Pop The Champagne Events: Chill Wedding Planning In SoCal

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.)

Photos: Rad + In Love (APW sponsors), Nathaniel Taylor PhotographyRad + In Love 

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  • Moe


    When I was looking for a DOC I contacted a few and I knew Allie was a good fit when our conversation somehow turned to dive bars.

    I really needed someone who could be real with me she was exactly that. Perhaps my favorite thing about having worked with Ali was that she got my twisted sense of humor and went right along with my crazy ideas then she came up with a few of her own (but building a moat around the venue to keep out wedding crashers and children was just not feasible).

    It was the little things that made a huge difference for me on my wedding day. When the pollen from my bouquet rubbed off on my dress and my husband’s suit before the ceremony she was there with a stain-removing stick. Allie got my little nieces to flash their best “showtime!” smiles before walking down the aisle and somehow managed to whip up a toss-bouquet when I forgot to get one.

  • LILY

    Allie sounds amazing. If only she had a twin in North Carolina…

    • Abby Mae

      Or Utah. If only…

  • I’d…like to know more about these fish centerpieces (both dead and alive).

    • meg

      You see. They start out alive, but then people never bother to check the water temperature needed and such, and your bosses refuse to listen to you that this is THE WORST IDEA EVER. And then at the end of the night you find yourself drinking over what is now a bowl of dead fish.

      Though, hell. I helped out a friends wedding (aka, was her DOC for free), and when she gave me the fish my heart sunk. But I somehow kept those suckers alive and gave them to children at the end of the night. And that is why you need a DOC. (That was an unintentional plug for getting help on your wedding. But seriously, do not try fish without a pro…)

      • KC

        It is also an apparently little-known fact that thoroughly-chlorinated tap water is often deleterious to the health of goldfish. Just in case anyone was thinking about doing fish centerpieces, check with your local pet store re: how to treat the water or what kind of water to use. (when I was a kid, we used to leave water outside in buckets for two days to let the chlorine off-gas before using that water in the goldfish tank, and that seemed to be fine for the water where we lived; solutions to this problem need not be expensive)

  • Yes! I 100% need a day of coordinator who is awesome, affordable and serves San Diego. I’ll be in touch…

  • Cleo

    “Thank god A Practical Wedding is a less dangerous sounding brand, or I would have done myself in long ago.”

    LOL! That really tickled my funnybone. I don’t know why. But thank you for that. It’s been a long day at work that required me to skip lunch.

  • Samantha

    “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.”

    I LOVE YOU. Please move to New York City for me. I bake cookies.

  • Thanks for the compliments everyone! And a big thanks to Meg! APW has been such an amazing community for me- first when planning my own wedding and now as a place to get the most incredible clients. Can’t wait to meet more of you soon :)

  • Alejandra

    I actually found Allie here on APW. We were already in talks with another planner, but something didn’t feel right to me (read: WAY expensive and not nearly the kind of help we needed). Allie was a perfect click from day one. I seriously never imagined myself with a wedding planner, but then along came Allie :) I can’t thank her enough for her support. Three cheers for Allie!!