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Meet Allison O’Malley of Allison O’Malley Events in Studio City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison O’Malley.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It was the fall of 2010, I was engaged, and knee deep in a voting frenzy to win my wedding sponsored by Choura Events, a Long beach based Event Company. My husband and I created an original 3 minute video telling our story of why we should be the ones to be awarded a platinum wedding package. Needless to say, we won with flying colors and were so excited and (relieved) that we now had the means to have a big SoCal wedding, but without the SoCal price tag. Our prize awarded us all of our catering, an hour of hosted drinks including our stationary drinks at the tables, rentals, staffing, and if we so desired, a location at one of the Choura Events venue spaces. That covers a lot, but not everything as you know, there is still photographer, DJ, decor, florals, etc. As I started grazing through wedding blog after wedding blog I started getting tons of inspiration and the desire to find a way to create/acquire the things I needed to have a beautiful wedding, but without spending an arm and a leg. I went deep into researching every aspect and discovered along the way wedding money saving ‘loop holes’, how to remain organized during the planning process, and creative ways to make wedding decor using some up-cycled materials and some not. After months of hard work, I saw everything that I worked so hard to achieve come to life on my wedding day and it made me really excited and proud. After that I toyed with the idea of starting my own business as an event planner. Luckily after my wedding, one of my bridesmaids was getting married only mere months after me and I offered to jump in as her wedding planner and help design/make/coordinate her day for free. It came out beautiful and I immediately had the same feeling as I had on my wedding day. From there I started putting the word out to do more weddings for very little money, just to start getting a portfolio together and accumulate more experience. I also did a few themed parties for free and ended up getting weddings off of my work at the parties. It has been almost 6 years later and I’ve branched out to not only weddings, but showers, corporate events, birthday celebrations and renewal ceremonies. I have enjoyed working with all my clients, past and present, while helping guide them along the way to make their special day a success. It’s a huge responsibility when someone entrusts in you the job to manage such an important day that will be with them forever, and I take that very seriously. There is such beauty to a special event besides the pretty decor, the food, or the gorgeous venue it’s at, it’s the magic of celebrating an extraordinary day in their lives that will be reminisced forever, and I get to be a part of that.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been super easy starting my business, since you are primarily a referral based business when it comes to getting work. Advertising for an event planner can of course be acquired through social media, wedding trade shows, getting a previous wedding you did featured on a popular wedding blog, or staged inspirational photo shoot which costs a good amount money. As a wedding planner you don’t get fully paid until the event gets relatively close to execution and most of the time you are working for almost a year to the day. For me 2015 was the year I had my first baby so I didn’t do a wedding for almost a year after and since then I have been regaining my momentum in pursing more opportunities in event planning. So for me it’s been hard letting people know I exist when I don’t necessarily have the funds to shout it from the rooftops like I would like, though maybe I could stand on the roof of the Ace hotel with a megaphone, that is very affordable…. hmmmmm…

I have also had possible clients nix my services altogether because they simply didn’t feel a coordinator was necessary when they could have a friend jump in and do it for free. Which is a hard sell when it comes to weddings, because most engaged couples have never planned a wedding before and believe a planner is just another added expense, especially if they are limited in their budget. I don’t want to force anybody to use my services, but I will always suggest that it is never a good idea to employ a family member, friend, or friend of a friend who ‘owes you a favor’ to perform a wedding service, especially if that person is also a guest at your wedding. I have seen it time and time again backfire, and the risk isn’t worth it in my opinion, more importantly when it’s your wedding day.

Allison O’Malley Events – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a boutique event planning company, I’m the lead coordinator and I have a handful of trained assistants that I use based on the size of the event and the need. I work closely with the client anywhere from 2 months to a year before the event occurs fielding questions, creating personalized mood/inspiration boards, referring vendors, designing event layouts, keeping them up to date as to what needs to be booked by when, etc. There are many aspects to planning an event and each event has different needs depending on the type of event and what the client has hired me to do. We are known for excellent customer service, I take each event very seriously and work extremely hard to ensure everyone has a good time and the couple has not a single worry about what is going down behind the scenes. We are also very creative and pride ourselves in achieving a beautiful set-up, I even know how to arrange florals and have had to do so on the fly. What sets us apart from others is that we operate as if we were under a microscope at all times. Everything has to be done right, even at the end of the night after a long day, the couple’s take away decor needs to be packed up as it was found, and I always make sure the venue itself remains in its found condition when the event is complete. We have no problem grabbing a broom and sweeping up cigarette butts that shouldn’t be there or flower petals that migrated to a place they shouldn’t. No vendor or staff member is in the dark about anything, everyone is kept up to speed on an hourly basis as things do change as the day progresses, so we are big on communication.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I did a wedding when I was 6 months pregnant and had to make two wedding cakes in addition to coordinate the day. It was a huge undertaking considering my condition, but I got both my cakes there intact and everything turned out perfect, pregnancy hormones and all!

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 818-397-3554
  • Email:
  • Facebook: Allison O’Malley Events
  • Yelp: Allison O’Malley Events

Image Credit:
One Love Photography, Aileen Garcia Photography, Davina & Daniel Photography, Marianne Wilson Photography, Headshot by: Elaine Reid Photography

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