“I just want to tell you how much we appreciate how you aren’t just trying to sell us a bunch of stuff, and are actually taking into consideration what’s best from our perspective.” This is a quote from one of our grooms, who wanted to express his gratitude for us in what I feel, as an owner, is paramount to the success of any business or organization. I feel very strongly, that I am here to assist in making an event beautiful, while making a living for myself, without unnecessarily grabbing for money.
To clear this up, here is an example that rendered the quote above. At the University Club of MSU, where we frequently do events, we know they offer black spandex chair covers (no sashes) and votive candles for around the centerpieces. The chair covers and votive candles are the EXACT SAME ones we own. When meeting with a University Club client, we tell them to use their chair covers and we will add sashes, and to use their votives. Could we make a small amount of money renting these to our clients? Of course. However, I do not feel it is an ethical way to run a business by taking client’s money and providing them a service or good, which is already paid for in their room rental agreement with a venue.
I would much rather our client have the cash freed up from those basic items, to have to put toward a custom linen, or an upgraded floral design they can only get from us. We are first and foremost a design company, and second a rental company. Most of the time rental companies are sought out because of customer service, ease of location, and inventory. A design company, like AGE, are also sought out for our customer service, but also for our talent, accessibility, and unique event & floral design skills that will truly make a beautiful difference on your big day. If we are paid money by a client, I always prefer for them to use it in a way that will make their event special, beautiful, and unlike any other event before.
There are other ways at AGE that we make ethical business transactions similar to what I’ve already mentioned. When somebody contacts us for a tent, tables, and chairs, I usually refer them elsewhere. We own tables and chairs, but no tents. I have no interest in owning tents, and I have no interest in ripping someone off to provide them tables and chairs and refer them elsewhere for a tent. If someone needs those items I refer them out to use a sole source vendor so they only have to pay 1 delivery, set up, and strike fee instead of paying us for tables and chairs and another company for a tent. It truly doesn’t make sense to give a client more work in dealing with two vendors, and cost them more money for the exact same product.
Now some of our business practices don’t necessarily save money, and may even cost a bit more, but you end up getting more bang for your buck. An example of this is making the suggestion for a client to have us design floral centerpieces that can be taken home by their guests. A lot of times our clients love our glass and metal ware, and we come up with a creative way that we can get these rented items back, but our clients and their guests can keep the flowers and enjoy them for as long as they shall live…haha….see what I did there… It may cost $10 more per centerpiece, but then you or a loved one actually gets continuous use out of a beautiful design that was only intended for one night initially.
Lastly, sometimes our suggestions aren’t for the benefit of the client’s wallet, but in the best interest of the product’s safety, and the client’s sanity. It will absolutely be cheaper if we do not have to make a separate delivery of your bridal flowers to your church, chapel, etc. And you can certainly pick them up, or send a family member to do so. I cannot say this loud enough, do NOT do this. A $50-$100 delivery fee in the big, grand scheme of a wedding budget is next to nothing. And it ensures safe delivery of a product that you not only have no idea how to fix if you ruin it, but it’s one less thing you have to worry about. Driving someone’s bridal flowers around has been likened to driving a newborn home from the hospital. You have to get your baby home safely as a parent. As a bride, groom, family, or friend, you have the luxury of paying us to take care of it for you, as we’ve done for thousands and thousands of brides without worry.
So there you have it…at All Grand Events, whether it monetarily benefits us or not, you can rest assured you will not be manipulated, lied to, or pointed in the wrong direction. We have a strong reputation in the community for being well respected and trustworthy, while still providing the best of the best service and product there is to offer.
My mom has been bugging me for a few months to write this blog. She believes this solid business practice and stance is very different from most other businesses and needs to be known by all who are willing to listen (or read.) So here you go Mom, hope you enjoy!