Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happily After All: The Flowers

I just wanted to take a quick break before we get to my dress!  I mentioned that while we were getting ready, our flowers were dropped off at the house.  The florist delivered all of the bouquets, corsages, boutennieres, and altar flowers to the house.  The centerpiece arrangements were taken directly to the reception hall and set up.
I'm also going to take a minute and talk a little bit about my floral disappointment as well.  I don't mean to take a negative turn, it's just that there are some very specific problems I've wanted to address about our flowers.  Just to give you some background, we picked a very reputable florist in town, and my mom has always raved about their work.  Gloria, the woman that owns the shoppe, and who I worked with, was very nice throughout the entire experience, so don't get me wrong about that.  We met three times before the wedding and each time she was great about working with me and figuring out what I wanted.  She took great notes and wrote down all the specifics I emphasized.  We ran up a bill of about $1200 for everything.  So when you take all of that into account, I feel like I have the right to be upset about a few things.

 Here's a great view of what the altar flowers looked like when they were set up on the altar.  The girls carried them on the bus to the church and we set them up quickly before everyone got there.  The church was an additional 20 minutes from my house, so I told the florist to just deliver them to us instead of having to run all the way out there (which she was willing to do!).  I had the two vases from work and dropped them off to her earlier in the week.  I told her to just make them one sided, because the back wasn't going to be seen later on at the reception.
These were gorgeous.  The only thing I could complain about, is that I very specifically said I don't like leaves and greenery, so I would have expected a little less green filler in these.  Otherwise, I loved them.
This is the corsage that was made for both moms, and I don't contest that they're beautiful.
There are a few problems though.  I told her a couple times, ABSOLUTELY NO orchids.  I am just not a fan of orchids, and I didn't want them worked into our floral "theme"  I'm pretty sure she wrote that down too, and yet I see at least 5 in there.  Second, these were supposed to be on stretchy pearl "bracelets" so they could be worn around their wrist.  That part wasn't included, but I paid for it.  Then there's the tulle thing, which I also said I didn't want used as a filler.  And, they wilted about an hour after the ceremony started.  Mr. T's mom said that her flower totally fell off on the way to the reception.

I decided that we were doing pocket squares for the boys, but I did order a few boutennieres for the grandpas and my godfather.
Not much complaint here, only that the stems weren't wrapped in ribbon as I requested.  Other than that, she did make them exactly how I wanted them with the cluster of button poms and some bear grass loops behind it.

 I also ordered corsages for the grandmothers, godmothers, and our reader.
Again, not a huge problem, but the stems aren't wrapped in ribbon, there is that tulle filler again, and the bow looks like it's made of cheap ribbon.  But they do fall into the flower "theme" and she used the flowers that I requested.

I also ordered a boutenniere for Mr. T.  I didn't want him wearing a green pocket square, but wanted him in white instead.  So I requested a bout made of matching flowers from my bouquet.  That would have been either a peony or ranunculus bud, or a garden rose.  Above is what I got.  The second picture was taken before the ceremony even started.
Granted, the bout may not be pinned on the greatest, but seriously?! Does that look like an attractive boutenniere for a groom to wear?  First of all, it's already wilted!  It isn't wrapped in any sort of ribbon, it's using a plain white rose which I specifically said I didn't want, and quite honestly, it just looks ugly.  In the first picture, it has creepy little pointy things coming off from under it.  It just doesn't look finished.  And what's with the random ribbon loop?

 Here's how the floral centerpieces turned out.  I ordered 15 of them.  When I brought in the vase a couple weeks before the wedding, Gloria told me that we would need to up the price on each of them because she wasn't expecting them to be so big.  I was 100% on board with that.  We discussed them being big round "balls" of flowers sitting on top of the hurricane, and they were to be a mix of green and white.
Now wouldn't you think, when I specifically say that I hate leaves and greenery and filler, that she would have mentioned something about it when we discussed the new price of the centerpieces?  She could have told me at that point that the price she quoted me at included a LOT of leaves, at which point I would have increased the dollar amount to avoid that.  I just don't really get how she came up with this after all of the very specific requests I made.  They're pretty in their own right, but I actually HATED them because of all the greenery that was involved.  It's also hard to tell, but they don't involve any of the garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, etc that I had asked for.  Instead, she used all white carnations for the white flowers.  I told her she could use carnations as filler if needed, but they weren't to be the primary flower.
I would say that out of all the little problems I had along the way, this is ranks 2nd of the top 3.  Everything else I could deal with.  This, not so much.

And now we can move onto the other two main problems I had from the day.

Our bouquets.  The bouquets that just happen to be in all of the pictures, permanently captured to be seen every time I look back at my wedding pictures.
First I'll start with the pretty pictures.  When you look at these, you wouldn't imagine that there were any problems with our bouquets.

(personal photo)
They look great right?! That's what I thought when I first saw them too.  My bouquet was absolutely gorgeous! It was full and beautiful and it had most of the flowers I was hoping for.  She was able to get the garden roses I wanted, and I can see a few ranunculus buds and peonies in there as well.  She even included the last minute addition I made of anemones.  And there was just the right amount of green pop with the button mums.  She made loops under the bouquet with the ribbon like I asked, even though you really can't see it in any of the pictures.  And the rhinestone wraps and brooch I found topped it off.
Even the girls' bouquets look good at first glance.  They were solid green like I was hoping for, and the charms I had made for them were adorable!  But I had a little more problems with the construction of theirs than my own.
Now I'll show you the bad pictures, and then I'll let you in on all the problems.

 Here is my bouquet, immediately after it was delivered to my house.  See that anemone in the bottom right? It's already wilting!  
(personal photos)
This is my bouquet after the ceremony on the way to the reception.  How gross does that look??  That bouquet is visible in all of my formal family pictures and my bride and groom portraits.  The florists response to this?  She had never ordered garden roses before and didn't know that they didn't hold up well once they left water.  Don't you think she would have looked into this before placing an order for a flower she knew nothing about?
And...what's with the creepy random leaves poking through?? Again with the leaves...when I TOLD HER I HATED THEM!  I just don't get it.  I didn't think I was being particularly picky with my order.  It's not like I was expecting her to make an exact replica of anything.  But when someone specifically says NO to something, why would it be included?
 Like I said, the wilting is visible in our pictures, immediately following the ceremony.
And just so you all know, it wasn't like it was 100+ degrees outside.  We kept all of the bouquets in water until immediately before the ceremony, and then they went back into the water before we took pictures.  So tell me how this happens??  It looks like the flowers were made too early in the week and they were already dying before I got them.
 The girls' bouquets were supposed to be wrapped in black so they matched the black accent on their dresses.  Instead, she wrapped a small amount in black, and then covered the majority of it in white.  There is way too much stem exposed as well which you can get a clear picture of in the second photo.  They were supposed to be completely wrapped like my bouquet.  And does that look like a bouquet to you?  To me it looks like a few flowers were grabbed and ribbon was wrapped around them.  I requested for them to be bouquets that were made up of large clusters of hydrangeas as a base with all of the other green flowers mixed into it.  It was going to be a big ball of flower, like mine but on a smaller scale.

Along with the previous problems, she also forgot to include two small arrangements that I ordered for on each bar.  They were paid for and written into the contract, but I didn't receive them.

So, as you can see, this was kind of a lengthy post.  I had originally planned on keeping negativity out of all my wedding recaps, but with this particular topic I couldn't help it.  This was the ONLY thing that went wrong on our wedding day, and it has bothered me for the last two months so I decided it wouldn't hurt to share with you what happened.  I also believe in full disclosure, and feel it's only fair to anyone that may be interested in Mann's Floral Shoppe in Morris, IL to hear my experience.
As of today, nothing has been resolved with this either.  My mom called right after the wedding, but she was told that nothing could be done and that they were "sorry."  Last week I called to try and make an appointment with Gloria while I was back in town for the weekend.  It was the first time I would have been in town since the wedding and I had finally gotten pictures back from Brandy to take with me as proof of what I was talking about.
We played phone tag for a couple days and it ended with her not calling me back so I never had a chance to stop and talk to her.  At one point in the back and forth she left me a long message saying that she had never ordered these flowers before and that she didn't know they didn't hold up and that we could possibly do some sort of refund.  At that point she was only aware of the disappointment I had my bouquet.  I still haven't talked to her about all of the other problems.

I'm afraid that this will be an issue that gets pushed under the rug without ever being resolved.  It's hard to talk about these problems over the phone, and I won't be back in town anytime soon.  I'll let you know though if anything comes of this.

Next up: We'll get back to our regularly scheduled recaps, and you'll see me get into my dress!

Unless otherwise stated, all pictures are by Brandy Swartz of Photography by Brandy.

In case you've missed anything...


  1. Oh man. You're right, at first glance everything looks beautiful. But the bouquets...I'm sorry, that's just unacceptable. The construction of the BM bouquets is not something I've ever seen. It's very strange. However, the arrangements at the church and on the tables do look gorgeous even if it's not what you wanted. So at least only you know, right? I'm so sorry this happened to you. I really hope you can get this resolved.

    I'm writing a post about some of my wedding disappointments and flowers are unfortunately included. I didn't love my bouquet or the BM bouquets, either. They just weren't what I expected and when you're paying a sh*t-ton for freaking flowers, I dunno, I guess I just don't want surprises.

  2. Goodness, I'm sorry you had such an awful experience with your florist. Like Emily said, everything looked great at first, but I can understand your disappointment with all the greenery and with the wilting flowers. Hopefully the florist will come to her senses and work with you to get you a refund.

  3. I'm really sorry you were disappointed with your flowers and I can definitely see what you mean. You're right at glance they are beautiful but the wilting right away is unacceptable and you should definitely get some kind of refund. I wouldn't drop this issue and if you can't go in personally maybe send your mom or someone else. Also, you should put this review up on wedding wire or any other wedding vendor review site. Hopefully you can help another bride avoid this problem.

  4. If it makes you feel at all better, I had a very similar experience. My flowers were ok, but not awesome. I was supposed to have a soft cascading bouquet and what I got was nothing short of a phallic symbol. And the table arrangements I got looked haphazard. I remember thinking, geez you pay for what you get I guess... but now 7 months after my wedding I don't even care! You won't either. All that matters is that you are married now to a wonderful guy, and the rest is just window dressing!

  5. That's so frustrating! I agree with Em, the centerpieces really do look great, but they weren't what you wanted and that's what matters. For you having told her all of the things you DIDN'T want, she did a terrible job. She obviously ignored all of those details. I'm so sorry you were disappointed, but hopefully you're able to get some sort of refund!

  6. I'm frightened!!! Ahhh!!! First let me say, I think your flowers turned out really well, but I completely understand that when you specifacally ask for certain thinks to not be in your wedding....then, of course, it's going to draw your eye straight to it when they are there. The corsages turned out really pretty! Your bouquet was unacceptable! I agree! They are such a gorgeous group of flowers together, but the arrangement and the freshness might have turned out a little different. I'm no flower pro though maybe there wasn't anything they could do. Overall - you had a gorgeous wedding though! I wouldn't sweat it too much! Now I'm crossing my fingers that I don't go through the same thing!

    P.S. I really like the cracked off white J in the middle of that wreath. Did you make that?

  7. You are definitely in the right to be angry. It doesn't matter that you got a deal or "you get what you pay for", etc. These things were specifically written out in the contract. It seems to me she all but ignored most of your notes and requests and just went with whatever was green & white. You in fact, did NOT get what you paid for, what you agreed to, OR what was written in the contract.

    I know you're not in town, but maybe your mother can march in there one day - armed with (proof) pictures and a copy of your contract and receive some type of refund??

    Things like this make me angry - when vendors don't deliver. I had a similar problem with my invites - a border was missing. I wasn't going to freak out about 2 missing lines -- the point is, this isn't what I spent my good money on and you should make it right.

    Sending you good vibes. I hope it all works out. :)

  8. Oh man...what a bummer. I'm sorry you had issues with the flowers. I have to admit, your bouquet was GORGEOUS! I would have been bummed about the wilting for sure but it didn't look *that* bad in some of those pictures.

    It is so difficult to get your vision communicated perfectly to all of your vendors. No matter how much you overcommunicate, somehow, there is always that one vendor that doesn't quite pull off what you wanted when you thought you had made it perfectly clear. For us, it was my photographer.

    But overall, everything looked good. As you said, not a lot of people will notice and/or make comments. At least your vendor indicated that she would consider a refund. I requested something similar from our photog and he blew me off!

    I haven't done my floral recap's coming for sure...but I adored my flowers. The only complaint I had was how my groom's bout didn't hold up, but that wasn't the florists' fault. She tried to tell him that the burgundy cymbidium orchid he wanted wouldn't hold up well as a bout but he didn't care. So his bout looks HORRIBLE in all our photos! UGH!

    Hope you eventually get some resolution that will satisfy you.

  9. Im soo sorry girl. My BM flowers died too... and in the last minute they delivered new bouquets..and my flowers were pretty but too big of a bouquet...i wanted it much smaller..tighter.. and she forgot 2 of my boutonniere... UGH!i feel your pain girl!

  10. hey, can't your photographer photoshop the brown out of the flowers?!

  11. Oh this makes my heart hurt so much! :(

    Honestly though...what the heck florist lady??? Never worked with garden roses before? I could maybe understand anemones. Anyway...if she were professional, she would have looked up how to care for the flowers that she wasn't familiar with. My florist gave me very specific instructions on how to handle the bouquets in order for them to look spectacular all day in the Florida heat (I had peonies and garden roses in mine...definitely not the sturdiest of flowers). Originally, I was going to put anemones in the bm bouquets, but after seeing another bride's wilted ones, I brought it up with my florist...and she took a look at the pictures. Basically, she said it was a definite case of the florist not knowing how to treat the flowers properly. A flower like an anemone...once cut, then seals itself back up after a bit of you would need to keep cutting the stem every day or two. If your florist made your bouquets a few days before the wedding, even if they were kept in the cold/in water, it could lead to the wilting. Ugh.

    I completely understand why you'd be frustrated with this. You shell out a ton of money for flowers, and when you don't get what you want/are faced with poor quality...that is pretty devastating. And, it isn't like you could change anything on the day of!

  12. I had similar problems with similar flowers. My formal portraits have "melty" flowers in them. I just gave it up since I was just glad to have it over... my wedding exhausted me! But I would keep up with it in your case... definitely she shouldn't be ordering new flowers without knowing how to work with them!


Related Posts with Thumbnails