I completed my undergraduate studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Go Big Red! It was the best 4 years of my young adult life. But as in life, it was far from perfect. There were highs and lows, but overall, the best choice for me. I have awesome memories and friendships that have transcended time. While matriculating at Cornell, I had the opportunity to take courses at the highly ranked Africana Studies and Research Center. The Center’s founding Director, Dr. James Turner, was well known for his brilliance and no-nonsense approach with students to the education process. He did not play games and expected you to deliver at a high level of excellence. Only those serious about engaging on that level, entered his classroom.
Needless to say, not everyone voluntarily signed up to engage and deliver at Dr. Turner’s level. Whether or not you entered his classroom, Dr. Turner was well known and revered for his expectation that everyone come prepared for every life situation and intelligently articulate their informed position. He was tough indeed, but FAIR.
The wedding and event planning business is tough, but I LOVE IT, even when it is not fair. We encounter many people who don’t understand why industry professionals charge what they do for their products and services. Some think that things should be given for free because of relationships and there are some who don't understand the immense value we bring to a situation.
But if we factor in: (1) the hours spent getting clients and materials together before an event; (2) the time spent creating dope designs that take experiences to the next level; (3) the amount of money it costs for the equipment needed to catch all those angels on the special day; (4) the amount of ink it takes to print “fire” menu cards and thank you notes; (5) how expensive lobster is for that mac n’ cheese; (6) how stressful it is to squeeze those last minute guests into an already completed seating chart without renting an additional table, tablecloth and centerpieces for the over budget reception; (7) how many hours it took to find just the right shade of blue for the matching bouquet & boutonniere; (8) how we finessed our relationships that we’ve nurtured for years to get the hottest vendor team to collaborate on the celebration of the year; and (9) budget in taxes, health & business insurance, staff, childcare, tuition, mortgages, etc. . . we legit can’t run successful businesses on favors as much as we would like to.
These are examples of things we will do and more to provide top notch service to our clients, but it’s hard work and expensive. So, the next time we quote a price for our products and services, please remember that it’s Fair . . . Not Free. We love you.