Help needed: Complaint about wedding flowers

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
13 replies 3.9K views
katinikatini Forumite
196 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
I got married on 12th May and have just come back from honeymoon.

The day was fantastic but was somewhat marred by a problem with my bridal bouquet, which even nearly three weeks on, is still upsetting me.

I booked my flowers in November and had three meetings prior to the wedding with the florist, the most recently being the last weekend of April. I had shown her a picture of what I wanted which I'd found on Google images, which was a shower bouquet of avalanche and sweet avalanche roses. I showed her a photo of the bridesmaid dresses and she suggested a few other smaller flowers to break up the roses and suggested that she'd vary the shades of pink in the smaller flowers as my colour scheme was pink and ivory but no specific shade. At the latest meeting she said she was able to order some peonies, which I had previously been told I may be too early for. I was really happy with this.

When the bouquet arrived it was not at all what I had asked for. There were only 3 sweet avalanche roses in the entire bouquet and they were at the back of the top of the bouquet so not obvious. Worse than this, all of the other flowers she had put in were PURPLE. It did not go at all with my colour scheme and when I spoke to the florist (her husband) who delivered it, he shrugged his shoulders and just left.

I was very upset and one of my bridesmaids rang the florist who had made the bouquet and she said that she had used purple because she was unable to get any pink in. I honestly think that this is the worst excuse ever and actually that she had forgotten the wedding as it seemed like the bouquet was just made up out of random flowers she had in the shop. Surely anyone who deals with weddings knows that there is normally always a colour scheme to follow so if you're told pink and ivory, then you should stick to it. If she honestly could not get any pink then why couldn't she just put more sweet avalanche roses in and keep it pale pink and white?

She had also put a lot of long fluffy grass in the bouquet which dropped seeds wherever I walked. I ended up cutting these out of the bouquet because not only did it make the thing look even worse, the hotel floor was covered in it and I didn't want my dress to be covered in it as I was sure it would all stick in the tulle and lace.

We called around lots of other florists but it was 3pm and we couldn't find anywhere which had anything suitable left to make another bouquet.

I paid £125 for this bouquet which is a hell of a lot of money but I wanted it to be perfect and I love flowers. I had been to a wedding which this florist had done before and it was fantastic, hence why I booked it. We used a separate florist for the venue flowers (came with the package) and they were amazing and I really regret not using them now.

I really want to complain about this but I don't think I will be able to do it in person because I am still upset about it. I know it seems OTT but whenever I look at the photos I am disappointed with the bouquet, especially as everything else is so lovely. Do you think that it is worth sending a letter, and also do you think I have any right to demand any money back? I am not sure I even want money back to be honest, I would rather tell the whole world never to use this florist as whatever money I get will never make me satisfied which the horrific bouquet I had to carry around all day.

Any advice would be appreciated.



  • lizd87lizd87 Forumite
    122 Posts
    I think writing a letter is actually more appropriate than doing it in person anyway. You always should with proper complaints so there's a written record.

    I don't think you should 'demand' your money back; I think you should write a letter based on your post above, about how upset you are, why you booked them, how they knew your colour scheme etc etc.

    Any decent company should do a written reply. If that written reply doesn't offer you any money back or decent apologies, you could perhaps then think about sending them another one asking for your money back.

    I personally think it's always better to be a 'polite' complainer - makes you the bigger person.
  • katinikatini Forumite
    196 Posts
    Thanks for your help Liz. Don't worry, I wouldn't have "demanded", I think I could have used a better word! I'll write the letter as you say and see what they come back with. Hopefully just sending the letter will make me feel better.
  • aarchkaarchk Forumite
    479 Posts
    sounds awful and I know what you mean about getting upset each time you see the pictures, My dress was done up incorrectly on the day so all the pictures of my back upset me for that reason!

    As far as I can see that was incredibly shoddy service and she should no way be doing wedding flowers. If she didnt have pink she should have kept it neutral with just white/creams and she certainly should have called to discuss this with you. She would have known days before that she didnt have the correct stock and if she was short she should have sourced from another florist at her own expense.

    Were the bridesmaids bouquets and buttonholes alright?

    I would definitley write a letter, keep it to the point without getting too emotional. Clearly list what you had aked for and what she provided. Did you get a quotation in writing and did it also list the flowers? (I only asked becuause mine did for each bouquet and buttonhole). Get someone to read through the letter before you send it, I always do in case I have missed something or I am not making myself clear enough. Citizens advice can do this for you. Also consider reporting to trading standards if she refuses to acknowledge her mistake.
  • RainbowDropsRainbowDrops Forumite
    4.7K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    First you have to decide whether going through a complaint process is worth it to you personally - it may just make a bigger deal of it and make you more upset. When you look back on your wedding in years to come, will you remember the happy day, or a detail that you were less happy about.

    If you do want to reoupe costs, then write a forma letter. Even though it might be tempted to go into detail about how upset you are about it, this can detract from the point.
    If you have any written aggreements (eg emails about the flowers) refer to them.

    Something like,

    Dear Florist,

    The flowers that you provided for my wedding (Date, Venue) were not the variety that I aggreed to pay for. In our email dated XXXX we clearly requested flowers in Ivories and Pinks, to match the colour scheme. However, the flowers were purple, and only had three of the requested roses.
    We were given no warning that the flowers were not going to be the ones we had ordered untill they arrived, by which time we had no time to organise an alternative. Had we been made aware of this problem before hand, we may have been able to discuss a way of fixing the problem with you.
    We feel that a refund of £XXX would be appropriate as the service you provided was not what we had expected.

    I had a similar experience, but my florist explained to me a couple of weeks before that the multicoloured sweet williams we picked for centerpieces weren't available, but they had pinks. Luckily it didn't matter as I had no colour scheme, but at least I was forewarned.
  • hock79hock79 Forumite
    224 Posts
    I just wanted to suggest, in case you hadn't thought of it, you could get your photos retouched so that the purple flowers are adjusted to a more complementary pink :)

    You could get a quote for this, and suggest in your letter to the florist that they cover this cost. I would think that was reasonable.
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
    8K Posts
    Also, speak to your local Trading Standards office as they may have a template letter to use, or even offer to write themselves which would have more clout.
  • DekazerDekazer Forumite
    452 Posts
    From experience, it is possible to get really worked up about one or two small things which can then return to haunt you in the middle of the night weeks later.

    Whether you decide to go down the complaints route, I think there are 2 thinsg to consider.

    1. If you complain and are unsuccessful, would that make you feel worse (and more cheated) than you do already?

    2. Are there things you can to do 'erase' it from your memories of the wedding. Someone has already suggested photoshopping the colours. Could you also choose photos for display where the bouquet is not prominent? We have ended up with only 2 photos on permanent display at home..

    I hope this passes soon and you're able to look back with more pleasurable memories :)

    And congrats on being married now too!
  • N_RN_R Forumite
    76 Posts
    Having owned a flower shop for over 10 years, we did hundreds of weddingsover that time. we always insisted the bride came to the shop the day beforethe flowers were delivered to inspect them and to make sure they were asdescribed, as then you had a fighting chance to do something about it. I don'tknow where you are in the UK but you can get flowers fairly easily to correctsomething either from the market, or other supplier. If they were desperatethen they could have got them from another florist.

    There are occasions though when shades or flowers have to be substituted dueto availability, but most flowers are available all year round.

    I think it is just ignorance for the driver to shrug his shoulders.

    The biggest factor when it comes to weddings you get business on isreputation and word of mouth.
    I'm not the type of person to let things drop when I’m not happy so I wouldtake your complaint to your florist, then to trading standards if you don't geta suitable response.

    Are they not on any sites you can 'review' them on?

  • sweetilemonsweetilemon Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I would most certainly complain and if no reponse to trading standards. The product provided was not what was paid for. goodluck and let us know how you get on!
  • katinikatini Forumite
    196 Posts
    Thank you everyone for your help so far. I have written a draft letter and a friend of mine is looking over it for me as I am still stuck between wanting some sort of refund and also trying to get it all "off my chest". I am still upset about it, and that doesn't seem to be subsiding so I definitely need to do something about it, but I still don't know what outcome would allow me to move on.

    I know that this sounds like a lot of fuss, it's just I was so specific in what I wanted, and I love flowers so I had been so excited about getting my bouquet, and I am still so disappointed with it. Even now one month on.

    Other things that went wrong on the day like someone turning up who had said they weren't (caused table plan chaos!), someone tipping a glass of pimms all down my dress immediately after ceremony, everything over-running, didn't upset me at all, but this has really had a lasting effect.

    Thanks again.
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