When you offer low cost religious services and events, most of your client base doesn’t have a budget for the “extras.” From the cake stand to the server to the ring baskets & pillow to the bridal bouquets, pillars, centerpieces and just about everything in between- I’ve spent years and thousands of dollars to create an inventory that is loaned at 80% of our weddings, baptisms and events.
Crystal toasting glasses? I’ve got them too in two different Waterford styles! What wedding vendor would “loan” their inventory at no cost? No one. I’m the only wedding vendor in the industry who regularly loans complete bridal party bouquets and boutenniers along with everything else to save my clients money. The reason that no one else will loan inventory is simple- it can come up damaged or missing on top of not being financially compensated for use of their inventory. To ensure that my inventory is not damaged or lost- I bring it to the event myself that I’m either officiating or, my Texas Twins Events Team when we are hired for photography or coordination. This way we are always present at the event itself and we set up then tear down everything to make sure we don’t miss an item, I keep a list of the items loaned.
At numerous sponsored events, I’m often asked why clients “can’t keep” this or that and must reiterate my reasons. Once, a Brides brother informed me “well, you put this on me, why can’t I keep it now?” I informed him that I had provided a Michaelangelo wedding dress that belonged to me to his sister, her shoes, her pearl earrings, her son’s jeans and cowboy boots and everything else to get her wedding done and had not been compensated in any way whatsoever. He continued to argue the point and my assistant, Anne Alexander removed the item and placed it in the large basket that I use to keep all the bouquets and corsages in the same place with. Occasionally, an outlaw tries to “give us the business” which is why I rarely sponsor events. We are in the business of making money and when clients either pay us or trade for services, they enjoy the extras we loan them as a gift throughout the duration of the event.
Most of the clients who “borrow” inventory have their own wedding colors already chosen. To re-create the bouquets, I either remove certain colors or add the colors requested in order to keep my designs in tune with their theme.
There have been several instances where the bridal party wants to keep their bouquets and boutenniers which is why I’m writing today’s blog. I cannot “give” anyone my designs without buying or leasing them for a number of reasons but mainly because it’s taken me years and a lot of money to create my inventory so the idea of giving it away won’t and can’t work. The inventory is there so that every family can enjoy the beauty my inventory brings to their event. After all, if I “gave away” my inventory to families simply because they asked- I would be forced to replace it over and over which wouldn’t make any sense. I created it to have on hand for folks not ever thinking that they would ask to keep it. Such requests are shocking not only to me but also my staff. If a Bride wants a toss bouquet- I can make one but there is a cost associated with the item that must be paid two weeks PRIOR to the event.
Saving our clients money by loaning them the items they would normally have to buy themselves is the primary reason I went into the investment of creating a unique opportunity and fringe benefit for my client base. Because myself or my team were hired and therefore, compensated, loaned items are a real treat for families on a budget. It’s also a gift that keeps giving for hundreds of other families.
Offering low cost weddings was my “original concept.” By officiating their ceremony and offering Photogtaphy and floral designs a la carte, I quickly realized that many families struggled to pay for flowers, cake stands, and all the extras so I decided to purchase or make them myself in order to help these families out. To use my own money building an inventory was an expensive endeavor that had a specific purpose for these families by me.
People reaching out to me to borrow items that have NOT retained us for other services, please be advised that we do not loan my inventory to anyone who has not retained us.I hope this blog addresses your questions and helps you to understand why I loan items and to whom. Asking me to “give you” any item I’ve “loaned” to you is just not something that will work for either of us. If you wish to purchase floral designs from me, I need 4 weeks prior to your event in order to create them with a deposit and the balance upon delivery of your floral order.