The Idiot’s Guide To Everyday Life


Cymbidiums… and MORE Words I Can’t Spell
22.Nov.09, 20:35 pm
Filed under: Tidbits About My Life, Wedding | Tags: , ,

We have a florist!

I had all but given up on having real flowers at our wedding. After two other florists had left me in tears, trying to rip me off, I’d decided the only flowers would be the sugar ones on the cake that Mrs. Merry is making for us.

One florist, who shall remain nameless, tried to tell me that Cymbidium orchids were sold by the bloom, not by the stem, and each bloom was $10, so if you had an 8-bloom stem you had an $80 flower. This would have gone right over my head, except for the fact that the day before I’d priced the exact same flowers at a local wholesale flower market and was told they would charge $3.50 per stem, or $35 per box of 12. That’s not exactly $80 per stem. Apparently because the shop she worked for had ads in every local wedding vendor mag she thought she could rip me off. No thanks. When I’d told her that the venue includes a wooden trellis arch at the end of the aisle, she just brushed it off, ‘Oh, you can just get some fake vines at Hobby Lobby and wrap it. We won’t worry about that.’ After all of this, she still wanted to charge me around $1200, and it wasn’t even what I wanted.

Another florist took over a week to give me a horrid quote for JUST the personal/carried flowers! Nothing for the reception or the decor. I was losing hope quickly.

Last weekend I’d been driving around and saw Ruth’s Sweet Justice, so I decided to stop in for a cupcake and to take a look at their wedding cake designs. I noticed Tony Foss’ shop down the sidewalk, so I thought I’d pop in, not expecting anything, and just see what he had to say. Tony was busy putting together a wedding at the time, but took a minute to talk to me and book an appointment for the following Saturday. He told me that so long as my budget wasn’t $3.95 he could work with me. His shop looked phenomenal. It wasn’t a large space, but he’d done SOOO much with it. Every corner was packed full of gorgeous plants, flowers, gifts and accessories. I was in awe. There was chiffon bunting everywhere. The hydrangeas he was working with for the wedding that day were perfect and green. I walked out of there with a new confidence, this could just work!

When I went back, I was so excited I got there 45 minutes early! He laughed at me, but we sat down and got to business. Let me just say this: Tony Foss is AMAZING! His talent is extraordinary. I showed him a photo of the bouquet I wanted and he had just done one exactly like it that morning!! My orchids were going to be a reality!! He took every idea I had and just ran with them. I couldn’t believe everything he came up with. And when it got to the price –  unbelievable!! He included EVERYTHING for less than anyone else, and offered to loan me the vases for the tables instead of charging me for them, so I can bring them back to him after. Nobody else offered to help me at all like that. I’m saving a little by picking everything up too, and that’ll free him up to prep for the next day’s weddings.

I just have to mention this GORGEOUS custom flower he had!! He’d taken a purple dendrobium orchid and custom dyed it to where it almost looked tie-dyed!! It was a deep royal blue on the outside (almost purple) and on the inside it was a lighter indigo. The most gorgeous colors I’ve ever seen!! I knew I’d found more than a florist then. I’d found an artist!

Everyone – if you’re looking for flowers, no matter what for, in the OKC area or wherever, seriously give Tony a call. He’s excellent, he’s reasonable with prices, and most of all, he’ll do everything he can to make sure your flowers are fabulous!

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Adventures in Online Shopping

Alternate title: How To Lose a Night’s Sleep Without Really Trying

I love window shopping. Going to the mall or my favorite shops and looking at all of the shiny new things on sale. Touching the soft fabrics of clothes and imagining what I’d look like in them. Seeing my dream home furnished and decked out in all the latest finery. But let’s face it – I’m a single mom with two small children, one of whom has severe ADHD. I rarely leave the house. My window shopping usually happens online.

I fell into the ebay game years ago, buying everything from clothes to a jewelry box to books, cd’s and video games. When it came time to buy my wedding gown, I thought, “Hey, why not save a buck or two that I don’t have?” I saw loads of Chinese seamstresses peddling their wares on the ‘bay and decided to give it a shot. The designer gowns were all really made in China by seamstresses just like them, right? They all had great feedback scores, that should count for something. Wrong.

My first attempt at buying an online wedding gown was a disaster. I sent my measurements to the dressmaker of my choice, along with my payment and waited. Suddenly, three weeks later, my seamstress was booted off of ebay. What now???

Thank Bob for Paypal. Luckily, within my 45 day time limit I could get my money back for undelivered goods. The vendor didn’t even respond to my dispute, so I had my money back in a couple of weeks. No real loss. Still, no dress.

Fast forward about four months. I can hear the wedding countdown clock ticking in my ear. I know how long it takes to get a wedding gown from a real manufacturer. (For those who don’t, it’s 10-12 weeks minimum! THREE MONTHS!!!) I only had six and a half months till the wedding, so in order to have time for alterations, time was of the essence.

I decided to still order online, but to go through an actual store, a boutique. A rather “Boutiqueful” shop, to be exact. I placed my order and felt rather chuffed with myself that I saved $550 by going with a less expensive gown than I’d originally planned, and even saved almost $200 off of the same gown from a local bridal shop. All was well, right?

Four days after I placed my order, I ran across the shop’s facebook page. The last entry apparently made was in July or August, but a former client had left a msg on their wall, “Do not buy from them. They’ll take your money and not give you the dresses!” OMG

Have I just been duped a second time around????

To put it mildly, I was ill. I tried calling the shop, but it was late at night there. I sent emails, and within 10 minutes that derogatory post had been taken off of their page. Still no email response, no call back. I woke up the next morning and  called Paypal to file a preemptive dispute until I could get to the bottom of it. I called when I got to the office, and no answer. Finally, at 9am, I got a call from the shop owner. He did everything he could to reassure me, but I still wasn’t feeling it. I was too skeptical. I asked him if he could send me documentation from Mori Lee (the dress manufacturer) that the order had been placed. He said no problem. He emailed me a print of their online order confirmation. He’d blacked out the confirmation code and customer number with asteriks before sending it to me, but it still showed me the order details.

I wasn’t satisfied. I tracked down a customer service number to Mori Lee myself. I wouldn’t settle for just the information he could email me. Anyone can create a document and email you. I could in ten minutes with my laptop. What the shop owner failed to realize was that when you print something online, the URL of your print is at the bottom of the page. And that particular URL contained the confirmation code he tried to black out. This was rather handy when calling Mori Lee. Within ten minutes I had customer service at Mori Lee verify the order was valid, that the dress was exactly as I had ordered it, the shipping date was exactly as stated in my order confirmation, and that it was placed the same day I placed my order. That’s all it took.

Talk about breathing a sigh of relief!! I can’t remember the last time I felt such a weight lift from my shoulders. I would never have taken shop boy’s word for it, but getting a confirmation from the designer, that was what I needed. I know my order was placed. I know my gown is being made. I know it will arrive when they say it will arrive. I called shop boy back. I didn’t tell him I’d spoken to Mori Lee, I simply told him I’d received his emailed confirmation page and I felt better. I thanked him for his help and told him that with all of the online scams out there, maybe references from past brides wouldn’t be such a bad idea. It would certainly put people like me a little more at ease, and would go a long way toward fostering more business.

In the end, some people kill your trust. Others don’t do much to earn it back. The truth of it is – it’s down to you. Do your due diligence when researching the problem. Make sure you know who you’re buying from. Make sure you use something like Paypal so you know you can get your money back within a certain time frame. And for goodness’ sake – DON’T BUY FROM CHINESE SEAMSTRESSES ON EBAY! LOL



Boutonnière, and other words I can’t spell…
5.Nov.09, 17:43 pm
Filed under: Wedding

I’m knee-deep in wedding magazines and swatches and photos of flowers, and music selections.

No, I’m not living out a lifelong dream of becoming an event coordinator. I’m trying to plan my wedding to my true love. This is a bigger job than I originally imagined, and while fun, can also be all-consuming. No matter what I’m doing, I can see something wedding related in it. (I just LOVE the font on that invoice… maybe I can incorporate it into the invitations somehow?) I’m pretty sure I’m going to drive the people at work to the other side of insane before too long.

That being said, I’ve discovered my creative side all over again, and I’m learning that when I want to be, I can be a little bit of a craft snob. I went to Hobby Lobby to find some nice, cream colored silk tulips. And when I got there, their fake flower supplies in white or cream were all just a bit too…. well…. fake. They looked awful. You could see the threads on the edges, they were paper thin, nothing like a real tulip. I was near tears when I got home. Deflated. Kinda like that tulip.

 

So now I’m contemplating what to do. I found some gorgeous silks online, but they’re expensive. (Peonies or Royal tulips are about $20 for 6 stems, and Dutch tulips are $25 for 6!!!) I could do my own bouquet easily, but what about 10 guest tables, as well as 2 bridesmaid bouquets, and the boutonnieres and corsages for 2 mothers, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother? That’s a lot of flowers!!!

All in all… I’m trying to stretch our budget just a little bit further, so we can have a gorgeous wedding and reception, without tearing my hair out in the process. Any ideas from anyone else out there??