with the places they need help—some with organization, some with decor and ideas, some don’t have the slightest how the heck weddings work. It is my job to step in and fill the gaps. I am not an event designer, but I love to make things beautiful, and I know how to make it happen. With the magic of the World Wide Web and the almighty Pinterest I have found a lot of couples will show me a picture or a board and be all… “Like this.” So, I can do that! I keep the couple on track, on time and on budget—and keep them having fun. It’s supposed to be fun ya’ll!
I cannot wait to jump in and be a part of it all, and my pricing reflects that. My pricing for day-of coordination is especially competitive because I believe it is something that every wedding needs—especially the budget or DIY types. (Editors note: the more DIY your wedding, the more you need someone-who-is-not-you to be in charge the day of. For. Serious.) I am straightforward with pricing and packages on my website because I want to make things easy, and I feel like the “every wedding is different so please contact me for a quote” thing is bullshit. When you are researching and looking at different sites, you want answers.
From where I’m standing, this is dead simple. If you’re getting married in Southern California, you probably want Allie at Pop The Champagne to be your DOC (or full planner). If that means cutting one thing from your budget so you can afford her $550 DOC fee—do it. Those centerpieces are nice. Sanity and humor mixed with kick ass organization? Take this from a wedding graduate: that’s better. So get in touch already. (Feel free to send me thank you whisky after you take my advice. xo, Meg)
(And a PSA. Allie would like you to know that you should not, in fact, Pop the Champagne at home. While trying to get an awesome promotional photo for her website, her husband popped the champagne cork right in his eye, landing him in the ER. I know. Thank god A Practical Wedding is a less dangerous sounding brand, or I would have done myself in long ago.)