You can always get it cheaper

Let Me Clarify - You Can Always Get It Cheaper...by Sasha Souza

I am a huge fan of Sasha's work, when I came across this blog post of her's I just had to re-post, because it is so very true and so well stated! Enjoy!

There's one thing that I definitely know in life and that is you can always buy something cheaper - telephone service, flights, cars, office supplies, SEO optimization, wedding gowns, pharmaceuticals, wedding flowers, catering....wedding & event planners. You name it and I'll betcha there's somebody out there that can give it to you cheaper... I think that the question that people miss is: But Will It Be What I Want?

Let me give you a scenario that happened to me last year. I sent out a floral & decor proposal for an event that wasn't huge and over the top. It was for a nice party and right in line with the type of events we do. Prior to sending it out, I had gone through and made a few things optional for the client so that they could add in some of the "nice to haves". Exactly what I told them I would do when they hired me.

Then, the phone rings....it's the Mother of the Bride. We'll call her Carol.

Carol: "Sasha...in this economy how can you, in good conscience, send me a floral proposal THIS high?"

Please know that I had been through the proposal backwards & forwards and it met all of the required components that the bride simply HAD to have.

ME: "Thanks for your call, Carol, I sent it because I believe it fits the desires of Melanie (name of bride has been changed) and I did shave a lot off to try to meet your budget"

Carol: "But Sasha, how in the world do you expect us to pay for this? We have decided we don't want to spend more than X" {this would have been nice to know at the beginning, by the way}

ME: "Please let me know what you would like to cut and we are happy to make any changes you like. We can switch from long tables to rounds & squares, change the design of the flowers..."{basically, I gave her 15 options to make changes}

Carol: "But Sasha, Melanie wants all that and we expect that in this economy people are hungry for business and would be willing to make a little less profit for the job"

{quizzical look which garners the side note that in this economy, business owners are more likely going to want a higher profit from each job, not lower to compensate for fewer jobs overall - thereby providing the contracted & paid for services ONLY and not over and above the contracted services}

ME: "Carol, I'm not sure that's the case, but let me just say that I've found out something in life and in business...you can always get something cheaper but it will not be the wedding your daughter wants, it will only be the price you like." {if you use this in your business, feel free to say "well, Sasha Souza says..."}

Why have I told you this story? Because it's true and the statement that I made at the end is an important one when educating couples and ourselves on weddings and what we get for our money. It's easy to say you want a centerpiece to be smaller or "not over the top" or "simple". Let me give you a visual example. We have seen this image from the legendary Preston Bailey in our office many, many times. It's gorgeous with hundreds of flowers in it and I'm sure the image does not do it justice to how grand it is in person:

Can every bride afford it? No. But those that value it will seek it & Preston out to design for them and will be thrilled with the results. Here is how we used his inspiration for a bride who loved the look but couldn't pay the price tag for the flowers:

Could the bride have gotten even this arrangement cheaper? Yes! Absolutely but the structure of the piece, the height, the design would have been vastly different. More like this:

While still pretty, it doesn't emanate the same feeling - BUT it IS CHEAPER! So, if it's cheaper that they are looking for then this would work out perfectly but the expectation can't be for the gorgeous images above.

Another example...Is the peony any cheaper because of the economy? No. So, we offer alternatives and often we substitute with garden roses. Is it the same? No. It's just cheaper and different. Some brides are OK with that and others REALLY want the peony and are not going to compromise for anything less. The decision is only theirs to make.

Carol did go on to pay the bill for the flowers when she understood that what she would get by going elsewhere wasn't what Melanie would have wanted. We were very willing to make changes to the event to get them closer to their described estimated expenditure but they were unwilling to make any changes whatsoever and simply wanted it to be cheaper. period. just. cheaper.

That isn't how this works, people. If you go to the gas station to fill up your car, you make a decision on the name brand station that you go to, how much you want to pay per gallon & the octane level of the gas you want.


You can go down the street to the gas station without all the special additives. Will your car run the same? Maybe. Maybe not. My car happens to like Chevron Techron 89 Octane or better. I put anything less in it and I'm bummed by the lack of power and performance that I get in my car. I can't go into the clerk and ask them if instead of $2.99 per gallon I can pay $1.49 per gallon and expect the exact same quality & product. If you want me to shave $100 off an arrangement, you're going to lose $100 worth of flowers & design time.

So, when you're visiting with your vendors and you ask them to reduce their price please be sure that you are getting the same exact thing - because if you're trying to compare apples to apples and one person says they can do that Preston arrangement for hundreds less than the other person - chances are you'll be left with arrangement #3 on your 72" round seating 12.


A Polo Inspired Bridal Shower

What a fabulous soiree!

At Elite Events we are always looking for inspiration, when we came upon this beautiful Bridal Shower we could not help but share! Wish this was an Elite Event!

The afternoon soiree took place at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, but could easily inspire every East End bride planning to party at this summer's Bridgehampton
palm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-showerpalm-beach-polo-bridal-shower Event d├ęcor and coordination by It! Weddings & Events
Photos by LILA PHOTO
Dessert bar designed by It! Weddings & Events, featuring confections by The Sugar Monkey
Stationery by Kate Spade at Stationer on Sunrise, Palm Beach
Catering by Aaron’s Catering, Wellington
Custom aqua taffeta linens from Panache Party Rental
Tulip floral arrangements by Extra Touch Flowers, West Palm Beach
Patterned paper lanterns hung from tent by Lilly Pulitzer

I truly cannot get over how pretty this shower is; from the sweet treats to the green fields, to the Lilly dresses and the flowing bubbly, it is truly pure polo perfection!
Bride Stephanie Covert's shower was held in a private portion of the Nespresso Grande Pavilion at International Polo Club and featured passed hors d’oeuvres, open bar flowing with Veuve Clicquot and a three-course seated lunch fieldside during a Sunday polo match. The bride was surprised with a few drop-in guests, including several of Wellington’s top polo players, and of course, her husband-to-be, Lamont B. P. Harris, also of Palm Beach.

Photos courtesy of LILA PHOTO.

Interested in creating an Event similar to this? Contact us today! nikki@e-l-i-t-e-events.com


Benzie-Norcross Wedding

We are very excited for our wedding this weekend! We have been working with Jill for several months now and simply cannot wait to see all of her DETAILS come together. She has a fabulous Venue, and vendors and I promise no detail will be overlooked. Here is a sneek peak from a site vist we did early this summer:)

Thanks Jill and Justin see you tomorrow!


Isabella turns 1!


I am one proud mommy! As most of you know or may not know one year ago July 9th I added yet another job title to my name and that would be MOMMY! That's right my precious Isabella turned 1 this weekend and it was quite the celebration! I do realize that she probably will never remember her first birthday however her father and I definitely will and for us it was a reason to celebrate. For all of you new parents out there, you know exactly what I am talking about.....sleepless nights, cutting teeth, diaper rashes, etc. Our little Isabella is a walking, talking machine and we are so proud of her, and were so excited to celebrate with all of our friends, family and neighbors :) Thank you MARYWYAR for these AMAZING photos, it is always a pleasure working with you!

The Theme: Cupcakes (My husband loves nicknames and for the longest time my nickname was cupcake, so considering he thinks Isabella is a mini me (nikki) we thought the theme was suiting:) and soo cute for a little girl's party.

Cupcake Dress: SweetTeaDresses

Cupcakes: Homemade by one of my bestest friends McCall who came all the way from Charleston, SC to help me with this party:)

Face painting: A Special Thank you to one of my other best friends Kati and her mom who were the fabulous face painting artists at miss. bells birthday, the kidos just loved it!

Thank you to my wonderful husband Daniel, my brother Chad, my Mother and Father In Law Terry and Dave, McCall and Kati, Kristi and Candace, Ray, and David and everyone else who assisted me in pulling this fabulous party together making it day we will always remember!